Fayette Mall officials say about 20 new shops and restaurants will go into the old Sears space.
Workers are preparing the former Sears space so new tenants can move in and start building their own stores, said Sarah Enlow, regional marketing specialist for CBL & Associates Properties, the mall owners. Additional shops and restaurants would go into a new space planned for in front of part of the former Sears, she said. Sears, which closed in January, was an anchor for the original mall, built in 1971; when the south wing was added in 1993, the store became a pass-through.
Enlow emphasized that access from the north part of the mall to the south wing will be maintained throughout the redevelopment.
"We hope to have the most of the new stores open by the holidays," she said. "There will be upscale stores in the new development, great new stores that are not in the Lexington area now. It will be a real addition to the mall."
Workers opened a new access tunnel at Fayette Mall on Monday to provide easier walking for shoppers while the former Sears store is being redeveloped. The combination of a covered outdoor walkway and an indoor tunnel allows customers to walk from the northern part of the mall to the south wing. Previously, customers had to walk through Sears. The tunnel will be in use until July.