Ann Taylor LOFT coming to Lexington Green

The Mall at Lexington Green's management announced Wednesday that Ann Taylor LOFT will open there early next year.

The fashion retailer, which has a store at Hamburg, becomes the first to be announced for Lexington Green since news earlier this year that Anthropologie would open in the former Disc Jockey space in 2013.

At the time, Doris Benson, president of Langley Properties and a partner in Lexington Green, said she expected four to five fashion stores, including Anthropologie, to be open by early next year as the shopping center anchored by Joseph-Beth Booksellers reinvents itself as an upscale fashion center.

Ann Taylor LOFT is considered a more casual and less expensive offering from its related store Ann Taylor, which has a location in nearby Fayette Mall.

A company spokeswoman could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Scott Davidson, director of operations for Langley Properties, said his company expects to have the space ready for Ann Taylor LOFT in December with the store opening in the first quarter of 2013. The store will take the place of Willis Music, which has moved to Tiverton Way.

"We continue to work with other high-end retail fashion tenants as well, but at this time, I can't provide any other names," Davidson said.

The announcement comes after a series of upgrades to the shopping center, including installation of two fountains, new irrigation systems linked to the lake in the rear, and sidewalks replaced with brick pavers and colored concrete.

The redevelopment of the center has been in the works for more than two years and was linked to a consultant's study suggesting that it focus on fashion tenants, Benson has said.

Joseph-Beth Booksellers also has been conducting a full makeover that includes concentrating all children's operations on the lower lakeside level.

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