Site work for a major retail chain identified as a Kohl's department store has begun at a Hixson shopping center.
Several pieces of heavy equipment are preparing a tract next to Academy Sports + Outdoors at The Fountains of North Chattanooga on Highway 153.
Bobby Cribbs, a project manager for Shelton Construction, said the parcel is being prepared for a Kohl's store.
Kohl's, which sells midprice apparel, accessories and home decor, already has a unit on Gunbarrel Road in the Hamilton Place area. Shopping center developers on the other side of the Chickamauga Dam have been wooing retailers to open second area stores in the Hixson market.
Kohl's spokeswoman Erin Kelbe said Wednesday no announcement has been made about a store.
* Headquarters: Menomonee Falls, Wis.
* Stores: 1,067 in 49 states
* Locally: stores in East Brainerd, Bradley County
* Annual revenue: $18 billion
* Full-time employees: 29,000
Source: Yahoo Finance
"At this time, we've not announced any plans to open a new store in your community," she said.
Oscar Brock, property manager for The Fountains, would not confirm Kohl's is coming to the shopping center. But, he said a new retailer is slated to land at the center at Pine Marr Road and Highway 153.
"We're very excited about having a major new retailer in the Hixson market," Brock said.
Meanwhile, the shopping center has a new owner. Cleveland, Tenn., businesswoman Brenda Lawson has obtained a controlling interest in the shopping center, said Greg Blosser of Paragon Development in Barnesville, Ga., which started the development.
In 2006, City Council rezoned 60 acres for the retail complex along Highway 153 south of Grubb Road. Texas-based retailer Academy Sports opened a 66,000-square-foot store last year.
Also late last year in Whitfield County, Ga., the government-run development authority backed $4.2 million in tax-free bonds to prepare property for a retail-restaurant development on Shugart Road that was expected to include a Kohl's.
Earlier this month, Kohl's Corp. reported same-store sales rose 1.4 percent in January. For the four weeks ending Jan. 29, Kohl's said total revenue climbed 3.4 percent to $825 million. The company has benefited from cost cuts and its expansion of its private label and exclusive brands.
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