New eateries planned outside Northgate Mall in Chattanooga

Staff photo by Mike Pare / The site of the closed Sears auto center next to Northgate Mall will become home to a pair of new Hixson restaurants.

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Aubrey’s: www.aubreysrestaurants.comPanda Express: pandacareers.com.

A couple of new restaurants are slated for outside of Northgate Mall in Hixson as the shopping center's owner redevelops the former Sears auto center.

Panda Express and Aubrey's are set to open eateries at the site of the auto center by the end of this year, according to CBL Properties.

Stephen Lebovitz, CEO of Chattanooga-based CBL, said the company is committed to diversifying the uses at its properties to include more dining and other lifestyle options.

"This is one of many announcements we look forward to sharing in 2018 detailing the transformation of CBL properties through our redevelopment program," he said.

Panda Express, a fast casual Chinese restaurant, will have 2,000 square feet of space including an outdoor patio, said CBL spokeswoman Stacey Keating.

Aubrey's, which offers pastas, fresh seafood, hamburgers and "Southern favorites," will take up 7,500 square feet and also have an exterior patio, she said.

"We're