Updated at 8:32 p.m. on Monday. Nov. 12, 2018 with more information.
“CBL is committed to diversifying our properties' offerings and delivering a new experience for our customers.”
The biggest redevelopment in Hamilton Place mall's three decades was unveiled Monday as the Sears store and nearby parking lots make way for a Dave & Buster's restaurant, a hotel and offices.
Also, more eateries, specialty tenants and a nationally known junior anchor store will go on the site and the adjoining parking lots in a multimillion-dollar revamp, according to mall operator CBL Properties.
The additions will join The Cheesecake Factory on that end of the shopping center in providing consumers with new offerings, the Chattanooga-based company said.
Stephen Lebovitz, CBL's chief executive officer, said the company's vision is to transform its traditional enclosed malls into dynamic suburban town centers, and the Hamilton Place redevelopment is an example of the strategy.
"CBL is committed to diversifying our properties' offerings and delivering a new experience for our customers," he said.
Sears already has announced it plans to close its Hamilton Place store.
Construction on the redevelopment is expected to begin next spring with work on the Dave & Buster's eatery and entertainment complex, said CBL spokeswoman Stacey Keating. It likely will have a 2020 opening, Keating said, and mark the chain's first location in the Chattanooga area.
She said plans are to keep most of the existing Sears building, except the auto center, which will be torn down. Sears was one of the mall's original anchors and helped propel Hamilton Place as the region's top shopping destination since it opened 31 years ago.
Keating said most of the redevelopment work should take place at about the same time.
Lebovitz said the new offerings, coupled with The Cheesecake Factory that is to open in December on a Sears parking lot, will further solidify Hamilton Place as "the premier shopping, dining and entertainment destination in the Chattanooga market."
"We are thrilled to announce the plans for this comprehensive mixed-use redevelopment," he said.
Keating said plans are to announce the name of the 145-room, boutique-style hotel later, along with the identify of the junior anchor store.
"The Dave & Buster's will be a big traffic draw," she said. "It will bring a totally different use that we don't currently have."
Dave & Buster's Entertainment, headquartered in Dallas, operates 119 complexes throughout North America. It offers food and beverage items combined with the latest games and attractions, according to the company. Guests can watch sporting events in the D&B Sports Bar and play state-of-the-art simulators and games of skill they can't play anywhere else, the company said.
Keating said the changes such as those planned at Hamilton Place mall, one of Tennessee's largest, reflect the direction in which the industry is moving. Malls and retailers are under pressure from online shopping.
"We've been working hard to diversify offerings at all our properties," Keating said. "It's bringing in different types of uses for our consumers. The entertainment concept is growing as part of mall redevelopments."
The Hamilton Place complex has added new users such as Jim N' Nick's BBQ, Altar'd State, and Molly Green in the past few months. Those bring in additional customers and strengthen the attraction of the property, said Lebovitz.
CBL bought the Sears store in early 2017 as the iconic retailer has struggled to stay in business and relevant to shoppers.
Lebovitz said he expects that when Cheesecake Factory opens, the popular restaurant will garner almost as much in sales by itself as the Sears store.
He said there's often more value to CBL in redeveloping Sears stores than in keeping the retailer. CBL also is remaking the Northgate Mall Sears auto center site, which it purchased in 2017, to hold two new restaurants.
Last week, Sears announced it's closing its store early next year at Northgate Mall after about 45 years. The company still owns that store, and its future reuse is unclear.
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