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CBL Properties said today that it is transforming two dozen former anchor spaces in its shopping centers for other use, with 14 of the abandoned stores either reopened or under construction for new use by the end of the year and another 10 with commitments for other development.

The Chattanooga-based retail developer said the changes reflect the move to remake shopping malls into diverse town centers with restaurants, hotels, grocery outlets, offices and other uses for the former department stores and other major mall anchors.

"Our vision of transforming our properties from traditional enclosed malls to suburban town centers is coming to fruition through the addition of new entertainment uses such as WhirlyBall, Dave & Buster's and Main Event; fitness uses such as TruFit and O2 Fitness; and other nontraditional uses like casinos, office, hotels, grocery and multi-family," CBL CEO Stephen Lebovitz said in a statement today.

Later this year, CBL said it will celebrate the completion of six redevelopment projects:

* WhirlyBall, Movie Tavern by Marcus, Outback Steakhouse and other restaurants and shops at Brookfield Square in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

* Shoprite supermarket at Stroud Mall in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania.

* Dunham's Sports at Laurel Park Place in Livonia, Michigan.

* High Caliber Karting & Entertainment at Meridian Mall in Lansing, Michigan.

*HomeGoods at Kentucky Oaks Mall in Paducah, Kentucky.

* Ross Dress for Less at Dakota Square Mall in Minot, North Dakota.

In its hometown of Chattanooga, CBL is also redeveloping the former Sears department store and adding a Dave & Buster's restaurant,, Dick's Sporting Goods store, an Aloft Hotel by Marriott and other offices and stores. CBL has already added The Cheesecake Factory outside of the former Sears store at Hamilton Place as part of the biggest revamp of Hamilton Place Mall in the 32-year history of Chattanooga's biggest mall.

CBL Properties owns and manages113 properties totaling 70.6 million square feet across 26 states.

After announcing the new uses for the former anchor stores, CBL's stock is trading higher today in a down market, rising 0.3% in early trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

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