ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Two appliances are displayed for sale at Sears department store at Hamilton Place Mall on Thursday, Dec. 27, 2018, in Chattanooga, Tenn. The store will close permanently on Jan. 6.

Photo Gallery

Expanding Hamilton Place mall

SEARS MAKEOVER

Among additions to the Sears space and parking lots at Hamilton Place mall:

› Dick’s Sporting Goods

› Dave & Buster’s

› Cheesecake Factory

› Offices

› Hotel

Source: CBL, building permits

Hamilton Place mall is adding a Dick's Sporting Goods as part of the makeover of Sears that will include a big expansion nearly doubling the existing store's footprint, new plans show.

Another 141,000 square feet is to go onto the existing 150,000-square-foot Sears space in a two-level addition to one of Tennessee's biggest malls. Work on the structure's shell alone is estimated at $8.1 million, according to building permits filed with the city.

Sears plans to permanently close its Hamilton Place store on Jan. 6, ending a 31-year run by the retailer as one of the mall's original anchors.

Also, around early February, the Sears store at Northgate Mall in Hixson is to close after about 45 years, leaving Chattanooga without a full-service store from the struggling retailer. A Sears Outlet store in Hixson will continue to operate.

Dick's, now located across Gunbarrel Road in the Walmart shopping center, will relocate to space near where the existing Sears auto store is located on the first floor. The new Dick's store will occupy nearly 46,000 square feet, permits show.

Dick's representatives did not return a phone call seeking comment.

Mall owner CBL Properties earlier unveiled parts of the big redevelopment plan for the Sears store space, including the addition of a Dave & Buster's restaurant and entertainment venue to go on the second level. Offices are also slated to go in the Sears space.

"It really changes that whole dynamic," said Stacey Keating, CBL's public relations director, about the mall's plans.

In addition, a hotel is slated to go on an outparcel in the Sears parking lot near the road around the mall.

A Cheesecake Factory restaurant opened earlier this month near Sears in another outparcel as the first part of CBL's plan.

Keating said the current Sears auto center will be demolished as part of the work that's expected to begin at the store early next year.

"It's a sizable investment into the project," Keating said about the work. She declined to reveal the entire makeover's price tag.

Taylor Bostwick, Hamilton Place mall's marketing director, said the physical addition to the Sears site will go on the side where the Rodizio Grill is located nearby and wrap around to the back of Sears where the elevation drops.

An exterior staircase will be constructed to permit people to walk between the levels, she said.

"That whole area will look really different," Bostwick said.

Inside the Hamilton Place Sears, much of the merchandise is already gone. In addition to drastic price markdowns on the remaining goods, signs say that even the store fixtures are for sale.

Sears filed for bankruptcy in October after years of trying to compete against online retailers, discount chains and boutique stores. But at Hamilton Place, CBL in 2017 bought the Sears space from the retailer with an eye toward redeveloping the property.

The 1.2 million-square-foot mall, which last year marked its 30th year, continues as the area's retail powerhouse, drawing an estimated 2 million people annually to the center and nearby stores.

At Northgate Mall, Sears continues to own that store space.

Keating said there could be "a good opportunity" related to the purchase of the Sears' Northgate space due to growth in the Hixson area.

"We'll have to see how things play out," she said about the two-level Sears, which at 179,000 square feet is the biggest single store at the Hixson mall.

CBL earlier bought the nearby Sears auto center at Northgate when it purchased the Hamilton Place store. A pair of new restaurants, Panda Express and Aubrey's, are under construction there near Highway 153.

Contact staff writer Mike Pare at mpare@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6318. Follow him on Twitter @MikePareTFP.

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT