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‘Redevelopment’ planned for Southwest Plaza

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By Ramsey Scott

An increase in vacant storefronts at Southwest Plaza mall is due in part to a planned large-scale renovation of the 30-year-old shopping center.

Several stores in the mall have closed in recent weeks to help make way for a renovation, said Greg Sims, Southwest Plaza’s senior general manager. 

There are several permit applications for construction work on the mall filed with Jefferson County. Yet Sims remained tight-lipped as to what the renovation will entail. 

“Right now we don’t have much to announce. We’re getting closer to that point,” Sims said. “We are in the preliminary stages of our redevelopment, and to facilitate that, (some of the stores) had to get out of the way so it could allow us to get the work started.”

Sims wouldn’t comment on whether a larger retail chain is being courted for the vacant space. 

“As with any project, you have ongoing negotiations that are sensitive, and the need for discretion is appropriate at this time,” Sims said. “We’re just not ready to discuss that type of announcement at this time. It will all be forthcoming later this spring.”