New anchor set to open in Mall St. Matthews

Louisville, KY - By Matt McCutcheon - e-mail | bio

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – Christmas has come early for an east end mall as work gets under way for a major anchor tenant to set up shop.

The former Dillard's space at Mall St. Matthews has sat empty for awhile, but WAVE 3 News has learned changes are in store in the coming weeks.

In front of the anchor store, the fountains are on, but nobody's home.

"It's been like that for awhile," one shopper said.

Nearly three years in fact. That's when Dillard's men's and home departments moved into the former Lord & Taylor store.

Ever since, the store once known to Louisvillians as Bacon's has sat empty.

Forever 21 will change all of that.

"It's kind of teenage, trendy, and cheap, good prices," a shopper said.

Forever 21 is already in the mall, but in a much smaller space.

"The tenant does very well here, and they're doing this throughout the country on several properties," Mall St. Matthews General Manager David Jacoby said.

Despite a rocky economy, the store is in expansion mode and will occupy half of the roughly 220,000 square foot building.

"We hope to do more with it in the future, but half of it will be built out with Forever 21. It's very good news.  We're excited to have the tenant expand in that space," Jacoby said.

Shoppers welcome the thought of more choices.

"It sounds like a youthful store which I think will attract the up and coming young adult crowd - the professional crowd here in Louisville… and the baby boomers that are trying to keep their youthful appearance so I think it will be a great asset for the community," shopper Sara Bennett said.

The expanded store won't likely open until after the Christmas 2010 shopping season.  While the exact merchandise assortment isn't clear, the larger Forever 21 store will likely offer expanded lines, possibly including men's and children's clothing.

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