Belk taking over some Cool Springs Sears space

Department store owner investing $12M+ in expansion, renovation

Department store chain Belk will plow $12.6 million into its CoolSprings Galleria location, a project that includes taking over 50,000 square feet of space that had been leased by Sears.

Charlotte-based Belk will start construction in October on a new men’s and kids store in the former Sears space and expects to complete that part of the project in March of next year. The work will expand Belk’s space in Cool Springs to 185,000 square feet and give more room to various departments, including women’s shoes, cosmetics and fashion jewelry.

The company will begin renovating its existing space a year from now and has scheduled a grand reopening for October 2015. Also part of the company’s investment is the relocation of its home merchandise departments — which are now in two separate shops at the mall — into an 18,000-square-foot space.

“We’re creating the ultimate Belk shopping experience for our customers at CoolSprings Galleria with this expansion and remodel,” said Jan Clevenger, chair of Belk’s Western Division. “All of these improvements combined will make the store one of our premier Belk flagships to serve Franklin and the entire Nashville region. It will represent the best of Belk.”

CoolSprings Galleria is owned by CBL & Associates of Chattanooga and pension fund TIAA-CREF. CBL last summer bought the former Sears store with plans to redevelop the building for specialty retailers and restaurants. Earlier this month, American Girl announced it will open its first Tennessee store in that part of the mall.