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Town Center makeover

Kenny Kemp
The Charleston Town Center's $7 million in renovations, including a complete remodel of Center Court, shown here, are complete.
Kenny Kemp The Charleston Town Center hosted a press conference and reception in honor of its new look. The mall is celebrating its 30th anniversary.
Kenny Kemp Tom Gilkeson, vice president of retail operations for Forest City Enterprises, a mall owner, speaks during a celebration for the mall's renovations.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Six months and $7 million after they started, renovations at the Charleston Town Center mall are complete.

Mall officials celebrated the conclusion of the work on Tuesday with a press conference and a reception in the Center Court area of the mall.

Renovations at the mall include new flooring, remodels of public restrooms on levels two and three, a remodel and new fountain and seating area in Center Court, new handrails, new lighting, new paint and new banners and signs throughout the mall.

"Today we're here to celebrate," Tom Gilkeson, vice president of retail operations for Forest City Enterprises, said. "This is a major renovation for Charleston Town Center.

"I think you have to take a step back and think about what it was before -- it's such a drastic change."

Nothing on the facility has gone untouched, Gilkeson said.

Because of a 10-year partnership between the mall and Charleston Area Medical Center, the mall is getting its first children's play area and a family restroom. The play area is scheduled to open Dec. 17. The restroom will be on the third floor of the mall.

The reception also kicked off the beginning of the mall's 30th anniversary year.

Charleston Mayor Danny Jones said the mall symbolizes the ability to change.

"A lot of political leaders who preceded me had the vision to bring change to this community," Jones said. "To have a successful urban mall in downtown Charleston and preserve the tax base here. It was very unique at the time and I think it's still unique.

"And this mall has evolved," Jones said.

Reach Lori Kersey at lori.kersey@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1240.


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