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CBL & Associates Properties, Inc. (CBL - Snapshot Report)), a real estate investment trust (REIT), recently announced a multi-million dollar renovation and redevelopment plan for its Northgate Mall in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The renovation is expected to begin in summer 2013 and the company intends to wrap it up by the fall.

Spanning 823,000 square feet, Northgate Mall is located on Highway 153 and Hixson Pike/State Route 319. In phase I, improvements will be made in the interior as well as exterior of the mall. CBL plans to revamp the interiors of the mall with new seating areas and flooring as well as upgradation of the ceiling and lighting systems. Along with this, the main entrance and parking lot will also be renovated. The project will include the redevelopment of CBL’s adjacent community center anchored by T.J. Maxx stores of The TJX Companies, Inc. (TJX - Analyst Report)).

The strategic move is intended to provide the best shopping experience by improving its merchandising mix, utilizing available space and upgradation of retail offerings. The company looks forward to sustaining its success through expansions, renovations and aggressive leasing at its properties. This latest renovation is likely to benefit the company to capitalize on the continuous growth opportunities in the Chattanooga market.

Headquartered in Chattanooga, Tennessee, CBL is one of the largest and most active owners and developers of malls and shopping centers in the United States. CBL owns and manages 164 properties, including 95 regional malls/open-air centers.

CBL currently retains a Zacks #4 Rank, which translates into a short-term Sell rating. We also have our long-term Neutral recommendation on the stock. One of its competitors, Simon Property Group Inc (SPG - Analyst Report) holds a Zacks #2 Rank, which translates into a short-term Buy rating.

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