Very soon, you will begin to see some new things happening at what was, until this morning, called the Mall of Acadiana.  The mall was selected by it's parent company, CBL & Associates Properties, Inc, for a remodel and name change.

With the changing of the name, General Manager Bryan LeBlanc said they were trying to honor the heritage of the mall.  LeBlanc said,

We wanted to keep some of the history and the name Acadiana Mall was such a part of it from '79 to 2004.  We felt that bringing it back was just something to keep those ties.  A lot of people still call it Acadiana Mall.

But the name is not the only thing that is changing.  LeBlanc mentioned that some big changes are coming that customers will definitely notice.  One of the big ones is happening in the center court area where LeBlanc says they are taking out the raised platform.  LeBlanc said,

It's going to be more of a place where you can congregate and walk through it.  It's going to be a lot easier to access, one for the two tenants there and two for the customers.  It will still have a seating area but it's going to be a very dramatic change.  That's going to be one of the bigger changes.

One of the other big changes that is coming is going to be a complete remodeling of the bathrooms.  LeBlanc mentioned that the restrooms will include some new family restrooms among other things.  Jason Perry, of Henry Douglas Thompson Architects, who is managing the project for the mall said that he felt the restrooms are going to be the biggest

If you are a current shopper now, the restrooms are huge.  It's an area that customers have wanted to see improved for a while now.  So that's going to be, functionally, the biggest thing.

Perry also mentioned that they will be building some new entrance towers that will provide a "wow factor."  Perry said,

That's going to really look like a new, polished addition to the mall that's going to say a lot about what you're going to find inside.

Other things that will see changes include removing some of the decorative columns and freshening up supporting columns in the mall.  A new seating area will be put into the food court that is more of a cafe style.  Also, you will find new seating areas throughout the mall.  Gone will be the hard benches and in will be soft, comfortable furniture that LeBlanc said would be more inviting.  In addition, there will be new signage coming all around the mall to reflect the new name and logo.

As to when the work will start, look for renovations to take place starting in March.  But will this be an inconvenience to customers?  Perry says they want to keep it to a minimum.  Perry said,

Construction will take place primarily overnight.  So, if you come shop during the day you will probably notice signs and some areas will be protected, but there won't be work going on during the daytime.

The remodel is scheduled to be completed in November and when that happens, LeBlanc says there will be a “Grand Celebration” which will include prizes and fun activities for shoppers.  LeBlanc says that the timing is ideal for them,

Our goal is to wrap up the project just in time for the holiday shopping season.

Among other changes that are taking place effective immediately are a new website, a change to their Facebook page and a new change on Twitter.

In all of the changes, Perry and LeBlanc said they want to keep that link to the area so the mall will retain that local flavor as they freshen it up to make it more convenient for area shoppers.  LeBlanc also said that they hoped to see some more tenants see the changes and want to come be a part of it.

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