Shoppers at Pembroke Mall, located near the Town Center area of Virginia Beach, had a bit of a surprise Wednesday.
Therese Desanto was planning to grab a bite to eat at the food court during her lunch break. Instead, she found it closed up and everything inside being auctioned off.
"I was very surprised when I came here, that the food court is closed. That was a shock to me," said Desanto.
But the reason they’re clearing the space out is generating a lot of excitement.
Five new stores will be filling the space; two national retailers have already signed on to move in.
Who they are though, is still a mystery.
Mall management says they can't reveal who is coming yet and current store owners are sworn to secrecy.
Still, just the mention of some new big names coming to Pembroke Mall is enough to get shoppers talking.
“I would be very excited to see Pembroke Mall really become more of an expanding business,” said Desanto.
“Change is good,” said Steve Johnson, another shopper.
For Shelley Willis, owner of Creative Finds, the news is something she's been hoping for since hearing that Target is moving to the mall with plans to open in mid-October.
“I was totally excited,” said Willis, “We were hoping that people would follow Target once they got here. I’ve been in retail my whole life and I knew there would be some people coming, and I’m excited about those people coming.”
There are also some other renovations taking place - new carpeting and paint inside and a new look outside for the mall's entrance.
“It’s going from a brick façade to an all glass façade, a two-story glass façade,” said Jeff Runnels, General Manager of Pembroke Mall.
Right now, there are no plans to build a new food court to replace the old one, but there will still be places to eat at the mall. Some of the fast food places that used to be in the food court have moved to new locations inside the mall.
The focus at this point, is bringing more major retailers to the mall to bring in a lot more shoppers.
“Town Center is well-known for having great restaurants, and we want to be that retail destination right across the street,” said Runnels.
Shoppers should see the two new stores in place by next spring.