MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Project developments at Southland Mall have moved off the drawing board and toward reality with a storage facility set to open in July in the space formally occupied by Sears.

Public Storage, a nationally recognized brand name, is set to open in July on the west end of Southland Mall. The space formally occupied by Sears, a longtime anchor store at Southland, will feature more than 800 climate-controlled storage units.

Developers Global Building, LLC, which deals primarily with storage facilities, invested $3 million in the project.

Having a tenant quickly fill the empty space is good news for Southland and the surrounding community.

“It’s extremely important,” said Michael Harris, executive director of Greater Whitehaven Economic Redevelopment Corporation. “It’s important because it is an anchor in our community. It has historical relevance.”

Global Buildings, LLC tells WREG they have sold a portion of the property at the northwest corner of the Mall, formerly Sears Auto Center, to Starbucks and sites to AutoZone and a fast food restaurant.

The excitement has quite caught on for Stephani Brown, manager of Milano Men’s Wear inside the mall.

“I do welcome any new business that comes, but we are still in need of things for this mall that will benefit the community the most,” Brown said.

She’s been with Milano’s for 28 of the 33 years it’s been in Southland Mall. She says during those years she’s seen businesses come and go. They’ve all been heartbreaking, but not like losing two main anchor stores.

“When we lost our anchor stores. Sears, which was a neighborhood names. Macy’s, once again a great loss to the community. We were in hopes of getting anchor stores for the mall to rejuvenate the mall,” Brown said.

She recognizes having someone occupy the space and make the mall more presentable to the public is important, but she stresses the need for anchor stores.

“We need something that’s going to motivate this community to support Southland Mall,” Brown said.

We’re told there are 40 to 45 vendors currently at Southland Mall.