published Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

Business Briefs: CBL buys Sears stores in malls

CBL buys Sears stores in malls

CBL & Associates Properties Inc. on Tuesday announced that it has acquired two Sears locations at CBL's CoolSprings Galleria in Nashville and the Fayette Mall in Lexington, Ky.

Sears will continue to operate in both locations until closing dates have been finalized.

"We have plans to redevelop and expand both buildings to create space for new high-end specialty stores and restaurants designed to augment each property's market-dominant position and enhance their strong growth rates," said Stephen Lebovitz, Chattanooga-based CBL's chief executive officer.

Employment dips in Chattanooga

Unemployment declined in most U.S. cities over the past year, but Chattanooga and Dalton, Ga., were among a minority of metropolitan areas that lost jobs over the past year. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said Tuesday that Chattanooga had 500 fewer workers on the job last month than a year ago, boosting the local unemployment rate last month to 7.9 percent, up from 7.3 percent a year ago. In metro Dalton, which reported the 14th highest jobless rate among metro cities last month at 10.7 percent, employment last month was down by 600 jobs from a year ago.

Metro Cleveland, Tenn., added 300 jobs in the past year, but Cleveland's unemployment rate also rose in the past year from 7.7 percent to 7.9 percent because of an increase in the local workforce, BLS reported.

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