Completing its remodeling process, the CoolSprings Galleria has a new look and feel as it enters into the holiday shopping season.

Renovations started to take place back in May 2015, as the mall reconfigured its space where Sears once was an anchor store and represented a large chunk of square footage in the mall.

Sears went away, but was replaced by new places to shop or eat – like American Girl, H&M, Connor’s Steakhouse and King’s Bowl. The new stores that replaced Sears added 50,000 square feet to the mall.

“If you’ve driven around lately, we are at it again,” CoolSprings Galleria general manager Mike Johnson said. “It’s adjacent to the Macy’s parking lot, and we are creating two pads sites available in 2017. If you’re going to serve the Cool Springs area you have to realize what an exciting community this represents. It has to be up-to-date, be hip yet traditional.”

Some of the new mall upgrades involve aesthetics in addition to new seating, LED lighting, and an overhaul of the food court. It also includes new color palette of gray, white and hints of blue; new soft seating areas, paint and tile flooring in the common area; and upgraded restrooms.

In its 25th year, Johnson said the mall has really evolved the most in the past five years.

“We’ve added approximately 100,000 square feet more or less,” he said. “I would say approximately 15 more stores than five years ago. This is the third transformation. I would say as far as traffic we are closer to the top of the list. Us and Opry Mills are more in line with each other.”

County Mayor Rogers Anderson – who watched the land transform from dairy cows and strawberry fields – said the Galleria has meant more for the Williamson County economy than perhaps most residents realize. In the past quarter century, it has become the anchor of the business district in Franklin and driven sales tax revenue.

I have been fortunate enough to be in the political arena in 1986,” he said. “I’ve watched the ups and downs. We were earlier talking about how the mall took a few years to catch on. Now, it’s a thriving section of our county. You have to think about what it means to our public school system – that award-winning system our children have gone through.”

Emily West covers the city of Franklin, education and high school football for the Franklin Home Page. Contact her at Follow her on Twitter via @emwest22.