The fluted pillars and 1980s-style gazebo at the main entry to the Shops of Worthington Place will be removed, replaced by a brick entryway with benches and a fire pit.

The fluted pillars and 1980s-style gazebo at the main entry to the Shops of Worthington Place will be removed, replaced by a brick entryway with benches and a fire pit.

The south entry will be replaced as well, and Talbots will move into the southernmost tenant space, with its own exterior doors.

The north entryway will also get some attention, with outdoor and indoor play areas added near the site of the former Gap store.

And though the eyesore created where stores were torn down at the north end of the mall will not be finished until next year, a mural will go up to hide the area while construction occurs.

Those are a few of the improvements to Worthington Place (the new name of Worthington Square) approved by the Worthington Architectural Review Board at its June 23 meeting.

Work on the interior of the mall is to begin immediately and the changes considered at the meeting are also high on the list of projects to be done soon, as the mall is transformed from its fading 1980s look into what new owner Tom Carter says will be a bright and inviting area where families can shop, play, and dine.

The ARB will approve changes in phases and each new tenant will be able to create its own look. That, the board understands, is the trend in retailing.

"It is the look of the future, it is the look of today," said ARB chairman Richard Hunter.

Though no new tenants for the mall have been announced, Carter said Talbots women's stores would move into the site once occupied by Talbots men's store. Its presence on the south side of the mall will include black awnings and a separate doorway.

Besides the south entryway, there will be a new entry on the east side, next to FirstWatch.

The gazebo entrance will be removed, replaced with a brick outdoor area flanked by restaurants with outdoor seating. New pavers will be designed around a fire pit in the middle.

Both FirstWatch and a yet-to-be-named restaurant on the other side will feature matching curved windows.

"I like the entrances, I like the excitement they seem to bring," said ARB member James Sauer.

The board also approved murals to hide the empty area between the existing mall and Kroger, and perhaps elsewhere on the site.

Construction signs that will emphasize that the current shops will remain open were also approved.

The board also looked at a proposed new sign, but wanted more details before granting approval.

Site work was also approved. The main vehicular entrance from Wilson Bridge Road will extend to Old Wilson Bridge Road, creating a smoother transition.

New monument signs at the entrances and poles with permanent banners were approved.