Everest Gear, an Internet and retail company specializing in outdoor apparel and equipment, will open at the Shops at Worthington Place.

Everest Gear, an Internet and retail company specializing in outdoor apparel and equipment, will open at the Shops at Worthington Place.

Mall co-owner Tom Carter said he expects the store to open early this month. It will occupy the storefront on the northwest corner of the fountain seating area.

Urban Baggerie, which has been in that shop for several months, will move back to its original store, which has been remodeled.

Everest Gear will move from its Lane Avenue shop to Worthington, Carter said. It is in the Shops on Lane Avenue.

The store started in Granville, where there is still a shop and an Internet warehouse. An Everest Gear also exists on Bethel Road.

It specializes in top brand outdoor clothing and apparel. According to the company's website, it reuses boxes and does not give paper receipts as ways to save paper.

At about the same time that Everest Gear is moving in, the Pendleton shop will move a few doors to the east, into the southwest storefront on the fountain seating area.

The new store will be a prototype for Pendleton, Carter said.

That shop has been vacant since Talbot's women's stores remodeled and moved into the shops immediately to the south. Talbot's now has an exterior entrance on the south parking lot.

On the restaurant front, Panera Bread is ready to attain building permits to begin remodeling the former Chili's site on the southwest end of the mall. It should be open by summer, Carter said.

Negotiations continue with Piada Italian Street food, a casual, made-to-order Italian restaurant with several central Ohio locations, including the Shops on Lane Avenue.

Carter and Morris Capital Partners from Texas purchased the mall about a year ago with plans to breathe new life into the shopping center, which was not in good condition and was less than half occupied.

The first phase of the renovation project is complete, and work has started on phase 2, which will include renovating the stores on the north end of the center, opening up part of the center, and adding more seating, a fire pit, televisions and a play area.

The parking lot will also be reconfigured, and traffic will be allowed to enter the main entrance with a left turn from eastbound West Wilson Bridge Road.

The south part of the mall already has a new look, with new flooring, columns, and lots of new furniture, as well as new stores.

Carter said he is pleased with how the project is progressing and the acceptance he sees from the community.

"People are starting to use the mall as a gathering place," he said.