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RACINE - Boston Store has closed one of its two Regency Mall stores, but there is no official word yet on what will replace it.

The store, formerly Younkers, closed as of Monday, and there is agreement with a new tenant to take the space, said Regency Mall Manager Curt Pruitt. The mall's owner, CBL & Associates Properties, of Chattanooga, Tenn., has not yet announced the tenant.

An executive at CBL could not be reached for comment Monday.

In fall 2002, the former Younkers was converted to a second Boston Store at Regency, and the store's departments were reorganized to fit that layout. The move was made to cut costs for Saks Inc., the Birmingham, Ala., company that owns both.

"There are malls with two buildings with the same department store," Pruitt said. "So that was not a novel approach to try in Racine.

"But I don't think Saks Inc. intended that as a permanent solution."

The closure of Boston Store resulted from a pending agreement between Saks and CBL for Saks to sell that property to the mall's owners. By the mall's original arrangement, the four anchor stores there owned their properties, but the mall developer owned the rest.

"The mall has plans for that piece of real estate," said Keith Waltersdorf, senior vice president, director of stores for Boston Store.

When Saks closed Younkers here, he said, Boston Store was prepared to operate in that space until CBL needed it for something else. "We knew it would take some action at some point," he said.

Because Boston Store added some merchandise in its "B" store in the mall, it will pare the offerings back again, Waltersdorf said. For example, it will no longer be able to sell mattresses because of the space they require.

In other news, Regency Mall announced that Linens-N-Things will open Friday in about 27,000 square feet at the southwest end, near JCPenney.

The mall described Linens-N-Things as a "housewares superstore."

"Since Lechters' departure, we've received many requests for a housewares store, and we're delighted to bring Linens-N-Things to Regency Mall," mall Marketing Director Tiffany Bernhardt said in a news release.

The store will open four months ahead of initial projections.

It occupies space previously used by Yen Ching, Chick-fil-A, Attitude, Radio Shack and Furniture Direct.

Yen Ching moved to Milwaukee, Furniture Direct was a temporary mall occupant and the other three moved elsewhere within the mall.

For more information about Linens-N-Things, call the store at (262) 598-9640.

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