Major retailer plans to leave Plaza Fiesta shopping center

by: Sarah Rosario Updated:

FORT MILL, S.C. - As a major retailer prepares to level the Plaza Fiesta shopping center in South Carolina, tenants told Eyewitness News it could not come at a worse time.

This Christmas Eve is the last big opportunity for businesses in the shopping center to make a profit.

On what's known as one of the busiest shopping days of the year for last minute Christmas gifts, we found only a handful of stores open at Plaza Fiesta on Christmas Eve.

China Kitchen owner Michael Fang says it's one of his last chances to make money.

"Of course we hope it's a busy day today," he said.

Earlier this month, business owners were given notice to vacate but not an exact date.

Fang says he's been trying to find a new place to rent ever since.

Last week Eyewitness News first reported that Cabelas, the outdoor hunting and fishing company, bought the building. A company representative said it would bring 225 jobs and will open in the spring of 2015.

Plaza Fiesta has been struggling for years.

When Channel 9 did a walk through we found a majority of store fronts empty except for Hamricks.

The store closing signs were an attraction to shoppers there.

Managers at Hamricks wouldn't on camera but said they're looking at buying a new location in Rock Hill.

Fang says he can't say what will happen to his business or employees.

He said he's hoping to find a spot near Plaza Fiesta, but says he's having a tough time doing that during the holidays.

"I've been trying to find another location but I haven't found anything yet," he said.

Fang says even though a firm date hasn't been set, he's planning to be out by the end of January.