Fresno's new Forever 21 to open April 2

FRESNO, Calif.

Here's a live look at the retailer's soon-to-be new home. An anchor space, formerly occupied by Gottschalks.

The Gottschalks name has been removed - and work is underway to transform the store.

And Monday, shoppers weren't the only ones anxious about opening day.

The signs say opening soon but for some shoppers, Forever 21's grand opening can't come soon enough.

"It was supposed to open in February. We're like waiting for it. It's all little... we're waiting for the big one," Emma Perez said.

"The prices are pretty reasonable. I like the style. They have a lot of cute jewelry...," Leti Espinola said.

That "little" store at Fashion Fair is about 14,000 square feet.

The new one will be 150,000 square feet, one of the company's largest ever.

"It's been a process of getting size of a department store turned over. The type of construction they're doing inside, they're basically gutting the inside. We're very excited to see them open," Kelly Tallant said.

The former Gottschalks space has sat empty for a year and a half.

Back in July of 2009 Amanda Perez traveled to southern California to talk to the company's vice president.

He said the Fresno store would have the look and feel of this store in Pasadena and said he anticipated the store would open in early 2010.

In January 2011 - hundreds lined up to apply for jobs at the new store which we we're told would open in February.

After reaching out to the company for weeks, Action News finally got an update Monday with a new grand opening date of April 2.

The statement went on to say, "We are thrilled to be opening a new store in Fresno, and we are taking countless measures to offer our customers an incredible shopping experience. We apologize for the delays these measures have caused."

Shoppers aren't the only ones anxious about the store's opening.

Stores like sports station are also ready for their new neighbor on the east side of the mall.

"The more traffic over here, the better for us," Cory Manard said. "While girls shop. The guys will go in there. Bring more business to us."

The nearly 300 employees already hired have been working for several weeks at existing Forever 21 stores in Hanford and Fresno.

But both employees and shoppers are ready for this mega store to finally make its debut.

"I think it will be good. Fantastic. Because more store, more to shop," Pazal Thao said.

Fashion Fair has already found a new tenant for the old Forever 21.

Love Culture is scheduled to open by the end of summer or early fall.

A Tilly's is also planning to open its doors in the old Anchor Blue spot and Charming Charlies, an accessories store, is scheduled to open in the former Z Gallerie.

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