The Charleston Town Center celebrated the completion of a $7 million renovation and kicked off its 30th anniversary with a gala celebration at Center Court that brought together key people who helped get the shopping center built.
Among the key people at Tuesday's celebration:
* Anthony "Tony" Cafaro Sr., retired president of the Cafaro Co. The company owns 50 percent of the mall.
* James Ratner, an executive vice president of Forest City Enterprises Inc. and chairman and chief executive officer of Forest City Commercial Group, the company's commercial real estate development and management division. Forest City owns 50 percent of the mall and manages it.
* Tom Gilkeson, the first manager of the mall. He is now Forest City's vice president of retail operations.
* Duane Bishop, chief operating officer of Forest City's Commercial Division.
* Pat Brown, who was executive director of the Charleston Urban Renewal Authority when the mall was begun. The authority continues to own the land under the mall and receives much of its funding from the parking garages.
Charleston Mayor Danny Jones presented Ratner and Cafaro with keys to the city.
"What this mall symbolizes to me is change and the vision to bring change to this community, to have a successful downtown mall," Jones said. "It was unique at the time.
"This mall has evolved and still evolves," he said. "In the wake of the crash of 2008, this one kept right on ticking. It's now been through an almost $8 million renovation. We who come here every day, we all assume a little ownership in this mall.
"We're grateful this is here, that we had visionary people who had the dream to make this come true, that kept the downtown going. This mall has had a somewhat rainbow effect that stretched to the rest of the city."