In a special called meeting Tuesday, the Oak Ridge City Council voted to approve changes to the plans to redevelop the former Oak Ridge Mall property. The changes were necessary after RealtyLink from South Carolina replaced Crosland Southeast of North Carolina as the master developer of the 60-acre project aimed at turning the all-but-vacant mall into a mixed-use facility with retail shops, restaurants, a hotel and residential units. RealtyLink says it is still on track to begin demolition of the existing space between Belk and JCPenney as soon as they close on the purchase of the property at the end of November. The company says it plans to open more than 200,000 square feet of retail by Christmas 2016. That includes roughly 130,000 square feet of retail at JCPenney and Belk, which will have a new facade and entrance. There will be more than 75,000 square feet of new retail in the eight new stores. RealtyLink plans to be done with the retail development, which includes 460,000 square feet of retail, including Belk and JCPenney, in 18 months. RealtyLink plans to be done with the entire phased project, including a hotel, restaurants, and about 200 residential units in less than three years. The Council on Tuesday agreed to push back the start of the tax increment financing—or TIF—agreement to 2017 instead of next year while keeping the payback schedule at 30 years. Those changes were also approved this week by both the Oak Ridge Industrial Development Board and the Anderson County Commission.