MADISON, Wis. -

Work on a $15 million redevelopment project is officially underway after a kick-off event at Hilldale Mall Thursday morning.

The project is focused on adding 53,000 square feet in an area between Metcalfe’s and Macy’s on the mall’s north end and making room for a new restaurant and numerous new retailers. The design features an open-air center with outward facing storefronts.

The new businesses moving into the mall include European-style restaurant Cafe Hollander, women’s designer clothier Kate Spade New York, designer jean retailer Lucky Brand, apparel and accessories retail Michael Kors, kitchenware supplier Sur la Table and nautical shoe brand Sperry Top-Sider.

Two more retailers were added to the list Thursday. Lush is a natural cosmetics company and White House Black Market is a fashion boutique known for clothing designed in white, black, and black-white variations.

Mall officials call the project the most significant development project in the mall’s 51-year history.

"They had a vision for reinvigorating this site. This site is so important to not just my district but the whole city," Madison Alder Chris Schmidt said. "This area, we refer to it as Midtown now at the city, and there's a reason for that. It's almost like a new downtown forming on the west side. Hilldale is the nucleus of that."

Thursday morning crews began removing the roof of the redevelopment area between Metcalfe’s and Macy’s.