Dean unveils plan to revitalize Hickory Hollow Mall

Friday, September 10, 2010 at 4:46pm

Mayor Karl Dean rolled out his 2011 capital spending proposal Friday — a $210 million plan which includes big-ticket items for southeast Nashville.

The highlight of the plan is a revitalization effort at Hickory Hollow Mall. Metro will spend $18 million to improve the declining shopping center, adding a new library and archives, a public health center, a community center and a park.

A new addition to the property will serve as an expo center to house the flea market and other events to be dislocated by the closure of the Tennessee State Fairgrounds.

"Southeast Davidson County is one of the fastest-growing parts of our city, and it's a community where demands for services continue to grow," Dean said. "These new public facilities will be breathe new life into Hickory Hollow Mall and benefit the surrounding retail and commercial areas by attracting more visitors and creating a more stable business environment."

A new elementary school will also be built in the area.

The $18 million Hickory Hollow plan accounts for much of the $50 million difference between the capital-spending plan rolled out Friday and the original, $160 million proposal announced by the Dean administration in late April. The implementation of that plan was delayed by the flooding.

At the news conference, Metro Finance Director Richard Riebeling said he was unable to provide information on the remainder of the difference. The City Paper will update this story when that information is available.

Dean said he hopes negotiations with the mall's owner, CBL, will be completed soon, and the in-mall projects will be up and running "as fast as possible." Riebeling said Metro will lease much of the existing space with a look to eventual purchase, though those details have not been finalized.

Also included in the plan are two new police precincts to serve south Nashville and the Madison area, a move Dean said will make the entire city safer.

"It will allow us to redraw the precinct boundaries, making the precincts smaller," he said.

The mayor also committed to $15.5 million in new sidewalks and bike paths, and $20 million in road and other infrastructure improvements, including the long-awaited 28th Avenue connector.

19 Comments on this post:

By: JeffF on 9/10/10 at 3:41

I am not convinced that Dean even knows where Antioch even is. Election must be coming up soon. For the next year he will desperately hop around making it look like he has done something/anything for Nashville not inside the downtown castle walls.

So to keep score.

Downtown improvements will be paid by visitors and the local suckers paying for hotels and rental cars or going for dinner in that area.

Improvements in the other 95% will be paid for by....

In Dean's mind there is only one area worth investing in.

By: breathofdeath on 9/10/10 at 5:18

I can't say these are bad ideas but I question sinking over $18 million into a building Metro doesn't even own.

By: producer2 on 9/11/10 at 5:43

Why so negative? Are you going to run against the Mayor for office next term? You must be because there is nothing anyone can do that is good enough for you. Do you have your own political party of NO?

By: Kosh III on 9/13/10 at 7:16

A Madison police precinct is welcome. It is long overdue.

By: budlight on 9/13/10 at 8:33

Just what I've always wanted - a place to buy 20 pairs of tube socks for $4.99 and some enormous amounts of beef jerkey for $1.99.

Get your head the hell out of your A$$ Dean. We want some up scale shops and restaurants in Antioch. YOu have a flea market and you don't like the taste of it in your own neighborhood so you want to transition it to Antioch. You are one more Democrat on the way out of office, I hope. A flea market at a shopping center. How low life can you get? We do not want a flea market.

By: budlight on 9/13/10 at 8:48

I sound so angry. And I am. I"m sick of Dean purporting to know what's best for the rest of us.

By: pswindle on 9/13/10 at 8:48

Why can one man say what is best for Nashville? Where are the people that could stop him from destroying the fairgrounds for his own agenda? How did he get so much power?

By: gid on 9/13/10 at 9:53

What about the Bellevue mall? It sits completely empty. I guess that area of the City is just not important to Dean.

By: budlight on 9/13/10 at 10:51

yeah, why doesn't he put the flea market on broadway or west end?

By: tv8527 on 9/13/10 at 11:11

If he truly wanted to help the hickory hollow area he would put a police precinct on property near the mall & help neighborhood groups get effective watch programs started.Crime is why the mall failed (opry mills helped too) But no one I know will go near hickory hollow /Antioch after dark because of the rampant crime/gang problems.

By: producer2 on 9/13/10 at 12:59

The market dictates what stores, restaurants, etc. will or will not open for business in any given area. To say the Mayor is responsible for your shopping pleasure is ridiculous. At least he is providing something for the currently now defunct mall. It can work and 100 Oaks is proof....

By: on 9/13/10 at 1:11

We've had carpetbagger mayors before but I don't remember Bredesen doing this kind of heavy handed stuff. Dean will forever be known as the a-hole mayor who dismantled the State Fair and race track. Me thinks he underestimates the ire and passion that will be directed at him and his memory for many years to come. He's like a man obsessed with recreating parts of Nashville into his own image. I guess somebody had to take Boner's place as the worst mayor of our time.

By: localboy on 9/13/10 at 1:27

"I can't say these are bad ideas but I question sinking over $18 million into a building Metro doesn't even own."
Of all the items in the capital budget this seems the most questionable; is Metro going to prop up other failing sites?

By: richgoose on 9/13/10 at 1:48

Karl Dean needs to be investigated for why the city paid so much for the property on Charlotte Avenue owned by Bob Frensley. Until then I just thought that Dean was a spend thrift. Now I wonder about his integrity.

By: yucchhii on 9/13/10 at 4:23

Again, "NO" mention of doing ANYTHING for the HOMELESS!!! Dean must have taken lessons from bush jr or vice versa! I happen to know that dean is ANTI-HOMELESS!! Ya know, even for those people who read this comment that are ANTI-HOMELESS and saying things like "Who cares about them" and "Get rid of them" well, again, "Get rid of them" is NOT going to be as easy as you may think! When you catch a cancer at the beginning stages, MOST times you can do something about it. BUT, Dean and the previous mayors obviously didn't thing the cancer was going to turn out so bad, BUT that's what they get for "THINKING". If the people of NASHVILLE and the celebrities who live in the Nashville area should actually have God in their lives and want to show it, then, "NOW" is the time to do something! Anyone who donates large finances to the Nashville rescue mission needs to go undercover to the mission and observe for yourselves WHY MOST homeless WON'T stay at the rescue mission!!! $18 million on putting a mall together can wait till the HOMELESS crises is taken care of! Get to know some of the homeless people and find out why they don't stay at the rescue mission. I DARE YOU ALL to do that!!! YOU MIGHT BE SURPRISED!!!

By: CashvilleKing on 9/13/10 at 5:02

Ive been gone from Nashville for seven years, and just returned back to my Hometown in March. I was completely shocked at how ghetto and abandoned Hickory Hollow and Rivergate Malls had become. Once public busing hits a kills all the Business,plain and simple.You get the panhandlers,shoplifters,gangs, and every inch of riff raff that Nashville has to offer. People dont want to go shop or take their children to a place with a Bad element. No real shoppers spending money equals the high quality stores pulling out and going elsewhere because they arent getting any business. Green Hills has public busing but the security there is top notch and keeps people that arent there to shop..out of the area. Cool Springs is the only Real place to shop and enjoy a Fun, safe, family experience.

By: CashvilleKing on 9/13/10 at 5:09

To yucchhii :

Are the Homeless truly Our (taxpayers) responsibility??? Its a Dog eat Dog world and if you cant make it on your own steam...then you are in the way and taking up space.

By: Trumpetman on 9/28/10 at 11:11

I agree with budlight... I like the fact that Mayor Dean is taking some interest in the Antioch/Hickory Hollow area, long over due, but he needs to meet with the residents of the area first to see what we need and want for that mall and area, residents of Antioch will show out in big numbers for meetings regarding area.
Before he does anything to the area he needs to work on widening the roads, including I-24, which needs to be 5 lanes like 65 north and 40 east. Bell Rd and all the other roads in the area need to be widened and some sort of a bypass needs to be created to connect the entire southeastern, eastern and souther parts of
Davidson County, from Hermitage/Mt. Juliet area all the way to Brentwood, 840 is too far out and Briley is to far in and goes north of the city...
Back to the Mall, I personally feel that some sort of Family entertainment/ fun center/skating rink, etc needs to go to where the old Dillards used to be , considering the Antioch area has nothing of that sort near by, rather than a low class Expo center, he could have put that in the old Garden Ridge building before it was converted into another business. The library ideas is acutally a good idea, however he needs to make sure he does something to recruit stores to the rest of the mall, and get rid of the numerous urban wear stores, nothing against them, but there are too many there for one mall, not enough variety of clothing stores.
But the best thing Mayor Dean can do is meet with the people in Antioch and see what is really needed, he'll find that we are in need of a lot of stuff, and want nice things, similar how it was years ago before we were abandoned.

By: MAmom on 10/1/10 at 10:22

This is copy/pasted from another story, but the verbiage is relevant to this article also:

The Mayor lives in Tennessee NOW... but is not from here... possibly he is transitory and will leave at some future time. It would be so wrong for middle Tennessee to let him permanently hurt Nashville by taking away such a wonderful public space like the Fairgrounds.

If you move the fairgrounds functions to a failed Mall - people WILL NOT follow... if fairground / flea market customers wanted a "Mall" experience - they would go to the Mall..... instead of waiting each month for the Flea Market at the Fairgrounds. Since they will not follow ... this revenue will be lost. Additionally there are crime, traffic, access & egress issues associated with the Hickory Hollow site. The cost to adjust the facilities will be passed to event attendees.

It's easy to slip something like this in ... when no one is paying attention. But people are starting to pay attention... At last weekend's Flea Market THOUSANDS of people signed a petition to stop the Mayor (and Ms. Moore's) plans to kill the Fairgrounds. While I was there I asked people whether they were happy with the Mayor's plan.... vendors and customers alike opposed his plan, some were not aware this was happening, and NOT ONE person wanted this change.

Fairground activities directly or indirectly bring a lot of revenue to Nashville. Of course fairground vendors benefit from this, but so do other businesses around town. Maybe not as much revenue as in prior years - but honestly ... retail has been down everywhere because the economy is so anemic right now.

The council plans to vote on this in the next few months. I think the first meeting is October 4. If you care about the Fairgrounds, please attend. There will be two other meetings later.

Lastly, if closing the fairgrounds and moving it is such a great idea - and since so many people are affected - why not put it up to a vote? (vs. slipping it through the back door while no one is looking).