Development announced for Antioch library, community center - WSMV News 4

Development announced for Antioch library, community center

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Artist rendering of project released by Mayor Dean's office Artist rendering of project released by Mayor Dean's office

The Antioch area is getting its best news in decades. The City of Nashville has decided to make a huge investment in the Hickory Hollow Mall.

It will literary change the community.

Right now, Hickory Hollow Mall limps through another day of empty store fronts and small foot traffic.

But today is different.

Mayor Karl Dean wants to buy the JC Penney building, construct a 30,000-square-foot community center, build a brand new library and then, of course, the new Nashville State satellite campus will go in the old Dillards.

"You are fundamentally altering Hickory Hollow," Mayor Dean said. "Library, parks and a community college. There is nothing that is more fundamentally important when building a community, and this is a big day for Antioch."

At the mall, business owners are a little more cautious.

"Positive side, it is trying to bring more traffic into the area. The negative side, it it's really taking away from what the mall is," City Gear owner Carmen Lewis said. "Five years from now it may not be just a shopping mall."

Empty buildings are everywhere in Antioch, absolutely. But people are everywhere, too. The mall just wasn't the answer.

"Every major city in America is confronting this. The first ring of suburbs have malls that are not quite as functional as they used to be. The retail market has changed in some way. And so you've got to be innovative and you have to look for opportunities," Mayor Dean said.

And here is that opportunity. A new Hickory Hollow is on its way that will certainly look nothing like the old one.

The property would cost metro $3.25 million. The purchase is ready to go, but it must be approved by the Metro Council on Nov. 15.

The expanded library would replace the current Southeast Branch Library located at 2325 Hickory Highlands Dr. The new library, at 25,000-square-feet, will be more than double the size of the existing library.

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