Community leaders leery about plans for Hickory Hollow Mall - WSMV News 4

Community leaders leery about plans for Hickory Hollow Mall

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News that Rutherford County business Global Mall Partnership bought a big chunk of Hickory Hollow Mall this week is being met with mixed emotions.

Metro Councilman Duane Dominy applauds the million-dollar deal.

"I think it's an exciting opportunity for this community," he said.

But resident Keith Vincent said he's not convinced.

"Sometimes you can get worse than what you had," said Vincent.

Vincent lives just a mile away from the once thriving mall, and while he admits Sunday the massive property needs revitalizing, he worries the new owners won't meet Antioch's diverse needs.

"We don't know what his goals are, his objectives," Vincent explained. "If you bring any type of business into a community this size and it doesn't cater to the majority, it only caters to a small minority, whatever the minority is, you're going to have some challenges with that business thriving."

Business owner Fran Bush agreed.

"Antioch was a place that everybody came to," said Bush.

It's one of the many reasons Bush moved her family and business to the area 12 years ago. She explained it was once a predominantly middle- and upper-class community. But now it's largely depressed after she said the city introduced a large number of low-income developments into the area.

"Three things happen when you do that - crime goes up, businesses leave and property value goes down," Bush explained.

It's a move she blames for Hickory Hollow's downfall.

"The biggest thing that they need to look at in order for this to be a success again is to get the community input. If you don't have a community, you don't have a business," said Bush.

Vincent added, "Hopefully it's something that's going to be positive for the community."

Vincent and Bush plan to call Global Mall Partnership to arrange a meeting with the owners before they finalize any plans.

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