For years, one Nashville neighborhood has seen its shopping options slowly fade away. Now, one of the area's last major stores plans to pull up stakes.
Target plans to close its Antioch location early next year because of poor sales performance, and neighbors are already calling it a major blow.
People living near Hickory Hollow Mall are accustomed to seeing vacant buildings, and the Target off Bell Road will soon become another one.
"That's the whole goal - to try to maintain what we can in this area. And, unfortunately, with Target leaving, that's our last hope," said neighbor Fran Bush.
This week, store officials notified Target employees they would be closing the Antioch location on Feb. 2, 2013, due to "decreased profitability."
"I'm not surprised," said Metro Councilwoman Jacobia Dowell.
Dowell points out there are a couple of newer Super Targets nearby, which draw shoppers from the Antioch store.
"If we went spent a lot of money, and that was a top high-dollar earning store, then I am sure their decision to close, they wouldn't be closing," she said.
The Rev. Keith Vincent said his community just wants a fighting chance to revitalize the area.
"If someone would have communicated, perhaps we could have gotten the community together and said, 'Hey, let's write a letter to Target and tell them we want to keep this store here," he said.
Dowell reassures residents Target closing is just part of a transition period for the area.
"We've seen 100 Oaks go through the same type of situation, in which they pretty much lost all of the businesses around there. And then they revitalized and rebuilt, so I imagine we will face some of the same situations," Dowell said.
Dowell adds that since Hickory Hollow Mall has closed, the crime rate has dropped double digits throughout the surrounding area. And she said the store closures may actually be an opportunity for other industries to come into the area and create more jobs.
The Hickory Hollow space could fit into that plan for revitalization. Nashville State Community College opened a satellite location there this year.
And last month, new investors announced they were buying up a big chunk of the mall with plans for new shopping and dining options.
Copyright WSMV 2012 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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