New owners: Hickory Hollow Mall needs pricey repairs - WSMV News 4

New owners: Hickory Hollow Mall needs pricey repairs

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Two weeks after a mid-state investment group bought Hickory Hollow Mall, it's already hit a snag.

"They're going to have shops here that people want, that people like," said Mark Nobles, attorney for Global Mall Partnership.

Nobles said the investment group has big plans for Hickory Hollow Mall, including entertainment and dining. The new owners hoped they'd be moving forward with those plans this week. Instead, Nobles said they're in a holding pattern.

"We can tell by looking at it this one needs some roof issues," Nobles pointed out the damage as he took Channel 4 on a tour of the property.

Years of neglect have left a number of stores in desperate need of repair. Nobles showed us some of the damage.

"Look on the floor, you can actually see where things have fallen. And that's where it's gotten wet and broken and crumbled," Nobles pointed out.

Nobles said it's the result of a leaky roof, the extent of which he said even the owners didn't know until Wednesday when they finally gained access to several stores.

"We've had an enormous problem having some of the old store fronts to open. We've had keys but the latches were broken, so we couldn't get inside to see what kind of repairs needed to be done," Nobles explained.

On Wednesday a small army of contractors got to work, accessing the damage and starting the repairs, from the floors to the carpets. But Nobles admits making repairs aren't their only hurdle.

"The challenge comes in the enormous expense that it requires to pay the bills that go with owning a property of this size at a time when you have few tenants paying rent," he added.

Global Mall is spending $100,000 per month to keep the power on and $50,000 for janitorial and security services for a total of $1.8 million a year for a property it paid for only half that. Despite that, Nobles says his clients are determined to make this work and have already reached out to potential tenants both old and new.

"Our plan is to get them back in as soon as we can," Nobles said. "I believe the community is going to be very pleased. They're going to have a place they can be proud of."

Nobles said they've also hired a crew to freshen up the landscaping around the property. The other big expense is security. He said the group is committed to increasing security inside and outside the mall so shoppers will feel safe.

They hope to complete the bulk of the repairs in a couple of weeks and begin renting some of those storefronts by Christmas. Before they do, Nobles said the group plans to hold a series of community meetings after Thanksgiving to get input from residents about what stores they'd like to see.

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