Residents in the fastest growing part of Nashville had a chance to voice their opinion on Antioch's future in a meeting Monday night.
The meeting at Lakeland Christian Church came just days after retailer Best Buy announced plans to close their Hickory Hollow location.
Around 100 residents attended
Ben Freeland owns a car dealership in the area and has taken an active role in the area's redevelopment since purchasing the former Bill Heard auto dealership three-and-a-half years ago.
He said despite many retailers closing, he sees the vacant store fronts as an opportunity.
"There are 5,000 students that will be in that wing [formerly Dillard's department store] of the old mall soon, and a library and park in another wing [formerly JC Penny's]," Freeland said.
Freeland also said there are plans for around 200 jobs from health care data center that will be located in The Crossing, which is part of the Antioch-Percy Priest-Hickory Hollow corridor in southeast Nashville.
He said the development is part of what is called "re-purposing" the area.
"We know big box retail is being phased out, but you want to replace it with jobs, then people may stay around here more to spend money," Freeland said.
In addition to Best Buy closing its doors, nearby Hickory Hollow Mall recently lost Macy's and Sears.
Freeland told Nashville's News 2 reassuring residents and giving them input about the future of the area is part of the focus for a series of community meetings that began last week.
"There's still a lot buying power in the area," Metro planner Tifinie Capehart said, adding, "We are going to look at economic development and what to do moving forward."
A Metro Planning Commission report is scheduled to be finished this fall.