Hickory Hollow Mall retailers uncertain about future plans
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -
On Friday, June 1, Daniel Gordon, owner of the Soccer Plus store in the Hickory Hollow Mall received a letter from CBL & Associates Properties, Inc. terminating his lease and he's not alone.
Gordon and several other mall retailers have been given until June 30 to vacate the mall.
For Gordon, the letter came as a surprise.
"We had no meeting, no discussion whatsoever it was just everybody got the letter and that was it," he told Nashville's News 2.
Soccer Plus has only been at Hickory Hollow since last August and in that time Gordon says he has seen several other stores close up and move out.
However, he never thought his shop would be one of them.
Gordon said, "We were always optimistic. If [mall management] said [the mall] was not going to close, we were going to ride it out with them."
In an email sent on Friday, CBL & Associates Properties representative Katie Reinsmidt said, the mall is in the process of "reinventing itself."
Future plans for the Hickory Hollow space include a community center, soccer fields and green space. In addition, a satellite location for Nashville State Community College is set to open this fall.
Reinsmidt's email explained, "In order to better facilitate this evolution and allow for the development of a plan for the remainder of the center, a portion of the retail will be temporarily closed. There are about a dozen retailers that will continue to operate."
While it is unclear which retailers will remain open, Reinsmidt continued, "We are working closely with local officials to explore options that would recreate Hickory Hollow and allow the center to best serve the needs of the community."
Gordon says the letter he received did not mention any future plans for his store and now he's left scrambling to find a new location.
"You have 30 days to go find somewhere and it might not happen so it might take a longer time to get going again," he said.
Gordon said it is unfortunate that many stores are being forced out, considering the mall's longstanding history as a "premiere mall" in the community.
"This was the mall. Everybody came here back in the heyday. You couldn't find a parking space," he said. Clarissa Bridges is a regular customer at Kim's Nails, another retailer that will have to move out.
Bridges remembers the mall as Gordon does.
She said, "I remember when I was in high school me and my friends would walk around here."
On Sunday, Nashville's News 2 was unable to reach anyone in the Hickory Hollow Mall office for further details about the retailers that will close.