Mayor Dean announces plans for hockey rink at former Hickory Hollow Mall
June 17, 2013 05:25 PM
Reported By Jamey Tucker, Video Journalist - bio | email
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -
The former Hickory Hollow Mall will soon be home to two hockey rinks, a state-of-the-art library and a community center, if it gets approval by Metro Council.
Nashville Mayor Karl Dean helped break ground Monday afternoon on the project that is intended to bring new life to the Antioch area of southeast Nashville.
"This area has been under served," said Dean, who also told Nashville's News 2 the project has been one of his priorities since he took office.
He explained that it's an investment in part of the city that really needs investments.
"I'm excited by the fact that really what this represents is it's going to put an emphasis on two things I care a lot about, which are education and learning and reading, along with physical fitness," Mayor Dean explained.
The new hockey facility will help meet a need for more ice rinks in the area.
"With this centrally located and accessible rink it is going to create greater access to ice and expand the participation," said the CEO of the Nashville Predators, Jeff Gogen.
He continued, "I think what's really exciting is to be part of this campus with the rec center and the park and the library."
For families that live nearby, this is big news as they typically have to drive farther to use a hockey rink.
Sandie Dauby has a 4-year-old son named Sheaffer. This is big news for them,
"He eats, lives, breathes hockey. Right now we have to ride to Centennial from Murfreesboro, which is quite a haul," Dauby said.
The $32 million project will also include a green space, which is now a parking lot outside the old J. C Penney department store.
The library will be double the size of the current library nearby. The renovated space will also include a roof-top terrace for events and meetings.
A 40,000 square-foot community center will be located in the old JC Penney store and will have a gymnasium, dance studio, and walking track .
Hickory Hollow Mall closed a few years ago and many area businesses followed.
What used to be a popular shopping area for families is now mostly empty and has seen an increased crime rate.
The mall has new ownership and several small stores are opening the re-named Global Mall at the Crossings.
If the project is approved by Metro Council the hockey rinks, library and community center could be open by August of 2014.