NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – For decades it was an Antioch anchor. Hickory Hollow Mall was a magnet for hope and development.
“It’s where they came for entertainment, where they came to shop, where they came to eat,” explained Metro Councilmember, Jacobia Dowell. “Probably the best shopping mall in Middle Tennessee.”
Today though, gone are the crowds and frankly most of the stores. In the shell of Hickory Hollow, lies Global Mall at the Crossings.
“Most of it looks like an abandoned building,” said Gil Hollingsworth. “It looks like something that’s been sitting here empty, aging for 20 years, gradually falling to pieces.”
On the inside is a quiet building, filled with mostly empty stores, and some concerned tenants.
“It used to be the most popular mall,” said Margaret Hill, with AJ African Hair Braiding inside the mall. “Then they shut it down, re-opened it, and now back again to square one.”
The mall is owned by Global Mall Partnership LLC, who bought it in 2012 for a million dollars. Ownership and management, led by Dr. Rajesh Aggarwall, recently telling tenants they have to leave.
“They told us from the start that any time they could shut it down and what not, so we were aware,” added Hill.
Should the owners decide to keep the mall as is, there will need to be a lot of upgrades, after a recent visit by Metro Codes led to a number of violations.
“I’ve said on numerous conditions, the space is really not in any condition from an environmental and a code perspective to have tenants,” said Dowell.
Few answers though are coming from mall officials.
A manager recently told News 2 demolition and upgrade plans were underway, though they wouldn’t offer details on exactly what or when these changes would happen.
Those same managers declined to comment on this story but are telling city leaders something similar.
“They were asking tenants to leave, that they were planning to sell the space or demolish it,” Dowell said. “Once we see the deed transfer hands, and the money change then I’ll believe it.”
Councilmember Dowell hopes for major change along Bell Road, similar to that recently found in the Gulch area.
“I think about a mixed-use community that includes green space, that includes businesses, that is walker friendly,” she added. “Not necessarily a one-dimensional space that is all retail.”
Some tenants hope though, that Hickory Hollow’s hey-day returns, for this prime Antioch property.
“If it’s good like remodeled, I could possibly come back,” said Hill. “I love this location, the center of town.”