NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — It’s a shopaholic’s dream: a new “high-end, luxury” outlet mall is slated to open in South Nashville.
The announcement of the new shopping center comes about a month after the groundbreaking of another shopping center in Antioch.
Tanger Outlets Nashville broke ground in Mid-May and is set to open in 2023. Upon completion, Tanger will bring the area more than 70 brands and designer outlets.
“Were booming on so many fronts. It’s entertainment, it’s housing, it’s economic development with all the companies coming here. It’s not really a surprise shopping would be added to that list,” Councilwoman Joy Styles said.
These two projects peg the question: Is Nashville becoming a shopping destination?
Many people News 2 spoke to said yes, but how Nashville’s shopping expansion was announced, isn’t sitting well with some.
A press release from the developers reads, in part:
“The development will be located in the market’s southern high-income area, capitalizing on the region’s phenomenal growth, and will complement Simon’s existing, highly successful, local properties, The Mall at Green Hills and Opry Mills.”
The wording isn’t sitting well Styles.
“If that’s your attitude, I actually don’t need you here at all. If you’re going to move here, then you need to serve all of our communities. Where you decide to place yourself, that’s your decision, but you’re alienating people before you’ve even gotten here,” Styles said. “The fact of the matter is people all over the city go everywhere to shop and it doesn’t matter what your socioeconomic background.”
No matter your background, Elam Freeman, the owner of Ojas Partners which advises retail tenants coming to Nashville, said the customer base here is both growing and changing.
“I think it used to be the ‘honky tonk crowd.’ Now, Nashville has more to offer,” Freeman said. “People are calling us saying ‘our customer is definitely in Nashville.'”
Freeman describes the popularity as a domino effect. More shopping means more consumers; more consumers means even more shopping.
“For brands looking to open a flagship in Nashville, 12 South is undoubtedly the highest demand street right now, but you have other neighborhoods where developers are investing and creating a great retail environment and given all the demand there’s going to have to be more than just 12 South,” Freeman said, adding that Germantown, Wedgewood Houston and the Gulch are all becoming popular areas for brick-and-mortar shopping experiences as well.
Simon Property Group representatives said they are “not commenting right now” on the development.
News 2 also reached out to AJ Capital Partners regarding their plans and did not hear back.