ANTIOCH, Tenn. (WKRN) – Leaders held a groundbreaking Tuesday on Tanger Outlets Nashville in Antioch.

“It is amazing,” said Metro Council Member Joy Styles. “People have been chomping at the bit about Tanger for the last three years since I got in office.”

She said the COVID-19 pandemic put the project on hold but the work is now ramping back up in an area that’s been in need of this kind of development.

“When the recession started in 2008 is really when all the stores started closing, all the restaurants started closing. Our last retail was TJ Maxx and they’ve been gone now I think almost two years,” Styles said. “So we are traveling 30 minutes really for food and any shopping opportunities. So to have Tanger open on-site and they’re going to have four restaurants on-site plus 65 stores, I mean, that’s a huge win for us.”

Tanger Outlets Nashville will be a part of the Century Farms development on over 300 acres along I-24 at Hickory Hollow Parkway. The mall will be about 280,000 square feet and they’re aiming to have it opened by fall of 2023. The Century Farms mixed-use development includes hundreds of new apartments and a six-story office building for Community Health Systems.

“We are one of the last areas that have room for growth and you have to have space in order to build something new and envision a new design,” she said. “So with the 330 acres that are available, or were for Century Farms, it was a perfect fit. And the organization that is building Century Farms, Oldacre McDonald, they have a lot of experience in building this. They are the ones that did Nashville West. And so I would say Century Farms is Nashville West on steroids – a lot more room, a lot more opportunity, a lot more variety.”

Styles explained that the site also included four hotels and market-rate apartments.

“Let’s be clear. We’ve never had market-rate apartments out here in decades. When some of these apartment complexes were first built, they were market right then, but since then definitely not,” she said. “The units that are being built now are comparable to facilities that you will see Downtown or in Green Hills and they’re at a lower price point. So that makes it attractive.”

However, she pointed out that Southeast Davidson County is inundated with rentals.

“For me, I have to say while I’m happy to have a couple of market-rate apartments, I don’t need more,” she said. “Right, what I do need more of are townhomes, single-family homes, I would even take condos. Because at this point, the way home prices are rising, what we need to do is to provide homeowners with an opportunity to just create equity period.”

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Styles has also helped lead the effort to transform Antioch’s former Hickory Hollow Mall. Metro Nashville government will spend $24 million to purchase the rentable space at the now-closed Global Mall and buy an office building on the east side of the mall for $20 million. The city said in addition to health services from Vanderbilt University Medical Center, it will be looking for community input for other additions to the development like childcare services or small business opportunities.

“I think the investment in the area, really kick-started would be the announcement of Century Farms and knowing that such a huge product was coming to the southeast by the people that are doing that project,” said Styles.

She explained that it’s now a balance of deciding what developments will get approved for her district, and one of her priorities is to not do any rezonings for solely apartment complexes that don’t come with retail or restaurant opportunities.

“The apartment complex that says we want to be mixed-use (we’re going to bring commercial space, and we’re going to bring restaurants, or coffee shops and boutiques) is far more palpable than the person who says we just want to build a bunch of apartments,” she said.

“When there are no amenities and when there’s no give back to the community, well, that’s just greed. What I tried to do, is I don’t do any rezonings for apartment companies at all if there’s land. Unfortunately, there have been several projects that I inherited, that had already been zoned for apartments. And I try and work with those individuals and see if they’d be willing to sell or are they willing to sell to a homebuilder. And so that’s how we keep the mix. Because if everything you have is a rental property, you don’t have people that are bought into the community itself.”

Tanger partners will be adding about 700 jobs during construction period and then about 1,100 full and part-time retail and management positions once complete.