NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Nashville Mayor Karl Dean's plan to move several events from the Tennessee State Fairgrounds to the Hickory Hollow Mall was passed by the Metro Council on the first of three required votes.
The plan calls for the flea market and expo center, currently held at the fairgrounds, to move to empty storefronts at the mall, which local businesses hope will jump start the area's economy.
Business owners around the Hickory Hollow Mall say that they are in full support of the plans to revitalize this area.
“Of course it's a good thing,” said Scott Snoyer, owner of Fast Signs. “I mean, any activity over here is a good thing, just because we have so much open space and we need to get more people back to the area.”
Fast Signs has flourished since opening 16 years ago, while the Hickory Hollow area has struggled as customers flocked to newer shopping centers in Murfreesboro and Mt. Juliet.
“There's just all this space sitting here and we need people back in the area,” Snoyer explained.
Local businesses have banded together to form The Hickory Hollow Action Plan, and have already made efforts to beautify the area, including the current replanting of medians along Bell Road.
“The revitalization has already started,” said Ben Freeland of Freeland Superstore. “So there [are] a lot of new businesses popping up. A lot of buildings are starting to be occupied, and there's a lot more interest based on the news of what could potentially be happening at the mall.”
“The mayor's plan is a good plan and it's all about Hickory Hollow,” added Snoyer. “I know the speedway is upset, or the people at the speedway are upset about what's going on, but that's not our fight to fight. Our fight is trying to make our area better again.”
- Oct. 5, 2010: Bill to save state fairgrounds deferred
- Oct. 2, 2010: NASCAR star plans to fight speedway closing
- Sept. 13, 2010: Mayor proposes park at state fairgrounds site
- Sept. 10, 2010: Mayor unveils revitalization project for Hickory Hollow Mall
- Sept. 8, 2010: Hickory Hollow Mall among options to host fairgrounds events
- April 29, 2010: Mayor's budget plan calls for city to restructure debt
- Nov. 7, 2009: Council debates fairgrounds' fate
- Oct. 6, 2009: Tenn. State Fairgrounds to cease operations in June