Future of Opry Mills Mall to be announced Tuesday

Future of Opry Mills Mall to be announced Tuesday (Image 1)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The future of the once-flooded Opry Mills Mall will be detailed in a news conference set for Tuesday morning.

The mall that sits off Briley Parkway in Donelson has been closed since the Cumberland River flooded last May.

Tuesday's announcement will include Governor Bill Haslam, Mayor Karl Dean, and other officials from the city and from Opry Mills.

Representative Mike Turner, who serves the district, told Nashville's News 2, “It wasn't the fault of the owners of the mall that it wasn't reopened.  It was just, they had some difficulties opening back up, getting through all the red tape.”

Repairs of the mall have been at a standstill since last fall when the mall's owners, Simon Property Group, filed a lawsuit against its insurance company, claiming it owed another $150 million in flood insurance payments.

About $50 million had already been spent on repairs.

Turner hopes to hear news that the mall will reopen its doors soon.

“I hope tomorrow, that's the announcement they make, and it'll be better off for my district, for the Donelson area and also for the city of Nashville,” he said.

Bass Pro Shops is the only retail outlet to reopen on the property since the flood and its customers welcome the mall's return.

Keith Leonard said, “We have missed it.  It's good for Bass Pro also, seems it helps the men out when they can come and shop and the ladies can go to the mall and shop.”

Jim Sprague, who was visiting from Mt. Pleasant, told Nashville's News 2 he has missed the mall.

“The only place you can go now, that has that kind of shopping is clear over in the east side of the state, over to Pigeon Forge,” he said.

Off Broadway Shoes applied for a $400,000 rebuilding permit in December, but the company said then it had no plans to reopen before the mall.

There is also word that Cabela's, a direct competitor of Bass Pro Shops, will help anchor the rebuild.

The timetable for the reopening of the mall and other details are expected to be revealed during the formal announcement, set for 10 a.m. at the Gaylord Opryland Resort.

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