Sep 19 2020
12:30 pm

To me, a mall structure seems like a natural for seniors communities. Indoor walking, small electric vehicle transport, wheelchair friendly, doctors offices, stores, restaurants, entertainment, etc. that cater primarily to seniors needs and wants, but some also used by general public. The populace is getting older.

Alternatively, mall developers say they're scouting for businesses other than retailers to replace shuttered stores, anything from schools to doctors offices and short and long-term storage facilities both for residential and commercial customers.

You might be surprised who's moving into those sad, abandoned malls

KevinMurphy's picture

Simon Properties used to own

Simon Properties used to own Knoxville Center Mall, and is probably helping Dillards and Sears market their properties.


Nobody has said on the record yet, and I don't think it's even been disclosed unofficially, but all signs certainly point there. There isn't a fulfillment center in east or northeast Tennessee, but there are over half a million people that a fulfillment center could reach. It makes a ton of sense.


I'm ambivalent about the distribution center at East Town Mall, as long as they fix the traffic on Millertown Pike. This proposal doesn't request any city or county incentive $$ and forces some long-needed improvements at I-640. But it gives nothing to the local residents, except 500-1,000 jobs. That's a nice plus, although if it is Amazon there's plenty of discussion about working conditions and job satisfaction in their fulfillment centers.

A nice town center with a mix of senior housing, affordable housing, mid-income housing, offices, some retail and food - that'd be terrific. But it'll take concerted oversight by economic development officials, and tens of millions of incentive $$ from the government, to make that happen.

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