NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Hope is on the horizon for the former Hickory Hollow Mall property in Antioch.
"We're under contract to purchase the mall, and we're very excited about that acquisition, and we've been working on it for a number of years," said Ben Freeland.
Freeland owns a car dealership across the street, and he does commercial real estate deals. He calls the mall property a 'Diamond in the rough.'
"Now we're ready to put jet fuel on it, you look at Century Farms, and then the mall redevelopment together, those are right next door to each other and that's really going to lead Nashville over the next decade," he said.
As Antioch bounces back, Freeland plans to move the Global Mall at the Crossings in a different direction.
"We will not be retail centric so we're exploring the opportunities, but obviously the retail days of the mall have passed," he said.
Most businesses affected moved out by June 1. Freeland said the development around the mall property is inspiring.
"We look at the Bridgestone complex, Nashville State, the Metro complex, and the Ford Ice Center as great anchors."
He has several ideas, but official plans haven't been unveiled yet. Community input is also important to him.
"We're going to explore the best opportunities, and create jobs, and improve the quality of life in the Antioch area," Freeland said.
The Global Market has been cleared out. The Macy's logo is etched off, and little remains of the former department stores that were once a part of Hickory Hollow Mall.
As the tide turns, Freeland hopes to ride the wave of development and make the spot destination once again.
"And making the most we can with it, and really something the community can be proud of, and Nashville can be proud of," said Freeland.
According to him, there are 7,000 jobs within a one mile radius of the mall property.