NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Vanderbilt University Medical Center helped transform a struggling mall back in 2009, and it could do it again in Antioch.
Thirteen years ago, when VUMC opened clinics and offices at 100 Oaks Mall, the location started to turn around.
"It absolutely was a success," said Eric Johnson dean of the Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management.
Johnson said health care brings reliable, steady traffic like no other industry can.
"Having that daily traffic is so critical to building security, making the place safe, feeling good for other tenants to move in and profit from the fact that there's daily traffic coming to the place," Johnson said.
Pending Metro Council's approval, the city plans to purchase Hickory Hollow Mall, which was once the largest mall in Tennessee, and lease it to Vanderbilt.
The medical center's chief executive said they'll follow the 100 Oaks model to transform 600,000 square feet of space.
"We're familiar with the earlier efforts to redevelop the property, but as also mentioned we have prior experience that gives us confidence that working together we can be very successful," said Dr. Jeffrey Balser, CEO and president of Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
Johnson predicts redevelopment of this kind could attract lots of retail and restaurants.
"Even if you never use the health care facility there, you'll benefit in that area because so many other good things can move in and thrive in that environment," Johnson said.
Some of the property will also become a community performing arts center.
Want to learn more about the plans? Councilwoman Joy Styles is hosting a community Facebook Live next Wednesday at 6 p.m.