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               COLLEGE SQUARE: MORRISTOWN, TN

Phoenix's Commentary

Posted April 1, 2006 (user submitted)

I would like to submit a post about a mall that is not yet dead but probably will be very soon. The mall I am referring to is College Square, a fairly small 450,000 square foot regional mall in Morristown, Tennessee.

I have very fond memories of visiting this mall as a toddler and still remember many of its earlier tenants. College Square opened as the first enclosed mall within an eight-county radius (which is a fairly decent amount of land, considering Tennessee counties are HUGE) in 1988. The mall is owned by CBL Associates and was originally anchored by Proffitt's (a now defunct department chain once a division of Saks), Wal Mart Supercenter, JC Penney, Sears Roebuck and Company, a nine-screen Carmike cinema, and a very local discount semi-anchor, Goody's Family Clothing, a very popular store with the area's high percentage of lower income families.

The mall once housed many national tenants like Dollar Tree and KB Toys and still continues to do fairly well in terms of occupancy. However...

A few years ago, Wal Mart Supercenter left the mall in favor of a free-standing location across the street (now, THAT'S a bad sign of things to come when Wal Mart leaves). This didn't hurt the malls traffic flow, however, because the vacant space was divided into two new spaces---the one with the mall entrance became a Parks-Belk (now more commonly known as simply "Belk") and the one without the mall entrance became a large pottery liquidation warehouse called Dixie Pottery. Although the mall is ALMOST fully occupied, and the mall is ALMOST booming, and the parking is ALMOST not confusing, and the mall's decor and facade are ALMOST modern, it takes the "wow" factor to keep shoppers coming to a mall with no food court and a vacant anchor space (Proffitt's closed upon merging with Belk)that a few ALMOSTs simply cannot deliver.

There may be hope for this mall yet, but good fortune for the mall is few and far between, and I see this as just the prechorus to the sad melody College Square will sing is withers away into retail history...

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