HARDING MALL: NASHVILLE, TN
Nate Mayfield's Commentary:
Posted October 2, 2005 (user submitted July 19, 2005)
The Harding Mall of 4050 Nolensville Road in Nashville Tennessee opened in 1969. Throughout it's lifetime, it housed many stores such as Dillards, Marshall's, and the mall cinema. In the center of the mall was a huge, beautiful fountain that sprayed to the center and was backlit to give a groovy feature and affect.
Throughout the many years, this mall really saw the tenants come and go. It was no big deal until foreign language people and gangs took over this part of Nashville. Handfulls of tenants began to leave and the mall saw the vacancy rate rise. It was not noticable at first but after a while the mark really showed itself off. The Mall cinema closed, Marshall's moved away, several boutique stores closed up shop or moved out as well. Then just as Harding Mall thought it was the end, it was not. Due to the high levels of foreign people and foreign languages, a local enteprenuer saw hope in the old mall cinema. He leased the space and ran movies that cost about 50% less than what other theaters charge today and they were all foreign speaking films. Business in the old cinema was going well for a while but, the expenses outran the profit causing the cinema to close again and for final. Then Dillards, the mall's last main artery said it was going to move. Havic and panic ran throughout the shopkeeper's minds as they knew that their business would windle away Only a few boutique shops were scattered throughout this one story mall and with 100 oaks, Hickory Hollow, OpryMills and all the other regional mutimillion dollar malls in the region, Harding Mall's days were numbered. Simon sold the mall to a local man who saw hope in the aging retail center. Plans were to demolish the entire mall and build another Wal-Mart- like the world really needs it LOL!
The plans did fall through and when the dust settled, wrecking balls started to swing and the sound and smell of demolition was in the air. Now, the entire mall is gone, everything. The new Wal-Mart is under construction and have plans of being opened sometimes in June of 2006 I believe. Harding Mall really made an impact on Nashville's economy and provided plenty of shopping experiences for the Nashville community. Now, with Harding Mall out of their way, all of the other malls can prosper and don't have to worry about stolen tenants all except 100 oaks mall which is dying itself as I write this. But, perhaps 100 oaks will have another chance unlike the Harding Mall. How many more malls will have to be demolished to make way for another Wal-Mart? Who knows, maybe the tables will turn and next, they'll be demolishing Wal-Mart to make way for new malls. All I know is, a dead or dying mall has potential, such as Harding Mall, why not renovate it?
Chris Carter's Commentary:
Posted October 2, 2005 (user submitted August 5, 2005)
The anchors of this relatively small mall were department stores Dillard's, Marshalls, and Chuck E. Cheese clone Mr Gatti's Gattiland. It also had a six screen theater, a Luby's, and an IHOP nearby. By the early 2000's competition from nearby Hickory Hollow and Cool Springs Galleria did it in.
In mid-2005, the furnishings, fixtures, and even a car left in the mall were sold at auction. As of August 2005, demolition has started. There are only a few stores left, an Athlete's Foot, a Firestone auto center, and the separate IHOP. Reportedly, the leftovers will have their own strip mall when redevelopment is over.
The mall will be replaced by a Wal-Mart Supercenter. It will probably do very well in this now heavily Latino area of Nashville.
Cool link with pictures of this mall before demolition. It is now an empty dirt pile which will soon be a.........Super Walmart.
http://www.newschannel5.com/content/news/10617.asp - local news story
from April, 2005