Antioch land deal hints at future development
Hickory Hollow area seeks a boost
A partnership that includes principals in the Nashville firm that bought the former Target store in Antioch two months ago now has 125 acres behind the vacant big-box retail building under contract, a deal that could create a much larger site for future development.
The contract between the partnership that includes developer Mark McDonald of Oldacre McDonald and Lee A. Beaman, owner of the property, is the latest sign of a revival of interest in the area southeast of town that lost most of its major retailers, especially following the decline of the former Hickory Hollow Mall.
McDonald confirmed Tuesday that he’s part of the partnership seeking to buy the property off Cane Ridge Road at Interstate 24 that Beaman bought 15 years ago for about $4 million. McDonald said that while several retailers have expressed interest in the former Target location, no decision has been made on whom to target with the additional property. He did acknowledge the possibility of a larger development on the overall site.
“I embrace what the city and the mayor are trying to do in the greater Antioch area,” said McDonald, whose company co-developed the thriving Nashville West shopping center off Charlotte Pike. “As I look at development opportunities around town, I think that (Antioch) area is ripe for development and redevelopment.”
Oldacre McDonald’s $2.7 million purchase of the 12.4-acre, former Target site was greeted with excitement among residents who had witnessed a string of major retail departures from the area, including Sears, JC Penney, Dillard’s and Macy’s. In addition, the area has dealt with the closure, sale and subsequent reinvention of the former Hickory Hollow Mall as the Global Mall at the Crossings.
Although the new mall has struggled to lure stores, Metro’s in new projects — including a satellite campus for Nashville State Community College, a new Southeast branch library, community center, fitness center and two new ice hockey rinks to be managed by the Nashville Predators – has raised expectations of a rebound of the Hickory Hollow area.
Private investments in the area include a for Nashville-based HCA, the nation’s largest hospital chain, and a medical practice group that should open in November.
Ben Freeland, owner of Freeland Chevrolet and about 140 acres in the area now re-branded The Crossings, said any development by the partnership buying the Beaman site and that owns the former Target location would complement all of that momentum. “We have a number of employers looking for office space and we’ll have announcements very soon that will create hundreds — if not thousands — of new jobs in the short-term in The Crossings business district,” Freeland said.
With a larger site, real estate analysts said the partnership with the contract on the Beaman property could pursue a big-box retailer such as a Costco, Wal-Mart or SuperTarget after closing the transaction, possibly as early as next month. “It’s right up on the freeway and when you look at the density of population, it’s very strong,” said David Baker, principal in Baker Storey McDonald Properties.
However, Metro planner Tifinie Capehart said a big-box development won’t be in line with the community plan for that area, which called for scaling back commercial development and including more of a compact, mixed-used housing development similar to Lenox Village off Nolensville Pike.“They probably should think about something mixed — a mixture of housing and office and retail,” Capehart said.
Freeland agreed that developments would need a mix of uses to be successful.
Reflecting the glory days of the Hickory Hollow area when the former Hickory Hollow Mall thrived, Beaman had planned a car mart when he bought the vacant commercial land off Cane Ridge Road. Back then, the mall drew patrons from Rutherford and other counties, but its subsequent decline led Beaman to those plans and then more recently decide to sell that overall property instead.
Getahn Ward covers growth and development. He can be reached at 615-726-5968 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @Getahn.