Raleigh Springs Mall

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Raleigh Springs Mall
Raleigh Memphis TN 07 Raleigh Springs Mall TN14 Austin Peay Hwy.jpg
Location Memphis, Tennessee, USA
Address 3384 Austin Peay Hwy.
Opening date 1971
Closing date November 18, 2016
Developer Edward J. DeBartolo Corporation
Management Angela Whichard, Inc.
No. of stores and services 70
No. of anchor tenants 4 (4 vacant)
Total retail floor area 918,217 square feet (85,305.2 m2)[1]
No. of floors 3 including Dillard's but originally 1
Website RaleighSpringsMall.com

Raleigh Springs Mall was an enclosed shopping mall serving the city of Memphis, Tennessee, USA. The site is located on the north side of Memphis, on Austin Peay Hwy. just north of Interstate 40. Opened in 1971 as one of the city's first two shopping malls (the other being Southland Mall),[1] owned and managed by Angela Whichard, Inc., Raleigh Springs Mall originally featured about seventy stores later to be remodeled and feature a twelve-screen multiplex, with four anchor stores, formerly occupied by Sears, JCPenney, Goldsmith's and Dillard's. The theater closed in December 2011, Sears closed in April 2011, and the other three anchors closed in 2003. The mall was later seized by the City of Memphis in favor to build a city Civic Center. The mall closed with 3 business still operating, City Trends, World Diamond Center, and a church. Some of the anchor stores JCPenney and Sears have been demolished leaving the movie theater, Dillard's, and the main building left. As of the end of 2016, the remaining buildings were surrounded by gates.

History[edit]

Raleigh Springs Mall opened in 1971. Developed by the Edward J. DeBartolo corporation (now known as Simon Property Group)[2] as one of the first two malls in the Memphis area, it featured four major anchor stores: national chains JC Penney and Sears, as well as local chains Lowenstein's (which was sold to Dillard's in 1982) and Goldsmith's. A Woolworth dime store also served as a junior anchor next to JC Penney; after the Woolworth store closed in the 1990s, it was replaced with a twelve-screen multiplex (that closed December 5, 2011).

Initially the dominant mall in the Memphis area, Raleigh Springs Mall would lose several stores over time as newer malls opened, such as Hickory Ridge Mall and Mall of Memphis.[1] Hickory Ridge Mall, in turn, has lost most of its national tenants as well, while Mall of Memphis has been demolished; both of these malls lost most of their business to the newer Wolfchase Galleria, which opened in 1997.[2]

By the 2000s, Raleigh Springs Mall had begun to lose many of its tenants. In early 2003, Dillard's announced that its location at Raleigh Springs Mall would be one of several stores closed that year.[3] Goldsmith's parent company Federated Department Stores (now known as Macy's, Inc.), who was in the midst of significant corporate reorganization at the time, announced that the Goldsmith's location at Raleigh Springs would be shuttered by April of the same year.[4] Finally, the JC Penney store (which had been downgraded to a JC Penney outlet center along with Dillard's) was closed as well, leaving Sears as the only anchor store.

Starting in 2005, Wal-Mart began negotiations with Simon Property Group to open a Supercenter at the mall. These plans would call for the demolition of the former JC Penney space, as well as the mall's movie theater, to make way for the Supercenter. However, these plans never materialized, and Wal-Mart signaled its intentions of staying at its current location when it started renovating it in early 2010.[1]

In January 2011, Sears confirmed that its location in the mall was to close on April 3, 2011.[5][6] This left the Raleigh Springs Mall without an anchor store.

Demolition and Re-development[edit]

image of sears auto center at Raleigh Springs Mall prior to demolition
Demolition of the Raleigh Springs Mall began in May 2016 with the Sears Auto Center. The effort for redevelopment of the unused mall was led by District 1 City Councilman Bill Morrison. Plans for a city owned civic center are underway.
image of recycling efforts at the Raleigh Springs Mall site off Austin Peay HWY.
Image of the Raleigh Springs Mall site, with demolition complete, this image shows collection and recycling of the material underway.

In November of 2016, the City of Memphis officially purchased the Raleigh Springs Mall property, making way for a complete demolition and re-development of the space into a civic center. The City of Memphis plans to spend approximately $32 million in capital to create a civic plaza on the space once occupied by the Raleigh Springs Mall. The civic plaza will consolidate city services that were previously held at various locations. A modern technology based library and police precinct will be constructed on the property. In addition, the civic center will house a pond, green space, 1-mile walking trail, and community pecan grove. A skate park will be constructed near the police station and will offer an outdoor recreational skate area.[7] Ten years in the making, this redevelopment champions the efforts of District 1 Councilman Bill Morrison to eradicate blight from the community, by revitalizing this unused property.[8] With support from the Raleigh Community Council,[9] this project has involved consolidated efforts. The re-development is designed by Architect Tom Marshall.[10]

Demolition image of Raleigh Springs Mall anchor stores
Image of the demolition of Raleigh Springs Mall off Austin Peay Highway in Memphis, TN, making way for the new city civic center that will be constructed on the site.

The Sears Auto Center was demolished in May 2016. In the Spring 2017, the anchor stores and mall entrance were taken down. Demolition of the full site is underway, and construction of the civic center is planned to begin in late 2017.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Ashby, Andy (January 8, 2007). "Wal-Mart negotiating for Raleigh Springs space". Memphis Business Journal. Memphis, TN: American City Business Journals. Retrieved May 3, 2008. 
  2. ^ a b Smith, Eric (March 28, 2007). "Malled by the competition; Hickory Ridge, Raleigh Springs malls limp along as 'burbs draw shoppers". The Daily News. Memphis, TN: The Daily News Publishing Co. Retrieved May 3, 2008. 
  3. ^ "Dillard's to close Raleigh Springs store". Memphis Business Journal. Memphis, TN: American City Business Journals. January 31, 2003. Retrieved May 3, 2008. 
  4. ^ Moore, Linda A. (January 17, 2003). "Federated Department Stores Closes Goldsmith's Store in Memphis, Tenn.". The Commercial Appeal. Memphis, TN: E. W. Scripps Company. Retrieved May 3, 2008. 
  5. ^ Sells, Toby (January 5, 2011). "Sears, Raleigh Springs Mall's last anchor store, will close April 3". The Commercial Appeal. Memphis, TN: E. W. Scripps Company. Retrieved April 11, 2013. 
  6. ^ Thompson, April (January 4, 2011). "Raleigh Springs Sears Store Closing". Memphis, TN: WREG-TV. Retrieved January 7, 2011. 
  7. ^ "Memphis buys last Raleigh mall property for development". The Commercial Appeal. Retrieved 2017-05-31. 
  8. ^ "Interior demolition begins on Raleigh Springs Mall project". WREG.com. 2017-03-03. Retrieved 2017-05-31. 
  9. ^ Parker, Tom. "Raleigh Springs Mall Project". www.raleighcconline.com. 
  10. ^ "Otma". otma. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 35°13′9.141″N 89°54′30.2286″W / 35.21920583°N 89.908396833°W / 35.21920583; -89.908396833