Residents concerned about Knoxville Center Mall

Residents concerned about Knoxville Center Mall

Posted:
Road improvements near the Knoxville Center Mall are wrapping up, but some residents say they want to see more done to draw in shoppers. Road improvements near the Knoxville Center Mall are wrapping up, but some residents say they want to see more done to draw in shoppers.
"From talking to people, I think the number one problem is a lack of variety of stores," Wayne Freeman said. "From talking to people, I think the number one problem is a lack of variety of stores," Wayne Freeman said.
"There has been a lot of development. If you look at Kohl's, Target, Lifeway and the Food City, there has been quite a bit of investment in that area over the last few years," David Brace said. "There has been a lot of development. If you look at Kohl's, Target, Lifeway and the Food City, there has been quite a bit of investment in that area over the last few years," David Brace said.

By KAYLA STRAYER
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Road improvements near the Knoxville Center Mall are wrapping up, but some residents say they want to see more done to draw in shoppers.

Wayne Freeman contacted 6 News on Facebook with concerns he has about stores there closing. He lives around the mall and says he's worried there isn't enough being done to bring new stores in.

"What I'm real afraid of is the mall is going to shut down," Freeman said.

He says he grew up going to the mall to shop, but now he only comes to bring his son to play inside.

"From talking to people, I think the number one problem is a lack of variety of stores," Freeman said.

Another big concern he's had over the years has been mall safety.

"One of the problems was people were scared to come to the mall, but the mall has done a great job at fixing that," Freeman said.

He still thinks more retail chains should be brought in to help keep the mall going.

"Something is wrong where businesses are not wanting to come to the mall," Freeman said.

David Brace, director of Knoxville's Public Service Department, says there are plenty of new stores around the mall.

"There has been a lot of development. If you look at Kohl's, Target, Lifeway and the Food City, there has been quite a bit of investment in that area over the last few years," Brace said.

Brace says in the last year, the city has spent about one million dollars to improve the roads around the mall.

"We've paved Love's Creek. We've paved Millertown [Pike]. We did an extension of Love's Creek Greenway," Brace said.

The city also recently cut down trees along Interstate 640 to make the stores more visible to traffic, but Freeman isn't convinced this will help much.

"People can see the mall, but if there's no reason to come here and shop, what are they going to do, come here and get their exercise?" Freeman said.

Knoxville Center Mall officials referred 6 News to an out of state contact who has not yet returned our call for a comment.

A group of residents and business owners working to bring more shoppers to the mall formed the East Town Area Merchants group last year.

The mall, formerly known as East Towne Mall, opened in 1984. The owners of the mall, Simon Property Group, put it up for sale in 2012.

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