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As we well know, location is paramount for the value of real estate.
Remember the Hickory Ridge Mall in Memphis’s Hickory Hood area? Back in the day I would safely shop there with my mom during my teen years. I also went there during my early 20’s for the arcade and it was still safe. Now it’s as good as condemned and located in one of the most violent areas of Memphis.
It recently sold to a church for $1.4 million that has hopes of revitalizing the area. Looks like it will take a miracle and I hope they get one and all but the sale price gives you a good idea of the situation and desperation of how bad the owner wanted out:
WREG-TV Memphis - Church Buys Hickory Ridge Mall (http://www.wreg.com/Global/story.asp?S=9171680&nav=menu93_4 - broken link)
With 855,000 square feet (79,400 m2) of gross leasable area it is considered a "super-regional" mall and is LARGER than the Oak Court Mall located on Poplar.
That’s $1.63 per square foot of commercial. Not to mention, the lot size is a whopping 43.5 acres and includes vast parking.
It sold for $50.3 million in ’86, then $13.5 million in 2003, and now for $1.4 million in 2008. The property taxes are $358k per year, but will likely lower from the next assessment. By 2012 the owner won’t be able to give this mall away. This reminds me of the houses in Detroit that are auctioning off to suckers for one dollar.
They need to bull doze the 43.5 acre lot, build a 15 foot wall around it with snipers, and then they can focus on redeveloping the land. Perhaps they can build something constructive such as a hard labor prison.
I was there not long before the tornado hit. My son loved the two-level carousel. We would drive out there occasionally so he could ride the thing. I never once felt unsafe there. (We typically went on Saturday morning or early afternoon.)
*Nod* Just looking at that carousel would make me motion sick, lol, but I feel your pain.
Personally, I miss the ice skating rink that was at the Mall of Murder. I quit shopping there while it was still the Mall of Memphis when a clothing store employee asked me the rhetorical question of, "Do you know where you are?" Instead of asking how he could help me, or how I was doing, he coldly implied that I was out of my element and that I wasn’t welcome there. Maybe it was for my own health, or maybe he just really wanted to run the business into the ground by shooing off potential customers that he didn't relate to, but something tells me if I had worn my clothing backwards and walked with a limp perhaps then I would have been warmly greeted by that jerk. It was still rather offensive considering that I had shopped there for years prior. The two store employees stared me down as they casually leaned on the clothing racks until I got the hint. Fortunately, they allowed me to leave the store without a struggle. FYI, I was the only customer in the store and I was either awarded or nominated “best dressed” every single year of high school. So, I feel as if I was shunned solely for the lack of color of my skin. Yet upon further contemplation, the color of one’s skin cannot be black, for black is the absence of light and therefore the absence of color; ergo, I was treated thusly for the color of my skin.
P.S.: Concerning the sale of the Hickory Ridge Mall, I find it remarkable that the value could fall so hard and so fast. Call me naive, but apparently I gravely underestimated the overwhelming damage that a declining Memphis community can have on the value of real estate. The investor from New York surely thought he was getting the bargain of the century for buying @ $16 per sq ft, thinking he scored a huge savings compared to overpriced NYC commercial real estate that even rat infested residential will easily command $400 per sq ft. Never in his worst nightmare did he imagine the value could tumble 90% after 5 years of national prosperity. It’s as if Great Depression 2.0 made a direct hit on Hickory Hood and it’s downright scary because it has some of us thinking: What’s the next Memphis area to fall into despair?
Last edited by simcity; 10-20-2008 at 07:54 PM..
Reason: Elaborated on RE decline and the fear of collateral damage.
Man, don't get me started on the Mall of Memphis. I worked there from 1988 - early 1992 (Sbarro and Dairy Queen). It seems like in late '91, the quality of the mall started to decline. I went off to college in 1992, and everything I heard about the mall horrified me: shootings, robberies, assaults, etc.
In its day, that mall was THE mall to go to. I did my clothes shopping at Jeans West, tried to get a date with the girl at Manhattan Deli, tried to set my friend up with the pretty blonde working at La Fiesta, and had an older woman who worked at the Gap try to pick me up. I couldn't stay away from the cheesecake brownies at the American Cookie Company. The arcade was top-notch, too, as was the ice-skating rink.
I think when I realized the mall was beginning to go downhill was the summer of '92, right before I went off to college. I had been seeing movies there for three years, but when I took my girlfriend to see "The Hand that Rocks the Cradle" that summer, I noticed that many folks were standing up and yelling at the movie screen. I thought I was going to get mugged when I looked around to see who was making all the commotion. We left during the movie before we got killed, and we saw it the next weekend at a safer movie theater (at least, it was safer at the time): Hickory Ridge.
I drove by the Mall of Memphis this past Christmas...or rather, where it used to stand. Though I hadn't been there in years, it was disturbing to see a big empty lot where some of my favorite youthful memories once were. I hate to see that Hickory Ridge has suffered the same fate.
By the way, does anyone know if Oak Court Mall is still a decent mall, or has that gone down the toilet, too?
It is of the utmost sadness that once-thriving parts of Memphis have been destroyed. It is not even similar to the town that most of us grew up in. I attended an upscale private school, and the majority of my classmates lived in the Hickory Hill area - circa 1984-1988.
So many times, Mom would drop us young teenage girls off at the Hickory Ridge Mall or the Mall of Memphis and would agree to pick us up at a certain time, which was usually 9pm on any given weekend night. My mother, who is in Heaven now, would never have left me anywhere had she not felt that it was okay. She was confident that we were safe. And, we were. Precious memories.
I have lived in Memphis for all of my 38 years, and because of the crime, racism, gangs, poverty, ignorance, city leadership and the all around negative and oppressive energy that surrounds us all here, I am counting the days until I move away from here - far away. 35 days to be precise.
Take a drive down Winchester, from Germantown to the airport. Our city is ruined. All one has to do is look at the facts and the delapidation. This is my home. I never envisioned myself leaving.
I consider Memphis my hometown - I lived there nearly 10 years from 1977-1986 (left when I was about 14). I lived in those early years in the "Hickory Ridge Mall" area very close to Crump Elementary School (in fact, I have fond memories of *walking* to Crump - no concern whatsoever re safety). Have not been to Memphis in more than 10 years (and it's been maybe 20 years since I've been to the old house near Hickory Ridge Mall).
I recently discovered that the Mall of Memphis was torn down - that was *THE* place to shop in my much younger days (1980's). I saw my first movie (by myself!) at the Hickory Ridge Mall. Have very fond memories of this particular mall as well. It shocks me to hear what these areas of Memphis have become .
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