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Old 06-02-2016, 10:15 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
28,317 posts, read 21,234,539 times
Reputation: 34732

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The Fort Henry Mall in Kingsport has declined over recent years. Fifteen or even ten years ago, this was a good mall for the little town it was in. As a teenager, I remember AE and Aeropostale breathing some fresh life into it.

Much of the local retail is going to The Pinnacle or other lifestyle centers, but I think a fresh prospective gives the mall the best chance to get out of the rut it's in.

Kingsport Times-News: Kingsport Town Center is under new management
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Old 06-03-2016, 06:40 AM
 
Location: Gray, TN
2,158 posts, read 3,953,210 times
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It says this group has a "programmatic approach to managing" struggling small town enclosed malls. I wonder what this programmatic approach entails? Is there a blueprint for these malls? Is it a significant change in direction or more of the same? Investment in improvements or cost reduction, etc?
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Old 06-03-2016, 06:45 AM
 
Location: Gray, TN
2,158 posts, read 3,953,210 times
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Looking at their other nearby properties, these might be some targets:

Dunham Sports
Staples
Marshalls
Burkes
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Old 06-03-2016, 06:53 AM
 
Location: Gray, TN
2,158 posts, read 3,953,210 times
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Looks like they kick out all the non-profits. One strike against them.
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Old 06-04-2016, 08:24 AM
 
Location: Sullivan County, Tennessee
487 posts, read 1,146,359 times
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"Non Profits"? That would mean them kicking out all the remaining stores and anchors if profitability was the defining measure. But, that was not the what you meant I am sure.

Actually Fort Henry Mall has leased to several local businesses in an attempt to add some revenue from empty storefronts vacated by previous national retailers that dissolved into corporate bankruptcy or moved to newer, trendy developments where one can shop from store to store in the variety of ET inclement weather that originally drove shoppers from down-towns into the enclosed malls.

I think these new owners should first abandon the crap name of "Kingsport Towne Center" (which it certainly is not) and resume use of Fort Henry Mall which is the only name visible from the street on existing signage. The plywood signs declaring it to be "Kingsport Towne Center" have long since fallen fate to our East Tennessee weather. It is after all on Fort Henry Drive (and outside the original city limits which ended at Eastman Road) and not far from the original Fort Patrick Henry where Eastman is now located.
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Old 06-04-2016, 03:27 PM
 
Location: Brooklyn, NY
6,766 posts, read 10,159,567 times
Reputation: 5578
Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
The Fort Henry Mall in Kingsport has declined over recent years. Fifteen or even ten years ago, this was a good mall for the little town it was in. As a teenager, I remember AE and Aeropostale breathing some fresh life into it.

Much of the local retail is going to The Pinnacle or other lifestyle centers, but I think a fresh prospective gives the mall the best chance to get out of the rut it's in.

Kingsport Times-News: Kingsport Town Center is under new management
This mall and the surrounding area should be a focus in terms of development for the city of Kingsport. The original 3 stores, JCPenney, Sears and Belk are still there, and thriving, from what I hear, at least in terms of the city size they are in.
-The mall was mis-managed from that whole "name change" from the start. Keep it Ft Henry Mall.
-Encourage mall parking lot restaurant parcel growth by bringing in 3 or 4 "new chain restaurants" like Red Lobster, Chipotle, another Dunkin Donuts and something like TGI Friday's.
--open up a portion of the mall's entrance stores, and make them "outdoor downtown storefronts" as opposed to the typical old school mall approach.
--get rid of the ugly early 90s carpet in the mall
--build the damn IMAX theater. Something shady is going on with Frank's Theaters and that renovation. Stalled, sluggish and probably not happening. They should go with another IMAX company.
--IF the theater falls through, attract a "destination store" to the tri-cities like Build-a-Bear, or Bass Pro Shops. Kingsport dropped the ball by Pinnacle luring Bass Pro.

Kingsport has momentum, but in my opinion, the stores near Target and where Target and everything was built, was such dated, bad development. It lures people away from Kingsport's core, creates another ugly box development, and encourages more sprawling traffic and everything else.

Once the Target development gets "old" in another 5-10 years, it too will decline and turn into an abandoned, or old shopping center lot on the edge of the city. Inside the city development is sustainable and key to Kingsport's growth, I think. Ft Henry Mall would be ideal for redevelopment. Otherwise, raze the entire thing and just re-open a Belk's/JCPenney store with some restaurants.
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Old 06-04-2016, 04:39 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
28,317 posts, read 21,234,539 times
Reputation: 34732
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjbradleynyc View Post
This mall and the surrounding area should be a focus in terms of development for the city of Kingsport. The original 3 stores, JCPenney, Sears and Belk are still there, and thriving, from what I hear, at least in terms of the city size they are in.
-The mall was mis-managed from that whole "name change" from the start. Keep it Ft Henry Mall.
-Encourage mall parking lot restaurant parcel growth by bringing in 3 or 4 "new chain restaurants" like Red Lobster, Chipotle, another Dunkin Donuts and something like TGI Friday's.
--open up a portion of the mall's entrance stores, and make them "outdoor downtown storefronts" as opposed to the typical old school mall approach.
--get rid of the ugly early 90s carpet in the mall
--build the damn IMAX theater. Something shady is going on with Frank's Theaters and that renovation. Stalled, sluggish and probably not happening. They should go with another IMAX company.
--IF the theater falls through, attract a "destination store" to the tri-cities like Build-a-Bear, or Bass Pro Shops. Kingsport dropped the ball by Pinnacle luring Bass Pro.

Kingsport has momentum, but in my opinion, the stores near Target and where Target and everything was built, was such dated, bad development. It lures people away from Kingsport's core, creates another ugly box development, and encourages more sprawling traffic and everything else.

Once the Target development gets "old" in another 5-10 years, it too will decline and turn into an abandoned, or old shopping center lot on the edge of the city. Inside the city development is sustainable and key to Kingsport's growth, I think. Ft Henry Mall would be ideal for redevelopment. Otherwise, raze the entire thing and just re-open a Belk's/JCPenney store with some restaurants.
I think the mall could possibly turn around but even the loss of the arcade (Tilt) caused a loss of foot traffic, and some of those people would buy stuff in other stores. I used to go down a grab a quick beer at Garfield's and there was a classic game shop in the mall. Both folded. It was good way to spend a lazy afternoon. A lot of the stores in the interior of the mall are gone now, either vacant spaces or junk stores remain.

With an interior overhaul and new management with better sense, I think it can turn around.
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Old 06-06-2016, 02:37 AM
 
99 posts, read 311,002 times
Reputation: 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
I think the mall could possibly turn around but even the loss of the arcade (Tilt) caused a loss of foot traffic, and some of those people would buy stuff in other stores. I used to go down a grab a quick beer at Garfield's and there was a classic game shop in the mall. Both folded. It was good way to spend a lazy afternoon. A lot of the stores in the interior of the mall are gone now, either vacant spaces or junk stores remain.

With an interior overhaul and new management with better sense, I think it can turn around.
Tilt is still located on lower level of the mall. I think its going to take a lot of work to get this mall back in the shape it once was. If they can model after johnson citys mall they might have hope.
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Old 06-06-2016, 06:27 AM
 
Location: Gray, TN
2,158 posts, read 3,953,210 times
Reputation: 906
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim37680 View Post
"Non Profits"? That would mean them kicking out all the remaining stores and anchors if profitability was the defining measure. But, that was not the what you meant I am sure.
That means no bell ringers, charity mall walkers, angel tree, etc.
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Old 06-06-2016, 07:41 AM
 
Location: Johnson City, TN
667 posts, read 822,197 times
Reputation: 449
Quote:
If they can model after johnson citys mall they might have hope.
I don't think the region is large enough to support two effectively "super-regional" malls. Kingsport screwed up by allowing the Target development to be located so far out of town. That would have made a great anchor for a re-purposed mall. I think at this point, there is nothing you can do to revive the mall in it's current state. You either need to demolish the heart of the mall and leave the anchors and theater; turning it into an open-air concept, or demolish the entire thing and start over.

The mall has a great location, basically in the middle of town with tons of surrounding residential, that a mixed use redevelopment of the site is a no-brainer. The aquatic center should have been located here instead of out in the middle of nowhere only accessible by car. Tie the property in with the surrounding neighborhoods and extend the existing streets through the site; build new housing. Make the new IMAX the center of the "neighborhood" and make Belk and Penney's stand-alone anchors. Maybe encourage some Stone Dr. businesses to relocate to ease some of the congestion along that road (it's a complete cluster). The opportunities are endless.

It's going to take some outside-the-box thinking to make the mall site relevant. Trying to redevelop the place as a traditional mall will fail. Kingsport faces a two-pronged assault on the retail front with Johnson City having the money and demographic advantage and Bristol's Pinnacle providing incentives. Kingsport is pretty much at the innovate or die state right now.
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