Remembering the Marketplace of the Midsouth

Things Memphis COULD Have Done Besides Demolish The Mall

Uhhh, Lets Get Rid of It...

Certainly, there comes a time in the life of most buildings where it has outlived it's usefulness. But the mall was only 22 years old....and recently remodeled. It was not in poor condition. It offered 1.2 million SqFt for many possible new purposes. Destroying the mall was just the latest wasteful example of a lack of vision in this citys public and private sectors both.

Downtown Memphis has lost many of it's unique and distinctive buildings in just this same way, like the original post office and the public library. Those buildings were special, nothing like the "boxes" that have been replaced with.

NOTHING was even tried as possible reuse for the Mall of Memphis. And so far, there appears to be no plan on what to do with the 95 empty acres in the heart of the city either. The Memphis criminal element has started using the desolate space as a dumping ground for murder victims, which of course only makes things worse. At least when the landmark Baptist Hospital was destroyed in Memphis, a complete redevelopment plan was already on the table, and it is being worked today.

I guess someone thought that the public would rather have an empty field than a repurposed building. Maybe the plan is to subdivide it and make a lot of money. But a lot of money had already been spent on the mall and updates and improvements - no one, no business, no city offices, no hospitals, no one at all could have used that huge, existing investment? Destroyinig the mall was a massive scale waste of money, time and resources.

Not that it matters anymore, but if you have an idea of what it could have been used for, serious of not, add it to the list. It will make you feel better!

Top 31 reuses the mall could have been reused for:

1 - Largest nightclub with largest dance floor in town the country.

2 - Largest indoor car dealer in the world.

3 - Jail.

5 - Library.

6 - Gym.

7 - Community center.

8 - Museum with trail to dinosaur fossils in Nonconnah Creek near mall.

9 - Giant data center or offsite storage facility for company data.

10 - City Mayors home and estate.

11- `MIFA food bank and care facility.

12- Hospital for the poor or uninsured.

13 - Giant flea market (this could have been a GREAT reuse).

14 - City record storage.

15 - Indoor home for Memphis Belle and FedEx Museum.

16 - Day care and sports care center.

17 - College campus.

18 - High school.

19 - Technology firm incubator like the one downtown.

20 - Movie set (it would have been great for Zombie films!).

21 - Dog pound.

22 - Memphis Redevelopment Planning Offices.

23 - Campaign offices for anyone named Ford.

24 - Police evidence room.

25 - Entertainment center (the ice rink was already there, might as well turn Dillards into a skate park, JCPenney into a water park, Service Merchandise into a Dave & Busters and so on.)

26 - Police Impound Yard - much more accessible than the one today in the old International Harvester plant property.

27 - Memphis Dream Center - I never heard much about this effort but people were trying to reuse the mall. Memphis Dream Center

28 - Church.

29 - Low-income community-style housing.

30 - Animal shelter (at least part of the mall; would have been cheaper than building new facility at Shelby Farms).

31 - Bass Pro Shop (See these proposed plans for the Pyramid).

32 - Mixed use city center concept with retail on the lower floor and residential on the upper floor. The ice chalet would have been a nice centerpiece and a gathering place for residents.

33-Terminal for an airport.




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