Remembering the Marketplace of the Midsouth

Several local malls opt to close in wake of attacks

Tuesday, September 11, 2001

Memphis Business Journal - by Tara Milliga

Three of the city's malls have closed down as a precaution to shoppers and employees following a series of terrorist attacks in New York and Washington D.C.

Oak Court Mall and Raleigh Springs Mall, both owned by Simon Property Group, and Wolfchase Galleria and Hickory Ridge Mall, both owned by Urban Retail Properties Co. have shut down this afternoon.

Mall of Memphis was still open at 12:30 p.m., as the anchors at all the malls, including Goldsmith's and Dillard's, were reportedly discussing whether to close for the rest of the day.

A security guard at Oak Court Mall read from a memo that was being circulated to all mall tenants. It says, "Due to national events and concerns for the safety of our shoppers and employees the Oak Court Mall is closed."

No one answered the phones in the administrative office.

Brandy Booe, marketing director for Raleigh Springs Mall, says the decision to close was a corporate one.

"The safety of our shoppers and employees is our No. 1 priority," Booe says.

Booe says it's a precedent for Simon to close all of its properties in the portfolio, but she says the mall will be open at its regular hours tomorrow.

Wolfchase general managers Joyce Irwin says in her 15 years with Urban Retail, the company has never, on a collective basis, closed the shopping centers.

"We don't think anything's going to happen," Irwin says. "This is purely a precaution because we know larger buildings were the apparent targets of the activities today."

Hickory Ridge general manager Margaret Lannen says she couldn't recall what time the order came through from the corporate offices to close the property.

"To be honest, I haven't looked at my watch in three hours," she says.

Pat Kelly, leasing manager for Mall of Memphis, says the property's owners haven't made a call either way on whether or not to close this afternoon.

CONTACT TARA MILLIGAN at 259-1728 or by e-mail at




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