$60 Million Dollar Face-lift for Raleigh Springs Mall

$60 Million Dollar Face-lift for Raleigh Springs Mall

Memphis City leaders are asking for a $60 million face-lift to the Raleigh Springs Mall, half would be funded by the City of Memphis.
MEMPHIS, TN - Memphis City leaders are asking for a $60 million face-lift to the Raleigh Springs Mall, half would be funded by the City of Memphis.

Plans were announced Thursday night to demolish the current mall and rebuild it. The project will feature a new library, police precinct, fountains and a recreational lake. The City says the money for the remodel is already in the fund for Capital Improvement Projects, or CIP.

Gary Taylor lives in Shelby County, when he heard about the City's plan he was shocked, "I think that's a waste of money for the City." Taylor says Raleigh Springs Mall is beyond repair. "I think that's a big waste of money because that mall has seen its days and everybody goes to Wolfchase."

Raleigh residents heard a different story from Memphis City Councilman Bill Morrison Thursday night. He said he doesn't want to compete with Wolfchase. He wants to create something different and beneficial for his community. Creating a mall around a new police precinct and new library. "It would have been done over three years anyway," Morrison explained, "just some here, some there. Why not put it all in one place, where people can go? Which creates the foot traffic, which creates the retail."

According to Morrison, the City has already set aside $9 million for a new Raleigh library, $7 million for a new police precinct. The projects were already in existence, the City just decided to put them in one place. It will cost another $7 million to completely demolish the existing property and $6 million to build additional infrastructure.
It's a $60 million project, of which, $29 million would come from the CIP, that money is already allotted in the city's budget, with the rest coming from private investors who have already expressed interest.

The plan is lofty. 700,000 square feet and 60 acres. Lakes built on both ends of the mall, walking trails throughout and the North end of the mall, where J.C. Penney's was located, the complex would have entertainment features including a skateboard park.
Morrison hopes construction can begin within the next six months and be complete within three years.

Shela Pinner lives in Tipton County, she says a new, safe place to shop, would be beneficial for residents, "Is it a good investment?" She asks. "I don't know because I'm not a financial wizard or anything, but as far as I'm concerned it would benefit me."

The plan calls for the demolition of the mall in phases to keep the malls 32 current businesses open.

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