Richard Lawson

The Mall at Green Hills

407 posts in this topic


I would rather see a Nordstrom build in downtown.

Me too... Destinatiion retail. But people are still hung up on the fact that the mall that was downtown didn't work. And they fail to fully understand that the reason it didn't work is that there were few people living downtown and every store in the place had a location closer to where people lived -- in the suburbs. If downtown got retailers that weren't all over the place -- Nordstrom, Crate & Barrel and others, people would drive in. However, to do that, the city would have to step up. Downtown Norfolk has a Nordstrom because of a public-private partnerhip. And to illustrate how well that has worked, Lord & Taylor didn't have a deal like the one Nordstrom has, opened a store in downtown Norfolk and closed it after a few years. If I recall, the city built the building for Nordstrom and lease to to them very cheaply or for nothing at all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They (Nordstrom) would definitely get my business where ever they decide to build. I miss that type of shopping. I think Nashville has the demographics to support at least one major upscale department store.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Me too... Destinatiion retail. But people are still hung up on the fact that the mall that was downtown didn't work. And they fail to fully understand that the reason it didn't work is that there were few people living downtown and every store in the place had a location closer to where people lived -- in the suburbs. If downtown got retailers that weren't all over the place -- Nordstrom, Crate & Barrel and others, people would drive in. However, to do that, the city would have to step up. Downtown Norfolk has a Nordstrom because of a public-private partnerhip. And to illustrate how well that has worked, Lord & Taylor didn't have a deal like the one Nordstrom has, opened a store in downtown Norfolk and closed it after a few years. If I recall, the city built the building for Nordstrom and lease to to them very cheaply or for nothing at all.

I am stationed in Virginia Beach and frequent the Nordstrom at MacArthur Center quite often. It is a very nice store and mall to say the least. It would be nice to see something like that in dt Nashville. I remember when i was in high school and used to visit Church Street Centre and thought that it was a nice mall for back then but like you said, there just weren't enough people living dt then. Another very nice dt mall is Horten Plaza located in San Diego. If any of you have been there i'm sure that you would agree with me on that one. :rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes - this is all true. Nashville doesn't understand how destination retail could work for them at all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes - this is all true. Nashville doesn't understand how destination retail could work for them at all.

I agree. There seems to be a lack of imagination when it comes to such things. Instead, we have to build five Dick's Sporting Goods, Best Buys and whatever other major big box store there is out there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I get the sense that the city powers are still stinging from the outrage from a very vocal block of voters for the coliseum and GEC. It seems that no elected official has the heart to propose any city-led initiative to spur private retail development.

SO what are the big rumors swirling around the Mall at Green Hills (that name still cracks me up).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


I had heard a while back but cant remember where, that GH Mall was planning another major expansion. Good to see it, however the traffic will be a nightmare.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've never been to the Mall at Green Hills, but I've been to Nashville - it's a nice city, I would love to see it get a Nordstrom.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had heard a while back but cant remember where, that GH Mall was planning another major expansion. Good to see it, however the traffic will be a nightmare.

Not if we improve mass transit and transform Green Hills into something you can actually traverse on foot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

just throwing this out there just because i think crazy things like this..

but wouldn't it be AWESOME to have mall within a skyscraper..

i have thought about instead (just throwing this out there) of putting the sounds stadium on the old thermal lot.. they should put some sort of a retail tower!?

CRAZY RIGHT!? but wouldn't it be cool to shop in a skyscraper?!?1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They actually exist in many cities like SF, NYC, Cleveland, heck even Colony Square here... even WaterTower Place in Chicago itself is a vertical mall.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

just throwing this out there just because i think crazy things like this..

but wouldn't it be AWESOME to have mall within a skyscraper..

i have thought about instead (just throwing this out there) of putting the sounds stadium on the old thermal lot.. they should put some sort of a retail tower!?

CRAZY RIGHT!? but wouldn't it be cool to shop in a skyscraper?!?1

I think it would be nice to shop underground and have something that relates to being outdoors on top.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not if we improve mass transit and transform Green Hills into something you can actually traverse on foot.

I agree 100%. I think this area would be prime for BRT now instead of 5 or 10 years downt he road. I really think Metro is dragging their feet on mass transit in the City. If the next mayor wants to be a hero and have a legacy, then he should make mass transit a priority.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


I agree 100%. I think this area would be prime for BRT now instead of 5 or 10 years downt he road. I really think Metro is dragging their feet on mass transit in the City. If the next mayor wants to be a hero and have a legacy, then he should make mass transit a priority.

I am in complete agreement.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know the mall has one open spot for a third anchor (between Tiba and The Discovery Store). Also, Green Hills is home to one of two Gus Mayer stores. I'd like to see Gus Mayer expand like it did in Birmingham and add the men's department and become a miniature department store in itself. Quick fact: Gus Mayer used to be a major department store on Canal Street in New Orleans.

Would be interesting to see them in Signature Tower too. I'd prefer to see more Southern/Regional businesses pop-up around town - especially downtown. This would lend a very authentic vibe to the city.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know the mall has one open spot for a third anchor (between Tiba and The Discovery Store). Also, Green Hills is home to one of two Gus Mayer stores. I'd like to see Gus Mayer expand like it did in Birmingham and add the men's department and become a miniature department store in itself. Quick fact: Gus Mayer used to be a major department store on Canal Street in New Orleans.

Would be interesting to see them in Signature Tower too. I'd prefer to see more Southern/Regional businesses pop-up around town - especially downtown. This would lend a very authentic vibe to the city.

Yes...Gus Myer was a store in New Orleans...but was purchased by the Piztiz family quite some time ago.

Here is the Wikipedia info on the store....

Gus Mayer, a Birmingham-based family-owned upscale specialty department store that caters to upper-end

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know the mall has one open spot for a third anchor (between Tiba and The Discovery Store). Also, Green Hills is home to one of two Gus Mayer stores. I'd like to see Gus Mayer expand like it did in Birmingham and add the men's department and become a miniature department store in itself. Quick fact: Gus Mayer used to be a major department store on Canal Street in New Orleans.

Would be interesting to see them in Signature Tower too. I'd prefer to see more Southern/Regional businesses pop-up around town - especially downtown. This would lend a very authentic vibe to the city.

Saks is a southern store. It's based in Birmingham. We could get one of those too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I still consider Saks to be a NYC store... and a ladies' store for that matter. Of course, I've learned that you gotta keep the ladies happy if you want good shopping. Really, does anybody have any theories on why Nashville's offerings in high-end shopping suck. It's remarkable given the wealth and (now growing) population of that city. I used to think it was a conspiracy of the old guard of Cain Sloan (bought out about the time I lived there by Dillard) and Castner Knott which was bought by Mercantile(?). I guess nobody knew how many people travelled to Atlanta and St. Louis for shopping excursions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I doubt that Cain-Sloan or castner Knott Co. had anything to do with Nashville's lack of high-end retail. If anything we were much better off with those local stores because they had the ear of the Nashville consumer and could react quickly to styles. I remember when Cain-Sloan became Dillard's. Dillard's had such dowdy fashions. Kind of like when Castner Knott (after being purchased by Dillard's) became Proffitt's - the were horrible.

Everyone wants a Nordstrom or a Saks but the reality is if we get one, we'll get a second-class store. Most people have this rosey vision of shopping in a four-level Nordstrom (like in Chicago) with a restaurant, piano and lots of styles and such. We'll get a store with old people fashions! If we can't have a top of the line store from some out of town comapny - I'd rather have a home-grown player.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's just simply not how things happened here. Our home-grown stores improved when the national players came in. Davison's really had been a national store for decades, but it had local buyers. Rich's was always a top notch store, but it was no Niemans or SFA... or later Nordstrom. Yes, those companies' first stores in Atlanta were small, but they were still a step up from what we had had in the way of department stores (not the smaller boutiques mind you).

In Nashville's case, I believe that the market itself was too small to catch the attention of the high-end companies until recently. I do remember walking into a Castner Knott back in the late 80s and seeing the displays and cases as old and shabby looking.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did anyone notice about a year ago that Saks Fifth Avenue was listed on the Mall at Green Hills' store directory online? I got excited but then the next time I checked it had been removed.

I think Nashville could definitely support a Nordstrom or Bloomingdale's; Saks or Neiman's, not so much (maybe a "B" version of their bigger stores, if that). Nordstrom had announced a few years ago that it was building a location in Brentwood at a proposed mall right off I-65. Then 9/11 happened and that mall got cancelled.

Seems like Nashville's hindrance in getting a high-level department store is that the Mall at GH and the Galleria are maxed out in space. I really wish the Galleria had held out for a nicer dept store instead of getting Sears and JCPenney and Dillard's and Macy's, like every other mall in Nashville. Parisian is nicer but it got sold to Belk, which is basically a JCP that sells Tommy Hilfiger and Nautica. Blah.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I still consider Saks to be a NYC store... and a ladies' store for that matter. Of course, I've learned that you gotta keep the ladies happy if you want good shopping. Really, does anybody have any theories on why Nashville's offerings in high-end shopping suck. It's remarkable given the wealth and (now growing) population of that city. I used to think it was a conspiracy of the old guard of Cain Sloan (bought out about the time I lived there by Dillard) and Castner Knott which was bought by Mercantile(?). I guess nobody knew how many people travelled to Atlanta and St. Louis for shopping excursions.

I went to Saks at the Biltmore in Phoenix in January. It has plenty of stuff for men. I dropped a load on ties.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I still consider Saks to be a NYC store... and a ladies' store for that matter. Of course, I've learned that you gotta keep the ladies happy if you want good shopping. Really, does anybody have any theories on why Nashville's offerings in high-end shopping suck. It's remarkable given the wealth and (now growing) population of that city. I used to think it was a conspiracy of the old guard of Cain Sloan (bought out about the time I lived there by Dillard) and Castner Knott which was bought by Mercantile(?). I guess nobody knew how many people travelled to Atlanta and St. Louis for shopping excursions.

Mercantile was the parent company of Castner-Knott, along with other regional chains including Gayfers, J.B. White, Maison Blanche, Bacon's, McAlpin's, Joslin's, Lion's, and several other chains. Mercantile Stores was acquired by Dillard's in 1998. The Nashville area had five area malls with both Castner-Knott and Dillard's stores; the overlapping Castner-Knott stores had to be sold to meet FTC antitrust regulations. Those stores were sold to Proffitt's, which was in the end a division of Birmingham-based Saks Incorporated. Saks, Inc. sold them to May Department Stores where they became Hecht's. May Department Stores was acquired by Federated Department Stores, the parent company of Macy's. Federated Department Stores is changing its name to Macy's Group in June (I think).

As for upscale luxury department stores, Nordstrom has a broader customer base and price ranges in merchandise than Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman-Marcus, and Bloomingdale's (also owned by Federated Department Stores, soon to be Macy's Group).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.