There could be hope for a mall that has sat empty for years. Investors have come forward with one exciting plan after another for the gigantic Bellevue Center mall, but each has fizzled.
But a social media campaign may help breathe new life into the old property as a local teenager is leading a charge to revitalize it.
"It was silly that nothing's being done here when there's so much support for it, so I started it to see if people had the same ideas," said organizer Kevin Prusinowski.
He created a Facebook page called "Bring Back the Bellevue Center Mall," and it is rapidly growing in popularity.
"For a while, I only had about 16 supporters. Then, last Sunday, it jumped to 100. I saw on Monday that I had almost 1,000," he said.
Just a few days after that, the page has gotten more than 3,000 "Likes" and counting.
But city council members say it will take a lot more than Facebook support.
"I wish it was as easy to arrange financing and tenants for a new facility or replacement facility as it is to attract followers," said Councilman Charlie Tygard.
Leaders say other shopping centers like Nashville West, Green Hills and Cool Springs have taken a lot of the business that Bellevue would need. Plus, they say the mall format as we know it now is a thing of the past.
"The mall in its present form will not come back. Closed-in malls are dinosaurs. They are too costly to maintain," Tygard said.
It's been an ongoing five-year battle to try to revitalize the area, and planners say they are cautiously optimistic.
The current proposal is to transform the mall into a multi-use development, but council members say they will not release a timeline or a list of tenants until the developer, Crosland Southeast, gives the green light.
Copyright 2013 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
1720 Valley View Drive