World Overcomers ready to open mall, searching for tenants

By Lori Brown - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - You can hardly tell that a tornado nearly destroyed Hickory Ridge Mall two years ago this month.  A tornado in February of 2008 nearly tore the mall apart.

In the aftermath of the storm, World Overcomers Church bought the mall for $1.4 million, setting up headquarters inside.

Now, five million dollars and 16 months later, World Overcomers is just about ready to reopen the mall.  But while the church has repaired the damage, replacing the tenants is a different story.  

There are two storms World Overcomers is weathering: the tornado they've almost beat and the economy, which is a whole new monster.

"In this retail, national retail environment, the person who's adding stores is the exception," said Pat Jacobs, the mall's general manager. "Announcements continue to come through of closings."

Jacobs said the mall currently has 40 letters of intent for its 60 spaces.  The rent they would pay is negotiable, but only serious entrepreneurs need apply.

"We want people who have done their homework, not the person with a hobby thinking about starting a business," he said. "We want serious folks, because it's going to take serious folks to succeed."

The mall is scheduled to open in April.

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