Wharton shares new idea for shuttered Peabody Place Mall - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Wharton shares new idea for shuttered Peabody Place Mall

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The Memphis mayor shared a new idea to fill the shuttered Peabody Place Mall again with people, who are not shopping. The Memphis mayor shared a new idea to fill the shuttered Peabody Place Mall again with people, who are not shopping.
Mayor A C Wharton would like to make the old mall somewhat of a convention center satellite. Mayor A C Wharton would like to make the old mall somewhat of a convention center satellite.
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(WMC-TV) -The Memphis mayor shared a new idea to fill the shuttered Peabody Place Mall again with people, who are not shopping.

Mayor A C Wharton would like to make the old mall somewhat of a convention center satellite.

"I want us to do something to make sure that, for all of the conventioneers and tourists coming here, that we stay in the game," he said.

Wharton revealed his idea Tuesday during a Rotary Club speech. He still believes in building a big new convention center downtown, but he says using the space at the place makes sense in the short term.

"It will take years to do a full-fledged convention center, but we can't just hold in place until then ... so, what do we do?" said Wharton.

Peabody Place used to be packed years ago. The expansive building was filled with restaurants, shops, and a 20-plus screen movie theater. Construction began on an all-suite extension of the Peabody Hotel, but it was never finished.

Many say anything would be better than a big empty box.

"It's like an entire block and this space is just sitting there. It was beautiful when it was being used, but I think it would be great to do something with it," said downtown worker Heather Pontius.

Wharton hopes private investment and a creative use of federal dollars could greatly reduce the city's role in any redevelopment, from which the city would be the greatest beneficiary.

"It's something we've got to rejuvenate ... Get back into circulation," said Wharton.

These discussions are preliminarily. Meanwhile, check out this slideshow of other vacant buildings in Memphis here:http://www.wmctv.com/slideshow?widgetid=98253.

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