Portion of Raleigh Springs Mall to be demolished - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Portion of Raleigh Springs Mall to be demolished

(SOURCE: WMC Action News 5) (SOURCE: WMC Action News 5)

There are some major changes in plans to revive an old shopping mall. Part of Raleigh Springs Mall on Austin Peay Highway will be demolished this weekend.

It was Memphis' premier shopping destination 45 years ago when it opened. Now, Raleigh Springs Mall stands virtually abandoned.

"It's raining in the mall, it's rundown, it looks horrible," Erma Watson said.

Watson once shopped at the mall, when it offered four anchor stores and attracted a large crowd of customers.

"Macy's, Dillard's, JC Penney, Sears," Watson recalled.

The partial demolition of the old Sears store this weekend will mark the ceremonial revival of what is now being called "Raleigh Redefined."

Retooled renderings were released during a community meeting and they include a new police precinct, library, retention pond, and 75 percent more green space.

In addition, it includes an ultra modern skate park for young people.

"And folks, when we're done we're going to have a shining spot in this city that no one else is ever going to have," Memphis City Councilman Bill Morrison said.

Morrison had hoped to announce the deal was done after 11 years, but the city continues to negotiate a sale price with the owner of part of the property.

"Well, the current owner thinks he should get about $6 million for that mall from the City of Memphis. Yeah, I'm wondering if it should be $600," Morrison said.

He's still confident the Raleigh Springs rebirth is closer than ever.

"If they do what they say they're going to do, it's going to be booming again," Watson said.

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