MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - The city plans to break ground on the Raleigh Town Center later this month.
The former home of the Raleigh Springs Mall is a $28 million project that includes a new library, skate park, walking trail, and police precinct.
City leaders said it's a chance to enhance the Raleigh community and a starting point for other areas.
"Raleigh is an area we can turn around," City Councilman Bill Morrison said. "This can be a model for other communities."
The new development is six years in the making and could potentially help with the lack of office space in the area.
"The overall location makes it a good option for retail, but the pastoral setting would also be really good for healthcare facilities, like a dialysis or rehab clinic, and for a mini-office park, which could address the low level of good office space in the area.," project manager Mary Borys said.
The city first approved the revitalization in 2013 but delays and a legal fight to get the mall site held up the process.
"Now we are finally at that stage where all the preparation and planning is about to become reality construction trailers are set to be delivered tomorrow," Borys said. "It was a great sigh of relief when we finally got control of the whole property and were able to start tearing it down."
Borys added that the project will likely spur development in Raleigh. A nearby shopping center has already changed hands, and the city is hearing from other developers interested because of the possibilities.
"We really try to focus on how our investments in areas--whether it's Raleigh or Whitehaven--can trigger additional development by the private sector," Borys said.
Raleigh resident Shawne Hunt said she's optimistic about what the project means for the future.
"I have high hopes," Hunt said. "It's going to be a better thing for the community. We are excited about it being processed because it's been a long time waiting."
The police station and traffic precinct will consolidate the Old Allen Station and traffic division on Union into this one office.
Raleigh Town Center is expected to be complete by June of 2019.