Costs led city to pass on Hickory Ridge Mall site

World Overcomers Church has purchased the Hickory Ridge Mall to build a mixed-use facility for the Hickory Hill community. Memphis city leaders considered purchasing the mall, but were wary of the venture's unknown long-term costs. Some said the unknowns were too great a risk.

The city's chief administrative officer, Keith McGee, twice pitched to the city council a plan to buy the property to house a police and fire dispatch center, IT services backup facility and city municipal offices.

The reluctance always stemmed from the long-term investment involved. It would cost $1.25 million to buy the property on the front end, but four years down the road the cost would balloon to around $60 million.

In the current tough economic climate, council members passed on the proposal.

"We didn't have any figures for the outlying years in the CIP budget. What it would cost us down the line?," said councilman Bill Boyd. "It's just too many missing pieces to that to make a good decision. That's the reason we delayed it."

Boyd said there are two other possible sites for a relocated 911 dispatch center: a former Holiday Inn property on Lamar and an old Schnucks building off of Austin Peay and Yale.

In the end, city leaders said it was a good move for World Overcomers to purchase the property, and the city is comfortable looking elsewhere for their municipal, building.

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