College Square Mall in Morristown, TN: A Blend of Tradition and Trend

Introduction to College Square Mall

Overview and Location

College Square Mall, nestled in Morristown, Tennessee, stands as a prominent regional shopping hub. Since its inception in 1988, this mall has been a cornerstone for retail activity in the area.

Strategically located at 2550 E. Morris Blvd, it serves the local community and attracts visitors from the surrounding counties.

Its convenient location and diverse range of stores make it a go-to destination for those seeking a comprehensive shopping experience.

Ownership and Management

The mall’s journey through various phases of ownership and management reflects its adaptability and resilience in the ever-evolving retail sector.

Currently owned by Time Equities Inc., a significant player in the real estate market, College Square Mall benefits from the expertise and experience of this established firm.

The day-to-day operations and strategic management are handled by Urban Retail Properties, a company known for its proficiency in managing and revitalizing shopping centers.

This combination of ownership and management ensures that the mall remains a competitive and appealing destination for shoppers and retailers.

Mall Features and Size

College Square Mall, with its impressive total retail floor area of 459,700 square feet, offers diverse shopping and dining options.

As of December 2023, it houses approximately 50 stores and services, catering to various needs and preferences.

The mall’s single-floor layout makes it easily navigable, providing a comfortable and accessible shopping environment.

Among its notable features are the things to do near Knoxville, Tennessee, which include visiting the AMC College Square 12 for movie enthusiasts and various dining options ranging from quick bites to sit-down restaurants.

The mall’s mix of national retailers and local boutiques ensures a unique shopping experience that appeals to a broad spectrum of visitors.

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Historical Development of the Mall

Early Beginnings and Construction

The foundation of College Square Mall was laid with its groundbreaking on January 5, 1987, marking the commencement of a significant retail development in Morristown.

The mall officially opened in 1988, introducing a new era of shopping experience in the region. CBL Properties, a notable name in the realm of mall development, developed it.

It became the only shopping mall in an eight-county area of East Tennessee, distinguishing itself as a key retail destination.

Original Anchor Stores and Changes

A mix of local and national retailers originally anchored College Square Mall. Maryville-based Proffitt’s, a regional department store; Walmart, JCPenney, and Sears; and Goody’s Family Clothing, a regional discount junior department store, were among the primary anchors.

However, the retail landscape within the mall underwent significant changes over the years. Walmart relocated outside the mall, allowing Belk to expand into part of its space.

The Proffitt’s store was closed following its acquisition by Belk. Additionally, the mall saw the closure of a regionally popular pottery store, Dixie Pottery, in 2007, which had been adjacent to Belk without direct mall access.

Renovations and Expansions

The mall has seen several renovations and expansions since its opening. A major renovation took place in 1999, revitalizing the mall’s appearance and appeal.

Over the years, the mall’s landscape continued to evolve with the addition of new stores and the departure of some of the original anchors.

Notably, in 2008, a new twelve-screen Carmike Cinema was constructed, enhancing the entertainment offerings of the mall.

This development, along with the closure of stores like Sears in 2013 and the subsequent opening of new retailers like TJ Maxx and Longhorn Steakhouse, marked a significant shift in the mall’s retail composition.

The Evolution of Anchor Tenants

Belk’s Entry and Expansion

Belk’s entry into College Square Mall was pivotal in the mall’s history. Occupying the space vacated by Walmart, Belk expanded its presence, including an outside and mall entrance.

This expansion not only filled the void left by Walmart but also strengthened the mall’s position as a regional shopping destination.

Belk’s commitment to the mall demonstrated confidence in the mall’s potential and attractiveness to shoppers.

Kohl’s and Dick’s Sporting Goods

In 2007, Kohl’s, another major retail player, moved into the space previously occupied by Proffitt’s after expanding the building into a former parking lot.

This addition diversified the mall’s retail offerings, attracting a different segment of shoppers.

Similarly, in 2016, Dick’s Sporting Goods opened in the former JCPenney location, further enhancing the mall’s appeal as a destination for sports and outdoor enthusiasts.

The entry of these prominent retailers marked a significant shift in the mall’s tenant mix, reflecting the changing trends in consumer preferences and retail.

TJ Maxx and AMC College Square 12

The transformation of College Square Mall continued with the addition of TJ Maxx, which occupied half of the old Sears store.

This move brought in a retailer known for offering designer and brand-name fashion for less, appealing to budget-conscious shoppers.

Establishing AMC College Square 12, a state-of-the-art movie theater, further diversified the mall’s entertainment options.

This addition provided a new leisure activity for shoppers and helped drive foot traffic to the mall, benefiting the other retailers.

Including these anchors underscored the mall’s adaptability and responsiveness to the evolving retail and entertainment landscape.

Family Fun Zone in College Square Mall

The Premier Destination for Family Entertainment

Family Fun Zone, located within College Square Mall in Morristown, Tennessee, has established itself as the premier destination for family entertainment.

This fun center is designed to cater to people of all ages, including kids, teens, and adults, making it an ideal spot for family gatherings, group events, and memorable birthday parties.

The center prides itself on creating an environment where fun is built and cherished while also taking care of the inevitable mess that comes with such enjoyment.

A Wide Array of Attractions

The Family Fun Zone boasts various attractions catering to diverse interests and age groups.

Key features include an arcade, laser tag, bumper cars, and axe throwing, providing classic and modern entertainment options.

The center offers Duck Pin Bowling for those interested in bowling, adding a unique twist to the traditional game.

Virtual reality experiences and ice skating rinks are also available, offering immersive and exciting activities for visitors.

Additionally, the Smash Room provides a unique way for guests to let off steam in a safe and controlled environment.

The center ensures something for everyone, making every visit a new adventure.

Ideal for Parties and Group Events

Family Fun Zone is a place for casual visits and the perfect venue for hosting parties and group events.

Recognized for hosting the best parties in the Morristown area, the center offers comprehensive party packages that include fun activities and hassle-free arrangements, allowing parents and organizers to enjoy the event as much as the guests.

The center is also excellent for team-building and corporate events, providing a fun and engaging environment that fosters teamwork and camaraderie.

Recent Developments and Future Plans

Recent Store Closures and Openings

College Square Mall has witnessed a dynamic shift in its retail landscape over recent years. Notable closures included the departure of Sears in 2013 and JCPenney in spring 2016, reflecting broader trends in the retail industry.

However, these closures paved the way for new opportunities and developments. October 2016 saw the arrival of Dick’s Sporting Goods and ULTA Beauty, occupying the former JCPenney space.

These additions brought fresh energy and diverse products to the mall’s offerings.

2017 Redevelopment Projects

College Square Mall announced a redevelopment project in May 2017. This project included the addition of retailer Five Below to the front of the mall, catering to the younger demographic with trendy, low-cost merchandise.

Additionally, an Olive Garden restaurant was planned in front of Dick’s Sporting Goods, facing East Morris Boulevard, enhancing the mall’s dining options.

These developments are part of the mall’s ongoing efforts to stay relevant and appealing in the competitive retail market.

2020 Developments

Significant changes within the mall marked the year 2020. Ashley HomeStore, which had moved into the space previously occupied by Goody’s, closed its doors.

This closure was quickly followed by the opening of Family Fun Zone in late 2020, a venue that added a new dimension of entertainment and family-oriented activities to the mall.

This shift towards more experiential offerings aligned with the changing preferences of shoppers seeking more than traditional retail.

2023 News Highlights at College Square Mall

Arrest Incident and Security Measures

In a notable incident at College Square Mall in 2023, a driver was arrested after crashing into a mall wall and fleeing to the mall premises.

The suspect was charged with possession of drugs and other offenses. This incident underscores the ongoing need for robust security measures in public spaces like shopping malls, ensuring the safety and well-being of shoppers and employees.

Mall’s Operational Changes and Community Events

In addition to the security incident, College Square Mall announced operational changes for the New Year’s Day of 2024, as reported on their Facebook page.

The mall planned to open late and close early to allow employees to enjoy the holiday. This decision reflects the mall’s commitment to balancing business operations with the well-being of its staff.

Furthermore, the mall continued to engage with the community by hosting events such as the 2023 Home Show.

This event provided local businesses and individuals a platform to explore home improvement ideas and products, reinforcing the mall’s role as a community hub.

Customer Experience and Amenities

Shopping and Dining Options

College Square Mall offers diverse shopping options, catering to a wide range of tastes and preferences.

From fashion retailers like American Eagle Outfitters and Maurices to specialty stores such as Books-A-Million and Kay Jewelers, the mall provides a comprehensive shopping experience.

Dining options are equally varied, with establishments like Longhorn Steakhouse and Olive Garden offering sit-down meals, while Auntie Anne’s and Great American Cookies provide quick, on-the-go snacks.

This mix of dining and retail options ensures that visitors to the mall can enjoy a full day of shopping and dining under one roof.

Entertainment and Leisure Facilities

Entertainment is a key component of the College Square Mall experience. The AMC College Square 12 cinema offers the latest movie entertainment, drawing film enthusiasts across the region.

For families, the Family Fun Zone provides a space for children to play and engage in various activities, making the mall a family-friendly destination.

These entertainment options complement the shopping experience, making the mall a comprehensive destination for leisure and relaxation.

Customer Services and Accessibility

College Square Mall is committed to providing a comfortable and accessible shopping environment. The mall features a single-floor layout, making it easy for visitors to navigate between stores.

Customer services such as ample parking, wheelchair accessibility, and friendly mall staff contribute to a pleasant shopping experience.

These amenities ensure that all visitors can enjoy their time at the mall regardless of age or ability.


Reflecting on College Square Mall’s Journey

College Square Mall has evolved significantly since its opening in 1988.

From its early days as the only shopping mall in an eight-county area of East Tennessee to its current status as a modern, diverse shopping and entertainment hub, the mall has continually adapted to the changing retail landscape.

Its ability to reinvent itself, evidenced by introducing new stores and entertainment options, has kept it relevant in a competitive market.

The Mall’s Current Status and Future Prospects

As of December 2023, College Square Mall is a testament to brick-and-mortar retail’s resilience and adaptability.

With a mix of traditional retailers, dining options, and entertainment facilities, the mall offers a comprehensive experience that goes beyond shopping.

Looking forward, the mall’s management is poised to continue this trajectory of innovation and adaptation, ensuring that College Square Mall remains a key player in Morristown’s retail and community landscape.

The Role of College Square Mall in Morristown

College Square Mall is more than just a shopping center; it is a vital part of the Morristown community. Its contribution to the local economy through job creation and sales is significant.

Moreover, its role in hosting community events and providing a gathering space for residents underscores its importance beyond commerce.

As the retail world continues to evolve, College Square Mall’s commitment to adapting and serving the community positions it well for continued success and relevance in the years to come.

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