A Trip Down Memory Lane: Bellevue Center Mall
One Bellevue Place mall, a popular shopping, dining, and entertainment complex in the Bellevue neighborhood of Nashville, Tennessee, has a rich history from 1990.
Known initially as Bellevue Cente, this enclosed regional shopping mall had a capacity for over 90 stores spread across two floors that totaled 848,545 square feet.
The mall experienced a decline during the early 2000s recession and eventually closed in 2008. Two of the three anchor tenants continued operating for some time, but finally, they departed from the property.
The entire structure, encompassing the three neighboring anchor buildings and an outparcel, was taken down in 2015.
A new mixed-use complex opened in 2017, revitalizing the area and bringing excitement to the neighborhood.
One Bellevue Place Timeline
|Initial plans for a mall in Bellevue announced
|Bellevue Center opens
|Sears joins as the third anchor
|Bellevue Center officially closes
|Demolition of the mall and adjacent anchor buildings
|One Bellevue Place opens with new tenants and facilities
The Original Vision
The initial plans for a mall in Nashville’s Bellevue neighborhood were revealed in 1971. The plans outlined a mall being built on U.S. Route 70S between Interstate 40 and Sawyer Brown Road, with the start of construction planned for 1973.
The development was to be executed in two stages: the first to be finished in 1975 and the second in 1977. The mall’s design would include marble flooring and fountains composed of two levels connected by escalators.
A new road surrounding the mall was to be constructed to alleviate residents’ concerns about increased traffic.
A Series of Delays and Changes
Over the years, the project faced several delays and changes. Finally, by 1978, Taubman Centers announced that it had replaced JCPenney as co-developer, but JCPenney would still build a store in the mall.
However, despite being instrumental in the initial development, JCPenney never opened a store at Bellevue Center.
Construction faced further delays due to challenges in securing suitable anchor stores and tenants, rezoning the property for commercial purposes, and making road improvements along Interstate 40 and U.S. Route 70S.
The Mall’s Rise and Fall
Bellevue Center opened its doors on August 9, 1990, featuring Castner Knott and Dillard’s as anchor stores at the opposite ends of the trident-shaped mall.
Other tenants included Gap Inc., Abercrombie & Fitch, Limited Too, KB Toys, and Electronic Express.
However, foot traffic at the mall began to decline soon after its opening, as new competition emerged in the form of Cool Springs Galleria in Franklin and the Mall at Green Hills in Nashville.
As major retail tenants started to leave the complex, Bellevue Center became a dead mall just a decade after its inception.
When Dillard’s shuttered its store and sold its property to the mall’s owners in 2007, ambitious redevelopment plans were unveiled after years of dwindling sales. However, Bellevue Center officially ceased operations on May 31, 2008, as the remaining non-anchor tenants vacated the premises.
A Struggle for Redevelopment
Several initial redevelopment plans fell through, including converting the former Dillard’s building into a Metro Nashville Public Library branch and a Kohl’s department store.
Macy’s closed its store in 2009, leaving Sears as the last operating retailer in Bellevue Center.
In November 2014, Crosland Southeast presented an updated development proposal that involved demolishing the mall and replacing it with a mixed-use center named “One Bellevue Place.”
The Rebirth: One Bellevue Place
The process of demolishing the mall and its surrounding anchor buildings started in 2015 and concluded by the year’s end.
The updated development plan featured a hotel, a community ice rink managed by the Nashville Predators, 300 multifamily residential units, up to 125,000 square feet of professional and medical office space, a cinema complex, and a maximum of 600,000 square feet for retail space.
In August 2017, the first tenants of One Bellevue Place began to open. The revamped development now boasts an AMC movie theater, Sprouts grocery store, Burlington, Michaels, HomeGoods, Ulta Beauty, Home2 Suites hotel, Chick-fil-A, an apartment complex, a senior living community, a new Bellevue Community Center, a dual-ice rink facility operated by the NHL’s Nashville Predators.
One Bellevue Place: Then and Now
|Bellevue Center (1990-2008)
|One Bellevue Place (2017-Present)
|Total retail space
|848,545 sq ft
|Up to 600,000 sq ft
|Mixed-use complex with retail,
dining, and more
|Castner Knott, Dillard’s
|AMC theater, Sprouts, HomeGoods,
Nashville Predators ice rink
Embracing Change and Looking Ahead
One Bellevue Place stands as a testament to the importance of embracing change and adapting to the evolving needs and preferences of the community.
This once-struggling mall has been transformed into a thriving mixed-use complex that offers a variety of shopping, dining, and entertainment options for the people of Bellevue and beyond.
The journey of One Bellevue Place inspires other communities facing similar challenges, proving that it is possible to revitalize and breathe new life into struggling commercial properties.