It’s hard not to notice something as big as a dead mall. Changes in consumer buying habits have led to the decline of shopping centers in many cities, leaving space up for lease.
Those empty stores can provide a creative solution for a burgeoning medical center like Vanderbilt’s, where finding enough space is an ongoing challenge.Vanderbilt University recently leased more than half of Nashville’s oldest indoor mall, 100 Oaks Mall off Interstate 65. Officials expect some VUMC staff and faculty to be working at the 100 Oaks location by next summer.
The deal expands Vanderbilt Medical Center’s size by almost 440,000 square feet. Some outpatient clinics and offices will move to the second and third floors of the mall, as well as to an adjacent office tower. The first floor will continue to house a retail strip.
Dr. C.Wright Pinson, associate vice chancellor for clinical affairs and chief medical officer, says the move will relieve congestion and take Vanderbilt services to the community in an easily accessible location. “One Hundred Oaks will be our largest clinic away from our 21st Avenue location– large enough that it will be considered a second major campus for the Medical Center.”
The 100 Oaks project will include not only offices and outpatient facilities but also a fitness center and a child-care center for staff and faculty. A shuttle service will run between 100 Oaks and VUMC’s 21st Avenue location.
One Hundred Oaks Mall opened in 1967 and has experienced several cycles of rebirth. Its current owners are Dallasbased developers Frank Mihalopoulos and Tony Ruggeri.