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Fort Henry Mall is on the right track

Editorial Board • May 17, 2017 at 12:00 PM

Hull Property Group knows well that branding is critical to success.

That’s why it renamed Kingsport Town Center to what is has always been known as by regional residents — Fort Henry Mall. And as with any business, the more area residents patronize the mall, the more it will grow, adding new sales outlets and shopping opportunities.

Hull also knows how to make Fort Henry Mall a success and is committed to doing just that. It has the experience, the knowhow and a track record of turning around failing malls. The first order of business is renovation, and Hull says it will be investing nearly $5 million in Fort Henry Mall over the next five years.

The work will include new restrooms and ceilings, carpet throughout the common areas, and improvements to interior lighting. There will be new decorative accents and colorful community murals and historical photographs. Exterior work will include upgrading all entrances and new signage.

Work is under way with remodel permits for the theater space and to remove the escalator, install a new set of steps, and relocate the elevator. Theater renovations will feature new ceilings, paint, flooring, lighting, restrooms and signage in addition to an expanded lobby and improved digital displays, projectors and sound systems. NCG Cinemas plans to open later this summer.

And coming to space formerly occupied by the Belk home store will be Dunham’s Sports, the Midwest’s largest sporting goods chain with 230 stores located in 21 states.

Expansion and remodeling has begun, and Dunham’s is expected to open this fall.

“The transformation of the Fort Henry Mall is the first step in stabilizing this valuable property,” said Ky Widener, senior vice president of leasing for Hull. “This allows our leasing team to retain existing tenants and attract new tenants like Dunham’s Sports and NCG Theaters. This is a huge step in the right direction for this mall.”

Hull is committed to making Fort Henry Mall a premier destination.

“We are proud to be in Kingsport and believe the Fort Henry Mall can be a first-class venue for shopping, dining and entertainment,” said Jim Hull, founder and managing principal of HPG. “We could not have made this type of investment had it not been for the progressive leadership of community officials. The start of this landmark renovation coupled with the addition of Dunham’s Sports and the recent announcement of the new theater is a testament to what we can achieve together.”

And that’s the key to the mall’s success: regional shoppers coming together and demonstrating that they want this mall to once again be a cornerstone of the region’s retail community. New and exciting venues will continue to come as the mall continues to grow — if residents continue to support it.

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