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Dispatches from the Internet: what people are writing about Knoxville

West Town Mall: Knoxville, TN

Knoxville is not one of the most recognized areas retail-wise, and indeed I have heard comparatively little about it compared to other cities in the South. It is also a fluky and difficult to understand market where stores that have come there tended to fail while stores that come out of there also do likewise. It is still a modern, interesting city with TVA and University of Tennessee both major employers, but its hillbilly image proves a bit difficult to shake: at least to prospective retailers. ...

My visit to West Town Mall presented me a mall that was more like one of the 70's than so many of the struggling malls of today. The parking lot was nearly to capacity even with the parking decks. Having never seen or paid any attention to the mall before, I was not prepared for how incredibly huge this mall was inside. ...

Few malls are this solid, but I do believe that the mall will have to make some changes in the future to its design: namely a major renovation to make the mall not so colorless... Fortunately, it seems that Simon has shown more interest in keeping the mall distinct to protect its status as not just a mall, but a tourist destination for East Tennessee in the region's largest city.

—J.T., Sky City: Southern Retail Then and Now, skycity2.blogspot.com, Jan. 19, 2011