Hundreds of community leaders, area business representatives and Vanderbilt University Medical Center employees turned out Monday night to get a detailed look at renovation plans for 100 Oaks Mall.
VUMC is preparing to occupy more than half the mall, leasing about 440,000 square feet of space to create a facility dubbed Vanderbilt Health at One Hundred Oaks.
The slated changes have the potential to dramatically affect the surrounding neighborhood.
“Our intention here is to make this a significant part of the community. Maybe even a hub of the community,” said Tony Ruggeri, who with Frank Mihalopoulos is a partner in 100 Oaks Plaza LLC and M & R Investors, LLC, of Dallas.
Though plans have not been finalized, images shown at Monday’s event indicated at least preliminary ideas for a pedestrian bridge over Thompson Lane to a merchant-rich area of Berry Hill, which officials said could have a positive impact both on Berry Hill and on Thompson Lane traffic.
Other images indicated a possible reworking of the mall’s entrance from Powell, where traffic is currently channeled by one-lane, one-way entrance and exit ramps. In their place may be a single entrance, with a traffic light, directly across from an entrance to Home Depot.
Vanderbilt Health is slated to open in the summer of 2008, though the first clinic to move to the mall — a children’s rehabilitation facility — is expected to open by the end of this year.
For VUMC, the investment is a large one. C. Wright Pinson, associate vice chancellor for clinical affairs at VUMC, said Monday that officials expect to invest $64 million in coming years — that includes $28 million for build-out and renovations, in addition to the $36 million net present value of the lease.
“One Hundred Oaks will be our largest clinic away from our 21st Avenue location,” Pinson said in a statement. “Large enough that it will be considered a second major campus for the Medical Center.”
Ruggeri declined to say how much mall management is investing in the project, saying only that it is “a significant amount.”
The initial lease is for 12 years, with five renewal periods of 10 years, Pinson told The City Paper when the lease was signed in July. The deal includes a right of first refusal for VUMC to purchase the entire mall if Mihalopoulos and Ruggeri attempt to sell it, and for VUMC to have options to lease more space if existing tenants leave.
Mall management intends to announce plans for leasing retailers, including restaurants, early in the first quarter of 2008, Ruggeri said. Approximately “90 percent” of planning for changes to mall access has been determined. 100 Oaks owners are currently working with Metro as well as the City of Berry Hill to finance the proposed changes.
As for Vanderbilt Health itself, amenities announced Monday include beepers patients can carry, allowing them to shop at nearby stores while waiting to see a physician, as well as base-level LEED certification for the area’s interior.