A Closed Big-Box Store Returns to Life as a Neighborhood Center

| Tuesday, 27 September 2016 |
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A Closed Big-Box Store Returns to Life as a Neighborhood Center

This neighborhood gathering point gave a second life to an old JC Penney store, featuring a community center, branch library and park. The library offers a bright, enjoyable space for learning, with ample daylighting infused throughout. Kids can learn how to live more sustainability by interacting with a Socket sustainability “scavenger hunt” along the 3.5 acre park walking path, or playing sustainability memory games on the library’s interactive kiosk.

The Commons at the Crossings, located in Southeast Nashville, was once a closed JC Penney store. In 2014, with the opening of a community center, a new branch library and a 3.5 acre park, The Commons is now a beacon of sustainability and rejuvenation for our entire city.

Planned and managed by Metro's Department of General Services, this mammoth $32 million dollar complex is another example of our city's dedication to sustainability and renewal. Look at what stands as a reminder of what can be done to transform an old mall:


  • The 90,000 sq. ft. Ford Ice Center houses two National Hockey League regulation sized hockey rinks. Opened in 2014 and managed by the NHL's Nashville Predators in a unique private- public partnership with the city, the Center also offers a yoga/ballet studio, four party/meeting rooms, off-ice training space, concessions and hockey pro shop.

  • Through a shared parking area, the Ice Center is connected with an expanded branch library and Metro Parks Community Center. The 26,000 sq. ft. library includes increased digital media, tech centers, places for story time and selections for early childhood and young adults. HBM from Ohio was the consultant on the library project.  

  • The Commons' 32,000 sq. ft. recreation center  includes an indoor gym, walking track, wellness equipment, teaching kitchen and rooftop terrace. These facilities are a magnet for community gatherings and have stimulated economic growth in the area.

  • The recreation center lobby features kiosk displays for adults and children that present Socket Unplug Nashville.

  • These facilities wrap around a 3.5 acre park with a playground and walking trail. One very unique feature of the park is a scavenger hunt for young children, featuring a Socket mascot, designed to teach them about sustainability.  Socket's Hunt for Gold and Silver offers prizes at the nearby library after visiting all seven points that detail sustainable features of the site.


The Commons at the Crossings was not just created for one neighborhood. It is here for everyone to enjoy. Plan a visit to this lively, miraculous example of rejuvenation that stands as a bold testament to Nashville and Davidson County's commitment to a sustainable future.


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