As of Tuesday, Lewisville’s Vista Ridge Mall officially has new owners with big plans to turn it around.  Those plans include a name change to Music City Mall at Vista Ridge.

The mall was purchased at auction in September.  The new owner is Odessa businessman John Bushman’s family-owned Investment Corporation of America.  The property becomes ICA’s second mall.  ICA owns the Music City Mall in Odessa, a city in the West Texas oil patch with a population similar in size to Lewisville.

Richard Morton is the mall’s new general manager.  

Morton said that ICA bought the mall with cash, and will continue to operate it as a mall, working to fill up the vacant spaces with merchants, and bring in more shoppers.  The mall is currently 72 percent occupied, with several new stores recently opened or in the process of opening.  Morton wants that number to be 100 percent.  

The new owners have experience in that area, having turned around their mall in Odessa. “When ICA Properties took that mall over they probably had about a 60 percent vacancy rate and now they’re full,” Morton said.  “ICA Properties has a great track record of turning properties around, and that’s the goal for Vista Ridge.”

Tenants of Vista Ridge Mall received this letter Oct. 31 advising them of the new management and name change for the mall.

In a letter to mall tenants Tuesday, Morton told them that Bushman’s plan was to invest heavily in the mall and its tenants.  Morton said that he expected to spend $3 to $4 million for improvements and renovations right away.  That investment is in addition to the $17.3 million that ICA spent to purchase the mall.

Music City Mall is so named because it will become a live entertainment venue seven days a week.  Morton said that weeknights from 6 p.m. to close, and throughout the day on Saturday and Sunday there will be some sort of performance to bring in the crowds.

“We want to turn the mall back into the center of the community, where everybody goes and nobody needs to go anywhere else when we can try to provide them everything they need right their in their backyard,” said Michelle Davis, ICA’s retail leasing manager for the mall in Odessa.

According to Morton, the mall is looking at options for signage changes to come quickly, and more prominently brand the entrances to the mall with the new Music City name. When he spoke to The Lewisville Texan Journal Tuesday, he had plans to meet with the City of Lewisville Wednesday to discuss ideas and get guidance.  

Santa Claus and a rocking horse are among the Christmas decorations already popping up on the property.

Morton said that he would be talking to mall tenants and the Chamber of Commerce to get input and ideas for what the community would like to see in the mall.

“This is the place to be for the community and it’s the place to be for the tenants and the stores,” said Morton.

“They can come to the mall, open up and get some good traffic in there and make a nice profit and meet the needs of the community.”

Music City Mall staff wasted no time Wednesday in kicking off the Christmas season. Morton said the company had brought in an 18-wheeler and another truck full of decorations.  Assembly of the Christmas Tree in center court was in process when The Lewisville Texan Journal visited Wednesday.

Assembly of Music City Mall’s Christmas tree was under way Wednesday. (Photo by Steve Southwell)

Two other unique features are planned for the mall as well: a 30- by 60-foot American flag at the top of a 130-foot flagpole on the property close to I-35, and a large marble slab monument containing the Ten Commandments.  Morton said that Bushman puts the Ten Commandments monuments on his other properties.  The Music City Mall in Odessa has that monument on display inside.

Morton wouldn’t say precisely what would happen to rents for tenants at the mall.  “I think what we need to do is evaluate what our current tenants are paying and what it would take to keep them there, and what it will take to attract new tenants,” Morton said.  “I don’t think you write anything in stone at this point.  I think we need to be flexible — that’s probably the key.”

In addition to Morton, who returns to North Texas after 20 years in Odessa, ICA is bringing in Natalie Boyer as assistant general manager.  ICA will keep some of the mall’s existing staff, including leasing manager Saundra David.  The mall will also be hiring a local marketing person as well. Legally, the mall will operate as Music City Mall III, Ltd.

Music City Mall at Vista Ridge is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sundays from noon to 6 p.m.  For now, their website is www.vistaridgemall.com.

21 COMMENTS

  1. Music City?!! I get that they want it to become known for music & entertainment, but they obviously don’t know Nashville is well-branded as Music City.

  2. Can’t wait – I hope it’s a huge success….we need that mall to be overhauled – so excited to see what they bring in as far as talent….hoping country music…..hint hint

  3. So excited hate how its so dead here. Make it better then Stonebriar we need better stores. Bring a Louie Vuitton people will flock here lol

  4. This is so exciting!!! I have lived in the Lewisville area for over 25 years and remember the good ole days when it was the only mall to go to for fun, shopping and entertainment. Nice to see someone realize the potential it still has to be a focal point for our community!

  5. Other than the 10 Commandments, which really doesn’t make that big of a difference and is pretty irrelevant among everything else, it seems like this guy knows what the hell he’s doing. I especially like the idea of having some kind of performance there everyday.

    I’ll check it all out in about a month.

  6. Sorry guys, don’t get your hopes up, we live in Odessa and the Music City Mall here is a joke. The article is very deceiving, it may be at 100% occupancy but they’re mostly locally owned junk stores. No one goes to the mall here it’s horrible and nasty. Maybe you’ll have better luck.

  7. Ten Commandments? You mean the ones where rape and slavery aren’t mentioned but the egotistical “worship only me and don’t say bad things about me” rules are listed? Not enough fundies in Lewisville to keep this Nashville name rip off open.

  8. I was interested until I read the part about the 10 commandments. I guess the new owner doesn’t care that he is offending a large segment of the population who are non-Christian or atheist. Dumb move in this age of social media.

    • I agree. I mean the two biggest things that people have noticed millennials aren’t big on are religion and shopping malls. These dummies mixed the two. I’m a millennial. I haven’t been in a mall in I don’t know how long. I haven’t been in a church in I don’t know how long. The 10 commandments are a huge turn off.

  9. Hate the new name. This is Texas not Tennessee, we are Lewisville not Nashville, we deserve our own unique name catered to our city and aimed at strengthening the ties to our distinct community.

  10. Are the ten commandments going to be outside? I sure hope so. I’d love to take a giant s*** on a monument for the 10 commandments.

  11. Seriously? Look, Im sorry, not a fan of this 10 commandments business, its going to alienate quite a few of the leaseholders now there. Plus, seeing this other malls site, it appears its full of junk stores…

  12. In case the merchandising geniuses haven’t noticed…Millennial atheists are not the target market, and Louis Viutton isn’t bring in volume mall shoppers.Rooftops and families are the need,and music can draw destination shoppers.Malls all over America are sick because specialty retailing and all-day destination shopping have passed by the wayside for the 20-30s.Music,traditional family values,and a family- friendly atmosphere is the only hope for success in a world littered with 24 hour Wal-Marts and Amazon.Collin Creek Mall is the next crippled 1981 artifact in need of a transfusion of new ideas.

    • It will fail. This is 2017 and nowhere are malls based on this kind of marketing and tenant mix making it. The property should be scraped and a modern mixed use complex built in its place.

  13. BEAUTIFUL! God be praised! I hope all Christian business owners think to follow this model in some fashion.
    Anti-Christian activists may assail our religious freedom in the public square, going so far as to try and have roadside memorials, open to everyone to display their grief icons to those lost in accidents, removed. Due to their thinking it is an exclusive act of Christians.
    However, they can do nothing when it is private property. And who can rationally be opposed to the ten commands of God? Those that in synopsis tell us to love one another, love others, and love our reason for being alive? Be one a Christian or a humanist, especially a humanist, how can anyone be opposed to that which basically says, respect yourself! And others!

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