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Business Pulse - County takes interest in Three Star Mall
J's Restaurant has been in Jean-Claude Petit, Jr.'s family since 1983 and he has had a front-row seat for most of the existence of Three Star Mall. He is excited about the county's proposal to purchase a large section of the mall.

This has been a big week for Warren County business news and I've been doing a lot of digging so let's get into what I've found.

Business chatter

Being the writer of Business Pulse means I get lots of questions about business rumors around Warren County. Sometimes those rumors have merit and sometimes they do not. The latest batch of rumors surrounds one of Warren County's most cherished restaurants and I've been bombarded with questions. When a business is a beloved Warren County staple, any news is bound to generate a lot of interest. 

I have contacted the family of ownership and have been told they aren't ready to go on record yet and I respect their wishes. I'm not in the business of speculating and only want to report to Business Pulse readers when I have solid information to offer. 

Sometimes that means the Southern Standard won't be the first place you hear about something but I'm willing to make that sacrifice to ensure when you read something in the Standard, you know it is information you can count on.  I only bring the subject up on this page to let you know, yes, I've heard the talk and, yes, I've contacted the people who truly know what's going on. When they are ready to share their plans, I'll be happy to pass them along to you.

County eyes Three star mall

In that same vein, I've been hearing rumblings about big changes to Three Star Mall for a while now and have been keeping close tabs on it. I finally have some more solid information to report.

Hopefully by now you've read the story in Friday's Southern Standard about Warren County Executive Terry Bell's proposal for the county to buy a large portion of Three Star Mall. The idea is to keep existing businesses there, move some county departments to some vacant spots and hopefully add more retail businesses in the remaining available spaces. 

Bell's plan is to use grant money the county has been allotted to build a new health department in order to purchase the portion of the mall from the old JC Penney to Roses, including the front and back parking lots, excluding the Kroger gas station. 

The proposal includes plans to make extensive improvements to the mall's roof, a longtime trouble spot, as well as improving the parking lot and making changes to the interior of the mall. There has also been talk of replacing the crumbling sign at the front entrance with a digital message board. 

As far as existing businesses, Bell has indicated a strong desire to retain and help current tenants while possibly adding the Warren County Health Department, Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency offices and the McMinnville-Warren County Senior Center.

I was curious about how the businesses currently in the mall feel about this possibility so I reached out to the owner of the longest-standing mall tenant, Jean-Claude Petit, Jr. of J's Restaurant. The mall opened in 1981 and Jean-Claude's dad took over J's restaurant on May 7, 1983, where the eatery has thrived for 40 years. It's safe to say Jean-Claude is an authority on the many changes the mall has seen over the years and he is excited about this potential shift.

"I think the idea is a win-win for the community, for the mall and for the people of Warren County," Jean-Claude said. "From what I hear, the county would fix the roof, parking lots, do interior work and exterior painting. So, I feel like we'd basically be getting a brand new mall." 

Jean-Claude's understanding of the plan is that the county will only be using a portion of the available space and plans to actively recruit new stores for the areas they don't occupy. 

The Building and Grounds, Health and Welfare, Economic and Agriculture Development and Budget and Finance committees are scheduled to have a joint meeting on Monday night to discuss the proposal. 

The meeting will be at 6 p.m. at the Warren County Administrative Building. 

Ben Lomand connect adds service

This seems like a good spot to extend another word of appreciation to Ben Lomand Connect for continuing to sponsor the Business Pulse page. And while I'm at it, I'd like to help them introduce a new service BLC has just added. 

As part of its mission to use technology to make customers' homes more productive, more entertaining and safer, BLC is now offering Arlo doorbell, outdoor and indoor cameras to help customers monitor their homes in real time. The Arlo cameras provide high-definition, crystal-clear video inside or outside. BLC offers full installation and the cameras can be monitored from your phone.

BLC's Chris Centracchio, who manages the Managed IT department at Ben Lomand, led the research on Arlo and thinks the company provides a great option for those looking to increase their home's security. "Arlo offers our customers enhanced security and surveillance features at a great price. It gives homeowners better awareness and faster reaction time to events via real-time alerts and remote access. Ben Lomand will stock all popular Arlo cameras and accessories and provide professional installation and support. These cameras are excellent alternatives to traditional (wired surveillance) cameras and give the customer the advantage of easy location and relocation if needed," Chris said.

BLC GM/CEO Greg Smartt added, "We are listening to our customers' needs every day and are proud to announce the addition of Arlo to our residential and business security options.  We think customers will be impressed with all the options and customizations that Arlo can provide.  Our Ben Lomand Home line of equipment continues to expand and all these possibilities are brought through Ben Lomand Fiber."

BLC Arlo Secure packages start as low as $5.50 per month. More information about this or any of BLC's services can be found at and also at the BLC booth at the Homeland Community Bank Home Show Sunday afternoon from 1 p.m. - 4 p.m. at Milner Recreation Center.

Until next time,

same biz time,

same biz page

Thanks for reading and keep sending those tips and suggestions to and (931) 473-2191.