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CLARKSVILLE, TN (WSMV) -
For more than six years, the Fort Campbell and Oak Grove community has heard talk of a new mall that could truly change the area.
With some neighbors having long given up hope that mall would ever be built, the city has finally announced construction starts Monday.
"I saw them ground break it a long time ago, so I was wondering if they're going to do anything," said neighbor Betty Larmore.
Just down Fort Campbell Boulevard across from Gate 7 are bold letters on a sign reading, 'Coming Soon'. Some Oak Grove residents didn't think that promise would ever happen.
"I was wondering when we were going to get it," said neighbor Diana Wilmoth. "It's been years now."
Speaking by phone, former Senator Joey Pendleton said he's been supporting the idea for a 110-acre Oak Grove mall for more than six years.
"We're trying to give something to our military, give them a place to go for entertainment, restaurants and a better quality of life," said Pendleton.
Pendleton added the project could bring more than 5,000 jobs to the area.
"I see a lot of people who are in need of work, so increasing that is imperative for this area right here," said Wilmoth.
According to Pendleton, the project's taken years because it's the only of its kind in Kentucky.
Mother-of-three Wilmoth said she's ready to see the construction next door.
"My husband's deployed right now, and I'm also a reservist, so I know what it's like to be in a military family," she explained. "Sometimes we don't have time to do anything. Having it closer to us would allow us to spend more time together as a couple and also as a family."
Other neighbors are voicing concerns over the increased traffic the mall will bring along Fort Campbell Boulevard.
For Wilmoth, 'Coming Soon' is an exciting promise.
"I think the good things outweigh the bad," she said.
Pendleton added, the projected $385 million price tag that comes with Oak Grove Village will be paid for with a tax increment funding plan. In it, 80 percent of taxes created by businesses in the new mall will go toward the construction costs.
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