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We’d like to be closer friends with our new neighbors

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By The Staff

Here we sit, less than three weeks away from what is no doubt the biggest retail investment and also one of the biggest investments Shelby County has seen.

And while we’re excited for The Outlet Shoppes of the Bluegrass, and the tourism and jobs it will bring, we can’t help but feel a bit left out of the party.

While we whole-heartedly endorse the developers’ – Horizon Group Properties and CBL & Associates – commitment to charity and love the idea of having a VIP night that charges those interested in attending to donate to charity, we are left wondering why the charity can’t be here in Simpsonville or Shelby County, where the mall and many of its employees and everyday shoppers live.

We’ve supported the mall – and it’s more than 1,000 jobs – since the beginning and we even understood the attachment with Louisville the owners wanted to hold on to and display in the original name.

In fact, we’re not even opposed to the benefactor, the Louisville James Graham Brown Cancer Center. Who wouldn’t be in favor of helping cancer research since it touches so many lives?

But why couldn’t one of our many, many worthy charities have gotten 25 percent of the VIP night?

Why couldn’t one of our dozens of worthy outfits gotten 25 percent on the sale of the $5 coupon books they plan to sell to benefit The Brain and Behavioral Research Foundation?

You could argue that any Shelby countian that suffers from cancer or a brain injury could benefit from the donations that will be made to these groups, but would they benefit as much as if the Mercy Clinic received 25 percent? Or what about Open Door of Hope? Or any other group deemed worthy by the devlopers?

The fact is, despite the mall’s necessary attachment to Louisville – without Louisville’s population, tourist draw and tax base there is no mall – it’s a Simpsonville and Shelby County location.

We’ll provide a lot of the employees.

We’ll be the ones a little put out when large crowds come in around the holidays, for sales and for other special events.

The fact is, we are the mall’s neighbors.

When the mall gets in trouble and needs some help, it’ll be Shelby County and Simpsonville to the rescue.

We like to think we are friends with our neighbors, Shelby County and Simpsonville are friendly areas.

Go into any neighborhood and you’ll find kids playing in the cul-de-sac while a group of parents stand and chat.

That’s all we’re looking for here. We just want to be friends with the mall. Not necessarily best friends, we know it has needs that extend beyond what we can offer.

But if we’re friends – we don’t just nod our heads when we pass, but stop and chat for a minute – then we will start to look out for each other.

And when we look out for each other that will make our coexistence that much better.

So next time there’s a charity event, we hope The Outlet Shoppes of the Bluegrass can get its old friends and new friends together for the benefit of everyone.