- I've always hated malls. Glad to see their reign coming to an end
- I actually looked up the malls of my youth after this. The Glendale Galleria seems to be thriving.
The Eagle Rock Plaza is like it always was: borderline corny with a Macy's and a Target replacing the May Co. and Monkey Wards.
At some point there was a Old Navy there, but no more.
- Labelscar.com and Sky City 2 are good sites that feature both dead and thriving malls and the history and background of why some malls survive and others die.
- The ones that still have the Christmas decorations still up are especially creepy, but creepy in a good way.
- Anyone remember the link to that decrepit amusement park in Egypt (I think). I can't find it and would love to see those images again.
- Well, that's capitalism for you!
Whatever replaces the mall will soon be in a photoblog of dead whatevers.
- R2 - It seems as if the Malls that are surviving nowadays are the ones that cater to a variety of incomes or are in a desirable area and serve as a regional mall where people from all over shop. The Macy's/Target combo isn't surprising, and seems to work at a lot of malls nowadays. Target is viewed as a "good" Big Box store versus Walmart or Burlington Coat Factory.
Demographic changes, increased mobility, and department store consolidation killed a fuckload of malls throughout the USA. Stagnant incomes changed a lot of people's shopping habits too.
- Surely St. Louis leads the list with the most dead malls: Jamestown Mall, Northwest Plaza, Crestwood Plaza, Riverroads, Northland and St. Louis Center.
- Interesting to see abandoned Temples to Consumerism. That's what a mall is. Just look at the design of modern malls. Then look at old churches and you see the common elements.
- So now where I am I supposed to get my Orange Julius?
- They knocked our dead mall down and put up a Target / A&P / Applebees combo. I don't go near the place.
Actually, I rarely go to a mall and do almost all of my shopping online or in small, one of a kind, independently-owned stores. I did go to the mall last Saturday because I needed a hostess gift from Williams-Sonoma. I literally was almost run down by a brigade of women running through the mall pushing strollers with babies in them. At first I thought they were being chased and thought there was a terror attack but then I realized it was some sort of exercise club. Bizarre. But whatever.
- r8, I'll see your St. Louis and raise you a Buffalo, NY. Countless dead malls.
I find these blogs fascinating, haunting and melancholy. Since I was a suburban 80's rust belt kid, that was my life, the mall truly was a way of life. So weird to see all these big box stores vacant and sprawling malls just in ruins.
- Next to the Chess King store, r10. I heard there's a cruisy bathroom near the Papa Gino's but watch out for the older security guard, he has crabs.
Amazon, the internet, and smartphones killed the malls.
- When will the first retro mall open that will feature Woolworths with a luncheon counter, old school Sears....
I'm thinking in about 20 years this will happen. All the stores will be small versions of the original stores.
- If you like dead malls, read The Passage by Justin Cronin.
- Most of those malls were destroyed during the War on Christmas.
- Interesting, OP. I'm fascinated by empty buildings like this, possibly because we have so few of them where I live. Older strip malls close down, sure, but they're pretty quickly replaced (within a year or two) with newer, nicer construction. We've only had one true interior-aisle mall close down, but it was bulldozed and replaced with a ridiculously gargantuan (over 200,000 sq ft) Walmart superhypermegamart.
Like R2, I took this occasion to look up some of the malls I frequented in my '80s youth in Dallas. The formerly "nice" mall, called Prestonwood, was torn down entirely seven or eight years ago, and it used to have a freakin' Neiman-Marcus in it! It's been replaced by a big-box development. It closed because all the suburban people who used to shop there fled (thank you, white flight...) to areas much further north, and the mall stores moved along with them. The Prestonwood area of Dallas is apparently borderline "ghetto" these days, with a stunning number of low-rent payday loan and pawn shop places in the vicinity. The dozen-odd strip malls that surrounded Prestonwood, including two movie theaters that I remember as newly opened (circa 1980), have been bulldozed or "reinvented" as well. There's one true "dead mall" in my old North Dallas area, Valley View, that was hit hard by the late-'80s S&L depression and never really recovered; Dallas's only Bloomingdales store, then or now, opened and closed there within a space of less than a decade. I saw something about a plan, not yet implemented, to convert most of the mall space into some sort of massive 20-screen movie multiplex. (IIRC the "old" movie theater there had two or three screens.)
Interestingly, the one mall that was kinda in the dumps 25 years ago, NorthPark, has since rebounded into one of *the* most upscale malls in the country, and has what I think is the only full-sized Barneys location situated in a traditional indoor mall anywhere in the country, or certainly anywhere outside of the Northeast (along with the de facto flagship Neiman's and outlets of most of the boutiques you'd see on Madison Avenue).
- [quote]Demographic changes, increased mobility, and department store consolidation killed a fuckload of malls throughout the USA. Stagnant incomes changed a lot of people's shopping habits too.
In California, malls are now destinations for immigrants with a little pocket change.
The Glendale Galleria is mostly for the people left after the better-heeled ran to the Americana.
The Eagle Rock Plaza (as of last summer, anyway) seems a big place for Filipinos, except for Target, that attracts those Anglos who are middle class in name only.
- Anyone remember the 'Topanga Plaza' in Woodland Hills, CA., in the west valley ? When it first opened in the 60's , we we amazed by the center attraction - clear strings coming down from the ceiling, with drops coming down them. I kid you not. People would stand and stare like it was a beautiful sculpture. Pathetic. (But if anyone has a pic, I'd love to see it again).
- There was the Pasadena Mall, right on Colorado where the Rose Parade passes each year. It was built in the 70s. South Lake, the tony shopping destination of the city, didn't blink, and that mall, while not bad, just never caught on. It failed, but then South Lake lost all its tony stores, and then both places needed revivals. I understand they turned the Pasadena Mall into an outdoor shopping center, but I haven't visited. Last time I was on South Lake, I saw that Macy's had grabbed the Magnum's building and was across the street from a Ross for Less. One of the formerly prestigious bank buildings now houses a gym, where you can watch white people exercise in the big front windows, white people who obviously are from somewhere else and do not know any better.
Nearby, the nice Robinson's store is now a Target.
The most profitable venues seem to be all the parking structures recently erected by swarthy men from other countries who yell a lot.
- [quote] The Eagle Rock Plaza is like it always was: borderline corny with a Macy's and a Target replacing the May Co. and Monkey Wards.
Not quite. The 4-screen movie theatre is long gone, there's a quasi-supermarket (Seafood City) smack dab in the middle where the Casa Escobar Mexican restaurant once was, Jolibee (Filipino fast food) has replaced the Bob's Jr., and Goldilocks restaurant/bakery (a Filipino chain)has also moved in. Seeing a pattern here?
- [quote] The Eagle Rock Plaza (as of last summer, anyway) seems a big place for Filipinos, except for Target, that attracts those Anglos who are middle class in name only.
One poster's review on Yelp:
[quote] I'm not going to review Eagle Rock Plaza as a mall because let's call it what it is: A swap meet transplanted from Manila.
- I would guess one of the things that did malls in is they are super expensive to build and operate. They need tons of land, not just for the building but also for the parking. Those huge, cavernous spaces that need to be heated or air conditioned. That cant be cheap.
- Does it mean you're racist, r21?
Anyway, I just checked on these malls online. I haven't been to either one since the 80's. And as for the Eagle Rock Plaza being a shadow of it's former self, that was pretty much true the Glendale Galleria opened. Didn't know about the Americana. It does seem like a more upscale version of the Galleria.
- [quote] There was the Pasadena Mall, right on Colorado where the Rose Parade passes each year. It was built in the 70s.
yes. It was called Plaza Pasadena.
- [quote] Didn't know about the Americana. It does seem like a more upscale version of the Galleria.
The Americana is owned and was developed by the same person (Rick Caruso) who built The Grove.
- I cant see those pictures without thinking of either
A) "Dawn of the Dead" or
B) Jefferton Gate at the Plaza Square from "Tom Goes to the Mayor"
- Now it's called Paseo Colorado, and has a Gelson's, as well as residential units.
- First, check if a local government offered TIFs.
In Chicago's South suburbs, store chains move from town to town chasing TIF deals. As one town expires, another falls for the bait because of 'JOBS'.
Everyone of these stores leaves a vacant wasteland as soon as the tax incentives vanish.
- Nordstrom's is ditching the Glendale Galleria and is moving to the Americana. Bloomingdale's is moving into the old Mervyn's. I don't know what they have planned for the old Nordstrom space.
There are now Apple Stores in both the Galleria AND The Americana, which are across the street from each other. Is there anywhere else with two stores in such close proximity?
- Usually, when I look at pictures like these, of abandoned buildings or amusement parks, there's a sense of poignancy; a feeling of something that was once beautiful fallen into disrepair. I get nothing like that from these pictures; only the sense that American malls have no aesthetic value whatsoever. Cardboard architecture and disposable design.
- [quote] Nordstrom's is ditching the Glendale Galleria and is moving to the Americana.
Caruso "bought" the store. He also has the right to lease out the old space in Galleria 2.
[quote] There are now Apple Stores in both the Galleria AND The Americana, which are across the street from each other. Is there anywhere else with two stores in such close proximity?
I'm guessing that APPLE will close their Galleria location when their lease is up, much like Sephora did after they moved to the American, but briefly kept their Galleria store open as well.
- The last time I was in Nordstrom's the sales staff was all Armenian gals who didn't give a damn about the customer (if you know Nordstrom's, this was a shock and left a deep trauma.)
Hope the move to the Americana improves all that. I heard the Glendale Sears dumped a lot of their Armenians for roughing up customers.)
- Any Buffalo Gays remember
wait for it
The THRUWAY MALL, or when The MAIN PLACE MALL had Chess King and The Limited and AM&A's was across the street?
- Old malls and shopping centers don't make developers any money, thus we have a large, very nice, very EMPTY three box store strip mall from 1990 with a Kroger, Marshall's and Hobby Lobby sign still on each, with a newly opened Kroger Market Place on the next block with it's own group of satellite stores.
- What about those underground downtown malls? Any stories of them closing?
- The Eagle Rock Plaza again -- I remember it had a little movie theater, a sporting goods store, two record stores, Spencer's Gifts (that smelled of pachouli) Hillshire Farms(?) where are less lucky classmates had to wear weird uniforms and hand out sausage slices on a stick, a fountain, an Irish restaurant the seemed to be mostly old guy realtors and Chamber of Commerce types unhappy and drinking, a See's Candy store, the May Co and Montgomery Wards, the little Mexican Restaurant and the Bob's that we never went to because there was a real Bob's down Colorado at bit.
I remember one of the high school guys got a car and souped up the stereo with an equalizer with flashing lights that he used to boom for us as we waited all night for concert tickets to go on sale at the Ticketmaster office on the side of MW.
Later I learned that all towns had the same stores in the same sorts of Malls, but in Massachusetts, they also had open air bars, which rocked!
- Arcadia Mall -- bigger than the Eagle Rock Plaza and easier to get too. Most of us learned to drive in its parking lot.
An outdoor mall on the east edge of Pasadena with a huge movie theater and little outdoor shops in little groups.
Outdoor Alhambra Mall that looked like a Main Street of sorts (since it was on Main Street) until you went in the back and found acres of empty parking.
All sort of decayed, now.
- Arcadia Mall = Santa Anita Fashion Park? (Now Westfield Santa Anita?) It's hardly "decayed."
- [quote] an Irish restaurant the seemed to be mostly old guy realtors and Chamber of Commerce types unhappy and drinking
It was in the May Co.- Gilhooly's
- "if you know Nordstrom's, this was a shock and left a deep trauma."
- Google Wild West World if you want to read a tale of a western themed amusement park that a con artist got a church to help him fund near Wichita Ks. It went quickly went bankrupt and closed.
Now it has real tumbleweeds.
- San Jose has Santana Row and Rivermark where Indians who work in local high tech sweat shops show off their dockers and leased luxury cars.
- This is a good thread to re-post the hilarious pictures taken in shopping malls in 1990.
- Anyone else from Arkansas? McCain Mall in NLR is a weird case: whereas most dead malls are in correspondingly dead neighborhoods, McCain is surrounded by thriving big-box retail and upmarket suburban housing. Just the mall itself around which everything grew is dead, a white elephant everyone ignores.
RIP University Mall, now the site of a Target. In the late 70s/early 80s, University was LR's premiere cruising site.
- [quote]In California, malls are now destinations for immigrants with a little pocket change.
It's not just California. The Danbury Fair Mall in Danbury, CT was THE place for upper-middle class white folks back in the 80s and 90s. On a trip home recently I went in there (after not having been in there for many years) and many of the 'upscale' stores were gone and pardon me if this sounds insensitive, but it was mostly third-world immigrants who were straight off the boat or Puerto Ricans. All the more affluent white people moved on to open-air malls that are not on bus lines. Elsewhere in CT, there was talk of extending the bus lines to a relatively new open-air mall with a predominantly upper-class white clientele and people raised such a huge stink about it the plans were dropped. You can only get there by car.
- R44 This proves that the '80s did not end in 1989. At least with respect to hairstyles.
- Malls are horrible. In the city where I grew up, the old mall is now a Home Depot and a Dollar Store. The rest is used as meeting space for community organizations, which is actually a pretty good use for all that empty space. The old mall died after a new mall was built in the 1990s. The "new" mall is now dying and has just a few stores left. When I go home to visit, all the activity is in the old downtown, which was devastated by the first mall but has now made a comeback of sorts. Good to see the old downtown flourishing again.
- [quote]All the more affluent white people moved on to open-air malls that are not on bus lines. Elsewhere in CT, there was talk of extending the bus lines to a relatively new open-air mall with a predominantly upper-class white clientele and people raised such a huge stink about it the plans were dropped. You can only get there by car.
- One of the saddest malls I ever saw was in Eureka California. Once a destination for people living scores of miles around, it is now a place where the homeless keep warm.
The earthquake a few years back didn't help.
So sometimes it is not demographics, it is something else that I can't yet figure out. The demographics in Eureka didn't change, only the economy, but even in the little housing boom of 2003 - 2006, nothing in that mall improved.
- These malls wouldn't be dead if they had a Spencer's Gifts. Do you know how difficult it is to get Fart Spray?
And I bet many of them didn't have a Chess King or Fayva Shoes either!
- I hope this is a harbinger of a reincarnation of the old downtown multistory department store. If there is a trend toward carless living farther in toward city center it just may happen. I have always thought that the beautiful brick buildings that housed downtown department stores had much more character and taste than the boxy, tawdry, utilitarian shit called "malls". I understand there are a few cities where the downtown department store still exists but am not sure where--I know Hudson's in Detroit is not one of them.
- Joan Didion hated malls from the get go in the early 70s.
- R51, LOL, I totally forgot about Chess King! I used to buy clothes there in high school. Tragic but my tastes vastly improved.
- Amazing how the pot plants carry on living...
- It wasn't a REAL mall unless it had a Contempo Casuals!
- R52, I bet they're all Macy's now. The old Foley's in downtown Houston still putters along as a Macy's.
- r52, that would be nice, but those downtown department stores have got to offer something extraordinary to bring people in. Wouldn't it be nice if downtown department stores once again created an elegant restaurant that served food you wouldn't make at home or perhaps an ice cream parlor with marble countertops?
- The mall next to Stanford used to be quite the place, but I don't think it is any more.
- Macy's closed its location in downtown Missoula, a lovely old building that had been a department store for decades. The building has been repurposed as office and loft space, thank goodness.
- Union Square in SF has a mall but there is crime.
- Harvard Square turned into a mall, but I don't think iti s doing well any more.
- Yes, r58, and I think that is one of the reasons why Americans seek out department stores like Herrod's (among others) in London, KaDeWe in Berlin, or Cleary's in Dublin. I'm sure there are others in Paris, but haven't been there enough to know. Even if the restaurants you talk about were just plain ones yet served good food would be enough for me, but your suggestion is good too. I recall being in KaDeWe in Berlin a number of years ago and on the top(?) floor there is a "food hall" part of which sells candies. I saw (and bought) some items I hadn't seen in AGES in this country one of which were Jorday Almonds with an interesting silvery, shiny coating. I was so fascinated by something as simple as that which apparently someone "on high" decided we ought not have in this country any more. The United States could be so much more than it is now, one of the things that would make it so would be far less addiction to cars.
- Dead malls abound near the Canadian border where there had been a big cross border shopping boom in the 1980s and 1990s. Then in the early 1990s the value of the CA$ plummeted and many of these malls closed.
- I would rather have a mall than a fucking Walmart, Target or Kmart every two miles.
Which is what this country is heading towards becoming.
- [quote] Americans seek out department stores like Herrod's (among others) in London
- A big part of that r64 is the favorable exchange rate for Americans between the Canadian dollar and the American one. I think for quite a while (maybe they still do) it was also fueled by "senior" Americans getting better deals on drugs they needed than what they could get in this country, among other things. I used to live near Buffalo, NY and one of the amusing/fun things about Fort Erie, on the Canadian side, was the plethora of Chinese restaurants that all had pretty good food for a very cheap price since the exchange rate was so good.
- Even though it wasn't real, Bil and Ted's San Dimas Mall looked fun...
- Here's a clip of Six Flags New Orleans. It closed in 2005 prior to Katrina and never reopened. The accompanying music makes it creepy and sad.
- Six Flage New Orleans was ghetto as hell. They were right to shut it down. Read the reviews on Yelp if you don't believe me.
- The Westside Pavillion waxes and wanes
- Fantazyland Amusement Park. Not dead, just really, really bad.
- [quote]where are less lucky classmates
Did your classmates know the difference between "are" and "our"?
- [quote]Six Flage New Orleans was ghetto as hell.
- Someone with the right money and talent could turn the dead malls into a really interesting living space for young professionals. Imagine - a movie theater, food venues, laundry, a salon, etc all included in your rent. You get your choice of floorplan. Social activities are arranged. Your laundry is done for you. Plenty parking and storage space. It has potential.
- I worked in a building back in the 80s that was designed to become a mall at a moment's notice.
At the time, it was a design and manufacturing firm.
- R52, I think there's zero chance any downtown multi-story stores will reopen - not counting ones already bought by Macy's. Hell, even the grandaddy of them all, Marshall Field's in Chicago, is now a Macy's! If it can't make it I don't see what can, unless you live in NYC or SF. I'm surprised even the Macy's stores hang on in downtown areas, actually.
R58, an elegant restaurant in a department store? TODAY? Please. Even among fine dining restaurants, there are VERY few places today that retain traditional formality, even among Michelin three-star eateries. That model works overseas, but not here.
- Slightly OT, but when I lived on the Main Line in the late 1990s, the weekly paper (The Main Line Times) would include a crime log. It read like this:
Genuardi's reported a dark-skinned man stole three cartons of cigarettes from the store. Police apprehended the suspect at the nearby bus stop.
Frou-frou Boutique reported a dark-skinned lady left the store with a rack full of clothing she grabbed and ran out of the store with upon entering. Police apprehended the suspect at the nearby bus stop.
This approach also applied to the Lord & Taylor on City Line Ave--people would grab whole racks of merchandise by the door, and 2/3 of them would be caught at the bus stop waiting to get back to West Philly.
- [quote]Someone with the right money and talent could turn the dead malls into a really interesting living space for young professionals.
Young professionals don't want to live in the neighborhoods that have dead malls.
- Puts me in mind of Dawn of the Dead.
- **Breaking News**: reports of shots fired at Clackamas Town Center in Portland
- R23 makes a great point.
Add to the expense in continuous operations with changing lifestyle collectively from the U.S. citizenry.
[bold]Today's Shopping Experience[/bold]
Indoor malls, with three or four department store anchors (like JcPenney, Macy's, Sears, etc.), fell out of fashion.
People going to major shopping centers apparently don't want to navigate indoor malls, like they did in decades past, so they can just hit immediately where they're wanting to go. Turn outdoor major shopping into some big theme "experience," and that's where we're at. If there's enough open land, just build one or two big-box stores. Surround with medium-sized shopping stores (where nearly everything else is well under 10,000 square feet (compared to the big-box store being well above 100,000 square feet), and you have the current "experience."
Big-box stores would include not so much Walmart Supercenter but a Target (a supercenter will be 200,000 square feet; a midsize Target, with some limited grocery items, is closer to 125,000 sq. ft.).
Count on Best Buy. Have a Home Depot or Kohls. Have a Barnes & Noble (around 50,000 sq. ft.). See the fitness center. Have a whole bunch of convenient eateries which doesn't take up much space. (Like Jimmy John's, Five Guys Burgers and Fries. A convenient Mexican eatery like Chipotle.)
Have cell phone companies -- Sprint, Verizon, et al. -- along with a video-game store like Game Stop. Have a lot of girly stores. (Fashion for teens; fashion for women.) Have shoe stores which are better for serving women than men. Have a Bed Bath & Beyond. Have a Bath & Body Works (not sure of the wording). Have a crafts store.
Include a Starbucks. Maybe one fast-food chain, like Taco Bell. Have a "name" ice cream store. Also include a specialty convenience, like a Panera.
Make sure there are separate units of chain restaurants. Applebees. Chili's. Macaroni Grill. Olive Garden. Red Lobster. Ruby Tuesday. A "name" steak house.
Make certain there is at least one financial institution of some kind too.
- R80, perhaps. But it's still an intriguing idea.
- R73 That was awful. I'd be afraid to go on any of those rides. Can you imagine how poor their safety record must be?
- I remember in one of those documentaries about Tammy Faye, she visited the ruins of Evangelicalville or whatever their fundamentalist amusement park was called. It looked about like the link in R73.
- How are the suburban Chicago malls doing? Suburban DC? Suburban Boston?
- [quote]Count on Best Buy.
That's not what I've heard
- Suburban Portland Mall -- man with a rifle fired at least 20 shots, downing two.
No link -- this was breaking on TV.
- R89 I think that would come under the heading "Dead AT Malls."
- [quote]Suburban Portland Mall -- man with a rifle fired at least 20 shots, downing two.
What? What? I live in downtown Portland!!!
Oh, it's in Clackamas.
- [quote]Puts me in mind of Dawn of the Dead.
- Hey, I thought this thread was about dead malls, not being shot dead in a mall. Oh well, it wouldn't be Christmas in America without some random crazed gun violence.
- How things change. A few decades ago, the management and tenants of a nearby mall complained about kids hanging around all day and not spending any money. Now they complain about seniors doing the same.
- R83 - Those type of so-called "Lifestyle Centers" have popped up all over here in the Atlanta suburbs, and in scores of suburbs nationwide. Notice that many of them don't have Food Courts or Movie Theaters, which tend to attract hordes of teenagers, no-counts, and ner'do-wells.
Many of these lifestyle centers are usually far-flung and typically do not have any bus or train stops that would bring in riff-raff.
As quiet as its kept, hordes of white teens hanging out in a mall are only considered a mere nuisance by most people, but hordes of Black or Hispanic teens hanging out in a mall are considered dangerous by the vast majority of white shoppers. If they don't feel safe shopping there, the mall dies quickly. In general, no one cares if blacks are robbed or shot in a mall parking lot or store, but when those types of crimes affect white shoppers, then it's finally seen as a major problem. This killed a lot of malls back in the 80's and 90's long before Internet shopping became a factor.
In addition to the multitude of reasons stated by other posters, lots of working-class areas declined severly after the manufacturing based economy was decimated in the 80's. Incomes stagnated or declined, crime increased, and those with the means to leave left.
Oh, dear. Sounds like something from "The Big Bang Theory."
- The Bayshore Mall in Eureka
- San Jose's Eastridge Mall
- R98 I lived in San Jose from 1974-1976 and Eastridge was a huge deal back then. It was the only mall around with FOUR major department store anchors. But it was always in a semi-sketchy part of town, and with no close freeway access, so I had my doubts about its long-term success.
- [quote]All the more affluent white people moved on to open-air malls that are not on bus lines.
[quote]typically do not have any bus or train stops that would bring in riff-raff.
This thread is the first time I've realized how flyover America views public transit.
- Why not just tear them down and turn them into parks, nature reserves or open space? If this is a kind of beginning of freeing ourselves from dependence upon automobiles then what else can be done with land that is essentially only accessible by car? Maybe this might be a good time to invest in machinery that tears up and recycles asphalt parking lots. I think dead and dying malls are a good sign, returning that land to nature would be an even better one. Every tree planted is that much more carbon dioxide pulled out of the atmosphere that helps cause global warming and in turn gigantic, destructive storms like Hurricane Sandy. The fewer vehicles of several tons carrying a single driver of barely over 100 lbs, most often females as the statistics go now, the better. It' time to DEMAND a passenger train system for the USA on a par with those of Europe and Japan. Heavily tax households that have more than one gas guzzling vehicle!
- Cupertino's VallCo will be Vietnamese in the way that the Eagle Rock Plaza is Filipino:
- R100, there are entire communities in the Chicago suburbs that refused sidewalks because they encourage wandering brown people.
My village may get a commuter train in about ten years. The concern is that a train stop will attract poor (brown) people. It's twisted as all shit. If you don't live around this bullshit, than you are blessed.
- San Jose refused BART because of brown people.
- R100 - It's the reflection of the auto-centric society of America in general. It's caused a culture of isolation and xenophobic suburbanites who are closed off and insulated from "others." It has nothing to do with being in "flyover" country because these attitudes are just as prevalent in the suburbs of coastal, cosmopolitan cities too. I don't make the news, I just report it.
And last time I checked, WeHo is just one part of a much larger mega metro area, one that has had a reputation for years as being auto-centric, sprawling, and alienating, so get off your high-horse. Sure, public transportation has improved in Southern California over the years, but Los Angeles perfected the concept of the auto-oriented sprawl burb full of malls long before Dallas, Houston, or Phoenix did.
- Public transportation outside of the major cities is filled with lower-income people. Here in CT nobody even remotely middle-class would think of using it. It is the complete opposite of somewhere like NY where everybody uses the bus line and subway regardless of socioeconomics.
It is understood that once a bus line is expanded to a certain area, it will attract riff-raff types and property values will go down. Not to mention muggings and theft. This has happened over and over. In West Hartford the big 'lifestyle center' open-air mall is called Blue Back Square and not only do bus lines not go there, but the only parking option is a parking garage where you have to pay. The anchor store is a Barnes & Noble and the movie theater only accepts reservations via Internet. Needless to say, you won't see any riff-raff types within a square mile of the place.
- When I saw this thread title the first thing I thought of was Northwest Plaza in St. Louis. In the 70s it was the largest mall in the metro area and *the* place to shop. Now it is derelict, falling apart, and the only real activity going on is of the criminal type.
- Strange reading this thread because they've very recently built two vast shopping malls in London and they're a huge success.
They cater mostly for young women between the ages of 15 and 30. Mostly clothes shops and cafes that you see everywhere else and very uninspiring.
Even though they're vast, they're very muggy and airless and echo with the sound of the cheap, shrill noise that passes for pop music in 2012.
- What killed malls is that middle class no longer has the disposable income to shop there and buy all that crap. Duh. It has nothing to do with an advancing aesthetic (obviously, as Wal-Mart and Costco are a major step down from the malls, a few of which were actually pleasant).
- During my 1993 London visit, the desk clerk at my hotel said I just HAD to check out the new mall near Paddington. I thought it was just a new mall -- it turns out it was one of the first malls in the city.
Rich Arab people liked it, but I just saw the usual thing.
- [quote]During my 1993 London visit, the desk clerk at my hotel said I just HAD to check out the new mall near Paddington.
I can't think of any mall near Paddington, old or new, R110.
They're still a relatively new phenomenon here and people seem to love them.
The people who are building them know exactly what will work...clothes shops for young women and 'stylish' cafes. You can't buy anything useful there. We also have to pay a lot to park in them and even so it's hard to find a place.
- What killed malls is online shopping, as well as people trolling the malls and not really buying anything except some ice cream or a soft pretzel. People browse now at the mall and don't actually purchase nearly as much as they once did.
- It was Whiteleys in Bayswater, r111, which to a Los Angelino is quite close to Paddington.
- [quote] Public transportation outside of the major cities is filled with lower-income people.
In some major cities that's what it's mostly filled with too.
- Oh, Whiteleys...I never really think of it as a mall as it's a former dept store. It IS close to Paddington. It's now failing because of the new place I linked to.
- The one in buena Park is practically there.
- [quote]What killed malls is that middle class no longer has the disposable income to shop there and buy all that crap.
Apparently NJ didn't get that message as I'm about a half hour or so away from about 8 (!) malls - Newport Center, Jersey Gardens, Willowbrook, Menlo Park, Short Hills, Livingston, Garden State Plaza and Woodbridge.
- For R87, the suburban Chicago malls are a mix, with some still successful and some not.
Woodfield off of I-19 is still a bustling place, with a huge crowd and an impossible to navigate parking lot during the holidays. The location of many outparcel stores, too (Ikea).
Stratford Square is still doing okay, but was a much more populated hangout when I was in high school in 1989.
Charlestowne Mall in St. Charles is basically dead, except for the movie theatre, a Kohl's, and a Von Maur store with a weird ability to hang on. Essentially, an outdoor mall was built a short drive west (Geneva Commons) and it took most of the clients away from Charlestowne Mall. It's still the movie theatre of choice for the family, but we're just waiting for the day it is closed.
There's also a successful mall to the north on Randall Road, Algonquin Mills, which is another outdoor mall.
Another favorite stop that somehow managed to successfully market itself as upscale, the outdoor mall called The Arboretum at 72 (Higgins) and 59. They have a neat LL Bean store, but they would have died without the South Barrington town clients.
And of course any post about Chicago area malls would be lacking without a mention of the first dead mall, which was featured in The Blues Brothers in 1980, the Courtland Mall of Park Ridge.
Panera on Randall still makes me sick up
- I work in the building connected to Newport Center, and it's all crappy clothing and cell phone stores. No Barnes and Noble, no Apple Store, no Pottery Barn, no Restoration Hardware, no Crate and Barrel, no Starbucks, no Banana Republic, no decent restaurants...only crap the ghetto kids want to buy.
- So, Kohl's is the kiss of death store for a mall?
- You mean Clair's don't you r119.
- R118 - What about Gurnee Mills? I know that Water Tower and North Bridge are doing well on Michigan Avenue, but how about Ford City and The HIP on the NW side?
- R120 - I think GNC is the kiss of death store for a mall. Even the most deserted malls usually have one GNC location hanging on for dear life.
- Are you asking if I work at Claire's, r121?
- R112 is right. People may look around in a mall, but they buy on line or in a Costco or Target where they can buy a cotton sweater, lucky jeans, and a take and bake pizza. Culture evolves the same way that large downtown dept stores closed due to the suburban shopping malls, which are closing today. A great example is Borders and Media Play. They could not compete with on line books or the book discounts at warehouse clubs. Now a lot of upscale stores like Brooks Brothers and Pottery Barn are hurting due to high mall rent and window shoppers who look and buy elsewhere.
- College malls often do well --
A $1.2-billion expansion of student, academic and retail space at USC has been unanimously approved by the Los Angeles City Council, a project that will create more than 12,000 jobs and potentially ease student housing demand in the campus neighborhoods.
The 15-0 vote brought cheers and applause from a City Hall chamber filled with union workers, university staffers, anti-poverty advocates and students. Over the 20-year-life of the development agreement, direct and indirect benefits to the local community could total than $5 billion, Councilwoman Jan Perry's office said.
USC agreed to pay $20 million into a fund to maintain affordable housing in the area, one of the most poverty-stricken in the city. The university will also build a new fire station, pay for programs at local schools and parks, make upgrades to Vermont Avenue and Jefferson Boulevard and operate a legal aid clinic for local residents.
"This will result in more housing that is accessible for area residents, and brings quality retail options to an area that still lacks movie theaters and sit-down restaurants,'' Perry said.
The broad support seen Tuesday resulted from four years of meeting with city and community leaders to hammer out an acceptable deal, said Thomas Sayles, USC's vice president of community relations. He called it a "great day" for the university, for its South Los Angeles neighbors and for the city, which is expected to reap higher tax receipts.
"It's a process,'' Sayles said after the vote. "But at the end of the day, this is what we wanted."
Construction is slated to begin in about a year, he said.
- Gurnee Mills is doing alright, R118, but the "outlet mall" concept is not doing as well in the suburbs as one might imagine. There's another outlet mall in the far west suburbs, called Huntley Outlet Center. They have a good amount of foot traffic during the holidays, but if you were to go back in March or April it would be very quiet. Always lots of empty parking space.
I think that Ford City and Harlem Irving Plaza will always do a bit better than the malls that are further out, there's more population and better public transportation for the malls that are closer in to the city.
Yorktown and Oak Park Mall are both less crowded than I remember them growing up, but they are still in areas where they are tradition or the main game in town.
Spring Hill Mall in the Dundee area is doing fairly well, but it has quite a few stores that are closed (notably a large furniture store that used to be a t-shirt store directly located near the food court). The fast-food chains are also vacating the food court regularly, it's become an odd collection of non-chain places (with one Sbarro and one Manchu Wok holding on for dear life.)
- LOL No I was bouncing off your last line of ghetto stuff r119.
Ghetto stuff = Claire's
- Stratford Square?!?! Oh lord, R118, did we cruise each other as gaylings? I worked at the Marshall Fields @ the tie counter.
- Spencers Gifts, yes, but don't forget Miller's Outpost!
- For those of you asking about Northwest Plaza in St. Louis, this link provides a fascinating read on its rise and decline. Basically, the age-old story of demographic changes, perception of crime, and a newer, shinier mall (St. Louis Mills) being built nearby and the renovation of an upscale popular mall (St. Louis Galleria), and even a misguided attempt at remodeling (outdoor converted into indoor) killed NW Plaza. Seemed like it was an awesome place way back when.
- Small world R129, s-mall world!
- [quote] Marshall Fields
Brings a tear. God how I miss it, especially the flagship store on State.
Damn you Macy's!
- R83, I think I have to agree with the criticism of "older" malls you posted. I *detest* malls, and these days the ONLY reason I go is because it's where the nearest Apple Store is located in my city. I'd *really* prefer it if I could park right next to its entrance and walk right in instead of having to walk a half-mile to get there.
- Okay r117, then lets talk about that fucking monstrosity in the Meadowlands that never even opened called Xanadu.
- I confess that I used to be a mall-a-holic. I knew ALL the malls in my area (and there are a LOT) and also made it a point to visit every mall in every city I visited. But that was in the days when every mall was unique, and there were a lot of regional and local stores and restaurants. All malls seem to have pretty much the same mix of stores nowadays.
Now I almost NEVER go to malls, and if I do, it's only to visit one or two stores that aren't available elsewhere. Otherwise, I can usually find a better, more convenient alternative, either online or in a non-mall retail establishment, for my purchases.
- I went to Mall of America for the first time around Christmas last year. It was super busy, packed. First time I had been to an indoor mall in years. Couldn't wait to leave.
- R137 Ever since it was built, I had wanted to go to the Mall of America. Finally, one year I had to go to Chicago for work, and I rented a car and DROVE to the Twin Cities. All I could say was "Is that all there is?" What a joke. Unfortunately I've never made it to the West Edmonton Mall.
- Yep, malls in college towns do very well.
I went to Syracuse University. Carrousel Mall is still a big, BIG part of Syracuse's economy. There will never, ever be a shortage of rich kid SU undergrads (believe me I wasn't) who will be spending thousands upon thousands of mummy and daddy's cash at that expensive mall.
The success of that place is like out of a different era. Movie theater, food court, around 5 casual restaurants that most normal people wouldn't be embarrassed to eat in, and about every trendy chain clothing store you can think of. The place isn't cheap, either.
I seem to remember some big to do about a shitload of taxpayer $$ that got invested to do some kind of expansion on the mall that never happened. But Syracuse is a very economically depressed city. There is a huge gap between the haves and have nots. There is, literally, a "wrong side of the tracks." Syracuse U and the mall are the only two things that keep that city alive. If SU ever were to end for whatever reason, the mall would be next and that damn city would turn into Flint, Michigan faster than you can say "Otto the Orange."
- The Carousel Mall in Syracuse now goes by the creepy and ironic name of Destiny USA.
The mall where Blues Brothers was filmed was Dixie Square in Harvey, IL. It was one of the first failed dead malls and sat abandoned and decrepit for 30 plus year until finally being demolished in 2012.
- You are right, R140, thank you!
- The funny thing about malls is that the very thing they're design for (or to do), herding people in one specific area, can also spell doom for it, ie if that herding disappears for x number of reasons: redirected by another mall, etc. No one has figured that out yet?
- Gateway Center in Brooklyn is accessible off the Belt Parkway. Near Spring Creek Park, Gateway Center is one of the largest suburban-style retail developments with over 630,000 square feet of shopping experiences.
The Gateway Center is not accessible by bus or subway and is located in a predominately African/American neighborhood, Canarsie. The reasoning for that was they didn't want kids hanging around the place at night after the place was closed.
- R143 I have to admit I'm not that familiar with the outer boroughs, but I always thought that pretty much ALL of NYC was accessible by either subway or bus.
- Beverly Center is bustling again after going more upscale to compete with the Grove. They now have Dior and Henri Bendel.
Then right across the street at Beverly Connection, you have your Target, Ross, Marshall's and Nordstrom Rack.
- The ultimate in dereliction ephemera porn.
Gateway was built on landfill. It originally was just a swamp. There is a subway line but it's quite a hike to get to the mall. I just checked google map and they did extended the B83 bus route so that they also didn't have a long schelp to get there. But originally they did not have direct or convenient mass transit to Gateway.
- Do malls still hold appeal to today's teenagers the way they did to '80s and '90s teens? I admit to being a mallrat as a teen because that was the only place to go and hang out and be seen, but it seems like they aren't as much a destination to my more tech-savvy nieces and nephew's generation.
- r148 packs of teens no longer hang out in malls like our generation did. Kids today are in their rooms in front of their gaming systems, laptops and mobile devices. Technology has changed everything.
- brown people ruin everything!
- I remember in the Glendale Galleria, older people stopped going at night because of the packs of teens lurking in the food courts. And these were all blonde teens, but still rather scary.
Then I read this was becoming a national problem, and many malls started having curfews. I had stopped going by then and had moved up state to San Jose, but then the Depression hit (it started in 2003) and saw that, while the kids were no longer there in late night groups, all the unemployed people had massed in the food courts.
With each surge in unemployment, the malls grew more crowded, and then, in 2006 when the faux recovery occurred, the unemployed people were joined by the H1-Bs who were imported for the new jobs, making the malls even more crowded still.
But no one was buying anything.
- [quote]This thread is the first time I've realized how flyover America views public transit.
Actually, it's as old as the hills and hardly American. In the 19th century many London neighbourhoods fought tooth and nail to keep the trams from running in their area.
- [quote]Okay R117, then lets talk about that fucking monstrosity in the Meadowlands that never even opened called Xanadu.
Not only did Xanadu never open, it wasn't even halfway completed. Plus, it was designed as an entertainment center and was being built when the economy collapsed. It's existence, such as it is, neither proves nor disproves anything.
In contrast, the other 8 - again [italic]8[/italic] - shopping malls I referred to that are within a half hour of me are alive and well.
And as I understand this thread, it's about dead malls - which was why I was making the point that the NE part of the state seems to be (at least for the time being) immune from the dying mall syndrome.
- Do any other Chicagoans remember Old Chicago in Bolingbrook? It was the huge mall with the indoor amusement park that only lasted a few years in the late '70s. I went once when I was maybe 8 or 9 and barely remember it, but I clearly remember the TV commercials.
- Albee Square Mall in Brooklyn was built in the mid 90's and lasted until 3-4 years ago. It was right off a major shopping street (Fulton Street) so it got a lot of traffic. It's big store was a large Toys'R'Us. The rest of the place never really took off - people drifted through it but there was nothing special there.
It went downhill fast - 1/2 the stores closed. Then the discount and markdown places cropped up. At the end, it was nothing but cheap jewelry and sneakers and those cart kiosks things selling phone accessories.
It was sold and torn down about 2 years ago and turned into something called "Citypoint" - the developers plan it to be similar to Brooklyn Flea in Red Hook. That whole area is being revitalized, mostly due to the new Barclays Center.
- You nailed it, R51!
- They're used for housing drug deals and prostitutes doing hand jobs.
OP = One sick fuck.
- [quote]Do malls still hold appeal to today's teenagers the way they did to '80s and '90s teens? I admit to being a mallrat as a teen because that was the only place to go and hang out and be seen,
You only want to know, so you can drag yourself there and perv on them.
No teens of todays, usually hold jobs and have a lot of homework and sports, so they have little time to waste.
They keep in touch with their iPhones and iPads and Facebook.
It's much safer than exposing your sons and daughters to the pedophiles that hang out in malls.
- [quote] You only want to know, so you can drag yourself there and perv on them.
- So why don't they tear them down and let the property go back to nature?
- [quote]And these were all blonde teens, but still rather scary.
- [quote]Blonde Armenians?
Long before all that...late 80s/early 90s.
- Not in the 80s R161. The Armenian invasion (thanks Larry Zarian!) hadn't started full force yet.
I hope the Turks discover our fair city. Maybe they'll,drive all of the Armenian criminals out of here.
- It isn't Armenians per se -- I grew up in Little Armenia and my neighbors were gems -- it is the Soviet Armenian invasion (mid-90s on). Those people can be serious thugs.
- [quote] it is the Soviet Armenian invasion (mid-90s on). Those people can be serious thugs.
Yep. Fucking trash and thieves, every last one of them.
- I worked a few years at the Methuen Mall, in Massachusetts. It was put out of business by the Rockingham Park mall in Salem, NH.
Some of the rest rooms were cruisy, and I didn't even know at the time.
- Not much dick to suck at ALL in THOSE men's rooms. 'tis a pity.
- In Baton Rouge we only have two malls, where the white people shop and where the white people USED to shop.
- Yesterday a friend and I decided to head south of the border and doi some Xmas shopping in Buffalo, NY at the Walden Galleria. Not a "dead mall" per se, but for an evening 2 weeks before Xmas the mall was SHOCKINGLY quiet. you could havfe throw a bowling ball in any diorection along the main hallways and not hit a soul!. We went into Macy's and the ONLY other people we saw were some very bored staff . Every store seemed to be the same...we expected mad Xmas crowds like we see at malls in Toronto, but instead this great mall felt like a ghost town.
Is all of America this quiet for shopping 2 weeks before Xmas?
- [quote]Do any other Chicagoans remember Old Chicago in Bolingbrook? It was the huge mall with the indoor amusement park that only lasted a few years in the late '70s. I went once when I was maybe 8 or 9 and barely remember it, but I clearly remember the TV commercials.
Oh my! I'm from WI and in high school our show choir did a show tour through the mid-west. We stopped there one evening. The only distinct thing I recall is someone throwing up on a ride.
- [quote]Is all of America this quiet for shopping 2 weeks before Xmas?
Many are on line. I don't think this is the reason malls died, but shopping from home was a great alternative for many from the get go.
- [quote]Here's a clip of Six Flags New Orleans. It closed in 2005 prior to Katrina and never reopened.
They shot some of the new Percy Jackson movie there this past summer.
- [quote] Yesterday a friend and I decided to head south of the border and doi some Xmas shopping in Buffalo, NY at the Walden Galleria.
I went to the school right across the field from the Galleria. Imagine being in Junior High in the early 90s in science class and watching them build a new massive mall right across the way. Heavenly!
I'm surprised you say it was dead. Usually that mall is packed, and it's pretty much the only successful mall in the county. Eastern Hills is creepy and its days are numbered (even though it's on a densely packed major avenue) and Boulevard Mall seems to be doing well. The McKinley Mall has always been my favorite for sentimental reasons.
I would hardly call the Galleria a dead mall, not compared to other dead malls in Buffalo that are gone, like the Thruway Mall, Seneca Mall and Como Park Mall.
- [quote]In Baton Rouge we only have two malls, where the white people shop and where the white people USED to shop.
This was the case in Little Rock, as well, with the twist that the two malls (Park Plaza and University Mall, cf R45) were right across the street from each other. The "black" mall was accessible to transit and the white mall inaccessible, as there's no really good way to cross at that corner.
In the 90s they became the territories of rival gangs. University Mall was torn down a few years ago to make way for a Super Target.
- Funny how white people still manage to circumvent any association with non-whites.
- I love Orange Julius.
- This is why you can't go to malls anymore:
- [quote]I find these blogs fascinating, haunting and melancholy.
Agreed. Something I can't put my finger on.
And R31, despite the tacky and commercial nature of the malls, they still have a sense of poignancy.
It's not about the shopping or the X, Y, Z, I can mention, just a sense of atmosphere and the past.
- More about the transit and no sidewalks in neighborhoods, please.
- I love the smell of the cigar shops. That sweet vanilla pipe tobacco smell.
- Dead Sea Salt killed the malls
- I agree, 181. I don't even smoke cigars, but I do love the aroma of a cigar shop.
- OMG! I just found out that Eastland Mall in Charlotte NC closed a few years ago. Boarded up. Deserted.
I live on the West Coast now, but Eastland was the place to hang out when I was a teen in the early 80s. Spent many, many hours in that mall. The place even had an ice skating rink!
Last time I visited it, in the early 2000s, it had declined drastically, having many ethnic shops. So, not too much of a surprise that its now shut down.
Very sad to think that its gone now.
- Upthread, demographic shifts were cited in killing some malls, whereas limiting public transportation allowed others to still flourish.
Then there is the "Old Town" concept that was popular 10 or 15 years ago. Is that still big?
- According to my sister, only "whores" shopped at Hot Topic, and Structure was for "douchebag types."
Child of the 90s.
- What's the "Old Time" concept?
- r187 The Old TOWN concept (Not Old Time) is about revitalizing portions of a center city area with trendy shops and restaurants.
Old Town Pasadena was a dying area in the early 90s until they starting bringing in popular restaurants, added a movie theatre, got some chain shops. Now, it's a very hip place to be, packed with tourists and locals most weekends.
- Actually, the catalyst for all that was the restaurant chain, "Old Spaghetti Warehouse."
- Indoor malls are out-of-date. They are now being replaced by outdoor malls (not to be confused with factory stores) like in the picture below.
I personally like the outdoor mall atmosphere better. You can simply drive up to the stores you want to go through instead of walking up and down long, noisy, crowded halls like in indoor malls.
- Teens don't hang out at malls anymore because they don't have jobs, and therefore spending money.
Malls were killed not by changing fashion - WalMart is really just a rural department store - but because of the decline of the American middle class with and extremely sharp contraction in disposable income.
As a shopping concept, the mall is better able to fend off the internet than the big box store because it caters to people without an extent knowledge of what they want in advance.
- R53, you have it backwards. Joan Didion LOVED malls. She writes about going to the mall for a toaster but ends up buying other crap as well, "but I regretted only the toaster."
- Outdoor malls are depressing. It's like a fake town street, a grotesque wrong copy of the Main Street they destroyed.
- Who needs expensive, overpriced malls when you can get things cheaper online? And a lot of times with free shipping if you spend a certain amount.
- I love threads like this. They give a certain kind of sad queen the chance to exhibit some class and race snobbery. Of course you wouldn't like malls, they're where the COMMON people go (including those nasty minorities).
I wish some of you would speak in real life as you write on DL. You would get the reality checks--and dislocated noses--that you deserve.
- Western Pennsylvania is Dead Mall USA.
Century III mall located southeast of Pittsburgh is a ghost town. One expects to see tumbleweeds rolling across the walkways. Most of the parking lot is closed off. Every time I go there, I keep looking to see what closed since my last visit. For years there has been rumors that University of Pittsburgh Medical Center or Community College of Allegheny County are planning to buy the mall for their own uses. The management at the mall keeps the rest rooms in good condition.
The Foundry Mall in Washington PA, 30 miles south of Pittsburgh closed before it opened. Penny's re-located its store from one of the other malls (I cannot remember if it was the Washington or the Franklin) but soon closed it. There was talk of lawsuits and countersuits about construction shortcomings.
The nearby Franklin and Washington Malls are on life support.
The Greengate Mall, 30 miles east of Pittsburgh was torn down and a large strip mall -- aka a Towne Squre -- replaced.
The Eastland Mall in North Versailles, fairly close to Pittsburgh was torn down years ago.
Pittsburgh Mills, northeast of Pittsburgh, which is only ten or so years old, is another ghost town. Legal suits kept delaying the mall's construction. While the mall is a ghost town, the strip malls surrounding it are all doing well.
Northway Mall off of McKnight Road is another ghost town.
Monroeville Mall, the major mall in the eastern suburbs, has been slipping down hill for sometime. However Cinemark is to open a new multi-plex in the mall
- McKnight Road was the scene of one of my travel horror stories.
- If there are no malls, where are the teens? On-line in their rooms?
- I forgot the Station Square mall across the river from Downtown Pittsburgh. One of its largest tenants is a secretarial school.
- [quote] Is all of America this quiet for shopping 2 weeks before Xmas?
It's a lot quieter than it used to be. A lot of people give gift cards as Christmas presents, so more shopping is done after Christmas.
- Some links, #1
- and # 2
- Does anyone know if those overpriced condos are selling at the Glendale Americana?
- Americana Condos
- three things I always google late at night:
Abandoned Amusement parks
No idea why.
- Americana Condos
- When local indoor malls were built, there were shortcuts in them. In the mall closest to me, you could cut through McCrory's to get to Macy's at the other side of the mall. You could cut through another store and get to A&S. Even the now-gigantic Roosevelt Field mall had shortcuts. Some were through stores, some were little alleys.
The mall operators closed all the shortcuts so that people would have to walk through the entire mall and pass all of the stores. I guess this helped business back then, but it irritates people now. The people who first started going to malls were my parents generation. My mother is now 82. She drives to a store and goes in, then comes out and drives away. She cannot walk through a mall anymore. And young people don't hang out at malls because security guards don't let them linger in the food court or anywhere else. Back in the 90s, I watched security guards make kids leave even if they were just sitting around doing nothing.
- It seems from the Americana reviews that one pays most for the location and it isn't a good deal.
As for the forced march described in r207, the only people who liked that were the old people who used to use the mall to exercise by circling the indoors a couple of times in the AM before heading to the food court for coffee.
- Old people don't do that anymore because of the cost of gas. They can't afford to drive to the mall every day.
- In Birmingham, we had Eastwood Mall, touted as the first indoor mall in the Southeast and the third largest mall in the country when it opened in 1960. After a slow, steady decline, it was torn down in 2006 to make way for a Walmart-anchored strip mall.
Across the road from Eastwood was Century Plaza, which was hyped as the biggest mall between Atlanta and Houston when it opened in 1976. By the time it closed four years ago, it was regarded as dangerous by nervous white people.
- Someone should do a thread on... Dead Blockbuster Stores.
- R196 Yes - I cosign all of this. Greengate was a great smaller mall, but Route 30 is a huge clusterfuck of ugly shopping plazas now.
Part of all of this is the fact that the original convenience factor of the malls has been cut down by massive amounts of traffic, as well as the declines of many suburbs (the ones mentioned in R196's post are a good example).
We build a lot of shit and then tear it down 30 years later. It's sad. None of it is very well planned.
R199 Station Square is a great place, but it's definitely not a great retail space. No one in downtown Pittsburgh does any shopping unless it's Kaufmann's-now-Macy's.
Otherwise, it's only the cube farm crew that buys shit on their lunch hour and stick to cheap stuff. It's been that way since forever. I worked at a bookstore chain there and no matter how many things we did to spike sales, we were empty all day except for a mad rush of people buying $3 magazines between noon and one.
They need to stop trying to make retail happen anywhere downtown, and make more open spaces and entertainment there.
- So true, R211. My city is littered with them as they slowly shut down one after another. Most of them are still empty 2-3 years after closing.
- It's funny, I've been living on Long island, which is considered shopping mall ground zero, yet the nearest enclosed mall is an hour and 20 minutes away from here and there aren't a whole lot of other malls. There are shopping centers, but few malls. It sounds like other areas had a lot of malls built close to each other.
- I took a class on suburban politics and planning recently and it's interesting to see how directly the rise of the mall was to the suburbs growing.
They pretty much killed the downtown mom and pop stores. And now Wal-mart and Target plazas - and Amazon.com - are killing many of the malls.
- [quote]In Birmingham, we had Eastwood Mall, touted as the first indoor mall in the Southeast and the third largest mall in the country when it opened in 1960
Eastwood Mall was considered to be incredibly upscale by most rubes from the area, i.e., people like me. It was The Summit of its day, believe it or not.
You can pretty much track the decline of various malls in Bham by the decline of their surrounding neighborhood. I wonder if that's true everywhere?
- [quote] You can pretty much track the decline of various malls in Bham by the decline of their surrounding neighborhood. I wonder if that's true everywhere?
Yes, R216. They go hand in hand.
- Malls were dying before Internet shopping became big...
Where were people shopping in the mid-to-late 90s?
- The Gap used to be so successful. They went from being a strip mall store to an indoor mall anchor. Then there was Baby Gap and Kid's Gap.
My generation was the first Gap generation. I remember buying GAP brand jeans for $8. I shopped GAP throughout the 80s and 90s, but one day the Gap seemed to have nothing but clothing for skinny 12 year old girls and 16 year old boys. Adults who had always gone to the Gap stopped going. Which means they stopped shopping Gap kids and Baby Gap. Kids Gap and Baby Gap are no more and Gap will be next. They went for the tween dollar when they should have stuck with the adult leisure clothing and young adult work clothing market.
- [quote]Where were people shopping in the mid-to-late 90s?
- Big Box stores R219.
- Good short article at the link on the death of malls. Slow sales, more online shopping, and oversupply of stores = high vacancy rates.
- [quote]You can pretty much track the decline of various malls in Bham by the decline of their surrounding neighborhood. I wonder if that's true everywhere?
The Galleria and then The Summit and finally The Pinnacle are what killed Eastwood and Century. Those two served a pretty big cross-section of the city and the suburbs (Mountain Brook included).
OTOH, Five Points West and Western Hills Mall definitely went the way of their neighborhoods. Both are still open, though.
- The Galleria is soon to lose Saks and is being replaced by Belks. Gross.
Saks already abandoned its site at Willow Bend Mall in Plano and nothing has taken its place. Saks will officially be gone from DFW. Guess they cannot compete with Neiman's here
- At the nearest mall to me is impossible to get a parking space on the weekend. But they've added stores onto the mall like Dick's Sporting Goods, Sur le Table (which gives cooking lessons that are packed with people), Cheescake Factory, Barnes and Noble. The Barnes and Noble is buzzing with customers but I guess it will shut down since B&N isn't doing well nationwide with its brick and mortar stores. I noticed the Sur le Table took over space formerly occupied by Eddie Bower, Chicos and Coldwater Creek. The Apple store is right near Starbucks and those two stores attract a lot of young people. The AT&T store is always packed. There is a Gap, but Banana Republic didn't make it. There is an Abercrombie and Fitch that I thought was closed down, but it actually isn't. I don't know why on earth they have designed the front of the sore to look like an out-of-business colonial hut in Africa, but they have.
There aren't a lot of malls around in an area of about 2 million people, so the mall is a meeting place not just for kids, but for adults. It is on a roadway with Lowes, Target, Walmart, Kohls, Home Depot, Trader Joe, Bed Bath and Beyond so adult women will say, "I'll meet you at the mall food court" after they do their shopping at these other stores.
- r225 is more the exception, then?
- The arrival of the Lunar New Year this month seems to have sparked an epiphany for area shopping centers: Asian and Asian American consumers have a growing pile of money and want to spend it where they're welcome.
So in the Year of the Snake, malls around the Southland are hustling harder to make themselves more appealing to the demographic.
Desert Hills Premium Outlets, Ontario Mills and the Outlets at Orange are partnering on a "Snaking through Southern California" initiative to lure Chinese shoppers to their malls. Simon Property Group, which owns the centers, says it's attempting to market to Asian consumers with multilingual messaging and Lunar New Year decorations.
Many stores in South Coast Plaza now have Asian employees to cater to the influx of moneyed tourists from China, Japan and South Korea who flock to the upscale mall. The center also has a language-assistance program and maps in Asian languages.
Westfield Santa Anita in Arcadia, a city where more than half the population is Asian/Asian American, is hosting its first-ever Lunar New Year festival Saturday afternoon. Free activities include a lion dance, Chinese calligraphy demonstrations and a Year of the Snake photo booth for families.
The San Gabriel Valley center hung a 120-foot, 600-pound red-and-gold dragon installation above its indoor carousel. Decorators brought in a Chinese pagoda as well as kumquat trees for good luck.
Even after the holiday, Westfield plans to continue tweaking the Santa Anita mall -- currently home to Nordstrom, AMC Theatres, Macy’s and more -- to better suit its Asian American clientele.
This summer, Hai Di Lao, a hot-pot restaurant chain based in China's Sichuan province, is to open its first U.S. location at the center. Beijing-based eatery Meizhou Dongpo is also scheduled to move in, in early 2014.
The mall already offers some store directories in Chinese.
The revamps could have a major economic payoff. Government projections peg 2013 as a record year for Chinese tourism to the United States. A report from Nielsen this past fall showed Asian American buying power surging over $1 trillion within five years, from $718.4 billion in 2012.
- Horse meat in the food court
- That was IKEA, not the mall.
- [quote]designed the front of the store to look like an out-of-business colonial hut in Africa, but they have.
Perfect description of A&F. If it weren't for the perfume cloud and techno music drifting out I'd assume the place was deserted. Their success (now coming to an end in the US) has always baffled.
- Does anybody know anything about Moonbeam Capital Partners? The entity owns malls in Burlington County, NJ, in Baton Rouge, La;, in Greeley, Colo., in Marshalltown, Iowa, in Marion, Ind., and in Orlando.
It just bought Century III Mall in the Pittsburgh suburbs and says it has big plans to renovate the mall, which seems to be on life support.
- Those of you with a dead amusement park fetish ought to enjoy the horror film "Carnival of Souls" with some scenes set at the abandoned Saltair park in Utah.
- I couldn't find a better thread for this, so if there is a better thread tell me...but I thought some posters would enjoy these old photos of stores across North America--a little bit heavy on Canada and New England, but from all over.
- Declining middle class incomes is what is killing the mall. Republicans fucked themselves over.
- [quote]Dead Malls
Like in Dawn of the Living Dead?
- Way upthread there were several mentions of the former Plaza Pasadena, which morphed into Paseo Colorado, an outdoor, semi-upscale mall with residential units above it. Since those posts, both the Macy's and the Gelson's have bailed, so I'm thinking that mall is pretty much dead except for the few restaurants and the movie theaters.
Oh, and I live near Westfield Santa Anita (in Arcadia, just east of Pasadena) and those stories about the lunar new year stuff are spot on. That mall, as well as South Coast Plaza (in Costa Mesa) had elaborate decorations for the lunar new year last month -- almost as much as Christmas (but with dragons instead of Santa Claus.)
- How's Tyson's Corner doing?
- R237 It's fine; it sends its love.
- Tyson's corner is becoming more and more upscale. Always hard to find parking.
- Someone should turn one of the unused malls into a Mall Museum -- something like Colonial Williamsburg, with costumed people acting out the roles of pretzel baker and mall cop. Of course they'd have to pick a time period to emulate. Maybe '70s?
- This is cool. How long have some of hem been closed? Phar-Mor, Hot Sam, Service Merchandise. These chains have been gone for decades. I would love to get inside one of these places.
- Tyson's Corner used to have a bird aviary running the full length of the mall in the early 70's. Chess King was a real attraction and I worked there at the Hecht Company in Budget Boy's Dept. It's been there forever!
- I can't believe that Tyson's II (the Galleria) is still apparently going strong based on the list of tenants. It was in a weird hidden location and when it opened in the early 90s and just seemed unnecessary and I was sure it would fail. It's success just proves there is way too much money in No. Va.
- The malls where I live are expanding. In fact, they tore down an old Alexander's that was separate for a very small mall and added onto the mall so that it is now about 30x the size it used to be. And good luck getting a parking spot. People literally get out of cars and fight over who saw the parking spot first.
- My first job was selling shoes in a brand new mall. Even at a tender age it was easy to recognize the place was a soulless abomination. It's still there, thriving, but I haven't been back inside in 48 years.
- Sears announced that it is closing its store at Century III Mall in Pittsburgh's southeastern suburbs by the first week of December, not even waiting for the holiday sales period. Century III is virtually a ghost town; i walked from Sears to the food court; only four places were still in operation. I didn't have the heart to walk through the mall to see what is still open.
Macy's (ne Kaufmann's) is still here, but a few years ago Macy's built a new store at the Homestead Waterfront; the Homestead Waterfront is a collection of chain restaurants, big box stores, a couple of strip malls, some townhouses etc. The Waterfront was the location for USSteel's Homestead Works; before that, it was Carnegie Steel, the location for the 1892 strike that you might have read about in history class.
Penney's is still in Century III but no one knowns for how much longer.
Century III Mall was built on a landfill. Boxcars of slag, by-products of steelmaking, were brought in to build up the ground. Century III was sold to a developer a few years ago for one dollar.
- The Day The Music Died.
Photos of an enormous dead mall, Century 111, Pittsburgh.
- Why are malls declining and strip malls or stand alone stores increasing? Are people too lazy to walk through a mall?
- These abandoned malls would make dandy highschool.
- What a great idea, R249.
- Some malls have been converted into schools.
- In my town we have only two malls.
One mall where the white people shop.
The other mall where the white people used to shop.
- I've wondered the exact same thing, r248.
I would think that in anything other than a subtropical climate, an enclosed mall is a much nicer place to walk through than the parking lot of a strip mall.
Anyone have an explanation? You need a car to drive to either version, so transport/ density can't be the reason.
- [quote]Anyone have an explanation?
I hate the smell of malls. All that perfume shit, competing with cotton candy and Chinese stir fry and Yankee Candles. No more. Just no more.
- The box store trend, I think, is because of convenience. You can go to a giant Costco or Walmart and get everything you need for food or other household items. Then, online shop for clothing. The advent of outlet shopping also cut into mall business.
- Maybe outdoor malls allow people to park closer to the shops they wish to visit.
- Maybe an indoor petting zoo, or a circus.
- Whatever happened to Cinderella City outside of Denver? At one time, it was the biggest mall from the Mississippi to California. It had a JCP, Denver Dry Goods, and a Joslin's.
- Yeah, I don't get the adding-on or converting indoor malls to outdoor malls. Even in a temperate climate like Southern California, it's often too hot to do a lot of walking outdoors, and it DOES rain occasionally.
- The thriving strip plazas of my youth are all but abandoned , except for a few stores. One has a grocery store, a family owned restaurant, and an H&R Block. Another has a locally owned donut shop, a Dairy Queen, and Vitamin shop. The stores have been easy marks for robbers, yet for some reason beyond me they stay in these abandoned plazas. It's creepy.
- What was the mall is Dawn of the Dead? That was a dead mall.
- I can't believe DEB hasn't pointed out that malls were invented by socialist architect Victor Gruen.