But there is no single “big fix” that will pump life back into downtowns full of boarded-up stores, says development expert Teresa Lynch. That means some communities will soon be without a mall or a thriving shopping district, leaving them with no central gathering place. “One of the biggest consequences of mall closings is the loss of a sense of community,” says David Birnbrey of The Shopping Center Group, “a place where people gather and socialize.” And exercise. Retirees Dick and Anne Saplata work out by walking around the largely empty halls of the Metcalf South Mall in Leawood, Kan. It’s likely to close soon, and there’s talk that a developer will raze the place. If the mall goes under, Dick Saplata asks, “where are we going to walk?”
There is so much wrong with this that I don’t even know where to start.
We’ve created far too many places like this. It’s going to be painful for the communities as they collapse (which has been happening for years — this isn’t new), but this gives us the opportunity to replace these monstrosities with much better alternatives.
The mall they’re talking about is the mall closest to my parents house where I grew up and it’s been nearly deserted for well over a decade. The only things sustaining it are a small but great movie theater, Macy’s and Sears but the mall itself is generally reserved for old people to walk around in and get exercise. So they have a good point about not having a decent place nearby to walk but considering how deserted the place is it’s difficult to make a case for why empty storefronts should sit deserted.
Here’s what most of the mall looks like:
These old-timey scales are cool though. I remember playing with them as a kid but it’s a good example of how the mall never adapted over time — it’s kind of an awesome late 70’s time capsule in a way.