And then there were none

DeadMalls.com has had a listing for Midwest City’s Heritage Park Mall since 2006, which noted:

Sears is largely responsible for keeping what is left of the mall from folding into closure, as it is the only Sears store within a good 10 mile radius.

What is left of the mall, however, is rapidly dwindling to zilch, and the last handful of tenants will be gone by mid-February, leaving Sears, which owns its section of the structure outright, all alone.

I suspect Sears isn’t going anywhere: the five stores in the metro (Quail Springs, Sequoyah — 44th and S. Western — Midwest City, Norman and Shawnee) have remained in place for many years.

The owner has decided to cut his losses and sell:

The mall’s current owner, California investor Daniel Rafalian, said the electric bill is more than the rent he’s receiving, so it makes sense to shut it down.

The two empty anchor spots, once Dillard’s and Montgomery Ward stores, are owned separately, one by a church, the other by an individual.

The previous dead mall in town, Shepherd Mall, was successfully (more or less) converted to office space. I don’t think this is feasible for Heritage Park: there’s just not that much demand for office space in Midwest City.

Rafalian, who acquired the mall in 2005, was invited to bid for a block in Bricktown that year, but did not participate.







8 comments

  1. fillyjonk »

    24 January 2010 · 8:49 pm

    If he’s looking for nominations (I find the site hard to navigate), Midway Mall in Sherman, Texas would be one. I think there is still a Dillard’s and a Sears there, but many of the other chains have left. It’s the only mall where I’ve seen a Dollar Store.

    Of course, the Sher-Den Mall was gone before I got here. People tell me that it had asbestos problems. Now it’s just a giant fenced in empty space.

    I suppose with some new “innovation” in retail (who knows what that will be), the nice shiny new Sherman Town Center (which is what partly killed Midway) would be the next one to be doomed.

  2. CGHill »

    24 January 2010 · 9:16 pm

    The Experts say that large enclosed malls are a thing of the past, that smaller strips are the future. Maybe they’re right about the former; I can’t work up much enthusiasm for the latter.

    Of course, what gets all the New Urbanists as mimsy as a borogove is the possibility of Mixed Use – office, retail and residential all in the same unit. People claim to love it; few actually offer to buy it.

  3. robohara »

    24 January 2010 · 9:29 pm

    I bought a couple of arcade machines from the Heritage Park Mall’s arcade (Star*Cade) when it closed a few years back. I remember noting THEN how dead the place was; I can’t imagine what it looks like three or four years later.

  4. scooby214 »

    24 January 2010 · 9:34 pm

    How long do you suppose it will be before Crossroads Mall earns dead status? All of the anchor stores are empty, as was the parking lot (mostly) on Saturday afternoon.

  5. CGHill »

    24 January 2010 · 9:38 pm

    They got their first entry in 2008; it’s just a matter of time, I suppose.

    I sent them a link to the Oklahoman story, just in case.

  6. fillyjonk »

    25 January 2010 · 7:11 am

    I wonder how people in places with less-clement winter weather feel about the Rise of the Glorified Strip Mall? I know they destroyed one of the malls in my parents’ town and replaced it with a “The Shoppes At…” concept: individual isolated stores.

    My parents hate shopping there because whoever planned the traffic flow through the place is a grade-A idiot; there are more blind corners and funky illogical “they have to stop but we don’t” intersections than I’ve ever seen. I’m sure there are lots of fenderbenders there.

    Also, in the winter, when there’s lots of snow, part of the parking areas are sacrificed to be snow-mound storage.

  7. Lisa Paul »

    25 January 2010 · 10:59 am

    whah? Who says Strip Malls are the future? I thought Strip Malls were the Fifties beginning of malls and they then evolved into covered malls?

    In any case, is there anything sadder than a dead mall? With a mostly abandoned downtown, you can at least see some hope for the future. The old brick buildings might one day see new activity or office space or become condos. But what can you do with a mall once it dies?

  8. CGHill »

    25 January 2010 · 11:11 am

    This is evidently an example of “What goes around, comes around.”

    We’ve done a decent job of repurposing some stuff downtown — Bricktown used to be mostly warehouses before being transformed into an entertainment district, and there are some pretty nice flats in the old Montgomery Ward store — but big flat concrete boxes are hard to dispose of. A Builders Square store near me became an indoor kart track, which indicates that at least somebody has some ideas.

RSS feed for comments on this post