8 January 2005
Saturday spottings (easterly)
For the second day in a row, the promised sunshine failed to materialize, which was probably as good a reason as any for heading out to Heritage Park Mall in Midwest City, a shopping center that's had a Joe Btsfplk-ish cloud following it around for what seems like years now.
There's no sign of the regime change just yet: somewhere around a third of the spaces are vacant, and at the entrance to the old Wards store, the local blood bank was taking donations. The side of the mall facing Reno Avenue is not too badly deteriorated, but the back, having lain fallow for so long, is a couple of ticks beyond grungy. People I talked to seemed hopeful, but when your third largest retail store is a Hallmark shop, you've got a long way to go.
Then down Air Depot Boulevard, where a widening project between SE 15th and SE 29th is doing its part for auto-suspension shops. I suspect that the few remaining residences along Air Depot will eventually be removed; some are already gone, and what appears to be the new curb line is perilously close to the front doors of those which still remain. There was a scaffolding up at the old Sound Warehouse/Wherehouse Music store in the 2300 block, where it looked like new window treatments were being installed, so maybe someone's actually going to take over this building.
East on 29th, it's still a bit offputting to see nothing along the north side of the street: the steakhouse that was west of the old Atkinson Plaza remains, and the Firestone store that anchored Atkinson's east end is still in business, but everything in between is gone. Midwest City, understandably, would like to see some of this 90-acre patch of dirt filled up, and there are earth-movers on the scene near the eastern edge of it. And farther down, the old Powers Nissan lot is closed; there are cars parked in the old used-car lot in the back, but the place is otherwise shuttered. I assume they've shut down entirely, since the old Powers Web site now forwards to NissanUSA.com.
And yes, Dave, El Chico was serving, though they weren't too busy at 1:30 when I arrived.Posted at 6:05 PM to City Scene