Of dead malls and empty big boxes

old Old Navy Crossgates Commons

What do you do with an old Old Navy?

Matt recently passed along a link to a site called Dead Malls. It's pretty much what it sounds like: a site that lists "dead malls" -- malls that have closed or, as is often the case, stagger on with few stores and little traffic (undead malls?).

The site includes a handful of entries from the Capital Region. Here's a clip from a remembrance of the Mohawk Mall in Schenectady (it's been transformed into Mohawk Commons):

Right in front of Bradlee's there was a small fountain. This, as my Cousins would say, was the place to be. It was where all the "cool" teenagers would hang out. During the 80's it was a place where the good girls from Niskayuna would go to meet the bad boys from Schenectady (very John Hugh's Teen Flick). My cousin said that it was a great place to hang because the arcade was close and you could grab a slice and the Orange Julius stand was close by (which unfortunatly didn't survive the early 90's remodel). The McDonalds that was near Bradlee's was pretty cool too, they had a "Tree Table" which was a large fake tree with a face that used to talk that had a counter around it. You could eat and listen to some crazy tree talk and tell stories.

This got us thinking about empty big box stores -- a growing problem in many places. Julia Christensen, an RPI grad, has studied how communities re-use these spaces (one example: a K-Mart turned into a Spam museum -- we kid you not). As she told The Infrastructurist last year, there are real estate companies that are starting to specialize in developing new uses for these properties.

Back from the dead?

The Spotlight News reports that the owner of The Latham Mall -- which is on the list of "dead" malls -- is "in discussions with a single-entity tenant that could buy up all the vacant space in the shopping center." That's fueled speculation about who this tenant could be.

And is there something sprouting in one of the empty spaces at Crossgates Commons?

And there's something new going into the old Circuit City space at Crossgates Commons. (Thanks, Andrew, Chris and Laura!)

(Thanks, Matt!)

Comments

I wish planning boards required developers to submit plans and post a bond for the eventual demolition or re-use of such buildings.

The electronics store opening at crossgates commons is Ultimate Electronics. http://www.ultimateelectronics.com/

http://denver.bizjournals.com/denver/stories/2010/02/01/daily43.html

There is a now hiring sign up on the storefront.

The new Crossgates Commons store is a Colorado chain called Ultimate Electronics. http://www.ultimateelectronics.com/

It's driven me absolutely insane that all of the lights have been left on in the Circuit City every night since it closed a year ago.

@LB: I guess the last one out forgot to turn off the lights?

I spent much of my youth wandering the corridors of Mohawk Mall.

First, just shopping there with my mom. It was a big deal when I was old enough to wander off on my own with instructions to meet mom at a given time back where Santa would usually sit.

Later, I worked at the movie theater. At one point I think I knew someone working in just about every store in the mall, which made break time a social event. Yes, it did feel like a John Hughes movie.

And the Ground Round was one of our favorite high school hangouts.

I love the Dead Mall site. I look at it a lot when I'm bored. I like to look up places that have closed or that I was curious about. The site even has the mall from the Blues Brothers Movie

http://www.deadmalls.com/malls/dixie_square_mall.html

Mohawk Commons was a great hang out spot. Bradlees was another store, like Caldors that didnt survive. I remember going to see movies there as a kid, the arcade was awesome. The tree at McDonalds was another fond memory. To bad the new McD's arent like that.

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