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.

Say Something!

We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.

What's All Over Albany?

All Over Albany is for interested and interesting people in New York's Capital Region. In other words, it's for you. It's kind of like having a smart, savvy friend who can help you find out what's up. Oh, and our friends call us AOA.

Search

Recently on All Over Albany

Gawking at the new Schenectady train station

In a bit of a surprise the new Schenectady train station opened this past Wednesday, a few weeks ahead of the announced schedule. The $23... (more)

A little push up the hill

Wrapped into my update this past week about what it's been like to use a bike as one of my primary ways of getting around... (more)

A collection of castle day trips

This part of the country is dotted with castle-like structures, full of history, mystery, romance, and fairytale. Here's a handful of castles that are within... (more)

Classics of Science Fiction at The Linda

A multi-day get-together called Classics of Science Fiction will be at The Linda in Albany November 1-4. Blurbage: Guests include authors, artists, podcasters, cosplayers, business... (more)

Cuomo leads in Q-poll, NTSB still hasn't examined limo from deadly Schoharie crash, Schenectady and GE

Q-poll shows Cuomo with strong lead The latest Quinnipiac University poll shows Andrew Cuomo with a 23-percentage point lead over Republican challenger Marc Molinaro. [Spectrum]... (more)

Recent Comments

I ride every day to work, and also after work for exercise. I love the concept of being a person who happens to ride a bike. There's a level of bike riding, with the high performance gear and sleek clothing, that makes riding seem like its not for everyone. I try to avoid markers like that, and always wear regular clothing/shoes/backpack with dumpy-looking bike. One concession is bike gloves.

Gawking at the new Schenectady train station

...has 4 comments, most recently from Walter Clark

A collection of castle day trips

...has 1 comment, most recently from Jsc

A little push up the hill

...has 2 comments, most recently from Ryan H

Today's moment of mural

...has 3 comments, most recently from Rich

A year later I'm still using a bike to get around town -- here are a few thoughts about how that's worked out

...has 13 comments, most recently from Randal Putnam