The Slow Death Of The Mall

desertedmall1I have been spending a great deal of time in Downtown Los Angeles this past month.  I’m not terribly familiar with the area so I have considered it an opportunity to explore.  It has been a wonderful journey into the past.  I’ve come across beautiful 1920’s buildings lovingly preserved and some that could use a bit of restoration.   I’ve discovered places I want to visit and bars I plan to drink in at some point.

Earlier this week I had a couple of hours to kill before a meeting.  On that particular afternoon, I found myself drawn to the well-shaped 7 + Figueroa shopping center.  I’d been there once years ago to attend the red carpet opening of the Gold’s Gym on the bottom floor.   It was nothing like the bustling place I recalled.

There were many vacant stores.  The one major department store, Macy’s, was eerily devoid of merchandise as they liquidated for a closure.  The food court was a ghost town.   In fact, the only things that seemed to be surviving were the Morton’s Steakhouse and the Gold’s Gym.

desertedmall

I’m not a big fan of malls or shopping centers.  I rarely frequent them.  But I was oddly disturbed by the experience of walking through the vacant structure.  I felt like I was transported into a post apocalyptic film and half expected zombies to come lumbering along.

Given the location of the shopping center, it was perplexing to see it so empty.   It’s not a destination spot that requires people to get into a car for a planned trip.  It’s dead in the center of towering buildings housing major companies and only a few blocks away from hotels,  luxury lofts, condos and apartment complexes.  There are thousands of people concentrated in that area on any given day.  Just down the street at the newly opened LA Live, a complex full of pricey restaurants and expensive entertainment venues, the place is buzzing with people right around happy hour on through the evening.

I can’t help but wonder if this time period will be the death of the mall as we know it.

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3 Replies to “The Slow Death Of The Mall”

  1. I remember when that Mall opened. Bullock’s was the crown jewel in the center of all the upscaleness in the center of LA. It was the first new dept store in downtown in something like 50 years and was supposed to be the turn around for the city. Sadly it never really took off. Not enough business on weekends as so few were affluent folks were residing in the area lead to its decline. With the gentrification going on down there now I just don’t see how a tradititional mall fits the area now. With the whole Nokia thiny going in and taking off with entertainment shifting that way that mall will be in bigger trouble in the months to come.

  2. I went there a couple of weeks ago. It was almost eight o’clock and the button on my pants waistline fell off. I got into the Macy’s right before they closed and bought a belt for $25.

  3. Got sent there a while back to review a new Mexican-fusion restaurant, the name of which I have forgotten. It was delicious. and yes, the whole rest of the place was eerily deserted.

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