American Eagle Outfitters, AT&T Wireless, Candyopolis, Claire’s Botique, Classic Jewelry, Eastern Treasures, Pacific Sunwear, Footlocker, Zales, Kay Jewelers, Bags N More, Things Remembered, Bonnie’s Popcorn and Waldenbooks.
Some of the above stores are part of national chains, others are locally owned. And they are all reportedly on month-to-month leases at Crossroads Mall.
It’s time to be blunt. It’s time to suggest something that might be seen as somewhat cruel. But the opinion of most real estate folks in this town is that Crossroads Mall is over as a retail operation now that it has lost all of its anchors and has gone into foreclosure.
And yet while Crossroads is looking cooked, downtown’s potential for retail is looking better than it has since the 1950s. How many of the above listed retailers might be considered a good addition to Bricktown?
Yes, I’m thinking like a vulture. And I’m feeling a bit guilty over it since I met the mall’s general manager, Jim Swenson, in December and I think he’s a good guy who tried to give it his all.
But let’s not forget it was Crossroads Mall that put the nail in the coffin for downtown retail more than 30 years ago. The mall poached away downtown’s grand old department store, John A. Brown’s and nobody really wailed over it then. It was to be expected at the time – who cared about downtown retail?
Times change. And I’m wondering why downtown developers don’t see this as an opportunity to do a reverse on history. Take a list of the retailers at Crossroads, highlight the ones that might consider relocating to Bricktown if they could move together and form a nucleus of urban retail. And then begin the cold calls.
As evidenced by the strong turn-out for a recent discussion at the Skirvin Hilton about downtown retail, interest in taking this next step is high. But if the experts are to believed, one can’t simply wait for the retailers to begin rediscovering downtown. Someone is going to need to get aggressive about making deals and thinking outside the box.
Hey, I’m just saying…