Jaia’s been taking irish dancing classes now for about 7 months. When you think about dance class, you think about the school being in it’s own building, in a strip mall or other small buildings. Nope, not her current school. Well for the time being anyway – it will be moving to it’s new place soon. Right now it’s in a former mall. Over the years this mall has fallen on hard times. Slowly, slowly stores have been leaving until the only 3 major stores left were Macy’s (but empty- they were still paying for their lease apparently) and the Gap. (funny right?) the Gap abandoned ship about a year ago. Oh – currently Sears is still there but on it’s last push – everything is 70% off – it will be closed in weeks.

So rather than abandon the mall and leave it empty right away, the owners decided to create an “Art Space”. Shops were leased out at a relatively reasonable fee – I’m talking $300- $500 a month – to entrepreneurs who would like to dabble in commerce.  There were a lot of new dance studios, some paint your own pottery places, a homeschool school, antique stores, there’s a front for a costuming business, a anime store, a gaming store – just tons of  places that would not have normally gotten off their feet. This was started 3 -4 years ago.

Several months ago – the owners got word that Macy’s was leaving, the mall was now loosing money and the small businesses would have to leave. A lot of the stores have found new locations, some won’t reopen at all.

Last night while Jaia was dancing, I walked the length of the mall again for what might possibly be the last time.  I was never a mall person (well maybe, when Rowan was a baby and we needed to get “out”!), and this mall was never my mall of choice – but I DO remember coming as a teen and shopping here. They had a disney store that was fun to go in a browse in.  The food court and arcade area down stairs where my then boyfriend and I would eat and play.  And the movie theater –

I’m still not a mall person today – there are a few stores IN malls I frequent, but I don’t go wander now just because – and we have way too many here in St. Louis – so it’s probably not a bad thing that this mall is finally closing it’s doors. BUT it will be odd. Nostalgia is kicking in 🙂

The stores are completely empty now. It was very odd walking around last night.

I’m not sure what they will do now with the empty mall. I’m assuming that they will tear it down and put yet another shopping center/commons type area up. Yes – because we don’t have enough Targets or Kohl’s in our area! ( can you hear the sarcasm?) If they do do this them maybe, maybe they’ll put something useful there – like Ikea. What would be the best possible choice? Green space. Walking trails, play grounds etc.. That would be lovely.  I guess we’ll just wait and see. And if they do tear it down. I’ll just have to come take a look.

On another note. Jaia had a riding lesson on Monday and we had to take the pony all the way out to the back pasture, on the back of the pick-up truck.  –

Bright Blessings!