OKLAHOMA CITY – A once bustling shopping mall that now sits nearly empty could soon get a fresh new start.
Crossroads Mall is not exactly known as a premier metro shopping destination right now.
But that wasn’t always the case.
And new investors are hoping to restore the mall to its former glory.
On a weekday morning, Crossroads Mall is pretty much deserted.
“But it is kind of scary when you walk in the door. It’s so quiet and there’s nobody here,” said customer Jamie Lane.
“There are still people that say, ‘Oh that mall’s still open?’ You know,” Crossroads Mall marketing and programming director, Robert Ruiz, said.
But Ruiz said that’s all about to change.
Raptor Properties bought most of the mall last year and just acquired the old Dillard’s building, meaning they own three of the four vacant anchor stores.
Ruiz says they plan to revitalize the mall.
“It’s going to be I think one of the biggest investments that’s been made in economic development on the south side for a while,” said Ruiz.
Built in 1974, Crossroads Mall was one of the largest malls in the country.
Early 80’s photographs of the parking lot show there’s not a spot left empty.
But over the years, the mall lost customers and stores and was recently and briefly owned by the federal government as part of the Wall Street bail outs.
The new investors are planning a new name, new tenants and a new vision for the blighted mall.
“We love this mall. We’re just waiting on it to get filled back up,” said Linda Cobb, who works inside the mall at Inspirational Expressions.
Cobb says they average about 10 customers a day.
They’d love to see an increase in mall traffic.
And at Hot Spot Pizza, their 3 lunchtime customers say they’re ready as well.
“I’m actually very happy. I’m getting tired of driving all the way out to Penn Square Mall, Quail Springs,” said Demetrius Shannon.
“I remember coming up here when I was a little girl and I remember there was people everywhere,” said Lane.
Customers remembering the hey day and promising, if they build it again, they will come.
“I’m excited to see you know how it’s going to look. I’ll definitely come back,” said Lane.
Investors with Raptor Properties are not revealing any details just yet.
They’re planning an announcement for late April when they will unveil the mall’s new name, 8 to 10 new tenants and more detailed plans for the property.