OKLAHOMA CITY – The owners of a once bustling mall, that’s now virtually vacant, are aiming for a comeback.
This week developers unveiled plans to revive Crossroads Mall.
The shopping center, now renamed Plaza Mayor at the Crossroads, will cater to the city’s Hispanic community.
For years Crossroads Mall has struggled to survive.
Empty parking lots and locked up stores were common.
Some hope a new name and new direction turns the mall around but not everyone’s on board.
“Turning this into a Hispanic mall I think is wrong,” business owner Tom Redwine said.
Redwine, the owner of the Gold Nugget jewelry store, said with Crossroads transforming into a shopping center designed to attract Hispanics, he’s moving out.
“There’s no ifs ands or buts, I’m leaving,” Redwine said.
“I mean I’m a little concerned it’ll be bad for our business,” business owner Naomi Kubica said.
The owner of A Little Hippie Shop also fears a cultural gap.
“The Hispanics weren’t a part of the hippie movement so they’re like, ‘What’s a hippie store,'” Kubica said.
At the 1974 ribbon cutting, Crossroads opened as one of the largest malls in the country.
Since then the mall lost most of its customers and stores but not hope.
“This place is going to become again a destination place,” mall spokesman Robert Ruiz said.
Ruiz said change is needed to revitalize the mall.
In addition to new entrances, the center court and carousel will be replaced with a new stage and entertainment area
Colorful facades will be commonplace.
While some stores will exit, more shops hopefully will open.
“We’re keeping our fingers crossed,” Alejandra Romera said.
Alejandra is revamping one closed storefront into a new Mexican-themed restaurant.
“I’m very, very optimistic and we know we’re going to grow,” Romera said.
“They really want something positive with this property,” Ruiz said. “They’re going to be able to see that.”