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Midwest City trying to decide future of Heritage Park Mall

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MIDWEST CITY, Okla. – City officials are trying to figure out what can be done with what used to be Heritage Park Mall.

"It's a struggle for sure. I mean it's constant,” Mike Lee, the owner of Ron’s Hamburgers and Chili in Midwest City, said.

Lee has owned Ron’s for about ten years.

He says when Heritage Park Mall closed next door, his business started taking a hit.

"After it closed, all those people would find other places to shop and so all that traffic is gone. It's less traffic to come down here and eat,” Lee said.

Now, the popular area to eat and shop is 29th Street, a part of town that’s really growing.

City officials say the mall once produced $1 million in annual property taxes. Now, with only Sears and Pelican’s Wharf left, it only brings in $70,000.

"It's sad to drive by a once totally vibrant intersection and just see that the grass is high. I mean look at the parking lot. We've got acres and acres of parking,” Sean Reed, ward 4 city councilman, said.

The question is, what can be done to breathe life back into the space?

The city will be matching a $27,500 grant from the hospital authority, allowing for a study to figure out the best option.

"Unfortunately interior malls are no longer useful. People don't go to them anymore and it's not a viable thing to have. What I'd like to see maybe a mixed used something along those lines,” Reed said.

That’s what the Shepherd Mall in OKC has turned into.

Midwest City residents say they’d love to see something like that happen.

"I think this is a good location. It was always busy, busy,” Mike Throckmorton said.

"You know it had every shop. You know that's where you went if you wanted something. It was like the Penn Square of Midwest City,” Danny Addington said.

City officials expect the study to be done by the end of the year.