OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The people in charge of revamping the Crossroads Mall, also known to some as the “Zombie Mall” near the Oklahoma City interchange of I-240 and I-35, are working hard to beautify the abandoned mall. KFOR got an exclusive sneak peak of the progress and what the mall will hopefully soon offer.
Most stores have been empty at Crossroads mall for many years. That’s soon changing as the owners are working to revamp the entire space, offering small local businesses a place to stay.
“It’s really about revitalizing the state, not just the South Side, because we want to bring everyone here. It is kind of a melting pot. That’s why it was created and it was called crossroads to begin with. It’s just one of the most easily accessed locations in the state,” said Carri Lawrence, co-founder and CEO of Crossroads Mall.
In its heyday, the mall was one of the most popular spots in the metro before it closed back in 2017.
“We had about 30,000 people attend back then,” said Lawrence.
“Crossroads Mall used to be the single largest contributor to Oklahoma City sales tax for the entire town. So obviously, it was a huge loss whenever it finally started to fade away and then ultimately closed,” said Brian Maughan, district two Oklahoma County Commissioner.
The mall is planning to open a gym, restaurants, small businesses, a daycare center for families while shopping and much more.
Carri Lawrence, co-founder and CEO of Crossroads Mall said this space will work as one of the biggest convention centers in the state. 90,000 square feet on three different floors.
“We’re going to be bringing top name artists… We took the Dillard’s building that they purchased for that and turned it into the largest event space in the entire state,” said Lawrence.
Lawrence also said this will offer hundreds of much needed jobs to people in South Oklahoma City.
Susan Tripplett, a longtime nearby resident told KFOR she is excited and hopeful this will bring opportunities to people in the community.
“It means a lot to the community. It brings back the community. I grew up on this side of town and it is giving a lot of small businesses a foundation to grow… Shopping is going to bring a lot of diversity to the city, helping small businesses, helping people who can’t get a job, get a job,” said Susan Tripplett, longtime nearby resident.
Brian Maughan, the district two Oklahoma County Commissioner, said this will grow the economy in the surrounding area.
“The fact that we anchored it and located it here in Oklahoma City is a huge economic win… This is a private sector investment and we’re seeing things grow from our business, private sector economy. And I think that it will offer also jobs that are above and beyond minimum wage. There’s going to be management positions that come with this. It’s also going to be a place where a lot of vendors can come in. So, it’s going to help other existing businesses that are already here,” said Maughan.
You can already enjoy a part of the mall right now as they’ve opened a haunted attraction this October in the old JC Penney.
Around 50 to 75 people are working at the mall daily to hopefully open the mall by the end of this year before Christmas.
So far over 25 businesses have been leased and they are looking to fill 115 more spots throughout the mall.