MIDWEST CITY, Okla. (KFOR) – An electrical fire outside of Heritage Park Mall left thousands without power.
Witnesses told KFOR that an electrical transformer exploded, which caused a dangerous situation for fire crews.
Fortunately, firefighters were able to put out the blaze.
Historically, the 650,000 square foot Heritage Park Mall opened in 1978 and was successful in subsequent decades before a changing economic and demographic landscape caused several stores to close.
The shopping mall shuttered completely in 2010 and has since fallen into significant disrepair; the majority of the facility is boarded up, littered with trash and other debris.
In recent months, there have been questions about the future of Heritage Park Mall.
In a phone conversation with the current owner, Ahmad Bahreini said he is ready to redevelop as soon as he works things out with the Midwest City.
However, city leaders say they aren’t sure the structure can be redeveloped.
“We’re heartbroken over the state of Heritage Park Mall. It’s shocking that an area that was once so full of life and economic vitality could fall into such a state. Each of the new and existing Midwest City Councilmembers has been asked questions about why we can’t make something happen here.
The truth is that we have tried. We’ve wanted someone to step up and be responsible for the revitalization of this property. We’ve wanted someone to recognize its worth in this vital commercial area of our city. But we’ve only received excuses. Excuses about cost, excuses about why things can’t be repaired to code, and excuses that Midwest City is not providing enough help.
We have examples throughout our city where we have been able to partner with responsible developers and turn areas that needed help, into thriving corridors. Unfortunately, in its current state, we’ve come to realize that Heritage Park Mall may not be recoverable. We’ve come to realize that we can’t let our future residents and community leaders inherit this problem.”Midwest City Mayor Matt Dukes
“Since its closure more than a decade ago, the Midwest City community has repeatedly asked questions about the future of Heritage Park Mall. In these conversations, similar concerns are usually expressed.
• Our residents are concerned about the image of our community and how the building can attract dangerous activity.
• Our business owners are concerned about how the empty facility affects the economic viability the area.
• Our community leaders are asking what is being done to remedy the situation.
At this point, public perception of the deterioration and disrepair of Heritage Park Mall is embarrassing to Midwest City. Basic maintenance tasks are being ignored. The property becomes less and less attractive every single day. We have reached the point that we must take action to help this key economic corridor make a change and move forward. Waiting for someone else to do what is right for our residents is no longer an option.”City Manager Tim Lyon