Wednesday, March 01, 2006

More Bad News for Eastland Mall

Thanks to the research of a East Tulsa citizen, KOTV has some new information regarding the new owner of Eastland Mall. According to the article:

"He [Eastland Mall owner Hayood Whichard] says it's not his fault east Tulsa was in decline long before he got there and he makes no bones about the fact that he's not putting any money into the property. I'm not a developer, he says. He says he just went in and bought a property. And now let somebody else figure out what to do with it."

District 6 councilor, Jim Mautino says that he isn't aware of Whichard ever trying to revive the properties he buys. Whichard "Just allows the mall to deteriorate and deteriorate until the city has no other choice but to condemn it or eminent domain and take it over."

Read the KOTV article.

[Addition: 3/2/06]

I'd much rather see something more like this East Tulsa community plan [.PDF] in Eastland Mall's future.

Those large brick red sections are the old JC Penney, Mervyn's, Dillards, etc, broken out into standalone structures. This plan presents a very forward vision that's highly unlikely. Still, it's nice to dream...and it's good to see that someone is putting some thought into the future development of the area.

i guess there can be *SOMETHING* good come out of all this if a forward-thinking local investor would want to buy the property from Whichard and do something with it themselves.
What is the current status of the mall? Is Dillards still there? What stores are left?
The mall is still in operation. The new owners have no plans to put any money into it, but they have announced no plans to close it, either. As of today, the Dillard's is still open for business. In fact, Dillard's, the movie theater and Mickey's are the only places with cars outside these days. There's new banners up for a nails shop, which is still operating along the main entrance hallway with several other small shops. Most of the few remaining mall spaces that are occupied are leased out for non-retail usage such as dance and martial arts classes.

Personally, I wouldn't mind seeing all or a portion of the mall converted into a community education type-center. I could also see it used as a medical office building, with various clinics, dentists, etc.

The former Jackson Mall (built 1969) in Mississippi was successfully converted into such a medical center after reaching a place very similar to Eastland's by the late '80s. However, with the plans for facilities in Owasso, I doubt the demand would be great enough to support it.
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