Feb 272014

I went back to Madison Square Mall today.

I wouldn’t have thought it possible for the mall to decline significantly further since my last assessment without expiring altogether, but here it is.

Only six months ago, there were 32 vacancies in the mall. Today, I counted 47. Madison Square Mall is more than a third empty. In at least two locations outside the food court, there are three vacancies in a row. This one has a sign that says hey, keep walking and you’ll find actual stores!

msmc1Speaking of the food court, there are now exactly four functioning eateries there:  Sakkio Japan, Cajun Express, Greek Gyros, and China King. The Subway Lucy and I visited when she interviewed me for her article has perished:

msmc2When Sbarro bails, it’s grave indeed:

msmc3I had Sakkio for lunch. While I was waiting for my order, the free samples guy exchanged an absolutely untouched plate over the counter for a new one. I was sitting and eating when I got excited for him. Someone actually tried his offerings:

msmc4Then I chuckled when I saw him eating lunch somewhere else:

msmc5CBL, this is getting ridiculous. You have a property in good condition in a good location, and you’re starving it with lack of vision.

What are you going to do?

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 Posted by at 8:45 pm

  5 Responses to “Madison Square Mall enters catatonia”

  1. You know, the arcade there is pretty cool again. Pay a flat fee and spend an hour (or all day) playing all the stand-ups for free. And the toddler space next to it is fun for little kids. But the fact that the food court is completely gone has doomed this property. The American Grill has been dormant for over a decade now. I can only imagine the weekend flea markets and fledgling churches are the next gasp before fading into ???

  2. Is that a bullet hole in the second image?

    I personally hate shopping and despise mall shopping even more. I suspect the convenience of the Internet has doomed a lot of malls across the country.

  3. Dan, I still insist on inflicted apathy as most of the explanation for what’s happening to Madison Square. It’s in a sad state, but even a relatively small amount of systematically applied vision could reverse course there. The Mall had insurmountable problems that Madison Square doesn’t have.

    It does take someone giving a damn for a year or so, though. CBL? Hello?

    Cheryl, I think it’s probably just a pass-through for the wiring for the now absent sign. 🙂

    I hear you on online shopping. Right there with you. Two pairs of shoes came for me just this week.

    But I like what these places offer for community and dining, and I do some deliberate shopping in them from time to time.

  4. Sbarro has been in the news recently about plans to shut down a large number of their stores and their general direction is headed toward defaulting and/or bankruptcy filings.

    So I wouldn’t say this particular Sbarro being gone is a particular symptom of Madison Squad Mall, but Sbarro’s overall business failing is a symptom of the mall business model failing, and the Sbarro in MSM is one data point to that fact.

    • Well, round peg in a round hole to close Madison Square.

      Think about how big that food court is.

      There are four places you can purchase food in it.

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