[BLOG] Bringing life back to Crossroads MallDarren Currin
The Journal Record [Blog]
Link to Article: http://journalrecord.com/2013/05/02/blog-bringing-life-back-to-crossroads-mall/#ixzz2ZtyohQWI
Those who had written off Crossroads Mall in Oklahoma City may want to take a second look. It appears that owner Raptor Properties has found a very viable solution to bringing the mall, which has been on life support for several years, back to life.
Raptor Properties is working with developer Jose Legaspi into repositioning the mall into a Hispanic marketplace that has already been renamed to Plaza Mayor at the Crossroads. About 20 new tenants have already signed leases and plans are in the works for a grocery store, entertainment venue and an incubator space in the former Dillard’s space that will house booths for various small businesses.
This project came from seeing how the La Gran Plaza mall in Fort Worth was redeveloped. Much like Crossroads, this mall was largely empty until it was renovated into a Hispanic marketplace. This transformation brought life back to the mall. Raptor is hopeful that the same results will be seen with the transformation of Crossroads.
Out of all of the ideas previously discussed for the ailing mall, I think this one has legs and potential of being successful. The Latino demographic in Oklahoma City has risen steadily to the point that such a marketplace is needed and will likely be well-supported.
In fact, I would love to see it become even more of a multicultural center where other cultures can come and enjoy Hispanic culture and businesses all in one place. Just look at the way the Asian district along Classen Boulevard has grown in recent years for an example. The shops and restaurants have become a popular destination for not only the Asian community, but also for the entire city. Crossroads could become something really unique like the Hispanic marketplaces in San Antonio.
Kudos to Raptor Properties for some out-of-the-box thinking to save a property that most thought was dead and gone. If successful, their work on repositioning the grand old lady of Oklahoma City shopping malls might make for a very interesting case study.