|Here's a WABE (Atlanta's NPR branch) view of the mall shortly before demolition.|
|Mall entrance photo from Pinterest.|
The first malls to fight Columbia were out of Columbia's league. North DeKalb, Northlake, and Perimeter malls came in the first six years of existence. If you could find it at Columbia, you could pretty much find it elsewhere, with many other new stores, same anchors, and bigger digs. Let's mention that the area wealth could go to Buckhead for Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth, and Lord and Taylor. And when I mean area wealth, I mean before the area turned on its head, and when new money reached Gwinnett.
|Openbuildings photo of the mall entrance, McCrory five-and-dime, and Davison's structure.|
Davison's became Macy's in 1985. Sooner than later, the store became primarily clearance, before being permanently shuttered in 1992. The upper level turned into a 16-screen megaplex in 1994. The 1990's weren't kind at all to the mall. Mom & pop's grew like black mold in the main mallway. This all snowballed to a sale of the officially-dead mall in 1999. All interior stores closed in Dec. 2001.
|Sky City photo of the deteriorating interior.|
The mall would lay vacant for five years before demolition started. This process was interesting as demolitions go - a time capsule filled with newspapers and folders from the early Sixties was discovered, now in holding of the DeKalb History Center. During the demolition, a war was waged between area citizens and Wal-Mart. Eventually, the big-boxer came out victorious, and the lot was SuperCentered. What was once an exciting mall of the 60's was now a discount center. Gentrification can be weird. Obviously an eyesore wasn't helping much, but a Wal-Mart is basically catering to the lower-income type isn't improving the image.
|Photo from Bing Maps via Mall Hall of Fame.|
Maybe this post taught you a little about the rules of retail. Locating on a road not near an interstate in a soon to struggle area is no way for economy. Placing yourself in a tough to expand area is no way for economy. This all forms the way-too-common dead mall phenomena that wows everyone nowadays. The process is way too simple and reveals the lines of business. The traditional dead mall is all too true.