LAWTON, Okla. – While the city has been pretty quiet about their plans to purchase the mall, that doesn’t mean they’ve decided not to do so. Even as the public outcry and general shenanigans about this continue, elitists have never been open to listening to the people. So here’s the question, how does the mall stay alive?
One thing is for sure, an overwhelming amount of people in town believe the mall should close its doors for good. At least, that’s the response I’ve received in that particular conversation over the last fifteen years, but what if this popular opinion is just based on the idea that the mall can never have a renaissance? When you think about it, is the mall really a terrible place? No. I don’t even think it has reached its full potential. Maybe what Central Mall needs is a quick name change and a major facelift. The reason Lawton Marketplace on 82nd street is so successful isn’t the location or the stores there… It’s the fact that it’s new and trendy. What if Central Mall became new again? Got rid of the uncool 1980’s “everything a shade of white/pink” esthetic, really went hog wild into making it a place people actually want to visit again.
Show of hands… Who has been to Vegas before? Alternatively, who remembers their trip to Vegas? Each casino there had its own themed shopping area. The Venetian looked like Venice, Caesars Palace looked like ancient Rome, Paris Paris looks like the namesake, etc… Since Central Mall took down a huge chunk of, and I’m just assuming, historic buildings here in downtown Lawton, what if the mall rebuilt the inside to look like a bustling vintage downtown area? Full tilt too… painted ceilings, brick facades, new floors, and generally updated everything. Like our own little indoor Bricktown. If it were trendy, both stores and people would return right? And with the popularity, the mall wouldn’t have to run off businesses that people like just because they have to jack up the rent to make up for a failing model… It’s a real idea.
Maybe, instead of having local businesses and boutiques spread far and wide across every slum-lord ancient shopping center in town, the mall could become a central place for local business to thrive… in a new facility of course with decent rent.
I’ll be honest, I still think the city will quietly push forward their plan to buy the mall for nearly $5million more than it was bought for in 2019… Which is really strange since you would expect failure to devalue a property like this. How that math adds up I couldn’t tell you. Crony capitalism and Good Ole Boy business dealings I suppose. I really don’t know because I’m not in that loop, but if Central Mall were to take a stand for themselves instead of seeking a bailout, don’t you think a major renovation could turn that place around?