Last week, KFOR reported that Plaza Mayor – the home of the once-thriving Southside shopping mecca known as Crossroads Mall – is closing its doors on October 31. For anyone who ever ran up and down the massive two-story ramp, threw coins in the big fountain, or got an Orange Julius headache while waiting in line for a game at Aladdin's Castle (or LeMans), it's sad news.
It’s been a metro landmark for more than 40 years, with its angular architecture standing above south Oklahoma City.
Now, Plaza Mayor, formerly Crossroads Mall, will officially shut its doors on October 31.
“It looks like a ghost town and it saddens me to think that this was once the hub of the community,” said shopper Toni Hall.
After years of decline, Crossroads changed ownership and was rebranded as Plaza Mayor at the Crossroads. But that dream only lasted a few years.
“It's very sad. I don't see it coming back. I see it being bulldozed and probably putting a hotel up,” said Hall.
Probably a hotel? Actually, I have a better idea. How about a publicly-funded hotel and convention center?! Wouldn't that be great? The land will be cheap, the site has a massive footprint, and it's within a crack pipe's throw of Valley Brook. That would definitely help recruit business and political conventions to town.
Actually, it's not that ridiculous of an idea. The city's urban core can survive and thrive on its own now. It doesn't need more public investment. Maybe it's finally time for us to work on restoring and developing the blighted and abandoned parts of our city's inner-suburbs (is that a thing?). Outside of all wealthy, influential and powerful people in OKC who live on the northside and have investments in and around downtown OKC, who says "No?"