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Downtown set to see return of retail sales

by Steve Lackmeyer Modified: January 12, 2010 at 12:11 am •  Published: January 12, 2010
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at’s what Columbus did, and for a while, the development was considered a big success with 150 specialty stores luring shoppers from throughout the region.

Twenty-one years later the mall is dead, and joins a list of other downtown shopping centers that once represented a culmination of a city’s best urban development efforts turned into another blight to be overcome.

Oklahoma City never got that far, having been forced by the oil bust of the late 1980s to give up on its dreams of a downtown mall. The site is now home to a construction site where a 50-story Devon Energy skyscraper is set to rise from the ground this year.

Indeed the mall that some may say helped strangle downtown retail to begin with, in the mid-1970s — Crossroads Mall — is also on the list of dying retail centers kept by www.deadmalls.com.

The large department stores that once called downtown home may never return to the heart of the city. But the smaller stores are making a comeback. And some, like B.C. Clark Jewelers, never left.

The national recession be damned — downtown retail is back in Oklahoma City.

by Steve Lackmeyer
Business Reporter
Steve Lackmeyer is a reporter and columnist who started his career at The Oklahoman in 1990. Since then, he has won numerous awards for his coverage, which included the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, the city's Metropolitan...
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