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Oh, SmAlbany!

Daily posts and occasional longer essays about politics, culture, and life in the Capital Region...updated M-F, midmorning


"I write this not as a booster of Albany, which I am, nor an apologist for the city, which I sometimes am, but rather as a person whose imagination has become fused with a single place, and in that place finds all the elements that a man ever needs..." -W. Kennedy, from O Albany!

Rock bottom at LCM

I was wasting time getting in some good thinking at Starbucks this morning when I realized I needed a few office supplies. For whatever reasons, I chose CVS at Latham Mall. Once there, I was tempted into taking a quick walk through the mall, just to see how bad it has become. I hadn't been in there, except upstairs to see a movie, in probably a year.

Wow. Wasn't ready for what i saw. Klein's is closed. Half the lease spaces are empty. Two eateries left in the food court. No more McDonald's. Even the cruddy "sports posters / knives / pot paraphernalia" stores seem to be having trouble, although those kinds of stores tend to dominate a mall in decline. There must be 8 of them there now.

When I first walked in, I was expecting something like Northway Mall in the early 90's. But it's worse. Way worse. Unless the movies are making a serious profit (which i doubt), I suspect that we'll see the dormant-sale-redevelopment pattern completed at good 'ol Latham Corners within 5 years.

I can't say i have much affinity for any mall, especially not Latham. By the time I was old enough to have a mall of choice, Crossgates was already all the rage. But it certainly is the end of an era. And i did have a bit of nastalgia for the days of Papa Gino's near the main entrance and the original arcade down by CVS.

UPDATE: Now I know it's really bad. LCM has it's own feature on deadmalls.com. Money quote:
In the past year, this mall has lost several stores, including a Gateway computer store, Carlson Cards, a McDonalds, a Klein's All Sports and various other smaller stores. On April 4, 2005 it will lose Gold's Gym and in September it will lose the CVS/Pharmacy. Recent news reports have blasted management there for not having a working fire alarm system in the mall for over the past year. New tenants (if any) have been totally restricted until the mall installs a working fire alarm system and corrects the dozens of code violations that exist throughout the mall. Management of the mall obviously has no desire to resurrect this mall for it spends no effort or money in maintaining, beautifying or expanding the mall. The driveways, parking lots and structure of the mall are in such disrepair you'd think the mall had shut down years ago.
Yup. That sums it up.
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