Friday, May 04, 2007

Granite Run Mall

I was just in my local mall for the first time in heaven knows how long. It's in a terrible state of decline - and it seriously reminds me old gas stations left to become a town eyesore, covered in weeds. So I sent a scathing email to Simon Property Group, the Mall's Management and sent a note to the president of the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce.

As a Delco resident, I need to vent about the decline of Granite Run (and perhaps even Springfield). I submitted a complaint to the Simon Property Group about what a disgrace this mall has become, but what concerns me most is that this shopping destination exists in the Middletown/Media area - an upper middle class area - and how can we as educated residents and consumers let this mall continue in its downward spiral? We shouldn't have to feel like to get quality stores we must leave the county - and take our dollars that should be funneling into/through Delco and sustaining our local economy - to Chester County or Montgomery County.

Is there a committee to save Granite Run (or shut it down?)...In all honesty, unless it took a serious turn for the better (competing with the likes of Exton and Willow Grove), I'd prefer another assisted living quarters...a strip mall like Britton Lake even (and I hate suburban sprawl). I walked around there this evening and the Gap is gone, there is yet another teeny bopper clothing shop, and I reminisce of days gone by when I worked at Deck the Walls (also gone), had my Coffee Beanery latte (gone, but thankfully taking up shop at FMFCU), and actually had a number of different shops to choose from in my quest for a prom dress. Most of the places there now turn over quicker than the wind changes direction. I recently heard teen cousins of mine say they make my aunts drive them Exton because the stores are better. And these are teens - a market segment with disposable income and to whom so many of these shops are supposedly targeting. Educated working 30 year olds like myself cannot go here because everything is too young. My mother, a die hard department store shopper, from Glen Mills treks elsewhere now.

Obviously the mall sustains itself somehow, obviously it still makes sense for the place to remain the influx of Chester and Upper Darby residents that rely on Septa to get them there? I don't understand how such a terrific area like greater Media, that boasts great homes, terrific school districts, and clearly favorable demographics can let this mall decline the way it has been for the last 3-5 years. I understand things change and with more residents come traffic changes, road expansions, strip malls, assisted living quarters, and now the new center going up at 322/1. I get that everything will eventually become the Golden Mile Springfield. I even get that boutique shopping - ala Suburban Square and Rittenhouse Row - are the trendy way to shop (this is actually how I shop now) and directly or indirectly leading to this very decline. But it sure doesn't mean I want my local mall changing the way 69th Street did and taking 20+ years to (sort of) turn around again.

What can we do?

1 comment:

Beth said...

Last year I went back to Media and took my car to get a checkup before I sold it at the Granite Run Sears. They told me to come back in two hours, so I wandered around the mall. And it really is a disgrace.

Did the management group get greedy and price everyone out of their spaces, thinking that higher end stuff would move in?

I don't really know what can be done. Maybe small local malls in well-heeled places are destined to die out as people shop more frequently on the internet and in boutiques. But as you mentioned, what about the teenagers? Where do they even hang out now? I can't really imagine being a teenager in a suburb without a mall to escape to on Friday nights.

Anyway, it'll be interesting to see what happens with the space. You should send a copy of the letter to the Delaware County Times as well.