A Futureless Palm Springs Mall?
PALM SPRINGS-- The sign for the Palm Springs Mall, is more like a sign of the times. There are no stores advertised on its board, because they've all left except for two. GNC and Radio Shack remain at the 320-thousand square-foot shopping center located on Tahquitz Canyon and Farrell Drive.
"There's nothing here. I saw tumbleweeds flying around the place," said William Maddox, from Desert Hot Springs, who was shopping at Radio Shack.
But if there's anyone still frequenting this place, it's Steve Emery. He's been faithfully coming to the mall for eight years to play chess.
"It was sad that all the restuarants when out," said Emery, a resident of Cathedral City.
When the Gottschalks chain went under in 2009, nearly every store felt the effect. Vons left, then Ride-Aid Pharmacy, and most recently Ross moved to another location in the city.
Kaplan College operates on the outside of the building and it's lease isn't up until 2014. But the future of the building is on shaky ground.
"The malll has been owned for the last several year by the lender who lent the last person the money and they've been trying to sell it. And, they've had a couple solicitations from buyers," said John Raymond, Director of Community and Economic Development for Palm Springs.
And once the property is sold, the 47-year old mall could be gone forever.
"It could be as dramatic as someone wanting to come in a tear the whole thing down or as minor as they want to come in and repaint and release it. Somewhere in that continum something will happen," said Raymond.
The city expects something to happen within the next year, but the only activity guarnteed in the mall: A chess game every week.
"I think it's sad. I liked it when i could play chess here and order lunch. It was nice," said Emery.