As I swing open the door, I start to plan where I will shop first. Dillard’s, Francesca’s, Hot Topic? Maybe even Sears. Oh, wait. Sears closed in the Manhattan Town Center last year, just like a lot of the other stores, such as Aeropostale and Justice. The mall is losing popular stores, therefore, possibly losing customers.
To fill these vacancies, Urbancal Manhattan Town Center, the company that leases the space in the mall, has been placing small filler stores, such as ETC Boutique, to take the space of the stores that they lost. It makes me quite, and I am sure many more, sad to see some of my favorite stores close, then be replaced with boutiques I will never step foot into. One main reason the stores are closing is because the Manhattan Town Center charges an extremely high rent of $200,000 yearly, according to Aug. 17, 2015, article titled “Mall for Sale? IMAX Hinges on Sale of Mall, Reduction in Rent and Net Proceeds” in the Little Apple Post. The mall needs a new tenant that will bring a large amount of income to be able to lower the leasing prices. This is where the idea of the IMAX theater comes into play. The theater is taking over the old Sears complex and will have 13 screens, including the one IMAX screen.
I am exceedingly excited for that new addition. Being able to watch the newest movies on the 72-foot by 53-foot IMAX screen and not needing to drive all the way across town are what have me bouncing up and down. I am sure I am not the only one thrilled for the addition. I have heard many students chatting about the new theater and how they cannot wait for it to open. The theater is projected to open in the fall of 2016 and is hoped to bring in revenue.
Although a lot of the stores are closing, and it no longer seems like a mall, the Manhattan Town Center will still be one of my favorite places to go. Hopefully, more popular stores will fill in the open spots and lower the leasing price. Then maybe the Manhattan City Commission can discuss adding onto the building. I know I would like that!
Article by Kitrina Miller, newspaper editor in chief
Photo courtesy of the Manhattan Town Center