Sunday, August 4, 2019

Goodbye Collin Creek Mall 1981-July 31, 2019

Here is the Collin Creek Mall located in Plano Texas. This mall had been on my list for a while, but I did not have a chance to visit it until May of 2019. With over a million square feet of retail space, Collin Creek opened in 1981 and was remodeled twice during its lifespan. The interior of the mall still looked fairly new during my visit. The mall fell out of favor with shoppers due to newer competition. At the time of my visit, the news of the impeding closure of the mall had broken. The interior of the mall would have probably limped along for a year or so in this state. A lot of national chains were still operating in the mall. Here is the website to the mall which has photos of the new massive development that will take the place of the mall. Most of the mall building will be demolished to make room for the new development.

My video from the trip to the mall.

Here are some videos from Dead malls with Jeff and company who has visited the mall several times over the years. 
Farewell party 7/26/2019. This is how the legacy of a closing mall should be celebrated.
and
Jeff's video from 2017

The final day for Collin Creek Mall was July 31, 2019.

This was the first anchor I saw upon my entrance to the property. The falling R was a perfect way to sum up how the mall was doing at the time. The Sears closed in March 2019.


The crews were in the process of moving items out of the former Amazing Jakes. Amazing Jakes closed in April 2019. This anchor was originally a Lord and Taylor, then it was converted into a Mervyn's.

Former Sanger-Harris/Foley's/Macy's. This location closed in March 2017.

You have to appreciate the detail that went into the tilework of these locations. Not many of these stores still exist these days, and this one will be gone soon as well.


Now for the interior of the mall. I took about 3 laps around the mall top and bottom, so the pictures will reflect my path through the mall. The interior of the mall reminds me of a mix of Deerbrook Mall in Humble Texas and the former Highland Mall in Austin Texas.

Finish Line is finished.

Going up to the former Sanger-Harris/Foley's/Macy's mall entrance.

Here is the entrance to the above mentioned anchor.

Emptiness awaits!

The only store open in this vast area of the mall was a huge Bath and Body Works/White Barn.



There it is Bath and Body Works, when everyone else is gone they will still be here.

The Amazing Jakes mall entrance, we will see more of this anchor later.

Wifi was still on.

The former Sears corridor had more shops.

Christopher and Banks was the lone holdout here on the second floor.

A trio of stores still hanging on. Of course GNC had to be one of them.

As for the circular skylights, pink is the Dillard's to Sears corridor. Yellow is the JCPenney to Macy's corridor.

The former Sears 2nd floor entrance. The stores that closed after the bankruptcy filing still have their signs up. It almost looks like the store is just closed for the day.

View of the inside of the above Sears.


The food court was situated in between JCPenney and Dillard's on the 2nd floor. 

The former Dillard's entrance 2nd floor. Dillard's closed in 2014.

Emptiness in the food court.


One of the few signs of life at the mall. A mirrored glass JCPenney. The location will remain open throughout the redevelopment.

More emptiness in the food court.



The food court was designed to grab your attention when going into the center court of the mall.

A sad flag over the center of the mall.


This booth was brought back to life for the goodbye party at the mall. Snacks and beverages were once again available here for just one day.


The main corridors remind me of Deerbrook Mall in Humble Texas in a way.

Lonely mannequins in the former Pacsun.

This Aeropostale location somehow survived the bankruptcy.



This pretzel place next to Sears had some awesome neon, but sadly it was turned off.

1st floor of the former Sears.

Inside of the above Sears.


Champs appeared to have recently closed.

From this view here, you would think the mall is still doing well.

Another holdout, Lens Crafters.


Going back up to the 2nd floor.

The view from the Sears entrance.

This Shoe Care store was all alone in this corridor. 

More empty stores.

Another shot of the Shoe Care in the otherwise empty hallway.

More empty storefronts.





Here is the view through one of the mall windows of the second floor of the Amazing Jakes.

The map of the Amazing Jakes.

Here is the other 2nd floor entrance view through the mall entrance glass of the Amazing Jakes.

The Terrace Food court stands out over the center court.


I really like this view of the Terrace and the flag together.

This jewelry store overlooks the otherwise empty center court.


For those who want to see why Amazing Jakes closed.

Here is what the inside of the first floor looked like. It looks like most of the rides had already been removed at this point.

You know a mall is struggling when Champs and Foot Locker are on the directional signs. At this point, all 3 on this sign were no longer operating.


A 1990's Electronics Boutique which was probably converted into a Gamestop later.

The exterior of the above store.

Inside of the former Pacsun.

Foot Locker appeared to have recently moved out.



Looking from near the former Dillard's to the center court.

The center court elevator.

The entrance to the former Dillard's.

A massage place operating in the corner next to the first floor of the former Dillard's.

Dillard's first floor entrance.


The elevator had seen better days.

JCPenney 


Inside of the JCPenney, mirrored glass features in the escalator area.

One of the model train clubs that seem to find space in dead malls. Sunrise, Wonderland, Northwest, Collin Creek, and Town and Country malls had similar setups.


A former Disney store. This is one of the stores that was still filled with merchandise but was not open on my Sunday afternoon visit. 

The Plano Eye Clinic was the only business near the former Macy's on the first floor still open.


No more cookies.

Same Macy's corridor view from 2 different directions.
North

South

Former American Eagle.

A former Suncoast.

The exterior of the former Suncoast.

Finish Line again.


Former Sanger-Harris/Foley's/Macy's first floor entrance.

Inside of the former Finish Line.

The lonely Plano Eye Clinic.


Inside of the former Forever 21, next to the 2nd floor Macy's entrance.

An interesting restaurant. Tino's Mexican which closed December 29, 2012 after 30 years in business. After such a long run, it is sad to see established businesses like this one close. Here is their Facebook page.





The mall entrance near Tino's has a little water damage. This is one of the few spots in the mall that I could find with a maintenance issue.

The mall logo in the above entrance.




The former Forever 21 that was pictured above a few slides.


A former Payless. As of June 2019, all Payless stores in the USA closed due to bankruptcy.

Inside of the above Payless.

A store that appeared to be in the process of moving out. Dream Events and Weddings.





Bath and Body Works closed about a week after my visit.



More center court and food court views.



Dillard's second floor entrance with the children's playground in front.

The iconic elevator in the center court.

More various empty stores.




The restrooms were still in very good shape and clean.

Not sure what store this used to be, but the get noticed sign caught my eye.




This former arcade was a bargain when it was open. Here is their Facebook page.
It is always sad that these small businesses are forced out in the name of progress. Collin Creek was a very well maintained and clean mall. It is one of the nicest looking dead malls that I have visited.

Inside of the former Gameplay Arcade.

The exterior of the former Gameplay Arcade.

A few more images near the former Macy's.



Amazing Jakes

Road sign at one of the mall entrances.

The Sears had an interesting design with arches over the entrances. 



Classic Package pick-up sign.

The former Dillard's. This location looks similar to the Valley View location that was recently demolished. 

Here you can see the Dillard's and the JCPenney nearly side by side.

More of the split anchors. It looks like the mall was built to be expanded between the two anchors.


More views of the Sanger-Harris/Foley's/Macy's. This section of the mall is sloped up to the second floor of the anchor. The mural is not as large as it is on the other side of the store.


A few more photos as we leave the mall.



More new content coming soon.



2 comments:

  1. Thanks for giving this mall a proper memorial. It is quite amazing that mall which looks as nice as this mall does is now closed. Then again, I suppose it's not amazing at all that the mall closed given the number of vacancies. It's quite amazing how major corridors of that mall were almost completely vacant.

    You mention how this mall looks a bit like Deerbrook Mall. That was my feeling even before you mentioned Deerbook. It also looks like The Woodlands Mall in a way. I suppose a lot of two-story malls have a pretty similar look and layout. I find that design to be a bit problematic especially upstairs where the corridors are very narrow and it can be difficult to walk without bumping into people or getting slowed down by slow walkers. Even the downstairs corridors can be rather narrow, but it's not as bad as it is upstairs. Granted, it had probably been a long time since this mall had to worry about excessive foot traffic!

    This mall and Sears probably opened the same year as the Willowbrook Mall Sears in Houston. The two Sears stores have/had similar arched patterns, but they are executed in different ways. I'll say that the Collin Creek Sears probably looked more impressive when it opened, but the Willowbrook Sears has probably aged better due to a more simplistic arch design. The famous white tile mall entryway at this Sears is a bit different than what we're used to seeing. It seems like a hybrid design using some elements of the older Sears mall entryway designs which this mall probably had when it opened.

    I would guess that the owners of this mall renovated it sometime in the not so distant past and hoped that the renovation would bring back the shoppers. I suppose that idea failed. It's quite amazing how this mall has nice, shiny floors, but now it's closed. Of course, there are a lot of 1990s elements in this mall as well so perhaps it has been a while since at least some things were renovated.

    That "Get Noticed" sign is in a former Sunglass Hut. I can see their website address in the mirror there on the side.

    Some of the last tenants at this mall were predictably Bath & Body Works and GNC. I read recently that GNC plans on closing up to 900 stores and that most of the closures will be in malls. I suppose they'll be closing these stores as their leases come up for renewal. GNC says their regular shopping center stores have been stable, but I suppose sales are slipping at mall locations. Perhaps GNC will no longer be a dying mall staple. That could help cause some dying malls to close even earlier than they normally would.

    It's interesting that this mall had a shoe repair store out in the lesser traveled corridors of the mall. That's a feature that some Houston malls have. I wonder if some of these small shops have relocated since the mall closed or if they'll just give up.

    Anyway, thanks for the photos of this mall. It was rather amazing experiencing a mall in this condition closing down. I'm also glad to hear that some of the famous mall bloggers made it down for the closing ceremony. It's cool for the mall operators to do that. It seems that the redevelopment might keep some indoor shopping open so maybe the mall won't be completely a piece of history. Of course, I have no clue how realistic the redevelopment plans are.

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    Replies
    1. The mall was last renovated in 2008 and the current floors were part of that renovation. The hallways are a little on the thin side except at the anchor entrances and center court area.

      It is very surprising that the residents gave up on the mall and prefer outdoor centers with the Texas heat. The demographics of the area are favorable to keeping a mall busy, but the mall failed. It was surprising to see so many chains still open or having recently closed.

      Part of the mall structure will be kept, but it will be turned into an open air shopping center.

      Up until recently the mall still had Champs, Foot Locker, and Finish Line. I guess the mall and Shoe Care still had good business with sneaker enthusiasts.

      I really like the fact that the new owners set up the inside of the mall for the celebration. Too many properties are closed to the public, and then the celebrations happen when the bulldozers start tearing away the structure.

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