In a suburb just north of Rochester called Irondequoit there was a rather nice, bright and airy shopping mall (‘nice’ as those things go, mind you), first called The Irondequoit Mall when it opened in 1990.
For reasons that will always be something of a mystery to me*, it began failing as a retail outlet within ten years and has now been almost completely vacant for about a decade. A few hucksters have appeared on the scene in the years since promising this and that to the town board, but nothing of any significance has come to pass. Then, a couple of months ago, with the rather brutal winter afflicting the entire country and of course in this area as well, a bunch of pipes burst in the now unheated gigantic space and the results have been captured on film (or digits, as the case may be) and posted by one of the local news stations here.
A couple of samples:
Bottom line is, it’s a tear down at this point.
Everyone’s sights are turning on the most recent
con man developer, but I think it’s clear from the photographic evidence that the waste of this facility, both inside and outside, is not the product of one pipe bursting incident in January, although I’m sure that didn’t help things. I mean, like I said, the place has been largely vacant for 10 years and it looks just the way it should.
I don’t know why the story interests me. Part of it may be the role that “rumors” of “crime” at the mall around the year 2000 might have played in gutting the place.
There’s a race angle there, of course.
In any event I’m sure some scapegoat will be identified and pilloried somehow, but I don’t think this is as simple as all that. We may be letting ourselves off the hook too easily.
Maybe more on this later.
* Probably the most reasonable explanation is that opening a mall in the Rochester area in 1990 is pretty bad timing, and we might have been pretty well saturated with malls by that time, but like a lot of things economic, you can fake it for a long time, covering losses, etc.