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Township and business owners react to struggling malls in Lansing and Meridian Township

Published: Nov. 18, 2020 at 7:33 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Two main local shopping malls may not be open for Mid-Michigan shoppers too much longer.

The Lansing Mall is officially up for sale and the Meridian Mall has filed for bankruptcy. However, Meridian Township is doing the best they can to keep the mall open.

“They made us aware a couple months ago,” Meridian Township Supervisor Frank Walsh said. “I don’t think it was directly affected from the pandemic. Obviously it really hurt, but I think malls have been struggling across this country for probably the last two decades.”

Walsh told News 10 they are working “hand in hand with the owners” because Meridian Mall has been “a staple” in the township for the last 50 years.

“There is a lot of vitality around the mall. It’s in a great location,” Walsh said. “We’ve been working in other things to be around the mall such as residential, adding farmer’s market adjacent to the mall to bring traffic. Also, on the southside, you have a new commercial development going in with retail space.”

On the other hand, a little over 12 miles west, another mall is in trouble and that is the Lansing Mall.

“I think it will (sell),” Lansing Athletics Owner, Al Salas said. “The question is who is going to purchase it, what will it be, apartments or retail?”

Salas just found out on Tuesday that the mall was going up for sale.

“My reaction was we saw it coming,” Salas said. “If it happens, we’re prepared and we’re ready to move.”

Salas stated that after multiple businesses moved out, he had a feeling it would eventually go up for sale. He also told News 10 his thoughts if both the Meridian mall and the Lansing mall went under.

“I hate to say this, but it’s sad to say that the people that would be hurt would be those that don’t do online [shopping] and the small businesses that cannot move forward [would suffer],” Salas said. “I don’t see how they can survive.”

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