The “Dead” Orchards Mall, Benton Harbor, Michigan: Taken Over By Seagulls
What is a “dead” mall? It’s a mall that looks abandoned but is actually still open to the public, with few businesses remaining. The Orchards Mall in Benton Harbor is one of those malls. Not only is the mall practically people-less, but it has seemingly been taken over by seagulls…on the rooftop, not inside. The outside walls, windows, doors, grass, and concrete are splattered with gull poop; the sight and sounds of gulls congregating and doing who-knows-what on the roof are hard to ignore. Not surprising, though, as the mall is only a couple of miles away from Lake Michigan.
With the majority of shops, stores, and eateries either closing down or moving out, the 78 mall store spaces now only has 17 still operating…and those owners have been notified that they could be displaced and moved out when the renovation begins.
What kind of renovation, you may wonder?
According to wndu.com, Near the old JC Penney’s will be a facility with 116 luxury 2-bed, 2-bath apartments. The leases will only be for six months, as the owner hopes to attract corporation CEOs and other ‘business’ people who come to town. Inside the old Penny’s itself will be a hotel with an outdoor swimming pool.
The old Sears will become a sports center, with possibly batting cages, soccer, and tennis courts.
Indoor climate-control storage units are expected to take over the former Carson Pirie Scott store.
The current remaining stores have all been moved to one section of the mall so reconstruction can continue.
Obviously, mall retail just ain’t what it used to be: no hanging out in the middle of the mall scoping out the opposite sex, no free concerts, no meeting friends in the food court, and no exploring.
The gallery below shows what the mall looks like, devoid of mortals except for the occasional eerie presence of a human figure suddenly moving. The sounds of seagulls can sometimes be heard while walking through this mall that seems like something out of the Twilight Zone.
The "Dead" Orchards Mall, Benton Harbor
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