It's no secret that malls are not as popular as they used to be. Online shopping has taken a serious hit to the in-person shopping experience and the pandemic hasn't helped the mall industry.

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The McKinley Mall in Blasdell is an example of a mall that has seen its better days.

According to WKBW, these days the mall has mostly empty parking lots, empty hallways and storefronts.

Many have been wondering what the future holds for the mall, especially since major retailers such as Sears, Macy's and Bon-Ton have left.

“When you compare walking through it now versus walking through it 30 years ago, there’s a tremendous difference,” said Hamburg Town Supervisor Jim Shaw.

Shaw added that the mall's lack of traffic is a big concern and he estimates that 30-35 percent of the storefronts are currently empty.

Back in January, Shaw said that in order to save the McKinley Mall, it must be born as "something new."

Shaw told WKBW that re-zoning would perhaps be in the mall's future.

“We need mixed usages. We need new and creative ideas for family entertainment. What brings people together and what excites them,” Shaw said.

Some new ideas for the mall's space made back in January were:

  • Mixed Use Development
  • Recreation/Entertainment Center
  • Medical Center
  • Retail

The McKinley Mall is a nice change of pace if you don't enjoy big crowds, especially during holiday shopping times, but I know that won't help the mall's future.

We'll have to wait and see what happens. What are your ideas for the McKinley Mall?