Erik Williams's Commentary

Posted January 21, 2008 (user submitted)

Innsbruck Mall is an interesting mall: anchored by what seem to be a thriving Big Lots, Office Depot and a dated Ingles, the mall has new aspects (such as what seem to be a brand-new parking lot and recently-renovated exterior), indicating that its owners think it's worth the investment; dying aspects (a 2-story '70s interior that is locked on Sundays and that has only a few odd stores in it); and dead aspects (a boarded-up movie theater hidden away from view behind the mall).

Based on the mall's appearance, I'd guess it was built in the 1960s or 1970s, when anything with an enclosed corridor was "all that". It's located in a decent area with some new construction around it, and it is so small that I don't see it as a competitor to Asheville Mall, the thriving regional mall nearby, unless Innsbruck was one of Asheville's first shopping centers and had mall-type stores in the interior that were stolen away by thriving Asheville Mall or now-struggling Biltmore Square, which were both probably built later on. I'd guess it's dying simply because its owners haven't re-tenanted it with big-box tenants or found neighborhood-type retail to serve its environs and to replace whatever stores were previously in its interior.

Whatever this mall's history, there is absolutely no reason to go there unless you just want to see an odd, half-living, half-dead mall or unless you live in the area. Ashevillians deserve better; the city is one of the "hippest" in the South but based on the two malls I've seen there, Biltmore Square and Innsbruck, the retail scene appears bleak.

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