METROCENTER: JACKSON, MS
Chris Carter's Commentary
Posted September 8, 2005 (user submitted)
This mall opened to great fanfare in 1978, with 120 shops, 2 levels, and 1.25 million square feet. Its anchors were Sears, Dillard's, McRae's and Gayfers. It quickly killed off the Jackson Mall downtown, which has since been redeveloped as a medical center.
It was the best mall in town until the even bigger Northpark, just outside the city limits, opened in 1985. By the '90s, with high taxes and high crime in the city, "Metro" was going downhill, while Northpark was riding the economic boom. It even had 2 Victoria's Secrets at one time!
By the 2000s, most anchors had left and gang activity was rampant. There were fights and shootings in the mall, and unsupervised teenagers were banned soon after. A smaller, open-air mall, Dogwood Festival Market, in the suburb of Flowood opened in 2002. Needless to say, it didn't have dark corners to hide in.
I last went to Metro a couple of years ago, and was shocked at how empty the mall I grew up in had become. Its rise and fall is reminiscent of the now-gone Mall of Memphis. Now, all that's left is Sears, McRae's, secondary urban shops (shoes, fashion, jewelry, sports gear) and a few fast-food places; not to mention lots of dark corners.