Bryan Menard's Commentary

Posted 05/01/2008 (user submitted)

I'm a dead mall enthusiast from Corpus Christi. This mall has been through a lot of turmoil in the past and I hadn't been in 6 months and was surprised at my visit today.

I took some pictures of Sunrise Mall in its current state. The mall was foreclosed on in September 2008 by IBC Bank, the previous owners' biggest creditor. With the new owners, the mall is undergoing a total rehabilitation right now. I got some pictures of the progress being made and also spoke with Lee Hassman, the new General Manager, as well as the Director of Security, Samuel Lopez.

The place is spotless now and I mean that wholeheartedly. They've given the whole place a bath. They had this place cleaned up in a first class way and there is visible janitorial staff present. They've gotten the Mall's beautiful fountains all working again. The elevators are all working and they have awarded the contract to rehabilitate the escalators, which are currently turned off. Samuel Lopez said the escalators should be fixed within a month. The movie "The Legend of Billie Jean" had a huge scene filmed at the mall. The film, made in 1985, shows the mall in it's true original state, and it is currently being remodeled from the cieling all the way down to the plant work, to reflect this once prosperous time for the property.

The first thing noticed upon initial viewing of the property is the well known security presence. They have a truck patrolling the parking garages and there are uniformed officers everywhere. They are employed by "Andrews International" of Houston, Texas.

Lee Hassman said "This mall is far from dead!" The vacancy in the mall is still really high (over 80%) but the mood is definitely upbeat amongst the retailers in the mall. Everyone is turning on their lighted signs now and it really seems like they're excited with the new ownership.

They've got a lot of work to do on this mall, but they've got good financing and an owner who is really sinking money into it. IBC bank is wanting to rehabilitate the property and sell it. They foreclosed on two malls owned by the same guy (the other one, also dead, was Six Flags Mall in Arlington, Texas). They're committed to rehabilitating both of them and selling them to new respectable owners.

The future seems to look bright for this property. Hopefully in these hard economic times, miracles can really start to happen.


Furniture store aims to bring life to old mall: June 22, 2007 05:33 PM EDT
Watch video on page as well as article

Photobucket - Pictures of the Sunrise Mall.

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