Tulsa’s Promenade Mall closed its doors on Sunday, marking what is likely its permanent closure. The decision to shut down came after the owners, Kohan Retail Investment Group, failed to update the mall’s fire code requirements in accordance with the Tulsa Fire Department’s regulations. Despite multiple requests for comment dating back to March, the New York-based company has not responded.
For many residents of Tulsa, the closure of Promenade Mall was not surprising. Erik Legelein, a local resident, mentioned that the town could only support one mall, mentioning that Eastland Mall closed down twenty years ago. Legelein also noted that the rise of online shopping and food delivery, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, has changed the way people shop and therefore affected the viability of physical malls.
Fatima Cordero, another Tulsa resident, shared similar sentiments and stated that it was about time for the mall to close. She mentioned that the mall only managed to stay open due to a ball pit and the nail salon. Cordero visited the mall on its final day to get a last-minute nail appointment.
Bridal Rentals and More, a business that operated in Promenade Mall for five years, had to rely on assistance from friends, family, and former customers to move out of the mall in time. Owner Brenda Hughes mentioned the challenges of finding moving companies on such short notice and expressed gratitude for the support she received.
For Alex Pham, son of the owners of Nail Studio & Spa, the mall holds significant sentimental value, representing both his family’s business and his childhood. Pham reminisced about spending time at the mall, doing homework and witnessing shops come and go over the years. The closure of the mall deeply affected him, and he even mentioned crying about it.
As the mall closed, many stores were selling off furniture and appliances before relocating. Some businesses are hopeful that they can maintain their operations in their new locations. Pham’s family, for example, will be moving their nail salon to a different spot, while Hughes mentioned that her business will be in Mall 31 at 31st and Sheridan.
In conclusion, the closure of Promenade Mall marks the end of an era for Tulsa residents. The changing landscape of retail, along with the failure to meet fire code requirements, contributed to the mall’s demise. Businesses are now faced with the challenges of finding new locations and adapting to the evolving shopping habits of consumers.