Okemos' Meridian Mall has been a staple for mid-Michigan shoppers for years, even often a destination for Jackson residents, like me, who are looking for a bigger shopping center with more stores we don't have in our town.

Considering it has been a part of the community for over 50 years, we of course want only the best to come out of this place!

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What Happened to the Meridian Mall?

In recent years, while the Meridian Mall does have stores you can't find everywhere else, there has been a noticeable lack of variety and a lot of empty storefronts.

Yes, there are still their more "flagship" stores like Dick's Sporting Goods, Macy's, etc. but what used to make spending an entire day at the mall now seems like more of a treasure hunt.

We all know, or at least have heard, that brick-and-mortar stores, especially malls, have been struggling over the past few years. People either preferring online shopping or more boutique-style, local shopping.

That's why back in November of 2020, The Lansing State Journal (LSJ) reported the company that owns the Meridian Mall, CBL Properties, was (basically) filing for chapter-11 bankruptcy.

"Chattanooga, Tennessee-based CBL Properties which owns nearly 90 commercial properties in the U.S., the Meridian Mall among them," LSJ put it more specifically, citing a news release. "Filed 'voluntary petitions for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code' earlier this month."

Results of Reorganization: Out of Bankruptcy

Now, as of November 18th, 2021, per WILX, CBL Properties was able to bring down their debt by $1.7 billion through the bankruptcy process.

“We are working hand in hand with them, the new strategic investment in entertainment venues like High Kaliber and Lodge have helped,” Meridian Township manager Frank Walsh told WILX. “The new marketplace and farmers markets helped. We have some other strategic ideas we have with the mall to reinvent themselves.”

On That Note, What "Strategic Ideas" Do You Have?

While the Meridian Mall team may have their own ideas of how to revive the shopping center, we want to know what ideas you would have?

Sure, there are plenty of stores around, especialy if you venture to Frandor, Eastwood Towne Center, etc. but what would you like to see come to the mall?

Maybe it's more food court options, maybe it's more trendy stores, maybe more places for activities, beauty services, etc. Whatever it is, we want to know what you would want there!

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