ELK GROVE -- It's been called the ‘ghost mall, teetering in a half-life along the highway in Elk Grove for years.
But now, with the developer's new plan to demolish its skeleton of a shopping center, the concept will be spirited away for good.
"They're not actually gonna build the mall/ they're not? Wow... that's bad," said Elk Grove resident, Chancey Thorton.
After hitting its first major hurdle after the Great Recession... this wanna-be mall got a hint of new life when the economy rebounded with plans for a Macy's anchor store and a 14-screen theater.
But the Howard Hughes Corporation, which privately owns the property near Highway 99 and Grant Line Road, kept postponing opening dates and took no action as its development agreement with the city expired mid-December.
Elk Grove Chamber of Commerce Chairman, Kevin Spease said, "there was a lot of economic impact that would be good for the rest of the businesses here in Elk Grove.... and it's unfortunate that it's not coming."
That's what the new chairman of the Elk Grove Chamber of Commerce had to say as some of his group’s 300 members networked through their first business mixer of the year.
But he also had this to offer:
"After years of it not happening... I think the best thing for them is to do the demolition. I think that's actually the best thing for Elk Grove. It allows Elk Grove to move forward from those darker economic days."
The hope is stores that had signed leases agreeing to flesh out the ghost mall will consider moving to other areas of town.
Angel Gil says a new store here and there is better than nothing, but he wants a mall.
"There's some stores. There's a Burlington Coat Factory, Target and Walmart. but if you want like a mall, my goddaughter likes Forever 21 or anything like that. You have to go all the way down to Arden and that's a lot of traffic to fight just to go by a $60 pair of jeans," Gil said.