Video: Demolished Sears Store at Metcalf South Mall
WARNING: Under no circumstances should you enter this property. By doing so you risk bodily harm and/or prosecution for trespassing on private property.
Exploring abandoned places in urban areas and suburban areas became a thing in the past decade or so. Old abandoned hospitals, schools, hotels, restaurants, factories. You name it, if it's abandoned someone's explored it. And these days they've probably shot video of it. Which is how I found this video of the old Sears Store at the now-demolished Metcalf South Mall in Overland Park.
Retail history is also a thing folks are interested in. This is why I can tell you even back in 2007 retail historians knew that there was a good chance that the Kansas City area had become over-malled. According to Labelscar, in an article posted back in January of 2007.
It appeared that Kansas City may have overmalled itself. Of the 16 major centers in the metro area, only two of them are successful enclosed malls today, and they are on opposite sides of the metro area: Oak Park Mall in Overland Park and Independence Center in Independence.
While I believe the retail apocalypse is somewhat overstated even with our ability to order anything and have it delivered to our door. No City at this point needs 16 malls, not even Kansas City. And Grady Ellis, posting on a private Facebook group I belong to called All Retail, recently had this to say about Independence Center after asking, is Independence Center dead?
Looking at the tenant list, the mall seems to be holding on, but is no longer a A mall, but somewhere in a low B. The mall retains H&M, and Forever 21, both could be considered junior anchors also, and Dillard's is the sole remaining Department Store. I don't see this mall going anywhere, but is certainly in a uncertain state.
I digress. Metcalf South Shopping Mall opened in 1967 with Sears as an anchor. The mall would expand and add a third level in 1975. And be completely remodeled in 1989-1990. By the early 2000's it was a dead mall, and couldn't compete with two other newer malls in the area Town Center Plaza and The Great Mall of the Plains. Most of the mall has been torn down and replaced with Lowes among other things.
The redevelopment of the Sears building at Metcalf South has had a tougher redevelopment journey than the rest of the mall which you can read about in the Shawnee Mission Post.
As for the Sears building, there's not much left but a shell and plenty of places to fall or hurt yourself while exploring. But it is interesting to check out the building's guts.
This leads me to this reminder, WARNING: Under no circumstances should you enter this property. By doing so you risk bodily harm and/or prosecution for trespassing on private property.
One of the motivating factors to check out old abandoned places in person or on Youtube, like this Sears store, or discuss retail history is nostalgia. It takes us back a little bit, to a simpler time. A time when we were younger, perhaps more carefree. And takes us to a place with memories. I may have never been to the Metcalf Sears, but it still conjures up plenty of good memories of my local Sears store and the mall it was part of.