Peach Tree Mall (Feather River Center); Linda/Marysville, California

The Feather River Center is located just southeast of downtown Marysville, in the unincorporated community of Linda. Originally constructed in 1972 to serve the rural Yuba-Sutter metropolitan area an hour north of Sacramento, the 400,000 square foot center was dubbed simply “The Mall” at the time and is to this day the only major retail center in Yuba County. For 14 years, the center was the largest retail draw in the area, serving the mostly agricultural/military population in this part of the Central Valley. Due to the absence of information about the mall on the internet, I have little sense of what the mall’s anchors were. The southernmost anchor strongly remembles many of the Kmart stores built in the mid-70s, especially the mall-based ones, and I wouldn’t be shocked if either of the other two anchors was a Sears or a Montgomery Ward. Given how long it’s been since this mall was a viable retail center–and given my lack of awareness of the area’s smaller regional retailers–there’s not really much guesswork (or labelscar investigation) to do.

In 1986, the Yuba-Sutter area endured a devastating flood that left many areas around Marysville and Yuba City under water, and it was especially devastating in the Linda and Olivehurst area. The mall was flooded to the ceiling and was effectively destroyed in the floods. As a result, planning began almost immediately to replace the mall on higher ground, with the larger Yuba Sutter Mall in Yuba City. Yuba City–across the river from Marysville and Linda–was where much of the area’s new population growth and development was beginning to occur. Yuba County, which includes the Linda and Olivehurst area, is one of California’s poorest and the impact of the floods worsened this trend considerably. (This UC Davis paper on migration trends in California’s northern Central Valley details many of the larger trends impacting the area in the 80s and 90s).

Despite the devastation of the flood and the flight of retail dollars to the new Yuba Sutter Mall in Sutter County, the mall soldiered on post-flood as the “Peach Tree Mall,” but it appears this wasn’t successful in the long-term, if the dated and worn appearance of the outside of the mall is any indication. The mall more or less failed completely as a retail center at some point and was renamed the “Feather River Center” and used as a home for county and medical offices. It appears that the last of these functions exited the mall in 2006 or 2007, however, leaving it almost completely abandoned today. The only tenant in the center is a FoodMaxx store occupying the anchor at the mall’s southern end.

As of 2007, there was news that the mall may be slated for redevelopment. Several proposals were being circulated–and there were stories in the news–that the site was due to be sold for redevelopment as a cluster of big box stores, likely featuring usual suspects like Home Depot and Target.

Truth be told, it’s not often nowadays that you find a mall that’s as abandoned and as forgotten as the Peach Tree Mall. Dead mall “tourism” means that most of these places were long ago heavily documented on Flickr, but this one strangely hasn’t and there’s almost nothing about it on the internet. It’s a creepy, sad place and I didn’t honestly want to stay anywhere near it for long, hence my sort of crappy photos. Maybe people in the northern Central Valley don’t care, but if you want to buy it, it’s for sale: $10 million even.

More Links:

UPDATE 8/12/2012: We received an email from a man who has been a resident of the area for a long time and worked as a contractor on the mall who was able to fill in some of the mystery. The Peach Tree Mall was constructed in 1972, but not in its entirety; the entire southern half (by Kmart) was an expansion in 1984, not long before the flood. The original northern anchor stores were a Pay-N-Save drugstore in the northwest corner of the building and a Safeway in the northeast corner. Just south of the corridor south of the Safeway on the front side of the mall was a Chuck E. Cheese Pizzatime Theatre. The large tenant space south of the Pay-N-Save Drugs on the west (back) side was a regional sporting goods store which was one of the few tenancies to include a basement.  The two-story largest tenant space on the west at center was a J.C. Penney store open from 1972 to February 1986 (flood).

On the west side of the building, south of the J.C. Penney store, there is a public exit corridor that exactly aligns east-west with a change in the front line of the east side (front) of The Mall, which was the southern end of The Mall, as originally constructed in 1972.

The “K-mart” looking facade fronts a public corridor, part of an expansion completed circa 1984.  The actual K-mart occupied the space presently occupied by the Food Maxx Store, with the glass front entry of the K-mart facing north along the main interior corridor of The Mall.  The large space at the rear west side of The Mall, was a four-screen movie theater, one of the few tenants to return for a while after the 1986 flood.

Contrary to other posters: Sears was never a tenant.  Some time in the late 1950′s Sears was in Marysville, but relocated to Yuba City in its present location approximately 1962.  There has never been a Macy’s store in The Mall.  Montgomery Ward was located in Marysville, near Hwy 20 at I Street until it closed in the late 1990′s. Also, we neglected to mention one other active tenant at the mall today: a Les Schwab Tires in the former J.C. Penney Auto Center at the front of the mall.

49 Responses to “Peach Tree Mall (Feather River Center); Linda/Marysville, California”

  1. That anchor storefront definitely says Kmart to me…maybe the other anchor was a local anchor?

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    Scott Reply:

    @Pseudo3D, The mall once thrived, and I remember well. Where the food max now sits, K-mart once did. an add on to the mall years after its construction. safe way. pay n save, basken robins, millers out post, imports international, T-shirt junction, J.C. Penney, Hallmark store, the pied pipeper toy store, honey tree frozen yougurt, and finaly k-mart. were the major stores. I hate to look upon it now, as It sickens me to remember it so fondley as it was, and as it sets now a rotting carcass. a shadow that reminds me all good things are gone. I wish some one would help the area, and buy the mall. fix it up. dont tear it down. the flood threat is not as it was then. stores again, christmas there again, Oh god I miss it.

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    George Middleton Reply:

    @Scott, FYI macys was once there as well sears Kmart jc penny’s a cinema building separate of the main bldg chucky cheeses an arcade two jewelry stores and more; it was a great place to go when we were children 1986 is what killed this as a major mall the mall moved to yuba city cause no major retailers wanted to risk losing everything once again and BTW people died in the flood in the old kmart and main halls so in 95 the welfare office and health department was there but never was a happy place after 86 floods has a very bad aura now

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    J Arnold Reply:

    I am very interested in putting a business in this building. It would help the local economy, give people in the area something to do and clean up the mall that was once held so dear to some.

    Anyone know whom I would contact? I live nearby, own a house here, in fact, and I would love to help out Yuba County as well as Linda to better our image.

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    Joe Reply:

    @J Arnold, I too have thought about doing something like that maybe if enough of us got together and threw something in there we could bring it back again!!!

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  2. JCPenney was the other anchor.

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  3. I take it the mall is sealed off?

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    Caldor Reply:

    @JT, Yeah, totally sealed. It was really dark and dingy looking inside. I didnt really even want to get out of the car to try the doors because I would’ve raised suspicion.

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    JT Reply:

    @Caldor, Lots of cops in the area? I typically just look over my shoulder then go just stick the camera up to the glass. For me, I’m just wishing I could sneak into one particular dead mall.

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  4. I feel like I forgot to write the first paragraph of this post somehow?

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  5. Yep. Pic 3 is definitely a former Penney’s building.

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    Caldor Reply:

    @Bobby P., if you look at the floorplan, the anchor “facade” that you see in picture 3 is actually a mall entrance. There’s a portion of the mall there that’s two level and in *front* of the JCPenney, which was in the back of the mall itself. So it’s still kind of confusing.

    No idea what the northernmost anchor (in picture 1) was. According to the floorplan it appears this was carved up at some point into smaller spaces, but that may have been when it was being used as a medical center space. My best guess is Montgomery Ward as that’d be consistent with the time and demographics of the location, but it could’ve been anything. It may have always been smaller anchor spaces too.

    BTW I realized I have no photos of the FoodMaxx store. It’s in the space just to the side of the “Kmarty” facade and opens direct to the parking lot. Pretty straightforward.

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    Caldor Reply:

    Oh and I guess Sears is probably a likely candidate too, as there’s one of those at Yuba Sutter Mall. There was also a Gottschalks there, but for some reason I don’t think that’s what was in this space.

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    Bobby P. Reply:

    @Caldor, There are several Gnews hits here that verify Penney’s as a former anchor: http://news.google.com/archivesearch?pz=1&um=1&cf=all&ned=us&hl=en&q=%22peach+tree+mall%22+%22penney%22&cf=all&channel=s

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    Kirb Reply:

    @Bobby P.,
    Those also articles also verify that K-Mart was an anchor.

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    Chained Reply:

    @Caldor, There was a K-mart at that mall, but there was never a Sears. JC Pennys and a lot of small boutique stores were there though. Peach Tree Mall basically died out after the 1986 flood. It just never recovered.

    I remember quite a bit about it since I grew up in the area.

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    George Middleton Reply:

    @Chained, yes sears was there but they Moved in 84 to their own store in Marysville and then to the mall in YC there was also a goodyear tire center outside the mall which became les schwabb in the 90′s

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    JT Reply:

    @Caldor, I guess malls anchored with Kmart and Penney’s aren’t completely unheard of. I covered one the other day but it was the opposite of dead despite the fact it was ancient looking inside. I bet the upper level of the JCPenney wasn’t used for most of the store’s life in this mall. I know of more than one two-level Penney’s where they only use the bottom level for merchandise. Apparently when they abandoned hardlines they shrunk the stores.

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    Caldor Reply:

    @JT, oh, malls anchored by JCPenney and Kmart are actually quite common, especially if built in the ’70s in rural areas. Many of the rural parts of the Northeast had malls exactly like that–often around 300,000 sqft, a simple dumbell, with JCPenney and Kmart and no other anchors.

    In THIS case, there was clearly a third anchor of some sort and it’s just never mentioned anywhere.

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    Chip Reply:

    @Caldor, Thunderbird Mall in Virginia MN had JC Penneys, K-Mart, and Herbergers as anchors before Penneys moved out around 2001. Its space is now a Durham Sports. K-Mart replaced a Red Owl grocery. Income levels in Virginia and Yuba City look quite similar.

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  6. Looks like there were three large anchors here and a junior anchor of some sort. Considering the vintage, I’d say Kmart was on the left, JCPenney was the center anchor, with a soft-goods anchor in the carved up anchor spot, and a drug or variety store in the junior anchor slot between Penney’s and the carved-up anchor.

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  7. All of the sources I’ve found, even the ones dating from 1986 and prior, say that it only had *two* anchors. Strange. My best guess is that the mystery anchor closed early on and got carved up.

    Also, it couldn’t have been Wards since there was a standalone one near downtown.

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  8. You know what this mall needs to be revitalized. Gottschalk by Joe Levy!

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  9. Well slap my hide and call me Elvis Presley. I’ve never heard of this mall… and I thought I knew every mall in Northern California!

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  10. Hi Elvis Presley, are you all shook up? Or you outside with your Hounddog. LOL

    Sorry, I just found that histerically funny.

    Now now, don’t do anything that would cause you to end up playing Jailhouse Rock!

    OK, I’ll quit while I’m a head, besides I want to remain on posting terms once this goes up.

    Thanks, I always apriciate a good sence of humer.

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  11. Was just reading some of the speculation for the Peach Tree Mall (or Feather River Center), and wanted to chime in. My dad was in the Air Force, and we grew up on nearby Beale Air Force Base in the early to mid 80′s. We moved away in 1986, just before the floods.

    My memories of PTM are exactly what most of you have said. There were two anchors (K-Mart and Penney’s), along with a four screen theater, a Chuck E Cheese, and a bunch of smaller stores.

    The first flood in 1986 hurt the mall, but it was a second mall in 1997 that decided it’s fate. When I went back in 1989 to visit some friends, the Penney’s was still open, but the K-Mart had closed. Theater was also still open…but the mall was in bad shape

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  12. My Family owned the Orange Julius in this mall before the 1086 flood so I was familiar with its layout. JC Pennys was the anchor in the middle of the mall with Kmart and a movie theater occupying the left end of the mall. Rumor has it at the time JC Pennys was about to pull out before the flood happened do t declining sales.

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    Prange Way Reply:

    1086 flood?

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    Dee Reply:

    @Andy B, I remember the mall as a kid. The Orange Julius was a popular place. There was a door in the back with a pitchfork on it and I belived that was the door to where the devil lived.

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  13. Lifelong Linda resident here (not something I usually brag about) I have many memories of watching movies at the Peachtree Mall theater. They got the last run of the movies, and it was not a show at the Peachtree unless the film burned at least once.

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  14. They used that mall after the flood for things like dhs and army recruiting and they still used the theater…they still might but i haven’t been there since 1994. wow the memories…:)

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  15. I grew up in the area and the mall was actually named, “Peach Tree Mall” prior to the flooding in 1986. The title, “The Mall” was the given name to the new mall in Yuba City, until recently when it was changed to, “Yuba-Sutter Mall”. In fact, as a Jr. High and high school student, my friends and I would mock our city’s seemingly lack of ability to come up with a more creative name.

    I was only 5 years old when the 1986 flood struck, but I remember a lot of details about the Peach Tree Mall. It was home to a K-Mart and a Sears. I also recall a Chuck-E-Cheeses being in close vicinity. My grandma would often take me there for lunch.

    The devastation of the Peach Tree Mall changed the economic state of the area significantly. There was an eerie emptiness that took root in the once thriving building. I remember my school hosted an art competition and all of our paintings were displayed in the former mall.

    The mall was empty for much of my childhood and saw random businesses here and there, specifically a mom and pop video store in the 90s and maintained a fairly successful, cheap movie theater throughout the early-mid 90s.

    I have so many memories of the Peach Tree Mall. I also have the sad memories of flooding that wiped out so many stores and jobs, not to mention so many homes.

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  16. I Have Lived in Olivehurst All my Life (24 years) and Have been in the mall 2 times Once to buy a Mattress in the long closed furniture store the other to see Hocus Pocus At the Theater From what I’ve Been told It was Better Than the Yuba City Mall. I’ve Wanted To walk around inside this mall every since it closed for good.Lately someone has been going inside through the back door by the old JC Penney. I wonder whats up. I Think This Building Would make a Great Indoor Farmers Market.

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  17. the flood was bad. when it hit i was going out of linda, headed to marysville.. all i heard was a bang then water. people died but they never told anyone. but it was from restaurant.

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  18. I was just there yesturday and in broad day light there is an uneasy feeling around the place. I was wondering if anyone wanted the photos I took?

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  19. Visiting the area, memory tested my mother for this additional information: major anchors were Penneys, Pak and Save, and Safeway. Secondary sized store were Arthurs department store, Kaufmans (mens), Radio Shack. And then there were a bunch of local retailers like Rich’s womenswear), Devons, Grinages (womenswear), Syd Kahn shoes, Thoroughbred (we think this is the name of the bar/nightclub upstairs across from JCP). There was a cleaner, tux rental and eye glass place and buffet restaurant…in addition to the pet store.

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  20. My mom used to take me there every so often, but I don’t really remember because I was like 6… I know there was a portrait place where her friend worked and I think a frozen yogurt place (but I might be getting that confused with another dead mall here)

    Anyway, it’s crazy to see all the decline that the area has went through since we moved out to Kansas.

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  21. At age 5 my family moved to East Linda in 1981, just a minute drive from this mall. I moved out of California in 1994. I remember the mall name as “Peach Tree Mall.” I have very fond memories of this area including the mall; it’s part of my childhood.

    I don’t remember there being a Sears, Macys or Dillard’s located in this mall between 1981 and 1994. Sears was always located in Yuba City by the old Thrifty Drug Store, now the Yuba City Mall location. Montgomery Wards was always located in Marysville across from Lucky and Longs Drugstore. I do remember three anchor stores at this mall which were Kmart (now Foodmaxx), JC Penny (middle of mall), and Pay ‘n Save (opposite end of the mall from Kmart). There was a Baskin-Robbins located in the mall across from Pay ‘n Save. If I remember correctly there was a Payless Shoe store located in the mall between JC Penny and Pay ‘n Save.

    There was an awesome arcade located just left of the center mall main entrance (it had an outside and inside mall entrance), as well as a Chuck E Cheese. The single outside glass entry door to the old arcade can be seen in two of the posted pictures on this page. It’s partly hidden behind a flag pole in one picture. The Chuck E Cheese changed to a “King Lions”? after the flood of 1986. There was a Millers Outpost and K Bee toys store located between the Kmart and JC Penny’s. There was an Olan Mills portrait studio located across from the Kmart. I remember a restaurant (unknown name) located across the hall from JC Penny. I remember the movie theatre located in the mall. I remember standing in line outside with my dad to see Back to the Future. There were several other small retailers in the mall as well. I remember before the 86’ flood every location in the mall was occupied except the larger space directly across the hall from Pay ‘n Save always seemed vacant.

    After the flood of 86’ the mall reopened with several stores but it was only a skeleton of its former self. There was a Food 4 Less store where the Kmart was after the flood. The mall never recovered after the flood, due in part to the new mall location in Yuba City. Before the flood the mall was a shopping destination for the Yuba-Sutter area.

    My fondest memory of the mall was during Christmas. Every season the mall was adorned with incredible decorations. Inside there were large automated displays including Santa’s elves playing, and making toys. The displays were situated throughout the mall.

    I meet a man years after the flood who helped remodel the inside of the mall before the reopening. He had removed the old brown automatic entry doors to JC Penny and installed them on a pool house in his back yard.

    If I remember correctly the detached building in the mall parking, which is now a Les Schwab tire store, used to be a carpet/furniture store prior to 1986.

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  22. I have driven by this mall many times during the course of my work schlepping people home from the Sac airport, and have been wanting to go inside and explore. Does anyone have any pictures from inside? Really, really curious. The burgeoning urban explorer in me is dying to have a look.

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  23. I was still pretty young when this mall was still around, but, I do have a few memories of being taken to the Olan Mills portrait studios when I was a child. I was able to go into the mall once when I was younger, in the nineties it seems there were some businesses housed there, a welfare office if I recall, and so the main entrance had one unlocked door and you could walk around, everything dark. I remember a toy store, Mervyns and Sears both had other locations in that area at the time but, those stores were more successful then and so I could see the mall having a Sears. I do remember that KMart as it had an oddly decorated food court.

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  24. And the reason you don’t break in is because the fire department is across a small street from the mall, in full view.

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  25. I was a teenager in the 80s, and I grew up in the area. I spent many, many hours in this mall. Neither Sears nor Montgomery Wards were mall tenants. Sears was in Yuba City (where the only local mall is now) and Montgomery Ward was in Marysville near the 10th street bridge. The Peach Tree Mall was anchored by Kmart, a huge JCPenneys, and I think Pay & Save? It also had a great movie theater and lots of really cool smaller stores. The newer mall in Yuba City is nowhere near as nice as this mall once was. I remember shopping at the mall the day before the 1986 flood. I bought some new shirts and a couple of records from Musicland. Those were the days, lots of great memories.

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  26. Ugh, this is sad, this Mall was my childhood, I remember it as a happening place where everyone went, I remember Pay n’ Save, Kmart and my favorite KB Toys…I was 9 years old when the flood hit and we were evacuated, scariest night of my life….when we did come back months later it wasn’t for long and I don’t remember the Mall ever really being the same =/ This brings back tons of fond memories, thanks.

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  27. I have pictures of the malls grand opening and some of chuckie cheeses , after the flood alot of these businesses left the area. the term the mall was given to this mall back in the 80′s but nowadays everyone calls the roseville galleria “the mall “

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    Gerard Reply:

    Oh and also the theater hasn’t been open since 1995
    It’s a shame considering yuba county has none of its theaters Currently open and one of them was just recently turned into business offices they left the lobby out But turned auditorium into space for offices

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  28. I lived in Marysville during the mid to late 1980′s and remember the 1986 flood. I left the area in 1989 and now live in Maine. I was in this mall (at Radio Shack) just before it flooded. I had left the mall parking lot shortly before it was evacuated. Upon returning to work at Beal A.F.B., I learned that a levee on the Yuba River just north of the mall had broken and was flooding the area and evacuations in Linda and Olivehurst were underway. The building where I worked at Beal A.F.B. became an evacuation center. I recall that there was a great deal of rain that winter and a deep snow pack in the Sierras. Heavy persistent rain and a rapid snow melt during February caused Levees and reservoirs to fill to the brim. The Yuba River was cresting just underneath the train trestles viewed from the E Street Bridge. It was quite a site. I still have some old newspaper photos and a newspaper article from the Appeal-Democrat about the flood, including an aerial shot of this mall under water. The 1986 Yuba County flood was very devastating to the area. On a relative scale it was probably as devastating to the area as Katina was to New Orleans. I was 20 yrs. old at the time, and the Yuba County flood was and remains the worst natural disaster I personally have witnessed.

    I remember J.C. Penney, K-Mart and the cinema. It was so long ago that I don’t remember too many details about the facility though. I haven’t been to the area since 1989. I have always wondered what became of the Peach Tree Mall. When I left the area it was still (mostly) empty.

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  29. How much is it to rent this place?

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  30. Does anyone know who built this mall? The mall in Hays, Kansas is also called “The Mall” has the same shaped sign, a very similar layout, and has one known identical sister mall in North Platte, Nebraska.

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  31. I loved going to this mall as a kid and teenager. I always stopped at the Brass Ear record store, and this little place at the south end where you could get pretty much anything deep fried on a stick.

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