Crossroads Mall; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Crossroads Mall oil well in Oklahoma City, OK

Yes, you saw right.  That’s a working oil well in the middle of a mall parking lot. 

Opened in February 1974 at one of the busiest freeway intersections in Oklahoma City, Crossroads Mall was and is still the largest mall in the state of Oklahoma.  Not only does the mall anchor the large retail strip surrounding it, but it attracts shoppers from all over the area south of downtown and north of the large retail strips in Norman.  The mall has over over 125 stores on two levels with four anchor pads.  Currently, three of them are occupied by Macy’s (formerly Foley’s until 2006), Dillard’s, and Steve and Barry’s, which opened in 2004 replacing Montgomery Ward which closed in 2001.  JCPenney held the fourth anchor spot until earlier this Summer (2007) when it closed, deciding to instead open new standalone stores in nearby Norman and Midwest City.   

Crossroads Mall directory in Oklahoma City, OKRecently, in January 2007, long-time owner Macerich Company unloaded the mall onto an Arkansas-based firm.  Prior to selling the mall, Macerich did some minor renovations to the interior of the mall and helped in anchor placement.  These included adding a large children’s play area and a full-sized carousel, in addition to wooing the state’s first Steve and Barry’s location to replace the vacant Wards. 

In addition to losing an anchor this summer and in light of competition, this center is still mostly viable.  But occupancy has dwindled, and the mall has not experienced as much popularity as Quail Springs or Penn Square across town.  Neither, though, has it fallen flat on its face and become a completely dead mall like Heritage Park and Shepherd Malls elsewhere in the metro.  Instead, Crossroads Mall is treading water, attempting to stay afloat in a seemingly saturated market. 

Aside from competition, the interior of Crossroads Mall is showing some age.  While receiving some minor renovations under Macerich, much of the two-level mall is quite dated, including several original circa 1975 stores such as Orange Julius.  Case full of plastic oranges anyone?  The new owners will have to either learn to contend with the mall’s age, or use some capital to renovate the center in hopes of a resurrection to a top-tier destination.  Alternately, they may choose to capitalize on the downfall of the enclosed trend and use the recently-vacated JCPenney to embark on the ever-popular “Lifestyle Wing” – featuring Coldwater Creek and more!  But seriously, even more issues exist which may thwart redevelopment and the mall’s success, such as ODOT’s plans to reconfigure the I-40/I-240 interchange in front of the mall.  Ironically, this interchange is one of the mall’s biggest assets yet due to the construction becomes its greatest downfall because the reconstruction project will last seven years.

Crossroads Mall in Oklahoma City, OK Crossroads Mall in Oklahoma City, OK

And finally, of greatest interest to me and probably anyone else not from Oklahoma or Texas, is the fact that there is a working oil well in the north parking lot of Crossroads Mall, whirring away in front of Macys.  Take a look at some of the pictures for a visual of this.  The whirring of the well as it pumps is the only thing you hear on this side of the parking lot; it’s simultaneously cool and eerie.  Also, take a look at the other pictures and leave your own comments too. 

Crossroads Mall in Oklahoma City, OK Crossroads Mall in Oklahoma City, OK Crossroads Mall in Oklahoma City, OK

Crossroads Mall in Oklahoma City, OK Crossroads Mall in Oklahoma City, OK Crossroads Mall in Oklahoma City, OK

Crossroads Mall in Oklahoma City, OK Crossroads Mall in Oklahoma City, OK Crossroads Mall in Oklahoma City, OK 

Crossroads Mall in Oklahoma City, OK Crossroads Mall in Oklahoma City, OK Crossroads Mall in Oklahoma City, OK

Crossroads Mall in Oklahoma City, OK Crossroads Mall in Oklahoma City, OK Crossroads Mall in Oklahoma City, OK

Crossroads Mall in Oklahoma City, OK Crossroads Mall in Oklahoma City, OK Crossroads Mall in Oklahoma City, OK

Crossroads Mall in Oklahoma City, OK Crossroads Mall in Oklahoma City, OK Crossroads Mall in Oklahoma City, OK

Crossroads Mall in Oklahoma City, OK Crossroads Mall in Oklahoma City, OK Crossroads Mall in Oklahoma City, OK


74 thoughts on “Crossroads Mall; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma”

  1. What renovations? New paint? Did they finally throw away the burnt orange couches just as they were coming back into style? I think the flooring is pretty telling that you guys succeeded once again at finding a total relic. It’s definitely a pretty generic 70’s mall other than that. I totally agree with you a lifestyle wing is desperately needed if not total demolition of this completely bland mall. And on the Steve & Barry’s…it really looks like an afterthought. The logo doesn’t seem to fit at all with the brutalist anchor store it filled. I am betting the reason this mall stayed alive is the neighborhood never was so bad that it didn’t serve the community, because it reminds me of Bannister Mall. As much as I love the retro stuff, I have to say the mall itself is the problem.

  2. The interior isn’t so bad.

    It’s the exterior that kills this mall. It just looks so….blocky.

    You don’t see too many Orange Julius locations that are ‘soley’ Orange Julius either anymore. Dairy Queen, upon buyout of the chain 20 years ago, closed up most of these old-school OJs and came back swinging years later with DQ/OJ combo stores and kiosks.

    That, and the frontage to the ‘Bally’s Le Mans’ arcade literally scream 1970s vintage.

    Bally’s has no association anymore in the mall-based gameroom business….haven’t been for at least 20 years. Now they’re only known for their gyms (which are suffering to the likes of Gold’s Gym and such) and gambling machine divisions (which is their most profitable, considering all the indian gaming establishments that pop up every year). Sold off the arcades to Namco (now Namco/Bandai Games) and the pinball division tanked years ago…or was bought out by Williams…I forgot which. Either way that company also tanked in the end.

    That Steve & Barry’s signage has that vivid blue that harkens back to Sear’s old mall signage. Saw one just like that in person down at a mall in IL.

  3. Even though it looks a bit dated, it is good to see an older mall still with (from the pics at least) most tenants filled. I have noticed all it takes is for a mall to lose one anchor and it snowballs from there, leaving a dead or dying mall. So, to see a full mall (with people nonetheless!) is very cool…errr…sorry “groovy”.

  4. I remember a similar Orange Julius sign in Corpus Christi, except it was neon and had “Julius” replaced with a cheaper “Creations”. Seriously, it seemed there was an Orange Julius in every mall back in the day.

  5. The exterior of Oak Park Mall in Overland Park KS hasn’t changed much since it opened

  6. What malls still have an arcade?

  7. I loved the OJ with the classic plastic oranges. I miss them, and they pulled out of most NJ malls, along with Hot Sam. The Bally’s arcade is great too. Good find here.

  8. I like the Penney’s (of course) but otherwise it’s a pretty typical mall, despite its size and stature. Was that Dillard’s a John A. Brown originally?

  9. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen some vintage shots of this one, taken by one of our commenters. I wish I could find the link… I think they took them all in the 70s of the center court, which is actually pretty neat.

  10. I love the look of this mall. Just needs a little sugar coating to spruce it up and update it. Otherwise, it looks straight out of 1989. Perhaps a fresher tenant mix. Hopefully they won’t exclusively rely on its tenants to pull people in. Today’s mall offer more.
    Oil wells aren’t so uncommon in LA parking lots, either.

  11. One of our biggest malls here in LA is the Beverly Center, an eight story behemoth that is constructed around an oil production facility. It’s not a grasshopper like this one, it’s a full blown derrick.

  12. Crossroads just lost JC Penney this summer. There is talk about closing it down altogether. It has something of an “Undesirable element” in it’s patronage. Lotta dead space and stores that sell “Street Legal Weapons”. Shootings have occurred their in the last year or two.

  13. They shouldn’t close it down. Granted, this mall certainly needs a new anchor…maybe non-traditional anchor (big box perhaps?) and a full exterior/interior renovation.

    Out of curiousity, which store sells “street legal weapons”? I mean, I love that Orange Julius and there are other 1st-tier stores as well.
    Here are some “questionable” stores on their list:
    Nue Trendz (no phone #)
    Shelley Wong’s Things
    Taco Mayo
    Tommy’s Tees & Tags
    Klassy Kloset

  14. Taco Mayo is actually a Mexican chain in Texas and Okla.

  15. I remember in Padre Staples Mall in Corpus Christi there was a “Joe’s Comidas” featuring “Budweiser y Tacos” (it looked pretty shifty, besides what kind of idiot mall management would allow open beer containers in the mall?), so I was assuming it was more of the like.

  16. Sheesh, JCPenney must’ve gotten really agressive, all of a sudden, in wanting to pull the plug on their poorer-performing mall stores. Especially since they seemed, for ages, to be one of the most known ‘dead mall’ anchors you could always count on seeing in dead/dying malls.

    And I mean, the example of this location at Crossroads, plus seeing(while I was on vacation in Atlanta) that they opened a bunch of stand-alone stores in that area, really makes me wonder if they have a bigger plan to very heavily shift away from having mall stores in the future.

  17. This is South OKC’s only mall and hopefully will survive long enough to find itself. I have a lot of child hood memories of this mall and the Toys R Us across from it. The arcade was originally called Leman’s Speedway and had a small race track inside of for racing some type of go-carts in the 70’s. The Macy’s was a John A. Browns before they closed down and it became Folleys.

  18. Do they make any money from that oil drill?

  19. I love Crossroads! I think the datedness is what make it so endearing. And the store that sells weapons is Vuka. (Love it there, but I’m afraid of all the sharp objects.)

  20. I love this mall! Well, not really, but in a city in which the upscale crowd flocks to Penn Square and the teenage suburban hordes flock to Quail Springs, Crossroads is a pretty decent alternative if you are a middle income person trying to shop for your staples/typical mall fare. Yeah that ‘weapons store’ is pretty silly but the Food Court isn’t that bad. They even have a pretty decent Chinese buffet restaurant, which is something I haven’t seen at many malls. This is just a no-frills mall which is still chugging along and if you’re in the area, it’s a good way to kill an hour or so. Plus with the holiday season coming up, there is no way in hell that I would go to Penn or Quail. I’d rather take a few extra minutes to make it down to Crossroads to do my shopping. At least with a semi-dead mall, you can still get a parking space and have room to walk!

    As for those free-standing Penney’s and Sear’s, there isn’t much to get excited about, although I can see why locating them in Norman and Midwest City would make sense.

    It’s not unusual to find oil rigs in parking lots in Oklahoma, even in more upscale areas of town. I can think of at least 5 retail areas which have active rigs in them right now. Kind of funny, but that’s a cultural experience for all you non-Okies out there.

  21. Hi,

    I’m the missing commenter who has some vintage photos of the Crossroads Mall interior online. Unfortunately, I’ve been away from this site for quite a while and am just now catching up on what I’ve missed. My Crossroads Mall photos are in a set on here:

    I don’t know the stats, but Woodland Hills Mall in Tulsa, after completion of its phase two expansion, claimed to be the largest mall in Oklahoma. Regarding the Crossroads Dillard’s, it was always Dillard’s for as far back as I know. John A. Brown was at a different location at Crossroads. It later became Foley’s and I suppose that it’s Macy’s now. Crossroads was always my favorite mall in OKC until they did the horrible remodeling job that screwed up the design of the ceiling, which was its most striking architectural element. After the one time I went there and saw what they had done to it, I never went back.

  22. Well, I went for the first day it opened, and as exciting as it was then, it
    has gone down a bit.
    Have you ever seen so many Venders as crossroads has in the middle
    of the mall???
    I mean some pretty questionable people runnings these gamuts. Perhaps
    they need a mall of there own and leave the Normal AMERICAN STORES
    to America, Think about it would you go to Church on Sunday if out in
    the front of the Church there was a Carnival going on with street fights’
    and sno cone stands.
    I hate that these venders are taking away our “Right to Shop”.
    Don’t worry about ODOT, worry about the Venders.!!

  23. I’m confused. Could you elaborate?

    I know that there was some weird lady (who wasn’t even there have the time) at a “Retrogames” kiosk in Barton Creek Square Mall (upscale-y mall back in late 2004).

  24. Plastic oranges are gone. The Orange Julius storefront has been renovated. That includes a new illuminated sign, too.

  25. I was wondering when ol’ Crossroads would pop up on one of these sites.

    I used to love going to Crossroads. I lived in Purcell (18 miles south of Norman) for a long time, and Crossroads was the closest big mall. At the time, they had stuff that Sooner (Fashion) Mall didn’t, so I went there as often as possible.

    But then they did all that construction on I-35, making it damn near impossible to get into the mall for at least six months. I believe this is what led to the decline. The surrounding area is pretty dodgy these days as well.

    I love the vintage signage on that arcade! I used to go there at least once a week to play DDR, but I stopped going there after a shooting took place in the mall.

    Last time I went to Crossroads, it was eerie. I don’t know if it was just because it was after 7 PM or what, but the Macy’s was a ghost town. There was a whole wing of the mall that was practically dead. Lots of “shady” stores are taking up space now. If Macy’s is really pulling out, it’ll be the end of Crossroads for sure. And if that doesn’t happen, the road construction will certainly choke it out. I’ll be sad to see it go.

  26. Macy’s is now officially closed. I was there in the end of Febuary (around the 23rd). They were having their closing sale and said they would be gone within the week. The weapons store is also leaving, they sell Air-Soft guns (a popular past-time down here). They want a space that will allow them to expand their product line (REAL weapons). I also have a question for mall junkies. I was driving down I-35 today and there is a dead mall near Blackwell. It was an old factory outlet with a Mikasa store. I was just wondering if anyone knew what it was. Also, there is a sign for a factory outlet mall about 30 minutes north of Stillwater by the Dairy Queen. There is no building, just the sign and a foundation along with an abandoned gas station and cafe. Does anyone know anything about this mall?

  27. Yeah, I actually managed to go to the Macy’s on its last day. There was pretty much nothing left, and while we were wandering around, they announced that Macy’s was now officially closed, and all the employees clapped and looked really happy. I felt sad.

    You never realize how humongous those retail stores are until you’ve been in one that’s practically empty. I really don’t know what they’re going to do with that hulking space. It might be in the mall’s best interest to demolish that part, since I doubt there’s any retailer that would fill the space.

  28. I wish someone would go in and rip out the way it is now, clean it up force out all the shops who werent there since the beginning or are not turing a profit for crossroads and then go in and remodel it all like it was back in the 70’s in those pictures. It was warm and inviting back then just from looking at the pictures from that day brought back a lot of memories. Get rid of the pink paint and paint it back brown along the railings and put the fountain back in and the walking ramp and bring it back to the way it was in the 70’s and i bet with all the retro going around now days it will sure take off once again.

  29. A mall with an oil pump? How…rednecky, just kidding! How weird though? What a shame Macy’s and Penney’s left 🙁

  30. Its sad to read all of this about Crossroads’ demise. I grew up in Moore, just a few miles south of the mall, and was there shortly after it opened. Each of the entrances had different color neon crossroads design above it.

    I still remember LaMans Speedway (the arcade) having bumper cars, it was sad when they pulled those out.

    Also a place called the Orange Bowl (where an optical place is now, next to Steve and Barry’s) that served ice cream, and also as Farrells, a 1920’s type ice cream parlor (where Lens Crafters is now), they had a big ice cream dish called “The Pig Trough” and if you manged to eat it all, the entire wait staff would come to your table and announce very loudly “The Pig eats here!” (my Uncle did this). I got my first taste of soda water at Farrells. yuck!

    There was also Toys by Roy, The Tinder Box, The Hobby Shop, Lion’s Share, McDonalds, Russell Stover, Hickory Farms (got full on the free samples several times) and several other places I can’t think of, Although; Orange Julius is still around and has been there since day one. I was a member of their birthday club when I was in grade school, and had many a free Orange Julius on my birthday

    When I was in Junior High and later High School, the mall was the place to hang out, chase girls, play video games, etc.

    I visited the mall for the first time in a number of years a few months back and was shocked to see almost no one inside, As much as I hate to say it I think it won’t be long before we see it go the way Bannister Mall in Kansas City did not long ago. I hope I’m wrong

    Thanks, Steve Wilson, for putting up the link for those photos. They brought back a lot of fond and happy memories

  31. Now it looks like Steve & Barrys is closing too.

  32. No, I was in Steve & Barry’s today and there are signs at each regsiter saying that they a proud to continue to serve this community. I asked one of the employees about them closing and she said that as far as they knew they were there to stay. I hope that this is the case. I would love to see that mall turned around. Is there any way that the city of OKC can help them in some way?

  33. Nope, Steve & Barry’s is definitely closing now. the whole chain is going out of business.

  34. I was born in Southeast OKC near OKCCC College in February 5, 1992. I always go to Crossroads Mall when I used to live there with my grandma and my mom and I was taken to that mall a lot until I was 11 in 2003 I moved to Dallas with my mom and my grandma moved to a retirement home. During 2006 I am starting to remember the old days when I was in OKC. I was thinking about my old home I used to live with my mom and grandma, then I was thinking about the OKCCC college behind my house then I was also thinking the things around, then finally I also start thinking the old Crossroads Mall. Ever since I moved to Texas I missed everything in OKC. During that year when we visited OKC to see my dentist I asked her if she could drive my old school. During 2007 I asked her if she could drive to our old home where we used to live in. Then just a few weeks ago in December 2008 about 2 weeks before Christmas and Im 16 by just recently I asked my mom if we could visited Crossroads Mall. I was so supprised, I remembered my past really bad, I haven’t been to this mall for 5 years. I remembered when I used to live in OKC I always go to this mall. But, it was sad that the word JCPenny in front of the store was gone. We always used the JCPenny entrance or the main entrance next to it to get into the mall, and then we went inside the mall I saw that nothing has changed in this mall until I reached the center, I realized they had some renovations. They took out the fountain and put in the play area. They also took out the ramp I used to play on when I was younger and replaced it with an elevator. I really missed my passed that day, but it’s also sad to see that this mall is dieing. My mom said that the mall may get to the point where they close down and demolish. I felt sad. Crossroads Mall brought a lot of memories to the time when I used to live in OKC. I decided to do some research about this mall when I got back home from OKC. I found this site and I found some great photos of Crossroads Mall before renovations by Steven Wilson, and really since I was born in 1992 and I think the 1st time I went to the mall when I was 4 in 1996 or 6 in 1998, so it could be I can’t remember what the mall looks like before it had it’s renovations or I never get a chance to see the mall before it’s renovations. So, that’s why those images from Steven Wilson was really interesting to me.

    Thanks Steven for posting those images. I don’t think I remember what Crossroads Mall was like before or never seen what Crossroads Mall was like before I was born in 1992. I saw a comment on your photos saying Crossroads Mall had it’s renovations in the 1990’s and I am not sure, so can you tell me when Crossroads Mall had their renovations?

  35. hmmm…. crossroads…. memories
    I worked at the arcade (ballys lemans) for 6 years when it shut down in july 2008. and i cried. crossroads was like home to me. I can remember we used to be super busy, but business died down severly when they took our good, most played games. If i had the money id want to open up one of the anchor stores and make half a black-light laser tag and the other half a killer arcade… with classics/ and new.

    I have so much hope for crossroads! but crossroads doesnt have hope for themselves. its not warm and inviting anymore, they need to clean the place up, update some things, to make stores want to invest, but sadly i think it maybe too little too late.

    but if anyone has retro pics of the arcade plz send them to me i would love to see it in the 70s!!

  36. Well Dillards and Steve & Barry’s are both gone now. so no more anchors for Crossroads.

  37. Thanks for the trip down memory lane! I was a senior at Norman High when the mall opened, and a classmate talked me into skipping classes (not that I required much encouragement in those days!) to get a first peek at Crossroads Mall. The photos look much like the Crossroads of early days—but I am truly sorry to hear about loss of its anchors. That usually is the death knell for a mall.:(

  38. Oh no, ALL the anchors are gone now? That’s really sad, though I can’t say I didn’t see it coming. I wish there was a way to make Crossroads viable again, but at this rate it’ll probably just be left to rot after all the small stores leave.

    Speaking of Oklahoma malls, would anyone happen to have vintage pictures of Sooner (Fashion) Mall in Norman? I would love to see some!

  39. I remember as a kid in the 80’s living away from OKC going to Crossroads on a given Saturday and spending most of the day there. It was fun to go to the arcade for hours and visit the toy shop. It was like a mini vacation for a kid at that time. The sound and the amount of people inside shopping was a something, but the best thing in the mall was its water fountain, which closed sometime back and was replaced with a carousel and a stage, never quite figured that one out.

    Last time I was there, since the anchors have gone most of the other stores were leaving as well. The toy store has been long gone and the arcade just recently closed. The people are mostly gone and replaced by the people that have made the mall such a disaster as of late. This mall could be saved if some group could come in and financially save it by doing upgrades to the building, inside and out, and pulling in some major players for its shops. Most importantly, the ability to kick out the scurge that helped to kill the mall to begin with would be of great benefit.

    The mall can support life once more, but it’s the people who ultimately will decide it’s fate.

  40. I worked at the Radio Shack in this mall several years ago. It was decent then, almost completely full. I worked there during the time Montgomery Wards was closing down, and remember people buying display model electronics from them and coming to my store to get the parts that were missing like power cords and such. I haven’t been back here in years, and can’t say I miss it much.

  41. i would LOVE to see crossroads how it once was. I remember when we was one of the best malls in the okc. i dont think they shoulda gotta rid of the water fountain. i miss working at the game room, i miss all the regular customers, and the comrodary among the employees.
    If only… i could go back. but thast happening left and right lately people are losing jobs and losing security and its tragic to think that crossroads wont be around. that was like a home away from home.

  42. @Steven Swain,

    Dillards has always been Dillards. they bought out John A Brown a loooong time ago, if i remember correctly.

    Dillards is an Arkansas based company.

    Completely different topic, Does anyone rememner Ferrles Ice Cream Parlor at Crossroads mall?

  43. @Will Brassfield,

    Thank you for remembering Farrell’s!! My siblings and I grew up going there and sharing the Zoo!

  44. @Nicole, that was the White’s Outlet Mall in Blackwell. It closed in the late 90s or so and has been empty ever since. OK has not had a lot of luck with outlet malls: one in Broken Arrow closed in the early 1990s and is now a megachurch (I know it had a Ross which closed in 1987) and a Tanger mall in Stroud was destroyed in 1999 by a tornado and never rebuilt.

  45. Deserted shopping mall bleak symbol of Fed bailout
    Wed Oct 21, 2009 6:33pm BST

    OKLAHOMA CITY (Reuters) – A $29 billion trail from the Federal Reserve’s bailout of Wall Street investment bank Bear Stearns ends in a partially deserted shopping center on a bleak spot on the south side of Oklahoma City.

    The Fed now owns the Crossroads Mall, a sprawling shopping complex at the junction of Interstate highways 244 and 35, complete with an oil well pumping crude in the parking lot — except the Fed does not own the mineral rights.

    The Fed finds itself in the unusual situation of being an Oklahoma City landlord after it lent JPMorgan Chase $29 billion to buy Bear Stearns last year.

    That money was secured by a portfolio of Bear assets. Crossroads Mall is the only bricks and mortar acquired through bailout. The remaining billions are tied up in invisible securities spread across hundreds, if not thousands, of properties.

    It is hard to be precise because the Fed has not published specifics on what it now owns. The only reason that Crossroads Mall has surfaced is that it went into foreclosure in April.

    Noah Diggs, who had just successfully concluded a search for work here as a shop assistant, was surprised and somewhat alarmed to learn the U.S. central bank now owned the property.

    “That is a bad thing, right?” he said, surveying the empty parking lot on a rainy morning in early October.

    Public anger over the bailout of rich Wall Street bankers has evolved into wider opposition toward government intrusion into the private sector, complicating President Barack Obama’s efforts to reform financial regulation and healthcare.

    The controversial action to save Bear Stearns in March 2008 was defended as less damaging for the U.S. economy than letting it fail. The merit of this argument was underscored in September 2008 when rival investment bank Lehman Brothers foundered, sparking a global financial panic.

    But paper losses to the Fed on the Bear Stearns rescue stood somewhat above $3 billion at the last quarterly valuation in June, contributing to the disquiet that has hardened political opposition toward granting the Fed any more power.

    This was a central part of Obama’s proposed financial reform rules that he says would prevent in the future the kind of systemic failure that sent financial markets and the economy into a tailspin last year.

    Part of the public concern stems from the sheer scale and complexity of the bailouts and what they will eventually cost taxpayers, with the assets shrouded in oddly named limited liability companies held by the New York Federal Reserve Bank, one of the 12 regional Fed banks in the U.S. central banking system.

    On top of Bear Stearns, the Fed lent $60 billion to prop up insurance giant American International Group a few days after Lehman went under, and is also standing behind over $400 billion of assets owned by Citigroup Inc and Bank of America Corp.

    In fairness, the Bear Stearns losses so far are relatively small compared to the size of the overall portfolio, or indeed the Fed’s current overall balance sheet of $2.1 trillion.


    But a drab shopping mall illustrates the wider challenge of extricating the Fed from its foray into private finance, especially in commercial real estate where sinking property values raise the threat of big loan losses.

    Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke has called commercial real estate loans a “serious problem,” and another Fed official has warned they could undermine a hoped-for economic recovery.

    “What the Fed and banks have said they are worried about is a new wave of losses on commercial real estate and here is an example of an early adopter in the Fed’s portfolio,” said Lou Crandall, chief economist at Wrightson ICAP in Jersey City, New Jersey.

    “The fact that the thing was written so that the Fed does not have the oil rights is just classic. Not that that is the Fed’s fault,” he said.

    Crossroads Mall, half-empty after anchor stores Macy’s, JC Penney, Montgomery Ward and Dillard’s all pulled out, was brought out of foreclosure in April with $77 million in debt, according to Ann Marie Randolph at the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s office. It is now up for sale for $24 million.

    Paul Ravencraft, an investment broker with Price Edwards and Co. in Oklahoma City retained by the Fed to sell the property, said the current sales climate was tough.

    “Financing will be difficult, and it will probably require a lot of equity,” he said.

    Losses are potentially at taxpayer’s expense because the Fed generally makes a fat annual profit running the country’s payments system and other operations, and any losses reduce how much it can pay out to the U.S. Treasury, and hence taxpayers.

    The Fed’s $29 billion bailout of Bear Stearns was secured by a portfolio of Bear assets that included $5.5 billion in commercial loans, including the note on Crossroads Mall that went into default.

    A big part of the portfolio — $16.4 billion at the end of June — consists of debt issued by government-owned agencies like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which continue to pay out.

    But the value of the commercial loan holdings has already been written down to $4.4 billion.

    In part, this decline in value is because two other pieces of the Bear Stearns collateral — Extended Stay Hotels, and the GrandStay Residential Suites Hotels in Oxnard, California — have sought court bankruptcy protection.

    Extended Stay owes the Fed almost $900 million, consisting of $153 million in commercial mortgage-backed securities and $744 million in junior mezzanine debt, while GrandStay won Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection with a bit under $10 million in debt.

    Joseph Sholder, the Santa Barbara lawyer acting for GrandStay, was startled to discover that the lender who had tried to take control of the property was the Federal Reserve.

    Court papers simply identified GrandStay’s creditor as Maiden Lane Commercial Mortgage Bank Securities Trust-2008.

    The Fed created a special vehicle called Maiden Lane to hold the assets on its balance sheet pledged against the Bear loan. Maiden Lane is the name of the lower Manhattan street behind the New York Fed’s building.

    However, Sholder said that on reflection, he really should not be so surprised by the news of the Fed’s involvement.

    “They seem to have their finger in every pie,” he said.

    (Editing by Leslie Adler)

  46. @SEAN, what will become of Crossroads Mall in the future, what do you think?

    I can’t see investors sinking millions into a property just to fill the empty slots with retail outlets and then HOPE crowds will swarm in and shop till they drop.
    Consumers still shop elsewhere than Crossroads and are not being hurt by the failing Mall.

    I have an idea that a place like crossroads mall could become the nation’s largest indoor entertainment and recreation facility, with an indoor water fun park to swim all year round, rock climbing, paint ball or lazer tag, and a large gym, with restaurants and virtual entertainment as well.

    a once a year fee could be issued like frontier city and white water bay use.

    I think this is a good use for what remains the second largest indoor mall in oklahoma.
    it would still be a mall, but a unique new kind of a mall – – a “fun” mall where you go to swim in december and play laser tag with the kids or bungie jump from the ceiling.

    pass this on to anyone you know involved with investors. I don’t know anyone like that but it looks like you are intelligent and well informed enough to be able to do that for me. Thanks. Mark.

  47. This mall will never be popular again until the South Side Locos gang is suppressed or eliminated. Their turf is just to the west of the mall and there’s been at least one gang shooting in the mall. Everyone in town knows this and that’s one of the reason people stay away. That and all the new stores now lining I-35 between Moore and Norman.

    Here’s the description of the South Side Locos from the History Channels Gangland website:

    “Oklahoma City is home to one of the most maniacal gangs in the country – the South Side Locos. With over 600 members, the Hispanic gang is the city’s most violent. The Locos, which means crazies in Spanish, will stop at nothing to gain control of lucrative drug turf, even if it means killing. The South Side Locos are known to hunt their rivals – and will stop at nothing to control.”

  48. Well waldenbooks is gone and American Eagle has left the mall as well. I’m suprised Chick-fil-a is still in this mall.

  49. Please write a letter to Crossroads Mall GM Jim Swenson and Dillards Vice President of store Burt Squires being a Clearance Center into this mall to boost business and being in more customer into this former anchor building.

    Crossroads Mall GM Jim Swenson email:

    Dillards Vice President of Stores Burt Squires email:

  50. I do Remember a small skate shop at the bottom of the stairs in the mix master of stairs in the middle under the food court. The Hobby Shop was a mandatory stop or a reason to drive a hour to a Hobby Shop. This place was awesome at one time.. dead now.

  51. Does anyone have any pics of the LeMans arcade in the early days of the mall? I vaguely remember what it was like when I was little. I remember the bumper cars. The bumper car track was never removed. When they remodeled it in ’81? they built a raised floor over the track. I have some pics of the arcade the last day I was there. I was the manager and I got stuck with the very depressing task of closing it down. I’ll find and post the pics. I sure miss that place.

  52. @Bobby, & it is delicious, btw!!!!!

  53. Everyone quit complaining … All we are is a I want it now EW yuck society…Why dont we appreciate the effort that went into a great mall.. Yes i agree it could use a little face lift.. But do we want to get rid of grandma jusy because she gets a few wrinkles ? It wouldnt be a bad mall if we didnt title it that way.. why be afraid to shop there? We have crime everwhere, To all you yuppies learn to be yourself.. step uotside your box…and live a little.. and dont mess with my mall..

  54. I hear about all these gangs going there I guess thats what they want is for us to stop going to cross roads .. Thats nonsense stand up people, the best thing for the Bully is to ignore them, and go on living.POWER OF THE PEOPLE>>>Stand up for youself and your city.. Dont give the gangs credit.. and they will stop coming..I have many fond memorys of shopping in crossroads,, why dont we plan a shopping day with all of our familys to run off these gangs,, lets have our own gang called shoppers…

  55. @Forrest, I spent many lunchtimes in LeMans in the 1980s playing Galaga til my fingers cramped. I worked in Dillard’s from 1981-86. El Finex was a restaurant I frequented and Dillard’s rival store was Foley’s, Browns(or something like it), Sanger Harris and other names in that same department store locale.

  56. I was so sad to see the Crossroads, heritage Park, and Sheperd malls are going or gone already. I have so many fond memories of all those OKC malls.

  57. In my era for Crossroads of the 1980s, here is a list of stores that I can recall: The Chess King (a hip young mens clothing store), the Record Bar (Record albums and Cassette Tapes), Video Concepts(TVs and VCRs), The Oak Tree(another hip young mens clothing), LeMans video gaming, Picadilly’s Restaurant , The Lions Share Restaurant, some kinda Wig store, El Finex Mexican Restaurant

  58. @Cindy, Yes, but it was called Farrell’s, I believe. And what about Showbiz Pizza??!!!! Ah, the good ole days:)

  59. Does anyone remember what store was in the Browns space before it was Browns. I loved that store . Wish I could remember it;s name…..

  60. What was the name of the restaurant that had great ice cream desserts? There were pictures all over the walls of families celebrating birthdays and anniversaries eating these huge bowls of ice cream with whipped cream, nuts, cherries, etc…
    I ate there with my family when I was a kid when the mall first opened. It wasn’t just an ice cream store. There were tables with waiters and waitresses and food, but the main attraction was the desserts.

  61. @Shane,
    I totally agree with you Shane. I was there with my daughter and three of her friends from her junior high when the shooting occurred. The girls wanted to walk to the arcade and I stayed nearby. I wouldn’t let them go outside to walk, although they wanted to walk to the movie theater and back. I made them stay with me. Luckily we didn’t have any problems since they stayed inside. Healthy families and activities at the mall, with events that include schools and performances, there are so many things that could be a positive influence for the community. I was 17 when they were still building Crossroads and some stores were already opening. I started my first job at Extension 1, a juniors clothing store for young women. I still love the 70’s style of architecture and design, I could be a real treasure if managed well.

  62. @Patricia Clampitt, John A. Brown bought out Rothschild’s at Penn Square Mall. I didn’t remember if that was also true at Crossroads Mall.

  63. I’ve been studying the Crossroads Mall in OKC lately; and by the looks of it lately; it seems to be slowly and I mean slowly making a comeback. They just turned the vacant Dillard’s space into a new hispanic community center that seems to feature some stores as well as an addition to the mall. And the name of the mall now is “Plaza Mayor At The Crossroads”.
    It seems like this area of OKC seems to have a majority of Latino/Hispanic people and the hispanic theme of the mall seems to work great in this area. So as other “dead malls” are either abandoned, torn-down, or redeveloped into outdoor shopping centers (examples strip malls, power centers, or lifestyle centers). This one as from what I’ve seen is making a comeback. Note earlier I said slowly.
    The architecture of the place kind of reminds me of the old Santa Monica Place Mall in Santa Monica, CA. I mean it features some exposed ceilings and HVAC just like Santa Monica Place did; and from what I read it’s mostly original. I mean they did change the center court a little bit such as the ceilings. But the triangle windows, sharp edges, and stuff looks like like SMP.
    Some more new stores seem to be moving into the mall and some seem to be leaving. I saw a video of the mall that was done in 2011 and it look really bad. But now judging by the map and stuff according to the directory it seems to be starting to thrive again.

    If you are curious on how this mall is doing lately. I recommend visiting their website:

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