Monday, February 25, 2008

Beginning of The End of The Bristol Centre Mall, Job Lot Saga

The Bristol Centre Mall is finally coming down. No really. It is (or has begun to).

A couple weeks ago, The City of Bristol got its act together and finally threw the ball through the mall -- at Bristol Centre.

The first knock in the wall dealt with everything that gave the City a headache for over a year plus -- beginning on the far-right end where a stubborn Job Lot held the mall's impending destruction up for years. But it was not without complete and total silliness on the part of an involved Mayor Art Ward himself reenacting some "Rocky" (we're not sure why) masquerading, in a height of melodrama, the first pockmark was made. We did not make it there on that day (though in hindsight, and for rare, live downtown Bristol comic value, we wish we had).

So roughly 30 degrees warmer and beneath wonderful, lush blue skies of one late February afternoon in which one would, if not for the chills of Winter, find contrails galore above, we stopped by and took some snowcapped pictures of the partially wrecked mall, which has officially begun in its demolition phase -- striking hard on The City's most difficult angle of the mall or the plot formerly held by fleabag retailer Ocean State Job Lot, which attempted to stop the presses, and the world's spinning, held it up in courts for over a year plus.

Job Lot snubs final day customers on January 20, ceasing operations days earlier than originally predicted -- empirically does entire City of Bristol, seagulls a great service.

With this glaring news for the Rhode Island-based cockroach cabinet (no really, we like Job Lot) another former Job Lot in town is getting the axe and grind after it ceased operations late January at the very same time -- and the future tenant who may remain unknown is getting to work on ripping down an ages old, former Super Stop & Shop facade.

Dedicated Bristol Plaza seagulls unimpressed with demolition efforts, vacancy remains almost comparable to when Job Lot was actually in business at the former Route 6 site.

Seagulls hoping future tenant keeps unwanted motorists off their parking lot/basking territory.

Bristol, which had two Job Lots this time one year ago now has none and currently has no plans to reopen (or repossess a faltering, old retail complex) a location within town. Rumors persist of TJX Companies TJ Maxx, located across the plaza in the space once held by D&L, and its desire to migrate to the space formerly held by Job Lot and mostly Stop & Shop since 1960 until 2002.

You can read all about what happened on the ground breaking ceremony here, but you can view our wonderful photo gallery on Flickr. We expect more "progress" on The City's future when the weather patterns become more steady but until then, we'll provide regular, sporadic updates regarding the slow departure of the mall which has ways to go.

As for the future of the site? Could be used again for retail...

Thanks for memories, Bristol! Here's to hoping we can find another former supermarket to inhabit/inhibit elsewhere!

After the mall is destroyed, perhaps The City might get working on the level of obnoxious stop 'n go traffic lights on the North Main (and 6) strips, maybe consider more flashing yellows after 11PM?

If you missed it under our ramblings, here's the photo gallery. All photos were taken February 24, 2008.