(Copyright 1998. All rights reserved.)

The Tattoo

--- Making a Permanent Impression Since 1994 ---

April 27, 1998

--- Opinion ---

Mall oughta get a life

The Tattoo

Finally! Something will be done about this so-
called mall.

After living in Bristol for almost nine years, I
can't say that I've utilized the Mall at Bristol
Centre as a teenager should.

When I talk about going to the mall, I mean
hanging around with friends and actually having
a variety of stores to shop in. For this
purpose, I go to what my friends and I call a
"real" mall -- most of the time, it's WestFarms,
and lately it's been the new Brass Mill Center
in Waterbury.

I wouldn't call a building with Ocean State Job
Lot and the Salvation Army Thrift Store, Chinese
and pizza restaurants a mall where I can shop
'til I drop or just chill with friends.

The Greater Bristol Chamber of Commerce asked
for Bristol residents' opinions at the February
Home Show with the survey handed out. An open-
ended question asked people what they would like
to see done with the mall.

Now the chamber is hoping someone new will buy
the property. In conjunction with the city and
the Canadian bank that owns the mall, the
chamber commissioned a design firm to come up
with ideas for the best use of the property.

Proposed plans range from a combination retail
and office space to retail, office and
entertainment or cultural area to completely
demolishing the mall and replacing it with
office buildings.

Bristol is not an entertainment town, especially
not for teenagers. It is not cultural either.
The idea for an entertainment or cultural area
is the best of the three.

However, I think that there should be more
thought given to the bored teenagers in this

If it can't be transformed into a "real" mall,
it's still the perfect space and location for a
rollerskating rink, ice skating rink, dance
club, an entertainment center like the former
Skooters, or a recreation center ... someplace
where we can go other than the movies or the
bowling alley.

Something must be done quickly because right now
the cure for boredom in Bristol is to get out of