BRISTOL, Connecticut, U.S.A. — 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 town.
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 town!
Hila Yosafi is a Reporter for Youth Journalism International.