Last of Taunton’s Silver City Galleria interior tenants to move out by Saturday
What does the future look like for Taunton's Silver City Galleria?
TAUNTON, Mass. (WLNE) – What does the future look like for Taunton’s Silver City Galleria? That’s what those at the mall were wondering Thursday, as store owners were packing up their shops.
“It’s very sad to see all these people that will be out of work, all these businesses that are closing,” said Irene Langlais of Fall River.
Mall walkers were the only signs of life at the Galleria Thursday, as the remaining interior tenants were moving out.
“We’re gonna come the next few days ’til the end,” said Henry Langlais.
Those at the mall Thursday were saying their goodbyes, although no official announcement has been made from owners Thibeault Developments.
But with empty store after empty store, the main parking lot roped off, and escalators shut down, it’s no surprise they’d think the mall is shutting down.
William Thibeault, who bought the property last May for $7.5 million in a foreclosure audition, told the Taunton Gazette last month that he has no plans to close.
Yet store owners were told they must be moved out by February 29.
The owner of Candy Palace said he’s been in business at the mall for 20 years, and his lease isn’t up until August. But, he said, mall management told him he must be gone by Saturday.
“They were gonna supposedly talking about doing condos here, and bringing in more stores, and it just didn’t happen,” said Claire Infussi of Berkley.
Infussi organizes a group of walkers named the “Taunton Coffee Talk and Walk Group” that meets every weekday morning at the mall.
She said she’s sad to watch the stores go, and has heard rumblings of what’s to come.
“It’s been really heartbreaking because we’ve shopped in all the stores. We’ve heard casino, but of course, that’s been on the table for years, and now they’re talking recycling center which we don’t even want to think about,” said Infussi.
Others, like Henry and Irene Langlais, reminisced on the bustling days at the Galleria, a harsh contrast to present day.
“It was buzzing. You had to really search around to get a parking spot, and they had some really high-end stores. It was just really nice,” said Irene Langlais.
The main entrance to the mall is completely closed off, and only one restaurant remains in the food court. That restaurant is expected to leave this weekend.
The only entrance is in the rear by Bristol Community College’s satellite campus. A spokesperson for the college said they will remain there through 2020, but they’re putting out a request for proposal in March for a new location.
It’s unclear whether outside stores like Round 1, WOW, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and Regal Cinemas will have their leases terminated.
Thibeault Developments did not respond to our request for comment.
© WLNE-TV 2020