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Kansas City's Oak Park Mall Is Reopening, But It'll Feel Much Different

OAK PARK MALL.JPG
Frank Morris
/
KCUR 89.3 FM
The Oak Park Mall has been largely deserted since the coronavirus outbreak arrived.

It's been a brutal two months for Oak Park Mall and the businesses there that have been deemed non-essential. But late Wednesday morning the mall will start to come out of its coma.

The coronavirus pandemic has been especially hard on the businesses considered non-essential that fill shopping centers like the Oak Park Mall.

The big department store anchors are under stress. Macy’s and Nordstrom are making cuts. J.C. Penny is likely to declare bankruptcy this week. As of Tuesday night, it wasn’t clear what, if any, retail businesses would open Wednesday.

OAK PARK MALL 2.JPG
Frank Morris
/
KCUR 89.3 FM

But two months after it was shuttered by the pandemic, the mall is opening, with restrictions. Doors open at 11 a.m. and the mall will close at 7 p.m. No groups larger than 10 will be allowed in the mall's common areas that are still open. Food court seating, the children’s play area, soft seating areas, and drinking fountains will all be cordoned off.

People working at the mall face other restrictions, like masks and mandatory temperature checks. They’ll also be doing a lot more cleaning.

Oak Park Mall isn’t the only shopping area inching back into business. Town Center Plaza opened, to some extent, Monday. Some shops on the Country Club Plaza will start opening Friday. Independence Center and Zona Rosa plan to open the same day.

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