Have you ever dreamed of owning a department store or a mall? Big dreams, I know, the cost of owning something that is over 150,000 square feet is not for everyone. If you happen to have a spare $500,000 in your fanny pack, you have a chance right now to own a piece of a mall in Waterford, maybe the whole thing.

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As a child of the 1970's, I spent a good portion of my life shopping in Sears department stores in shopping malls. Their stand-alone department stores were very much a part of the American landscape too. Sears was around way before Toys R Us, Home Depot, or Amazon, most of the competitors that eventually would drive them to near extinction. As of today (September 2023) Sears is still alive with 11 locations, the closest to Connecticut is in Jersey City, New Jersey. The last Sears that I remember going in was the Brass Mill Center Mall location in Waterbury.

The former Sears location at the Crystal Mall in Waterford is going up for auction, and the opening bid for the 150,000 square-foot building is $500,000. According to patch.com, Crystal Mall itself was purchased for $9 million in May 2023 by the owners of two other smaller Connecticut Malls - Enfield Square and Meriden. Bidding started yesterday, and it's closing tomorrow (Wednesday, September 13). A previous winning bidder's deal fell through to purchase the property, so if you're the driving force behind the indoor pickleball movement here in Connecticut, it's time to call in a few financial favors from your pickleball-loving friends.

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