Welcome To The Most Depressing Commercial Real Estate Disaster In America

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Back in 1992, I remember going to the Echelon Mall in Voorhees, New Jersey.

It was a five minute drive from my home in Cherry Hill and I always looked forward to it.

The mall had every imaginable store you could think of, several fountains, rides and games for kids, a movie theatre, and even a gigantic arena-sized arcade called Exhilarama.

Check out the dead mall >

Those were the 1990s. Those were the days.

Today, the Echelon Mall is now called the Voorhees Town centre and even a name change can’t aid a dying beast.

Someone, somewhere thought it’d be a good idea to bulldoze half the mall, put up condos and housing, and give the mall a more “exclusive” feel. The problem is: who wants to live at a mall?

Only two “anchor stores” remain at the mall, the food court is half vacant, and there are literally no stores of quality in the mall aside from a GameStop, Victoria’s Secret, and Verizon Wireless.

What began as a revitalization project for a dying mall was cut short by a lack of credit and funding for constructing the project. Tons of big box stores and condos were supposed to go up around the newly re-designed mall but alas, nothing has come to fruition.

Scanning the terrain, you’ll quickly realise why commercial real estate is such an epic disaster.

Click here to tour a dead mall ->

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[slide
permalink=”approaching-the-mall-you-can-see-the-leftover-snow-from-this-weekend-but-cars-didnt-have-any-problems-finding-space-1″
title=”Approaching the mall, you can see the leftover snow from this weekend. But cars didn’t have any problems finding space.”
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[slide
permalink=”now-leasing-but-what-2″
title=”Now leasing… but what?”
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[slide
permalink=”ah-its-the-unfinished-housing-that-lies-in-the-background-3″
title=”Ah, it’s the unfinished housing that lies in the background”
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[slide
permalink=”past-the-homes-well-find-the-mall-itself-4″
title=”Past the homes, we’ll find the mall itself”
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[slide
permalink=”the-main-construction-site-entrance-has-been-like-this-for-three-years-5″
title=”The main construction site entrance has been like this for three years”
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[slide
permalink=”the-fruits-of-their-labor-half-finished-housing-with-no-tenants-6″
title=”The fruits of their labour: half-finished housing with no tenants”
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[slide
permalink=”another-angle-of-the-half-finished-housing-7″
title=”Another angle of the half-finished housing”
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[slide
permalink=”welcome-to-voorhees-town-center-it-features-the-mall-the-boulevard-and-various-residences-the-latter-not-so-much-8″
title=”Welcome to Voorhees Town centre. It features The Mall, The Boulevard, and various residences. The latter not so much.”
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image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4b2fea3e0000000000974553/image.jpg”
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[slide
permalink=”we-turn-the-corner-and-find-a-small-office-building-rented-by-the-star-group-9″
title=”We turn the corner and find a small office building rented by The STAR Group”
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image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4b2fea8a0000000000566e71/image.jpg”
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[slide
permalink=”at-least-they-picked-out-some-cool-artwork-for-the-building-10″
title=”At least they picked out some cool artwork for the building”
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[slide
permalink=”we-arrive-at-the-entrance-to-the-food-court-11″
title=”We arrive at the entrance to the food court”
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[slide
permalink=”hungry-a-mcdonalds-was-here-a-year-ago-12″
title=”Hungry? A McDonald’s was here a year ago”
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[slide
permalink=”at-least-cajun-gourmet-is-still-around-in-spirit-13″
title=”At least Cajun Gourmet is still around (in spirit)”
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[slide
permalink=”three-spaces-in-the-background-are-shut-down-these-people-arent-eating-theyre-hiding-from-the-cold-14″
title=”Three spaces in the background are shut down. These people aren’t eating; they’re hiding from the cold.”
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[slide
permalink=”walking-deeper-into-the-mall-we-find-more-vacancies-and-a-christian-book-store-15″
title=”Walking deeper into the mall we find more vacancies and a Christian book store”
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[slide
permalink=”still-no-stores-maybe-a-kiosk-or-two-16″
title=”Still no stores – maybe a kiosk or two”
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[slide
permalink=”keep-in-mind-christmas-is-in-four-days-and-theres-no-one-in-here-this-guy-was-just-hitting-on-the-ladies-inside-17″
title=”Keep in mind, Christmas is in four days and there’s no one in here. This guy was just hitting on the ladies inside.”
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[slide
permalink=”jail-or-the-remnants-of-an-old-pacific-sunwear-18″
title=”Jail or the remnants of an old Pacific Sunwear?”
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[slide
permalink=”heres-the-walkway-the-second-floor-with-santa-in-tow-19″
title=”Here’s the walkway the second floor with Santa in tow.”
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[slide
permalink=”the-second-floor-still-no-stores-20″
title=”The Second Floor! Still no stores!”
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[slide
permalink=”and-its-a-ghost-town-21″
title=”…and it’s a ghost town.”
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[slide
permalink=”this-mall-is-so-broke-it-cant-even-get-legit-advertising-it-advertises-the-half-built-condos-instead-22″
title=”This mall is so broke, it can’t even get legit advertising. It advertises the half-built condos instead.”
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image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4b2fecea00000000000f827a/image.jpg”
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[slide
permalink=”stores-a-victorias-secret-and-trade-secret-23″
title=”STORES! A Victoria’s Secret and Trade Secret!”
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[slide
permalink=”where-you-going-its-closed-buddy-24″
title=”Where you going? It’s closed, buddy.”
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[slide
permalink=”joy-to-the-world-our-mall-is-broke-25″
title=”Joy To The World, Our Mall Is Broke!”
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[slide
permalink=”an-overview-of-the-only-busy-area-the-food-court-26″
title=”An overview of the only busy area: the food court.”
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[slide
permalink=”as-we-leave-through-the-food-court-we-see-more-people-not-buying-anything-27″
title=”As we leave through the food court, we see more people not buying anything.”
content=”We reflect on our time in the mall. It took all of 1.2 seconds considering the minimal amount of stores left open.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4b2fedc40000000000753c2d/image.jpg”
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[slide
permalink=”leaving-the-mall-from-the-food-court-theres-a-chuck-e-cheese-rip-off-over-there-28″
title=”Leaving the mall from the food court. There’s a Chuck E. Cheese rip-off over there.”
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image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4b2fedf700000000005e5b4e/image.jpg”
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[slide
permalink=”see-ya-wouldnt-wanna-be-ya-29″
title=”See Ya! Wouldn’t wanna be ya!”
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[/slideshow]

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