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After 5 decades, this holiday season is 'one last hoorah' for once bustling Virginia mall

Military Circle Mall - 1996
Military Circle Mall - 1996
Military Circle Mall - 1996
Military Circle Mall - 2022
Posted at 2:40 PM, Dec 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-24 08:22:47-05

NORFOLK, Va. -- Military Circle Mall has been a Hampton Roads staple for more than five decades, but this December marks the last Christmas the mall will be open.

The Norfolk mall will soon be coming to an end when the mall closes at the beginning of January 2023.

Military Circle Mall - 1996
Military Circle Mall - 1996

Shoppers say they are saddened to see the mall close.

"I feel sad. I’m from New York and moved here 20 years ago. Since then, I’ve been coming to this mall. This is the main mall I come to, I shop and bring my kids here," shopper Antoine Williams said.

The mall opened in 1970 and was once a thriving mall.

Military Circle Mall - 1996
Military Circle Mall - 1996

Williams said it was an annual tradition for his family to visit the mall during the holidays.

Jemele Hills, a manager at a cigar shop near the mall, said he’s not looking forward to the economic impact of the mall closing and how it will impact his business and other small businesses nearby.

"It may affect the business because we need a lot of people to come. When a lot of people come shop at the mall, we have customers come into our shop so it will probably affect the store," Hills said.

He said his business has had a lot of foot traffic so far — and wanted to keep the momentum going.

"We opened two months ago. We are new down here," Hills said.

Military Circle Mall - 2022
Military Circle Mall - 2022

One shopper said his family has been coming to the mall for more than 10 years.

"Just coming to check it out one last time, one last hoorah! It’s been the end of the era for a lot of malls in the area," Zach Guziewizz said.

Dr. Chip Filer, Norfolk’s City Manager confirmed in November that the city and Wellness Circle LLC, a group linked to Pharrell, are negotiating deal terms of redeveloping the site of Military Circle Mall.

Filer said this would include bringing an arena, affordable housing, and more to the site.

Do you have memories of shopping at Military Circle Mall? Share your story on the WTVR CBS 6 Facebook page.

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