Commenters express frustration, desires for use of Natchez Mall property

Published 3:11 pm Friday, February 2, 2024

NATCHEZ — Hundreds of comments from Natchez area residents express frustration about a portion of the Natchez Mall facility that is available at auction as a self-storage space.

The Natchez Democrat story shared on its Facebook page about an ongoing auction for the property, and as of Friday morning that story had garnered more than 160 comments calling for a different use of the property.

Owners of the Natchez Mall, 350 John R. Junkin Drive, are auctioning off a large portion of the mall building beginning Feb. 20 for use as self-storage facility. Starting bid is $400,000. The bidding continues until Feb. 22.

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In addition, the building that once housed a movie theater and surrounding land is also being auctioned at the same time with a starting bid of $1.

Those comments from the public share ideas about how residents here would like to see the mall space used.

Ideas for use of the building range from an indoor miniature golf course, a laser tag play area to an indoor trampoline park. Others suggest a pickle ball facility. Others suggest retail stores that would do well in Natchez, ranging from Marshall’s, TJ Maxx and Aldi to a Dave & Buster.

“Strange that nationwide there is a beginning of returning to malls,” wrote JoAnne Phipps. “People want the security of safely shopping at all hours in a climate controlled area. Sad to see the mall go and also it was a safe walking venue.”

Lyssa Prince said Natchez doesn’t need any more stores.

“We need things for our kids to safely have fun at! Mini golf, an arcade (that gives real prizes for the money spent), trampoline park, laser tag. Or an all-in-one fun for all,” Prince wrote.

Many commenters suggested a movie theater is needed here.

Miki Lindsey Miller wrote, “We need a movie theater ASAP.”

“We need our theater back. This is sad to see,” Tay Marie Huff wrote.

“Need another movie theater,” Tee Harris wrote.

“We need to reopen the movie theater or a game room for kids,” Sheryl Woods wrote.

“Aldi and a theater would be great,” Ruth Collins wrote.

Penny January suggested someone buy the building and install a soft-cushion walking track.

“Everyone can’t walk on concrete. It’s too cold to walk outside now. In a few months, it will be too hot. An indoor walking track would benefit the entire community. We all need some sort of exercise,” she wrote.

Danielle Barnes asked Natchezians to “please fight back. Not another storage unit.”

Anna B. Ferguson asked, “Is there some pressing need for storage that I don’t know about? Such a waste.”

Reader Har Gar seemed to sum it up best.

“Sounds like the community needs to start a corporation to purchase it strictly to be used as a children’s entertainment space,” he (or she) wrote.