We asked...and boy did you answer!

Speaking with someone who was in Portland recently, they remarked on how the Maine Mall is absolutely thriving, which depressed me, because the heyday of Bangor Mall is long gone, but it got me thinking about how it could be fixed.

When you break it down, it is pretty sad, the Maine Mall has a whopping 123 stores, compared to just 34, for Bangor, but the surrounding area of Stillwater Avenue is always busy, so what could done to make it a fun place to shop & visit again?

We posed this question on our Facebook page on Friday night, and the response was incredible. More than 200 people weighed in with their thoughts and suggestions, and they were really good!

Check out some of the many comments we received:

Brackish River Bistro

Burn it down and start over?
As a former tenant, I can tell you there is no hope for the current state of the building.

Bruce Worcester

The ownership needs to be motivated to make it successful. Without that, it doesn't matter what any of us suggest. And this ownership doesn't care.

Leah Gulliver

Turn it into a senior housing complex with an on-site health center, gym, and community activities center.

Ashley Marie Bouchard

Pave the lot. Torch the building. And build new. Can only imagine the amount of nasty mold in that place.

Gary Fogg

Well for starters the code enforcement and the city council need to be put to task for not allowing the company that bought the mall to repair the existing sign. That just looks like utter garbage, it's a disgrace for the mall and it's a disgrace for our city. The company that owns the mall has tried to fix it and is not being allowed to by the city. So they need to be brought to task for that. Then the access roads and parking lots need to be repaired, their condition is unacceptable. Then the building needs to be brought up to code. THEN maybe shoppers and businesses will want to return, if not convert it to some sort of multi-use retail and something else. It's an existing space so instead of building more "vanilla boxes" in the area let's utilize an existing facility !!!
Sorry if that makes too much sense for people. Practical minds need to step up.

Derek Breton

Turn the anchors into entertainment and experience destinations with stores and restaurants in between. Anchor with an event center that can hold up to 1200 standing for small concerts/performances, a rock wall climbing facility like High Point Climbing And Fitness, an indoor water park like a Coco Key, an aquarium or an aquarium restaurant, an IMAX, indoor paintball, a niche restaurant like a Professional Bullriders Restaurant. You could take something like the Challenger Learning Center of Maine and move here and really let it expand its size and scope to be almost like the Discovery Museum but focused on space.

Ashley Grenier

Entertainment mall bowling alleys, roller skating, gaming rooms panic rooms (a bar or not ) let's make it a place kids and adults can both enjoy but safe enough like when we were kids and you can drop your kid off for a couple hours plus keep the clothing stores and put the food court back

Jenn Ghergia

Not my idea, friend shared this with me. Turn it into a Gen X retirement home. Music stores, arcade games, all the good stuff we “x’rs” had in our youth! The occupants could work in the stores like the old days. Imagine, hear me out, Orange Julius and Sbarro’s, Panda Garden, Chess King, The Gap.  I think it’d be fun.

Sasha Hart

Model it after the Portland mall. Great food court, an upstairs activity center, a large variety of stores

Casey Spofford

I’d start with some fresh pavement out there, beforehand.

Taylor Black

I went there for the first time in a year last week and it was so sad.
I think it should be turned into professional spaces - dentist offices, financial advisors, lawyers. Offer the spaces one year rent free as an incentive for businesses to come into the spaces. Great parking. Public restrooms. Offer a food court. Think mini city under one roof.

Alec Buzzell

An actual Bar-cade. Was really hoping Macy's would've transformed into a Dave & Busters-type business with the second story. Or a zombie mall simulation laser tag experience.

Ed Bowden

Stop buying online so stores can exist

Carolann Prescott

Make it an outlet mall!

Robert Rosebush

Turn it into a giant assisted living facility with an on-premises hospital. Have different dining areas and shops for the residents. This area needs that for the aging population.

Barbie Griffin

Bring on something like the American Mall in New Jersey to get some actual attractions and things to actually do all year long versus having to drive hours out of state. That would bring more ppl here for other businesses as well

Richard Lug

Indoor water park or a big arcade with a food court and bowling or both

Damon Brown

Outlet mall. Instead of driving to Freeport, which has been pretty sad lately.

Mylana Shaw

Bring in stores people actually want. Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Costco, IKEA, Lush, Apple Store, high-end outlets, theater arcade, stuff for kids…

Mykeal Drew

How we can turn it around is: To stop letting new owner after new owner make false promises. If they don't have the money to fix it then they shouldn't buy it. Stop letting out of staters buy our stuff. The mall was great when it was owned and run by Mainers. Was always well maintained. Rent for spaces were extremely affordable, the whole mall was filled with outlet stores. I swear these out-of-state owners buy things to run them right into the ground.

Carolyn Aquilina

Put a roller rink in there! Local food, daycare, small shops and boutiques, make the store rent more affordable so people can rent it for small amounts of time for pop up shops.

Dede McIntyre

Absolutely there is a way we can bring it back. We need stores and businesses we need don't already have. The parking lot and road need to be repaired. Even more so, people need to shop local.

Betsy-John Blaisdell

Indoor water park would have a HUGE draw

Amy Voisine

It’s so incredibly sad and pathetic in there. The Maine Mall is thriving! Surely there is something that Bangor can do

Harold F Coombs III

Said it before. The one thing people still do is go out to eat. Convert the stores to restaurants and fill with seating. Have QR menus and allow people to choose food from multiple restaurants and it all is brought to your table. No more where do you want to eat?

Jamie R Eason

build water park in it put a dave and busters or a cheese cake factory hard rock cafe indoor go kart race track lazer tag build a nice big COFFEE & COCKTAIL LOUNGE a nice night club food court and a finish line or a footlocker one more thing a huge indoor R/c race track

8 Maine Mall Stores That Bangor Should Have

Sure, we have cool concerts here, but Bangor needs to up their biz game!

Gallery Credit: Arlen Jameson

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