Cary Towne Center mall closes for good after 40+ years

CARY, N.C. (WNCN) — After more than 40 years in business, the Cary Towne Center mall closed its doors for good on Sunday.

Once a bustling hub of shopping and entertainment for the Cary area, the 87-acre shopping mall gradually dwindled to just a few stores over the years.

“I was blown away, I don’t know if it’s the economy or the coronavirus, but it’s really sad when a community mall is closing down,” said George Jones, who stopped by the mostly vacant mall Sunday before it closed.

Becky Brown remembers the mall in its heyday, before anchor stores like Macy’s, Dillard’s, and Sears emptied out and left.

Brown and dozens of other loyal mall walkers wandered through the empty halls on Sunday to take one final stroll down memory lane.

“We’ve been coming here ever since it opened, our children grew up at the mall. Our grandchildren, we brought them to see Santa at the mall,” Brown said, fondly recalling the memories. “I’m sad, I mean, I understand things change, but yeah, we’ve met a lot of friends and we’ve just had a lot of good times here.”

The mall also holds a lot of memories for Paul McKoy.

“Being born and raised here all my life, to see it go down is pretty sad,” he said.

McKoy brought his son to see his old stomping grounds before it goes away.

“Pretty much all throughout high school, this is where we came. Friday nights was the biggest thing,” McKoy said.

McKoy’s old hangout spot will be the new home of Epic Games.

The Cary-based tech and video game company purchased the 87-acre shopping mall and plans to relocate its headquarters there by 2024.