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In the beginning it was The Mall.

Later, it became University Mall.

Today, it's no longer a busy retail center, as it was for many years after its birth in 1967.

University Mall in Little Rock is still open, but only a handful of stores remain in it. The few customers on the empty concourse on a recent weekday were looking for good buys in the clearance sales.

The anchors will all be gone soon. In a few weeks, J.C. Penney, the anchor on the west end of the mall, will move to the new Shackleford Crossing shopping center at Shackleford Road and Interstate 430.

The owner of M.M. Cohn, the mall's east end anchor, announced in June that it was closing the store, and all of its Cohn stores. The store is still open, with everything from goods to furnishings and shelving on sale.

A few weeks ago, Franke's Cafeteria, one of the original mall tenants, abruptly closed. Montgomery Ward, also an original anchor, closed years ago.

For more information see today's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Subscribers can read the story here on ArkansasOnline.

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