FAIRWAY, KS (KCTV) - At Oak Park Mall, the shopping center officially closed at 7 p.m. Monday until further notice.
For 16 years, Esrini Uppalapu and his family have sold perfume at two locations inside Oak Park Mall. Monday, they worked to pack up what was once for sale inside their two stores.
“We cannot bear the rent if it is like this. It is very tough for the small business people,” Uppalapu said.
They placed their remaining products into a moving truck unsure of what their future holds.
“We don’t know when we will come back. The situation is like that,” Uppalapu said.
Hours before the 7 p.m. temporary closure, many Oak Park Mall stores were already closed and secured. The often-crowded mall was nearly empty.
The usually bustling Legends Outlets in Kansas City was quiet too. Besides restaurants offering delivery and takeout, a few shelves and nearly every store sat empty. Each business posted signs about their temporary closure.
“I thought some of the stores would still be open,” shopper Dana Dooley said.
KCTV5 News spoke to just a few shoppers who hoped to make one last trip before returning home to follow the Stay at Home Order that starts soon.
“This is a ghost town. A ghost town. This is wow. I’ve never seen this few cars here ever,” shopper Brittany Berry said.
Both Oak Park Mall and Legends will work with local government and health officials to determine when they may reopen. They also recommend contacting individual restaurants for more information on what remains available for pickup or delivery.
Independence Center was officially closed last week. That became official on March 20th.