Starting May 1, Stonecrest Mall in DeKalb county will ban teenagers from their premises on weekend nights. This means anyone under 18 will not be allowed in the mall after 4 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays without the supervision of a parent or legal guardian.
Many Clayton residents believe Southlake should institute a similar rule. My issues with Southlake have little to do with kids hanging out there, but rather its lack of shopping and merchandise choices. Most kids just need something to do and there are definitely worse ways and places for kids to spend free time. However, some residents remember when Southlake was a high end shopping mall and refuse to return.
“The safety and well-being of our shoppers are always our top concerns,” says Nicole Spreck, director of Public Relations at General Growth Properties, Inc., Southlake’s parent company. “We have a customized public safety program at each of our 220+ shopping centers in 45 states. At this time, a teen curfew is not warranted at Southlake Mall.” These sentiments were reiterated by Southlake’s General Manager, Judy Pritchett.
Personally I’ve never been apprehensive about shopping at Southlake and some in neighboring counties aren’t either. I always see Fulton, Henry, DeKalb and yes, even Fayette tags on occasion, in parking lots. Further, I’ve witnessed teens roaming high end malls like Lenox Square at all hours and listened as some of its stores played the same music as Southlake does. So while the clientele and shopping selections may vary, no mall is immune to crime or roving teenagers.
Do you shop at Southlake mall? Would a similar rule encourage you to patronize Southlake Mall more often, or will you steer clear regardless?