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19 Mar, Tuesday
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PT1 - Park Towers Mall: A Shadow of its Former Glory

Park Towers Mall: A Shadow of its Former Glory

Karachi has a magnificent skyline that has long been dominated by tall apartment complexes and corporate offices. Karachi now has some of the most impressive malls in the country: Dolmen Mall, Ocean Mall, and The Place. Park Towers Mall predates all of these malls. It was once the best mall in the city. Today it stands as a shadow of its former self.

Park Towers Mall has tried to maintain its original aesthetic: A One Potato Two Potato stand greets you at the entrance, as it has for years. To the left is a Magic Corn vendor and on the right is an ice-cream stand. There’s something comforting about this old school touch.

As a child, I would come here every weekend with the intention of either visiting Liberty Books or Aladeen park. I’d spend hours at Park Towers with my parents and visits here would be the highlight of my weekend. The trip would always end with a visit to Park Towers’ food court for a family meal.

 

PT - Park Towers Mall: A Shadow of its Former Glory

 

Now, as I explored the mall, it became glaringly obvious that Park Towers’ popularity has dwindled. There were barely any visitors here, despite it being a weekend. Many shops stood gutted and unoccupied by vendors. Most big brands have moved their outlets to more popular malls – mostly Dolmen Mall. Even McDonald’s had jumped ship.

Park Towers Mall looked desolate. Visitors were scant. I found myself reminiscing about how busy the mall used to be just a few years ago. There would barely be space to move around, especially on weekends. I walked into the ever so familiar Liberty books, the one constant, where the smell of freshly minted books and papers surrounded me. Although Aladeen Park is now long gone, Liberty Books remains.

 

PT2 1024x538 - Park Towers Mall: A Shadow of its Former Glory

A small portion of the mall has been outfitted as a kids arcade, I spotted a grand total of five children in there. The food court has been considerably downsized, it is now half of what it used to be if memory serves me well. The booths once occupied by KFC and Mr. Burger have been taken over by lesser-known vendors.

Visiting Park Towers is always a nostalgic experience for me, however, there is not much happening here. It doesn’t fulfill the basic requirements of a present-day good mall experience. There is a dearth of brands and options, most of the shops are unoccupied entirely, the food court is lackluster and there’s not much for kids to do here.

None of these problems seem completely beyond repair. The location of Park Towers is ideal for any mall, it’s in the heart of Clifton. Perhaps with a little bit of TLC, the management might still be able to turn things around? I certainly hope so. I would hate to lose such a memorable part of my childhood in Karachi.

I bought a cup of Magic Corn on my way out. The humble stall has been able to maintain its standards, unlike Park Towers.