(Rochester, N.Y.) - Those who grew up in Rochester fondly remember trips to Midtown at Christmastime--we visited Magic Mountain, rode on the monorail and sat on Santa's lap.
Store owners who have been loyal to Midtown have their memories too—and, for some, the future is still uncertain.
Now the Midtown hustle and bustle are gone, along with many of the stores.
"It was crazy--a kid's dream to see Santa Claus…you’d come down here to watch the clock...it was magical," Jim Thomas said.
Pert Pointer remembered taking over the boutique on the second floor of Midtown 17 years ago.
"I have wonderful memories especially with my customers…it's so sad, customers are upset.”
Midtown has been their life. Though store owners are sad to leave, they’re also worried about their future. They hope to stay downtown but relocating has not been easy.
After 25 years at Midtown, Bob Colombo had hoped to move his jewelry clinic to the Chase Building in June. But his plans hit a snag. "I thought I was settled, but we couldn't work it out…yes, it's sad, but there's also the future."
Pointer wants to stay downtown too, but her plans to relocate to the Sibley Building fell through.
"Basically, we're still stranded,” she said.
Pert is now looking at the Monroe Avenue area. She wants her customers to know she is still open on the second floor of Midtown.
Once Midtown storeowners find new homes, they hope their customers will find them so they can build new memories together.
Many tenants hope to be out by June 30--that's when the Chase and Xerox Skyways will close--limiting access to Midtown.
The mall will close to the public on August 1. The parking garage will close September 30.