The demise of Metrocenter in June was a blow to generations of Phoenix mallrats.
But if you just can't take the pain of losing the west Phoenix shopping center, here's something to make you feel better.
EJ's Auction & Appraisal in Glendale is holding the first live online auction of stuff from the defunct mall starting at noon on Friday, December 4. To participate, all you have to do is go to EJ's website and register. The bidding is starting very low ($10 for chairs and playground equipment), though some items already have multiple bids on them; at noon on Friday, the auction will begin at the level the bids currently stand.
In addition to the general auction, EJ's is holding an auction for the mall's Christmas decorations at the same time.
Auctioneer and appraiser Garrett Hoyer says that all the merchandise is currently located at Metrocenter. If you win an item, you have to pay within 24 hours, then pick it up at the mall on Monday or Tuesday, December 7 or 8.
Hoyer also says that this is the first of several Metrocenter auctions; they'll continue through probably late January, although most of the other sales will be storage locker-style auctions in which a buyer purchases the contents of an entire store.
There are dozens of lots for sale in Friday's auction. We're not so interested in shelves or kiosks, but here are the five things we'd most like to pick up for a little reminder of the late, great Metrocenter.
1. The Cinnabon Sign
We don't even know why Cinnabon bothered with signage — if there was one in your food court, all you had to do was follow your nose to the eatery. Still, a day at the mall wasn't complete without splitting a late-afternoon cinnamon roll with your friends. There are two of these for sale, and if you can't snag one, the auction also has a Wetzel's Pretzels sign.
2. The Spaceship
Like any responsible shopping center, Metrocenter had age restrictions regarding who could make use of the indoor play area. Which means we never got to climb on the planets, spin the alien toy, or cram ourselves into the spaceship. A little paint, and our spaceship will be as good as new. Oh, and the alien toy, the planets, and lots more from the play area are also available in the auction.
3. The Bench
Mall benches bring back so many memories, from waiting for your mom outside her boring mom stores to holding hands with your crush du jour during an all-day loiter fest. Maybe we'll buy this and sit on it with some shopping bags just for fun.
4. The Directory
Back in the day, we wouldn't have needed a map of Metrocenter — we could tell you where everything was from memory. But as years passed and the lineup of tenants shifted, this would have come in handy. And it's a fun way to reminisce about the final era of the mall.
5. The Arcade Sign
This is the big one. The Metrocenter Arcade was a hub of metro Phoenix teenage life for decades, and its nostalgic appeal makes it a hot commodity in the auction — the bidding is already over $100. If you win it, you'll be saving a beloved cultural artifact.
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