With many stores departing Taunton's Silver City Galleria, it may not be long before the entire mall is no more.

Following his re-election, Taunton Mayor Thomas Hoye joined WBSM's Barry Richard to discuss the issues the city faces in his upcoming term.

Towards the end of the discussion, Hoye was asked about the future of the Silver City Galleria, which has seen the departure of multiple establishments, including key national brands like JC Penney, Macy's, and Best Buy. Sears is now the only remaining anchor store at the Galleria.

“We're very concerned about it, but at the same time we've seen it coming,” Hoye said. “Malls just aren't what they were 30 years ago. When (the) Taunton Mall was built, I believe it was opened in '91 or '92, it was the best place to go. And now, here we are in the not-that-distant future with all these stores closing.”

Hoye went on to say that he forecasts the Galleria site will be used differently in the near future.

“I think you're going to find a lot of alternative uses for it. That's the key right now,” Hoye explained. “I think the mall as we know it is gone, it's not coming back. I think it has a housing potential, office use, or a supermarket. Different kinds of uses I think you're going to see.”

The discussion also turned towards the ongoing plans for a casino in Taunton. The southeastern portion of Massachusetts, known as Region C, was reserved for a Native American casino by the state. Hoye explained that if the Wampanoag Tribe currently bidding for a Taunton casino is not successful in their most recent venture with the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Region C license should open up to a commercial casino venture.

“I would fully support opening up Region C to a commercial gaming operation,” Hoye said. “I think it's time, and I think that other areas got the jump on us.”

The mayor also mentioned possibly using the Galleria site as a location for a new casino.


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