The Ultimate Dirt Mall: Inside What Remains of the Old Belz Factory Outlet in Allen

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belzoutletmall.jpg
Justin Cozart
Inside what remains of the old Belz Factory Outlet Mall in Allen
The Collin Central Appraisal District still lists Memphis, Tennessee-based Belz Factory Outlet Mall as the owner of some 43 acres on Shelby Road in Allen, near the intersection of State Highway 121 and U.S. 75. So too do county deed records and the county's latest tax assessment. The only one disputing ownership is Belz: "We do not own it," said a woman who answered the phone at the Tennessee HQ. "I don't know why they haven't updated it in their system, but we sold it many years ago." To whom? She had no idea, before hanging up.

Right. So why the sudden interest? Well, it's due to our old pal Justin Cozart, who has posted some photos he grabbed from inside the mysterious, decrepit joint over the weekend. Says Justin of the old mall, which was open from 1983 till '87, "It's very exciting, actually. But I left because, ya know, the police will arrest you if they find you on the property," which records indicate was boarded up on January 1, 1989. (A January 1, 2007, reassessment found the mall "in poor shape.")

Cozart decided to visit the old Belz Factory Outlet Mall because rumor is it's being used by Allen Police Department's SWAT Unit for training purposes, which an officer in the Allen PD confirmed to Unfair Park today before suggesting we really confirm that with the tactical unit's  commanding officers, who weren't available this afternoon. Word was the property was supposed to be sold and turned into a mixed-use development in 2004. But if no one else has any other ideas, seems like it'd make one hell of a post-apocalyptic movie set.

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