By now we all know that the once-glorious/empty Grand Avenue mall in Downtown Milwaukee is being transformed into The Avenue. The place where the singing bears used to delight crowds will soon become a food hall. (The glass entrance has already been demolished.) The place where we used to enjoy Rocky Rococo, Culver’s, and that one wrap place will soon become office space for Graef, among others. (Graef already has a sign up.) The rest of the joint—other than the Walgreens, the TJ Maxx, the Underground Collaborative, the Stone Creek Coffee kiosk, and that fruit stand—has already been turned into apartments. So long, used CD store where we used to buy old NES games for $2; hello, quartz countertops and on-site fitness centers.

Oh well, at least some of the under-construction areas of the old mall are, weirdly, still open to the public. It’s true! The back exit of Walgreens still empties out into the mall, the Stone Creek kiosk in the skywalk still exists, and there are a few other nooks and crannies worth exploring. The aforementioned Plankinton Arcade—home to TJ Maxx, etc.—is still semi-lively, and you can peek into some of the semi-occupied apartments. (Hi, family of skeletons!) Check out our photos below.

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