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See What Highland Mall's 50 Percent Vacancy Rate Looks Like (Soon To Be 71 Percent)

Photo by Jeff Heimsath for KUT News
The "Fun Zone" at Highland Mall. The mall is crippled by a 50 percent vacancy rate, which will rise to 71 percent once the Macy's anchor store closes.

If you haven't made time lately to visit the beleaguered Highland Mall, you are not alone. Close to half of the mall's retail space is unleased, and it is about to lose its Macy's anchor store.  KUT News sent freelance photographer Jeff Heimsath to the mall to take some pictures so you can see how deserted it has become. Check out our slideshow.

Austin Business Journal reporter Francisco Vara-Orta appears regularly on KUT Radio as part of a local business segment. Vara-Orta says the mall has a 50 percent vacancy rate (as measured by square footage of retail space leased). Once Macy's leaves, Vara-Orta says the vacancy rate will be closer to 71 percent.

As KUT News reported earlier this month, Austin Community College plans to buy the Macy's space for $5 million, which could mitigate the mall's decline. The space would be used mainly for offices, which would put more potential shoppers into the building and may help suffering business rebuild their clientele.

Nathan Bernier is the transportation reporter at KUT. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on Twitter @KUTnathan.