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Last Night Arrives For South Street Seaport Mall

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The nearly 28-year-old mall on Pier 17 in the South Street Seaport was set to close permanently Monday once shops and restaurants closed for the night.

The mall building will be demolished, and replaced with a glass structure filled with high-end restaurants for which construction will begin next month, officials said.

The red, barn-like mall has been open for 28 years, and while some people considered it an eyesore, others thought it was a landmark with character, 1010 WINS' Gary Baumgarten reported.

Last Night Arrives For South Street Seaport Mall

Most of the owners of the souvenir and knickknack shops in the mall will not be returning to the new space, DNAInfo reported, quoting one merchant as lamenting that there is "no place for the mom-and-pop store" at the new South Street Seaport.

The owner of the store Studio Manhattan told Baumgarten the demolition and new construction will take too long for the stores.

"It's probably at least three years," he said.

The owner has already found a new location on Bleecker Street between Sixth and Seventh avenues. But other stores have had to close, and their employees have lost their jobs, Baumgarten reported.

On Saturday night, with the mall nearly deserted, designer Alexander Wang held an exclusive party featuring a live performance by Nicki Minaj, and turned the main gallery of the mall into arcades set up to look like the Ginza shopping district of Tokyo, according to published reports.

The South Street Seaport was severely damaged by Superstorm Sandy and has been struggling ever since.

Since Sandy, the restaurants, theaters, and Seaport museum galleries on the side streets of the seaport have nearly all been boarded up, abandoned or vacated. The Fulton Market building, which like the mall is owned by the Howard Hughes Corporation, also has been closed since the storm.

The mall was spared the worst damage, but some shops were closed for more than a month after Sandy, DNAInfo reported.

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