As a curiosity, dead malls — those abandoned pastel playgrounds now littered with ceiling tiles and long-dead trees — are all the rage with photographers, if not customers. And as transfixing as they can be, these portraits are also just sad. Vast corridors once bustling with commerce and teenagers and mallwalkers are now doomed to languish, empty and alone, for who knows how many years. And then there's Chesterfield's Taubman Prestige Outlets, which is the cleanest, greenest mall of them all. No, really: Stroll down the immaculately landscaped boardwalk that's dotted here and there with fountains and flowers and benches, and try to find a single piece of trash. Nary a stray napkin nor receipt nor shopping bag nor plop of dog poop. (Yep, Taubman is even dog-friendly — look for the thoughtfully provided water bowls and doggie bags throughout.) The mall's central walkway also boasts beautiful micro-bioretention rain gardens, which collect rainwater and filter it through the ground before it makes its way, naturally de-gunked, to streams and rivers. The stores themselves (retailers include J. Crew, Banana Republic and Restoration Hardware) are filled with goods and clothes that are in season and in style, and you'll be hard pressed to find items that aren't marked down 40 to 75 percent of retail. At Taubman, you can save the green in more ways than one.
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