With two of Lindale Mall's big three anchor stores, Sears and Younkers, closing up shop this summer, that leaves two huge gaping holes in a once-booming shopping center of Cedar Rapids.

We will soon find out if any other major retailers or restaurants will step up to purchase the spaces. But with many of the national chains going bankrupt and out of business and a number of people thinking malls in general are dead, you have to wonder if any of them would make a go of it anyway. The owners of the mall, Simon Property Group, might have to get creative. Macy's? Dillard's? The Apple Store? Dave & Buster's? Cracker Barrel? It is certainly worth thinking about, and simply tearing down the space would also be an option, although a sad thought, one that in my opinion, seems most likely in the current retail climate.

Could any independent local would-be business owners be brave enough to step up to the challenge if the mall were to split up the spaces into smaller parts?

I have an idea. It is sure going to open old wounds: a casino. I get it, the issue is all but dead in Cedar Rapids. However, I'm just "spitballin",  if it were possible, what better place than the mall?

What are your thoughts about what they could do with the spaces being left behind by Sears and Younkers? What does Cedar Rapids need?