DALLAS — Valley View Mall is still alive — barely.

“Empty means there is no energy, and human[s] need energy, we need sunlight. So empty means no sunlight. Dark,” said Fengwu Chao, the owner of Chinese Avenue, a store that sells items from across Asia.

“When I first moved in I was proud of myself because I can be [a business] owner,” Chao said.

That was in 2006. Thirteen years later, and she remains among the last holdouts inside this mall that has long been declared dead by the city it served.

“My plan now is to liquidate, and my hope is that someone can purchase my merchandise,” Chao said.

Plans for Valley View Mall once called for a massive rebuild, and in 2017, WFAA even covered a demolition ceremony. But here we are years later, and the mostly vacant building still stands.

FROM 2017: Demolition to begin at Valley View

For Chao, it’s so much more than her business. This store supported her family when her husband had health issues. It put her daughter through NYU, who just graduated, by the way.

A lot of good has come from inside these walls. Walls that now keep in the stuffy air.

“Chi means air flow, if you don’t have air to breathe…what do you think?”

Chao said she'll go with that flow, as she figures out what comes next.

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