Teen hangout spot planned for Midway Mall

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SHERMAN, TX -- Sherry Gillespie is used to a house full of teenagers.

That's why she plans to open a new business in Midway Mall aimed as a hangout spot for teens.

"So we'll find somewhere for them to go, play games and mingle," Gillespie said.

Called Sherman Teen Hot Spot, Gillespie said it'll have a lounge area, concessions, video games and a dance floor.

"Gonna have a lot of sound going on, you know how teenagers are," she said.

Though the idea may raise some eyebrows, she said she has plans in place to keep the teens safe.

"They have to sign in and give a number," she said. "And before they leave I have to talk to their mom or some parent to know that they're leaving," she said.

It even applies to teens who drive there on their own.

"I have to know it's O.K. because I don't want anyone hanging out inside the mall," she said.

Other mall stores say they think it may even decrease loitering.

"I've noticed the security here, they've been cracking down on that a lot too," said Jared Thorne, Buckle employee.

Mall manager Tabetha Snow said she thinks it will give parents more peace of mind.

"You know if you drop them off at the mall, you never know where your kids are gonna end up," she said. "If they bring them here, put them inside the Teen Hot Spot, they know their kids are gonna be safe."

Gillespie said she wants to fill a need she sees in the community.

"Because the teenagers now, they don't have nothing to do," she said. "They sit in the house or they go outside and in parking lots, and that's not a good place for them to go."

The idea cleared Planning and Zoning Tuesday night. It goes before the city council for approval on August 5th. If green-lighted, they plan to have it open in early September.

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