A few days after moving into her Miami, Florida, apartment, Rachel Koggan decided to explore.
She took an elevator down to her apartment lobby. Instead of leaving through the main exit, she spotted a door she hadn’t seen before.
Unlocked, it led to a hallway and then another door.
From there, Koggan said she could hear music coming from the other side. Curious, she reached for the handle and discovered it too was unlocked. She opened the door and entered a mall.
While Koggan knew a mall was close to her apartment, she didn’t realize that her complex had direct access to the shopping center.
“When you step through that door, you feel like you’re transported to another world,” Koggan, 33, told Business Insider. “I felt like I stepped into the North Pole.”
The surprising access has since become one of Koggan’s favorite parts of her home. If she runs out of makeup, she’s just a few steps away from Sephora. And if Abercrombie is having a sale, she can be there in minutes.
Koggan isn’t the only one who loves this unusual apartment perk. She’s shared a handful of videos highlighting her easy journey to the mall at all hours of the day on her TikTok account @racheldallask, and the videos have gone viral.
Her first video about the mall, which she posted last January, had 7.5 million views at the time of writing. Since then, a handful of others have also gained millions of views.
“It blows my mind that people think this is so wild and that people are so excited about it,” she said. “It just gets me more excited about it and makes me appreciate it even more.”
Koggan moved into her apartment sight unseen
About two-and-a-half years ago, Koggan left New York City for Miami and moved into her $4,150 one-bedroom apartment.
She had a checklist of everything she was looking for: a prime location, luxury amenities, two bathrooms, and a balcony with beach views.
When she found her current apartment, it met those needs. She placed an offer without seeing it in person.
What wasn’t on her checklist was direct access to a mall. But as a self-proclaimed shopaholic, that perk has been a dream come true.
Not only is the mall minutes away, Koggan said, stores, restaurants, and businesses also offer residents exclusive deals and events.
For example, when The Henry restaurant opened in the mall, the apartment’s residents were offered complimentary breakfast. Meanwhile, stores like Chanel, Acqua Di Parma, and Jo Malone London have hosted events for the residents, which typically include a free gift, Koggan said.
Since moving into the apartment, Koggan has explored the mall at all hours of the day
Heading down to the mall during daylight hours is a normal occurrence, Koggan said. The stores are open during typical business hours, while a movie theater and put-put golf course stay open later.
One night she used the door to get home after an 11:30 p.m. movie showing. Then it dawned on her that the door might remain unlocked all the time.
She decided to find out. Last Black Friday, Koggan woke up at 6 a.m. before any stores had opened to be first in line for deals.
Sure enough, the door was unlocked and Koggan entered a deserted mall.
“Then it progressed from there,” she said.
More recently, Koggan stayed up until 2 a.m. to see if she could still explore the mall.
She could. The stores were all closed, but the mall’s lights and holiday decorations were still on.
In a video Koggan posted on TikTok, viewers watch as she heads down an elevator, through two doors, and into the fluorescent-lit mall.
As she heads up and down escalators, no one else is in sight.
Koggan said exploring the deserted mall was both cool and spooky.
“There’s this sense of eerieness,” she said. “Walking around a place that’s normally really crowded and vibrant and then having it all to yourself is very uncommon.”
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