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In its heyday, The TarryTown Shopping Center bustled with shoppers. But today, a lot of the beloved shops are gone. (Blair Newberry)

Tarrytown's Casis Village shopping center is buzzing with activity on a crisp Sunday afternoon in December. Customers flock to Randall's to check off their grocery lists, grab seasonal lattes from Starbucks and peruse the center's various thrifty boutiques and jewelry stores for Christmas gift inspiration.

For many longtime Austinites, the bustling plaza may bring back memories of the former glory of one of the city's most famous and controversial shopping centers, which has since been reduced to a ghost town by its authoritarian landlord.

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