County Line Mall was a small enclosed mall located at US 31 and County Line Road at the southern edge of Indianapolis. It was built in 1976, and was never meant to be anything big. It spent its entire life housing no more than 20-30 smaller stores surrounding a hallway in front of a larger, 100,000 square-foot anchor behind. In 1985, the much larger regional Greenwood Park Mall opened across the street in Greenwood, with space for 5 anchor stores and many national chains.
Given that the small number of stores are only supported by one anchor in County Line Mall, that anchor is imperative to the mall’s success. In 1999, when we first visited County Line Mall, that anchor was Target and the mall was indeed successful. Filled mostly with local stores but some national chains such as Radio Shack and Jo-Ann Fabrics, the mall operated as an ancillary and had carved out a niche for itself in the shadow of Greenwood Park Mall. However, in October of 2001 things changed drastically when the popular Target store decided to abandon their location within the mall for a brand new store nearby. This departure resulted in a thinning parking lot, and by losing the anchor the mall lost its niche. In January of 2003, the mall’s development company announced there would be a drastic makeover of the mall, including the demolition of the interior mallspace and most of the stores. Leases were terminated and the mall’s remaining tenants were given space facing outward into the parking lot. In Spring 2003 work actually began on the mall and by the fall conversion was complete. County Line Mall was renamed The Shoppes at County Line, and the Target space was taken by Old Time Pottery, a chain of home decor stores based in Tennessee. I took these pictures in April 2001, just a few months before Target’s departure. The mall was still heavily trafficed and in relatively good shape.