Tampa Bay Center; Tampa, Florida

Opened in August 1976, Tampa Bay Center was one of Tampa Bay’s biggest and brightest shopping destinations. Centrally located north of downtown Tampa along Martin Luther King Jr Blvd (called Buffalo Avenue then) east of Dale Mabry Hwy, Tampa Bay Center was next to Tampa Stadium, home of the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It was the place to be during the late 1970s and 1980s; but, despite rapid growth in the fruitful Tampa Bay area over the coming years and decades, Tampa Bay Center’s fate was ultimately sealed by far too much competition. When it opened, Tampa Bay Center had over 700,000 square feet of retail space and two anchors: Tampa’s first Burdines store and Sears, which actually opened before the mall did, in March 1976. The two anchors at Tampa Bay Center were arranged at each end of the structure, and a two-level mall corridor connected them.

Florida Mall; Orlando, Florida

If you’ve ever visited the Orlando area as a tourist, odds are you’ve been very close to Florida Mall. Located just minutes from Sea World, Disney, and Universal, Florida Mall is the largest mall in the Orlando area and one of the closest malls to all these attractions. In fact, from 1986-2002, it was the only major mall in south Orlando. Since its grand opening, the massive Florida Mall has enjoyed immense success serving not only locals, but tourists from around the country and across the globe.

Westland Mall; Hialeah, Florida

Hialeah’s mall, Westland Mall, is located on the west side of the city along Palmetto Expressway (FL 826) at the intersection of 49th Street (FL 932). It opened in the summer of 1971, expanding upon an already-extant Burdine’s store, adding JCPenney as a middle anchor, and Sears on the other end with an enclosed mall of stores connecting them.

Orange Park Mall; Orange Park, Florida

The Jacksonville region, also known as Florida’s First Coast, is home to over one million people and the anchor city for a large geographic area in northeast Florida and southeast Georgia.  The region is not only the coastal gateway to the state of Florida, but also a tourist destination known for its sandy beaches, warm climate, and numerous cultural amenities.  In addition, […]

Palm Beach Mall; West Palm Beach, Florida

2004 photo of Burdine's at Palm Beach Mall in West Palm Beach, FL When the Palm Beach Mall opened in 1967, it was billed as the largest enclosed mall in the Southeast. Located in West Palm Beach, FL, the mall helped serve a community who didn’t necessarily need the opulence of Palm Beach’s Worth Avenue shopping area. It opened amidst spectacular gardens and fountains and was anchored by the Miami-based Jordan Marsh, JCPenney and the number three of the three Miami stores, Richards.

Lauderhill Mall; Lauderhill, Florida

It’s about Spring break time, so we’re headed south to the original Spring break destination of Fort Lauderdale, and to a little mall just to the west in suburban Lauderhill.  Walking into Lauderhill Mall is like walking into a time vacuum and being sucked back 30 (or more?) years.  It is not only a wonderfully-preserved example […]

Festival Bay Mall; Orlando, Florida

Opened in 2002 near a former Belz Factory Outlets site, Festival Bay Mall is the Orlando area’s newest enclosed mall; however, it is anything but typical.  For one, its location almost certainly dictates Festival Bay Mall’s positioning.  Leased and managed by General Growth and owned by Belz, Festival Bay Mall is situated on the north end of […]

Orange Blossom Mall; Fort Pierce, Florida

  This one was truly amazing.  Located along Okeechobee Road in the west part of Fort Pierce, Florida, Orange Blossom Mall sat for decades.  It seems to have died a slow, drawn out retail death, leaving behind a massive hulking structure which was open to walk but not really to shop.  When I visited in May 2001 […]