on September 27, 1981, a 100-store retail mall called The Shops at Georgetown Park opened adjacent to phase one with 128 additional condominiums. The mall contains three full levels and a mezzanine level, houses a food court in the basement, and is listed at just under 450,000 square-feet of leasable space according to the International Council of Shopping Centers. The mall is visually stunning, yet slightly dated, with wood floored hallways, skylights, cast-iron braces, brass and glass elevators, and hand-built oak kiosks. It feels a little darker than it should in there, even during the day.
Comings and goings: Upscale furniture chain Robb and Stucky is liquidating after not being able to come up with the cash to continue operating their stores. Also unable to find a buyer, the 95-year-old chain is forced to go out of business. Based in Ft. Myers, Fla., they have locations in Florida, Texas, Arizona, and Nevada. [...]
Comings and goings: hhgregg, an Indianapolis-based electronics and appliance big box retailer, is opening between 35-45 stores in the next fiscal year, entering the Miami, Pittsburgh, and Chicago markets. Moe’s Southwest Grill, an Atlanta-based fast-casual Tex-Mex chain, is planning to double its nationwide units to 800 locations by 2015. Subway is also still growing strong, [...]
Brickyard Mall, which opened in March 1977 on Chicago’s northwest side, was one of two regional, suburban-style shopping malls constructed in the city – the other was Ford City Mall on Chicago’s south side, which opened in 1965. Three other regional malls are, however, literally within a stone’s throw of the city limits – Lincolnwood Town Center, Harlem-Irving Plaza, and Evergreen Plaza all are located either directly across the street from the city or just blocks from it. Brickyard Mall enjoyed a modicum of success through the 1980s, but in the 1990s its viability met opposition as neighborhood demographics changed and competition from other malls outmoded it.
Located approximately 20 miles southeast of downtown Memphis, Hickory Ridge Mall opened in 1981 at the corner of Winchester and Hickory Hill Roads. At the time, this was the farthest mall from Memphis’s core, and indicative of a shift in population away from the city and into the suburbs. 1981 was also the same year the larger Mall of Memphis opened, closer to the center of population and near the airport. Over time, both malls failed: Mall of Memphis succumbed due to a perception of crime after some high-profile incidents, and Hickory Ridge Mall faltered due to the wrath of overbuilding and demographic changes before being snuffed out by mother nature.
In the mall-crazy late 1970s, a developer decided that one mall wasn’t enough for little Bloomington-Normal, and made plans to build a second enclosed mall on the same strip. Located just a mile north of Eastland Mall along Veterans Parkway/Old Route 66, the College Hills Mall opened in August 1980 with anchor Carson Pirie Scott and a single-level T-shaped corridor of stores. The second anchor, Montgomery Ward, opened about a month later, also in 1980, and a third anchor, Target, opened in 1982.