Rolling Acres Mall; Akron, Ohio

Rolling Acres Mall in Akron, OH

Rolling Acres Mall is a sad, forgotten behemoth of a mall located in the southwest corner of Akron, Ohio.  Due largely to renovations at other Akron-area malls, the nationwide trend away from enclosed dinosaur malls, and possibly the region’s downfall as a whole, Rolling Acres Mall has fallen on some very hard times recently.

Rolling Acres Mall opened with huge fanfare in August of 1975.  During the grand opening, Sears opened with 21 other stores in its court on the north end of the mall.  Before long, JCPenney and Montgomery Ward followed suit and opened their anchor stores onto the mall.  Around this time, the mall featured typical mod 70s decor, a funky yellow “bubble elevator”, and a large aquarium in front of Wards.  Sunken seating areas on the upper level would later be removed to give a more open feel to the center.  It sounded like a great place to be, and it was.  It quickly became the dominant center in Akron, which also boasted two previously-existing malls: Summit Mall and Chapel Hill Mall.

In 1978, a major expansion of the mall took place, adding a food court, in-line mall space on a new lower level at the south end of the mall, and O’Neil’s department store.

The mid 1980s saw continued success of Rolling Acres Mall through more popular national chains, and space in the mall was premium.  Montgomery Ward closed, but it was replaced by Higbee’s which eventually became Dillards (and remains today).  Also during this time the mall’s decor was updated, replacing some of the mod 70s colors with the pink and teal colors popular during the mid-1980s.  The food court was renamed Picnic Place and remodeled with a vague Victorian-era look, which looks odd amid the rest of the mall’s design.  It remains today.

During the late 80s and 1990s, a changing national retail landscape combined with extensive renovations and repositioning at other centers around Akron sealed the mall’s fate into the sad state it is today.  Stores that once flanked Rolling Acres like Merry Go Round, County Seat, Petrie’s, and Chess King all folded at the national level, leaving holes at Rolling Acres.  In 1997, Summit Mall in the now-booming retail area around northwest Akron got an extensive remodel and repositioned itself to receive the popular stores that would replace the ones that closed at Rolling Acres.  It was around this time that the area around Rolling Acres experienced decline as well.  Across the street are several dead plazas including one that was a Child World location.  It was also around this time that JCPenney became JCPenney outlet, and Rolling Acres received its final addition: a Target store connected to a new, small wing off the food court in 1995.

Today, the mall’s condition is pretty bleak.  Although the mall isn’t completely dead, I’d say it’s running with less than half a tank.  In 2006, Target left the mall and opened in a new strip center 7 miles to the west in Wadsworth.  The rest of the anchors remain; however, time will tell if Macy’s will keep the store during the conversion from Kaufmann’s, or for very long thereafter.  As with many dead malls, a fan base has developed around the mall and its current condition.  In fact, someone even created and maintains a myspace page as well as a fan site for the mall.  This is, of course, not to be confused with the mall’s official website.  All the pictures posted below are mine and were taken during the summer of 2005.  As always, please leave comments about updates and/or corrections; they’re much appreciated.

UPDATE 1/28/07: The sale of the former Dillard’s and Target locations are underway.  An auction will be held to sell the former 125,000 square-foot Dillard’s store on February 7, and the 98,000 square-foot former Target store will be purchased by Akron Commercial Development LLC by the end of this week.  The Akron Beacon Journal reports that although speculation has emerged concerning the conversion of Rolling Acres Mall to a mixed-use hybridized retail/office center, these former anchors will be retail.

UPDATE 6/25/08: I just went to Rolling Acres on Sunday and it’s in really sad shape.  All the info Mary has provided (in the comments) is accurate.  None of the escalators are operating, so you have to take stairs between the lower and upper levels.  Both JCPenney Outlet and Sears are open and have access into the mall during business hours (though JCPenney only opens to the upper level).  The fountains are off, and the mall directories are at least a couple years out of date, though they indicate Macy’s as an anchor.  Macy’s came to the mall in September 2006 when they ate Kaufmann’s, and then closed in February 2008.  There are numerous issues with the degradation of the flooring, as many of the tiles have chipped off and have just been left as is.  The ceiling has numerous leaks, as well as many spots on the floor beneath them.  I thought this place was in bad shape when I first came here 3 years ago, but man, it’s incredible that the mall is even still open in this condition.  Keep us posted on the deathwatch!

UPDATE 3/31/12: The Rolling Acres Mall is now closed permanently. The mall itself died with a whimper in October 2008 when the power company cut off electricity due to non-payment. Sears and the JCPenney Outlet Store continued to operate while the interior of the mall was sealed and left to rot. Three years later, in 2011, Sears and JCPenney Outlet both left the mall entirely, leaving the center 100% abandoned.

Rolling Acres Mall in Akron, OH Rolling Acres Mall in Akron, OH Rolling Acres Mall in Akron, OH

Rolling Acres Mall in Akron, OH Rolling Acres Mall in Akron, OH Rolling Acres Mall in Akron, OH

Rolling Acres Mall in Akron, OH Rolling Acres Mall in Akron, OH Rolling Acres Mall in Akron, OH

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Rolling Acres Mall in Akron, OH Rolling Acres Mall in Akron, OH Rolling Acres Mall in Akron, OH

Rolling Acres Mall in Akron, OH Rolling Acres Mall in Akron, OH Rolling Acres Mall in Akron, OH

568 Responses to “Rolling Acres Mall; Akron, Ohio”

  1. Just wanted to let you know that the Dillard’s Clearence Center closed at the end of Augest 2006. Now there is only 3 remaining department stores-
    JCPenny Clearence Center,Macy’s (formaly Kaufmanns),and Sears.

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    Megan Reply:

    I think all that stands now is JCPenny Outlet.

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  2. I remember shopping at this mall regularly in the early 90′s while going to Akron U and remember it constantly being packed. Unfortunately, the demographics of the area was its’ own worst enemy. Reports of alleged shootings at the Cinema, which was once operated by the defunct General Cinema Corp, didn’t help much either. As stated, Summit Mall was re-done and flourish. So did Chapel Hill. As of late, the mall was sold, now is up for sale again, with hopes to convert it to a mixed-use facility. It was being referenced as Rolling Acres Complex — or something like that. One thing is for sure…it’s not mall.

    I haven’t been around Rolling Acres in a few years, but last I was there, most of the surrounding retail (Marc’s, Coconuts to name a few) packed up and left the area.

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  3. I went to this mall today and almost everything was gone

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  4. Gosh darnit, I keep wondering about this mall(since I’ve read so much about this one from other sites). What stores are left, other than I’ll presume, the JCPenney Outlet, Macy’s/Kaufmann’s, and Sears?

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  5. JCPenney Outlet has been closed for a few years. Sears and Macy’s still exist.

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    Jackson Harris Reply:

    @JACK,

    JCPenny Outlet and Sears are still there, but Macy’s closed

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    kclark Reply:

    @JACK, No jack the JC Penny outlet is actually still there. It never closed.

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  6. sad…today on the news they reported that a guy broke into a former diamond’s men store in the mall and has been living in there a month.
    He stole over $30,000 in merchandise..how sad. & on top of that Dollar General is now closed…yes Dollar General. The esclators are closed as well. Basically..this mall is officialy “dead”

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  7. would anyone have a sugestion what can be done to this mall
    how about an indoor farmers market

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  8. I just want to make a correction to JACK’s statement about JC Penney. It is still open as it always has been, along with Sears and Macy’s. I am an employee at the mall and there still are a lot of loyal customers who say they will keep shopping there to the very end. The price of gas alone would make the mall worth opening. Customers from the surrounding areas are tired of paying for the gas necessary to have to go shopping at the other malls.

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    JACK Reply:

    @Vicki et al –

    Thanks for correcting me. I had a complete brain-fart and mixed up what was open and closed at the time (I can’t believe I didn’t proofread my own work before hitting “submit comment” LOL)

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  9. When I was in high school in the mid eighties, this mall was basically positioned between Summit Mall (upscale, at least by Akron standards) and Chapel Hill Mall (a nice enough mall, but without many of the hotter stores of that time, like Merry Go Round). I’m really interested in the process of how a bustling, popular mall like Rolling Acres becomes a place to be avoided by average shoppers (unless, like me, you’re a tightwad who actually LIKED it when the Dillard’s store became an outlet… I live in Chicago now and I REALLY miss those bargains). All I know is that it seemed like an alarmingly fast transition from lively and trendy to a bunch of independent stores with bad signage selling royal blue suits with matching alligator shoes. The place was so dead the last time I was there (2004) that you might walk the length of the mall and only see a few other people.

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    David Cross Reply:

    @MWorrell,

    I had worked @ Rolling Acres for 2years & in my opinion what closed the mall down was the piece of shit thugs that started harrassing customers, beating them & robbing them. and yes I will say this most of the crimes were committed by black thugs. I remember these thugs would come into our store cause chaos, steal, menace & threaten customers. Even employees @ times that would kick these asswipes out would later get thier asses kicked by the same thugs they kicked out @ night in the parking lot. I started carrying a gun when I went there to work. Don’t get me wrong there was a few white trash that would be disruptive as well but the majority was the black gangs that would intimidate & rob the white shoppers. Thats what I blame for the closure of rolling acres mall. Call me a racists, but I was there & saw this sad thing happen to it. I really miss it today & wish my children could have seen it functioning.

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  10. This is part of a cohort of malls that never should have been built: NorthTowne in Toldeo, and Euclid Square in the Cleveland area also come to mind as well as a host of others like Bellevue Mall in Nashville. These all went into non-growing areas with less than upscale demographics. Rolling Acres, North Twone and Euclid Square bizarre opened up in recessionary times, which were particularly bad in Akron. Euclid Square was small with particularly small anchors. Rolling Acres was really too big for the area it could serve. These malls were all testimonies to the willingness of local politicians to belive the nonsense that developers tell them.

    Crime sounds like it was a problem here and crime kills malls in a way that it doesn’t seem to affect other kinds of retail.It violates the not entirely credible image of suburbs and environments that are supposed to be “safe”. It particularly drives out people who come some distance and those who may have more of a choice of where to shop.

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    Jim Reply:

    @Rich,

    Rolling Acres was sandwiched between two bad areas—Kenmore, where I grew up, and Hawkins—which drew crime to the mall. Eventually city bus routes were added at the mall and that’s when the real changes began to happen. These buses allowed teens and, eventually gangs to hang at the mall too easily. It became unsafe for most people. Several rapes and robberies occurred making it unsafe for women to go there at night. That left it at the mercy of criminals and ne’er do wells.

    I think your post is right on the money.

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  11. I think its wrong to give up on this mall. Newer and Better is not always the answer. I go past the mall all of the time and it is very sad to see it mostly empty. I do see some changes starting to happen in the plazas surrounding the mall. A new school moved into the old Apples, and it looks like there is an area conversion into a more industrial type setting starting to happen in other plaza’s. A new Church is being constructed as well. The demographics are still mixed, but more importantly Montrose really did a number on the Rolling Acres Complex as a whole. I find it hard to believe that the surrounding communities do not have the need for a mall. Even if it is full of mom and pop type shops. Macy’s actually stunned me when they kept the Kaufmann’s store open but since they own the building (as does Sears and Penny’s), I can see some of the logic , no revenue, but also no rent. JC Penney seems to be doing ok as an outlet and that Sears is the only one on the West side of Akron that I know about. Montrose(Summit Mall) doesn’t have one in that area. The thing I can’t understand is this: Why did they build that huge Plaza in Wadsworth with the Lowe’s , New Target, Kohl’s etc, and not give consideration to the mall. There was plenty of room for Kohl’s (to take the old Dillard’s store) to go in. Target could have retained their spot and Lowes could have easily taken one of the abandoned plazas. This disturbs me that the past is forgotton, when there is a perfectly good structure that could have served the needs of the community perfectly fine.. As for the demographics, EVERYONE needs to shop once in a while, and EVERY mall has problems. I think the City of Akron is just giving up on it. We shouldn’t give up on it… A power Center isn’t fun to shop in when there’s a windchill of 10 below outside.

    Just my thoughts.

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    Jim Reply:

    @Mark,

    The unspoken secret is crime. The stores were losing money because of crime. Eventually there was violent crime as well.

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    David Cross Reply:

    @Jim, Amen read my earlier post

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  12. I think maybe the mall can be repositioned as a mixed-use complex. Maybe demolish half of it, and build condos and an office complex that connects to the mall. Just a thought.

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  13. I grew up around the Rittman/Wadsworth area, and Rolling acres was it for us (unless you drove 30 min to the wooster wal-mart). The last time I was there was about 4 yrs ago, and as I remember it wasnt completely dead.
    What a shame to see it this way, I think I may drive from all the way from WVA to pay one last visit. (que nostalgia)

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  14. man i miss this mall. i am only 15 but i will b 16 on dec.24.07. i remember being in 1st and 2nd grade and going to the mall with my mom. it was packed and it was easy 2 get lost.i did a few times. i remember the big train by the front,roming rd. entrance. it dosent even run anymore. the fountains dont run or elevators. the mall which was once a big hit is now a place 2 go and u talk in the food court.and u here your voice echo through the mall.

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  15. Here’s a video showing the transformation of this mall from its heyday through its demise.

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  16. Sorry about that last post, I put the link in the “website” box on the input form.
    Let’s try that video link again…

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  17. How awful! There seems to be an embarrassingly low amount of stores today:

    Anchors
    JCPenney Outlet Center (apparently closed)
    Macy’s
    Sears

    Fashions & Shoes
    Diamond’s Menswear (apparently closed)
    Foot Action

    Specialty Stores
    Bridals by Philven’s
    General Nutrition Center (dead malls staple?)
    Rolling Acres Cinema
    Stockade (what’s this?)

    Electronics
    Digital Palace

    Personal & Professional Services
    Braids & Naturals
    Creations Beauty & Barber Salon
    Healthwise Center
    Jackson Hewitt
    Kid’s Gymnastics
    Rosen Research Quick Test

    Food Specialty
    Big Star Pizza
    Eli’s Char Grille
    Meghan Janel’s Homemade Delites

    OK, Sears and Macy’s are still there. That alone gives a bit of life into the mall. Obviously, a mid/upper scale mall is not going to happen. Perhaps adapting it to local demographics, if there are any, to maybe a Spanish speaking, Asian, or African American community. Option B is turning it into a service-oriented mall. A gymnastics is there, maybe you could add a YMCA, a model railroader’s club, and so on. Option C is re-bigboxing it. This doesn’t mean demalling, maybe add some traditionally big box anchors to it. Perhaps a Stein Mart, Steve & Barry’s, a grocery store, a big-box electronics store, a Micheals and a 24 Hour Fitness. If market permits, maybe a large discount store (maybe a SuperTarget to replace the Target down the road), and a big-box home improvement store. A Burlington Coat Factory can easily fill in the old Dillard’s space.

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  18. Anybody have a map of the mall? Apparently some mall owners are allergic to directory maps.

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  19. For those too lazy to check Archive.org, the 2001 version of the site is much busier than today’s website. Granted, by 2001, the mall was well on its way to doom, but…

    In fact, the 2001 main page says:
    Rolling Acres Mall is the largest mall in Akron and the only mall home to five department stores: Sears, Kaufmann’s, JCPenney Outlet, Dillard’s Clearance Center, and Target, as well as over 85 specialty shops. While shopping, enjoy our many events and activities and don’t forget to visit our “Picnic Place” Food Court where you’ll find a variety of delicious cuisine. Great shopping, great food, and great service … Rolling Acres Mall …. A Great Deal More!

    Now it says:
    Make Rolling Acres Mall your place for shopping fun & excitement!

    The stores are a lot more back in November 2001:
    http://web.archive.org/web/20011211145812/www.rollingacresmall.net/stores.htm

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  20. The DeadMalls.com page does have a great history of the mall.

    As for the video, at 5:21 I see a former B&B Works. I often never read YouTube comments…for health reasons primarily…

    (note: all comments have been spell/grammar checked by me)

    The first person wrote:
    “Glad to see it finally closed up. Last time I was there, 15 years ago, I thought I was going to get shot and robbed. Not that I wanted to buy any pagers and baby clothes anyway.”

    They were pretty short-sighted, although the mall has massive swaths of storefronts abandoned, the mall is still open for business and actually has a few operating stores.

    The second person wrote:
    “It is a shame the thugs ran all the shoppers off. Roving gangs of black youths scared all the shoppers off. Now all this left is a ghost town with boarded up and closed stores. They should have know better than to open a mall in the crappy area of Akron!”

    That’s only half-true. Rolling Acres was a wonderful place in the ’70s, and the crime, poor demographics, economy woes, and anchor bankruptcies caused the neighborhood to spiral downhill. However, it were crime/rumors of crime/demographic changes that frightened everyone off.

    The third basically describes the life of preteen female mallrats, and is not very interesting.

    A Service mall could be Rolling Acre’s last hope, IMHO.

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  21. I forgot to say in case anyone is wondering, the expansion in the ’80s adding O’Neil’s went from O’Neil’s to May Company Ohio to Kaufmann’s to Macy’s.

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  22. I’m in a very Rolling Acres mood today, but I found a FLOOR PLAN! Here:
    The map

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  23. There are a lot of options on what to do with this mall, providing the guy that owns the building actually gets off of his rump and takes the initiative to do something. Look at all of the younger generational clothing stores like Aeropostale, Hollister, American Eagle, Abercrombie, anjd Old Navy that are a huge percentage of profit for Summit mall AND Chapel Hill Mall. I say, charge the stores $1 to move a location into the mall and see where it goes from there. There are so many stores that thrive at both Summit and Chape Hill (which is becoming a ghost mall too), and look how perfect the location of the mall is, I am a resident of Barberton, and I work AT Summit Mall, which is about 15 to 20 minutes from my house on a good day, and Chapel Hill is anywhere from 30-45 minutes from my house depending on various conditions, while Rolling Acres is a mere 5 minutes from my house. I know I’m sick of driving up to Summit almost every day for work, and I know a lot of people that won’t drive up there simply for the fact you’re going to spend about a half an hour driving there and back, and thats on a GOOD day, I’ve easily spent a half an hour there one way some mornings. The mall would get so much business from Barberton and Norton, espicially since Chapel Hill has begun a decline as well. Summit Mall may be booming, but I can tell you for sure, Summit is about a quarter of the size of Rolling Acres, and a LOT of the stores in Summit don’t get crap for business. I think the real problem with reopening Rolling Acres is the crime rate of Akron and surrounding areas, my Grandfather was AT the movie “Colors” in Rolling Acres Cinema when a random gang fight broke out IN the theatre, thats ridiculous…. So many stores would prosper in Rolling Acres, but then again I guess when you think about it, whats the use of having stores there when people are afraid to come to the mall because theres a chance they can be jumped or something…….. MAN have Barberton and Akron gone to waste, both used to be such booming cities, now look at them..

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  24. But the mall is still open for business.

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  25. There is a PSP commercial running currently (saw it on Comedy Central) where a guy at a mall squeezes into a glass mall elevator as the doors are closing and admires another guys Star Wars PSP. I swear it looks like it was shot in Rolling Acres. Can anyone confirm?

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  26. Wow… I grew up in the Akron area and made numerous trips to Rolling Acres Mall (up until the mid-1990′s) and I do remember the Mall being steadily packed. About mid-1990′s the demographic quickly changed from shoppers to nothing more than a hangout for the area teens… The plaza’s in the area had alot of empty spaces with a few stores that have been there for a while (Toys ‘R’ Us) and some stores I frequently visited.

    About the same time that Rolling Acres started the ‘unintentional’ change I began going to Summit Mall more just because it was easier to find what I was looking for there.

    I do miss the ‘packed’ days of Rolling Acres Mall

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  27. Hello everyone,

    I’m a university student in AZ and has been assigned to do a research paper for my marketing class on the Rolling Acres Mall. I’m trying to understand why the mall started to go down hill. Was it because there was new mall development in the near area and violence? What kind of violence? Did people have fear when they visited the mall?

    How far is the nearest plaza or mall, shopping center from the R.A. mall?

    Can anyone help?

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    David Cross Reply:

    @Vero, Please read my earlier post about the violence.

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  28. The nearest competitors are Summit Mall in Fairlawn and Chapel Hill Mall in Akron, each about five miles away.

    Chapel Hill opened in 1967 and is anchored JCPenney, Macy’s, Old Navy, Sears, and Steve & Barry’s. Summit Mall opened in 1965 and is anchored by two Dillard’s stores and Macy’s (although it looks like one of these Dillard’s may be closed now). Both of these malls seem to be doing just fine.

    There’s also the Akron Centre (formerly Orangerie Mall), a small collection of boutiques and restaurants, located in downtown Akron.

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  29. Vero, check out the DeadMalls.com on RA. It explains it quite well. Also see RollingAcres.org.

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  30. Thanks for the info, I have to write an 8 page paper on how we can rescue the mall, so I need all the info that I can get. Thanks again!!

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  31. One more question, how far is the nearest Walmart from Rolling Acres Mall? If there is, is it a super Walmart?

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  32. The nearest WM is about 2 miles away (on S. Arlington St.), and it’s not a Supercenter. Nearest Supercenter is about 6 miles away in Kent.

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  33. To correct some of the recent posts regarding the work for the research paper:

    Summit Mall is about 5 miles away, and both Dillard’s there were completely remodeled within the last 2 years. Summit is currently adding a “lifestyle” outdoor component with some more upscale shops and restaurants and extensive landscaping. It is located in a favorable demographic (high income) area.

    Whomever mentioned the Arlington St. Wal-Mart being the closest to Rolling Acres obviously knows nothing about the area! That is at least 8 miles from Rolling Acres. There is a Wal-Mart in Rosemont Commons which is in the Montrose area just west of Summit Mall, again about 5 miles from Rolling Acres. Kent is considerably farther than 6 miles from Rolling Acres! Try at least 15. A Wal-Mart Supercenter opened in Wadsworth, 7 miles west of Rolling Acres in 2004.

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  34. I was going off WM’s store locator; evidently I messed up. Thanks John!

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  35. No, they messed up. Don’t blame yourself for Wal-Mart’s incompetence.

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  36. Thanks to all for helping me out. Is the area where the Summit mall at higher scale than the area where Rolling acres is at?

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  37. More upscale? I believe so.

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  38. Despite a few fights that broke out in the mall,violence was not the main source to the downfall of Rolling Acres. In fact I would say the economy (gas, living conditions, household income) would be to blame for the center. Obviously gas was cheaper,and so were many other things in the past, thus making shopping popular. Another blame would be the condition of the center. Summit Mall was remodeled in late 90′s, & Chapel Hill Mall was remodeled in 1994. Rolling Acres
    did add Target wing,but the entire mall was not remodeled, and not very many new
    (chain) stores opened.

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  39. Kudos, I say, and kudos again; Any professor who assigns a paper about The Rolling Acres Mall is A-OK in my book.

    Please, if at all possible, will you delight us with the finished product when applicable?

    Rolling Acres is the ONLY mall I have fond memories of. It started with countless youthful nights, blowing $5 of my parents money at Aladin’s Castle (I was bad-ass at Street Fighter at the age of eight). And the time I found misappropriated merchandise from The World of Science in the bushes outside the mall, including a tadpole kit. Not to mention the awful movies I’ve taken in at the incredibly crappy ‘Rolling Acres Cinema’.

    I still try to shop there when possible. I buy all my throwing stars from The Stockade, and my irregular Converse from JCPenny.

    No mall shall ever even come close in my opinion. Ah, good times, good times.

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  40. Jeremy, according to DeadMalls, some new chain stores like Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works did open.

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  41. I’ve been living in Akron since 2000. I live in Highland Square, where I shop a lot, and I also buy all kinds of stuff on Market Street from Giant Eagle west to Montrose at I-77. I drive up and down I-77 a lot. I work at the U of Akron. I have NO IDEA where the heck is the Rolling Acres mall. I have heard about it. It’s not like I want to go to it, but someday I would think I would drive by it and see it. This may be part of the problem. Where the heck is Rolling Acres mall? How can someone live in Akron for almost 8 years and never bump into it? I wonder.

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    Jim Reply:

    @Artie,

    Because unless you want to buy crack or meth, you would never have a reason to drive through the area.

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  42. On I-77 exit Vernon Odom/Wooster West and turn left at Roming. It should be on the right…maybe RA has bad location.

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  43. Yep. Roming Rd. Just up the hill a bit and on the right, can’t miss it.

    I think location did play a role in the downfall of the mall. I mean unlike the other two malls in the area (from the last time I’ve been in the area) the surrounding businesses seems to be primarily focused on one side with maybe a few scattered on the opposite side. There’s really only one main road to the mall (coming up the hill). It’s been so long since I’ve been on the other side of the Mall I can’t even remember if there’s anything over there, lol.

    With Chapel Hill Mall, there’s businesses on every side (except for one corner where a Church sits) and Summit Mall’s sitting squarely on one of the Main streets in the Fairlawn/Akron area.

    Like I said… It’s been about 7 years since I last seen the area so things might’ve changed, lol.

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  44. I live in Youngstown, Ohio about an hour east. Is this mall safe to visit today?

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    Jim Reply:

    @Pat,

    Sure, if you’re armed.

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  45. Pat Yes Rolling Acres is very safe to go to today.J.C.Pennys is a very good store to shop for bargains.There are very few stores left inside of the mall.You will not see many people inside but there is still one grille open in the food court open til 6pm and the pizza place is open on Fridays and Saturdays til 6pm.The mall is open til 9pm weekdays and 6 pm on Sunday.

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  46. The mall’s location is kind of perplexing. It’s definitely not the typical standout mall location amid tons of retail strip or right at an exit visible from a large highway. But yeah, it’s safe to visit.

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  47. Thanks. Heading there tonight. Should get there by 8pm. Dont know what to expect but am excited!

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  48. Visited Rolling Acres tonight and found this “Notice” sign funny.
    What a dead mall this is. It is huge. Does not seem that any of the closed stores had done any remodeling for atleast 20yrs or so.

    http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d28/nyjets22/RollingAcresMall004.jpg

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  49. Pat,Did you find any bargains at Pennys?The present owner of the mall lives in California along with other investers of the mall.They do not have the money to fix the mall up.They have been trying to sell it for the last 2 years.

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  50. Only there for about 30mins. Took the whole time looking at the complete interior of the concourse. Never made it to Penny’s.

    Dont the anchor stores own their own buildings? If so, I cant imagine how this mall stays open with no retailers in the concourse. It’s got to be a tax right off as a loss for the owners. And if that’s the case, if they have the cash to waste on a vacant mall, they should be able to do something with this place.

    Entire mall is very outdated. From the suspended ceiling with 2×4 lamps and the terrazzo flooring. I thought the area its located would be worse that it actually is. I can see this mall comming back to life with 20million or so investment.

    It’s a big mall and would need BIG TIME retailers.

    It was clean inside however. I just cant get over how outdated the ENTIRE place is. Didnt any of the retailers EVER remodel?

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  51. I never realized that Ohio was such a mecca for dying malls. Rolling Acres, Euclid Square, Randall Park, American Mall, uh, at least two malls in Toledo… Road Trip anyone?

    How is Tri-County Mall in Cincinnati doing these days?

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  52. Tri County in Cincy looks pretty healthy, save for the vacant Penney’s.

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  53. They’re in the process of renovating Tri-County right now, so the vacant Penney’s is becoming an Ethan Allen along with some restaurants in the very near future.

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  54. Pat,Yes,the anchor stores own their own buildings.The inside stores have not done any remodeling for years that I know of.The ceilings leak in a lot of them.You probably noticed all the carts and trashcans in the walkways that catch the water.Pennys always has good deals and does good business.The mall owner does not have the money needed to fix the roof and parking lot.What few store remain will probably leave after the first of next year.A lot of the big name stores moved out to the new shopping complex in Wadsworth or went to Chapel hill Mall.

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  55. Living in nearby Canton in the 80′s, I probably visited this mall. I remember driving up to Akron and seeing a 2-story mall. Since RA is the only 2 story, it must have been this one. Canton’s Belden Village was (and sitll is) a very good mall so there was little reason the travel to Akron. Is Canton Centre still open??

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  56. I see in the Beacon Journal today that Diamond’s Men’s Wear is advertising a going out of business sale. This is one of the mall’s oldest tenants. A quick check of the mall’s website shows a very small handful of shops left at this time. I wouldn’t be surprised to see others go right after the first of the year. This is often when big store closings take place after giving it one last shot during the holidays. It wouldn’t be inconceivable for the mall to actually close if there are no stores left. JC Penney has all but blocked itself off from the mall now by narrowing their entrance.

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  57. Here’s a listing for an auction coming up next week for 28 acres right behind the mall. Looks like Forest City, the mall’s original owners still own this property, even though the mall itself has changed hands several times since they sold it in 2000. Opening bid is $15,000. Cheap!

    http://www.loopnet.com/xNet/MainSite/Listing/Profile/ProfileSE.aspx?LID=15462745&linkcode=10850&sourcecode=1lww2t006a00001

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  58. John,It looks as if the property in the real estat elisting is adjacent to Greenlawn Cematary.That would be a good investment for them.Also,Pennys has no inside entrence to thei store from the lower level,claiming that thier utilities are killing them as the mall is not heated.Alot of shoppers coming from Macy’s on that level do not realize that the bubble elevator still works[most of the time]and leave rather than go up the steps from the food court.It has also killed off any business that Eli’s Grille had coming from there.It is so sad to see what has happened to the mall

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  59. Mary: I had been wondering if the utilities had something to do with Penney’s closing off the entrance. That does make sense. It will be interesting to see if that auction generates any interest. Seems like you have “inside” information. I am always looking for any old photos and visual memorabilia in my attempts to memorialize my favorite old teenage hangout, so if you have any or know of any, let us know!

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  60. John,Sorry,I don’t have any old photos of the mall,and yes I have access to some ” inside “info concerning what is going on there now.I personally feel that if there were any future for the property for sale next to the mall that Forest City would already have done something to it by now.

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  61. John: Have you browsed the image selection at RollingAcres.org or seen the video on YouTube?

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  62. Jonah: I submitted most of those ’70s and ’80s era photos on rollingacres.org. I took them when I was a teenager. I made the YouTube video also, and I’m working on another one. This one will be more upbeat and celebratory, trying to use images from the old days before the decline. But it’s hard to find much to work with. I’ve yet to see any photo of the huge aquarium that used to be in Wards (Dillard’s) court. That would be the biggest prize!

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  63. John,I have found some old photos of the inside of the mall they are of some of the earlier stores.the merry-go-round,crowds in the 80′s and a few of old black and white of some of the big shots at the mall before it was actually built.Sorry, I am very computer illiterate and do not know how to e-mail photos.Maybe I can find some one to help me later on.Wish there was a way you could see the photos.

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  64. Macys is going to close it store in the mall.
    http://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/industries/retail/article/macys-close-stores_420029_7.html
    Along with
    Washington Square, Indianapolis, IN
    Prien Lake Mall, Lake Charles, LA
    Canton Centre, Canton, OH
    Valley View Center, Dallas, TX ( Macys is in the upscale Galleria Dallas and that mall is across the street from Valley View Center. VVC store was a Foley’s store and Galleria store was always a Macy’s. Some people wanted the Galleria Macy’s turn into a Bloomingdales store. Returning Bloomingdales to Dallas. Also keeping the Valley View Center Macy’s open. When Bloomingdales came to Dallas , the store was in the Valley View Center Mall. Bloomingdales closed in 1990 and space is now JCpenny. Bloomingdales is looking for stores in Dallas. Maybe Bloomingdales might return to the Valley View Center. Who knows.)
    Family Center at Riverdale, Riverdale, UT
    and the two malls I posted about,
    Randall Park Mall & Crossroads Mall.( These malls have labelscar posts about them.

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  65. NOOOOOOOOOO! Rolling Acres is officially doomed. That leaves Sears, JCPenney Clearance Center, and…

    RIP Rolling Acres

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  66. That is not so suprising that Macys is closing.They have not had much business since they opened.Also was in Sears around Christmas.No crowds there,either.Foot Action has closed.Digital Palace is still there near Pennys.Also,the theatre is still open.Does any one know who bought the 28 acres adjacent to the mall?Oh,almost forgot,GNC and Eli,s Gille are still there.Pizza place open on Fri. and Sat.

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  67. I wrote a comment detailing the store lists and what should be done with the site, but it got deleted somehow. Could you retrieve it, because it did have worth…

    [Reply]

  68. Another interesting RA story, this time in today’s Beacon Journal…

    http://www.ohio.com/news/top_stories/12966952.html

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  69. “Another interesting RA story, this time in today’s Beacon Journal…”

    Nice find!

    I understand Canton Centre Mall is nearly as deserted as Rolling Acres, and already has a “de-malling” plan looming over it in the future. Its on my list to see as soon as possible.

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  70. THe Beacon Journal has never been a friend of the mall.If the reporter would have came to the mall the week before Christmas he would have seen plenty of people shopping,no crowds,and no problem finding a parking spot.The stores were closed New years Eve because not many people want to shop or work.

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  71. It is a shame. RA used to be the nicest mall in the Akron Canton area. I have lived within 10-15 miles or less since first moving to the area in 1978.
    I used to spend a lot of time there in the 80′s, and did some shopping in the 90′s.
    The mall developed an image and security problem, due to the young primarily black hoodlums who congregated there.
    White middle class women became afraid to go there as Montrose flourished and developed. It was considered much safer to shop in Montrose, even though it was further for many.
    Montrose offers a wide variety of shopping and eating options.
    Personally I don’t see any hope for this mall, the entire area has become blighted like an inner city downtown area.
    Last I read a couple years ago it sold for some dirt cheap price $1-2 MIl.

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  72. I’ve been adding my pictures to my Flickr page; all that’s up right now are Rolling Acres and Euclid Square (and I still need to add captions). But for now, feel free to browse. I’ll add more soon, so check back often.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/8474804@N05/sets/72157603655151348/

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  73. My husband and I walked at Rolling Acres Mall today (Jan. 19, 2008) because it was too cold to do our daily walk outside. We saw quite a few people there today. The reason for the crowd was because Macy’s is having a going-out-of-business sale. The food court is empty. The only stores that were open was JC Penny’s outlet, Sears, GNC and Macy’s. I shopped at Rolling Acres the entire time that my children were growing up. We used to wait in line to try clothes on when it was back-to-school time. We would spend the whole day there, eating breakfast and lunch at the mall. I think the mall could have survived longer had they enlisted some security when trouble first started at the mall. They waited too long, and people were afraid to go there. It’s really a shame because it was a beautiful mall.

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  74. Has Diamond’s Menswear closed up? They were having a store-closing sale when I was there a few weeks ago.

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  75. So has Eli’s Char Grille, Meghan’s Homemade Delites, and Big Star Pizza all gone? That’s terrible…

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  76. Eli’s is open every day from 11am to about 6pm.His pizza place is open Fri.and Sat. Same hrs.He will be there til March 1 unless the mall is sold before,then he may stay.A prospective buyer was looking at the mall last week.Will just wait and see wht happens.The cookie store wll be moving out to Market St.in Fairlawn in anouther month or so,as soon as they have their other store remodeled.Quick Test is in the process of moving now.GNC will be moving to Wadsworth but I don’ know forsure when.

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  77. Golly! That leaves only Sears, JCPenney Clearance Center, Bridels by Philven, Digital Palace, Braids & Naturals, Healthwise Center, Jackson Hewitt, Kid’s Gymnastics, Eli’s Char Grille, and Big Star Pizza. Is that it? Seriously?

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  78. Yes.Jonah, that is about it.The theater is also open.

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  79. i just moved back to akron 2 yrs ago.my brother jay took me to rolling acres mall and i was shocked.the last time i was there the movie star wars return of the jedi came to the theatre,that was in 1983.my jaw dropped when we went there a year ago.i can remember when that place was packed.

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  80. Well,things are really looking bad now. All of the outside trash compacters have been removed except for one.The maintenence man and housekeeper (me) were laid off last Saturday Even tho there was no heat I still enjoyed working there keeping it as clean as I could for the few remaining customers.

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  81. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3g3Xw5Id0A

    is the latest tribute to Rolling Acres on YouTube.

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  82. I’d like to see what this guy could do with Rolling Acres…

    http://blog.cleveland.com/business/2008/02/developer_stuart_lichter_is_on.html

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  83. According to Macy’s ad, Saturday will be the store’s final day.

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  84. I happened upon this website enroute to somewhere else. I have enjoyed reading your comments. I grew up in Stow and my grandparents lived in Barberton when I was young. My grandmother and I used to take the bus to Rolling Acres, shop and have lunch at the Terrace restaurant that was in the O’ Neills store (does anyone remember that?). I remember my first pair of Nikes and Jordache purchased from stores in the mall. I thought that I was so high class! Thanks for the fun memories.

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  85. I’ve been to Rolling Acres Mall quite a few times in the past couple of months. Eli has some new hope that a sale may go through soon, so he’s decided to renew his license and keep Eli’s Char Grille open. So I’ll stilll be able to order my favorite double meat gyro or grilled philly chicken sub with fries when I stop in. He won’t be operating Big Star Pizza again until new plans for the mall are announced. If you go there, be sure to look for him in the food court on the lower level. Yes, the elevator does work well, and is both maintained and inspected. The escalators work but were blocked off for insurance reasons, which unfortunately makes people think they can’t go downstairs. This has reduced Eli’s business, so try to stop by to help him out. The food there is really the best around. There are also stairs straight out from Penney’s that lead to the food court.

    The few stores that remain at RAM are actually great places to shop, and I try to support them so they’ll stick around through the current negotiations to sell the mall. The JC Penney Outlet store is a pretty rare thing in this area, and we used to have to drive to Columbus to find one. The RAM Penney’s Outlet has a lot of great deals on clothes and furniture.The Sears is the only one on the west side of Akron, and you can get your car in for service there with little notice. A place in Montrose told me that I’d have to wait a week for them to check on a rapidly deflating tire, so I put on my spare, drove to Sears, and they took the car in right away. They usually give you a store coupon so you’ll buy other stuff while you’re waiting too. I also usually stop in at Digital Palace to check out their electronics deals. I just bought a GE 15 foot HDMI cable there for $25. That’s about one third the price of other stores. I think they run an ebay store too, but why pay for shipping?

    One advantage to the mall’s current lack of stores is that there’s nothing to attract the unruly youths who used to hang out there. I have seen large groups of loud teens at another area mall, but I haven’t seen that sort of thing at Rolling Acres on any recent visits. There’s not much of interest to those kids at RAM anymore. Most of the people that you see walking the corridors now are mall walkers.

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  86. Mary,

    If you need help scanning your old Rolling Acres pics, let me know.

    rollingacres (at) gmail.com

    Dress to the Nines, Spend to the Fives,

    Rolling Acres

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  87. Rolling Acres is on Craigslist:

    http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/nva/rfs/604162766.html

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  88. I would so buy it. I would convert it into a “retail museum”, complete with permanent and temporary galleries. However, I don’t the cash needed…

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  89. I remembber going there when I was um about 5 years old even though im 12 um I mean there are alot of stores there back then, but the last time I was at rolling acres mall this year it was dead!!! All there is now is the cinema, Penny’s and sears. They closed mayc’s this year. I think they should put a recreation center in the mall.

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  90. It was my first time to the Rolling Arcres Mall a few days ago. I went in the main entrance and thought I was in the wrong place. Every single store was closed up. Except Sears and JC Penny Outlet, and there at opposite ends, and the cinema. The escalators were shut down and blocked off with wood and the ceiling was crumbling. The parking lot has giant holes in it and the area riddles of a ghost town. It was kinda dangerous inside the mall. I did not see any type of security and could believe people were permitted to roam free throughout the mall. It reminded me of the Wil Smith movie I am Legend.

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  91. i think the mall at rolling acres could be turned into a hockey rink and education center for kids we could get our black and white kids playing hockey at a young age plus an education center i am sure the national hockey league wood support and fund contact the owner of rolling acres mall i heard on nhl tv there needs to be more american arenas for the kids to play thank you ted skeens 1043 shannon ave barberton oh 44203

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  92. what about renting part of it and turning it into a indoor bmx track and skate park? get some big name sponsers to come in and try to make it safe and fun for kids to stay out of trouble

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  93. As of April 10th,2008 at 6:35 p.m eastern,
    the official mall website is down.

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  94. Its been down for about a month already.

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  95. Was at rolling acres yesterday with my aunt who left ohio in 83 she worked at JCP we went in the main entrance and tear’s started falling down her face i had told her and she had seen the you tube video but seeing it in person really got to her all she keep on saying i cannot believe this and what a shame the beautiful mall she knew and loved is just sitting there rotting and dying i started to cry myself remember the good old day’s a RAM i mean dam this mall should have never never never let get to the condition it is now my aunt said she just can’t believe that someone does not care enough to do something we walked the whole deserted mall some of the storefront’s the gate’s were half open some childern were running in and out of them and the bathroom’s at the main enterance are really nasty we ended at JCP bough t some stuff and my aunt talked to a worker at JCP she said they are going to be here for a while which i thought was good my aunt forget her camera so we are going to go back before she leave’s she want’s to take some pix she has a lot form the good old day’s of RAM as well it is just so sad what happened and if it is true about the thug’s and roving gang’s ruined it for everybody and took down a beautiful mall all i got to say is shame on you.

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  96. Stephen,There are no bathrooms at the main entrance, THere is one back near the office and 2 in the food court which I clean 3 times a week.That is all the present time I can get as the owners are out of money and cannot afford tp hire any more cleaning help.As far as some of the storefronts gates being half open they are cleaning out the empty stores and are going to sell whatever the former tenents left behind so that they can pay thier bills.They have been in negotiatons to sell.We will just have to wait and see what happens.

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  97. Hello mary i thought that those were restroom’s on the left hand side right down from the rolling acreas mangement office’s i did not go in i alway’s check in on this site and read the new post’s and saw a while back you were laid off and thought no one must be cleaning the restroom’s so i did not go in nothing against your cleaning skill’s mary sorry i did not mean for it to come off the way it did.. I have a few question’s maybe you can answer my aunt was wondering when were the court of 12 tree’s taken down and why were they? When was the fountion turned off and one from me is the sale for the stuff left over going to be in the paper i would love to have someting from there.And once again thank’s for the information mary whatever happen’s to RAM i just hope it is a good thing there has been to much of of this person saying this and then another person saying something else blame it on the black’s blame it on the mangement blame it on where it was built just tear it down everyone got scared away with all this going back and forth the sad fact still remain’s a beautiful mall is a shell of what it was and that’s the sad part.

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  98. Stephen,Those trees were taken down a long time ago.I dont know exactly when or why.The fountain was turned off because security said they could not hear the emergency calls on their police walkie talkies.As for the thing that they are cleaning out,there is a lot.You would be suprised what people leave behind.I talked to the lady in charge of that cleaning group yesterday and she dos not know how they will sell the stuff yet.If I hear any more I will let you know.

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  99. Wow, the carnage. Is there anymore stores left…apart from Sears…at Rolling Acres?

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  100. Jonah,Yes,J,C.Pennys Outlet, Digital Palace,Diamonds mens wear,The Bridal store .Also ther is a small church and a gymnastics for kids .Downstairs there is a braids beauty shop,WIC health dept. a theater,and Eli’s Grille.

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  101. Hmm…Big Star Pizza closed then…and I thought Diamond’s closed too.

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  102. Diamond’s was having a going-out-of-business sale when I was there, right after New Year’s.

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  103. Jonah and Charles,Yes .Eli closed the pizza rest. as he could not afford the food liscence for it and his grille.He still has the Eli”s grille open.Diamonds is still open.There are still negotiations going on for the sale of the mall.Watch for the mall to have an auction of all the stuff left behind by former tenents.It will probably be in anouther month or so and they will propably advertise it in the Beacon Journal.

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  104. I went to Rolling Acres on the weekend on May tenth, the mall is in pathetic condition. All by four of the in-line stores remain and only one was opened on the day I went, the others had various operating hours. Macy’s closed in February and Dillards closed in ’04 or ’05. Diamonds Men’s Wear is currently having its closing sale, there is nothing in the food court. JCPenny’s Outlet and Sears are the two remaining achors, it was sad that rs as they seem to be doing fine.Sears actually had a sign on the door that said it was indeed open and would stay opened and thanked the public for their patronage, JCPenny’s had a simalar sign, these to anchors had a decent amount of people in them and seem to be holding their own against the empty in-line stores. The mall’s condition is pathetic, and depressing. It is upsetting to see this knowing that ten year prevous this mall was still doing relatively well. The owner should tear down the in-line mall and keep the anchors seem to be doing fine.

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  105. Sam I don’t know what time you were at the mall but Eli’s Grille is open from noon til about 5:30 or so.Also the present owner does not have the money to tear down the mall or to do anything with it.That is the reason for the upcoming sale of items left behind by former tenents.Owner needs money to pay the bills.

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  106. I was there at 1 o’clock and Eli’s Grill was not opened, I went on a Sunday though is it open on Sundays? When I went in February it was opened on Sunday but it could have been opened in hopes of making some money with the hoards of people at Macy’s closing sale.

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  107. If “the present owner does not have the money to tear down the mall or to do anything with it”, maybe he should reduce his asking price on the sale of the mall, and find someone who does. In July of ’06 he paid 1.7 million for the place, then about 6 months later listed it for 4.9 million. I see Cuyahoga Falls is taking State Rd. plaza by eminent domain. Maybe Akron should do the same here…

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  108. Lately,Eli’s Grille has not been open every Sunday because businness has been bad.And I don’t know why the owner does’nt come down on his asking price.Nothing has been done to fix the mall up.Also it seems as if Akron is’nt interested in acquiring it.They could have done so a long time ago.There have been prospective buyers looking but so far nothing seems to be happening.

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  109. The owner does need to lower his asking price or just shutter in-line and keep the anchors open.I love Rolling Acres but I also can’t stand to see it in its current condition it is a reminder of how bad things have become socioeconomicly in Northern Ohio.

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  110. i heard this Kaufmanns ( i mean macy’s) just close!!!

    anyone, is this true?

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  111. Yes it is true that Macy’s is closed..Is there anymore news on a possible buyer or has nothing materialized at all? Also, is the owner really asking 5 million just 2 years after paying 1.7 million for it and now in an even worse real estate market.. He will lose it at public auction in foreclosure before that happens as from everything here and elsewhere that I have read he is struggling to keep up with his payments and is behind in property taxes.. Thanks for any info..

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  112. Wow…I was actually in this mall today.

    There are two stores that survived, and one place in the food court. I can’t remember the name, but the guy was selling lemonade.

    The two stores were Digital Palace, and a men’s clothing store that was going out of business.

    The Mall looks really awful. All signage was gone, escalators blocked off, etc.

    I decided to strike up a conversation with the guy working at the Digital Palace. I told him how I used to visit the mall back in the mid to late 90′s, and how seeing it now was shocking. He told me about how the mall is up for sale, and how a new owner might turn things around…he proceeded to tell me that the stores left to make the sale go through faster (?).

    I couldn’t tell if he really bought into what he was saying, but trust me, it would take an extraordinary effort to convince any business to set up shop in what used to be Rolling Acres. He was packing boxes, so I have to think that he is bailing, too.

    As I told him, I did stop by the mall occasionally back in the mid to late 90′s, again sometime in 2001-2002, and maybe a few times in 05-06.

    There once was a video game arcade, a nice GNC, the food court had a good number of options, in addition to a sporting goods shop (which mainly sold jerseys), a Waldenbooks, a toy store, a music shop, a “Cookie Company” type store, and a Foot Locker. There was also the occassional baseball card show during summer.

    My memory is a bit foggy, but it couldn’t have been more than a few years ago that I wandered in a few times. I remember a kid opened his own video game shop along the lines of GameStop, and he did have a few good arcade machines in his store, along with some nice displays. This was before the horrific conditions of today, but even back then I knew the poor kid wasn’t going to make it. I could see the mall falling apart back then, but I never imagined things could get that much worse in a few years.

    Across the street a Toys R Us once stood, but that and everything else is long gone. Akron really is in bad shape, along with the rest of Northeast Ohio. Funny thing is, there’s a strip club right outside Rolling Acres, basically in the same parking lot. I read that it was raided a few times over the years, and the place has a dubious reputation…yet the parking lot seemed full. Don’t take the parking lot comment as an endorsement: I’ve heard nothing but bad things about that establishment.

    One other thing that stood out for me: the movie theatre had some huge movie posters/cut-outs lined up right outside its closed gates. I don’t keep up with movies, but the posters all read “July” on them, so maybe these were for upcoming events. I really can’t see the theatre re-opening. One of the cutouts was vandalized, and the mall management left a comment for whoever did it…pretty sad.

    If anyone is interested in checking out what’s left of the mall, they might want to get in there soon. I can see the whole thing being boarded up very soon.

    Watch out for the enormous potholes that are all over the parking lot. Boy, what a mess…

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  113. J,Yes the mall is in bad shape.The guy at Digital Palace does a lot of internet business so he could have been packing boxes for shipping.The Ups man is there quite a lot.Eli sells lemonade as it is fresh and a good seller,but he also sells gyros,sanwiches,fries,etc.The theater is open after 5p.m. and open late on Saturdays.Also,a lot of business men go to Gatsby’s Pub during the day so it is O.K. then. It can get a bit rowdy at night when they have the younger people come in for birthday parties or bachelor parties.I used to do cleaning there after closing time.I have cleaned at the mall for over 10 yrs.and clean the restrooms 3 times a week now.

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  114. Michael,Yes ,there are still some interested buyers for the mall.Nothing much happening yet that I know of.

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  115. Thanks for the info, Mary.

    I do hope the best for Rolling Acres…but I just don’t see it turning around.

    Take care.

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  116. Mary,

    Thanks for the info and good luck to you. I hope it is sold and then gets turned around so that you can keep your job. I also remember the mall fondly from my youth in the 70′s and 80′s and cannot believe the condition and emptiness of it now. Keep us updated if you can on any possible sale or other prospects for the mall as it is greatly appreciated.

    Take care.

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  117. I saw in the Beacon about Randall Park Mall closing next month.Just makes me wonder how much longer for Rolling Acres ? Anyways,allthe vacant stores have been cleaned out.The auction for the items left behind is scheduled for May31 but I can’t confirm it.Watch the Beacon Journal as they will probably advertise it there.

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  118. Hey mary i saw that also and it does make ya wonder about RAM i was at penny’s last weakend talking to the cashier said she heard sears might be gone by the fall and they will be the only anchor left said the manger’s keep telling them penny’s is staying where they are for now and i hope they do i will truly miss it if penny’s goes too it is just so sad but i am not giving up hope that something can be done to RAM i did walk around see that everything is cleaned out of the storfront’s i will be there for the auction hope to get some good stuff.

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  119. The auction is listed in todays’ Beacon Journal under “Auctions”,

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  120. Checked it out online here is the link on that day that will be the most car’s old RAM has seen in a long time. Go to auctions click May 2008 and you will see it.

    http://www.homesteadauction.net

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  121. http://www.homesteadauction.net/Homestead_New_Web/May_31st.html

    Sorry Here is the link read the bottom it say’s to make room for a new mall mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm wonder what’s gonna happen does this mean RAM is getting torn down i hope not.

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  122. The auction actually sounds pretty cool. Can someone go and get a detailed list/photos?

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  123. Go to http://www.homesteadauction.net for the list and pictures.Auctio is at 10a.m. tomarrow.You can preview the items from 8-10 tomarrow a.m. Also no plans to tear the mall down.There is an interesed potential buyer that wants to fix it up and keep it as a mall.Will just have to wait and see what happens. .

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  124. So,did anyone go to the auction? When I was there about 3p.m. today there were maybe 50 people there.Thought there would be a lot more than that ,

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  125. I went to the preview on Friday. I made an absentee bid on some old architectural renderings of the mall (one interior, one exterior), but I haven’t heard from the auctioneer whether I got them or someone else did.

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  126. I also went to the preview on friday i got there saturday about 10:30 i was expecting on seeing more car’s then i did i was surprized at the turn out i bid on some of the christmas decration’s and won some of what i wanted glad to hear that there might be a potential buyer for the mall i do hope it goes through while in the crowd you here people talk some were saying they ought to tear it down or if they do decide to do something with it they would hope the new owner get’s the APD back or else they are not comming back to RAM.

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  127. I was at the mall today.With all the people ther with drills,saws and axes you would think they were demolishing the place but they were there to take out cabinets and other fixtures bought at the auction.Anyways,the proposed new owner said he will 1 Fix the roof and parking lot 2 Put in a kids park near the food court for babies-6yr.olds with swings,slides and teeter totters.This will be free.3 In the Target area there will be anindoor beach with sand and water fixtures,a bird and butterfly habitat,restaurant store ,showers and bathrooms.The admission will be $20 a day.4.A skatepark of approx.20,000 sq.ft.5 A rock wall for climbing,6 A new cabaret bar and restaurant approx.50,000 sq.ft.Live music,MTV plasma screens, when no live music a shallow pool for “Dancing in the water”tiki huts and a sand beach.Sure sounds good to me and I hope the deal goes through.

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  128. Sounds suspiciously like Summit Place Mall and “Festivals of Waterford”, a proposed renovation that sounds very much like that (example: a waterpark in the former Wards). Well, either way, even if the remodel does not go through, it’s an interesting chapter in the story of Rolling Acres.

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  129. This renovation plan that one would-be owner would do to Rolling Acres sounds interesting. I hope if this person does purchase RAM, that he could find a way to work and/or tweek(if necessary) his plans, so that the remodel of the mall can succeed. Maybe he could get the water fountain to work again, so it could look as nice as it did during RAM’s prime, and as shown in the first part of this video:

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  130. That is such good new’s i do hope the deal goes through i just read today someone bought randall park mall and it is staying open so two mall’s are going to be saved, the new owner of RAM if it goes through has some big plan’s and it sound’s exciting can’t wait.

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  131. Someone sent me this pix does anyone remember the mighty fountain
    at RAM looking like this after they shut the water off it must have not looked like this for to long i sure don’t remember it with all the flower’s.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/10064481@N05/849267328/

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  132. Stephen I am fairly sure that most of those flowers are artificial Before the present owner took over the housekeeping used to put them around the fountain for Springtime.There are a lot of artificial flowers at the church down the aisle near the security office and they sure look a lot like the ones in the photo.

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  133. @John:

    If you are referring to the drawing of the front of the mall and the fountain, then I got those.

    Sorry, but at least now you know.

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  134. funky-rat:

    Congratulations!
    Did you bid in person?
    What are your plans for them?
    I hope you’ll consider photographing them and uploading for all to see. Those are classic!

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  135. John:

    We got lucky – we showed up to experience the deadness, and stumbled upon the auction.

    I did photograph them to share with some friends. They are sans frames (the frames didn’t make it out of the mall without disintegrating), but that reveals all the architect tags, which makes it all the cooler:

    http://img229.imageshack.us/img229/7051/img0176dc9.jpg
    http://img229.imageshack.us/img229/4058/img0173fl0.jpg

    I’ve already had several offers to buy them, but I’m not parting with them. They’re going to be professionally reframed, and hung on my wall with my collection of stuff from defunct malls that I have had the pleasure to experience. (Randall Park, Dixie Square, and others)

    Made a special trip to Ohio to see old Rolling Acres. Security said they had plans to reopen as “Value Oriented Shopping”. I hope they succeed.

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  136. Funky rat:

    I’m dying to know…
    How much did you get them for?

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  137. John:

    No comment – lol!

    Let’s just say that people (including security) asked me “Are you nuts?” and “Do you live around here or something?”.

    The answer to both questions is no. :D

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  138. Question: I would very much like to travel to Ohio (from South Haven, Mich.) to see and experience RAM. I wish to come with my wife and my 5 year old son. Is it safe to walk the mall?? I am intrigued by dying and dead malls. We have had a few here and have one currently here in West Michigan.

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  139. Maybe the slight renovation helped kill the mall. From the pictures, it looks like the renovation took away the mall’s identity and character completely, leaving it quite generic. “Picnic Place”? Did teenagers staff the marketing department for this mall? Why is it that when retailers have a successful recipe, they deviate to much from the original formula and try to create a totally different feeling, instead of building on what was unique and pre-existing?

    Having said that, however, what is with the facade of the mall? It looks like a huge entrance for a car dealership; cold and iniviting. The color scheme and the new signage look goofy and cheap. But overall this mall looks really attractive. If someone bought it and invested some money in covering up the teal paint and creating some central theme (and a new name), maybe this albatross could be salvaged.

    The problem is, I’ve never actually seen a mall in this type of dispair being rescued. Usually no one wants to take the chance when it is easier to start from scratch somewhere else.

    What about trying to court a regional retailer, that has not entered the Akron market, to anchor the mall? Target left, so what. How about a Shopko or Pamida? If the price were right in terms of $/Sq. foot, maybe it would offer hope of better margins and they would take a chance on entering that market. And it would have the advantage of being a novel option. Also, what about a non-traditional anchor like a big box specialty store like Petsmart, World Market, Pier One, DSW to take up some slack and create some interest? Add a supermarket on one end, and it might really be a different looking mall. Weird, but different.

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  140. Todd,Your safety walking the mall at this time cannot be guarenteed as ther e is only one security guard for the entire mall and he is only there certain hours Maybe if you came in the early morning when the mallwalkers were there it would be OK.But the mallwalkers are not as plentiful as they used to be.

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  141. Cory TJ What slight renovation are you refering to? Nothing has been done to the mall in the last 2 years except some roof patching.It seems as if the present owner has no interest in renting as most of the stores leak when it rains.There was some talk about anouther church going in where Wholesale Furniture used to be but nothing happening there yet.There used to be a pet store and Apples Supermarket across the street but they moved out several years ago.The Dollar store left the mall because of the high amount of theft.Macys left because ther was’nt much business.Most of the shoppers that came to the mall were looking for bargains that is why JC Penny outlet is still there.They seemto be doing quite well.There has still been some interest for some buyers for the mall but still nothing happening yet.My guess is they may be having trouble with the financing.

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  142. Apparently, there was a very slight renovation when Bankers Trust took over the mall at one point in Rolling Acres’ history (read about it on deadmalls.com). All they did was change the logo, slap some white or light pink(?) paint on the facade and walls, and splatter splashes of 80′s teal here and there. I can’t get over that logo. It is just U-G-L-Y!

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  143. CoryTJ:

    It was back in 1986 when the center was “Repositioned” that the interior colors were changed, from the original ’70′s era earth-tones to the pink and teal that was popular around that time, along with a new logo.

    Then in 2000, when the mall was sold they did a minor remodel, basically painting the front entrance white, advertising the place as “value-oriented”, and creating a third logo (which is the one currently on the main entrance).

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  144. Thanks for the information Mary. Can you tell me what I can expect when we come and walk RAM? I want to bring my 5yr old son with us but if it is too much of a safety risk, we can make other arrangements for him. Just how much dead space is there? What I meant is how long do you walk down a corridor where there are no open stores at all before you come to one that is open? Finally what is the lighting like? Thanks for your help.

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  145. Todd When you come in the front entrence all the stores are gone to the fountain.Walk straight back,at the end to right is the security office, to the left of that is the Bridal Shop.Backto the fountain if you turn left no stores til the end,then there is Sears which is still open.Go back no stores til you get to JC Pennys onthe left,Diamonds Mens Wear is on right side just before it.Past Pennys is Digital Palace on left.No more stores.Downstairs,the elevater is running as of this posting,Elis’ Grille is open from noon til 5,(good food ).There is a braids place there WIC Health Dept. and movie theater opens at 5.Hope this answers your questions and if you do come hope you enjoy your visit.Stop and say”Hi” to Eli and maybe try his food.

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  146. Todd- I forgot,the lighting is OK.Lots of sky lights on upper level.

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  147. Thank you very much for the information. I appreciate it very much. I was watching a couple of videos about RAM and one showed the mall in its heyday. It showed a lavish O’Neils store and The Parisian. When you are in the mall, can you see where these stores were at one time? What about where Target was and Macy’s? Also Dillards. What do these spots look like now? I appreciate all of the kind input that I have received here.

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  148. Todd-Yes ,you can see where all the stores were except for Target as it was at the end and is boarded up.If you come when Eli is at his restaurent he can tell lots of stories about the mall and tell you where the stores were located at plus some others that are gone.Glad to have been some help to you. .

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  149. Todd-Forgot,old age must be creeping up on me,sorry,but you asked what do the stores look like? Empty.And alot have been really destroyed because of the auction.People came with saws,axes,drills and whatever and removed the restaurent equipment downstairs and whatever they bought from upstairs.I,personally,find this to be very sad.But the present owner needs money.I guess he thinks if he ever sells the mall that new owners would remodel anyways.Also,the floor tile around the upstairs fountain is starting to fall apart.

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  150. Very interesting info. Thank you again. I saw on a website (can’t remember which one, old age affecting me too) where the tile around the fountain was starting to peel up and come apart. RAM must have been one heck of a mall in the 70′s and 80′s. We have a decent sized mall about 40 miles from here that was opened in 1980 and it sucked 4 other malls in its close proximity all the way dead and demolished by 2004. It’s called Crossroads Mall in Portage, Michigan. Still a very successful mall today with a decent food court and nice variety of shopping. It’s a double decker mall with every store intact except maybe one and that may now be filled. But i do remember the other malls and I remember them being dead and then finally closed and torn down, but the Rolling Acres saga i think dwarfs all these others by far. I am really anxiuos to see it.

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  151. I just went to Rolling Acres on Sunday and it’s in really sad shape. All the info Mary has provided is accurate. None of the escalators are operating, so you have to take stairs between the lower and upper levels. Both JCPenney Outlet and Sears are open and have access into the mall during business hours (though JCPenney only opens to the upper level). The fountains are off, and the mall directories are at least a couple years out of date, though they indicate Macy’s as an anchor. Macy’s came to the mall in September 2006 when they ate Kaufmann’s, and then closed in February 2008. There are numerous issues with the degradation of the flooring, as many of the tiles have chipped off and have just been left as is. The ceiling has numerous leaks, as well as many spots on the floor beneath them. I thought this place was in bad shape when I first came here 3 years ago, but man, it’s incredible that the mall is even still open in this condition.

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  152. Todd: Here’s an aerial photo of the mall, with embedded notes. O’Neils became May Company Ohio, which became Kaufmann’s, which became Macy’s. Target was in a small corridor near Macy’s and Penney’s.

    http://wikimapia.org/#lat=41.0491782&lon=-81.5847301&z=17&l=0&m=a&v=2

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  153. Thank you all so much for your knowledge and help. There is one other thing that I have been pondering. How many labelscars are still visible and legible in RAM? This will make it even more fascinating for me if there are many. Thanks again.

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  154. Todd- Gee,I really have ‘nt ever looked but I will walk around and look sometime soon.by Tuesday anyways.Have to work that day.Will let you know later.

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  155. Todd-Notmany labelscars,nothing outside and not much inside.Some stores inside are boarded up and some of the last stores to leave left their signs up.Really not much to see ,most of the plants have died,few birds flying inside,the tile around the fountain upstairs is crumbeling more,but the bubble elevator is working.

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  156. Thanks again for the info. Common sense just seems to keep saying that this place must certainly be nearing closing. I cannot fathom the owners not considering closing before the cold season with record fuel costs for heating and all. I still would love to see this place and a few others in the area (Randall Park, Euclid Square) especially before the talks begin of closing.

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  157. If the “proposed remodel” really does go through, there’s no way that will stay afloat. At least not the beach area plan in Target.

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  158. They don’t even bother to heat or cool the mall itself anymore. It’s hot as hell in the summertime, and freezing in winter. I think it will close very soon, though.

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  159. John: Can you tell me more about the “What About Us?” controversy? Apparently, in 2003 or so, they let local people open up shop and one such shop sold dollar store items at higher prices.

    Actually, I’d really like to know more about other stores that opened during this time. Also, is the cinema finally closed? (the movies are out of date)

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  160. Todd-Hope you can come to see the mall soon.Elis’businness is not doing well and I don’t know how much longer he will stay.The movie theater is not doing much better.The bridal shop,Digital Palace,braids shop,andWIC are still open,but they usually close by 6 p.m .or sometimes a little earlier.And there is no air conditioning on now and the only heat in the winter is just enough to keep the pipes from freezing..

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  161. I can only imagine that there are very few people in the entire mall in a day’s times and oh how hard that would make it to have any kind of business on the mall. I am really looking forward to seeing it soon. I never did ask though what the former Target corridor is like. What about where the mall entrance to Target once was. What does it look like now?

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  162. Don’t know.

    “In the Target area there will be anindoor beach with sand and water fixtures,a bird and butterfly habitat,restaurant store ,showers and bathrooms.The admission will be $20 a day.”

    Does anyone have more information on this plan? How large would it be?

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  163. The church in RAM is “A Time for New Beginnings Ministries”. Perhaps the church could buy out the mall similar to another mall on this website.

    http://www.ohio.com/news/22247634.html

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  164. Mary, do you have ANY hard documentation on the proposed “renovations?”

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  165. I mean, not that I don’t believe you, but I’d like to find out more.

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  166. The inside corridor to Target is empty now.The outside entrence is closd up.The church inside the mall is very small and has very few people attending so they could not have the needed money to buy the mall and fix it up.I saw a proposed plan to buy the mall sent to the few remaining tenents.I forgot the persons name or company that was on it.The inside area of Target was to be the beach area.All that I have heard lately is rhat they are still in negotiations.If I don’t hear anything more soon I will figure that the deal fell through like several others have in the past 2 years. I will let you know if there is any thing else happening.I hear a lot of rumors but don’t believe any of them because of what has happened in the past.

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  167. Jonah,

    The proposed water park is in the design stage right now and I have seen hard documentation but I obviously cannot release any details yet. It is a very risky idea but definitely an intriguing one that will require many variables to occur correctly for it to be successful. I definitely give the new guy credit for being a visionary and time will tell if he is right or wrong. Either way it will be a fun experiment.

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  168. Also, I will try to check in here and give you guys updates as I see or hear of them but only of course when it is appropriate.

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  169. The theater is in business with first run movies, business is slow though, great movies with cheap admissions and cheap prices on food, very clean too.

    waterpark…yeah right!!! have to laugh at that.
    waterpark if your talking of all the leaks in the roof, wear your bathing suit when it rains, thats your waterpark!!!

    businesses are struggling, thatrs true, but its because of all the negativity the mall gets, no one ever says anything good about it. instead of your negativity, why not shop at our stores and help us out, were friendly and safe and great place to get good buys, try us out before you judge us.

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  170. Sally,

    Any new development of the mall would of course include an update of the rood and other maintenance items. I will be bringing my family to the theater this week to see it so hope to see you there.

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  171. My family and I are planning on coming soon to visit RAM. My thoughts were to have my wife and my 5 year old son watch a movie in the theatre while my father in law and I walk the mall and explore. I am excited about seeing the mall. I have a fascination with dead malls and abandoned buildings and businesses and such; especially those that were once very successful. True story: My interests run very deep in this type of history; so much so that I proposed to my wife (Dec. 22, 2001) in the parking lot of a dead mall (since demolished 2004). She accepted and and the first thing we did as an engaged couple was to walk the dead mall (Maple Hill Mall Kalamazoo, Michigan). Just wanted to share that with you.

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  172. Todd-Do hope you and yours enjoy your visit to the mall.Before the movie,maybe you might want to check out J.C Penny’s Clearence store and look for bargains or Digital Palace.Have fun.Thanks for sharing your story.

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  173. I was at Ram today i go up every week to the JCP Outlet it is a nice store friendly people great buy’s i bought 4 lamp’s they were 19:99 each i am alway’s buying and supporting penny’s i so hope they never leave because i will truly miss them and i know i am not the only one here that will and sally i agree with you 100% the mall has alway’s gotten a bad rap come support penny’s and sear’s i think it is so nice they each have thank’s you sign’s for there patron’s for there loyal support i have never had trouble at RAM and i have been shopping there since it opened and so as my family it just make’s me so sad to see the mall in the shape it is in i alway’s walk around the whole mall each and every time i go in my mind i am thinking back to when it was full all the time weakend’s you could not find a parking place it just break’s my heart to see it this way the tile around the fountion all messed up if the mall does have a new owner according to michael i do hope he is going to start fixing it up soon.

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  174. I remember when the mall first opened. There was a little shop that had the best flavored popcorn. It was such a big deal to go to The Mall!

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  175. How many retail spaces was RAM originally built for (including anchors) and how many are occupied as of now? Is the former mall entrance to Target still recognizable as such or has it been completely covered over? I am envisioning it as a large entrance way that is boarded over with the Target label scar overhead. i surely appreciate all of the information i have received here. I am anxious to see RAM as well as Randall Park Mall and Euclid Square. I know that this is off topic but does anyone know if you can still access Euclid Square Mall?

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  176. I was at Euclid Square last April.

    Creepy, and cold. There was only one other person there – a mall walker who looked to be about 80 years old. The 3 of us scared him and he took off.

    We had no trouble going in. If the nail salon is there, use the entrance closest to it. That’s the one we used.

    You can’t get in the mall through the Dillard’s Outlet.

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  177. Regarding Euclid Square, the impression I got was that if there was a group using the “Euclidian Room” banquet facility (near the northwest corner of the mall), that entrance would be open and thus one could enter the mall. That’s probably the same entrance as for the nail salon although I never noticed the salon itself (they do advertise however so evidently they’re still in business).

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  178. Todd=Rolling acres was built for 117 stores,8 are occupied now. As for the Target store;there is nothing on the inside mall entrence and the outside is boarded up;no Target labelscar.

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  179. No, the Euclidian Room is opposite the mall from the entrance where the Nail Salon is/was (I’m not even 100% sure it’s still there).

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  180. I remember the Euclidian Room when the Girl Scouts would have Lake Erie Council get-togethers there 24 years ago when I was in GS. Even to my 8 year old self, that room wouldn’t seem big enough for “real” parties. Last I read, a church was looking to relocate into ESM. Too bad none of us went in there to get pictures before it completely shuttered. At some point, we should all chronicle the signs of a dying mall, sort of a “jump the shark” for retail.

    Another Cleveland mall, Richmond Town Centre (was Richmond Mall until the renovation in 1998 while I worked for JC Penney’s) is the site of the one Starbucks in the Cleveland area that will be shuttered in the coming months (according to the friendly barista at my local Starbucks who always keeps extra grounds behind the counter for us). Richmond also has a S & B (was Woolworth’s before the renovation and became Old Navy until the lease incentive to be there expired). Plan on checking the S & B to find out what’s happening…

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  181. I meant to say Richmond Town Square in the last post. It’s so annoying how all these malls think changing their name will change their image!

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  182. Todd-I was wrong.The old Target store at Rolling Acres does have anoutside labelscar.I just noticed that today.

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  183. Thanks for letting me know that. It looks like my family and I will be coming this Sunday to the Cleveland/Akron area for a couple days. I want to visit Rolling Acres probably Monday morning first and then hopefully we will get to Randall Park and then Euclid Square. Could you give me an idea how far apart all these places are? I hope to see all three extensively wth some photography while we are in for the visit.

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  184. Todd-If you come to Rolling Acres Monday morning you will miss meeting Eli.He does’nt open until about noon.Also the theater does’nt open til about 5pm,that is about the time Eli closes.The mall is safe to come to. There are’nt many people walking inside but JC Pennys usually does good business.Randall Park is about a 40 minute or so drive from the mall.I have never been to Euclid Square so cannot tell you anything about that.Whatever your plans I hope you enjoy your visit to our Ohio malls.

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  185. I have learned so much from all of your information. Thank you for it! I think I will then probably visit RPM first and then get to Rolling Acres about 3 or 3:30pm or so. That way I can meet Eli and my wife and son and I can get a bite to eat and then they can go to the theatre and I can go exploring. I’m going to try and get some pictures of the malls inside and out.

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  186. Depending on where you are staying, I’d start at Euclid Square, head south to Randall Park, and further south to Rolling Acres.

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  187. My wife, my son and I came to Rolling Acres today! We originally entered in the JC Penny Outlet store. I have never seen one before. It was like a way cheapened down version of JC Penny and not to mention how it made me think that the place was stuck in the 70′s! It was really a very nice store and my wife loved it! We bought some clothes there for my son which we got a great deal on. I just can’t get over the 70′s feel though. I mean like the counters and the lighted numbers over the cash registers and things. And then the two closng glass doors that took us out into the mall and my gosh it must have been 100 degrees or more out in the mall. We were in shock at how desolate it was. There was the shut off and baracaded escallators right in front of Pennys and I must note that the smell in the mall was a bit of a surprise right off the bat. I could just feel that this was a place chock full of people at one time long ago. I have to say it again; everything was so very 70′s! The floors, the ceiling tiles the original hand rails in the concourses, everything was 70′s. I could see tons of water damage as well in the ceiling. Eli was there when we got to the food court or should I say lack there of a food court. he was busy doing some paperwork and there was absolutely nobody in the mall but us. Very creepy in a way. Lots of dust on the floors especially in the steps going between levels. So much for the senses to take in, especially the nose. The smell throughout the mall was strong. i say where Dillards once was and where Macy’s was. How very sad this was I must admit. i am guessing that Target’s entrance was where the protruding plywood with the top letters of Rolling Acres was. Sears was so very retro feeling. Nobody but us three and two other people and so very hot in there. The most distinct thing about Sears and the whole mall experience for that matter was the vast quietness. I have never in my 38 years been to a shopping mall or a Sears that was that quiet. And the heat! The girl working the register at Sears had a fan running on her. No A/C in Sears? Very strange. I must also note the theatre. It wasn’t open yet when we were there. Very creepy right there by the vacant Macys if I remember right. The fountain was very sad. The tiles were chipping away and they had the area kinda blocked It must have been beautiful at one time. The exterior of the mall was stunningly barren. I couldn’t believe how the foilage has just taken over. The outside of the former Macy’s was especially intriguing to me. My wife and I got tons of photos from the exterior. If I can, I will post them. Awesome experience I must say! I can’t help but feel very sad for those who know Rolling Acres from its heyday. I could tell by the worn handrails and the weathered door pull handles and such that this place at one time thrived!

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  188. Todd-Sorry I missed you.I was there from 3:15 -4:30 visiting Eli.He said he had not had any customers all day.Hope you enjoyed your visit and got some good pictures.I will enjoy seing them when you post them.

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  189. Gosh, I’m sorry we missed you as well. I think that you must have been there just a bit after us. We got there around 2 until about 3:30. We would have stayed longer except for the fact that my 5 yr old was getting antsy. We ended up taking him over to the Wendy’s right there close for a hamburger. I would have rather ate there at Eli’s place. He looked rather lonesome. How the heck does he stay going? There was next to nobody in the whole mall and nobody within sight distance from his Grille. I give him all the credit in the world though. It was really an experience to be at RAM today. I would have stopped to talk with him but he seemed busy with paperwork. I do think that I missed seeing a part of the mall on the lower part where the furniture place and Target was.

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  190. Todd did you make it up to Euclid Square?

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  191. We didn’t make it up to Euclid Square due to some time restraints. I also wasn’t sure if it is still open and accessible. We ended up going to Randall Park but didn’t go inside. We got some good photos of RPM’s exterior though. And then we got a fairly exstensive look at Rolling Acres inside and out.

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  192. Todd-If you would have said;Hey,Eli,you got a customer,I am sure he would have stopped what he was doing and would have appreciatted your business.He is struggling to stay at the mall and hopes some one will buy it soon.I want to stay there,too ,and wish I could have more hours to clean but as you saw there is not many people walking around so I make sure the restrooms and food court tables are clean.

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  193. Mary,
    I’m not clear on what you meant when you said Eli is waiting for someone to buy it? His business or the mall? No offense to your friend Eli, but I think either one is a pipe dream. Who would want to buy a business in a TOTALLY DEAD MALL? Likewise, who would buy a totally dead mall like Rolling Acres? There are no tenants to speak of, the roof leaks, the interior is dated, and the mall has a bad reputation as an urban hangout spot for thugs. There has to be something in his lease that allows him to exit without a penalty if the mall is not being properly heated/cooled, or is in disrepair, or if the occupancy falls below a certain %. It sounds like the mall is breaking a lot of code violations as it is.

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  194. Mary- I was going to talk to him and get something to eat and drink there, but my 5 yr old. was becoming a bit of a behavioral problem for my wife and I so we decided to continue walking and looking. I hope to come back to RAM and get some photos of it inside and then i will certainly stop and see Eli then. RAM was so incredibly quiet and I guess I never thought that it would have been so quiet, except for that corney music playing. Next time we come, I will have to make sure to see the corridor that went to the former Target. I’m pretty sure that I missed seeing that. I can’t imagine how the mall stays open though. I’m however glad that it does because I want to visit again before it’s gone or changed. What is the smell throughout the mall? It was very distinct.

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  195. CoryTJ-Yes you may be right about some things but from what I have heard the few remaining businesses have signed a tenative agreement with the interested out of state prospective buyer.Did you read the above plans he has that were in June?t sometimes takes a while to get these things going.like 60-90 days .So we will just wait anouther month and see what happens.And ,yes,Eli can leave any time he wants to but has chosen to stay there for anouther month. They say there is a lot of power in prayer ,so I guess I had better start praying some more.

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  196. Todd-The mall has not been cleaned for some time now.I really wish they would give me more time to clean.It may also be that the plants are dying or dead.I will try to keep you updated to as what is happening.

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  197. Mary,
    It would be nice if this mall would sell. But I have to tell you that I am in finance and have looked for an inside scoop as to any potential sale. I’ve even talked to IB’s that handle private sales and no one is aware of anything happening with RAM. I got a few chuckles and some raised eyebrows. They said most of what you hear is rumors and speculation that will most likely NOT come to fruition. I hope your friend Eli is okay. And I hope he seriously has a plan B. And most of all I hope that I, and the people in the investment community I’ve talked with, are dead wrong. I think RAM is fascinating. It would be great to actually see a mall returned to its glory days.

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  198. Rolling Acres is surely fascinating. The exterior is just as intriguing as the inside. I’ll bet in the winter it is as freezing cold as it is hot in the summer. It must have been 100 degrees in there Monday when i was there. When we reached the double doors in the JC Penny Outlet store and I looked out into the mall for the very first time, my jaw must have hit the floor. I could have never imagined a place so dead but yet still open. The first thing I saw was the blocked off inoperable escallators and then all of the caged dead stores. To be truthful, it looked like something out of a movie.

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  199. The theater has closed.

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  200. I’m sad to say that by the way it looked Monday, I was surprised that it was still open up to that point.

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  201. Rolling Acres Cinema RIP. :(

    Last shows:
    The Dark Knight, Hancock, Meet Dave, and the Rocky Horror Picture Show (every Saturday at midnight…I wonder who came…)

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  202. As much as I hate to say it, the death clock on RAM is now probably ticking as loudly as ever!

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  203. And i was gonna have a b- day party for my niece there on the 16 had reserved it went back there to ask about the cake the way i wanted it decorted and was shocked to see it closed just sad very sad they just never had enough business because of all the negativity the mall get’s last time i was there saw SATC with a friend there were 6 people in the whole theater and when we saw dark knight there were 15 people there was talk when we were getting popcoen it might be closing but no one knew for sure i will miss it cheap price’s and was alway’s kept clean i do hope the deal goes through and that this new owner get ‘s the ball rolling walking around tonight after i was done at penny’s the smell is bad but that’s because of no air the mall has a musty stale smell but i sat there by the fountain with my drink a family came in as i was sitting there they are in for the hall of fame about 10 of them they heard about RAM from this site were gonna go to penny’s and check it out but first wanted to see the mall and what has happened to it. They check this site often so to the anderson family it was nice meeting all of ya form the guy sitting at the fountain.

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  204. Hopefully the deal will go through for the prospective buyer soon, but there are hurdles. The biggest holdup is the present owner, who seems almost like he does not care whether he sells it or not despite losing money and owing back taxes..If it is going to happen it will in the next few weeks or not at all so keep your fingers crossed…

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  205. Does anyone know if the mall is COMPLETELY closed yet?
    I heard that there was a sale of old fixtures & such back at the end of May and figured they were closing. Is there any current news or information as to sale/ re-developement or closing? Please post if you know anything, I don’t live in the Akron area so I am not very up-to-date. However, I do know that they took down their website, which isn’t good to hear.

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  206. Jeremy-If you go back and read the above postings it should answer your questions.

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  207. I have been very nostalgic for this mall lately. I LOVED Rolling Acres. When I was in high school in the 80s, it was THE place to go for a major shopping excursion. It was the only multi-level mall in our area and it was the first with a major-league food court. I can still remember the tantalizing smells from the popcorn shop. I used to have recurring dreams about that place as a kid. My very first purchase with a major credit card was made at R.A. I believe it was the Deb store. I bought this outfit with a pastel pink top and a pastel plaid (light blue and pink) shorts overall thing over it. (Ooh, stylin’! That tells you how long ago we’re talking!) I think my last purchase there was on one frantic night with my dad, when I dragged him out there at the last minute to find me a dress to wear to my then-boyfriend’s (now husband’s) fraternity formal. I got it at Merry Go Round and it was a super short, super tight purple sequin hootchie nightmare. To this day I am shocked that my dad went for it, though I am kind of thinking I did not come out of the dressing room for him to see me in it. My hubby pinned me at that formal. Anyway, I really miss the whole MALL culture. I don’t understand why malls are dying off. I’m really not that into the whole lifestyle-center thing, like Legacy Village or First and Main. In inclement weather, or even when it’s just hot, it isn’t all that comfortable, and the parking usually sucks.You really can’t blame the economy, because the death of the malls started long before our current woes. I do know that, right or wrong, the whole roving thug myth was the beginning of R.A’s problems. There IS a grain of truth in every story…there were incidents. After that stupid New Jack City affair (never mind that this was when people were getting mugged and killed all over the place for those stupid Starter jackets and Air Jordans, not just at R.A!!!) people in my circles were nervous about that movie theatre. And we always were wary in the parking lot…didn’t go there at night anymore. I think in R.A’s case they got over-publicized and for every true story, 3 false ones were born. Also, the traffic nightmare that is Montrose (I won’t even go there it’s so bad) helped pound the nails into R.A’s coffin. I never did understand why they felt they needed 2 malls so close together. Chapel Hill never had the upscale feel of Summit or R.A and was more of a local convenience, whereas the other two pulled in shoppers from all over the area, but I do feel Summit and R.A were a little too close. Anyway, it’s enormously sad what has happened to that area. I wish someone with tons of money and balls would buy it, completely re-vamp it into a first-class mall, and usher in a new era out there.

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  208. As nostalgic as we all are for Randall Park (RPM) and Rolling Acres (RAM) and the others, NE Ohio is DYING FINANCIALLY and between the internet and big box stores, retail is in big trouble. They are worrying about how to make their next dollar, not how to revamp an aged mall with a bad reputation in an iffy area. The fact that these malls are still standing proves not their staying power, but that it is more trouble and more costly to tear them down than to just let ‘em rot. I hate to say it, since I’m a total nostalgia buff, I loved both of these malls in their day, and I live in a city (Chicago) that is not dying as rapidly as NE Ohio. Even here, the infamous Dixie Square Mall (from “The Blues Brothers”) stands half-demolished for the very same reasons I just outlined.

    The movie theater at RPM is struggling because YOU CAN WATCH MOVIES AT HOME. And there’s other theaters nearby. Same reasons RAM’s theater just closed.

    I’ve been to Chapel Hill once (2006) in the last 6 years, and it is clearly on its way down, too. Not there yet, but the signs were not promising. In simple terms- too many low-income people hanging out, not enough middle-/high-income people spending $$$. AND THIS IS NOT ABOUT RACE. The mix was pretty even in each income bracket. And everyone seemed pretty well behaved.

    God bless Mary at RAM for keeping us updated and informed about the mall, and for going in and doing her job with pride.

    P.S. My Father’s car was stolen at RPM in 1980. If you see it, let me know. : )

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  209. KB, you are on the money. I think movie theatres in general are suffering a decline, not just the ones located near dead and dying malls.

    As far as Chapel Hill, you’re right again. It was never a major regional destination, but, as I grew up in Munroe Falls, it was a convenient quick shopping run or weekend hangout. At its peak, which of course was in the affluent mall-crazy 80s, it had most of the “important” fashion stores such as The Limited and Express, along with the usual anchors. Now it’s filled with cheapie stores and non-chain shops. At that time, there was no reason to choose Summit Mall over Chapel. If you wanted to really experience mall nirvana, you went to RAM.

    My curiosity and nostalgia got the best of me today and I went over to RAM with my daughter. I was unprepared for the emotional jolt. Sears seemed pretty normal, though it did not appear that they were re-stocking the shelves as quickly as you’d expect. There were more patrons than I anticipated. We walked through the mall portion, and even though I knew what I was going to find, I almost couldn’t believe it. I had not been inside this mall since the early 90s, and so even though I had heard what had happened it was a shock. It was like walking through a ghost town version of my past. So very sad. Diamond’s Men’s Store was still there, on life support. Looks like they are liquidating though. Rounders and racks of markdowns spilled out into the empty concourse. The inside of the store was only about half-filled, and it appeared that everything had come off the walls and onto easily moveable racks. All of it was sale merchandise. Walking on, we came through the center atrium in the main entrance concourse. The fountain stood empty and dusty. The music was still on, which seemed very odd. We went down by the deserted Dillard’s and found something very strange: a full-service bridal shop that was very much open and did not look like it was soon to vacate. I have no idea how they stay in business. There were a couple of obviously very recently closed shops, non-chain stores of course. One still had some merchandise piled around. There was a cheap electronics store, one of those Pager City type joints, but it was closed, perhaps permanently. One storefront had been turned into some kind of cheerleading/gymnastics facility, but it was closed and it was impossible to tell if it is still in use. Down towards Macy’s was a store that had been converted into a health clinic (!!!) and there actually were patients there, a very young couple with a toddler. My daughter was fascinated with the food court atrium, with its blocked-off escalators. The clear glass elevator (which I though was soooo cool back in the day) drew her, and though I was sure it would not be inoperation, we pressed the button and it sprang to life. It was very eerie to be riding this elevator under these conditions. Walking around the former Picnic Place food court was no less depressing. Though the tables and chairs still wait, empty, all of the restaurants are gone except Eli’s. I was hoping to patronize him after reading Mary’s posts, but his place was closed (it did not look to be permanently closed.) We ended up going through the whole mall, with me trying to remember which storefront was which. I think I found the old Merry-Go-Round, where I got my coveted black Z. Cavaricci’s at a time when $69 for a pair of pants was outrageous, yet so cool. We ended up browsing around the JC Penney outlet for quite a while…that place is actually a gold mine. It was full of patrons, and if you were willing to take the time to pick through stuff, there were a lot of good bargains to be had. I am planning to drag my husband out there to look at the home furnishings. Saw some cute shoes too. We drove around the lot before we left, which was creepy too. Nothing quite so weird as an abandoned Target. The parking lot is in bad shape and full of weeds. Looks like no one has been there in a long time, even over by Macy’s which is odd because it didn’t close all that long ago. The most poignant moment for me was as we walked silently through the empty mall, and Madonna’s “This Used To Be My Playground” came on. No lie. It actually choked me up! Yeah, I’m a big nerd.

    By the way, KB, the Kent mall was no rumor. There are actually newspaper archives out there on it; DeBartolo got the go-ahead despite the envirohippies trying to stop it. It actually had leases and was set to open in 1992. I don’t think it was the Bog that stopped it…who knows?

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  210. Erika, your insights and memories are spot on. I can tell by the details you mention that you were a fan of the place like a lot of us. If you haven’t yet, see this video:

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  211. KB-Thank you so much for your kind compliment.I went into work at the mall today and was suprised to see Eli was not open.It sure was quiet in there and I did not see even one person for the time I was there.We are still waiting to see if the proposed sale of the mall goes through.Found out later Eli was closed as his car was blocked in at home and he could not get out.He will be back tomarrow. Erika-Glad you came to the mall and liked the JC Penny store.Also,I do believe the childrens gym is being used occasionally.Nothing else happening.Even the birds have flown out.

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  212. Erika- do you live in Hudson? You mentioned “First and Main,” which I thought wasn’t really known outside of Hudson. I grew up there.

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  213. John, thanks for the link. That was a great video. Love the old footage! And that YouTuber had a few others of other malls in a similar state…pretty depressing, yet fascinating.

    KB, I don’t live in Hudson but I have been shopping there for years. I grew up just down 91 in Munroe Falls. But being a die-hard preppy for most of my life (even through the Cavaricci phase!) I loved to haunt the original Main Street drag in Hudson, especially at the height of 80s big hair fluffiness, which sure as heck ran rampant through the halls of Stow High School! Country Blues (which I cannot believe is still there, WITH the same owner still present…Mark, I believe his name is?) The Grey Colt, and Benetton were my faves. I go to First and Main from time to time because I am a fan of Talbots and Ann Taylor Loft, and my kids are fans of Coldstone! I still like the Grey Colt better than any of those new places though.

    As cute as those lifestyle centers are, they just don’t match the comfort and convenience of a good mall. About the only one I really enjoy anymore is South Park (or whatever that one in Strongsville is called.) Beachwood is still decent but is slowly declining. Don’t even get me started on what happened with the Galleria and Tower City. Rolling Acres is the one that stirs the deepest feelings of nostalgia and loss for me, though.

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  214. Hey, can anyone tell me if there was a Natural Wonders store in Rolling Acres before the chain went under in 2000? I’m trying to figure out what OH malls they were in.

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  215. CoryTJ- No there was not a Natural Wonders at RAM there was one at Belden Villiage Mall which is now called Westfield ShoppingTown in canton near the food court.

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  216. I first accidentaly found out about this mall back around the beggining of june. I live in detroit now,but am originaly from cleveland. When I was visiting my mom told me about some jcpenneys store that had really good bargain deals. So we went down there to check it out. Then I saw that it was attached to a mall. So I went through the doors to look through some more stores. I was in shock of what I saw. There was no AC on and not one store open at all. I started walking around thinking maybe they were renovating that section. Then saw it was like that all over. I almost thought that I had accidentaly wandered onto some construction site or something. I saw the signs around saying “pardon our dust while we renovate”. So I was under the impression that the entire place was under renovation. Then I walked downstairs and saw eli`s was open and asked him how long the stores had been closed. I couldn`t believe it when he told me 2 years. I went back a month later to explore the enitire mall. I didn`t notice the erie music the first time. What is that big sort of hall used for near the one entrance that has the piano in it? Seems like its recently been cleaned. I saw the movie theatre was still open,is it still? Wierdest thing was the food court. All the pictures still up in the chinese place and doors open to the back hallways for maintenance workers. RAM reminds me of a few things. A ghost town,a place they show in the movies after a nuclear holocaust. And 2 movies it reminds me of more than anything. Dawn of the dead and night of the comet. Ever since I went there I cant stop thinking about it. One of the trippiest things ive ever seen.

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  217. Dave- That hall,actually used to be a furniture store,was used for anyone who wanted to have a birthday party,wedding reception or whatever. Itis empty now.Movie theater is closed,too.I used to work nights and sometimes when some one would report off I would be there by myself.It never really bothered me much.Until I found out that I was’nt alone.That is when that guy was living in one of the vacant stores.Now,that is kinda scary when I think about it.

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  218. I’m making another trip out there sometime during the coming week to do some back-to-school shopping for my kids at Penney’s. I try to pay as little as possible for their clothes. They’re so hard on them, and my daughter is growing at an alarming rate. She literally jumped 2 1/2 shoe sizes over the summer! The only shoes she has that fit her right now are her golf shoes (a women’s 6) and her flip-flops! Oops! She’s only turning 10 but her little body is already changing.

    I’m hoping that Eli will be open this time; I’d like to stop by and talk to him and give him some business. And Mary, if you see a tall brunette with a little blonde girl and boy and a very distinctive black purse with the children’s pictures on it, it’s me. Come up and say hi! I’m sure we’ll stroll through the empty mall so I can get all nostalgic and sad again, so you might see us!

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  219. Erika-Eli has cut back on his hours since the theater closed.He is open from noon til 3 pm.I am there about 3 pm on Tues. and Thurs.and would be glad to meet you and walk around the mall and share some stories with you.I come into the mall on Sat.,too,about 2:30.Hope to see you.

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  220. Thanks Mary. I’m thinking I will probably get out there on Thursday. We’ll go early enough that we can eat at Eli’s before he closes, and then maybe we’ll see you there after 3. Maybe you can tell me if I’m right about some of my guesses on which empty stores used to be which!

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  221. Mary- Do you think that my family and I could get the mall tour from you as well? We are thinking about maybe coming back to the area just before Labor Day. We were there at RAM just a couple days before the theatre closed for good.

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  222. Todd- Of course you can.Just let me know when you will be there.

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  223. Thanks. I would surely love to know what the mall was like when it was full of stores. According to some information I saw on another site, it was very successful and busy even in the early to mid 90′s. That wasn’t that long ago really.

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  224. The early 90s was when the “rumor mill” began, but it didn’t really have its way with RAM until the mid to later 90s. When I was in high school in the 80s nobody thought twice about going there, and my mom, who was THE most overprotective mother imaginable, let me go there with my friends like it was nothing. In 1986 the bodies of a couple of Akron U girls were found dumped behind the mall, but the mall itself had nothing to do with it. They actually were abducted from the highway, assaulted and killed elsewhere, and then dumped. The New Jack City affair in ’91 was the first thing of any consequence, and even that was not what the rumors said it was. My husband and I went there a few times after we were married in ’94, particularly because one could find things at that Dillard’s that the others didn’t have…(actually it might have still been Higbee’s at that time.) The only reason we stopped going there was that in ’94 I started working at the Chapel Hill Kaufmann’s, and since we got a huge discount on everything we ended up doing all of our shopping there. By the time I quit working there in late 1995, RAM definitely was developing a reputation. I don’t specifically remember going there after that, but it’s possible I went with my mom as late as 1997 or so.

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  225. In anyone’s best guestimation; what year would you say RAM lost the largest number of stores?

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  226. Todd, if you go to Wikipedia they have a link at the bottom of the page under references. It gives you a year-by-year chart of how many stores were there each year. They peaked in 1984 with 140. The decline started in 1993 when they went from 128 to 111, then in 1995 108, 104 in 1996, 97 in 1997, 90 in 1998, 79 in 1999, 78 in 2000…then a slight rebound up to 92 in 2001…but by 2004 it fell to 52 stores. Something must have happend right aftter that, because that is when the chart ends and I think there are just a couple stores and Sears and the Penney’s Outlet operating as of today.

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  227. You can also go to http://archive.org/ and type in http://www.rollingacresmall.net/ to see the store list slowly vanish before your eyes…but 2001 on only.

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  228. SO, according to the most recent archived page (Feb. 08), here’s what’s left in RAM. Is this right? Are all of these still there?
    JCPenney Outlet Center (848-4211)
    Sears (848-7500)
    Diamond’s Menswear (848-9000)
    Foot Action (848-2848)
    Bridals by Philven’s (753-1866)
    General Nutrition Center (745-8520)
    Digital Palace (745-5600)
    Braids & Naturals (753-0661)
    Creations Beauty & Barber Salon (330.592-0876)
    Healthwise Center (745-0290)
    Jackson Hewitt (848-3794)
    Kid’s Gymnastics
    Rosen Research Quick Test (745-8883)
    Eli’s Char Grille
    Meghan Janel’s Homemade Delites (848-5656)

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  229. KB-Foot Action,GNC,Creations Beauty,Quick Test ,and Meghan Janel’s have left.Braids and Naturals seems to be open by appointment only ,Jackson Hewitt is seasonal and if something does’nt happen soon Eli may leave,too.

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  230. Diamond’s STILL hasn’t closed? They had signs up for a going-out-of-business sale when I was there in January!

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  231. Diamond’s seems like they never leave till there’s only 4 stores left in most malls. Look at RPM. There’s another in southern Ohio where the same happened (mayeb because they had a fancy outer facade, and were one of the original tenants). So there’s 8 stores plus the anchors. I am so sad!

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  232. After seeing (and smelling) Rolling Acres in July of this year, I am surprised that the mall is still open. I am glad that it is. I hope that there will be some kind of formal notice given if the owners decide to close it in the near future so that I can see it before it does. I was just so shocked at how quiet it is in that huge empty mall.

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  233. Hello Mary,

    Is Digital Palace open?

    Also, do you remember the name of the video game store that was near the book store, and the music store that was on the corner near the front entrance?

    Thank you!

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  234. I didn’t make it there this week and I really wanted to! I had a sitter all day yesterday and I was hoping to get out there, but I went up to work to set up my classroom and it took a lot longer than I expected.

    Todd, JP and KB: when I was there a week and a half or so ago, the only stores I saw in operation were Diamonds (which was sad, sad sad,) Digital Palace (which was closed at the time,) and the bridal shop. The braid store was there but closed. The med center down by Macy’s was open. The gymnastics center and Eli’s were there but closed.

    I’m going to have to shoot for a Saturday now that school is starting up, but it will most likely be next Sat. and not tomorrow. Mary, you said you come in at 12:30 on Saturdays, right? And will Eli be open?

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  235. I keep hearing that someone is intending to buy RAM. I have a difficult time believing it; why would anyone other than an interest in the land upon which it resides? It sounds to me like the surrounding area has seen a decline, the mall has a bad reputation, it is in disrepair, and there are no tenants. What is there to buy but the land and level the place. Even then, what would a developer build there with current soft market conditions.

    I think this mall’s plug was pulled when Target and Macy’s left. Or perhaps when Dillard’s left.

    I don’t mean to be pessimistic; I would love to see this mall come back to life, but honestly does anyone see this happening? And I keep reading about this poor guy Eli making sandwiches for the mall gawkers and waiting for something magical to happen. It’s like a train wreck.

    I have to ask: has anyone out there seen a mall in a state of dispair as bad as RAM make a comeback and function again as a vital mall?

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  236. JP-Yes,Digital Palace is still open but their hours are kinda irregular.The UPS man said that they do a lot of internet businness.I don’t remember the names of the other 2 stores but could probably find out later. Erika-Waited for you last Sat. and Eli even stayed open til 4:30 that day.I come in about 2:30 on Saturdays so if you are there I will be around the food court for an hour or so.Hope you can make it. CoryTJ-Yes often I feel the sme way as you do but Eli swears the mall has been sold and we should know something by the first week of September.If you go back to June on this site and read the prospective buyers plans you will see it does not sound like your ordinary mall.I was also told by a reliable source that the same prospective buyer has bought simular malls out side of Ohio and turned them around.So’I guess the first week of September will tell if this is going to happen.

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  237. Mary–
    I hope that the miracle happens at Rolling Acres. It looks like such a nice mall. When I look at the pictures, it reminds me very much of Northridge in Milwaukee, which is now shuttered. And it happened right around the same time as RAM, and just as quickly.

    It would be nice to see Eli catch a break, also. Please keep us updated, as the first week of September is only a little over a week away!

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  238. Here’s the thing about the so-called “decline” of the area…the surrounding neighborhoods don’t look any different to me than they ever did. I always did think that the retail strip of Romig Road and the mall was kind of like an island out in the middle of the ocean. The area just off the interstate exit is almost exactly the same as it was 20 years ago. The car dealerships have changed hands, but they’re still there. I remember going out there in the spring of 1990 with my dad to Park Acura to look at an Integra. The restaurants are still there. The businesses are still there. It isn’t as if this was ever some fabulous upscale neighborhood. It wasn’t even a typical upwardly mobile middle-class neighborhood. It’s the same thing that happened up at Randall Park, which also is not situated in the best area. The mall and the surrounding retail used to draw people to the area, regardless of the greater neighborhood. Only when the rumors of thugs and troublemakers began did people start avoiding RAM (and RPM.) This should serve as a valuable lesson to other malls (Chapel Hill and Beachwood…are you listening, because rumors abound about you now too!) that the paying customers refuse to shop in an uncomfortable atmosphere. They WILL take their money elsewhere if they feel unsafe. The few extra dollars spent on REAL security now could save hundreds of thousands or more later.

    Mary, I will let you know if I’m going to make it out next Saturday. We are taking the kids to Kennywood one day over the holiday weekend but right now I’m not sure which day. Anxious to hear the news on the sale.

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  239. This site is wonderful, I grew up in this mall. I have a couple of photos of ram from around 1978-1979(will post them in a couple of days) But yes i do remember the rumors of violence and trouble through out the mid 90′s. I was there almost every other weekend sometimes it seemed a little rowdy depends if you like large groups of loud teenagers(I was one of them). But the rumors of violence was mostly just rumors. It was nothing like that at least not that I seen, no more then any other place that a large amount of kids could hang out at. But the shoplifting was WAY out of hand back in 90-91 some kids in my school would walk out of that place with a lot of stolen merchandise every damn weekend. The place was over crowded and security was a joke. Most of them have been caught more then once. If you ask me this is what killed RAM the shoplifting was just completely out of hand. It would seem that chapel hill is headed in the same deriction this was posted on the web site in june http://www.chapelhillmall.com/shop/chapelhill.nsf/index

    Attention Parents: New Youth Escort Policy Beginning June 27, 2008, Chapel Hill Mall will implement a new Youth Escort Policy. After 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights, all mall shoppers under 18 years of age will be required to be accompanied at all times by a parent or guardian 18 years of age or older. This policy is being implemented in response to feedback from shoppers, retailers and numerous community leaders and groups who are concerned with inappropriate behavior of unsupervised youth at the mall on these weekend

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  240. Here in Chicagoland, Yorktown Mall was apparently at death’s door at some point and today it is easliy 90% filled. Not sure how they did it. I do know that, for a time in the 90s, one of the then-empty anchors served as the headquarters for VeggieTales children’s cartoons! So it CAN be done… but then, the area around this mall is pretty nice. And this is Chicagoland; we have an uber-fancy mall just minutes away and that’s doing fine, too.

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  241. Never been to RAM in my life before July of this year. Walking through it and seeing it, I could get the feeling and spirit that this was a place full of people and memories from years past. The silence was deafening if that makes any sense to anyone.

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  242. I don’t know or understand the demographics of SW Akron where RAM is located. I know that it was just minutes off of I-77. Where I live here near Kalamazoo, Michigan there used to be 5 malls in the Kalamazoo area. Today there is only one. The downfall and demolition of all the other four had nothing to do with crime or race or anything demographical, it was the large two story mall that was being built within 15 minutes of all the other malls that killed them. Bigger, better and much more to offer. It is still going strong today after 28 years of existence.

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  243. Todd, to a small extent the “too many malls” situation worked against RAM, because when people began feeling unsafe they had alternatives. I think that if there were not alternatives close by, there would have been a stronger fight to beef up security, run out the shoplifters and thug kids, and save RAMs reputation. The paying shoppers did not have the same incentive to take back their turf because they could go right up the street to Summit Mall in tony West Akron and not have to deal with it. Thus, the upscale retailers to whom those shoppers appealed had no reason not to move out with them. Generally, though, when you have several competing malls, the largest, nicest mall ends up at the top of the food chain. RAM was absolutely the largest, nicest mall of the 4 major area malls (I am including Belden Village here in addition to Summit and Chapel.) Based on that, Chapel Hill should have been the first to go (though sadly, I do think it will be the next.)

    If you read up on the infamous Dixie Square Mall in Harvey, Ill, I would say there are definite parallels. Also, RAM faced similar challenges to RPM. Like I mentioned in an earlier post, the general area that RAM sits in was never “upscale” or typical up-and-coming American suburb with new home contruction and the like. It was its own little retail island off of I-71, and it and the retail strip across the street were the only draws to the area.

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  244. Erika- Hope you can make it to Rolling Acres soon.As of last week the deal on the sale of the mall was still on but a few thiings have happened since then that I can’t disclose yet but the news is not good.

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  245. With regard to RAM, can someone please clear up what everyone is talking about with regard to “the sale” of RAM? I’m in the investment field, and whenever I ask anyone in the investment community about RAM and a possible sale, they just chuckle (no, laugh out loud) and ask “who would buy it?” One person even said that locals must just be getting excited hoping something will happen, but that it’s “just noise”.

    One REIT company rep said that the only value would be the land upon which it sits; that most likely the mall would be leveled. He went on to explain that with so many other potential alternative sites for development, even in the area of office space, RAM is just not a viable proposition. Areas with better geographic locations and better demographics could be developed or redeveloped for significantly less.

    In Milwaukee, Northridge Mall was sold for a bargain basement price of 3.7 million, with the plan to develop the center into commerical office property with adjacent big box retail. What we got in actuality: a Menards, a Pick N’ Save grocery store, a temporary tenant in Value City Furniture (occupying a large first level portion of the former Boston Store/Bon-Ton), and a comletely empty mall with not a single square foot of office space leased as of yet. The REIT that owns it is trying to unload it, and guess what? They can’t. And Northridge has a much better geographic location for a multi-use facility.

    Again, I love retail and enclosed malls in particular. It would be great to see something happen for the people of Akron. But I have to tell you, I don’t see it happening folks. I feel bad for the local optimist Eli and his Charcoal Grille. Sadly, he might want to refocus his energies elsewhere. When the horse is dead, at some point you have to dismount.

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  246. Cory TJ-Another week should tell what is happening.I can’t tell you who the interested party is who suppossedly bought the mall.He is not from this area.As for Eli I feel the same as you. he has had plenty of chances to relocate and could have done so.I wish I could say more but can’t right now.Maybe Michael will see these posts and could give us some better insight as to what is happening.

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  247. Mary,

    Sorry to be so long in responding, but as I do have some insight about what is going I do not feel it is prudent to discuss too much here yet. I will say though that there is a legitimate buyer for the mall, they are from out of state, and they are trying to lock down the financial aspect right now. I do not have any personal relationship with any of these people, but from a distant business relationship have verified that they are legitimate business people with the capacity to purchase the mall. As to whether they can do everything else talked about here I simply do not know, but it is encouraging that they are trying. I hope that helps answer some of the questions and will try to check back here more often. Take care.

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  248. Mary…I am definitely stopping back out tomorrow. I think you said you get there at 12:30 on Saturdays. I’m going to shoot for sometime between 12:30 and 1. I’m going to hit the Penney’s outlet and other than that we’ll just be strolling around…my son hasn’t seen the mall yet and my daughter is excited to come back and explore some more.

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  249. Suppose that RAM is purchased by a private party or syndicate. How would they go about filling the space at RAM? It goes without saying that some major renovations would be in order, especially considering what I’m reading here about a leaking roof and water damage, degradation of floor tiles and the like.

    But what incentive would national chains have to come back to RAM? That is my big question. That is one hell of a gamble, and to date, I haven’t known any national brand to really embark on such a venture. They tend to recognize that no matter how low the cost per square foot, it isn’t profitable if foot traffic is not there to drive the sales. From what everyone has said here, this area is not exactly Akron’s gem, surrounded by lower income housing, and a criminal element to boot. It was a ‘destination’ of sorts at one time, for those in the area that made a hike to this former retail strip. But that was quite some time ago. I was actually shocked that Macy’s rebranded Kaufman’s at RAM when they bought the chain from May Company, rather than just liquidating the store right away. Weird.

    Someone else mentioned here something about the former Target anchor being converted to a themed waterpark of sorts. I hope this idea was either killed or just a bad rumor. That, to me anyway, sounds ridiculous. In an area surrounded by lower income housing, it would seem to me that such a venue would only draw the same element that so many here say caused the demise of the mall in the first place. Not to mention, there isn’t a chain with a worthy balance sheet that would lease space amidst this type of insanity. This is all opinion here.

    I really do hope that something positive happens with RAM. Nothing would thrill me more than if this center could make a remarkable comeback and serve as a prototype for other dead malls across the country to do the same. I think the mall itself is attractive, and with the right makeover could be quite spectacular.

    Mary and Michael, please keep us posted. I am dying to know who bought this mall.

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  250. The idea of turning Rolling Acres Mall into an entertainment-type destination won’t work today, that’s for sure. Not at $20! But if we turn the clock back a few years to the early 2000s, and do a vigorous retenanting with national and local tenants…interesting and exciting ones at that, and turn into a “festival marketplace” of sorts…move Target to an outlot location and make it go Greatland/Super…get IKEA, Bass Pro, something like that into the mall…Rolling Acres would’ve been a lot better.

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  251. Jonah,
    I agree with all of the above. But I think as much as we are all fond of RAM, we have to be realistic. I mean, I’d love to paint the world a rainbow and catch a flying star to work. But there is a greater chance of either of those two things happening than RAM being revitalized, I think.

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  252. I have an “if you build it, they will come” mentality. If you offer either a product or an experience that you cannot get someplace else, people will come. This is how Rolling Acres succeeded from the time it was built through the early 90s. There was NO OTHER reason to go out to Romig Road! This particular facility could offer something that we currently do not have. Summit Mall was “revitalized” by taking advantage of an opportunity when Rolling Acres began to be called by a much less favorable name. Who really wants to drive all the way out to West Akron and Montrose? Not me. But if you want to go to Banana Republic, you don’t have a choice. So you go. If a savvy group of developers got together on this, RAM could become one of two fantastic shopping destinations. One way would be to replace the anchors with high-end department stores, such as Nordstrom or Anthropologie. Possibly bring Bloomingdales to the area. Attract upscale in-line stores and restaurants. Replace the crumbling outlots with popular chain restaurants such as Carrabba’s (which you have to drive to North Canton to patronize at the current time,) Abuelo’s, Cheesecake Factory, etc. Bring Target back across the street, along with a Best Buy, Panera, Starbucks, etc. Give people a reason to drive here and they will. You do not have to drive through an unsavory or dangerous neighborhood to get there. You get off the highway, make a right, drive up the hill and there you are. You also do not have the traffic nightmare that Montrose offers on a daily basis. This could be a complement to Montrose. The other idea would be a high-end indoor outlet mall. I avoid Aurora Famrs like the plague during the winter because I hate having to stump around in the wet and cold.

    I visited RAM again yesterday and enjoyed meeting Mary, Eli, and Rick. I ate at Eli’s and the food was really good. His restaurant was squeaky clean, the food fresh. It was a couple of minutes past 1 and I was only his second customer. Penney’s was pretty packed, though Sears was looking rather empty. Mary sat with me while I ate lunch, and then we walked around for a while and she showed me the blocked-off Target entrance in the concourse running toward the back of the mall off the food court, which I had never been down before. I can’t remember what was there, if anything, back when I used to frequent RAM, but it felt like the first time seeing it. We peeked into the closed theatre, of which the marquee reads “Thanks to the few who supported.” So sad. I’m heading back with my husband today to visit Diamond’s. They had a pair of bright yellow Polo Ralph Lauren cords that appealed to my preppy sensibilities…for 99 cents!!!!! I will need to hem them but for 99 cents I could bring them home and throw them away and it wouldn’t matter! I can’t believe I passed them up yesterday. They will look so cute with a crisp white shirt and a yellow headband.

    Todd…if you can, get here sooner rather than later and plan to meet up with Mary. She’s the best! And be sure to visit Eli for a tasty gyro. I really hope things work out for them.

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  253. Erika-Glad you made it to Rolling Acres.It was a pleasure to meet you and have the chance to chat with you and show you around. Also,glad that you found some bargains at the mall.

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  254. OK, question time:

    1) What is Eli’s exact menu? I heard he sells grilled gyros and all, but can anyone give me something more specific?
    2) Does Eli have net access? Can he speak here?
    3) Does anyone have pictures of the “5th Corridor” and the Target corridor? The 5th corridor was designed for a real department store (two stories) and apparently leads nowhere while Target’s corridor has windows along one side.

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  255. Also, one more:

    4) Does Akron have a The Andersons? Where is it in proportion to RAM?

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  256. The problem with the idea of bringing upscale retailers to the area is simple:
    These retailers follow the MONEY. They are never going to open stores in a depressed, low income area with a reputation for crime. They base their decisions on where to open stores on demographic profiles to match their target clientele. They look at the number of households of a specific desired income level within a desired radius. Look at the demographics around Rolling Acres and that tells the whole story. In fact, I came across this information in the property listing for one of the adjacent properties that was auctioned off within the last year or so. It is shocking how low the average household income is in that area. There are just not enough people in the immediate area to fit the profile these high end retailers seek. Why would a developer want to essentially gamble millions upon millions of dollars on a high-end project in a low-income area? In fact, they did take a gamble when Rolling Acres was originally built, and look at the result. Retail development has evolved into a highly sophisticated endeavor in the 30+ years since Rolling Acres was developed. There is no way that place would ever have been built if the development decisions in the late ’60s had been based on the kind of information used today.

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  257. John,

    Your argument follows my train of thought exactly (see comments above). My guess is that the mall will be leveled. There is “what we would LIKE to happen” and then there is reality. This mall might benefit from being turned into a big box discount center format like Capital Commons in Milwaukee (formerly Capital Court).

    Ironically, when they demolished the mall and built a Lowe’s and a Pick N’ Save (local grocery chain) first, other big box retailers flocked to the area as shoppers started to return. Some of these retailers had left the mall prior. Now it is a very successful venture owned by Inland REIT.

    Inland must have known that there was no way to pitch national retailers on coming back into a mall with many of the same problems that plagued RAM.

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  258. Jonah Norason-To answer a few of your questions.Eli sells hamburgers,hot dogs,french fries,Philly steak sands ,shrimp and fries,fresh lemonade,onion rings and mushrooms,pop and juice and that is all I can think of right now.He has pulled a few things off his menu being as he does not have much businness.He has access to a computer but does not care for them and has been busy with his gardening.I am not sure what you refer to when you say “Fifth Corridor ” so cannot say anything about that.The Andersons? I have never heard of that and don’t know what it is.I hope I have helped answer some of your questions.

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  259. They won’t turn it into big box retail. They had that right across the street from the mall, and it’s all gone. I know nobody will actually take the gamble I described, but I wish they would.

    Jonah: I don’t know anything about Andersons….never heard of it. As to Eli’s menu, it’s typical grille fare. He has burgers and chicken, gyros, etc. He had a pretty decent-sized menu with lots of munchie type foods. He had fresh ingredients with fresh tomatoes and onions for my gyro. He had a very wide selection of bottled soft drinks and he had what I have been told is great lemonade, though I am not a particular lemonade girl. As far as Eli, I don’t know if he posts online but he’s a very nice guy and I really hope something works out for him, even if it isn’t at RAM.

    My husband, kids and I returned to RAM today to explore Diamond’s. It was pretty sad in there. They had a lot of closeout merchandise, some of which was VERY old. They have a whole extra store next to them packed full of merchandise that they seem to be holding back. Anyway, I got my yellow cords (99 cents!) and then inside the store I found two pairs of awesome shoes! (I wear a 10 so I can buy men’s shoes in smaller sizes.) I got a pair of brand new Sperry Top Sider CVOs and a new pair of Sperry Classic Docksiders for 4.90 each! I was pretty pumped, even though my husband could not believe I bought anything. When we went out into the mall we showed the kids the Target corridor, but that was all. My husband didn’t like how hot it was (no AC) and he was just kind of uncomfortable with the whole thing. I don’t think he really understood what to expect because it’s been a good 12 years since he has been out there.

    If I don’t get back again before something happens, it was great to meet you Mary, and tell Eli and Rick I wish them the best. I really hope things work out.

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  260. By the way, Jonah, the 5th corridor you refer to, I believe, was to lead to a Halle’s store or something like that. I think I remember hearing they were going to add another department store anchor that never materialized. I know Halle’s was supposed to be going in up at RPM as early as 1978, but it didn’t happen and Halle’s ended up going out of business in about ’82. They may have been the ones that looked at adding on to RAM. Until I walked back there with Mary yesterday, I don’t think I had ever been down there. If you are in the food court on the lower level and you walk straight back toward the rear of the mall, there is a corridor along which a large furniture store used to be. The shuttered Target is at the far end. There is no labelscar but it is obvious what it was due to the stripes on the wall. I cannot remember anything being in that corridor prior to Target opening back when I frequented RAM.

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  261. Jonah-After giving it some thought,you may be refering to the corridor upstairs.Instead of turning left to go to Pennys turn right,goto end where the travel bureau used to be then right again. there is nothing there but there are doors leading to the outside.

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  262. Sorry, I had intended to respond last night but I was cut off.

    I was using Wikimapia, and it appears to me that the Fifth Corridor would have been for a two-story anchor (possibly Halle’s or Higbee’s, if Wards didn’t leave first).

    Unfortunately, it appears when Target went in, they built a one-story corridor, leading me to wonder what happens at the second level…wait a minute, it looks like it suddenly exits to the right as per this directory:

    http://flickr.com/photos/8474804@N05/2174546501/in/photostream/

    Target’s corridor only has stores along one side, proven both by the aerial photo and the directory. The other side I’ve heard has windows, which I am wondering about because there’s really no picture that illustrates that.

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  263. Re: The Andersons. The Andersons is a store, I’ve heard is a clothing/houseware/food/etc. catering to the “rural” people in Ohio.

    Again, it seems I’ve answered my own question: although it seems common in Ohio, appearing in two dead malls on Labelscar (American Mall and Woodville Mall), there are only 7 locations in Ohio: two aforementioned mall sites (Lima & Northwood), two in Columbus, one in Toledo proper, one in Maumee, and one in Sylvania.

    If Rolling Acres Mall wasn’t in THAT bad shape, I would’ve said that it could join Akron in Rolling Acres Complex or the Mall proper.

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  264. Jonah:

    The “5th” wing to which you refer was originally intended to house a 2-story department store anchor. In fact, there was a sign at the end of that corridor indicating a “Fifth great department store” coming soon.” For a long time, there was a big row of windows at the end of that corridor on the upper level, and an exit to the parking lot starting at the time the lower level opened in 1978. Later, a travel agency was sited at the end of that corridor on the upper level, directly opposite JCPenney. In 1995 when Target was built, this corridor was extended at an angle but on one level only and with a large furniture store on one side only. The remaining windows on the upper level behind the travel agency looking over this lower level extension were somehow blacked out so you could no longer see through them to the roof of the new corridor below.

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  265. Halle’s wouldn’t have opened there–too close to Summit Mall and Belden Village and the wrong demographics.

    The Anderson’s is a unique store–you can buy everything from a coffecake to a cattle prod there.Their demographics are all over the place and they have stores in relatively well-off parts of Toledo (the original in Maumee and another, almost opposite the upscale Franklin Park Mall) and a long running store at Woodville Mall. I wish they had one near me now (and I live near downtown DC). They probably wouldn’t work at RAM, but would make sense for Belden Village or places around Cleveland like Great Lakes Mall or the Geauga Lake area. Midway Mall might be another possibility.

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  266. So I’m not crazy…there really wasn’t anything down there off the food court where the Target corridor went in. Those last couple of times I was there in the 90s prior to my recent flurry of visits must have been literally just before they broke ground on the Target store. I have no memory at all of them talking about it or advertising it. At that time I barely knew what Target was. I can’t remember exactly when the one came to Stow…maybe ’96? I know it was still fairly new and novel when I started looking for baby stuff there, after my husband and I decided to try to start a family in ’97. I remember them talking about putting another department store in there though. Can’t imagine what it would have been.

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  267. Erika: Yeah, if you look at deadmalls.com, it mentions the Fifth Department Store was planned since the 1970s, and was rumored to be Halle’s but it never materialized and Target built in later, but not what everyone expected.

    What really killed this mall? A simple answer would be “1997 revival of Summit Mall”, but apparently, RAM suffered a lot. Crime problems aside, they certainly could’ve filled the vacancies caused by the death of well-known chains. I’d blame really bad management.

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  268. I had a cool idea for a RAM fan-site but then quickly remembered it already has one. Who runs that site? It’s a neat idea, but the site is so empty…links are broken, the forum is abandoned, and comments run amuk with spam. I’d suggest shutting down the forum, disabling the comments, and do some serious updating…

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  269. Still have not heard anything about the proposed sale and am starting to think that maybe the deal fell through.

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  270. Gee, “ya think?!”

    I don’t think it is a question of the ink not being dry yet. The pen was never out to begin with. Trust me, I work in the real estate and investment field, and not one of my colleagues gives this RAM rumor a bit of credence. Just a lot of smirks and chuckles.

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  271. CoryTJ- You did not see the plan I saw.It looked so promising and I was going by the info coming from the ones operating the mall.It probably will be cold there this winter but I still hope I can keep my job there .

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  272. Mary,

    I hope that something comes to fruition for this mall. And I hope you are able to keep your job as well. Please continue to keep us posted. This is one instance in which I hope what I’m hearing is incorrect.

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  273. Cory TJ- Thank you for your kind words.

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  274. Mary:

    Out of curiosity, what is your job at Rolling Acres Mall? Also, I have one other question: the “ambitious plans” for Rolling Acres Mall…is there a way you could’ve taken a picture of the plans or copied it, or was that out of the question? One thing, though…surely a waterpark area would’ve required a demolition of the existing Target, correct?

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  275. Well, Mary “claims” to be a maintenance person at RAM. She “claims” to have seen these plans for a re-vamping of the mall. You know what I think? I think she is the owner of the mall. I think she owns RAM (and possibly RPM and Euclid Square) and she has spent the last 2 decades as a “maintenance engineer” in each mall. But really, she has gone around and unscrewed light bulbs to make it too dark to see in the parking lot, she’s purposely pot-holed the pavement to make it tough to drive to the mall, she’s “accidentally” unplugged security cameras to make shoplifting easier, and she’s soiled/broken merchandise to the give the malls an unkempt look. So now, she is sitting on large parcels of land in NE Ohio, each with a dead mall on top. Why would anyone do this? Simple- she’s going to convert these malls into multi-level cemetaries. IT’S GENIUS! The Japanese are light years ahead of us on this.

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  276. Mary- you know I’m just kidding with you! : )

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  277. KB-That is the funniest thing I have heard in a long time.I am glad that you said you were just kidding,otherwise some one else may have took you serious. Again,thanks for the laugh.I needed it.

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  278. Jonah Norason-I clean the food court and restrooms 1 hr, a day,3 times a week and that is it. Wish I could get more time but that is’nt going to happen.I saw the proposed plan sent to the few remaining businesses but don’t know if I could get a copy.And no,Target would not have to be torn down.It looks in good shape to me.That is where the ” proposed owner” had or has plans for the waterpark.

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  279. And Jonah…I have personally met Mary, so I can vouch for the fact that she’s not a super deep undercover Japanese developer/mall owner…..(wink)

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  280. Erika- Thank you.

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  281. Apparently, Eli’s Char Grille used to be Hanson’s Deli and Midway Char Grille back in 2001. When did Eli buy it?

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  282. Mary, do you have, perchance, a lease plan of RAM?

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  283. Mary, do you have, perchance, a lease plan of RAM or a better map?

    Thanks.

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  284. Jonah Norason-No,I don’t have a lease plan.Also,the Midway Char Grille and Hansons Deli were 2 seperate restaurents Eli leased the Midway a few years ago when Sally left .Subway took over Hansons.Tore out all the fixtures and remodeled.When they left around Easter time last year they tore everything out so there is just one big empty space there now.

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  285. Wow…Subway was there up until this past spring? What was the last thing to go?

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  286. Erika- After Subway left the Chinese restaurant closed,then the pizza place last December.Eli is still there but has been looking at other places.

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  287. Oh, on a related note…I have made more than one crack in my comments here about Chapel Hill Mall and what has been happening to it. I think I have made my position clear; I feel it’s becoming one of those downscale “cheapo” malls that tend to eventually wither and die, because the very people they cater to don’t actually spend any money, they just wander around and hang out. That said, I actually went there last Saturday. I had a few hours to myself and I needed to do some birthday shopping for my son. I went to the Chapel Hill Target because a particular toy he wanted was sold out at Stow and Streetsboro. When I was done, I decided to go walk around and check out conditions at the mall. I was SHOCKED. That place was packed! I had a hard time finding a parking space anywhere near an entrance, and when I got in there it was chock-full of people. And the people were carrying shopping bags! I stand corrected. Despite the decidedly downward trajectory of the mall tenants’ quality, people are still flocking to the Hill! (And I couldn’t help but think about how odd it is that this crappy little mall floruishes while a nice place like Rolling Acres went belly up.)

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  288. Erika:

    You are so right – What I always found ironic about Rolling Acres failing is that it was unquestionably the biggest of the Akron malls, it was the newest, and it had the best interior architecture and design: The layout, lighting, plantings, fountains, and all that kind of stuff was much more thoughtfully planned than either Chapel or Summit. They didn’t even have food courts until the ’90′s. Summit was positively an embarrassment while waiting for DeBartolo’s long-promised renovation. That didn’t happen until ’97 when they got purchased by Simon, who had the cash and clout with retailers to invest in the place. Rolling Acres was so clearly a newer generation of design with all of its features. I guess the old real estate mantra provides the answer here too: Location, Location, Location.

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  289. My family and I are planning on another trip to RAM sometime in October for pics and such. I am very worried about the near future of the mall. Has anything changed since I was there in July?

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  290. Todd-As of today everything is still the same as when you were there.

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  291. Yep, John….and you know what’s funny about the location thing? I avoid Summit like the plague because of it. It’s a pain in the rear to get to; you either have to go all the way out to Cleve-Mass road and deal with the nightmarish Montrose traffic, or you get off at Miller Road and deal with the traffic coming from the east on 18, or you take the really long way down through the valley…there is NO convenient way to get there. And once you’re there, the parking is horrible unless you want to park at the Dillards extension that used to be Halle’s. When I was a kid my Granny managed the Hobby Center Toys store there. That was the ONLY reason we ever went there. We would sometimes eat at a place on 18 called Barnhill’s, long defunct, over in the plaza by Chuck E. Cheese that has been through about 500 restaurants. There was an Italian place there, then some ribs and blues joint, and a Cooker, and something else, and now a Panera I think. We also would occasionally go to Mountain Jack’s…now the Winking Lizard (that still looks odd to me.) But you’re right, Summit was a total hole until the renovations. No food courts anywhere but RAM…remember when McDonalds was located just outside O’Neil’s/May Co. at Chapel Hill? Now I think that space is a Lane Bryant.

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  292. Rolling Acres will be having a sale of the leftover things from their previous auction.It will be next Saturday from 9 a.m. til noon.They will probably advertise it in the Beacon Journal tomorrow.Also Eli will be open and sell coffee and donots along with his regular menu.

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  293. Not many people showed up for the sale and a lot of things left .Also heard that the man that had the plans for the beach area,etc. could not get the needed finances.Another once interested party no longer is interested.The pictures that the real estate has on the web are really outdated and very misleading.The kiots have been sold and if anyone wants the benches they will sell them,too. Oh well,I still have my job and am thankful for that.

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  294. A mall without benches? Dang…that’s pretty sad. Oh well, at least they’re trying to sell it off instead of demolishing everything is closed.

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  295. We were at Chapel Hill again tonight. We took the kids over to shop for Halloween costumes at Halloween USA. I get mad every time I go over there! It was pretty busy. After we got the costumes, we went into the food court and ate dinner. The Subway there had the yuckiest veggies I have ever seen at one of their restaurants.Normally they are pristine; these looked like they had been sitting out all day. You could not have paid me to eat the tuna and I love the tuna. I don’t know how long that particular container had been sitting out there but it just didn’t look right. It looked off-color. My sandwich was fine and the girl was very nice, but I was sitting there thinking how much it reminded me of how R.A.M. was when its reputation began to decline. I was sitting near the old FYE store which is now some local men’s urban and casual wear store (which was closed on a Saturday evening at 7:30!!!) and thinking, “Why is this place even still thriving???”

    Is Diamond’s still holding on? When we were there a few weeks ago I could hardly believe it. And there were at least 3 or 4 guys working in there! How do they pay them?? I bought two pairs of nice shoes and a pair of pants for less than $10!!!

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  296. Seems like no one wants to buy the benches as they are still there. Diamond’s is still there and so is Eli for a few hours a day.

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  297. I’m glad your job is safe for now, Mary. I assume Sears and Penney’s are showing no signs of giving up? I hope that’s the case. If my husband has his way I may never get back out there again. He felt like it was very unsafe, for the simple reason that it was so empty and if someone with bad intentions got you in one of those corridors alone…I see his point, but Ipersonally did not feel unsafe any of the 3 times I have been there recently.

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  298. Erika- As far as I know Sears and Penney’s are staying.I can also see your husbands’ concern for your safety. I see the same elderly and lady mallwalkers every week.We have not had any problems.Of course,it is a good idea to carry pepper spray on yor keychain if you are going to be by yourself.

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  299. Does the mall still have the weird smell throughout it? I don’t think I have ever been to a place that was so strange seeming. I can’t believe that JC Penny’s and Sears will keep their mall entrances open during the cold months coming up.

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  300. Todd-The mall has not been thoroughly cleaned for a couple of years now except for the restrooms and whatever cleaning I can get done in the food court.I have not heard any one else complain .But then again there are not many that come there anymore.Also Penny’s does keep their doors closed off all the time as there is no air conditioning now and no heat in the winter. Sears has their doors open all the time. .

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  301. Wait, JCPenney completely sealed off their mall entrance? When did this happen?

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  302. I thought they only closed the doors on the lower level…..

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  303. Jonah and Charles- Penney’s has no access to the mall lower level but you can still go through the mall upstairs.

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  304. But it isn’t the big open wall like at Sears. They sealed that off. It’s just a regular door over to the right of what used to be the main entrance from the mall.

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  305. I was a chapel hill kid myself spent a lot of my teenage weekends there. Easier to get to, money (lack of) and it was busy just not crazy packed like ram always seem to be at that time. But CH was a little more strict with their loitering policies. But as long as you had a shopping bag from one of the stores they didn’t bother you to much. But I remember my father taking us to ram when it first opened, I went there a few times in the 80′s and 90′s I drove past there today, so sad to see that big parking lot so empty(And falling apart)

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  306. Sears is now closing at 8p.m. during the weekdays.

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  307. Mary, what really caused the mall to go down, even before the return of Summit Mall? The only reasons I can think of is rumors of crime, high rent, poor management. What say you?

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  308. Jonah- Probably most of what you say.Also a lot of people were afraid to go to the mall because of the harrassment they received from the teens .I once had a hippy type renter that went to Sears to get a few things and was harrassed in the parking lot.He said he would never go back there again.There was also a lot of shoplifting which caused stores to leave.

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  309. I know my parents stopped going because the initials- RAM- just sounded too suggestive. Also, our car was stolen there 9 times.

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  310. I went to Rolling Acres last week and took numerous photos. This was the mall of my child, and it was rather sad to see what it’s come to. I spent so much time there in the 80s/90s… I really wish I could see old maps of the mall, because I remember many stores that disappeared. There was a craft store in the upper Kauffman’s wing in the late 70s/early 80s. There was a snack stand called “Cut the Mustard” in the upper middle part, near JC Penneys, with a twirling, flipping mechanized clown. Lower JC Penney’s level, there was a toy store in the early 80s… and then “Zoo Be Do”, a stuffed animal store, in the Dillard’s wing in the 90s. And Montgomery Wards had a snack bar in the late 70s…. there was a Ponderosa near Sears in the early 90s. I could go on and on…

    I will say the mall was very safe. There was nobody besides one elderly mall walker, and me, roaming the corridors. And JC Penney Outlet was quite busy!

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  311. I wonder if Sears will end up narrowing down their mall entrance like JC Penny Outlet did and put in doors that will keep in the heat?

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  312. Oh, I remember Cut The Mustard well! That place is from the Karmelkorn era. I hate hate hate what has happened over there.

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  313. Right now, a Simpsons episode is on in which Bart & Milhouse camp out overnight in the mall. This episode is about 10 years old, and there are SO many stores in there you don’t see in malls anymore. Camping gear, candy store, arcade, piano/organ seller….retail is in REALLY bad shape these days.

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  314. It’s the wallmart effect. “If we don’t have it you don’t want it”

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  315. Todd-It would not suprise me if Sears closes after the first of next year.I never see many cars there.I try to shop there whenever I can.Eli may close by the end of next month or sooner.

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  316. When I was there a few weeks ago, I went inside Sears and saw NO CUSTOMERS at all… and a women’s department clerk tried to sell me Sears home improvement services, which I thought was odd. And sad.

    However, the JC Penneys was very busy- they seem to do well.

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  317. Is Eli retired? Does he have another source of income? How long has he been at RAM? I feel bad for him.

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  318. KB-Eliis in his fiftys and has a family at home.He has been in the pizza businness most of his life.He has been at the mall for quite a few yrs. and at other Akron and Cleveland locations before that.He is a survivor and I am quite sure he will eventually make a go of his next businness.

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  319. There was a big fixture sale again about two weeks ago, it wasn’t advertised. I go right by the mall almost everyday and my friend who lives in a housing development right by the mall said I should have gone up there. The Macy’s sign is now gone. and a leasing sign has has gone up on the building. Sear’s I think will stay until they can find a spot in Montrose, which is hard to come buy. Sear’s is really dead. Penny’s really seems to be doing ok though (it is an outlet). They should have made that mall into an outlet mall. Does anyone know what the city of Akron’s position is on what to do with it? My friend who lives right by the mall worked there from its opening(1975) to 1989. He has a lot of stories. It basically seemed like Kenmore (thats the area that Rolling Acres is in) is really struggling to stay alive and that the mall is a casualty of that. Chapel Hill is beginning its downfall, but may survive because of it being located on the east side of town and Summit being on the west. Rolling Acres and Summit (even though several miles away from each other) are still close in proximity. You see this is Cleveland starting to happen with SouthPark Mall in Strongsville and Parmatwon Mall in Parma. Southpark is starting to take over. The theme: Where ever there are two malls with too close of a proximity to each other, the less desirable one will be the one to go. Great Northern cancels out Westgate… Southpark Cancels out Parmatown etc.

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  320. i got to buy shirts at mall but there are no shirts or records only quiet and 1 store with food. sotres are gone. trees are gone. water fountin is gone. elavator is gone- my nees hurt from this please. why open mall with no stores? maybe they are being fixed? in my country, first they took the priests, then they took the teachers, then they tkae malls.

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  321. Mark-What kind of fixtures are you looking for?Some one told me the sale was advertised in the Beacon but it was only for a few days towards the end of the week so I did not see it.Not many people showed up.They still have a lot of things left stored in a few rooms.

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  322. i came to buy lights but there were only old lights. i also wanted elavator for the home. do you haev electric videogames still for sale Mary said?

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  323. AS far as I know there are just a lot of odds and ends left over such as desks, shelving,maybe an old microwave oven,chairs and??.I don’t think there are any video games but I will ask security when I see him on Saturday.

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  324. The place must look as desolate as ever now. is digital palace still open? How about Diamonds and the bridal shop?

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  325. Todd- It stillseems the same to me. And,yes,Digital Palace and the bridal shop are still open but do not keep the regular mall hours.Eli is lucky if he has more than 3 customers a day.

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  326. Is the Diamonds Mens store still open? I remember walking out the doors from JC Penny Outlet into the mall and the only thing that I saw operating was that Diamonds store.

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  327. It had to happen soon….

    http://www.ohio.com/news/break_news/33417119.html

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  328. Yes,I knew Saturday when I got my severence pay that the mall would close soon but was told not to say anything to anyone as they wanted the news to be told to them by the management.

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  329. I just saw that too. I am so sad about that- I guess it’s hard to lose anything that played a big part in your childhood.
    I’m going to have to head over there again this week to say goodbye, I guess.

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  330. Oh my gosh! I just knew in my gut that this was bound to be happening soon. I guess that this makes the trip my family and I made to Rolling Acres in July something that I am very glad that we did. Although I had only ever been there one time, somehow, someway I knew as we walked through the empty corridors of RAM that the place had been filled with crowds and crowds of people at one time. My heart goes out to all of you who will in some way lose a part of yourself when the lights finally go out at Rolling Acres.

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  331. I am so sad to leave.

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  332. I check on this comment thread every so often, and it’s never a pretty sight to see a mall that was still doing a fair business into the late 1990s/early 2000s, suddenly just turn for the worse in the last couple of years.

    It was going to happen at some point. Even so, it’s still a downer when one loses a bit of their childhood memories. It’s how I felt when the entire Prange Way discount stores chain went belly up, and when my town lost their K-mart back in 2002, so I do understand.

    Hopefully those of you who have fond memories of the mall’s glory days got in there before they seal it shut for good.

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  333. Mary, best of luck to you in your future endeavors! Also, pass along our best wishes to Eli!

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  334. i drive by mall tonight and all the lights are off and i see leasing signs. very sad. i think mall should have electric video game parlor with adult section to

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  335. I wonder what they will do? I’m guessing the Sears and JC Penny will seal their mall entrances.

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  336. No sears it is becoming kmart i thinnk! JC Pennye’s company is very large too

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  337. i sure hope someone does somthing quick, so it dont end up like richfield colisum, the power is going off soon.. this is crazy a lot of good times were at the dumb place

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  338. Is anyone planning on taking some final pictures and maybe uploading them to a site before the mall is closed for good?

    I really wanted to take some pics of what is left, but I don’t think I can make it out there this week.

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  339. Look for the resurrection of Big Time Pizza with Eli’s Char Grille in an independent location in the near future. Eli has been looking into this and investigating possible new locations for some time, but he has not yet signed a lease. I spoke to him last week prior to the closing announcement, and the most promising location was in Copley. However, since no lease had been signed, that could change.

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  340. Oh, Mary…I’m so sorry! And for Eli too, though perhaps now he will move someplace where he can make a better go of his business. What are you going to do? I’m so glad I got over there when I did.

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  341. Mary, best of luck to you in your future endeavors! Also, pass along our best wishes to Eli!

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  342. In the Plain Dealer, the mall shall close on Friday, October 31, 2008, leaving Summit County with Summit Mall and Chapel Hill Mall.

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  343. There are (were) 8 stores in the mall, and they will not be having any store closing stores. The mall owners owe a lot of money on electricity, so when the power is turned off, so will the mall close. JCPenny Outlet, and Sears WILL stay open after the mall completely closes, but will not be able to be accessed from within the mall itself.

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  344. The news of RAM’s total death wasn’t all that sudden but it is sad nonetheless. It’s really a miracle that RAM survived for so long and I wish the best to Eli and Mary. The mall is a sorry state for sure, but I do not blame the decline of RAM on the nation’s economy situation. Rolling Acres was in poor highway access in an area that really wasn’t meant for a large mall.

    Rolling Acres is in so bad a condition that refurbishing the building is probably not a viable option. Demolishing it would be the best option (with the exception of Sears, Penney’s, and maybe the structurally-sound Target) but not before checking the mall management office for some potentially awesome findings. Let’s hope something arises from the ashes that’s awesome and not just another big box store or lifestyle center.

    GOODBYE RAM

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  345. Jake-Thank you for the well wishes.Erika- It was nice to have met you.I enjoyed our meeting and coversation.Eli may relocate to Copley.I will try to see if I can survive on my social security ,if not,I will try to find another cleaning job.

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  346. Jonah Norason- Thank you too for the well wishes.

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  347. Mary — I hope you land on your feet someplace! I’m going to try and get out there tomorrow and get some “goodbye” pictures of the mall.

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  348. I guess my earlier comment was lost…

    Does anyone plan on visiting before the closing on Friday to take some final pictures of the interior of RAM?

    I’d really like to, but I doubt I can make it out that way before Friday.

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  349. A message on RAM’s MySpace page got me thinking…

    “Unlikely it may be, but I’m holding out hope that the next owner reopens the concourses when electricity can be restored. The crowds at Sears at JCP are proof that people will come out here; maybe, if the mall were kept in decent repair, businesses would be willing to move in.”

    At first I was thinking “Is that even possible?” but it can’t be because any new owner would have to inherit RAM’s massive debt. How long has RAM been unprofitable?

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  350. JP- No,your comment was’nt lost.I am sure that some people took some pictures.I did but don’t have them developed yet and don’t know how to download them to the computer.They will probably be too depressing,anyways,so it’s probably for the best. Thanks again,everyone for your well wishes and God bless all of you.

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  351. It wouldn’t surprise me if the mall had been unprofitable since the ’91 recession.

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  352. You are right Mary…my comment made it after all. :-)

    Anyway, maybe it would be too depressing to keep some photos…who knows.

    I missed out on the finale for Geuaga Lake, and that still bugs me to this day. I had no idea it was going under until it was too late. I managed to capture a few photos over the years, but some more would have been nice.

    I guess all of us have to appreciate what’s around us before it is gone. Especially here in Ohio, where just about every business seems to be struggling.

    Thanks for keeping an eye on this board, Mary, and best of luck to you.

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  353. I will miss Rolling Acres. I have read all the posts here. I remember when it opened up with all the fanfare. I shopped at J.C.Penney, that was my first credit card. We took our children for Christmas to see Santa. We shopped at Stride Rite for their first shoes. They rode the train when they were little. I spent alot at Rolling Acres. It is too bad it has come to this sad situation.

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  354. As of 3:00 this afternoon, the lights were still on at RAM. I spoke to Eli, and he is definitely re-opening Big Time Pizza and his Grille in Copley on Cleveland Massillon Rd, just off the circle. He’ll have access to the new place this weekend. He’s got some remodelling planned for the place before opening, so it will probably be several weeks before he’s ready for business again.

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  355. I left there at 4:30, and the lights were still on. Don’t utilities usually shut them off at 5:00? I was surprised to see the electronics store with so much stuff still unpacked. The bridal shop had a few people in there hurying to get things out.

    One thing that’s been bugging me, what the heck was that thing that looks like an airline ticket counter at the end of the corridor opposite Penney’s? There’s just a sign saying “ROLLING ACRES” over it.

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  356. Well, it’s Nov. 1, can you still access the mall via Sears and JC Penny Outlet?

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  357. Daniel-That used to be a travel agency.

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  358. I heard that Rolling Acres closed yesterday for good. They didnt pay there electricity bill. Im 13 now and I went there all the time with my mom when I was little. We went there all the time. I liked the place alot. I havent been there since for about a year or two.. When i heard that macys was closing down earlier this year I was so upset. there where only there for a few years. I also didnt know that the cinema closed last month. The one year i was about 5 or 6 years old and I dressed up like Henrey the Octopus from the wiggles and i accedently fell in the fountain on the main concourse. I was lucky the fountain wasn’t on. I also used to go to eli’s grill all the time and rode the carosuel so many times there when I was little. Good times, good times. I just can’t beleive that after 33 years and a little over a month that they would close down for good.

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  359. The same thing happened at Washington Commons in Green Bay, WI. They couldn’t pay their electric bills, so their power was cut.

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  360. So can anyone **confirm** whether the Mall itself has been closed for good? I could not get out there Friday, but was planning to try to get out there Monday (11/3) to hopefully take pictures. If not, oh well.

    I used to work at RAM in the early 90′s (1991/early 92) and that mall was jammed — especially during the holiday season. I used to go there often in the late 80′s when I was in High School.

    But, the mall died quicker than Randall Park Mall in suburban Cleveland, did. At least Randall is still open — although there are only two department stores remaining — Sears and Burlington. Dillards, Macy’s and JCPenney are long gone. While some might point to Summit and Chapel Hill, that is a slight factor, but was not the main factor. The main factor was the image the mall had. The image of the mall by the general public is that it was unsafe.

    When “New Jack City” was showing at the mall theatres in the early 90′s, there was a rumor that gunshots were fired after a showing. That was not true, but that was a rumor that — to this day — still has wings. One of the metal signs had fallen over. Once that rumor got out and spread quicker than wildfire, it was downhill for RAM ever since. It also didn’t help that the Mall’s owners decided to no longer retain the Akron Police for security and instead hire private security. The “New Jack City” issue was the beginning of the downfall for RAM. It never really kicked that image.

    Then you had Summit Mall and Chapel Hill spend millions of dollars in renovating their malls. Meanwhile, RAM continued to deal with image issues of being unsafe. People can cite crime and shoplifting as a reason, but IIRC, RAM didn’t deal with anymore shoplifting or crime than Chapel Hill did. The crime that did happen at RAM just fanned the bad image flames.

    Many of the surrounding stores closed up shop. You started to have key mall retailers pull out as well. What wound up filling some of the stores was mom-and-pop like stores.

    The Rolling Acres area is completely dead to any kind of retail resurgence. People can suggest ideas all they want, but it won’t happen. Even the City of Akron has deemed the Rolling Acres area “no longer viable for retail.” Some of the buildings in the Rolling Acres area have been closed for so long, a few have actually been condemned. Face it — the demographics of Rolling Acres Mall and the surrounding area has changed. The area is considered unsafe. It’s no different than the Randall Park Mall area. It’s considered unsafe and — for some reason — that mall has been dead alot longer than Rolling Acres. Sadly, when RAM fell on hard times, it fell HARD and FAST. I grew up going to Randall Park Mall — including before the mall opened (JCPenney was the first store and you could look out into the mall and see it still under construction). Sadly, it was the first department store to close up shop years ago.

    If someone can confirm the mall has closed for good (and not by what “they heard”), it would be appreciated.

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  361. Actually Jack, they did close for good. Because I heard about it in the Akron Beacon Journal. So therefore the mall is closed. But if the newspaper was lying to me, i’m going to tell them that the mall hasn’t closed u morons!!!! In my opinion the paper should be right, always!!!! Either the people that made this story were gay, or the fact that they are idiots But I have one last question, did the mall really close?

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  362. All the businnesses have left sothere is nothing left open in the mall.And ,no, Jackson Harris,don’t believe everything that you read in the paper.

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  363. i go to mall to return my pants and there is sign on door GO AWAY and no one is inside. mall is moving away soon?

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  364. Dudes: I met a lady from Goodyear Hts. on Saturday. I asked if she ever goes to the mall. She said no, and that it’s in a really bad area. She then told me there was a gang fight there LAST YEAR and someone was shot. I live in Illinois now – is this true? She’s in her early 30s and African-American, so why would she make this up? I never heard anything on this board. I think she said it was a pre-planned meeting (an old-fashioned “rumble,” I suppose).

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  365. KB-No,there was no gang fight at the mall last year.It has been really quiet for the last few yrs. at the mall so I don’t know where she got that info from.

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  366. Hey Jack- why the nasty posts? Got a chip on your shoulder? You attacked Vladic who CLEARLY doesn’t know English and is just trying to contribute. You manage to attack JacksonHarris (who made it clear she’s a teenager) about confirmation on the mall, and you claim you’re going there, but your next post is to attack someone I know. How about you go to the mall and get your precious photos and tell us if it’s open, or you clam up? (For everyone else, checkout his annoyed and largely repetitious rant on the Randall Park board).

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  367. KB-I was in Sears yesterday.They had thier entrence door to the mall open and the lights were still on inside the mall.

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  368. Has anything happened to Dollar General recently?I went to the mall when Macy’s was closing and was shocked to find it closed.What does it look like inside?Also there was a space next door with no entrance and a shelf inside does anyone know what that was for?

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  369. Thanks for the update, Mary! What’s next for you? Any company would be lucky to hire you!

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  370. KB-Thank you for the nice complement.I may try to find another part time job soon.I could retire but find that idea very unapealling.I like to work and keep busy.

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  371. I find it bizzare that Sears and possibly JC Penny Outlet currently still have open access to the mall but yet not one single business is open inside. It certainly cannot go on this way for long I’m sure. I could be wrong and I hope I am.

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  372. This seems to be the MO when the plan is to tear down the mall proper and leave the 2 remaining anchors open. From the pics I’ve seen, it will take far too much work to bring the mall back, too.

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  373. Someone posted this on YouTube a few days ago:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CNTXMScjqUc

    It’s the food court. I can’t tell which one was Eli’s, and its very eerie with not a soul there but the muzak vibrating across the empty halls.

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  374. Jonah Norason-The video starts and ends with Eli’s grille on the right.That big empty space is where Subway used to be.When they moved out they tore out all of their fixtures and the counter.

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  375. Man That was creepy……that music still playing and not a soul hearing it.

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  376. What’s the latest? Are the mall entrances from Sears and Penny’s still open? Are the lights still on?

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  377. Quote:
    Jonah Norason said,
    on November 7th, 2008 at 6:36 pm

    Someone posted this on YouTube a few days ago:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CNTXMScjqUc

    It’s the food court. I can’t tell which one was Eli’s, and its very eerie with not a soul there but the muzak vibrating across the empty halls.

    Jonah:

    My friend Daniel (see some comments from him above) posted that video. He was there on what I believe was the mall’s last day.

    He and I were there during the big auction back at the end of May.

    He was uber-jealous of my getting the architects drawings. ; )

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  378. Todd-The lights are off and the water will be shut off soon.I don’t know about the Sears and Penny’s doors but have heard that the mall has armed security 24 hrs.a day,7 days a week now.

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  379. Nice timing- where was the security 10 years ago?! : )

    Seriously, if the mall is going to be torn down or abandoned, WHY PROTECT IT?

    People tell me the REAL trouble around there is Hawkins Plaza- opinions/comments?

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  380. This is very very sad. I was hoping to come and see it one last time before it closed for good and now I won’t be able to. I live close to 300 miles from Akron and only got to see RAM once back in the summer. Our digital camera malfunctioned and lost most of our photos that my wife took. I am so bummed about that. She took some great shots of the surrounding exterior by where Dillard’s was and Target and Macy’s and such and they really captured the abandonment of it all and we’ve lost them. I wish we could get a second chance but that’s not going to happen now.

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  381. Todd-So sorry.Wish I could have met you and your wife. KB- I think the reason for the security now is because there are a lot of thieves going into abanded property and stealing copper and whatever else.

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  382. Oh that video of the food court brought back memories! Boardwalk Fries, Flaming Gyro, Wendy’s, Scioto (sp) Pizza, then I remember across was the Athletic Attic, and down by Penney’s was my favorite store, World of Science! Aww I miss RAM from the early 90s. Oh, on a side note, I live downtown Cleveland and our ‘dead mall’, the Galleria, is only crowded at lunch time in the Food Court. The connection between the two malls is that the Galleria STILL has a Flaming Gyro, and the guy that runs it was the guy from RAM’s location, I remember him distinctly. How weird is it they moved their eatery to another ‘dead mall’…

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  383. HEY MARY!!!! The mall is closed now it closed halloween nite. the theatre closed back in august for good. But I feel that the METRO centre should be taken down. I still wonder if JCPenny and SEARS will ever close.

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  384. Jackson Harris- JC Penny still does a really good business so I really can’t see them closing.Maybe moving but not closing.As for Sears’there does’nt appear to be many customers so I really don’t know what will happen there.

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  385. thnx mary

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  386. Yes, that was my Youtube video. :) I was standing right next to Eli’s — that’s the last thing you see in the video. I also have a video of the lower level, leaving the food court going towards Macy’s. I shot one of the upper level but my camera battery died as it was saving the file…

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  387. FORECLOSURE IS NEXT STEP AT ROLLING ACRES MALL: Rolling Acres for sale since November 2006

    Rick Armon, Th

    November 18, 2008

    Nov. 18–Rolling Acres mall is headed for foreclosure.

    Summit County Fiscal Officer John Donofrio said Monday that he will ask the county prosecutor to pursue an immediate foreclosure against property owner Invest Commercial LLC.

    The Beverly Hills, Calif., company owes about $269,000 in county taxes.

    “It’s just sad what’s happening out there,” Donofrio said about the mall’s decline.

    The Akron shopping center — which recently was closed with the exception of anchor stores Sears and J.C. Penney Outlet — was included in a bulk tax lien sale last week in an attempt by the county to collect the unpaid taxes.

    But Xspand, the New Jersey company that bought the bulk liens, asked that the lien for the mall be removed from the sale. Xspand was the only bidder.

    The lien apparently wasn’t considered a wise investment, county officials said.

    Investors buy tax liens in bulk and then attempt to collect the debt, with interest. They don’t own the property. Meanwhile, property owners who fail to pay the investor face possible foreclosure.

    Xspand declined to comment.

    Rolling Acres has been for sale since November 2006 with an asking price of $4.9 million. Michael Mirharooni, president and founder of Invest Commercial, purchased the mall for $1.7 million in July 2006.

    Tim Dimoff, president of SACS Consulting, who has been managing the mall and negotiating for a sale for years, said he was unaware of the foreclosure issue. But he added that he is still trying to sell the property.

    Rolling Acres, on Romig Road in southwestern Akron, opened in August 1975.

    Rick Armon can be reached at 330-996-3569 or rarmon@thebeaconjournal.com.

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  388. Oh great….foreclosure. Which means that it’ll change hands. AGAIN! What happens if there are no bidders and the city winds up getting it…then what?! It just sits there or do they actually have the money to get rid of it?? I’ll go with “it’ll just sit there” for 500, Alex.

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  389. Oh, dear… Could this be another Dixie Square???

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  390. I think so, Daniel. Just a matter of time before JCP moves to a standalone facility nearby (or is shuttered altogether). Despite doing good business, JCP is on a list of retailers being emailed around that are planning to scale back after Christmas. Could just be a rumor, but then rumors take on a life of their own when they keep getting posted online. Oops. : )

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  391. And Sears/K-Mart is heading for disaster, mark my words. I’m amazed they keep one open both at RAM and RPM. What are they thinking?!

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  392. I’ve found many a mall where Sears is the last holdout. For some reason they’re awfully reluctant to leave some malls, and very quick to leave others (such as at University Mall in Carbondale; they split in 1990 for another mall in nearby Marion).

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  393. Dont Sears own their buildings instead of lease them? If they do then i think that’s why you see Sears as a lone anchor in some dead malls.

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  394. KB -Penny’s own their building so it seems to make more sense to stay where they are.Also I was there last Sunday and it was so hot inside that they had their front doors open and I heard a lot of their customers complaining of the heat.

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  395. I’m curious to know what the mall entrances in both Sears and JCP look like now that the mall is closed. I remember JCP had the two glass entrance doors to the mall back in July. Are those doors still there and can you still see out into the mall?

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  396. Todd-Yes you can still see out into the mall fromJC Penny.They have a Christmas tree in front of it now.Sears has a big closing door so you can’t see the mall. .

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  397. This is probably a a stupid question, but how much can you see with the lights off in the mall? Does enough natural light come into the mall during the day to still see in there around the escallators through the glass doors of JCP?

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  398. Todd-Yes,you can see in the daytime.Not much.All I noticed was how dirty the floor was.

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  399. I just went to do mhy holiday shopping and the mall was locked! At 7pm on a weeknight? What gives?! I had to return something at County Seat and today was the last day! I also needed to go to Montgomery Ward’s and price snow tires. The whole home I was sliding all over Rt. 8. Ridiculous! Now I will have to make a special trip to Euclid Square Mall tomorrow during my lunch hour. At least I can eat at York’s steakhouse while I’m there. Yum.

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  400. KB-Maybe you had a little too much holiday cheer.I don’t remember a Couny Seat being at the mall,at least not in the last 10 yrs. And Montgomery Wards has been gone from there for ages.I hope you find your way to Euclid Square and have better luck there.

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  401. Methinks someone’s yankin chains because York was bought out at least 15-20 years ago and the name killed off at least 15 ago. Not to mention what you said, the others listed are long gone.

    The place is dead, victim of it’s surroundings and a police force who didn’t care. It’d have done better if Akron simply handed the zone to the suburb next door and let them take a shot after Akron PD got up and gave it the proverbial finger. It’s Dead Jim.

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  402. York’s steakhouse was too busy; I am going to try Mellet Mall this weekend. Perhaps Jewel Mart will have a good deal on the Garrard turntable I’m looking for (I want a changer, but the Best store I went to only had one of those changer/8-track combos).

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  403. Wendy’s near the mall has closed.

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  404. LOL KB…
    I went to get my pets some supplies at Doktor Pets by Montgomery Wards at RAM but they didn’t have what I wanted. Montgomery Wards had a good sale on stirrup pants so I bought some of those. So I had to head across the street to Gold Circle but they also didn’t have what I wanted, but I did buy some of those new Fruit Roll-ups that are advertised on TV. Finally I went to Zayre’s and they had the perfect pet supplies.

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  405. (Laughing) I think I saw you guys at RAM when I was buying some new sweaters at Merry Go Round!

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  406. The Wendy’s right by RAM has closed? My family and I ate at that Wendy’s when we came and visited RAM back in the summer. Things must look very desserted around there now.

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  407. Todd-Yes,they are closed.Arbys is still open.along with McDonalds,and the Fish and Chips are still open.Oh,the stripper bar,Gatsbys seems to be doing well,too.I don’t see many cars at Mahognys,the barbecue restaurant across the street,although they do have some good food.

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  408. Great memories of going to this huge mall in Akron all of the way from Canton with my family as a kid. I noticed some of the stores moving in and out in the 90′s but still went as I could get all of my shopping done on one stop. I live in Chicago now but was wondering about the place recently. A friend just emailed me some pictures that gave me the creeps.

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  409. I was at RAM Sears on black Friday, since I expected that I could avoid lines there. As it turned out, people were lined up at the entrances at 5 a.m., but I’m sure it was not as bad as some other locations. They had everything that I wanted from their ad, so I got a lot of Christmas shopping out of the way, while I had new tires put on the car. I got a free $60 gift card for buying them on black Friday morning. Plus they always give you a $5 coupon good in the store while the car is being serviced.

    The place was busy even later in the day, when I returned to pickup something that I forgot. An employee told me the mall closing hadn’t really had much of an effect on them, since it had few remaining stores anyway. They said Diamonds had moved to a new location nearby.

    One positive thing is that there are no longer any signs of the somewhat menacing groups of teens that used to hang out at RAM a few years back. I think their last remaining attraction was the theater, which closed over the summer. The mall is not actually IN a bad neighborhood. It IS nearby one, but it appears that there doesn’t seem to be a lot of attraction for non-shopping youths to spend the day at Sears and the JC Penney Outlet. I saw that Penney’s is now advertising on a large electronic billboard on I77. Perhaps they should note on there that the place is more safe for shoppers now.

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  410. It is so sad to see the area outside of the mall.Wendys is all boarded up,Diamonds mens Wear has gone in where the game room used to be next to Wendys and across the street from Arby’s where Leepeys was there is a used appliance store.

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  411. I’d be curious to see how the prices and selection have changed at Diamond’s. Things were at rock-bottom closeout prices when I was there, and they had merchandise that I swear was from the RAM heyday of the early 80s! I know the Sperry shoes I bought were both at least 15 years old or more. But they were never worn and they were super cheap, and for a preppy girl like me they were quite a find! I wonder if they have put out some of the other stuff from the stockroom.

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  412. JCPenney will not be scaling back. And I like going to Sears at RAM (just like I used to like going to the one at Randall Park when I lived near there) because there were no crowds and you can go in and get what you need and get out. The black friday crowds at RAM and RPM are a fraction of what they were at other Sears’ locations.

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  413. I was at the Sears at RAM back in the summer and it was very quiet there much like the mall was. What is the Sears like at RPM? Does it have the same kind of mall entrance as does the one at RAM?

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  414. According to Mall Hall of Fame, some place called Ohio Wholesale moved into the Target. What did they sell? When did they come? When did they leave? Did they open into the mall?

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  415. Jonah-I really do not know much about that place except it must have been a storage place.They were not open into the mall and I never saw anyone from there around the mall.Maybe some one reading this knows more.

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  416. From what I read about that somewhere, forgive me, I don’t remember where…possibly the Beacon Journal…anyway they were not an actual retail outfit. It was basically to be used as a warehouse/distribution hub but I don’t know that they ever actually moved anything in there. It looked deserted every time I went out there.

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  417. Hey Mary, you still around out there? Have you found something else? How is Eli doing?

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  418. Hi Erika,Yes I stillcheck in here occassionally.I am cleaning a bar part time now which is working out well .I have not talked to Eli for a few weeks now so I don’t know how his restaurent plans are coming along.I may call him in a few weeks.Nice to see that some one else besides me still thinks of this site.Have a nice day.

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  419. I still check here too. I don’t have the foggiset idea why RAM is such a great insterest to me but it is. I’ve only ever been there once.

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  420. My wife worked at JCP at RAM from the early 80s to the late 80s. At that time the mall was always busy.
    We were in the mall with our kids in March or April 2008. It was so sad to see the place we met for many dates in such a state of disrepair. We were both taken aback by the falling ceiling tiles, wet spots on the floors and echo of our footsteps in the once busy corridors.
    We have many good memories there. It was overwhelming to see it in that condition.

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  421. Todd-I have heard that there is water everywhere there now and that all the plants have died.But I did manage to save quite a few.Gave some to a friend and have a few here at home.

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  422. I was just out that way yesterday to get a lamp at the Penney’s Outlet. You could still see in the mall from the store, but they had the doors locked and big signs posted on them saying “NOT AN EXIT”. Just os there was no misunderstanding, they also put a big basket of socks in front of the doors.

    I walked from Penney’s to the main entrance and peeked in, I noticed duct tape wrapped around the door handles (?) and the back doors to the shops had red tape around the doorhandles. What the purpose of that was, I have no clue. I noticed how they didn’t even bother to put up a sign saying the mall was closed — the only indication anything was gone was the sign giving the new address for Diamonds.

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  423. Wow…the mall suffered a total death yet in the pictures it almost looks healthy…Auntie Anne’s…Target…a full food court…people…HVAC…looks great…and to think there was more….

    …wow.

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  424. I stopped in at Sears, Penney’s Outlet and Arby’s the other day with my kids. We found several Wii games and accessories at Sears that nobody had over at Summit Mall or Montrose. The employees went out of their way to be helpful there. You can’t see much in the mall from the old entrances, so it’s hard to tell if the melting snow is any more of a problem than in the past.

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  425. I’ve read this site for a while, yet never commented. I was one of those weirdos that went to RAM the last week it was open and took pictures. Oh, I’ll never forget when I was a little kid in the 70s and loved riding that glass elevator (of course, I had to ride it several times that day)! So very sad…a piece of childhood is gone. When I was an 80s teen, I would have sworn that if a mall in Akron were to die, it would be Summit.

    Summit was fun, Chapel was close, but if you wanted to shop…you went to THE ACRES!

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  426. Here are some of the photos I took throughout the past year at Rolling Acres… On my first trip there last March I told friends at that time “This place won’t be around for long.”

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/67661849@N00/sets/72157611313875912/

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  427. AWEsome pics, Daniel. Well done. Everyone should check ‘em out, and read his comments for each pic, too.

    He also has some great Randall Park pics.

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  428. Great, great pics Daniel. I posted before how I wanted to make the trip out there to take some final pics, but I never made it.

    I must be losing my memory, but some of those stores do not ring a bell, but most of those images brought back memories.

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  429. JP & I online at 3am. looking at the sad pics of Rolling Acres Mall. I think this mall is missed more than some realize. :( At least I have my memories :)

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  430. Excellent pictures. Thank you very much for them. When my wife and I were there back in the summer, our camera had a major malfunction and it turned out that all of our pictures were lost. Thanks to you, I can see what my camera missed.

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  431. Sorry to burst everyones bad bubble, but RAM is officially closed down. Its’ deserted, I know because I use to run around the whole mall for excercise with the old people. It was fun, but I do remember when RAM was a live. ^__^ Sorry guys but the only two stores that are open in that mall is Jc Pennys and Sears..oh and I forgot the Movie theater, which is run by the person entire family.

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  432. Sorry Newtou, but unless they have somehow reopened in a closed mall, the theatre is closed and has been since the end of summer ’08…

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  433. Nice images. Too bad, it’s closed down. I got there once and I should say I’ll never be able to go there again.:-(

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  434. I Remember my father took me here when I was 8 not long after it opened (1977-1978) I remember the place had a strange popcornish smell to it.

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  435. I heard that Sears is closing an additional 28 stores, in California and Ohio. I have to believe one of them would HAVE to be Rolling Acres. Has anyone heard anything?

    Is this mall going to just sit and rot like the eyesore that is Dixie Square Mall in IL? Or is there a wrecking ball in it’s future?

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  436. Cory,I drove by the mall today.There is a sign out front that says there will be an auction of the mall online on May1 at 1p.m. I did not get the details but it will probably be in the Beacon Journal later on.

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  437. It would be cool if they would open the mall up to the public one last time for people to look over before this auction takes place. I would definetly drive there to see it one last time if they did that.

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  438. That’s probably unlikely given the utilities are shut off. There is probably too much liability involved.

    I’m assuming most people who wanted to see it in person have already seen it, since its closing didn’t exactly come by surprise. The mall had been dwindling for a LONG time.

    A similar situation exists up the road at Randall Park. If you want to see it in person, GO NOW. Its not going to remain open forever, and no, once it closes it won’t re-open for onlookers either.

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  439. Cory wanted to know if the RAM Sears was closing as part of a company anouncement made in March. I have not found any articles that list the RAM store as part of those closings. However, the Sears in the closed Randall Park Mall is closing its doors.. The RAM Sears has signs that still indicate they are remaining open. They also have new spring/summer merchandise arriving, so it appears unlikely that they plan to close anytime soon.

    Eli is making progress toward re-opening the former RAM Big Star Pizza at his new location on Cleveland Massillon road in Copley, just north of the circle and Rt 162. He has spruced up the location formerly occupied by East of Chicago and has it looking cleaner than I’ve ever seen it. His signs are also up now, but he has a few more equipment installation inspections to pass, He said it will probably take a few weeks to get the remaining equipment ready to use and put on the finishing touches before opening.

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  440. Akron mall for sale in Internet auction

    Betty Lin-Fisher

    April 23, 2009

    Rolling Acres is going on the Internet auction block.

    The mall, which closed in October, when electricity was shut off for nonpayment, will be one of 50 properties offered in a live Internet auction on May 1.

    While the mall itself is closed, two remaining anchor stores, J.C. Penney Outlet and Sears, are open. A wholesale company uses the former Target building as a warehouse. None of the outside anchor stores, including the former Macy’s building, are included in the auction.

    The Web-based auction “really opens it up to national and international potential interested buyers,” said SACS Consulting President Tim Dimoff, who has been managing the mall and negotiating sale prospects for years for ownership company Invest Commercial LLC in Beverly Hills.

    Invest Commercial President and Founder Michael Mirharooni bought the mall in July 2006 for $1.7 million. In November of that same year, he listed it for sale for $4.9 million.

    Mirharooni has placed a “reserve” price on the property, which Dimoff doesn’t know, for the Internet auction.

    There continues to be interest in the mall, Dimoff said, despite the recession. Within the last two weeks, Dimoff said he’s given three potential buyers a tour.

    Details of the auction and property information about Rolling Acres and the other properties are online at http://www.naiglobal.com/powersale. It is being auctioned in a partnership between real estate firm NAI Cummins and Higgenbotham Auctioneers.

    The information on Rolling Acres does not indicate that the mall is closed. The information says the property is more than 570,000 square feet with 140 stores/units on 49.5 acres of land and says it is the second-largest mall in Northeast Ohio. Photos online show stores occupied and people walking in the hallways.

    Said Dimoff: “I think what they do is put their best foot forward. They showed some really nice pictures that don’t exist and are hoping people will at least look at it. Of course, they do explain to them when they call that it’s no longer open and the potential. They’re trying to show what it could be.”

    Tours in the dark

    Dimoff said a few potential bidders have called for walk-throughs of the building. Dimoff said he is showing the property “during the day with skylights and with flashlights” since there is no electricity.

    The online auction is not held like eBay, where people can bid for days, said Jim Owen, western U.S. division manager and lead auctioneer for Higgenbotham Auctioneers.

    People can watch the auction, which begins at 1 p.m., online, and auctioneers will run through each property and take bids at that time. The mall is number 16 on the auction block. The individual auction for a property usually takes about three minutes, Owen said.

    Owen said many corporations often use online auctions to sell properties and “most properties are not what you would say in a distressed” situation. Owen said his company and NAI Cummins are making sure potential buyers know Rolling Acres is not open.

    “We certainly don’t want someone to buy it thinking there are 140 open stores,” he said.

    Owen said he’d be speculating when asked whether commercial properties at auction sell for more or less than their typical real estate asking price.

    Asked whether there have been properties at auction that don’t sell, Owen said there was once a unique house in the Ozarks that a lot of people looked at, but no one bought. A property might also not get its reserve price, so it would not sell.

    “The auction method just puts a bigger spotlight on it and creates more urgency,” he said.

    Potential buyers must pre-register for the auction and place a $5,000 deposit. Within 48 hours of the sale, 10 percent of the purchase price must also be submitted or the sale goes to the next highest bidder, Owen said. Potential bidders must also furnish certain information to the company to verify they are a legitimate buyer, he said.

    If the highest bidder does not hit the reserve price, it’s still possible the owner could accept it, if it’s close, said Jennifer Fernandez, the area agent for NAI Cummins.

    Outstanding bills

    The mall’s owner will need a buyer to pay its outstanding bills.

    The company owes $305,244 to Summit County in delinquent taxes for the mall and a parking area — $224,781 for the main building and $80,463 for the parking area.

    County Fiscal Officer John Donofrio planned to request a tax foreclosure through the county prosecutor last November, but the company indicated it was close to selling the property, so the foreclosure request was postponed, said Shelley Davis, Donofrio’s chief of staff.

    The county is again planning to seek the tax foreclosure, she added.

    County leaders had not heard about the upcoming auction.

    “Hopefully, it will sell,” Davis said.

    FirstEnergy Corp. in February 2008 sued Invest Commercial in Summit County Common Pleas Court, saying nearly $130,000 was owed from Dec. 15, 2007, through Jan. 15, 2008. In late October, FirstEnergy notified the owner it would turn off the electricity within days. The owner then notified eight remaining tenants that they would have to leave.

    The case is scheduled for trial on July 23. According to court documents filed Dec. 19, 2008, FirstEnergy said it is owed $287,923.29 with interest. FirstEnergy spokeswoman Ellen Raines on Wednesday said she could not discuss an individual account and could not verify how much is currently owed.

    The city of Akron is also owed $11,382 for water, said Andre Blaylock, business services administrator for the Akron Public Utilities bureau. The city has not been paid since Sept. 3, 2008, and if the owner does not make payment, the account will be sent for collection, he said.

    Dimoff said Mirharooni has been unable to pay his bills.

    “All bills are still outstanding and upon sale of the mall, [Mirharooni] plans on paying his bills, but he doesn’t have the money to pay the bills until he sells the mall,” Dimoff said.

    Mirharooni’s bank has not begun foreclosure proceedings, and his investors are working with him through the sale, Dimoff said.

    “I think they’re obviously interested in working with him to get their money,” Dimoff said.

    J.C. Penney Outlet Store Manager Don Gozzard said the closing has not negatively impacted his store, and sales are encouraging. The store does not have plans to leave, he said.

    Sears spokeswoman Kim Freely said the company will monitor the situation as owner of its building.

    “We’re hopeful a developer who is able to return the mall to a vibrant shopping destination can be found,” she said.

    Dimoff said: “Realistically, once the mall is purchased, there may be an opportunity if someone has the ability to purchase it and has some money to revitalize the mall.

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  441. I’m sure I echo everyone’s thoughts when I say I have memories of Sunday afternoons strolling the mall while Mom shopped, Dad sat in the food court and we hit the music stores, Spencer’s and the Athletic Attic in the lower level across from the elevator. I met my first date there. when I got my liscense in 89, that was the first place I went. I remember the Gold Circle across the street, then Ames, Hills, Zayre’s, Ground Round, Coconuts, Children’s Palace, toys r us, ALL GONE! We kept waiting for someone to buy and get RAM back up and running. In the 90′s everytime a big store left, an African store came in. I remember when all the stores were full. Christmas it was shoulder to shoulder shopping. Is it at all possible that it may live again? The fountains on, stores running and that familiar popcorn smell? I thought that was just me! I was at Summit around Christmas and stores were missing and thr replacements were Arabian, Pakistani and African. So go tour Summit now because in 10 years it will see the same thing RAM is now.

    Suggestion to Smmit’s owner and RAM’s future owner. Take the area back. Put in high profile stores, Don’t let them go to Strip Malls. High Profile stores with prices and inventory eliminating the culture that ruined the area. Retake Romig Road and clean it up to the Glory Days.

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  442. Sean-Did you also read the online comments to the article?They really were not very favorable.

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  443. Mary,

    No I didn’t. I cut & pasted a reprint from Plain Vanilla Shell. Although that doesn’t shock me in the least.

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  444. Even though it’s a haul, I am definitely going to take the kids out to Big Star Pizza…I want to help give Eli some business. If his new place is as clean and high-quality as his grille was in the “ICU life-support” days of RAM, he should do well.

    Things aren’t good on the mall front here in NEO in general. Beachwood, which was THE supreme upscale place, is still said to be in peril due to the bankruptcy of the owner…I cannot IMAGINE it closing with anchors like Saks and Nordie’s, but then again in this day and age you never know. Chapel Hell (intentional misspelling) continues to be a parade of tackiness; they also insituted a curfew policy that states all patrons under 18 must be accompanied by an adult after certain hours. Guess the troublemakers and thugs have found a new home after running RAM into the ground.

    To me, the bigger question is why??? Why do people take pleasure in destroying things, in taking away things that used to be nice? Are they so self-important that they just don’t care about anything? Or are their own conditions so pitiful and miserable that they want everyone else to be miserable too? Because the more research I do on dying malls, the more evidence I find that the vast majority of the time, it’s two-bit wannabe Gs and ignorant, unsupervised kids that scare the paying customers away. Once the money flow leaves, it is only a matter of time. I know a lot of people have turned to internet shopping, but for me, it’s not the same. I like trying things on before I buy them, and I refuse refuse REFUSE to use credit cards; I don’t even own one…(it’s my little rebellion against the “man.”) So internet shopping is not really an option for me except with the VERY few retailers who are savvy enough to offer e-check as a payment option.

    I would imagine after sitting there without power for so long, RAM is overrun with critters and bugs. Probably makes for one heck of a dandy tour by flashlight! Can you imagine courting a prospective buyer in that place???? Gadzooks!

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  445. Good points, Erika. I’ve been wondering the same thing as people from NE Ohio tell me how Chapel Hill is going down the tubes. I couldn’t believe it till I realized the population there is getting pretty shady, and it’s like kryptonite to shoppers. They disappear in a heartbeat and NEVER come back. NEVER.

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  446. The Beachwood situation has nothing to do with the performance of the property itself. The mall’s owner, General Growth Properties, recently declared bankruptcy due to the staggering debt load (measured in the billions) they took on through acquisitions. They own literally dozens of the top malls in the country. There is a lot of disposable income in the area around Beachwood Place, and that is what the retailers are looking for. If you look around at most of the malls that are currently thriving in this country, it becomes clear that really the only ones left standing are all upscale in high income areas. Everyone else is doing most of their shopping nowadays in places other than malls.

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  447. LOOK LOOK LOOK! I made a page with links to all of the useful info on RAM (and RPM) I could find. No more sifting through Google’s pages about Rolling Acres pet farm:

    http://www.up-late.com/mall.htm

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  448. To fill up a mall as large as Rolling Acres is going to require a lot of perseverance. Making the rents as cheap as possible might be an incentive to lure local and national tenants back in, but it might also keep more upscale tenants away since they may seem intimidated by the cheap rental rates.

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  449. I was brought up in Akron now live in cincinnati. We got 2 malls here dying. Cincinnati mills (practically the best looking dead mall in America) and tri county (losing stores fast). I went a few weeks ago and took some pictures of RA. A woman came by in an unmarked mini van proclaiming to be security and asked me to not be too close to the building. I posted the pictures on the urban ohio website forums if anyone wants to see. The akron area needs more representation on that site. Personally I grew up in Kenmore. The Parents still live there. Its not really a bad area to live in anymore. Very quiet now I hear. A lot of people go to kenmore to play @ mud run golf course. RA could still thrive possibly. I`d give the back end of the parking lot to walmart in exchange for a supercenter. Akron proper does not have a walmart. Lure bass pro and IKEA into RA with remodeling and incentives. Give retailers a year free rent with a signed lease of 3 yrs. Take the roof off and have the top floor be like a legacy village/crocker park type. If the people of akron get behind it I’m sure it could be reborn. Save rolling acres! JME

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  450. Erika,Eli has run into a few problems on his opening of his restaurant but he is working on it.I will keep you posted.

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  451. Wow, I can’t believe how run down this mall is now. I remember going here as a kid, as a teenager hanging out with my friends, working at Kaufmann’s, shopping with my own kids, I could go on. It used to be a happening place even the surrounding businesses but now it’s a ghost town on Roming Rd. With the Mall on it’s last leg, Wendy’s looking like it was robbed and burned down since it went out of business, Children’s palace, Hills, Apples, etc. everything is gone. Heck McDonald’s is horrible with all the chuck holes the size of small ponds. It is truly amazing how poor the condition the area is. I hope they find a way to build it up again.

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  452. Or how about this… someone buys Rolling Acres and all the other vacant buildings along Romig Rd. and demolishes everything. Think of it this way, when an area’s fortunes turn bad, and its reputation goes with it, then the only way to revitalize what’s left is to wipe the slate clean and start from scratch. Since Sears and JCPenney aren’t represented at the Summit Mall a few miles away, they can stay at Rolling Acres and in turn, a new mixed-use development could be built in its spot. A new lifestyle center could be built on the former spot of the mall, but don’t just make it like any other center. Make it a two-story open-air center, set up in the same manner as the Gateway mall in Salt Lake City (www.shopthegateway.com).

    In addition to Sears and JCPenney, a megaplex theater could be thrown in, and an attraction in the likes of Gameworks or Dave and Busters could also be added. Across Romig Rd. a large strip mall anchored by a Walmart Supercenter and about 40 smaller shops could be built.

    It also makes me wonder why nobody bought the mall at the last auction, which was set at starting price of $2.5 million. Was the land included, which I’m certain is worth a lot more than the starting price. The neighborhoods to the west and northwest of the mall are pretty affluent, even the ones directly off of Romig Rd.

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  453. While it’s true that the bankruptcy of the parent company is what is primarily hurting Beachwood, believe me when I tell you that the atmosphere is not what it once was. I work in the area, and though I do not go to Beachwood as frequently as I once did, I know from personal experience as well as stories from locals that random groups of “non-shoppers” are starting to congregate there. With the economy seemingly hurting retail at ALL levels (the affluent are not exempt from the effects of this downturn; with what has happened to the stock market, other investments, and real estate, almost all sectors are feeling the pinch) a decidedly upscale locale such as Beachwood is not immune. In fact, the so-called “wave of the future” lifestyle centers are also seeing losses; there are recent closures at both Legacy Village and First & Main. Furthermore, the stream of “hangouts” does not hurt a mall like Chapel Hell as much as a Beachwood; if you have a few dollars in your pocket you might still be able to buy something in a lower-end mall. These people can’t afford to buy what Saks, Nordstrom, Guess, Lucky, Lacoste, J. Crew, and Brooks Brothers are selling.

    I do not mean to suggest that if you don’t have lots of cash to spend that you have no right browsing through a mall. What I am saying is that perception is key, and if there is a public perception that a mall is being overtaken by wandering groups of loud, unruly kids, the public will go away. There is always someplace else to go…for now. But perhaps if enough good retail destinations fade out, there will be so few left that the customers demand their turf back and refuse to be run out.

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  454. Gary-Alot of people have alot of ideas what could be done with the mall.A lot of good ideas,but it seems as if the people with the money just are’nt interested in Rolling Acres Mall.Look around at all the property in the area for sale or lease.

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  455. I was at Chapel Hell (as I call it) over the weekend, and I can safely say it should officially be considered on deathwatch. Another handful of stores have closed; most of those sit empty, though a couple have been replaced by “mom & pop” independent retailers. The Steve & Barry’s defection left an enormous shell that I doubt can be replaced with a single store; what’s going to come in? One of the jewelers flanking the center fountain court is now vacant as well. Aside from J.C. Penney, which seems to be trying very hard to re-brand itself and be competitive line and price-wise, I cannot see any reason why I would ever visit this mall again. And now that rumors abound of a brazen would-be child abductor (who supposedly twice grabbed kids in broad daylight right in front of their mothers but was thwarted by the pursuing moms) the safety perception is really taking a nosedive. I still liked RAM better!!!!!

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    Rondo Reply:

    @Erika,

    I agree with you comments on Chapel Hill.

    Are we the only ones who think it’s next on the deadmall list?

    I visited there once recently on a Saturday night and walked thru the mall with my family. Roving packs of loud, aggressive-minded ‘kids’ were everywhere.

    Needless to say, I won’t be back there again soon.

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    oldline70 Reply:

    @Erika,

    I think your comments about Chapel Hill are right on the money.

    I was there a couple weeks ago and it’s positively scary what’s happened to the area. The old Baker’s Square sits empty, the old Chi Chi’s in the Sears parking lot is basically some Chinese restaurant (is it even still in business) and old Forest City-Office supply building is now empty too (last held by some nondescript furniture store within the last couple years).

    A couple years ago we went thru CH on a Sat night and I don’t think I’d go back again…wandering packs of loud, aggressive “kids” walking 3-4-5 abreast. I didn’t feel safe there and I doubt I’d go there again.

    It’s sad what’s happening to our retail meccas around here.

    They basically need to blow up the whole Howe Rd. area (I’m thinking Chapel Hill Place) and refurbish it.

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  456. I have fond memories of, as a kid, going to Rolling Acres in its heyday. It was an impressive mall. It still could be but it has one thing that is making it impossible, it has a reputation. The stories of robberies, shootings, and abductions have taken a massive toll. Over a decade later it is still reputed to be an unsafe mall. I went there with my kids, to the Sears, less then a year ago. I was telling a friend about it and immediately heard “You went there alone? That’s not safe!” People don’t seem to realize that there’s pretty much no one there, including no trouble makers.

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  457. I took an art history class recently at the University of Akron. It was taught by Brian Ulrich, who recently won a Guggenheim Fellowship to photograph dead malls (I am sure it sounds more elaborate than just that in his proposal). Our class went with him and photographed Rolling Acres (Akron, OH). Later that week we photographed Montgomery Wards in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio which is supposedly going to be torn down. I went to Rolling Acres when I was growing up, took my children there often. While it is sad to see it in this state, I am not sure revitalization is the answer. Our economy is changing, is it possible we don’t need all this stuff? I will post my images at http://smugmug.com/jodyhawk
    You can see Brian’s work and read his blog at: http://notifbutwhen.com/
    Interesting page.

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  458. It was much better when it was a golf course before they built the mall. I worked at the Steak House there in 1979.

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  459. RAM appearance in documentary airing in Canada this Thursday… In clip @ 2:04

    http://www.cbc.ca/documentaries/docplayer2.html?maven_playerId=docportal&maven_referralPlaylistId=f21067aaabfdece3076458e7e035e69febe7cfe7&maven_referralObject=7477553

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  460. That’s Mall R Us, by the DeadMalls.com crew! It’s airing in Canada?! This Thursday?! Please, somebody record it!

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  461. Here’s something that nobody has posted here yet. Can anyone name some of the shops that were in the mall and give a time frame as to when they closed? Like the steak house and the bath and body works and such. I came to Rolling Acres in the Summer of 08′ and I never in all my life saw a place so large and so dead.

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  462. Many people say Chapel Hill will be the next area to fall like in the same way as Rolling Acres. There are several vacancies around the area. There is High Point Furniture at Midway Plaza, Value City Department Store, Marshall’s at the Plaza and Steve & Barry’s in the mall. Circuit City and Linens ‘N’ Things and Office Depot are also gone from there.

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    Andre Reply:

    @Ted,

    I disagree about Chapel Hill being on the decline.
    I few places you mentioned went out of business as a whole. Value City, Circuit City. Linens and Things are also struggling financially.Economy wise Akron can not afford just to have 1 mall. That hurts other franchises that are located near malls nationwide like red lobster, italian garden, bestbuy and so on.

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  463. Chapel Hill is most definitely on the decline. I was thee yesterday and I am amazed at the difference. I noticed they finally tore down the old Chi Chis (so sad!!!!) All that is left is the footprint and a bit of the foundation. I loved that place. It was where I went on the night of my 8th grade dance, it was the site of my first date with my husband on Halloween night in 1992, and I used to eat lunch there frequently when I worked at the mall’s Kaufmann’s in ’94-’95. I give Chapel Hill another 5 years, tops.

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  464. Is anyone checking in here anymore? I’ve read and enjoyed all your messages here. I hope Eli and Mary are doing well.

    I grew up going to RAM nearly every weekend from the mid 80s to early 90s. I got two of my Homecoming formals at Ormonds. Anyway, I recently had a dream about RAM and ever since have been wanting to visit. After much googling and being sad at the pictures I found I’m very disappointed to find I missed the Goodbye RAM Boat by about a year.

    If I go to JCPenny outlet is there anyway for me to get a peek at the mall portion through a window?

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  465. Erin,

    Yes I believe there are a few windows left at the upper level of JC Penney’s where they boarded the walk-through. Make sure you go in the daytime hours when there is daylight. The power is cut to the mall, so if you go at night you will not see anything

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    Todd Reply:

    So then, you can still see in the closed mall from inside the upper level of J.C. Penny’s?

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    Ed Reply:

    @Todd,

    Yes, that is correct. You can still look in at the front main entrance of the mall too. They have not boarded those doors up either.

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    Todd Reply:

    @Ed, I’m going to be coming through Ohio around Christmas time and hope to get a chance to stop into JC Penny and Sears and hope to get as many glimpses of inside the mall as I can. Is JC Penny and Sears still open and doing well?

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    Ed Reply:

    @Todd,
    Yes, both are open. JC Penny is always doing well. I think Sears, not so much. The parking lot is always very bare when we head over there. Only time will tell.

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  466. Hi,I don’toften come here anymore as there is not much to say. I am doing O.K. Eli is still having a few problems getting his restaurant opened.I noticed that the Goodyear Tire across the road from Rolling Acres has relocated.Still not much else going on in the area.

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  467. The furniture store at chapel went bankrupt and closed. There was a big store about this in the paper and closed. There was a big story about this in the paper a year or so ago because the owner did not inform his customers who never received their orders or had furniture on lyway.

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  468. I have alway’s enjoyed reading all the comments on the board first time commenting i have loved this mall and has been a big part of my life from the start watched it being built my grandpa was a contractor and laid all the floor that all those feet walked on through the mal i remember we got to see the fountain turned on and walk the mall berfore it opened august 1975 my i was 11 and it was so kool hearing that fountain throught the whole mall my grandma worked at the rite aid first then moved to the candy counter at monkey wards we alway’s called it that and we alway’s called it our mall we were never going to rolling acres we were going to our mall when i was 16 my grandma got me into monkey wards pare time and stayed with them till they went out of business and got hired at higbees then went on to stay through dillards left went it became a clearance center now am at the dillards at westfield mall so RAM was a big part of my life and seeing what has happened to the mall and heck the whole area is very sad i still go to penney’s outlet and sears call me a die hard i just have to shake my head in amazement to see how it stand’s today and remembering what it was in it’s glory day’s looking out the window’s at penny’s at a deserted decaying mall blow’s my mind i read alot about my mall most of it bad on other site’s most blaming the youth and the bad kid’s that killed it but you just can’t blame them you also have to look at forrest city who ran the mall and the decision’s the management made as well esp letting go of the off duty police and bringing in the rent a cop’s man they could not handle it i believe if the off duty police were not let go it would still be open and doing business today maybe not a full mall with every vacant storefront taken but still open i alway’s drive around the whole mall after i am done and noticed the old oneil’s building that some of the smoked glass abover the door’s in the front by the old perkins and the baxk by the movie’s were broken and around the building someone was doing some landscaping some tree’s were cut down and just laying there i almost wrote a book so let me stop you are truly missed my old friend by me and i am sure other’s so many fond memorie’s i have of you lot’s of good time’s i had there i know you will never come back just sit there and rot till you get torn down one day all that will be there is penny’s and sears what a site that will be to see only two building’s standing.

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  469. GMAN,Yes,Itis sad.Before I cleaned at the mall I used to drive a catering truck up there in the morning and at noon.It was one of my best stops,but one of the construction fore mans used to keep running me off but I kept coming back.Oh,for the good ole days.

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  470. I know that Chapel Hill has been discussed here before. Here’s a small, and not too flattering article about it:

    http://www.ohio.com/news/69610172.html

    On a unrelated note, has anyone been inside Parmatown lately? I’m guessing it’s about 50% occupied…it’s a shell of what it once was. In my estimation, the Dick’s Sporting Goods and the Wal-Mart are the only anchors that will be there in the near future.

    I might write a little more about it in the next few days if anyone’s interested.

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  471. JP: is Parmatown really on the decline? I remember it being a pretty decent mall back when I was a “mall afficionado.” What’s going on there? Losing all their traffic to South Park in Strongsville, I imagine. That is the nicest mall in N.E. Ohio now. (Yes, even nicer than Beachwood, even though the actual stores aren’t quite as high-end. Who is actually BUYING high-end now???)

    Chapel Hill is on dialysis and in need of a transplant. I wouldn’t call it “life support” yet, because the occupancy is still high. However, the occupancy QUALITY is where all the red flags are going up. Many of the national chain stores have fled, and rather than being replaced by other chains, the empty spaces are being modified for mom and pop shops with an urbanwear bent. Never a good sign. The only reason I ever go there is to visit one particular store that sells some cute, cheap clubwear; my “real” wardrobe is very conservative so I like to get my “party pieces” as inexpensively as possible. It’s sad because I remember when Chapel Hill was a very nice mall, albeit small. I have a lot of neat memories there.

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  472. Hi Erika!

    Parmatown has a unique approach…the spaces that are not occupied (there’s quite a few) have been boarded up, and serve as ad spots.

    There is a long corridor that connects the mall to Wal-Mart: almost all of it consists of ads for waterproofing, home improvement services, etc. Back in its prime, those walls housed an eyeglass store, a vitamin store, an upscale men’s clothing store, and so on.

    That’s just the Wal-Mart end. The opposite side of the mall is similar: where stores once operated, these same form of signs exist for services and such. It’s a better approach than what RAM did, which was really nothing at all. It does look overly commercial, though.

    I might not being painting the correct picture. You’d have to see it for yourself, I imagine. There is an “empty” vibe all thoughout the mall. It really is a shell of what it once was. It doesn’t look or feel tacky or dangerous, like RAM did toward the end.

    I live near SouthPark, and it is *very* busy on weekends. I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

    Just another sign that ParmaTown is hurting: here’s an article from January about the B. Dalton they lost. That bookstore was there every since I could remember…and now it’s gone. It’s been covered over, too. Last time I was there, it was used as a display for other shops in the mall:

    http://blog.cleveland.com/parmasunpost/2009/01/parma_b_dalton_to_close_parmat.html

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  473. I drove by Rolling Acres late Monday night…it was odd seeing such a huge space completely un-lit. From the street, I could see the outline of the building, but without any lights at all it was quite odd.

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  474. More on the Chapel Hill situation. Shoe Carnival moved into the old Steve & Barry’s and is now HUGE! The space next to that where it was though now sits empty. The Petland store was shut down by the company that owned it after a picture appeared on Myspace of a store employee holding two dead rabbits that she allegedly drowned(she pleaded guilty to 2 counts of animal cruelty and was sentenced to a suspended sentence and 90 days probation) but a new store just recently opened there which looks like it sells products for disalbled kids. One of the jewlers( I think it was Zales) shut down because they went bankrupt and closed every location. KB Toys closed last February but a children’s clothing store called Diddles opened there. Alvin’s Jewlers just announced that they have fallen on tough financial times in the current economy and will close all thier stores (including Chapel Hill) in mid-January. Around the mall, the old Chi-Chi’s in front of Sears was torn down. The old Value City Department Store had a fixture liquidation from mid-September to mid-October but no one seems to have bought it yet. On the Cuyahoga Falls side of the area a new Walgreens was just built and opened. The old Marshall’s, Linens ‘N’ Things and Circuit City remain empty. Giant Eagle(the former Tops Supermarket) is expanding and when it’s done it will be one of the Akron area’s largest groccery stores. The area shows only signs of growth with little to no signs of death…

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  475. I drove past Rolling Acres Mall yesterday on the way to visit some family and just had to drive around the perimeter to see how bad it actually is. I have lots of memories from the mall. I was surprised to still see Sears and the Penney’s Outlet still alive, though barely considering it is less than a week before Christmas. I am actually looking for a place to host an event and believe it or not, the mall is perfect in its current state. I am having a hard time finding any sort of contact info to talk to the owners/management about hosting the event. Would anybody here happen to have any leads?

    Happy holidays!

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  476. Nick K I don,t know what you have in mind but the inside of the mall has no water, heat or electricty.Did you try calling the number outside the mall that had it up for auction? Also’ thereis a lot of available property in the area.

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  477. For me it all went down hill once Marc’s and Target closed down I went to Marc’s when it was closing but I don’t remeber what it was like. I never went to Target when they were closing. If any of you went to Marc’s and Target when they were closing please tell me what it was like.

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  478. Mary, the event I am trying to host is a military simulation know as Airsoft. It is similar to paintball however we use plastic BBs fired with less energy out of guns that are 1:1 replicas of the real thing. Since our BBs don’t leave visible marks, determining if you are hit is based solely on Honor.

    My team has hosted events in Hubbard at a Multi-Gen Recreational Facility which used to be an elementary school. We obviously clear such an event with local authorities and get insurance to protect the property owners and ourselves as organizers.

    In regards to no utilities, it is perfect. People who play airsoft on the level of the event we would be hosting are used to wearing 40 pounds of gear, long sleeves and pants out in 90+ degree weather and in the freezing winters of Ohio. We’re used to not having anything provided by the event organizers.

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  479. My question is do they still have Mall security and the food mall?

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  480. I suppose this is off-topic, but the Waldenbooks at Great Northern will be gone forever in 6 days. I was there today (10-20).

    It was operating from at least as far back as 1993. I remember being in school and shopping there back then.

    Kind of a shock to see it on the way out. The rest of Great Northern appears to be doing fine, but this is another loss of a childhood hangout.

    [Reply]

    Allan Reply:

    @JP, I know what you mean! My local Waldenbooks that first opened in my tween years(and opened as far back as the rest of the mall did) disappeared last fall, as part of the nationwide round of store closures. It was the location at Lincolnwood Towne Center, which opened in 1992, and this mall has been owned by Simon for its entire life(and since the mall’s completion in IIRC, ’92).

    It was slightly surprising to me it lasted as long as it did, due to the fact there’s a regular Borders just over a mile south of there for years. The Chicago area is now down to 2 Waldenbooks as a result of the closures last fall(one being a converted Borders Express at Chicago Ridge Mall, and a unconverted Waldenbooks at the downtown Ogilvie Metra station/terminal). If infrequent Waldenbooks store closures here and there(and probably b/c of expiring mall leases) continue to occur, I would(sadly) not be surprised.

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    nanette Reply:

    @JP, i think the mall should come a casino
    it would put somthing in kenmore to do and give us jobs,Really tired of cleveland getting everything who wants to drive that far with gas prices.

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  481. I am so glad I ‘obtained’ several pieces of the mall. I have a floor tile from around the fountain, a letter from the marquis of the cinema, one of the large “rules” posters, a blank “rolling acres” poster, and (though I have misplaced it at the current moment,) a piece of the aluminum criss-cross ceiling. I will cherish these relics until the day I die.

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  482. Hi all,Well Eli finally got his pizza place open in Copley.He said his menu will be triple what he had at Rolling Acres Mall.I wished him luck and will be going out to see him.

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  483. For dinner this evening, I stopped in to Eli’s Big Star Pizza. (Now in Copley near the circle) Mary is right: His menu is everything he had in both restaurants in the mall plus a lot more. He’s added quite a few Lebanese selections as well. I’ll have to try some of those next time, since I had to have the pizza today.

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  484. I just got an interview at the sears in Rolling Acres Mall. Do you think it is legitimately safe to work there??

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    Prange Way Reply:

    Yes, of course it’s safe!

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  485. I still dont know why the building is still there. No plans have been made yet, its just sitting there like a rock! but Sears and JCPenney are still there.

    I heard that JCPenney Outlet is doin a hell of a buisness right now, sears isnt doin too bad.

    plans need to be made for this place, i heard a recreational center was supposed to be put in, but i think that dropped.

    If i bought the place, i would use it as an arena for sports events. I would even put in a ice hockey rink in the old target store. LOL

    Put in batting cages, BIG SCREEN TV’S!, locker rooms for the hockey rink, recreation center ad much more. But It would be hard cleaning that big place and stuff like that. The memberships would be high!!

    Im serious. To keep that building in shape the prices would be quite high!

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  486. I drove around the mall this evening just for the heck of it. I noticed something I’ve never seen before by the O’neil’s/May Company/Kaufmann’s/Macy’s entrance next to the theater. A cement structure, possibly a birdhouse? I wondered how long it’s been there and what, exactly, it is. Any ideas?

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  487. Hello everyone.

    I am the founder of a car club by the name of EuroVagens… My crew has been cleaning up there for some time.. removing left over tires and crap like that. Anyhoo… we are holding an event up there July 17, 2010… Tomorrow we will be cleaning (weed eating and such) to prepare for our event.

    We are lucky the owners or management that is giving us the ok.. and the local businesses like Sears and Firestone are excited because they hope it will bring them some business..

    Anyhoo… you can find more information about the event @ http://thehunt.eurovagens.com

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  488. The people ruined the mall !

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  489. Rolling Acres in NY Times today!
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/18/magazine/18FOB-wwln-t.html?ref=magazine

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  490. This makes me so sad. I don’t drive by the mall often these days (I’ve moved east of Cleveland) but the sight of it makes me cry. Had my first job there at Cargo Express. I lived at the bookstores. I bought my prom dress there. It’s where I walked to from Kenmore when I was ticked off at my parents. So many good times. The videos from just before it closed on Youtube always have me in tears.
    I can’t imagine anyone taking on the place, although someone has moved in and renovated the old Handy Andy’s. This mall is in such disrepair that it would cost millions to get it back into inhabitable shape. I’m waiting for the day when they announce that it’s being torn down. I will have to be there to say a tearful goodbye to an old dear friend. :(

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  491. Me again!

    I was back at Parmatown yesterday (Aug 2)…the mall is looking rough.

    It reminds me of Rolling Acres a few years before its ultimate demise. It’s hanging on for now (the anchors appear to be doing well) but the mall itself can’t last when its only about 40% occupied. Entire wings are vacant.

    It will be “game over” in about 3-4 years.

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  492. Just checking in to see if anyone has any news. Also wanted to give my latest Chapel Hell update. There are multiple attempts to revitalize going on in the area, but the mall itself continues its slow fade. I swear, every time I go in there (why do I continue to go there!!!???) another national retailer has been replaced by an independent. Now there is some weird store that looks like something you’d find in a tourist trap; it sells Indian-themed, seemingly handmade clothing, lots of hippie-dippie stuff. Reminds me of some of the places in the tiny towns of Southwest Colorado. I don’t know how that huge incarnation of the shoe store can possibly maintain itself in the Steve & Barry’s spot. All that did was move the location of the empty hole.

    My own little pipedream is that the miserable eyesore known as Stow-Kent Plaza gets torn down. Chapel Hill closes, and a new, moderately-sized (not behemoth) enclosed mall goes in where the plaza was, using the existing, freestanding Macy’s as an anchor. Fill it with stores that the kids in the area: Stow, Kent, Falls, Tallmadge, Ravenna, etc. will want to shop. Put in an Abercrombie, and Aeropostale, a Hollister…stores that you currently have to drive all the way out to Summit Mall to visit. The area is certainly bustling with nice, clean, suburban retail. There’s a big Target, a Kohl’s, a Hobby Lobby, Five Below, and lots of small retailers right across the street. Especially since the Kent mall never happened, when it was supposed to be at the point of literally breaking ground in 1992, it would keep people from having to travel so far for good stores, or drive over to Howe Ave for crappy stores.

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    David Cross Reply:

    @Erika, I am seeing the thugs starting to show up & harrass customers just like @ rolling acres.

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  493. I grew up in Rolling Acres mall in the 80′s and 90′s. I was there every sat with my girlfriends for 5 or 6 hours. doing everything from playing in the game room, going to the movies, going to get matching outfits, getting pictures taken, eating at the food court. My mother and aunts would also spend lots of time there. it was the place to shop, though i have always lived in east akron we would always shop there. I don’t know what the downfall was b/c u can’t just say it was the kids or crime because the kids go to chapel hill and summit mall now and they haven’t missed a beat. the whole top of the hill is a ghost town, nothing but mcdonalds has survived the close of the mall. as of today Oct 4 2010 only Sears and JCPenny outlet remain. And I don’t know how sears makes it cuz there is never anyone in there. i don’t see them being there much longer, that’s a money pit. not enough business to pay the clerks. it is so sad, we have so many good memories there and for it to come to this is terrible. i think someone can revitalize it make it a mixed bag of retail, sports club, i mean it can work

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  494. Hi All,Just thought I would stop by.Have not been here for a while.All is well with me About 7 yrs. or so ago some one threw about 100 or so feeder goldfish into the fountain.Daytime workers fished them out.No one wanted them.My boss,Alice gave them to me.I was giving them away to any one who wanted them but still ended up with 50 or more at home.Goldfish everywhere in bowls all over my house.Bought a 20 gal.fish tank,they kept growing.Had to get a 155 gal. tank.They still kept growing.Sold off a lot to a local pet store.Well,the last one finally died yesterday.My last link to Rolling Acres.I was in Sears a month or so ago,an employee told me there was a lot of noise going on inside the mall so I don’t know what that is all about.As far as I know Eli is still in Copley in business.

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    Pseudo3D Reply:

    @Mary, sadly, they’re probably gutting the building down to the barest walls if possible. Everything salvageable is probably being removed. I think that the mall could make nice offices, though.

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    Gary Reply:

    @Pseudo3D, either that or they’re in the process of demolishing the structure.

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    Pseudo3D Reply:

    Yes, “gutting the building down” is the first step to demolition. Once they’ve taken everything that can be used, sold, or worth anything, it’s the wrecking ball for it.

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  495. Hi,Psudo3D,maybe,don’t know.Anyways correction on my last post.It’s not a155 gal.fish tank I have.It’s a55 gal.tank.I was tired last night.

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  496. Much obliged for providing some savvy suggestions on this topic. I have sought out a good variety of good suggestions about natural health and some poor ideas. Do you have any more reliable recommendations or places on the Internet that I can find more detailed ideas? This would be much appreciated! So, keep up the good work!

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  497. I see the former Target is up for sale.Would’nt it be hard to tear down the mall with that store,Penneys, and Sears as anchor stores?

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  498. I took a stroll through Summit Mall on Thursday (11-11-2010),

    I was really suprised at how lively the mall was. All of the stores had a modern look to them, and I didn’t notice any vacant spots.

    It’s nice to see that not all of the Akron area is in a freefall state.

    Summit Mall is looking good, and should have a bright future for quite some time…

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  499. Our family just a dead malls tour this past weekend in Ohio. I was really fascinated by Rolling Acres and how it is has two busy anchors, but you can’t get into the mall that connects them! The best we could do was to go to the parts of the stores where they connect to the mall and peek behind clothing to look into the mall. Nobody seemed to care about us doing this (and taking pictures) People were in the mall removing insulation. The JC Penney had such an old school feel, the carpeting, the escalators, I was back in the ’70s! Took lots of pictures. Must of looked nuts. It also smelled “old”.

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  500. They just announced that Rolling Acres has been sold for $3 million to an investment group out of Cali.

    Adrienne, can you post or link to the pics you took inside of the JC Penny’s?

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  501. Lets hope they will return this mall to its intended design – start by revamping that food court with a mod feel- drop the 80′s look. The Court of 12 trees would be awesome to re-launch and have shops that focus on green items etc. The elevator should be painted bright yellow and the fountains fixed. The clips I have seen on U-tube seem to suggest the flooring could be restored -cleaned up . The roof-lots and I am sure the plumbing all have issues- by now. Has anyone checked the recent condition of the mall ?I would love to see the main portions on this mall recovered. @MARY – I HOPE YOU ARE WELL AND WISH YOU A WONDERFUL HOLIDAY !

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  502. I’m pretty sure that Rolling Acres as we knew it is gone for good, and being a retail mall is extremely unlikely.

    Here’s what was said.

    “After four years on the market, Premier Ventures LLC of Irvine, Calif., has acquired the mall for $3 million. What’s in the works is a mixed-use redevelopment, facilitated by the city’s decision to rezone the land (about 50 acres) two years ago to allow for more uses. Potential uses now include business and medical offices, call centers, and college and vocational training classrooms. The zoning continues to allow retail and restaurant uses.”

    It’s likely the building will be demolished or gutted. Realistically, the thing that would make it look closest to a mall is carpeting the corridors and turning the retail storefronts into offices.

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  503. Marge Thank you and have a Merry Christmas.Yes I am doing O.k. I don’t believe Rolling Acres will ever be a mall again Th e new owners better have a lot of money as the inside of the mall is really a mess.I do not see anything happening soon and it would be hard to demolish he mall with the 3 anchor stores unless they bought them.Oh,well we will just wait and see.

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  504. Sears is done at Rolling Acres. Last day will be April 3, 2011.

    http://www.cleveland.com/business/index.ssf/2011/01/sears_store_at_former_rolling.html

    AKRON, Ohio – Sears Holdings Corp. is closing its store at the former Rolling Acres Mall on Romig Road, permanently cutting about 85 jobs on or around April 3.

    “The store is closing for poor performance,” said Sears spokeswoman Kim Freely. She said the April 3 date is tentative and that liquidation sales start Jan. 15.

    She said the Akron store’s closing is unrelated to other closings nationwide, including a Kmart in Hamilton, Ohio closing March 27 that employs 79 people.

    All together, Sears Holdings is shuttering four Sears, six Kmarts and two Sears Essentials stores, which are Sears-Kmart hybrids.

    The Akron Sears was one of the original tenants when Rolling Acres opened in 1975 and stayed open, along with a J.C. Penney Outlet store, when the mall closed on Oct. 31, 2008.

    But the site was hurt by competition from other shopping centers. Tenants came and went, and thousands of dollars in property taxes and other bills remain unpaid.

    “I’m not surprised by (Sears closing), because there can’t be that much business at Rolling Acres right now,” said Connie Krauss, director of community and economic development for Summit County.

    “It’s just been a constant out-migration of stores. I can’t even remember the last time I was at Rolling Acres Mall.”

    She said a previous developer had plans for the site, but couldn’t do anything because Sears and J.C. Penney refused to give up their spaces.

    When Premier Ventures LLC, an investor group in Irvine, Calif., bought the mall building and parking for $3 million on Nov. 2, it reinvigorated hopes the property could be rebuilt.

    Tim Dimoff, president of SACS Consulting Inc., who manages the vacant mall, said the new owners had nothing to do with Sears’ decision.

    “It does not change our plans for the project,” which he said include a thorough assessment and “looking at every possibility.”

    Krauss said: “It’s one of those pieces of property we know has good potential, but we haven’t found a great use for it yet.”

    J.C. Penney could not be reached for comment.

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  505. JP The Akron Beacon Journal has a story n the front page today,too.I can’t help but wonder if the suppossedly new owners had something to do with that.I guess we will just have to wait and see.I am suprised to see McDonalds still open.They have a good morning business but I don’t see many cars there for lunch or dinner when I go by .Gatsby’s Night Club is doing good along with J.C.Penny Outlet store.

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  506. Hello Mary.

    Is the Arby’s in front of the mall still open?

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  507. Pity Sears is closing. Good news is that may help redevelopment.

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  508. Despite Sears’ departure, they still own the building they are vacating. The developer needs to come up with a plan to acquire those empty anchor buildings including JCPenney, if they also decide to vacate in the near future.

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  509. JP -No.Arby’s closed suddenly about a month ago.Mc Donalds,Taco Bell and the Fish and Chips are still open as is the Mexican restaurent down the road.

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  510. This was posted in the Beacon today the mall is done.
    http://www.ohio.com/news/break_news/114496299.html

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  511. It’s looking like the JCPenney Outlet at the mall is going to close down per reports. Apparently JCP is closing all of their outlet stores.

    http://www.bizjournals.com/louisville/news/2011/01/24/jcpenney-closing-department-outlet.html

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  512. And it’s official: J.C. Penney Outlet at former Rolling Acres Mall to close

    http://www.ohio.com/news/break_news/114496299.html

    J.C. Penney was the last retail holdout at Rolling Acres. I wonder how long now before the wrecking ball arrives.

    [Reply]

    FNLN Reply:

    @Gary,

    The company that bought the mall (some property development firm from California) is planning on turning it into a “mixed use” facility; ie, doctor’s offices, regular offices, call centers, tech colleges and some retail mixed in as well. It’ll take a lot of capital though, I don’t think anything short of a full interior and exterior remodel would make much of an improvement.

    Of course, that could just be a pipe dream on their part. I think the property has changed hands 4 or 5 times since 2005. The city of Akron now considers the Romig Road area commercially unviable so take any chance of Rolling Acres re-opening as anything with a grain of salt.

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  513. Can anyone take pictures of the inside?

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    Pseudo3D Reply:

    @Pseudo3D, the JCP, I mean.

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    Joseph Reply:

    @Pseudo3D, WKDD did took some snaps on video. see http://www.wkdd.com

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    Pseudo3D Reply:

    @Joseph, it’s a radio station, and it doesn’t look they have anything in their “photos” section. Maybe got the wrong website?

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    Annissa Reply:

    @Pseudo3D, I found this video on youtube from 2009. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sx44szv5pK4

    I’d pay to see what it looks like now.

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  514. Well, crap. I heard about sears closing, but now that JCP is closing too….ouch. I’m really wanting to get into the mall just for a few remembrance photos. I know electricity, water, and heat are out. Anyone have any leads/resources I might be able to use? I’ll definitely share anything I get.

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  515. Rolling Acres Mall and Randall Park Mall had some good memories. Sorry about the two malls being defunct malls. I been to Rolling Acres Mall once but I been to the Sears store in Rolling Acres about two to three times. I been to Chapel Hill Mall many times. That mall is still open and doing well. I been to Southern Park Mall in Boardman once. I been to Summit Mall quite a few times. Hopefully Sears will become one of the anchors in Summit Mall

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  516. How sad. I remember being a child and how exciting it was to drive all the way from Wooster to visit this mall (late 80s to late 90s) when I would stay with my grandparents. This was where I got to spend my birthday money every year. Who knows how much change I threw into that fountain as a kid, let alone how much money I spent there, LET ALONE how much my grandparents spent on their only grandchild. I always loved the kite decor inside, and I remember entertaining myself with the wavy mirror in the children’s department in JCPenney. How many times did I sit on Santa’s lap in this mall? How thrilling it was to go to Babbage’s! I still remember the excitement of buying my first copy of SimCity and Civilization II that just doesn’t compare to picking something up from Walmart or ordering something (or worse… DOWNLOADING) from the internet. But I do remember feeling at risk in my later years of visiting… the place FELT unsavory after the mid-90s. There were fewer and fewer people around each time we visited.

    Perhaps our plastic society isn’t so plastic after all.

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  517. What was the popcorn place called in there that sold colored popcorn and colored dipped pretzles ? Loved it as a kid! Please help

    [Reply]

    matt Reply:

    @Jec probably cut the mustard, on the second floor mezzanine by the entrance to penney’s. you might remember the giant clown mural on the facade if that’s the one. (the unit was eventually turned into a babbage’s.)

    [Reply]

    matt Reply:

    @Jec, okay, if I had read all the comments before posting my reply, I might have read that several people already talked about cut the mustard AND have remembered that you were probably thinking of Karmelkorn, also in the mezzanine area but on the first floor on the opposite side from ctm.

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  518. I wrote about Parmatown in the past, and I predicted its demise.

    While it’s not officially over, the mall is headed down that path, no question about it.

    If you have memories of the mall, check it out before it is too late.

    By the way, there is no way the mall is “70 to 75 percent occupied”. I’m guessing 50 percent, max.

    http://www.cleveland.com/business/index.ssf/2011/07/parmatown_mall_will_be_put_up.html

    Parmatown Mall will be put up for sale; receiver readies to take control of debt-laden property

    PARMA, Ohio — One of the region’s largest shopping centers will be put up for sale, as a court-appointed receiver takes control of the debt-burdened Parmatown Mall.

    Members of the Miller, Ratner and Shafran families – the founding families of Forest City Enterprises Inc. of Cleveland – have been struggling with the 1.1 million square-foot property, potentially worth less than half of its mortgage.

    Now the ownership group and a lender have agreed to put the mall in outside hands.

    “They were really jointly working together to resolve the problem,” said David Browning, managing director of the CB Richard Ellis brokerage in Cleveland and the receiver appointed by a Cuyahoga County judge to manage, maintain and sell the property.

    Parmatown Mall is not affiliated with Forest City Enterprises, a publicly traded real estate company with a national footprint.

    The shopping center is owned by Parmatown One LLC, a company whose members include Sam Miller and Albert Ratner, Forest City’s co-chairmen emeritus.

    Managed by RMS Investment Corp. – another Miller, Ratner and Shafran-family company – the property includes a mall, a strip shopping center and two office buildings on 83 acres.

    Several national tenants trickled out during the last 10 years, but the mall still boasts anchors including JCPenney, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Macy’s and Walmart.

    Bob Gephart, executive vice president for RMS, estimated that the mall is 70 to 75 percent occupied. Traffic is steady, but the property isn’t generating enough money to cover its operating costs and Parmatown One’s mortgage payments.

    “This is a property that has been meticulously maintained by RMS,” Browning said. “That’s not the issue here. There is significant indebtedness.”

    Parmatown carries about $63 million in debt, the remaining principal on a $69 million mortgage that was bundled with other commercial loans and resold to investors. But the property is worth only $29.7 million to $42 million, according to court records and loan-servicing reports complied by Bloomberg News.

    U.S. Bank, the trustee for the mortgage-holders, said that Parmatown One has defaulted on conditions of its loan. Late last month, the bank asked the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court to appoint a receiver to protect the value of the shopping center and prepare it for sale.

    Judge John P. O’Donnell approved the request for a receiver last week. The official management transition likely will occur Aug. 1, Gephart said.

    “We have been funding all operating deficits up to this point,” he said. “We went to the lender to work out some sort of workout with them, and this is what both parties deemed to be the most feasible to do.”

    Parma Mayor Dean DePiero sees a change in ownership as an opportunity, after years of talk about Parmatown revival projects that failed to materialize. DePiero, who buys his suits at JCPenney and shops at Dick’s, believes the sprawling property still has a future as a mall or mixed-use redevelopment.

    “I don’t know that the commitment’s been there over the last few years to make the mall successful, frankly,” he said. “(The owners) may not agree with that, but that’s my honest assessment.”

    [Reply]

    Rich Reply:

    @JP, So Parmatown is a tax write-off for the the families who are major stockholders in Forest City (which developed the property). How did it wind up with all that debt, given the lack of investment and who are the people who;ll get stiffed. Frankly, this is more interesting than whether it survives.

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    JACK Reply:

    @JP,
    Parmatown has been struggling for many years. And it’s reputation has been struggling even longer.

    The mall is not easily accessible, compared to other malls in the region, like South Park Mall in Strongsville and Great Northern Mall in N. Olmsted (which is undergoing ANOTHER renovation).

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  519. 10-10-2011

    Stopped into the JC Penney Outlet today…it’s actually appears to be doing OK.

    I peered through the windows located in the back of the second floor, that allow a tiny glimpse inside Rolling Acres Mall.

    I couldn’t see much, but aside from a good amount of debris on the second floor, the mall didn’t look all that different from the time I stopped in back in May of 2008.

    That’s a joke, sort of…I expected to see the interior to be in much worse shape, but all considering, it’s holding up. As we all know, the mall is dead and isn’t coming back.

    Anyway, Sears is long gone, and the surrounding area is in bad shape. JC Penney is hanging tough, for now at least.

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  520. Rolling Acres has become pretty much a stretch of nothingness, it’s sad really. I grew up going to the mall, got my very first job there working at Sears. In the last 15 years I’ve watched the stretch of Romig Rd from Kenmore St to Hawkins “die off” so to speak. To just look through the doors from JCPenney’s into the mall is heartbreaking, and just take a drive around the building,,,it gets worse. The broken mirror like glass, boarded up doors, overgrown ivy-like weeds, trash and then the parking lot itself. Which I imagine to be quite similar to driving on the moon. I would love to see someone come along and breathe life back into the area, but sad to say…that’ll probably NEVER happen.

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  521. Have any of you been to Chapel HIll Mall?

    That one’s next on the deadmall list.

    [Reply]

    joe Reply:

    @Hank,

    lol no it won’t. that mall serves most of summit and some of portage county…it’s not going anywhere

    [Reply]

  522. I want to fly to Akron from where i live in Seattle and spend a nite camped out at or near the mall. Will I get attacked by negroes ? Please tell me….

    [Reply]

    David Cross Reply:

    @ringo barr, Im not being funny but there was a chance that could happen since thugs still run in that area

    [Reply]

  523. Our favorite dead mall is in the news. This time, they found a body left by a serial killer. Yikes.

    http://www.newsnet5.com/dpp/news/local_news/akron_canton_news/body-found-in-shallow-grave-behind-akron-mall

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  524. My friend Missy and I went to Chapel Hill for the first time Tuesday.

    We didn’t check out everything, but from what I saw, the mall looked to be busy enough, and not unpleasant at all.

    Granted, this is Christmas time, so I don’t know how the mall is at other times, but it looked good enough to me.

    We only had enough time to pop into the food court and the FYE.

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  525. I’m in that mall all the time and its just as busy as Summit Mall. Without it people in Portage and most of Summit wold have to drive way out of there way to just to go to a mall so I don’t see it closing any time soon.

    [Reply]

    Ted Reply:

    @Dan, There are other shopping centers near Chapel Hill that do better business. Besides all the punks who frequented Rolling Acres are at Chapel Hill now.

    [Reply]

  526. http://www.cleveland.com/business/index.ssf/2012/01/macys_closing_underperforming.html

    “PARMA, Ohio — Macy’s long-expected decision to close its Parmatown Mall store this spring will open the door to new opportunities for the mall, said Parmatown Mall Manager Dave Browning.

    Macy’s departure will help the mall redevelop and reconfigure the mall on the heels of what he called “a strong Christmas sales period.”

    The 288,000-square-foot Parmatown Macy’s, opened in 1960, is both the largest and oldest store that the Cincinnati-based department store chain is closing. Macy’s is closing four other stores nationwide while opening five others, none in Ohio.

    The 94 full- and part-time employees at the Parmatown store will receive severance, and some could be offered positions at other Macy’s stores. Clearance sales start Sunday.

    “Although sad, this announcement was not completely unexpected,” the City of Parma said in a news release. “Macy’s has closed several Ohio stores almost yearly since 2005 in response to an ever-competitive retail market and a worsening national economy.”

    Parma Mayor Tim DeGeeter said in an e-mailed statement that “The City of Parma will be aggressive and proactive in working with a developer looking to invest in and renew this important city center,” including using “every economic development tool and incentive” to transform and redevelop the Day Drive corridor.”

    It’s just a matter of time before Parmatown goes the way of Rolling Acres…I’ve been watching the decline for years (and posting about it here). Parmatown really is done.

    [Reply]

  527. John: do you still have the pictures of Target’s closure? RollingAcres.org is dead.

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  528. So sad to see what happened to this mall.

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  529. Jcpenneys is still around today leaving the last store standing since opening. Storage of America took over the Target and turned it into a drive in storage center.A recycling center is now in the Sears building

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  530. Looks like JC 5 Star Outlet is now closing

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  531. JC Penny 5 Star Outlet is officially closed.

    I wrote about Parma Town in the past, here’s an update.

    http://www.cleveland.com/parma/index.ssf/2014/01/demolition_starts_on_former_pa.html

    It’s just about finished, folks.

    [Reply]

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