Southwyck Mall; Toledo, Ohio

Main Pylon at Southwyck Mall in Toledo, OH

There are many reasons enclosed malls fail.  Competition, changing demographics, poor management, anchor woes, and strategic location are all reasons for a downward swing.  Southwyck Mall in Toledo, Ohio is a rather unique tale of failure in that all of these devices contributed to its eventual demise, one after another.  What began as a popular hub of retail activity eventually became, through these devices of failure, a dead mall museum.  Still open for business as of the date of this article (November 2006), Southwyck’s days as a viable enclosed mall have definitely passed and its days of being open for business at all are numbered as well.   

Television Directory at Southwyck Mall in Toledo, OHOpening in 1972 to immediate success, Southwyck was one of four major enclosed malls in Toledo.  Once a thriving mecca for shoppers from the surrounding areas of Toledo and beyond, Southwyck has lately fallen into disrepair.  The decor of the center is very dated, yet it seems at least one renovation has taken place since the 1972 opening; however, it was not recent.  The grand center court is flanked by a beautiful carousel, under a very 1970s looking bubble ceiling which extends very high, yet has several dirty or discolored tiles.  Decorative light fixtures throughout the center are an attempt to recreate an old English, perhaps Victorian, feel to Southwyck.  Many of the storefronts, including the closed ones, are extremely dated.  Beautiful fountains are still in operation throughout the mall but repairs seem necessary.  The Montgomery Ward anchor, which was abandoned in 2001 with the chain’s closure, remains fully signed on the inside and out.  Another interesting decor element of Southwyck was the haphazard, somewhat random placement of very colorful kites, some with very long streamers, placed throughout the mall along the ceiling. However, the most interesting feature of Southwyck to me were the directories.  Each directory is a kiosk made up of at least one television, displaying one of two things.  Some displayed early 1980s-looking computer graphics listing the store directory and mall happenings directly on the TV, while other televisions were broadcasting CNN live or Channel 24, the local NBC affiliate for Toledo. 

There were originally three anchors to Southwyck.  From the south to north, they were: Montgomery Ward, LaSalle, and Lion.  LaSalle and Lion were Toledo-area department stores and as was the case for many malls across America, they made the trek from downtown to the enclosed malls when they opened to try to get a piece of the action.  LaSalle folded in the early 1980s and Southwyck’s middle anchor became Lion’s Store for the Home.  Lion, Southwyck’s northern anchor, held on under the helm of Mercantile Stores until 1998 when it was sold and converted to Dillard’s along with the middle anchor Home Store.  In 2001, Southwyck experienced its first anchor closure as the Montgomery Ward chain folded.  In 2003, the middle anchor space also became empty as Dillard’s closed the Home Store.  Dillard’s does, however, continue to operate as the south anchor at Southwyck and owns a great deal of the mall itself; however, in 2007 Dillard’s plans to open a new location in a 1 million square-foot lifestyle center called Fallen Timbers only a few miles from their current location at Southwyck.  What will become of the embattled, beleagured Southwyck in the near future is anyone’s guess as the mall’s owners, developers, and the city of Toledo evolve their decisions.Original 1972 Store at Southwyck Mall in Toledo, OH 

But it wasn’t always this way.  From when it opened until at least through the 1990s, Southwyck was a viable retail center with three full-sized anchors and one mllion square feet of retail space that was mostly full.  Within this decade, however, the bottom fell out as several devices of failure worked on Southwyck and hollowed it out to a shell of its former self.  First, the closure of Montgomery Ward in 2001 left a gaping hole at the south end of the mall.  This wasn’t the mall’s fault, per se, as Montgomery Ward closed all their stores at that time.  Although the mall initially held its own after the closure, just two years later in 2003 the middle anchor, Dillard’s for the Home, closed.  This left only Dillard’s, the north anchor, remaining.  In addition to suddenly losing anchors, the mall’s vacancy rate also increased rapidly since 2000.  Prior to 2000, the mall was basically holding its own and hopeful for a revival.

Such a revival was proposed in 2002.  As Montgomery Ward shut its doors in 2001 and stores started leaving with it, Toledo Councilman Rob Ludeman proposed giving Southwyck enterprise zone status in order to lure stores with loans and tax abatements.  In addition, Toledo mayor Jack Ford attempted to woo anchors and retailers away from the proposed Fallen Timbers development, specifically Sears in 2002.  Also, in 2003 Westfield America expressed interest in purchasing the mall and redeveloping it.  Unfortunately, as with all efforts to redevelop Southwyck, nothing came to fruition. 

Southwyck Mall in Toledo, OHWhat else went wrong?  Poor management has plagued a successful revival for the struggling Southwyck for at least the past several years and the owners can’t be spared some of the fault.  Southwyck is currently owned partly by Sherman Dreiseszun, a curious Kansas City businessman who currently owns stake in several beleagured shopping malls across the country, and partly by Dillard’s, the lone anchor left in the mall.  Both entities have allowed Southwyck to falter and have failed to provide updates or renovations of any kind to the mall in the past several years, causing shoppers and therefore stores to flee.  In early 2005, the city of Toledo set a deadline of March 1, 2005 for the owners of Southwyck to get their act together and secure a path to renovation or they would take further steps to intervene and do whatever it takes to make Southwyck viable, somehow.

In July 2005 the owners of Southwyck announced they had hired local developer Larry Dillin, responsible for opening nearby lifestyle center Levis Commons, to head up the redevelopment for Southwyck.  By November, Dillin announced his plans.  In a massive renovation, the current enclosed mall would be demolished and in its place, a lifestyle center would essentially be put in place with 2 anchor stores, 4 box stores, a number of smaller retail pads and restaurants, office space, and luxury apartments.  In September of 2006, Dillin held a town meeting outlining progress since he announced his plans.  He essentially said nothing had happened in terms of progress, but did reveal that Dillard’s is committed to retaining a full-service store at Southwyck and will not leave for the new Fallen Timbers development. Center Court at Southwyck Mall in Toledo, OH

As of November 2006, another roadblock has presented itself in terms of funding from the city of Toledo, which is necessary for redevelopment to occur.  The mayor of Toledo has redirected the funds marked for Southwyck redevelopment toward a different redevelopment in downtown Toledo.  However, current mayor Carty Finkbeiner promised the money would be back in the budget in 2007.

Now that we’re up to date, let’s bring it all together.  Southwyck’s failure was originally caused by anchor woes and poor management.  Despite being in a strategic location amid other successful retail along a popular retail corridor in south Toledo, Southwyck has never renovated or repositioned itself to become attractive to shoppers as Toledo’s only successful mall Franklin Park has.  In addition, several failed attempts at renovation in the past few years were thwarted by competition from a nearby 1 million square foot outdoor mall opening next year, and a large lifestyle center which opened last year and continues to expand.  In 2005, the city of Toledo stepped in on official terms and demanded that redevelopment of the near-blighted property commence as soon as possible, coercing the owners to hire a local developer.  In an ironic twist, the developer is also the developer responsible for one of the lifestyle centers and part of Southwyck’s competition.  The developer drafted extensive plans for renovation, but the stimulus seems to be lacking for getting started on the project.  Some questions to consider:  Why are 2 new developments totalling 1.5 million square feet of retail space being built when Southwyck and 2 other Toledo-area malls have failed?  Why did the city step in to aid redevelopment, only to abandon ship and redistribute the funds for redevelopment to another project?  And lastly, will redevelopment ever occur, or will Southwyck simply die off and close up like so many other malls? 

Below are some photos of Southwyck taken during Summer 2005.  As usual, feel free to add your own thoughts on this complicated and contentious story.

UPDATE 11/28/07: Last month, the final anchor at Southwyck, Dillards, packed up and moved to newer digs in a “Lifestyle Center” called the Shops at Fallen Timbers in nearby Maumee.  Meanwhile, the city of Toledo is still attempting to purchase the entirety of Southwyck for re-development.  According to the Toledo Blade, the lag time for re-development is due to the odd way in which the mall is owned.  The city recently negotiated a purchase price for the recently vacated Dillards store, which is owned by a Texas firm, but because the rest of the mall is owned 50/50 by Dillards (ironically) and a Kansas City partnership, the city must negotiate with each party separately.  And, it seems Dillards, which never owned its original store at the mall to begin with, has been unwilling to agree on a purchase price with would-be redeveloper Larry Dillin.  Interesting stuff, and we’ll keep an eye on it.  But for now, without an anchor the mall will fast become a sinking ship.  How many stores are even operating inside? 

UPDATE 2/8/08: The following editorial appeared in the Toledo Blade, and I couldn’t agree more:

Article published Thursday, January 24, 2008Be involved in future of Southwyck  On a recent outing to the Shops at Fallen Timbers, I conducted an unofficial poll of the “unique shopping experience” offered by this mall. 

I approached a number of people to ask for their opinion of the new shopping mall, and received pretty much the same response from all those I questioned: “I hate it, I prefer indoor malls, it’s too cold and windy to have to go from store to store outdoors, put on my coat, take it off, etc.” 

A while back, I attended a neighborhood meeting at which developer Larry Dillin gave a presentation on the future of Southwyck Shopping Center. Mr. Dillin brought with him the artist’s rendition of what Southwyck would look like once he gets his hands on the property. I asked how he came up with his statistics about outdoor malls, why we need them, and why he eagerly promotes them. I recall Mr. Dillin responding that “indoor malls are a thing of the past.” Where did Mr. Dillin get his information? Has anyone taken the time to conduct a survey of the residents of Toledo? 

I believe it to be in the best interest of Southwyck-area residents to be involved in Southwyck’s future and not leave it up to some developer who has a distorted vision of what he thinks is best for the area. Southwyck could once again draw shoppers if anchor tenants could be enticed by lower rent, promoting the conveniences of indoor shopping vs. outdoor malls. 

If indoor malls are a thing of the past as Mr. Dillin claimed, why is Westfield Franklin Park expanding again? Are we going to sit idle and allow Southwyck to fall under the wrecking ball? 

James H. Marshall

UPDATE 5/13/2008: On May 8, the city of Toledo issued a notice to Southwyck owners that they had 72 hours to clean up toxic black mold and potential asbestos contamination, or the city would close the mall on May 12.  As a response, the owners stepped up and replaced the mold tiles, and put up a fire wall to seal off the asbestos in the former Montgomery Ward store.  Mesothelioma anyone?  It was also revealed that Southwyck currently has only 6 stores open, and that persistent developer Larry Dillin is still trying to buy the mall and will be marketing it at the International Council of Shopping Centers convention this year.

UPDATE 8/26/2008: Southwyck Mall officially closed June 30, 2008.  The owners took care of the mold issues which kept the mall open for business a bit longer.  According to Toledo’s mayor, both owners are on board and with the aid of an EPA loan for asbestos removal, the mall should be demolished by December 31, 2008.  Developer Larry Dillin was also quoted recently as saying the development to replace Southwyck should be complete by 2010.  Let’s not hold our breath. 

UPDATE 1/4/2009: The three owners of Southwyck have finally agreed upon a demolition timetable.  Demolition will start during the first quarter of this year (2009) and be complete by midsummer 2009.  As of now, no plans for redevelopment have been solidified.

Dillards at Southwyck Mall in Toledo, OH Center Court Coney Island Restaurant at Southwyck Mall in Toledo, OH Center Court Bubble at Southwyck Mall in Toledo, OH  
Center Court Carousel at Southwyck Mall in Toledo, OH Southwyck Mall in Toledo, OH Southwyck Mall in Toledo, OH
Former Montgomery Ward at Southwyck Mall in Toledo, OH Dillard's and Former Dillard's Home Store at Southwyck Mall in Toledo, OH Former Dillard's/Lion Home Store at Southwyck Mall in Toledo, OH
Former Dillard's Home Store and Former Montgomery Ward Dillard's at Southwyck Mall in Toledo, OH Southwyck Mall in Toledo, OH
Center Court at Southwyck Mall in Toledo, OH Southwyck Mall in Toledo, OH Former Montgomery Ward Wing at Southwyck Mall in Toledo, OH
Former Montgomery Ward at Southwyck Mall in Toledo, OH Former Restaurant at Southwyck Mall in Toledo, OH Southwyck Mall in Toledo, OH
Carousel at Southwyck Mall in Toledo, OH Sophisticuts and Dillard's at Southwyck Mall in Toledo, OH Dillard's at Southwyck Mall in Toledo, OH
Southwyck Mall in Toledo, OH Former Wicks 'n Sticks at Southwyck Mall in Toledo, OH Southwyck Mall in Toledo, OH
Southwyck Mall in Toledo, OH Southwyck Mall in Toledo, OH

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

      

 

 

 

 

 

99 Responses to “Southwyck Mall; Toledo, Ohio”

  1. [...] 4. Southwyck Mall – Deadmalls.com calls Southwyck a “dead mall museum” and I think that’s an appropriate summation of this one. Its current lone anchor is Dillard’s, who also interestingly owns a majority stake in the mall itself. The dated decor of this beleagured center hasn’t been fashionable for years, but some local stores and a few national chains have held on. Recently, plans call for the remaking of Southwyck into an open air urban village with a residential component, a college campus, and some retail. This would, of course, require demolishing the dead mall museum that’s currently there, and is supposed to take place sometime in 2007. [...]

  2. Wow, it DEFINATELY lives up to the description I’d previously read on deadmalls.com ages ago! It really does look like a time-warp inside to the 1970s. (nice to see too I’m getting better at guessing the decade and era when malls were built, lol)

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  3. My favorite thing about Southwyck, btw, is probably the ceiling lights and mirrors that scream the ’70s. Though I believe they were both built within the same decade, and aren’t similarly designed, certain aspects of that mall remind me of Golf Mill Mall in north suburban Chicago(such as the globe lighting fixtures(that have 4 globe lights on them each) that rise straight up from the ground level).

    I love the circular, glass domed area of the mall that has a carousel and a U.S. flag, that’s probably the most interesting part of that mall. Though it’s VERY TELLING that some of those glass panels are faded from years of being exposed to sunlight, but that’s true of many other malls I’ve visited too(such as Randhurst Mall in Mount Prospect, IL). :)

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  4. Yeah I loved it too. Some of the panels in the dome thing were obviously replaced at different times and look completely different colors, so it looks kind of dumb now. They obviously aren’t putting any money in it anymore. And, were this multi-level it would be very similar to Randhurst, I agree.

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  5. Too bad they let this mall stagnate. If they had kept it up to date and changed with the times, it’d probably be thriving. If you build it, they won’t come anymore. You have to give them more. But who am I to be telling them?
    Oh, and the name of the competitors mall? Fallen Timbers? Give me a break. Now they’ve crossed the line with upscale sounding names that make no sense whatsoever! Unless, of course, you cound what happened to the forest they’ll be cutting down to build the new shopping center. Well, you could call it “dead trees” instead, I suppose.
    Scott

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  6. The Fallen Timbers name comes from the battlefield nearby of the same name, where in 1794 the United States fought one of the final battles of the Revolution against a Native American confederacy. The battle was significant because it opened the Northwest Territories up to white settlement. So, it’s actually a slap in the face that they’d use the name for a mall, from a Native perspective.

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  7. Hard to believe I ONLY just now noticed the interior Montgomery Ward sign!! That strangely gave me a flashback to the ’90s, when I often shopped there for jeans or pants…

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  8. I happen to still love Southwyck Mall :) I have so many great memories there as a kid and a teen. It’s sad how it has went down hill over the last few years :( It really is a nice mall I think and has some life left in it? I hope they get someone in there to save the mall and put some money into it and make it current with out making it look to modern? lol Call me nostalgic.

    Derek

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    Brock Hyde Reply:

    @Derek,
    I agree. If you look at malls that are newer esp. ones built in the mid 90′s and after…they look like they were designed and decorated by children and retarded people. Horrible!

    The classic 60′s and 70′s look is much more aesthetically pleasing if you don’t look at it with a group mindset.

    I always hear people say, “Uhhh…That looks dated…..They need to update the decor…” or whatever. If they stopped to look at the modern stuff with actual open eyes, they would see that-that stuff will REALLY look dated in a few years. It will look dated in a really horrible way!

    All this bastardized post modern stuff is garbage! And Americans have created the biggest throw away society and race to the bottom in history. One day we will be left with nothing but Wal Mart. No one need act shocked when it happens. It’s just like the shipping jobs overseas thing….

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  9. The gold-colored “slatwall” treatment in the ceiling wa installed cir. 1984 or so, and the kites from then, too. Also a “food-court” was installed near the Montgomery-Ward store in the front. Many question that, but it was placed there to replace another restaurant that, after it closed sat empty for a few years. The restaurant was a Forum Cafeteria. The food-court never really was popular, and the death of MW sounded its death knell. I really enjoyed Southwyck through my young years, and it was a whole lot closer than the Woodville mall which was opened in 1969.

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  10. My friends and I used to spend almost every evening at Southwyck (a picture of the mall is in one of our high school yearbooks, the place was so cool). The main meeting/hanging place was the steps in the center court. I don’t live in Toledo anymore, but I keep tabs on it via the net. I still have a denim jumpsuit I bought at Silverman’s there in 1976. Granted, it doesn’t fit like it used to, but it was the most expensive thing I ever bought to that time. I kept the receipt, $24.98 + tax was a lot of money to a high school kid. By the way, what ever happened to “Old Towne”? It was a cool mini-mall in the north-east part of the mall.

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  11. Who was the developer who built the mall? Granted the 70′s decor was common at the time, but it reminds me a little of Century III Mall in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania from which I’m from. That mall which has since been partly remodeled was by DeBartelo and now owned by Simon. The key similarities are the rows of big bulbs on the ceiling, and the cream and mauveish-taupe Venitian terrazzo floor tile.

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  12. I posted here before so here goes again? I really hope and pray they do not tear it down to make another Fallen Timbers or Levin Commons? I just don’t see who those layouts work? I mean here in Toledo people are so afraid of the weather? The minute the temp drops they are grabing their sweaters? And when it gets alittle warm all them do is complain? Or some who are totally clueless continue to wear winter cloths? lol But anyway back to my point it seems when it’s hot out they want somewhere that is cool and when it’s cold they want heat? Only an inclosed mall can provide this? I can see how Fallen Timbers and outdoor plaza’s or mall work in like Florida or Califorina where it’s warm almost all year round but here in Northwest Ohio? I just don’t see it being a success? So that’s my 2 cents? I say leave it where it’s at and remodel it? But by no means tear it down to put another one of those stupid outdoor deals in?

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  13. Many fond memories of going to this mall. in the late 70′s early 80′s it was the place to be. I also remember old towne it was really cool. if memory serves it was done away with in the late 80s due to security problems.
    I used to work evenings at my familes business and spending the morning or afternoon shopping for records and then later cds. Levis commons and now the shops at fallen timbers are now thriving. lets see 30 years into the future and see how they are doing. Personally having lived in perrysburg i question the long term viabilty of it. nowadays people can order stuff on the internet, get the item delivered to their front doorstep cheaper than they could at a mall. my guess is now that dillards left the owner ( a dillard if im correct) is using the mall as a tax writeoff.

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  14. This is really depressing. I loved the Southwyck Mall! It was always the coolest mall in Toledo (including the fancy looking McDonald’s that was right down from it). I can’t believe how dated it is…I think I am gonna go take a walk around it before it closes forever. The outside of this place is horrible! The old theater and shuttered stores…yikes!

    Was the Old Towne Mall mentioned in the above posts the same as North Towne Square?

    Ahhh, the memories…

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    Ben Reply:

    @christine,
    Old Towne began as a small mall of Mom & Pop stores selling jewellry or other small things. The storefronts had a 1890-1920′s type of decoration, and the aisles were labeled for Toledo’s downtown streets. The ceilings were painted black and there were streetlights. When the novelty wore off, and since many folks didn’t like the odd narrow hall to Old Town, arcade machines began to replace the stores until it was virtually all arcade. Then even that began to lose it’s novelty, as arcade machines generally were doing everywhere. Finally closed in the early eighties, the space was repurposed into additional theaters. There was no longer any inside connection to the mall, so that too fizzled. It never reopened after the theaters closed.

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  15. Wow, talk about a time machine. Southwyck was a huge part of my life as a kid in the 70′s. The Red Baron and Old Town was a kid paradise. I bought my first real skateboard for there. I purposed to my first wife under that dome. Enjoyed fresh bagels from that bagel shop….and who could forget the Hickory Farms shop!? They had this foot long beef stick (slim jim style) for 50 cents.
    They even had a coffee shop before the Starbuck’s boom. If the right investor came in, I’m sure Toledo would welcome back Southwyck, as it should. As Christine says

    ………..Ahhhm the memories

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  16. 12/04/2007, Dillards is officially gone. I wen tot the fixture liquidation sale today and what a cool adventure. All the back rooms, stockrooms, loading docks and offices were open. They had original orange floor tile and orage walls. They looked like they were held together with pins and gum! Officially 5 stores left out of 100+ spaces, i would guess. Everybody watch for a closing/liquidation sale, to get a few last pictures or artifacts. BTW, the wards store, which was sealed off in 200??, is coved with black mold and colapsed ceilings!

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  17. I happen to live near Southwyck Mall. I remember going there and loving it. It’s rather sad to see a place where, literally, my first trip to a shopping mall happened is falling apart in this way.

    But it’s still kind of neat to walk in and go into a time warp.

    ~Jordi

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  18. I did a search for “Southwyck” on Youtube; I came up with a couple videos of kids skateboarding in the mall, filmed just a couple weeks ago. Their comments about the lack of security there tells it all.

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  19. Here are the stores still operating as of January 4:
    Lady Foot Locker
    Kids Foot Locker
    USA Nails
    World Nails
    Style Trends
    Champs
    Deb
    GNC
    Kay Jewelers
    Bath & Body Works
    Victoria’s Secret
    Abba Airbrush

    The latter looks to be just a singlr guy set up in an old store; he airbrushes T-shirts and plaques, etc.

    That’s 12 stores, but it never really seems to be that many since its never more than one or two visible at one time. At first glance I never would have guessed 12 until I made the list. During my visit, there were quite a few “mall walkers”. I must admit that at age 42 I was the youngest person there by at least 10 years. By the way, the Coney Island place and the Diamond’s Men’s Shop in the pictures above are still fully signed but very much closed.

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  20. I grew up in Adrian , Mi. My family used to go to Toledo just about every Saturday. We normally went to Franklin Park , but we went to Southwyck on occasion. We occasionally went to the movies there. I remember when they had the Gray drug store across from the theaters. We would buy candy there and sneak it into the theaters. I went to Southwyck more often in the 90′s. I have a friend who lives in Toledo and I’ve often wanted to visit Southwyck just to see what’s left. It’s sad that Franklin Park is going strong while Southwyck has become a ghost town.

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  21. Christine –

    I was refering to the “Old Towne” area of the Southwyck Mall. It was there in the late 70′s-early 80′s and was about the size of a small department store. It was made up of quite a few very small shops and laid out like several small streets. It was supposed to be like a version of antique Toledo. Made of architectural salvage. You got to it by a long hall from the main mall hallways, with very large old photos of Toledo on the walls. If you were facing the front of the mall from the street, it would have been on your right.
    Anyway, that’s what I was asking about.

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  22. Only 10-11 stores appeared open as of 1/11/08. I will agree with Charles assessment of the mall: Mostly mall walkers with few people actually patronizing stores.

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  23. In doing further research, it appears that the occancy vacancy rate for Southwyck dropped below 50% back in the summer of 2004. 58 out of 103 stores were vacant.

    Even as late as 1995 the occupancy rate was above 85%. It was at 60% in 2002. It would be interesting to see how many tenants were left for January of each year since 1993 or so, when things were just beginning to go bad.

    I would especially like to see the stats since June of 2004. Going from 45 tenants to 12 inside of 2.5 years is quite a drop.

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  24. There is a spelling error in paragraph 1 of my previous comment. It should read as such”

    “In doing further research, it appears that the occupancy rate for Southwyck dropped below 50% back in the summer of 2004. 58 out of 103 stores were vacant.

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  25. I just posted earlier tonight on the Woodville Mall page since I was raised on that side of town but as a University of Toledo student from 1991 to 1995 I spent a great deal of time at Southwyck too. As a child, my grandparents probably took me to Southwyck once a month or so. I clearly remember “Old Towne” too and that long hallway to get to it with the Old Towne lettering above the doorway near the center of the mall. that was so unique and a real treat to visit when I was a kid. Anyone else remember the “Nuttime” store?…..gave new meaning to the phrase, “a kid in a candy store” I recall it was the near the center and my grandfather always went there to buy a chocolate caramel hard candy you couldnt find anywhere else.
    Traffic in the mall was starting to trail off a bit in the early 1990′s. On weekdays I didnt have to work and had evening classes I would often sit under the dome and read/study. The fountains at Southwyck were once magnificent and I chucked many a penny into them as a youngster.
    My last visit was actually about this time 2yrs ago, Mid-January 2006…My daughter who was 6 at the time asked me why there were so many empty stores. trying to remember exactly how I explained that! :) I took her picture riding that same carousel I rode as a child. I remember her saying to me that she wished that the mall was as fun as it was when I was a kid. She kept asking me as we walked around, “What used to be here Daddy?…Why is that sign there?”Sadly so many empty stores I couldnt even recall what half of them were…
    Never been to Fallen Timbers but to me if its January,and its Toledo, I’d rather shop inside.

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  26. I finally got around to adding my Southwyck and Woodville Mall pics to my Flickr page, in addition to the Randall Park, Rolling Acres and Euclid Square photos that already there. Here’s the link:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/8474804@N05/sets/7215603655151348/

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  27. That last link is wrong – here is the correct one:

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

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  28. I grew up in the Toledo area and thought Southwyck was the coolest place to go as a kid. They were one of the first with multiple theaters – was it Southwyck-7? I took my prom date to Dominic’s across the street from the mall. Later, as a UT student, I waited tables at Frisch’s Big Boy in Southwyck next to the Lion Store. Sad to see this place is as dead as the Woodville Mall. Good memories, though.

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  29. 2/27/08 Only a few stores left-
    Victoria’s Secret, Fiesta Salon, BAth and Body Works, all closed up shop this past week leaving the mall with 5 stores left. Kids+ Lady footlocker, Champs, 2 nail salons, GNC. I got a brochure from an employee of the mall layout from about 5yrs ago would guess. It lists 117 rentable spaces including anchors. 5/117= 4.2% occupancy. The mall staff I talked to said there is a rumor that once all the stores vacate, the mall will be torn down but no timetable has been set. Look for news in the paper. I suspect they will conduct a GOB/ liquidation sale in which we can explore closed off storefronts before they are gone forever.

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  30. What the heck is worng with Wicks ‘n’ Sticks! They have the picture on this mall, it’s closed! The 3 nearest to where I live Closed! The one in The Promenade in Temecula Closed, the one in Westfield North County, the one on San Bernardino’s Inland Center closed! :(

    What’s going on! I (Heart) Wicks ‘n’ Stick’s! I’ll just use the picture in your site as my computer screen saver then! :)

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  31. My Gosh ! Talk about blast from the past. I too grew up in Toledo and can’t believe Southwyck is in such desperate shape. I haven’t been to Toledo since the late 70′s early 80′s, but the mall was the weekend hangout. Old Towne was my favorite part of the mall. The old towne picture studio, REMEMBER those picture’s? I’m so sad about the failure of this mall. I’ve lived in several states and been to several mall’s per. And none were or are as great as Southwyck was in it’s hayday.Maybe it’s just sad to see a part of my youth memories falling away.

    [Reply]

    Cindo Reply:

    Tracey,
    I realize you posted this a couple years ago, but hopefully you’ll see this eventually. Old Towne was also my favorite part of the mall, too, back in the day (I was class of 77) . For some reason, I was obsessed with Old Towne, maybe it was because it was so dark and bizarre in there ? Or maybe because of all the cool stuff you could buy in there, all those little shops selling those 70′s muslin hippie/peasant shirts, and a lot of Indian and turquoise jewelry, and correct me if I’m wrong, but weren’t there some shops bordering on what we referred to as head shops, also ?
    And, YES, the PICTURE STUDIO !! That’s actually why I hope you see this. I remember several times standing and looking at those pictures, and laughing and being kind of freaked out about them. But that’s all I remember. What was the deal with those pictures, what kind of pictures were they ? Why do I remember laughing at them so much ??

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    @Cindo, i enjoyed your story I recently saw about Southwyck Mall..I went there alot when I was younger too!

    [Reply]

  32. 5/8/2008 Toledo Blade article:

    “Southwyck mall to close Monday if owners fail to clean mold, asbestos”

    http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080508/NEWS16/685344225

    Given the long history here, is this for real or just a push from the city to get something moving with regards to the mall’s potential redevelopment?

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  33. I just called Champs Sports in the mall; although its early in the morning a gentleman answered and said they are closed for good and they are just there packing things up. He said its just the Foot Lockers and GNC remaining to the best of his knowledge.

    [Reply]

  34. 5/24/2008 Toledo Blade article:

    “Last stores to exit mall by June 30″

    http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080524/NEWS17/805240362

    “Officials announced yesterday that the mall would close June 30. …”

    Looks like it’s the end.

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  35. Here is a floor plan for Southwyck. I estimate it to be about 1985. It would have to be before 1987, because it still shows Strauss Bakery which was replaced by The ID by that year.

    http://i142.photobucket.com/albums/r95/Toledo07/Southwyck/Southwyck-FloorPlan1125.jpg

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  36. I spent a lot of time at Southwyck in my younger years (’70s). Then, in the late ’80s early ’90s, we took our kids there often too.

    One big problem was security’s inability to control the loitering of all the many punks around the Red Baron near the East entrance. It would have been nice to let the kids play games there, but it didn’t feel very safe. There was simply a lot of disrespectful punks clogging up the entrance to the mall and the theatres.

    Also, not that it’s important but just for the record…it was Lamson’s, not Lasalle’s, who was the third of the original three anchors. Lasalle’s never had a store at Southwyck. In the heyday of downtown shopping (’30s through ’60s) it was Lion, Lamson’s, Lasalles, and Tiedtke’s who dominated downtown Toledo shopping.

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  37. Well, it’s true. Southwyck is almost a memory. One can not go there today without becoming depressed. What was once Toledo’s most popular mall will soon be frequented only by the seagulls that continue to linger although in much smaller numbers than in the mall’s heyday.

    One can thank Bill Dillard (in part) for the collapse of the center. Many people (here) are not impressed with his stores. His company held up the redevelopment of another once popular shopping center (Westgate Village) for 3-4 years before a Costco and others brought new life and new buidlings to that part of Toledo. Now we are wondering how many years Southwyck will continue to stagnate while Dillard drags his feet. He along with the mall’s original owner and another shopping center owner own parts of Southwyck. It is a complicated (ownership) mess to be quite honest. Dillard holds the trump card. His newly opened store at the Shops At Fallen Timbers which is about 10-15 minutes away is not doing well. He does not wish for competition at Southwyck to affect sales at his new store.

    This is just the tip of the iceberg concerning Dillard’s poor example of corporate citizenry in this area. Lion store thrived in this area including at Southwyck until he bought the chain in 1998. If Lion were still in Toledo, in all likelihood, Southwyck would not be closing at the end of this month.

    I have actively followed Southwyck since I have an office across from the mall since 1989. The (Westfield) people who made Franklin Park Mall successfull also expressed an interest in buying Southwyck several years back. But a deal could never be reached. They had big plans for the mall. Could it have been Dillards who nixed the idea? Who knows?

    It and other attempts to bring the mall back since 2001 when Montgomery Ward closed fell through. All-in-all, with the opening of the nearby Spring Meadows Shopping Center with big box retailers like Target and Sam’s Club in 1988 began to cut into the mall’s business. Southwyck did undergo a major facelift in 1992 so the mall is not really a flashback to the 1970s. And the mall, today, other than for the leaks in the roof and ceiling was not a bad looking structure on the outside.

    Too bad, it will close and there is nothing carved in stone for its future. The area around it will also suffer as a result. It is located on one of Toledo’s major thoroughfares close to a turnpike exit, so one can see how that will look to visitor’s to this city.

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  38. I meant to say the structure is/was not bad looking on the “inside” rather than the outside.

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  39. Referring to Ed’s comment, Southwyck is for sure a flashback to the 70′s with no interior or exterior renovations ever since the center was built. The only minor update was when the food court was added in the late 80′s but only that area was cheanged. The building will most likely sit empty for a while, falling victom to urban decay rendering the building undevelopable without tearing it down. Similar story as northtowne square/lakeside center.

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  40. The city of Toledo found a way to legally evict property owners for the good of the community when Daimler Chrysler wanted their land for a new factory. I’m no lawyer, but is this possible in this situation?

    Obviously, Dillard and the Kansas City folks (I won’t attempt to spell his name) would have high-priced representation.

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  41. Bizarre, “Old Towne” (according to the site plan) never opened into the mall. And so, it was designed to look like old Ohio and what else?

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  42. Well, I guess its time. I’m nearly 50 and Southwyck was my high school past. I hated high school, but I truely loved the time I wasted at the mall. Granted, spending your life in a mall is a true tragedy, but that’s my life. I understand they tore down Rogers High School and now Southwyck. While I have no sorrow for the loss of Rogers (class of ’77) (they hated me, the feeling was mutual), I really do feel a sense of loss for a very abused part of my past. Southwyck should have been shown more respect.

    Jonah –
    Old Towne did open to the mall by a narrow hallway between Lanes and the Old Town area.

    I used to work in the Lane Drug advertising department at the time making their full page newspaper ads. I was there now and then checking posters and signage. Once I left Lanes, I didn’t get back much, so I always wondered what happened to Old Towne.

    [Reply]

    Cindo Reply:

    @Daniel Mauk,
    I was obsessed with Old Towne back in the day. (See my reply to Tracey’s post).

    I wasted a lot of time at the mall, too !
    Southwyck and Franklin Park . I worked at Franklin Park Mall during high school, so of course, every Friday I spent my whole paycheck at the mall.

    Good times ………….

    [Reply]

  43. Yeah, someone commented that there in that hallway, there were old pictures of Toledo. The commenter also said his sister was pictured with old fashioned clothing in Old Towne. Anyone have pictures?

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  44. Any idea what, if anything, is still open at Southwyck at this late date? I suppose they might be getting a bunch of curious people coming by to gawk, but there can’t be much commerce still going on.

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  45. I made the drive to Southwyck on Saturday June 21. Exactly three stores are still open inside the mall (Deb, GNC and World Nails), plus the Box Shoppe has a storefront on the exterior of the mall next to the former Wards store. The three stores in the mall are all clustered near each other, leaving the rest of the building vacant and deserted. Just a few shoppers and mall-walkers milling about, with only one week of business remaining. The carousel is turned off with a big “Permanently Closed” sign at the ticket booth.

    It’ll be interesting to be there on the final day, although its hard to say if the stores will stick it out until the 30th or not. Deb is nearly empty, and GNC has a sign saying their last day is June 27.

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  46. As of June 30, “NO trespassing” signs and concrete barriers restrict access to some of the driveways into the mall. A couple haven’t blocked for maintance reasons.

    TARTA has announced that the “Southwyck Express” route will be discountined and the bus shelter will removed.

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  47. Yep, Southywyck officially closed Sunday. My sister and I went there to walk around and there were quite a few people there taking pictures and I saw a few people even videotaping.

    The Toledo Blade ran a big article on the front page Sunday announcing that it was the last day, so no doubt that’s what brought the gawkers. Here’s a link:

    http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080629/NEWS16/400795138

    It’s pretty sad to see the mall go, maybe somebody will put up a memorial website. Does anyone have pictures, brochures, etc. of the mall in its heyday? That map of the stores is really cool…

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  48. hey I was there also- it was really sad I thought- growing up in the 70s and 80s this place was what defined a lot of us. It would be great for us to see pics of the mall in its hey day. I can find none online-
    I was the guy in the red tank top they interviewed that last day- on channel 11- no one would talk to her – so after trying to get away a few times I figured heck yeah I will do it for Southwyck- I will never love any building- But I did and always will love the Southwyck mall

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  49. I hope that when they redevelop this Southwyck Village that they keep some of the mall intact. It really looks like a beautiful mall. But then again maybe my perception of what looks good is somewhat trapped in the 80′s. I love all that chrome, the lights in the ceiling, the big skylights, and that carousel. Priceless.

    I just have to laugh, because I lived through the trend where retail got rid of all the warm tones and 70′s graphics and opted for all these teal and purple colors. Then the past few years saw the pastel sages and yellows. Now, guess what? They’re going back to the warm tones and goofy graphics again. E.G. The new Walmart gold, the Payless Shoes bubble-looking logo. Why not just let these old malls come into vogue again?

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  50. Here are all the original newspaper articles and ads for Southwyck Mall’s Grand Opening on August 3, 1972. They ran in the Toledo Blade on August, 2 1972 – a total of over 30 pages.

    http://s142.photobucket.com/albums/r95/Toledo07/Southwyck/

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  51. Not to sound crass, but when did that carousel get put in? It certainly wasn’t there in the 70′s. Also, when did the flag under the dome show up? I know time passes, and a lot has passed but I wonder why we’re bemoaning recent additions.
    Also, please realize that the new Southwyck will die just as the old one has died. Toledo cares little about it’s history and apparently never will. Maybe it’s best that this place die. Toledo didn’t care anyway. While it never was the BEST place, it was comfortable and a place that should have had a better chance. Sure it was a museum, so’s the Valentine, the Spitzer Arcade, the Ohio Building (the old O-I building), and the old YMCA. Tear them down! In my heart, I’ll miss them. But in the end, it’s your loss. Obviously, you don’t care and never will. If you’re lucky, you’ll be annexed by Detroit. You’ll blend right in.

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  52. Thank you to whoever posted those scans of the Blade showing Southwyck’s grand opening. That was so cool to see and very cool that someone saved that for 30 some years! It’s amazing how many of the original stores lasted for quite a while…I remember a lot of those stores still being there in the late 80s and early 90s. amazing how something can go from being state of the art, modern and high tech to a defunct time warp in such a relatively short time. What a shame the owners never cared about it enough to renovate and keep it going. Now we will have only good memories. Does anyone think they could save the central atrium area? I think that area is still really nice and would give people an indoor space to go to in the proposed “new” southwyck.

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  53. You’re welcome, Todd. I’m glad you enjoyed them. Actually I didn’t save any newspaper articles. I simply copied them as .tif files from a scanner attached to the microfilm machine in the Local History room of the Main Library. It took a while doing 30 pages, but it was worth it in the end. You can do this with any newspaper page going back to the 1850s. Just bring a flash drive with you to copy the files once scanned.

    -Drew

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  54. Well I was still really young when i used to go there and the last time i was there i was 10 i’m fifteen now but it’s still sad to see it go oh well falen timbers it is
    Ps: Thx for the article very in formitive and interesting

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  55. As a kid I used to go here in the late 80s and early 90s, I believe my sister worked at a few stores during that time (she went to college in Toledo) I don’t have any really vibrant memories but did find it eerie that over the summer I used megabus and they use the parking lot for their pickup/drop off.

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  56. Did they empty out Old Towne or just board it up- I can’t recall if it became something else- it WAS kind of hard to access but it fit in well with the concept.

    my folks never let me go in there- but I went a few times with a friend- so I never saw it in the hey day, but as it was dying down in mid 80′s- would love pics or info about it.

    Also if anyone has any pics or info from Volmar’s Park- I’d be in to that, as well.

    [Reply]

    Wendy Reply:

    @Dave,
    I realize this thread is several years old and I’m not sure if or when you will get this message, but I saw that you mentioned Vollmar’s Park!
    I am the admin for the Vollmar’s Park Facebook group! There are lots of pics and tons of personal memories there! I hope you will consider joining us!

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/118476661496108/

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  57. Dave,
    Old Towne became an “art cinema” after it closed down in the 80s. I think there were like three theaters in there. It too closed up several years before the entire mall closed.
    Volmar’s Park….yes I remember my dad’s company picnics there when I was a kid…I used to love that little roller coaster they had. I’ll check the web to see if there is any info. on it.

    [Reply]

    Wendy Reply:

    @Todd
    I realize this thread is several years old and I’m not sure if or when you will get this message, but I saw that you mentioned Vollmar’s Park!
    I am the admin for the Vollmar’s Park Facebook group! There are lots of pics and tons of personal memories there! I think you would be thrilled to know that while Vollmar’s Park is no more, the old roller coaster was purchased at auction, is still around and is in full operation (for a mere 75 cents per ride) at Tuscora Park in New Philadelphia, OH.
    I hope you will consider joining us!

    [Reply]

    Wendy Reply:

    @Todd,
    Sorry.. I forgot to enclose a link to the Vollmar’s FB group ~

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/118476661496108/

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  58. Oh the memories…..I went to the mall from day 1 with my parents – I was 11 when it opened. Living in south Toledo, Southwyck was was a big part of my life. My first job was at the Limited store as a stock boy at 16. A year or so later I worked for a cleaning company at Wards buffing and mopping the main isles at 6:00 am M thru F.
    My favorite memories as a kid are looking at the fish and pets at Pet Bazaar and the toys at Hobby Center. Eating free samples at Hickory Farms and the big pretzals at Hot Sams. Does anyone remember the car and boat shows in the main isles? Several people have mentioned Olde Towne but does anyone remember Spankies Bar in the middle of that area in the early 80s? It had a large screen TV and tables on the main level and a balcony around the whole thing with video games and pool tables and a second bar up there.
    Stopped going to the mall for the most part after Wards closed but still think of it often!! Thank you to every one who contributed to this site, especially the floor layout and the grand opening pages,- you sparked a lot of memories! I had forgotten about some of the original stores. I have this page bookmarked and will visit often – hopefully someone will find some old pictures!!

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  59. Apparently they have an actual timetable for demolition….it will all be gone soon. As I said before, it would be nice to save and renovate the central atrium into the “new” Southwyck (if and when that EVER happens :) )
    The newly spiffed up Reynolds road, with the new medians and signage and lamps and stuff seems strangely out of place given the rest of the blight around it, but I see how that kind of thing is necessary if they ever expect retailers to come back to the area. Until the economy improves I doubt that anything will be developed at Southywck and it will just be a giant concrete hole for wuite a while. Dillin isn’t stupid enough to go through with it at this point.
    Anyway, a lot of good memories of Southywck, used to go there in summers and hang out there for a good portion of most weekdays. I think I bought my first CD ever at Camelot Music next to the McDonalds. I do wish someone had pics of the mall in its heyday…although I guess most of us never thought to take pictures at a mall, especially not in the 80s. LOL

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  60. I too grew up in Toledo. The one thing I miss about Southwyck mall is “Old Towne”, I used to love going there.

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  61. Well I drove past Southwyck today & there is chain link fencing around the mall so it won’t be long until they start tearing it down.

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  62. Anyone have pictures of Oldtowne? I had a lot of fond memories there,

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  63. Story from WTVG-13, has a short video showing some demolition underway on what appears to be the main entrance.

    http://abclocal.go.com/wtvg/story?section=news/local&id=6797574

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  64. Our illustrious mayor, Carty, now has said he has been in talks to turn part or all of the Southwyck land into a park with a lake and horse trails. SOunds nice, but if we know one thing about Carty is that he has a lot of promises and few results.

    [Reply]

    Jonah Norason Reply:

    @Todd, Why would they turn the prime real estate into a park, especially considering there’s one (or at least, undeveloped area) less than a mile away?

    http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=southwyck+mall&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=40.953203,57.480469&ie=UTF8&ll=41.603795,-83.669751&spn=0.009467,0.014033&z=16

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  65. The above article, while interesting, misses the single most important factor that closed down the mall. It wasn’t economics, or location, or any of that. It was quite simply, gang activity. Political correctness won’t allow anyone to say that, but I grew up South Toledo, and Southwyck used to be a haven for nice families and their kids. And then the gangs started hanging out at the movie theatres and the arcade; criminal activity increased (muggings, car theft, even a few rapes in the parking lot), and that was all she wrote for Southwyck. Why in the world would a nice family come to a mall to get harrassed by gang members? Or risk dropping their kids off there for the afternoon? The mall did nothing to stop this (because they were threatened with civil rights lawsuits), and people quit showing up at the doors.

    Of course, we’re not allowed to say any of this now. We’re not allowed to speak any kind of uncomfortable truths.

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  66. Johnson was right, remember the guys that were hiding under cars and killing and robbing and raping, that was the problem with Southwyck. I would really like to know what is next after they finish tearing it down. I work across the street and I have been watching them demolish the mall bit by bit and now that most of it is gone besides Montgomery Ward and the frame of Dillard’s and some little part of the regular mall what is next?

    Some mentioned a park if they do that won’t we have the same gang problems that plagued the mall? Won’t it be just another hidden area for people to commit crime?

    I hope they can get this neighborhood as good if not better than it used to be. The business I work for has been here over 30 years, and buddy of mine from high school grew up around here, so I know it used to be alot nicer around here.

    [Reply]

    Cherie Reply:

    @Kevin, Do you still work across the street? I am trying to find out if the parking lot is still open. I have a kid at BGSU who wants to use the MegaBus and I was wondering if he would be able to park in the mall’s lot and leave his vehicle there for an extended period?

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  67. I agree with the previous poster– what killed that mall was gang related.We used to live near Toledo and Southwyck was the closest mall.my kids loved the water part of the center court.After being shoved and followed and having food thrown on my and my children by “gangs” of kids it was time to stop going– we ended up the other direction –Defiance had a smaller mall but at least it was safer.
    **when we told security about the above things happening we were told that there was nothing they could do but we were welcome to call the Toledo police and file a complaint…and they wonder why no one has anyhting nice to say about Toledo.**

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  68. As of my last visit to Toledo in August, the entire mall was demolished and the site being cleaned up. Haven’t heard of any redevelopment plans either. However, there’s been a major initiative to “green” Reynolds Road from the Turnpike Overpass north to beyond the mall. IMO, the streetscape design is typical…antique looking lights, banners, etc. Another instance of “Anywhere USA” design. The only unique aspect of it is the plantings along the side of the road…supposed bioswales. However, it looks as if the planting are too near the road and will be dealt a lethal blow by the salt and salt spray this winter. Valiant attempt but as a landscape architect not sure it was the right solution (at least in terms of plant selection).

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  69. So sad….I was a UT student in the early 80s and we would drive out to the mall everynow and then to get away, see a movie etc. Oldetown was different. Does anyone remember the Movie theatre showing adult features after Midnight on weekends at or around that time?

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  70. To Johnson, Kevin, & miblue:

    See my post above from June 3, 2008. That’s exactly what I was talking about.

    It’s the single biggest reason that enclosed malls are no longer being built, at least around here.

    There have been some huge brawls at Westfield Franklin Park in the past couple of years.

    What a shame.

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  71. As of this moment, the area where Southwyck used to be is a huge empty space with a “for sale” sign out front. The entire mall, including a Charlie’s Restaurant that used to be behind the Keybank, is gone. All of the rubble has been cleared away.

    There are currently no plans to do anything with the site (guess the outdoor shopping mall plans fell through), and I don’t know if the center amphitheater was saved or not. We just got a new mayor, though, maybe he’s got some ideas…

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  72. i my self had good memorys first off indoor mall is a must ! put a water park in there bowling in there ive seen small recording booths in the mall movies theather let the older people go to frankldprkmall we need somthing for the dave and buster people!!!

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  73. Its such a shame that something wasn’t done when the gangs moved in… I remember the best antique shows being at Southwick… Even then, you had to “watch your back” in the parking lots… Then the indoor brawls started and nobody was around to stop the rude, arrogant behavior of the “mall monkeys” from the local neighborhood! Its no wonder that nice people stopped shopping there…Now Franklin Park is seeing the same kind of gang mentality… Just shows what Toledo has become…”Little Detroit”… The hoodies ruined that city…Now they are here in Toledo… So sad!

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  74. I lived approximately 1 mile east across a 100 acre farm field in 1970 or 71 when construction began. It was awesome to see such a structure going up. I have great memories of Southwyck – AMC movie theatre, Red Baron Arcade, Rudy’s Hot Dog’s, The center water feature where you could lay around on the steps, the Turquoise Jewelry store (personal favorite – all the good looking girls Connie and Jane employed!), and of course when I was old enough to imbibe at the Old Towne Pub. Sorry to hear it’s gone!

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  75. I have a photo of me from my childhood and every year my parents would take me here for Christmas and I would get my photo taken.

    My sister is an awesome artist and now she is head of the art departments of a public high school in central Ohio. She painted a copy of one of the photos. It’s one of my favorites memories. I would like to upload a photo, if that’s okay. If you don’t mind displaying it?

    Sara

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  76. I am sitting in the McDonald’s which fronts the landscape of what used to be the Southwyck Mall. As a teenager I had the unique experience of working in the mall at various stores during the summer of 1972 just prior to and after it opened. Having worked in the area over the last 30 plus years that have passed since it’s opening and demolition I can say that a major impact of it’s failure was the decline of the surrounding neighborhood and it’s infrastructure. All one has to do is drive down the Reynold’s road corridor south of the Ohio Turnpike and note the decay and neglect of the buildings on either side of the road. There are two major hotel buildings that are now empty and a handful of smaller buildings that are now empty. Many of the office complexes that flanked the Southwyck Mall on Southwyck Blvd. are empty and in very poor repair. Many were built on the cheap and have not been kept in good repair. I see the overall decline of the entire area as a roadblock to any redevelopment of the old mall property. This can be substantiated by the fact that any time there is demolition of a building where the real estate is a hot commodity one usually sees a quick redevelopment of the property. Given this outlook the Southwyck Mall property will probably remain as is for quite some time to come.

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  77. So who owns the property and who is planning for or selling it? A contact person?

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    John Reply:

    @Jan, Here’s the owner info from the Lucas County Auditor’s site:

    S-S-C Company, Attn: Glen Anderson
    P.O. Box 129
    Mission, KS 66201

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  78. An IKEA might be a good idea, but there’s one only 55 miles up I75/275 in Canton, MI

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  79. Wasn’t Marshall Field’s also at Southwyck?

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    Rich Reply:

    @jhshifris, They were at Franklin Park.

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  80. Why are you bemouning a building built in the 70′s? Even the neighborhood around it has colapsed. I t used to be the great place to be, you killed it. Get over it and move on. There are more places to kill. I’m sure you’ll find them.

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  81. Southwyck Mall was the most unique mall I ever walked in. The center dome with the fountains and the merry go round was amazing. Many activities and performances were displayed in this center area. The Coney Island had great food, and the Red Baron with the cool red neon with a upper/lower level arcade were a classic.

    I drove by the area today and the blight has spread to area businesses on reynolds. It’s sad, to see such a huge “scar” from where Southwyck stood. Reguardless of what is built there, nothing will top the experiences many of us carry to this day. Its a shame I only been to the mall maybe 10 times in my life.

    I am going to do a write up on North Towne Mall if anyone is interested in contributing. I been researching and collecting photos for a few weeks.

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  82. As of this date, the Southwyck Mall area is still a blight and will likely continue to be nothing but an empty concrete field for some time to come. No one seems interested in the property, and as has been stated most of the office buildings that circle the mall property are abandoned, with huge weeds and untended trees and grass growing up around them. Just go to Google Earth and search for Southwyck Mall and you can see the huge scar where the mall used to stand.

    And yes, gangs are responsible. The death knell came when the Toledo busses started running a direct route from north Toledo to Southwyck. It was very easy for gangs to jump on the bus, come down to Southwyck, harass people and then go home. I remember when I moved here I was warned that there was a “white night” and a “black night” during the weekends, and you were in trouble if you went on the wrong night. Nobody could ever remember which was which, unfortunately, so as a precaution people tended to avoid Southwyck on the weekends altogether.

    And that’s what killed Southwyck Mall.

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  83. Just wondering if the parking lot is still accessible and safe to leave a vehicle in for someone using Megabus?

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  84. Cherie, you can’t get into the parking lot with a car, the entrances are blocked off. You can only get in on foot. I wouldn’t leave a car there anyway, it’ll get stolen or broken into.

    Real shame what happened to the area. Looks like it’ll remain a huge weed-choked parking lot. That goes nicely with the huge abandoned Clarion hotel nearby, with its broken windows and its halls crawling with squatters, drug users and vagrants.

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  85. Southwyck was the mall where, in late July of 1984, I drove from Cleveland to Toledo (about 130 miles each way on the Ohio Turnpike) , to see “Revenge Of The Nerds” for the first of many, many times. Harvey Pekar wrote about this in an “American Splendor” comic book story (I worked with Harvey), and it was later dramatized in the 2003 “American Splendor” film. (“30 Rock” actor Judah Friedlander played me, and Paul Giamatti played Harvey.) I saw “Revenge Of The Nerds” on one of the AMC theater’s postage-stamp-sized screens (it hadn’t opened in Cleveland yet; that’s why I drove to Toledo) . I did make a day of it, going into Old Towne/Red Baron afterwards to play pinball and video games, then had something to eat afterwards. Old Towne/Red Baron was very special. I remember seeing old Toledo Blade newspapers from the 1920′s pasted on its walls. And the place had many, many vintage and modern pinball and video games. It was even featured in an issue of “Electronic Games” magazine, which was another reason I wanted to go to Toledo-I wanted to see this arcade for myself. I made at least a few visits to Southwyck in later years, noticing how that mall was dying-and quick, over a course of visits in an over 20-year period. I also recall eating at a McDonald’s that used to be a bank, near the mall. The outside still looked like the Sylvania Savings & Loan it used to be.

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  86. A correction to the original article which stated that Lasalle’s had a store there. This was never the case.

    Lasalle’s had stores Downtown, Westgate, Woodville Mall, and North Towne Square.

    Lamson’s had stores Downtown, Franklin Park, Southwyck, and Parkway Plaza.

    The Lion Store, Lamson’s, and Montgomery Ward were the anchors. When Lamson’s bit the dust in the mid 70′s (I believe it was 1977 or 1978) their location was taken over by Lion for the Home.

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  87. “The death knell came when the Toledo busses started running a direct route from north Toledo to Southwyck. It was very easy for gangs to jump on the bus, come down to Southwyck, harass people and then go home. I remember when I moved here I was warned that there was a “white night” and a “black night” during the weekends, and you were in trouble if you went on the wrong night. Nobody could ever remember which was which, unfortunately, so as a precaution people tended to avoid Southwyck on the weekends altogether.”

    I never thought of it that way. I too the trust #3 bus all the time to UT myself from my home up in Alexis Rd. I also went down to Southwyck as well, though it’s a shame that people half my age had to go and spoil it for the bunch like bad apples anyway. My mom use to take us there all the time to see movies and other things.

    And yeah, it’s still a giant vacant lot, just like what’ll happen with North Towne Square once they’re through with that too. They all act like they’re going to get something in there, yet nothing happens (like the Marina District).

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