Westland Mall; Columbus, Ohio

Westland Mall Lazarus in Columbus, OH

Tucked away on the west side of Columbus on the corner of Broad Street/U.S. 40 and the I-270 belt, Westland Mall has without a doubt seen better days.  Opened in 1969 as an outdoor mall, Westland was enclosed in 1982 and has not been renovated since.  As such, it has fallen victim to the flight of many-a-store in recent years, especially considering the tight retail competition in the Columbus market.

When it opened, Westland was anchored by Sears, Columbus-based Lazarus, and JCPenney.  Only Sears has held its ground; JCPenney closed in 1997 for new digs several miles up the road at The Mall at Tuttle Crossing and Lazarus, which became Macy’s recently, closed earlier this year citing underperforming sales.  Other national chain stores have departed in recent years as well, such as The Limited and Express.  In addition, the Woolworth’s mini-anchor which closed in 1997 with the rest of the chain was replaced by a Staples which denied mall access.  Whoops.  Since 2000, many more stores have departed, and on a Columbus Dispatch reporter’s recent visit to the mall the Dollar store was the busiest retailer in the whole place.  Whoops again. 

Westland Mall in Columbus, OH Westland Mall Lazarus in Columbus, OH

So what really happened at Westland?  Several sources suggest that tight competition was a major factor in Westland’s demise.  Between 1997 and 2001, Columbus saw more large retail destinations open than in any other market, with the opening of two large enclosed malls, The Mall at Tuttle Crossing and Polaris Fashion Place, and one large outdoor center, Easton Town Center.  Malls like Westland, and others which have recently failed like Columbus City Center and Northland Mall, all fell victim to this shiny new competition at an alarming rate. 

The opening of all three of these new centers also signified a greater shift geographically in the economic prosperity of Columbus, pressing greater emphasis on the large sprawling swath of suburbia north of downtown and leaving the other parts of town struggling.  Just by looking at a map of Columbus, it’s easy to see the recent growth has pressed northward at a rate two to three times the rate of other directions.  This is where much of the money is in Columbus, and also has much to do with the location of OSU in this direction.

Westland Mall in Columbus, OHToday, Westland Mall is a ghost town, a retail relic and a living history museum to the ‘dead mall’ phenomenon visible across the entire country.  The Broad Street retail strip around it is dated and functional, but the mall has definitely outlived its original stay as the anchor for this side of the trade area.  A massive renovation and repurposing will have to take place before it is viable again.  The mall’s website indicates they are courting ‘value’ tenants to make Westland into a ‘value-oriented’ mall, and while this may solve the immediate vacancy issue it is really only a stopgap solution as the center continues to age rather ungracefully. 

But for now, enjoy the photos and if you’re in the area take a visit to one of the area’s best-preserved dead mall museums while it lasts.  It won’t be long before they give up the ghost and try again.  The pictures here were taken in March 2004.

Westland Mall Broad Street in Columbus, OH Westland Mall in Columbus, OH Westland Mall in Columbus, OH 

Westland Mall in Columbus, OH Westland Mall in Columbus, OH Westland Mall in Columbus, OH

Westland Mall in Columbus, OH Westland Mall in Columbus, OH Westland Mall in Columbus, OH

Westland Mall in Columbus, OH Westland Mall Staples in Columbus, OH Westland Mall Broad Street in Columbus, OH


119 thoughts on “Westland Mall; Columbus, Ohio”

  1. A few notes of interest:

    -Does anyone know who enclosed this mall? Given the time (early 80’s) , and decor, it appears as though the company who owned the mall appears to have owned a lot of Ohio malls at the time- most notably Eastgate Mall in Cincinnati Ohio (renovated in 2004 and no longer bears much resemblance) and Towne Mall in Franklin/Middletown Ohio (a near-dead mall with similar decor to Westland!)

    Those smoked-glass faux streetlamps and recessed square lights were a signature style of the company, and it made for some very dark malls that always felt larger than they were.

    -The other remaining “Land” mall in Columbus, Eastland, appears to be faring much better (though it’s very bland), but the now-empty Lazarus/Macy’s from the 60’s (complete with groovy blue-glazed brick) is sadly in such bad state that it’s an eyesore (also a shame, because the new Macy’s is offensively dull.)

    -Although they were founded in Columbus, I believe at the time this mall opened, Lazarus had become a Cincinnati operation. Maybe not, it’s certainly where the name died.

  2. Columbus is interesting in that the metro isn’t all that large, but in the retail world it is quite large. When polarasfashon place & easton town center & OSU are factored in you have a robust market.

    Speaking of PFP is it a little strange that PFP has trubble holding on to it’s department stores L & T & is stuck with the great indoors? A nice store but they just didn’t make money. One more thing there are no divisions of limited brands because limited chearman Les wWexner is part owner of easton town center & the headquarters are located there. Out of protest limited signed 0 leases at PFP although the mall is owned by Glimsher also in columbus.

  3. heh there’s a Chi-Chi’s by one of the mall entrances in that 2nd picture. It’s probably vacant know after the whole health scare that closed that chain down (forgot what the disease was).

    How large is Columbus? Is it large enough to support this mall, and the newer malls? Or are the new retail malls/center in the suburbs of this city?

  4. Chi-Chi’s was eventually forced into closure by hepatitis A in green onions…most of the NJ locations were subdivided…one half became Bonefish Grill and the other half another chain restaurant….never was a Chi-chi’s fan…On the Border and Jose Tejas/Border Cafe are ten times better.

  5. So is it safe for me to guess that a lot of ex-Jacobs Group malls are in essence, ‘dark malls’, and have this sorta design going for them?

    That question aside, I really enjoyed the write-up on this mall. It’s sad that it looks like this mall is probably on borrowed time, before it’ll get redeveloped somehow.

  6. I have a picture of the front enterance of the Westland Mall in Columbus, Ohio. I was there to go to the DMV branch in the mall. I think the majority of the mall patrons were at the DMV, as when I got there, they were serving number 7 and I was number 38. Those pictures of the mall make it look much better than it really is. I cannot remember the last time it looked, well, occupied. And yes, the Chi Chi’s is gone; I think you can see what it is now in the picture.

  7. Hi droman i looked up the population for you. Columbus has over 700,000 people in the city & 1,725,000 in the metro area aprox.
    With those numbers they could support i would say 4 major centers.
    Maybe citty center if they can figure out what to do with it.
    Easton has other things going for it like housing & corporate offices of lane bryant & limited brands on it’s property.
    Also the large number of eateries cant hert.
    On the other hand PFP only has 3 restaurants. Rember restaurants matter just as much if not more so than department stores.

  8. Oh i forgot to add that Les Wexner tried to stop PFP’s construction, when he faild he chose not to sign any leases out of protest.

  9. Too bad about this mall. If it reinvents itself, it might have a fighting chance. Perhaps with a blend of bix-box retailers. Seems like with 1.7 million people, they could get 4 1/2 malls in there.

  10. Jacobs malls tended to be a little dark. This one looks a little different than the othe ones I’ve sen though. For one thig, there’s no terrazzo. Usually they had a lot of terrazzo flooring, at least the ones from the late ’70s that I’m more familiar with.

  11. Lazarus was part of Federated and had been since the 20s or 30s, as the Lazarus family organized and ran Federated for many years. Some of the family was in Columbus and ran the namesake store. Federated itself was based in Cincinnati (where they owned Shillito’s) and also had a large NY office.

  12. Polaris was the death of the malls in Columbus. Northland, gone. Westland, close to being gone, and it will be followed by Eastland.

    And even Polaris has seen better days. Easton Town Center sets the standard in columbus

    You made mention of City Center Mall, which is worthy of coverage.

    It’s a Simon Mall, acquired from Mills. But it’s not listed on their site

  13. I went to this mall 5 months ago and spent like 5 minutes in it as it had nothing left and macy’s was starting to close. therew as a vacant anchor. this shopping area I hear is in a high crime area. Someone form my college went to this area and was scared. there is a vacant Kmart, TOys r us and closed circuit city near it.

    eastland was not too good. well polaris and easton mall with nordstrom is doing really good

  14. @Steve: I noticed that too… most Jacobs group (it was in fact Jacobs who owned Towne & Eastgate until they sold them to CBL) they used Terrazzo up the wazoo. Their design really an interesting effect in the malls- they always seemed gloomy and large, even if it was a sunny day. (We always called it the “Goth Mall” – also fitting given its bizarre decor pieces such as organ-pipe chimes in the center court (removed by the time I got there with a camera, natch) and the other watchamacallits.

    My guess is that the retrofit of the existing center led to some unique design decisions on this mall (such as the wood panelling- I almost want to believe this was enclosed before 1982 because by the early 80’s, Jacobs group was using hexagons up the ying yang… just see the attached pictures.)

    I’ve included 3 shots of Eastgate and one of Towne Mall, apologies about the lack of quality.

    Do note this is right before Eastgate was renovated, so much of its original gloom was on its way out.

  15. Thanks for posting those pics of both Eastgate and of Towne Mall. I presume both these malls are in the greater Columbus(OH) area, am I right?

    The ones of Eastgate are especially interesting, and what I particularly enjoyed looking at. Sad to hear that it may be the next dead mall in Columbus to come, beyond Westland…..(unless say, Eastgate somehow can reinvent itself, or do something drastic to prevent further decline)

  16. I wondered about the history on this one. Eastland opened around ’69 or ’70 and was enclosed. It’s difficult to find a mall, anywhere, that was built after the early 60s that wasn’t originally built as a mall (there are exceptions like Landmark & Tysons in the DC area, but those are rare). Jacobs enclosed Westgate in Cleveland (one of their first centers) around ’69 or ’70. This center was to Great Western what Eastland was to Great Eastern and Town & Country on the east side. My guess is that it either opened as a mall or opened as strip well before ’69. If it did open as a strip in ’69, it would have been designed with eventual enclosure in mind.

  17. Is it to far fetched to say that Easton Tuttle crossing & PFP will be the only malls left in Columbus?

  18. Eastgate is in Cincinnati, was renovated in 2003 (looks nothing like it does in the pictures nowadays.. at least on the inside) and is doing allright.

    Eastland mall is in Columbus… and also was recently renovated. It is doing okay, but it is missing an anchor, and is trying hard to fight off its “b-mall” image. Still a functional mall serving a minority customer base, but that image combined with difficult freeway access make its future questionable.

    Towne Mall is halfway between Cincinnati and Dayton (opened about 2 year prior to Eastgate) and is at death’s door (anchors are healthy, inline is gone.)

    Eastgate & Towne Malls were sold to CBL from Jacob’s Group about 5-6 years ago (in the 3 year period where just about every mall in Cincinnati changed hands) .

    Two other points of interest:
    1) Eastgate added an addition in 1992 when McAlpin’s relocated to the mall. Despite the obvious changes in style over the 11 years, Jacobs Group demanded that the addition match the original mall exactly, and actually had the light fixtures re-fabricated to match the original 1981 mall decor.

    2) Eastgate’s current owner felt the mall was so dark that the skylights weren’t serving any purpose but to exaggerate how gloomy the mall was, so when installing the new light fixtures (basically, industrial grade fluorescent fixtures behind a translucent canopy covering almost all of the corridor), they kept adding more and more light fixtures on a trail-and-error basis until the lights matched the brightness of the skylight. It certainly brightened the mall up quite a bit, and watching the construction workers grumble as they had to add MORE fixtures was hilarious. It’s one of the few renovations I’ve heard of where the end result was LESS natural light.

  19. Jacobs Group malls were known for their seamless additions. In two cases I remember in North Carolina, older malls they owned were doubled in size, but you’d never know where the old part ended and the new part began unless you really studied the minute details.

  20. A “B-mall” is basically one rung below the largest regional malls; a mall that may be missing anchors or only has 1 or 2 anchors, and fewer stores than the usual regional mall–in a large metro area, a mall with 50 or 60 stores and 2 anchors would be a “B-Mall” even if it always functioned that way.. Malls with only second string anchors like Burlington Coat Factory might be considered a “B”, too.

  21. The Matter of Steak sign is funny and old, I like neon in dark malls. One mall in Corpus Christi has lots of neon and a Burlington Coat Factory too.

  22. does the failure of this mall and others like this a result of the oft-mentioned economic problems in OH?

  23. Westland opened as an outdoor mall about 1965-1966. I was probably in the sixth grade at Clinton Elementary at the time. By 1969, I was in high school in southern Kentucky. I didn’t visit the mall again until a family reunion in 1982. We went to see “Annie” in the theater at Westland. I understood the reasons a mall in Ohio might benefit from being indoors, but I missed the mall I had first seen as a child. To me, it was like putting Walt Disney World inside.

  24. Phil T; let me try and answer this for you, it looks like retail shift is or has moved northward to Easton & PFP & away from Westland & other malls. As for OH’s economic problems-maybe you got something, but i just don’t know.

    Well i tried my best.

  25. Westland Mall has been going under for over a year. There using duck tape to keep it up and running. Only forced into fixing the problems as the totally go into failure.
    Customer Service is now gone as of the first of 2008. I for see that it will be gone by June or July.

  26. Westland Mall was enclosed before 1982. It was as early as 1980, maybe 1979. As a teen, Westland was a great place to hang out. Aladins Castle was the arcade were everyone hung out. They even had an Orange Julius. In my opinion, when they closed the Orange Julius, They killed the mall. The line was always long there. I still visit the mall since I live just down the street. But even on the busiest day, you can shoot a gun and not hit anyone. It’s sad…

  27. Of The “Land” malls (Northland, Eastland, Westland), Westland was always the least pretty of the three. Neighborhood shifts will prevent Eastland from ever being what it had once been (there was a shooting there recently, fortunately no one was hurt) And Northland has not been redevelloped in any way since it was demolished in 2002. Right now it’s just a giant empty lot with a Taco Bell in the front. Westland has been completely destroyed by the construction of the nearby Mall at Tuttle Crossing. They use the empty JC Penney (it closed and moved to Tuttle in 1997) as a convention center of sorts, housing gun shows and other whatnot on the main floor. And the few brief ventures I made out into the mall found absolutely no one.

    and SEAN, it is far fetched to say that the new “Big 3” will be the only ones left. Eastland has booming sales, and it’s always full. However, It seemes like every time I go there, the influence from Whitehall is bigger.

  28. Just searching for information on Westland Mall closing, as I have heard just this week that Les Wexner (Limited) has bought the property. I also heard that he bought the apartment complex in the back of the mall and is looking into buying the old GM plant across the street. The goal with all this real estate buying is to build a shopping complex like Easton and call it Weston. Sounds too good to be true, dosen’t it?. The west side of Columbus has certainly had it’s share of crime and business demise in the past 10 years.
    Now with Meijer on Georgesville Rd closing, the westside of Columbus needs to have a makeover. Does anyone know if this information is true? or is it just another rumor?

  29. I recently went to Famous Footwear on the old west side and was told they were closing. The rumor is that Les Wexner purchased Westland Mall and the surrounding property. I live closer to the City Center and Westland Mall. I’m tired of driving to another side of town for mall shopping. I don’t understand why these two malls have been left for ruin. The old malls are in prime locations and once again could prosper. Why continue to build new malls and leave abandon sites to shatter the surrounding neighborhoods. Crime rate is high and property values are lower due to the disregarded stores. There should be laws that prohibit the crazy of over building. There are to many structures left standing. The old shopping locations should be tore down if not remodeled as they are eye sores, and contribute to rise in crime. If the rumor is true, then it would be wonderful to have shopping, restaurants, and entertainment close to work, home, and Downtown Columbus. Does anyone know anything about this resent rumor?

  30. City Center Mall was bought up by the State and City to be converted into office space. Several state departments are moving into the Lazarus building there. Hopefully the rumor of Weston is true. If you look at the Krone Group (owners of Westland mall) it has had the name changed to Weston Towne center which would go along with the rumors that I have heard.


    I have lived on the west side of town for almost 2 years now and I would love to see a mall and business come back to the area. I feel safer on the west side of town then I do when I go to Easton. Last time I went to go see a movie there (about a month ago) I saw a huge fight break out and about 4020330483024823 Somalians running through the mall screaming at each other. Cops were out in force and they had their hands full.

  31. The entire Westside of columbus around the mall seems to be going dead with major closings of

    media play, Meijer, Schottenstein’s, Sears inside the mall (coming soon), Golds gym in the mall parking lot.

    There is no reason to shop at westland unless you looking for a pair of sneakers or jewelery.

    there are currently 4 shoe stores left, Finishline, Champs, Lady Foot Locker, & KC’s men’s clothing, maybe 2 jewelry places, a Matter of Steak is still there, the arcade somehow is still open nothing what it use to be, other than that the mall is gone, soon as Sears closes say goodbye to westland.

    Honestly the area is not that bad as said in previous posted above it’s not easton but it’s not like your gonna get robbed or raped on trip the Bob Evans 🙂 , there is still lots of good restaurants down the road in georgesville square. In my honest opinion problems went wrong with the cheap ass apartment complex behind the mall, low income families moving in to run down apartments equals shopping in the mall in non existent.

    I worked in the mall about 6 years ago, I would always hear great ideas from management of the mall talking about bringing in new stores, they were even in talks about putting in a Skate Park inside of the old J.C penny’s building but that quickly fell through & I never heard why.

    I don’t wanna go into where I worked but in a 11 hour day the store I worked for would only take in a few hundred dollars a day, take into count rent cost & paying employees you can see why stores can’t last in westland. Funny story, one day during a weekday we opened at 10:00 am we didn’t get our first paying customer until about 2:00 pm. that’s so sad, haha.

    a complete rebuild of the entire mall, apartment complex out back is the only way to get people back shopping, trust me we are all here ready to shop but with no stores in the mall obviously shoppers will go elsewhere.

    there is still hope!

  32. Sears is not closing! My sister works at sears and they are not closing any time soon. That sears is the busiest sears in Columbus believe it or not. Also westland has been bought by Les Wexner. He is also getting ready to buy GM, the two shooping centers by westland, and the apartments behind it. The only reason he has not announced this yet is because he is working with ODOT to have a freeway ramp lead right into weston like it does at easton.

  33. We moved to this Far West Southwest area from Raleigh NC three years ago to take a job at OSU. We thought that the area around our subdivision seemed safe enough.

    I will not go to the upper Georgesville Road area even though it is a little closer to us. In fact, I travel to the Hilliard Rome Meijers instead of patronizing the more closer one on Georgesville. Many people must feel the same, the store is scheduled to close as many others have.

    Why? There are an extreme abundance of housing projects that cater to thousands of illegal immigrants and somali refugees in this area (better for the landlords to have the complexes full than empty?). The young children of these people are not assimilating into the schools easily and therefore we have resulting gang problems with these two groups. My family calls this area “little Tijuana”. I DO NOT FEEL SAFE in this area!

    This area will not be safe at these stores until the following things happen…

    We have seen beautiful renovation of many small towns in the Raleigh area. One of the first things they do is to better plan roads to ease traffic into the area. Second thing is to plan green areas all around the metro complexes. Next come nearby housing and condos that take advantage of the green areas. Then comes the inviting shopping areas with great retail stores. Tax base improves, schools are built which entice more homeowners near the area, the area looks “pretty” and better and safer communties develop. We have seen this plan over and over in North Carolina.

    I absolutely agree with the prospect of redevelopment of this area. The easy access to 270 needs to be reworked and the Georgesville/Broad street area can be another Easton Towne Center. When we moved here, we asked “Why isn’t there a good mall area in this area of town? It would be a goldmine!” I wrote letters to mall property development companies!

    BUT FIRST…the area housing projects MUST BE CLEANED of the crime eliment or nobody will come to an area that they will not think is safe.

  34. To truly say it, I am a die hard Westside resident. I was born and raised out here from birth until I was 18 (last year). I seen the Westside peak climb and seen it drop from 2004. It hasn’t been the same, it all has to do with the Mall. The Mall is the back center of a town and or a side of town. Grove City, Hilliard, Urbancrest, Hilltop, Franklinton, Far West, all went to this mall and brought a lot of business. When they took JCPenny’s out that hurt the mall and brought more revenue to the Northside (Tuttle, Polaris, and Easton). It’s hurts me how the West Side was a good place to live. I look at it now, living out in Reynoldsburg, it hurts to see how my City is dying. And West Side is it’s own city.

    The Wingate Villages (Lincole Park West formaly) where I grew up at from 1990 to 1995, was a great place to live for the Blacks and the Whites, it was calm community and the biggest apartment complex. The apartment complex has so much history that my mom grew up there when she first move from Indiana, in 1973. I mean when I was growing it rough there but, not like it is now, but Westside was rough city as it is. Now “I look back at it and drive through there and it hurts me to see what the heck the ownership is doing and why would they let get this bad to a point where it’s a projects and a trap house (drug area). And it sad the City isn’t doing squat for the West Side (the first settlement in Columbus) there is a lot history out here. But it’s up to us, to change it so…. Hopefully one day, when I get out of College, I’ll be that person.

    When ever they will be, Weston Town Center. They are going to knock down the whole strip from the mall area, to the little stores surrounding, that’s gonna be knock down, and the stores across the street will be knock down. And also if they are trying to rebuild it, the guy is gonna have to by the apartments (Lincoln Par West, Brittany Hills, Country Brook, Pleasent Grove) The Westside is showing a little progess in the Lincoln Village area, building new stores. You also can’t look at the area you got look at where Target is, where K-Mart use to be, where AJ Wright is now, all those areas you have to look at. If it was to get back where it was, these are things they have to do.

  35. It was all over when Orange Julius left. As my father being a mall manager in the late 70s of the mall before it was enclosed shared many memories of how nice of a place it was with the open air feel. It was a beast at winter time, but look how Easton has made the best of it. Here is my idea…since the amphitheater at Polairs is gone. Put it over on the West Side of Columbus. Then build from that. I mean really, you have a bunch of room to grow. With rumors of Target leaving this side of town, that area will open up and the Kmart area. Lots and lots of room to grow.

  36. Ok so I have lived in a suburb near Westland Mall most of my life and I have to say, Westland Mall has been on the decline since I was in high school (1995 – 1999). It got to the point where during high school we stopped going to movies there because it wasn’t safe!!! I couldn’t be happier to see the west side torn down and rebuilt from the ground up. Maybe by time my daughter is in high school it will be a safe place again. Go Wexner, I support you 100% in tearing down the west side!!!

  37. I have not lived in this area long but before I moved over here back years ago, Westland Mall use to be very active, you could go there and buy some things that you could not find in other places, what happen, is there ever going to be someone that will take it on and bring it back to life. We can”t let something as great as this Mall go to waste. Places like this that use to be a land mark need to be fixed up again stop building new places and take care of the old ones that we have. Columbus needs to take care of it city.

  38. Anyone have any confirmation of the rumour that Les Wexner purchased Westland Mall, the apartment complex behind it and/or the GM plant? Or know where I could go to get confirmation?

  39. The GM building is for sale there’s a big sign in front of saying for sale but I don’t know if Wexner bought to resell or someone else is selling.

    on another note the Chrysler Car lot has went out of business the one that sits in front of Target on West Broad & how about that fancy new Radio Shack, Lol a 4 unit building was built with tons of empty spaces in the mall & were K mart was hell even down by Meijer on Georgesville there’s spots. Seems like a waste to me build a new building just for a radio shack, you know damn well no one else is moving into those other units.


  40. I just came across this site and It’s a bummer! I was the Mall Manager in the late 60’s and early 70’s and knew Adam Gibride’s dad ( I think I hired him and trained him). The mall was brand new when I took over and it was great! Great tenants, (i knew the family that owned Orange Julius well), great customers, and I loved it. The name of the owners at that time was Jacobs-Visconsi & Jacobs (JVJ) It has now become the Richard Jacobs group. I have fond memories of Westland and JVJ. I left Westland to open more malls for JVJ and in the day, they were one of the top developers in the country. I hope Les comes through for you all.

  41. I really hope something is going to happen on the westside. We so need a boost to the community. I too lived in in the apartment complex when it was Shannonway. Blacks and whites lived together and it was a really nice place to live. IT was sold. They started renting to anyone and then things went bad. We bought a house and it’s just heartbreaking to see what has happened to that part of town. I hope these rumors I keep hearing are true.

  42. Dear Mr. Wexner:

    Come revitalize the West Side, please!!! My house is only 6 years old and it’s now only worth 75% of what I paid for it. Please come drive my home’s value up. The whole west side would greatly apreciate it.

  43. It’s interesting to watch people compare old & new Columbus malls and say that the new malls (Easton/Polaris/Tuttle) killed the old malls (Westland/Northland/Eastland).

    Listen people! The old malls were almost dead long before the new malls came along.

    The reason that Westland/Northland/Eastland malls failed (or are failing) is because they’re located IN THE GHETTO!

    This especially true with Northland. I mean the reason that this mall closed was because of crime & violence. Not because of other malls. People got tired of being mugged in the parking lot on the way to their cars. With Northland, not only did this mall close, but the stores across the street might be leaving soon too! I work for Kohl’s department stores, and I’ve heard that once Kohl’s lease is up, they will then be OUT of the Morse Road area (across from the old mall). I believe all the area stores feel that way. Morse Road will continue to deteriorate.

    Another factor to consider when comparing these malls is to look at the STORES at these malls. Westland/Northland/Eastland have (or had) businesses like Lazarus, Sears, & JC Penny. Places like Easton & Polaris have businesses like Saks Fifth Avenue, The Apple Store, Abercrombie & Fitch, & the AMC IMAX Theater. Is this even really competition? Are families really going to think: “Well…we went to the Westland Mall, and couldn’t find a prom dress for our daughter at Sears, so we’ll just go to Saks Fifth Avenue and look for one there (and pay like ten times as much).”

  44. The city needs to address the gangs of teens and young adults that rove the surrounding area. The crime rate has climbed on the west side. The are hundreds of teens with nothing to do and yes, there are a lot of immigrants, but they are not all illegal. The westside will not get any better until a way is found to give this growing element new direction. Throw some $ into recreation or community centers, soccer fields, skate parks, something, anything at this point!

  45. I agree Mary. The young people need something to do besides roaming the streets and getting into trouble. They also need to do something with that huge apartment complex.

  46. I agree Mary. The young people need something to do besides roaming the streets and getting into trouble. They also need to do something with that huge apartment complex.

  47. Believe it or not this mall is still open, and you can still get your kid’s picture taken with Santa. Sears doesn’t appear to be going anywhere (given they are the only anchor denied a spot at Tuttle crossing, no surprise…) , but a few things worth mentioning…

    1) The layout for this mall is really strange… almost shaped like a question mark (especially if you consider the Sears the dot with the ending of inline stores on either side.) The main entrance actually has you snake around these dark narrow corridors with inline shops until you finally end up in the fairly nice center court.

    2) It is really, really dark and gloomy until you get to the center court… even for a Jacobs group mall. With the exception of the Sears-to-Macy’s corridor, everything else is really cramped, too.

    3) It has not been touched since 1982.

    4) The layout isn’t very space efficient. A lot of inline space is wasted due to the fact that the anchor store butts right up to the corridor.

    5) They no longer run the heat or A/C in this mall.

    It’s miraculous the mall is still standing and that it held on for as long as it did.

  48. This mall reminds me of Machesney Park Mall in Rockford, IL. The same thatch pattern faux cobblestone floor tile, and dated “mini mall” motiff. Pipe in the smell of popcorn and poverty, and you’d have Machesney.

  49. It’s really sad to see westland mall in the shape it’s in. I’ve lived on the westside of town my entire life and went to this mall almost every weekend. I remember going to see santa there when I was little! haha. But I guess time’s change and people move on. I would really like to see something good happen to this place tho. I feel that if they can get this mall busy like it was before, the westside would be a better place to live

  50. Westland has a few quirks. The Penneys, Sears, and the Lazarus predate the enclosed mall. I wonder if the stores across the front (former Wendy’s Rest., Wendy’s bridal, etc.) may have been there before the enclosed mall since the ceiling is lower there and it almost seems from another time.
    Unfortunately, I seriously doubt a “Weston” will be in the future there, since there are so few jobs out west. The GM plant is gone, as is the John Deere facility, and the Sears warehouse. Lack of spending power is the death knell of malls, not stores leaving. Stores do not leave as long as they make money. One recent vacancy out here that surprises me, though, is Meijer. They always had good prices, and often better merchandise than WalMart. However, Meijer never felt the Georgesville store perfomed to their liking, and after the Hilliard-Rome store opened there was talk of converting it to a Source Club.(Meijer’s answer to Sam’s Clubs) But, like many big Meijer Ideas, they jump in with both feet, and jump right out again, Source Club lasted little more then a year, leaving them with the underperforming store again. They now have a new store on State Route 665. It’s a bit of a hike, but it’s usually empty. (Like our pockets…) I would like to see something out here, but I won’t hold my breath.

  51. Note – I didn’t mean that Meijer ever converted the Georgesville store to a Source Club, They just intended to if the concept had taken hold. At that time, there were several Wholesale clubs and a consolidation was happening, meaning Meijer was “too little, too late”. They also griped that Columbus wouldn’t allow them to put in a gas station out front, either.

  52. One thing I find interesting about Columbus is, like Detroit, it has all four “Land” malls (Northland, Eastland, Westland, Southland). North, West and East in C-bus all had similar designs with Sears, Penney’s and Lazarus (although Eastland gained a Kaufmann’s as well — big mistake as they now have one huge vacancy in the old Lazarus), but somehow Southland never amounted to anything more than a tiny 20 store deal with Gold Circle and Fazio’s.

  53. I grew up on the west side of Columbus in the seventies. I remember back when Westland was an open air mall and a few of the stores were Petty’s card and gift shop, Seven Seas, Harvest House restaurant, and Foxwood Casuals (along with the anchors– Lazarus, Penneys and Sears). Does anyone else remember more names of the old stores?

  54. I remember Tinder Box (a tobacco shop), Aladdin’s Castle (an arcade), and Orange Julius.

  55. @Droman, Columbus is the 14th largest city in the US. Columbus in the late 90’s was in the top 5 in the fastest growing citys in the US for 3 years in a row. Most of the population has moved North. Westland’s problem is Shannon Way (which is now named Lincoln Park I believe) which is approching 99% hispanic. The area is dying also from New Rome holding it back for so may years. I do think it will come back but all the money has moved elsewhere within Columbus. It is known in the retail world as a giant. It is one of the best placeing for a test market. So you know the size, it is the largest city in population and area in ohio beating out Cleveland and Cincy. It is the largest city in the US that doesn’t have a major sports (of the big three) team. (It does have prohockey and pro soccer). And it is home to the Ohio State Buckeys. The OSU campus is the largest in the US. Columbus has plenty of room for more retailers.

  56. I remember the West Side and Westland Mall being the king in the 1980’s. Dublin, Worthington, and Hillard were small and those people came to the Westland Mall for their shopping. By the 1990’s the West Side and the Westland Mall started it’s fall. The West Side has always been blue collar working class people. It will never attract the type of building that you see in other parts of Columbus. It is called ubran sprawl at it’s worst! Where in the world is the West Side? I know where Upper Arlington, Dublin, and Grove City are located. The West Side is just lot’s of concrete and horrible urban planning.

  57. Diana, Its true the Westland mall we grew up with is but a collection of foggy memories. Do any of you remember the Westland Cinema thatwas just two screens? Marianne`s, Gray drug, Woolworths,Merial Normans, Brooks Brothers, Chess King,The old Hallmark Store,The Fire place store,Lazarus,The leotard store……the list goes on and on. I believe there was even a ice cream store, Lunch counters in Lazarus, Woolworths, Sears,Penneys, a cafeteria besides Woolworths. Plus all the other little snack places as well as shops. A part of my youth has just faded away, Yes, It`s very sad. The new malls are more of a amusment park atmospher ,rather than a fun shopping trip. Maybe things will change,,,,I fear not,

  58. My family moved to the West Side in 1961 when my dad got transferred (he was with Nationwide) Growing up in Lincoln Village was truly the “wonder years” We spent every summer day at the pool, there was a community tennis court that was flooded in the winter to make a skating rink. After church we went to Frisch’s, Ponderosa or Lincoln Lodge for lunch. We rode our bikes everywhere and the only rule was that we had to home when the street lights came on. Doors were never locked and if my mom wasn’t home and we were hungry, we went next door and got fed. We even had ou rown transit system.When Westland opened up we thought we had died and gone to heaven. We spent all day there walking around and having lunch at Orange Julius. Pre I-270, the traffic on Broad St. was brisk. My dad was the President of the Resident’s Association and he warned them that if they did not zone into Cols., the area would be forgotten about. I come to Cols. every year for an Ohio State game and I can’t stand to see what happened to my neighborhood. I never ever thought I would live to see the day that the word “ghetto” would be used to describe the magical place I spent so many happy years. And as usual, dad was right.

  59. @Amy, I managed a store for about six months at Westland, it was a family shoe store Sils (name later changed to Faflik’s). In the mall as I remember was Florsheim Shoes (no longer in retail business anywhere) Thom McCan (also totally out of business) a Waldens Book Store, Orange Julius, Lazarus, Sears, Woolworths, J. C. Penny’s (my wife worked there), Gray Drug, and assorted stores ie. card store, gift shop, almost all were name reconized chain stores as the independant retailer can not usually afford the crazy mall rents. The word back in the fall of 1969 was “as soon as the freeway opens up this mall will do fantastic business”. I saw that most (not all but more than 50%) of our customers seemed to be below average in intelligence and I lived on Hilton Avenue (walking distance to work) and many of my neighbors were a bit “trashy” and I understand that now the neighborhood is not one of the nicer places to live in the Columbus area. On Buckeye football days, you might as well not be opened as we did almost no Saturday business. It was a great looking place, just poor retail business.

  60. @Diana,

    I remember ice cream was called Soda Jerk. It was in the same wing as Aladdin’s Castle. It’s kind of sad to see that this mall has become a ghost town. I spent many days of my youth hanging out there.

  61. Stopped by today with some friends to check it out. Found it very sad. In the process of taking photos, discovered a small fire burning on a store frot (I believe the store was occupied, but not open – a number of them were that way).

    At any rate, the employees of other stores and customers (the few that were there) seemed to be more interested in staring at it rather than putting it out. One did call 911 and was waiting for the fire department, but apparently doesn’t understand that the way the fire was burning, it was likely electrical, and had it been allowed to burn, by the time the fire deparment would get there, it could be in the ceiling, and burn the mall down (although at this rate, it might be doing it a favor).

    Finally, my husband, and a friend of ours (who – like me – are fire extinguisher trained), located two nearby fire extinguishers, and put the fire out themselves.

    The fire department showed up about 10 minutes later.

    Yes, I’m serious. And I have the photos to prove it (although I’m on vacation, and can’t post them right now – I will when I return home).

    First time in all my dead mall adventures that I’ve ever run in to something like this. Freaky.

  62. @funky-rat, What caused the fire. If it took the fire dpt 10 minutes to respond, then a few conclusions can be drawn. Either they are understaffed or don’t believe it is worth responding to. reguardless it doesn’t look good. Would they respond the same way if it was Easton Town Center?

  63. @SEAN, I have no idea. We thought that it was electrical in nature, as it seemed that it started behind the sign on the storefront. It had just a painted sign – nothing lighted, but one could logically conclude that at one time, there was a lighted sign behind the painted sign. There was also a lot of crackling (more than I’d expect to hear from a small fire). The store itself was a hair salon.

    I’m not sure why it took the fire department 10 minutes. This never made the news (we looked), but I did see there was a big fire at Marzetti’s, but I’m not sure when it was. That could have held them up. We’re not from Columbus (we were down there for something else, and decided to stop by Westland because it was there), so I don’t know about what goes on down there, but I will say that the area is a bit run down, full of dead retail and abandoned buildings. Maybe it’s not a priority.

    What’s really scary is the apathy of the people there in general (we saw a security guard earlier, but never saw him again), the fact that no fire alarm went off, and that the fire was burning right below a sprinkler that never went off. Had this happened an hour or two later when the mall was closed, it might have burned to the ground.

  64. @Pam, Thanks for the memories that you listed. I also remember the excitement of Westland Mall as it once was; Orange Julius and Harvest House were the best. I, too, spent many summer days at Livco pool. You got it exactly right– we had our very own Wonder Years, which I’m very grateful to have been a part of…

  65. @funky-rat,

    I came across your Flickr pics and it was unreal! I was about to link to them on this post. Truly, truly strange- my thought was the wires for the old sign somehow weren’t properly capped/disconnected and caused the fire.

  66. Westland Mall has continued to change. Nearly everything is vacant, and the “new” tenants are fly-by-night souvenir and jewelry shops, and the standard spate of public service storefronts, like the Franklin County Sheriff.

    It has, however, suddenly become quite a topic on the news. Ohio just passed a state constitution amendment granting four casinos to specific owners in specific locations. (Yes, you read that right. Ohioans just modified their *state constitution* to grant four specific businesses to four specific owners in four specific locations. It is appalling that nobody thinks this a gross abuse of the state’s highest law, under which all are supposed to be equal. But I digress.)

    Franklin County, in which Columbus and Westland Mall are located, voted against the measure. Suddenly interest groups are popping up saying “We’ll take the casino!” as there is considerable opposition to its presence downtown in the arena district. One of those groups, which has such businesses as Haydocy Pontiac (located near Westland), has said that they would like to see the casino on the Westland site or on the old Dephi plant across the street on Georgesville Road.

    I live about 1.5 miles southeast of Westland Mall. I voted against the amendment as I perceive use of the constitution for this purpose as a perversion. However, if they’re going to put it somewhere, I wouldn’t mind it going either at Westland or the Delphi plant. My preference would be for Westland, as this is least likely to impact my drive to and away from my house everyday, as I usually go through the intersection at Georgesville and Broad.

    In an incomprehensible twist, the Franklin Township authorities said they were against the idea. Their reasoning? They get property taxes from Westland and Delphi. Yup, these geniuses oppose the plan because of the property taxes they think they’re going to get from a completely vacant auto supplier plant, and a nearly-dead mall complex. There are politics involved with the City of Columbus because of annexation and other things, but still…

    The Westland saga continues.

    On an even sadder note, I took 275 photos inside City Center on the day it closed. I don’t like to shop, but I really liked City Center. In September 1989, it was the first place real place I went in Columbus after starting school at tOSU. It has always had a special place in my heart. I even shot 15 minutes of video inside the mall so that I could coordinate all my photos. If I were really documenting its ultimate demise, I would have been taking pictures of its demolition, but I refuse to go see it.

  67. @Pam,

    I remember those “golden years” in Georgian Heights as well. Our neighborhood pool was Westview. Wasn’t it great growing up in the 70s on the Westside?

  68. Does anyone know what they are gonna do with the old meijer building on Georgesville?

  69. It was enclosed well before 1982. I graduated from HS in 1974 and it was enclosed then. I think it was 1972 it was enclosed.

  70. @mark,

    I remember being at the grand re-opening in October 1981 like it was yesterday. I am surprised at how many sources have this wrong.

  71. @Pam, How sad it is to see how this area has faltered. Not just the Mall ,but Lincoln Village. The little shopping center on Broad ,across from Frisch`s. It had a Basken Robbins,Big Bear, two or three neighborhood restaurants.Zayers , then Harts….it seems sad to see its decline.Yet, We saw the same to the open shopping centers, Great Western, Great Southern, Northern Lights, Graceland,Centeral Point…..to name most…..started to fail as Westland ,Northland and Eastland rose to stardom….With each of these failures so does the neighborhoods around them……become just urban pools of decay.

  72. Now a challenge to all westsiders…..does anyone have any photo of Westland Mall when it first opened up….know a bit more about all that was there.

  73. I was born on the west side and my family moved to Upper Arlington when I was 8. We still continued to come out to Westland, although by the early 80s Northland was the cool mall to go to.

    I remember Westland before it was enclosed. There was a huge fountain in the center courtyard featuring a light blue abstract sculpture. The fountain was retained after they enclosed it.

    Some of the retail has already been mentioned — Lazarus, Penney’s and Sears; Gray Drug, Seven Seas, Marianne (the first place I bought non-kid’s clothing), Foxmoor, Chess King, Aladdin’s Castle and Orange Julius I also have fond memories of the Woolworth’s. Harvest House! I had completely forgotten about them! They also had a Madison’s (local women’s chain that had a flagship store downtown), a County Seat, and a Petland. There was also a gift shop (maybe The Added Touch?) in the front entrance area where I was always buying my morther gifts (they might have even replaced the Petland).

    The Lazarus had a large restaurant on the second floor plus a little snack shop on the first (I think it was called Snik Snak). The Penney’s also had a restaurant. Penney’s was the first big tenant to leave. They used to have (maybe still have) gun shows and flea markets in that space.

    The Bob Evans out front was always busy, even after the mall started to decline.

    Since my father died two years ago I’m no longer coming to Columbus regularly–would be very interested in Westland updates, especially with the casino on its way…

  74. I am visiting the Columbus area, so I stopped in. There are absolutely no stores left, except Sears. Amazingly enough the mall was still open. It was very cold in there, dark, and I noticed water pouring in on one section of the roof. This has to be the deadest mall I’ve seen in a while.

  75. Those pictures from 2004 are really outdated. I’m amazed at how vibrant the mall looks in them! You should see it now. It’s dark, there is *no one* there, almost all of the spaces are empty, and you can hear water leaking into the empty spaces. It’s downright creepy, and as the article says, if you’re interested in this sort of thing, you owe it to yourself to check it out.

  76. Although it’s technically not part of Westland Mall, I would like to add that literally across the street from the mall, on West Broad, is what is generally believed to be the last remaining York Steak House still in business today.

    At one time a national restaurant chain that was particularly huge in the northeast — nearly every shopping mall of a certain size in New England had a York, if not in the mall itself, then on an outparcel or otherwise very close by — York was sold off by its owners (General Mills) in the late ’80s and dissolved shortly thereafter. Only a few franchisees remained open following the divestiture of the chain, continuing to operate as independent restaurants, and over time those franchises either took on other names or simply closed their doors. As far as I know, and have been able to verify, the one across from Westland — officially, Baker J’s York Steak House — is the last one to still use the York name and branding.

    Like Westland, to enter this restaurant is to step into a time capsule. Although some of the decor has been modernized (new upholstery on the booth seats, new light fixtures, things like that), Baker J’s retains the general look and feel of a York Steak House from the height of the chain: There’s still a cafeteria-style setup where you place your order, get desserts, drinks, and sauteed onions, and pay for your meal; you still order your meals on an a-la-carte basis; there are still the dark wooden beams and Tudor-inspired fringes decorating the walls; and the prices, while not the cheapest in town, are still wallet-friendly for most people. Even given the economic downturn in the area, this place remains open, and even thriving (to an extent), to this day, an oasis of 1970s-style steakhouse design amidst the retail blight of the Westland area. Definitely worth checking out if you’re in the area!

  77. @Devin de Gruyl, apparently, there were other malls that had it too, even beyond New England. Memorial City Mall in Texas has a food court that was originally a York Steak House.

  78. @Pseudo3D, It was a nationwide chain, yes. I was speaking more from my own memories of York in New England and the Northeast in general, but they were obviously elsewhere too. 8^)

  79. @dead mall,

    nah, Dixie Square in Illinois is the deadest mall, its been abandoned for 32 years! Pretty amazing though harvey’s economically poor.

    So Westland is still open? -I’ll be in Ohio probably the end of this year I’d like to run up there to visit it.


  80. @Nick, it’s probably still open. First the website goes down, then the HVAC, then the electricity, which comes last, and is usually cut off because of not paying bills (and subsequently shut down because non-working fire alarms). That’s the story of RAM at least and others to an extent (RPM)

  81. @Cbus Expat,

    I have lived in Grove City all my life.. and when you mentioned Orange Julius, it brought back memories of Westland Mall… I had forgotten all about that place…!! .There was also a turquoise jewelry store out there.. I can’t remember the name of it.. but to this day, I can not find a turquoise jewelry store anywhere it seems….I spent alot of my $$ at Foxmoor, that store was great !! I also remember Richman Bros, a store that sold men’s suits,,, my father used to go in there and buy his suits for work.. it was down toward the end by Sears. There was also an unfinished wood furniture place.. it may have been called Pine Factory, or Pine Wood Factory?? can’t remember..it was custom made furniture…my mother had bought her kitchen table and couch/love seat there…you had to order your furniture, choose your cushion pattern/design and then they made it, and you came back later when it was finished….it wasnt like you just walked in and took home a couch…thanks for the memories..

  82. I can smell the “Tinder Box” and see the poseurs by JB Robinsons just by looking at those pictures.

  83. I heard this mall is STILL OPEN, albeit with a few Latino stores inside. Sears is closing, however.

  84. @mark, the mall itself opened in 1969, not sure when it was enclosed? triva: lazarus was built by itself long before the mall was built

  85. My boyfriend lives in Grove City, and upon finding out there was a dead mall in Columbus, I was thrilled! I asked him to take me to see it, since I knew it was still open. He refused, saying that it wasn’t in the best of neighborhoods and it wasn’t safe. We were in the area anyway the other day, and we drove around the parking lot. We didn’t go inside, unfortunately, but Sears IS still open. I was a little glad we didn’t go in, because it truly did NOT look like a safe area. I saw some sketchy looking people roaming around. My boyfriend told me that there were alot of drug deals that occur there simply because there is no security cameras, or something like that. You can still see the label scar of the Macy’s Star where Lazarus once was. There are still notes on the windows saying the store has moved. Creepy and sad.

  86. I’m gonna visit this mall within the next 2 weeks, I have a SLR I hope don’t draw attention to the guards, but hopefully I can get some shots – there was a talk about Menards having the mall demolished to put Menards in its place. But guess it never happened.

  87. This mall is very dead, as for being unsafe to go in, I don’t think so, my partner and I have been in there a few times just to see the labelscars and look at how bad it gets every time… It has a musty basement odor… and looking in stores you can hear the water dripping, and see where tiles have fallen in.. There is a rebirth supposed to be coming. Search on http://www.columbusunderground.com for Westland.. Looks like it may be becoming a nicer place once the new casinos open up… Hoping it is successful and helps clean up that area! Oh, I would reccomend a trip on a weekday, very dead, and quiet!!

  88. I had to pick up something from Sears and decided to go in this mall today. It’s totally dead. The only stores left are a few knick knack stores that were all closed, a hair/ nail salon, a jewelry store where all the signs were in Spanish, A Matter of Steak, and a GNC which was the only well lit store that didn’t look shady. There was a Sherriff’s office that looked kept up, but it was closed and dark so I don’t know if it’s still functional. The mall entrance from Sears was closed off so you could only get in through the outside. It was raining today and water was dripping everywhere. A lot of the floor tiles have caved in and cracked. There are a few displays around the place that have small fake plants in them and that is all the decoration. There are a few label scars but most of the stores look like they have been vacant for so long that the labels have worn off. It was definitely the most run down mall I’ve ever seen still open to the public. Worth checking out if you’re into this sort of thing.

  89. it is sad to see the Mall the way it is now. I have heard that with the Casino being built on Georgesville rd that there will be a lot of different things they can do with the mall! I hope.

  90. @BILL, Name an area or city that is thriving once a casino opens there. If you cant think of one outside of Las Vegas, that’s because there aren’t any. Infact to call Las Vegas thriving is a stretch right now. Once the casino idea starts floating around, it’s desperation time for public officials. Instead of casinos, there should be a greater focus on redevelopment & reinvestment in the Westland area.

  91. Sean I know what you are saying. I had heard that the mall can be used for somethin positive? who knows until it actually happens. I would never vote for a casiono to be built on the westside!
    I remember the day the mall opened in 1969. My girlfriend at that time was hired by sears and I dropeed her off at work before the mall was actually open. I never dreamed back then that it would be like it is now!

  92. @BILL, I cant imagine what that neighborhood must be like if the best option for redevelopment is a casino.

    In nearby Pennsylvania, casinos are popping up all over the state. Particularly in the Pokonos & suburban Philadelphia. As a resultin part , Atlantic City has hit the skids. The other part is that New Yorkers are going to Yonkers Raceway or to casinos in Connecticut.

  93. Sean: Well the west side has been going down for a long time. The area where the casino will be is so so, their are apts. across the st. which needs help but from what I keep hearing is they will be fixed up and it would provide places for workers and possibly customers to stay!
    Down the rd. (Broad st) is not real bad especially in the are of Westgate. Those homes have always kept their value and seem to be steady. There are other areas like lincoln Village to the west is pretty good yet.. so I can see it might work out for Westland Mall yet, I’am keeping my hope up that so good will happen, gut feeling I think it will be positive!
    The casino was orignally suppose to have been built in downtown Columbus in a area called the Arena district but a lot of the business put a stop to that, Arena district is very nice, lots of restruants and a brand new stadium where we have the Columbus Clippers baseball stadium etc..

  94. @bill, Don’t forget about the NHL’s Bluejackets & Nationwide insurance.

    Nationwide, is on your side. LOL

  95. Sean: Just now had a chance to get back with you. Yes I did forget the blu Jackets and nationwide is on your side!
    Do you live in Pa? I wans’t sure but here in columbus we also have scioto Downs race track (horses) and they are re-doing the whole place for gambling, horse racing etc. I think it is the same people who owns the casino.

  96. @bill, No, I don’t live in PA, but I was aware of what’s been going on to at least some degree.

    Thanks for playing along with my joke above.

  97. @SEAN, i want westland mall to come back eastland sucks screw it westland can stay eaastland can go

  98. @Dominick The King of The Westside, im with u man but i dont want the wetland mall down i want to rebulid it tuttle got boring all they need in westland is more security this summer to rebulid and ambercrombie and holister

  99. Westland is roped off and closed. Sad day.

  100. As of November 2012, the mall is officially closed to foot traffic. The owner says he will announce a redevelopment plan sometime in 2013. I drove by there a couple weeks ago . Sears and Staples were both still open. Sears even had a “Now Hiring” sign up which was a little ironic

  101. I was granted access to Westland Mall on December 21st. It is now closed and will not reopen. I was able to extensively explore Penneys and the old Lazarus/Macys stores as well as the Chi-Chi’s. I took 517 photos of the mall. I have them posted on a facebook page I made for the mall if anyone is interested in seeing them. The page is found at http://www.facebook.com/#!/westland.mall.5
    It’s pretty sad to see it in this condition. It was a big deal for us to travel up there from southern Ohio and shop there with my aunt and uncle who lived nearby. My uncle loved the Tinder Box.

  102. I have great hope that things will get better for our westland mall. Hopefully the Casino across the street will bring in Business to help the mall get going again!

  103. @Dan, This is great. I am going to check out the facebook site later. It is sad when you see malls go into this kind of shape when they were once bustling.When Northland was closing I went in and took a few pictures. It also was in a very bad shape

  104. @funky-rat,
    I have seen the pictures of this fire on the internet. I have the story on the fire. The store you saw the fire at was originally a Regis Hairstyle Salon. In later years it had different tenants. The tenant that was in the store at that time had removed the old Regis neon sign, but left the high voltage power unit intact and still energized with exposed wires. I was in there last week and you can still see the scorch marks.

  105. @Jonah Norason,

    When the mall was originally opened in 1969, it was a group of buildings forming a circle around an inner court and was open… my mother, SIL and I went shopping there in the late 70s around Christmas time and they had put a roof over the inner court but it was built above the rooftop of the other buildings so the cold air still came into the inner court. According to another source, the mall was “enclosed” in 1983.

  106. @Cindy
    You are so right. I wish you were on a development committee for the Westside.

  107. @Devin de Gruyl,
    We just ate there last night. You can get a strip steak, potato, drink and salad bar for 26.00 for TWO!

  108. @Jennifer,
    I live in the area. Sure, there are a few shady people here and there but it is safe. Rumors like this is half the reason that the west side is dying. The west side is mostly middle income happy little families living in modest homes.

  109. @Sandy, I remember shopping for a prom dress during the spring of 1980 and the stores at Westland Mall were still outside. I also went to school with the daughter of the farmer that sold the land to the developers of Westland Mall.

  110. An interesting wright up…

    Easton vs. Polaris: Tale of two very different shopping meccas

    Mar 13, 2015, 6:00am EDT

    Dan Eaton
    Columbus Business First

    Basketball has Magic and Bird. Comics has Batman and Joker. Columbus has Easton and Polaris — twin titans of consumption locked in an eternal (well, about 14-year) struggle for the hearts, minds, stomachs and wallets of consumers that isn’t going to abate any time soon.

    That’s good for shoppers and diners — the ultimate winners in this battle — but where do the two combatants stand at this point in time? Both trade areas were conceived more than two decades ago and the respective centerpieces opened two years apart – Easton Town Center in 1999 and Polaris Fashion Place mall in 2001. Both draw national names and account for millions of dollars of retail sales.

    Polaris may have landed the biggest blow with the now official arrival of Ikea set for 2017. Paired with the 2013 opening of Cabela’s Inc. and that area can claim two of the biggest names in destination retail capable of drawing shoppers from hours away. But while Polaris has been that big-swinger seeking a knock-out punch, Easton is ever the technician, shifting, jabbing, moving.

    Who is winning? Does it matter? What retailers and restaurants are going where and why? And what might the future hold?

    The answer comes down to this: Are you looking for a place or a space?

    The place

    Here’s the argument for Easton — while Ikea and Cabela’s will draw more shoppers to Polaris, Easton is the draw in itself.

    “I like Easton because it’s not Polaris,” said Chuck Palmer, vice president of strategy for JohnRyan, a Minneapolis-based digital merchandising company. “They treat the store mix like a retailer treats merchandise — they’re constantly curating, moving, editing. They’re merchandising the street. … Easton has a personality, a strong sense of place.”

    Consider Fenlon Square, which was just a side street for years but in 2013 was converted into a hub of kid-centric shopping that reaches a crescendo in American Girl, which certain young girls hold every bit as dear as outdoorsmen hold Cabela’s or twenty-something urbanites revere Ikea.

    “It’s an experience,” said Lee Peterson, executive vice president of strategy and design at Dublin-based WD Partners Inc. “It’s not a bunch of stores stacked on each other with a food court.”

    Easton is walkable, said retail analyst Chris Boring of Columbus-based Boulevard Strategies. From one parking space, there are restaurants, retailers and entertainment such as the AMC Easton Town Center 30 movie theater and Funny Bone Comedy Club. Polaris has restaurants, retail and entertainment, too, but to catch a movie, most are probably hopping in a car to drive over to Rave Motion Pictures, not walking across a parking lot.

    “Easton is a super-regional draw,” said an executive from a restaurant chain with operations in both areas. “It literally is a tourist attraction.”

    The space

    Where Polaris has an edge, it is in demographics. There is mass in southern Delaware County that isn’t surrounding Easton in residential and in office developments. The city’s largest office building, JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s McCoy Center and its 10,000 daily employees, is in the heart of the Polaris area. The retail and restaurant mix reflects that mass of humanity’s everyday needs with stores such as Kroger Co. and Big Lots Inc.

    “If you’re good at what you do, with the number of bodies up there, you’re going to do business,” said Craig Barnum, owner of Matt the Miller’s Tavern.

    He said one of the biggest benefits there is being directly off Interstate 71, versus Easton, which is along I-270.

    “270 is a highway, but it’s more local,” he said. “Off 71 you’re on that Cleveland-to-Cincinnati axis.”

    Palmer said that likely played a role in Ikea’s thinking.

    Still, the area’s retail focal point is a relic.

    “Polaris feels like Morse Road or Hamilton Road in the 1970s or ’80s,” Palmer said. “Polaris is a mall. It’s a good mall, but that’s an old model hanging on for dear life.”

    That doesn’t mean bad business, but it is a less flashy option, Peterson said.

    “It isn’t invalid,” he said. “There are huge demographics to serve up there. If you just want to generate revenue, either one (mall or town center) is going to work.”

    A restaurant owner who is at Easton said he looked in the Polaris area and almost signed there but was held back by a deed restriction.

    “That was unfortunate because we thought we’d be good for the mix up there,” he said.

    Still, he said he likes the neighborhood feel of Easton and while Polaris is a great market, it doesn’t exude that atmosphere.


    There is much overlap in the two trade areas, but more often than not, Easton gets the first crack. The Apple Store was at Easton for years before a second opened at Polaris. Same with Cheesecake Factory. Sometimes when there is overlap, Easton still gets an edge. Aeropostale counts Polaris among its many mall locations, but at Easton the chain opted to go with its prototype Aero Studio design. J. Crew has stores at both centers, but when it opened its Madewell women’s apparel chain, it went to Easton.

    Easton also has drawn more recognizable local and regional operators – Northstar Café, Homage, Pies & Pints, Melt Bar & Grilled.

    “These are retailers you’d see on a city street,” Peterson said.

    Polaris has tried — it opened with Functional Furnishings and Lindey’s restaurant — but the furniture store closed and the northern outpost of the well-known German Village eatery was converted to a Brio Tuscan Grille.

    Even when Polaris has an exclusive, Easton often has an approximation. Polaris gets Saks Fifth Avenue, but Easton gets Nordstrom. Polaris gets Cabela’s, but Easton gets REI.

    Peterson said retail draws like retail and Easton has a highly interesting assortment, from Kate Spade to Tiffany to Tesla Motors Inc.

    The restaurateur in both areas said the mix of restaurant and retail is better at Polaris now than when it opened.

    “It lagged at first,” the executive said. “There were too many seats in those early years, but now that there’s more density with office and retail, it’s been better.”

    Easton keeps adding restaurants and doesn’t seem to miss a beat, he noted.


    As time has passed, the two trade areas are becoming a little more alike.

    The Easton Gateway extension provides space for big-box retailers that Polaris has been able to accommodate, but Easton couldn’t. Costco Wholesale Corp., which made its area debut at Polaris in 2006, now is as at Easton, too. Outdoor retailers REI and Field & Stream are there and grocer Whole Foods Markets Inc. will open this year.

    Easton was lacking some key retail categories, Peterson said

    Boring said Polaris is a strong mall, but people aren’t building malls anymore, a fact backed by its owner, Columbus-based WP Glimcher, which has been selling some of its malls. It’s also supported by redevelopment of the mall, which is becoming more Easton-like. The Kaufmann’s anchor space was demolished in 2007 to create a mini-lifestyle center and there are plans to do that again with the vacant Great Indoors anchor space. Across I-71, the Ikea will be flanked by a 50-acre mixed-use project, though the makeup of that development is not yet known.

    “There’s necessity to that,” Peterson said. “Footfalls in stores are way down, off 5 percent month over month for three years now. People don’t want to go to stores as much, so stores need to be more interesting.”

    Polaris’ evolution reinforces the key difference between the two shopping areas – Easton was designed for this. Polaris is adapting to it.

  111. Hi construction workers i want to let you know that were tearing this old mall down and building a new 2 story one with hand dryers in the restroom and touchless faucets it will have a glass elevator i dont like dead malls their annoying but thats enough in ohio will think about that it will have food hall no paper towels in the bathroom.

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