Heritage Village Shops (formerly Beaver Dam Mall); Beaver Dam, Wisconsin

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Beaver Dam Mall is a one-story, small enclosed shopping center located at the interchange of Hwy 151 and Business 151 North in Beaver Dam, WI (population: 15,000). Beaver Dam Mall opened in 1980, anchored by Woolco, Minnesota-based Herberger’s, and JCPenney.  It was presumably built as part of the growing national trend for any decent sized city in America to have a shopping mall.  The Hwy 151 bypass around Beaver Dam was slated for completion and the mall would be located on it, spurring a commercial strip along Business 151 leading north from downtown.

In 1983, the entire Woolco chain folded and that anchor closed.  Not long after it was replaced with Wal-Mart.  During the 1990s, Herberger’s was eventually acquired by the same company that operates Boston Store and Younkers.  By the mid-2000s all the stores owned by this company (Boston Store, Carson Pirie Scott, Younkers, Herbergers, Bergners) would brand exactly the same.  In August of 2004, Wal-Mart opened a brand new Supercenter across Highway 151 from the mall and closed their smaller mall store; the mall parcel remains empty today.  In January of 2005, JCPenney decided to throw an axe chop into the efforts to kill the mall and made their swift departure as well.  In the past few years the number of vacancies within the mall have also increased despite the fact that as recently as 2000, there were several ubiquitous mall chains such as Bath and Body Works still operating.  Sadly, I would definitely classify this mall in its current state as almost beyond repair.

The floor plan of Beaver Dam Mall is shaped like a carat(^), with Herberger’s in the middle and JCPenney and Wal-Mart abutting the ends (before they closed).  There are entrances on all sides, but the main entrance is in the middle in front of Herberger’s.  The decor of the mall appears original (ca. 1980) with no large-scale renovations; however, planters and mall seating areas have been more recently updated.  Some stores in the mall, such as Regis Hairstylists, were shockingly still using their early 1980s-era stained wooden storefront and logo.  This Regis was in operation in April 2004.  It has closed since.  Also, the Aurora Pharmacy looked like it was once an Osco Drug, but I’m not certain.

Beaver Dam Mall sign in Beaver Dam, WI

Why is Beaver Dam Mall faltering?  I would cite mismanagement along with the national trend away from enclosed malls and toward strip malls with outside-only access.  We already know about that trend, so let’s focus on what’s happening in Beaver Dam specifically.  For one, Beaver Dam was never really large enough to support this type of mall, which is much more typical of a city twice Beaver Dam’s size.  Also, Beaver Dam is about a half hour of the 1 million square foot, recently renovated East Towne Mall and every big box store under the sun in Madison.  Forest Mall and many stores in Fond du Lac are about the same distance.  Beaver Dam Mall could have also attempted to make Kohl’s fill space in the mall vacated by Wal Mart, which left about the same time Kohl’s opened across the street from the mall.  To that tune, they could have also wooed the stores opening in both strip malls attached to the new Wal-Mart and Kohl’s, respectively, to the mall.  

What’s next for Beaver Dam Mall?  In 2006, a Slumberland furniture will open in the former JCPenney space.  However, there are still a very large number of vacancies in the mall as well as the dead Wal-Mart anchor.  It’s obvious that they haven’t scrapped the idea of the mall entirely, allowing an anchor to add onto it, but why did they allow this to happen in the first place?  The law of diminishing returns definitely applies to these types of situations, so does reinvesting in the mall by adding Slumberland as an anchor make any sense?  Is really going to bring the type of traffic to the mall that the few stores that are open need to survive?  The mall still has Herberger’s as its saving grace, but for how long? Only time will tell.  Any updates and additions to the information I’ve posted would be greatly appreciated. 

Photos: April, 2004.  Full list of tenants, April 2004: Wal-Mart, Herberger’s, JCPenney, Aurora Pharmacy, Flamingo Bay, Sterling Optical, Floral Expressions, Regis Hairstylists, Freier’s Fine Jewelry, Wonder Nails, Alexandra Jewelers, Claire’s Boutique, GNC, Emerson’s Hallmark, China Palace, Carlson’s Travel, CR Communications, and many empty spaces.  Tenant list, early 2006: Herbergers, Flamingo Bay, China Palace, Wonder Nails, Floral Expressions, Sterling Optical and Evenson’s Hallmark.

UPDATE 5/29/2008: A few interesting, significant changes have been afoot at the former Beaver Dam Mall since we first posted almost two years ago.  First, the mall has been renamed to Heritage Village Shops and Professional Center.  And, as one of our commenters posted last fall, ownership has changed hands.  The new local ownership, consisting of Dick and Todd Hedberg, Dave Fister and Jeff Kitchen, has begun to woo retailers back to the center.  In addition, the mall has a website for the first time.  The new website for Heritage Village Shops indicates future plans for bringing in a mix of local and national retail chains, dining and recreation destinations, and office-y businesses.  The website also focuses on an area in the mall where comfy chairs and furniture are available for relaxing, the mall walking program, the farmers market, floral shop, the Chinese buffet, and the fact that the mall is climate controlled – a selling point often overlooked for enclosed retail centers in extreme climates. 

We think this is an excellent path for the mall and really the only way it could be reconstituted as viable without major renovations.  Such a small mall in an equally small market can only survive with local ownership who are willing to monitor the mall and be there regularly to work on its progress.  It was said that the former owner, who lived about 5 hours away in Minnesota, did not care about the mall and did little when it lost all its stores over the past several years.  This new ownership, new name and new logo should inject a reinvigoration for the mall, and become an effective metaphor for the new owners and their readiness to fix things up.

Hopefully we will see Heritage Village prosper in time, or at least hold its own by providing an adequate tenant mix to keep people coming inside.  But first, they need to get the ball rolling, because as of right now there are only a small handful of businesses operating inside, including anchors Herberger’s and Slumberland Furniture, which replaced the former JCPenney.  Once one or two tenants are in, others may trickle in as well, like a retail domino effect, and hopefully people in the area won’t need to drive to Madison or Fond du Lac as much for their shopping.

One question I have for someone who has been to the mall recently:  Does the Slumberland have access into the mall or just an exterior entrance?  Is it even open?  The mall’s website has a pdf which shows Slumberland, but the tenant roster does not indicate it at all.  Hmmm.

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57 Responses to “Heritage Village Shops (formerly Beaver Dam Mall); Beaver Dam, Wisconsin”

  1. I had a feeling this mall would come up eventually. My apologies in advance for the long comment.

    The pics are great….turned out better than what I have in my archives of mall photo shoots. I’ll be honest. I was quite suprised that a mall that looks as dark and low like this was built in 1980. It looked more out of the 1960s or 1970s, until I got familiar with my retail architecture trends, and found out that this was the norm back in the late ’70s/early ’80s. Low ceilings, few skylights, and dim lighting….all in the name of allowing storefront lighting and interiors to beckon shoppers in and keep them out of the dreary concourse of the mall.

    Like you, I also was hoping to find more on this mall, and others like it. It seems, unless the mall in question is one of those ‘super-regional’ types, there isn’t much to go on when it comes to its history, original developers/owners, previous tenants and such.

    Considering the size of the city of Beaver Dam back in 1980, this mall would be considered a rather large one..a true ‘regional mall’. I’m not certain if all the drywalled-over spaces were once occupied….I can offer a little more onto what you already have, as I visited the mall once in 1993. By then, the mall was already 13 years into its life, and even then, tenants had already left or were fixing to leave.

    The mall had these for tenants in the past. Many of these took space up in malls of this size here in Wisconsin:

    – Deb Shops (closed 1994-1995…the entire chain was under bankruptcy protection at this time and shut all their smaller-market mall locations)
    – Musicland (Closed in early 2002 during Best Buy’s ownership of the chain. This particular store never got rebranded to Sam Goody like the rest)
    – Two Plus Two (A predicessor to the now-often-seen Claires or Icing stores. MN-based accessories retailer. Had many locations in the Upper Midwest)
    – A&W Hot Dogs & More (They didn’t have an in-line space. They were a kiosk spot in the middle of the hallway)
    – Gold Mine (This mall opened in 1980. Back then, it was a must to have a videogaming room.)
    – Fashion Bug PLUS / Fashion Bug (Took the largest in-line space in the mall due to being a combo store. More common in strip centers, but they had the occasional enclosed mall locations back then).
    – Foot Locker
    – The Hallmark franchise at this mall was in a different location originally

    As for possibilities beyond my 1993 visit, going back to the mall’s 1980 opening.:

    – County Seat
    – Diamond Daves Taco Co.
    – Brauns
    – Brooks Fashions
    – Kinney Shoes
    – Nobils Shoes
    – Thom McAn Shoes
    – Id Boutique
    – Some sort of pet / pet supplies store (Not sure, but they seemed to be common in malls back then)
    – Toy store (K*B Toys, Circus World??)
    – Other food tenants aside from the mentioned A&W ??
    .
    The 151 bypass around Beaver Dam was completed in the mid-to-late 1980s.

    Herbergers didn’t join the mall until June 1981. When originally opened, the mall only had JCPenney and WoolCo as anchors. Bon-Ton owns what is collectively called the ‘Northern Group’ of banners (Herbergers, Carson’s, Boston Store, Younkers, Bergners) previously owned by Saks Inc, and before them, split between Carson Pirie Scott Co. of IL (Boston Store, Bergners, Carsons), and Proffits of TN (Younkers, Herbergers). Though they do own Bon-Ton stores of this same size in malls of this ilk out East, I wouldn’t be too suprised if they shuttered this store. Then again, anchor stores typically get their own traffic without a mall attatched, so we’ll see.

    When WooCo closed shop, Wi-based discount store, Copps, took over for about a year-and-a-half (1983-mid 1985) before they went into bankruptcy protection. They ultimately shed the discount stores (beaten out by the likes of nationally known K-mart and regional player, PrangeWay) to focus on their stronger grocery sales. They emerged from bankruptcy protection as a supermarket chain that still exists today as a Roundys-owned banner.

    Wal-Mart opened in early 1987 after a remodel and expansion of the former WoolCo/Copps, and was one of the first in Wisconsin. People from all over this region went to the mall soley for this store, making it hugely successful while the rest of the mall around it started to whither away. No wonder they wanted their own Supercenter here (inevitable), and now want to build a multi-million dollar distribution center outside the city. They could have been partly why Beaver Dam Mall’s interior started to empty out because the mall tenants couldn’t compete on price.

    I’m not sure if Slumberland has plans to seal the mall entry to their store. They own the former Penney building and its land now, so I am guessing they will do as they see fit. Sealed entry or not, they won’t be a major draw to the mall.

    Considering some groups don’t have their own space / the money to rent out for events yet, the mall seems to be nothing more than a glorified ‘exposition hall’ or community space. They’re literally the only reason the mall is still opened up to the public yet or so it seems.

    Hopefully more information will come up out of all this.

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  2. Wow, thanks for all the great info. Yeah, it’s really hard to find a lot of accurate historical information about malls in general, especially malls like this which fell off the radar completely. Hopefully you can provide more information about other malls in Wisconsin and the upper midwest when they get posted.

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  3. According to filings made with the city, Slumberland intends to seal off the internal intry to the mall and create a “storefront” facing Business 151 (North Center Street). As for the commercial heartbeat of Beaver Dam, the recent opening of a Walmart Supercent about one mile north of the mall has lead to the development of a Home Depot (Jan 2006), Menards (Winter 2006-2007) and numerous “outlot” chain stores in the area surrounding Walmart. Along with these developments there has been continued attrition of mall stores, most recently Fraber’s Jewelers relocated to an outlot building near Kohl’s. This outlot is owned by Wisconsin Hospitality Group, the regional parent of Pizza Hut and Applebee’s franchises also housed in this building.
    The future of the Mall seems bleak. However, it is not without a pulse. Within the last year mall management approached the city asking if it could relocate water and sewer leads to the former Walmart facility, an indication of interest from a possible renter who would require a different footprint than the current facility offers. The city declined to provide that service free of charge, and I am unaware of any further developments with this property.

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  4. Since, Flamingo Bay, Wonder Nails, and Sterling Optical have closed. Wonder Nails moved near ShopKo, and Sterling Optical has moved next to the new Pizza Hut. China Palace is also moving to Frances Pointe.

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  5. One more fact, Musicland was converted to a Sam Goody’s. Just noting that because I saw it was an error.

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  6. Major apologies that I’m asking a lot of questions about various malls today, but if my memory serves me correctly about Beaver Dam(and based on comments and various sources), isn’t Herberger’s about the only major store that still operates in this mall currently? And is it safe to assume that Aurora Pharmacy still operates here, and J.C. Penney has moved out since you took these pictures? And PLEASE, BY ALL MEANS, if anyone sees those 2 assumptions are wrong, please correct them.

    Not surprised to read that Wal-Mart moved out of this mall to plop down another one of their ‘grand’ Supercenters, I thought it was only a matter of time before they did so.

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  7. Never mind my Aurora Pharmacy comment, I just saw the last sentence in the original article about stores remaining as of Jan. ’06, and see that this mall is about(unfortunately) what I expected it to be. Have any sections of this mall been sealed off yet to the public?

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  8. The mall is hosting a farm toy show next week, so I assume it is still open. The way the mall is set up, it makes sense to keep at least some of the mall open because Herberger’s is at the back of the mall when coming from the main entrance off Business Hwy 151.

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  9. This mall sounds like the Lake City Mall in northern Florida, based on the size of the mall and the size of the town.

    http://www.shoplakecitymall.com/

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  10. Hmm, are you sure about Musicland rebranding? My last visit before it closed was in late August of 2001 (bought a DVD there). At that time, the sign outside still read ‘musicland’. This particular store closed in February 2002. It was among a round of 110 locations Best Buy closed.

    Reading up on what’s happened since my response to this post way back in June, it looks like the mall is dead, save for Herbergers. They own their own space back there, and Slumberland is considered seperate from the mall now, so that doesn’t count.

    Not suprised that the City didn’t want to let that project go forward either. By now they probably see the mall as an eyesore and would much rather see it go in the name of progress. It’s amazing in the past FIVE years what has happened to the city. It’s growing east and north with new box stores and housing.

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  11. Musicland remained Musicland until the end. I was there on their last day of operation. The banner out front still said Musicland.

    I lived in Beaver Dam for about ten years beginning in 1990 and spent a good portion of my teen years hanging out at this mall when it still resembled a mall. It’s been so sad watching it’s steady decline…

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  12. 1990 huh? That’s 3 years prior to my first visit. If you go up to the first response (which was by me), I did list a rundown of all the former tenants I seen there, and also speculated on some other chains that may have been in there prior to my visit. If I was wrong on any names or missing anything, let me know in a response to this thread.

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  13. Well, here’s a list of the stores that I remember seeing in the mall. This list is in no particular order, just stores that come to mind.

    Wonder Nails, a T-shirt shop, a Jewelry store, a Pharmacy/general store (before it was Aurora), a coffee place right across from Musicland, Musicland, GNC, Regis Hair, a piano/organ store, a pet store, Wal-mart, a racing themed store, a tanning place, a jazzercise place, A&W, U.S. Cellular, Bath & Body Works, Herbergers, Footlocker, Halmark, Maurices, Rays Shoes, J.C. Penny, Fashion Bug, a travel agency, Claires, Gabby’s (restaurant), a florist, The Goldmine, and the Chinese restaurant.

    That list is just from a mental trip around the mall from over the ten or so years I was up there. I may have forgotten a few things, but it seems pretty complete to me. I’ll miss that mall. I pretty much grew up going there all the time. I must’ve spent half a college education in The Goldmine…

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  14. Oh, towards the “end” the mall also housed a temporary DMV for the city while they renovated the actual DMV building.

    And as a sort of addendum to my last post, a lot of the places I named are just generic because they weren’t national chains of any sort, just privately owned places. I wish I could remember their names, but for now I really can’t. Hopefully someone else comes along to fill in the blanks.

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  15. Aurora Pharmacy has relocated to a new building built in front of the mall on the corner of Spring and Industrial (by Horicon Bank). China Palace, a florist and Hallmark are still in the mall. There are rumors that someone has taken over management, is fixing the parking lot, has rented out some more stores and a large chain store will take over Wal-Mart’s old space. I heard this around February 4th, 2007. We’ll have to wait and see.

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  16. God, that would be great if someone were to try to revive this mall. Where did this rumor come from?

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  17. Herbergers is still there I take it. Filling that huge Wal-mart box is ‘crucial’. Let’s hope this rumor becomes fact and realized. Maybe Slumberland would then reconsider what they did and open their space back up into the mall.

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  18. I think that the former Wal-Mart space could be split between Hobby Lobby and Goody’s (or Peebles, or some similar small town retailer). Maybe a large portion of one wing could become Steve & Barry’s, which has started to open in smaller towns.

    Wow, there’re more big-box options than I thought for a smaller town.

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  19. [...] We visited Parkway Plaza Mall in May 2001, and were surprised to find how substantial it was given the relatively small population of the trade area.  However, this can be explained by two factors.  First, a small mall building boom took place during the late 1970s and early 1980s, placing enclosed malls of this size in smaller cities and suburbs (as ancillaries to larger centers) throughout the country, such as Beaver Dam Mall in Wisconsin.  Second, and the reason why Parkway Plaza has largely succeeded where others such as Beaver Dam have failed is that the mall fills in an important gap.  As mentioned above, the nearest regional mall is 50 miles to the north in Evansville, and the nearest metropolitan area with larger offerings is Nashville which is 100 miles away, so shoppers appreciate and use this local offering. [...]

  20. i hear that target is the store going into the old wal-mart place, and i also heard a rumor about a food court

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  21. I broke down and wrote Target to see if the rumor was true, since the rumor was more widespread than I imagined. Their response:

    “We’re glad to hear you want a Target store in Beaver Dam, WI. Interest
    from Target fans like you is a major factor we consider when we decide
    to build a new store.

    As you might imagine, a lot of work goes into determining where and
    when to build a Target store. A lot of people in the private and
    government areas get involved and it may take months or even years to build a store. Sometimes Target is mentioned as an example of a possible store anchor for a project by a developer or city. I don’t have any
    information about a store in the area you mentioned.”

    Bummer, eh? Here’s hoping it will be revived somehow. You’d think so with all the businesses opening up on the north end. The mall is not that far.

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  22. Target would be a big boost for the Mall. I can’t see why they ‘wouldn’t’ open a location there.

    That anchor spot being filled, and a full-out interior/exterior strip-down and remodel is what the mall needs to fully revitalize itself.

    I don’t know about a food court though Fond Du Lac’s (I’m from the area) Forest Mall is twice the size in total GLA of Beaver Dam Mall, and yet, we don’t have a food court. I don’t think it would really be a magnet to get people into the mall, which is already too small to support one.

    Personally I think food courts have become a passé thing. You’re going to see counters spread out throughout the mall again and full-out restaurants, like in the days prior to the early 1980s….before food courts became all the rage, putting all those sit down and corner-counter type places out of business in the rest of the mall.

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  23. I’ve heard from pretty reliable sources that the gentleman who owns the mall of america has purchased the mall, property, etc.
    Plans in years to come is a new mall. I would assume not nearly as large as the mall of america, but a mall. As for what is going in where the old Wal Mart is, who knows….I heard Target, but never a food court. You would need more than two stores for a food court to be successful I would think. It could be though, anything is possilbe. Other rumors, not sure how reliable the sources are, but a Texas road house and Arby’s are in the mix some where in BD.

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  24. Apparently, Target had done a study to see if it could have a store in BD, but didn’t think the population could support it yet. That came from someone who heard it at a town council meeting or some such. I have to start going to more of those. They’re painting the side of the mall brown (where Wal-Mart used to be).

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  25. Mall vs. Strip Malls. In Wisconsin we have all types of weather. Most of the time bad weather- like wind, rain, snow, extremely hot & cold, very seldom is the weather perfect. With that said, if I needed a pair of shoes, jewelry, dress, top, pants, etc. I would rather go to one large mall and shop in comfort, verses traveling from store to store looking for the items I need. Traveling from store to store, getting in and out of my vechile, is time consuming and with gas prices going up can be costly. If the Beaver Dam Mall was up and going again, you bet I would give them my business.
    Also, the “FOOD COURT” is a great idea!!!!

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  26. For Matt in the very first comment. There was a Musicland that was rebranded as Sam Goody. That would be the one in the former Assembly Square Mall in Somerville, MA. I remember it very clearly, too.

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  27. Oh, sorry Matt. Misread your comment. My bad.

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  28. I heard a Big Lots was going in the old WalMart space, this was from a police officer and who knows where he heard the rumor from. The mall also had a travel agency, eye doctor, Fashion Bug, Spill the Beans, and it also at one time had a fitness center.

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  29. Interesting to now see that Big Lots is the mystery anchor that’ll take the spot of Wally World. It’s too bad to me that Target isn’t the anchor taking Wal-Mart’s spot, since I think that’s probably moreso the type of anchor Beaver Dam Mall needs to respark interest in this mall again.

    Also, Texas Road House wouldn’t be a bad idea for a restaurant additon to this mall(whether it’s attached to the mall, or an outlot to it), if they decide to pursue the addition of one to this mall. Well, here goes a toast from me, in the hopes that this mall can eventually rebound, and become successful again, rather than face the wrecking ball….

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  30. Big Lots?!?!

    Ouch! They’re going to seal the mall entrance. This has been done at their mall-based stores beforehand, and I wouldn’t be shocked if it happened here.

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  31. Most Big Lots stores are 25-40K in size, so I can’t see Big Lots taking more than half of the old Wal-Mart space. The other half could easily be split between two junior anchors, such as Staples and Steve & Barry’s. Otherwise, I could see Elder-Beerman taking the remainder — even some new E-B stores are only in the 40-50K range.

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  32. Staples won’t happen, because they already have their own outlot building next to Slumberland.

    This mall may see a ‘second wind’ though. It’s recently been taken over by local ownership who have lived in the area for years and understand the need for a ‘common area’ where various community events and such can be held. When I dig up the article again, I’ll come back and post it, but they have a three point plan.

    - Revamp the exterior (new pavement, plantings, lighting) and interior (new flooring, new ceiling fixtures, new skylights) of the complex, topping it off with a new name.

    - Filling in the large vacancy left by Wal-Mart (This is at least being somewhat realized with Big Lots coming….so long as they do NOT seal off their entry into the mall)

    - Filling in the inline space that is currently all drywall. Obviously there’s not enough retail chains to fill in all 30 tenant slots like it was in the 1980s, but possibly focus on national and local retail, as well as office and community uses.

    Here’s hoping the local owners / management team can turn this around. If successful, it would prove an example of a small community mall that has bounce back while most others are torn down and big-boxed.

    I’ll definitly keep an eye on this one, because I’m only 30-40 minutes away from this mall, and I always pass Beaver Dam on my way to Madison 3-4 times a year. I’ll update on progress here.

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  33. hey everyone,
    my sis went to the mall about a week ago and they’ve rented out at least two spaces- The old Sam Goody, and the old Maurice’s. All the crappy old benches have been removed and replaced with couches and stuff, and the interior looks like its been painted. The exterior has been painted also.

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  34. It’ll take time, but by the sound of your post, Dylan, they’re at least doing something. Which is always better than nothing.

    Wonder who rented out space?

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  35. Here we go. I found this last night. It elludes to current and future plans for the mall….which is now called “Heritage Village Shops”.

    http://www.wiscnews.com/bdc/archives/index.php?archAction=arch_read&a_from=search&a_file=/bdc/2007/10/17/251605.php&var_search=Search&keyword_field=heritage%20village%20shops&pub_code_field=&from_date_field=01/01/2007&to_date_field=12/10/2007&var_start_pos=0&var_articles_per_page=50

    In summary, it’s going to be, as planned, a mixed-use facility. Eventually they want to have the 25-30 in-line spaces filled with a mix of local/regional and national tenants, as well as some office and community space.

    It’s going to be tough to draw national names back though. Most of the names that once occupied the mall (who, frankly, bit off more than they could chew back in the late 1970s/early 1980s), no longer exist due to bankruptcy or consolidations. Newer chains want nothing to do with small towns, and for good reason….they wouldn’t make enough sales to justify the cost of operating a location there….basically they don’t want to make the same mistakes by oversaturating.

    The former owners out of Owatonna MN, didn’t give a hoot about the mall, so it’s a nice thing to hear that the new ownership really wants to breathe life back into the place.

    I think this is what will have to happen for smaller malls to bounce back. They need to be locally owned and run. Not by someone out of state who’s there to just collect rent, lease and tax money, without any care to keep the building maintained and updated.

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    Darrell Reply:

    @ Darrell from Beaver Dam,
    One of the current owners is affiliated with Century 21 real estate & he is a longtime Beaver Dam resident.
    I am a lifetime resident of Beaver Dam & some of the stores listed are accurate but the time tables are a bit off. We used to have baseball card shows there in the early 90′s as i was a seller.

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  36. Okay, I’m going to the mall today. I’ll try to get pictures and whatever info I can while I’m there. Update later today or tomorrow.

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  37. Well, right now, all they were able to do to the physical building was give it a new paint job, new pylons, and a new coat of blacktop to the parking lot. More extensive remodeling would come later once they get more money rolling in. You can’t have that unless you have businesses or services renting out space, which in turn gives the owners the needed funds to do any maintenance and upgrades).

    Still, if there’s any little updates since that October article, let us know.

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  38. Can it be verified that Big Lots is in/moving into the center?

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  39. There is no Big Lots here yet.

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  40. Well, there will be no Big Lots in Beaver Dam until at least 2010 if it is going into the one big-box area left in Beaver Dam. I know the old Wal-Mart won’t be ready to lease until 2009 thats what the owner’s said in the official press release. And I don’t think a Big Lots will make it in Beaver Dam if a Home Depot can’t. And they better pick up speed in getting some higher profile stores in there….right now they only have Herberger’s and Slumberland…which aren’t attracting huge numbers, then they have the smaller weird shops.

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  41. just read that boston store will replace the herbergers name in bd but it will also move to the walmart space in the mall mabe peobles or something like that will move into old herbergers store

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  42. Here’s the official news story on the new Boston Store:
    http://www.plainvanillashell.com/article.asp?ID=10848

    Also here’s the mall’s website:
    http://www.heritagevillageshops.com/

    What can I say? To me, this is huge news, and is nothing but positive for the mall / professional center. When Herbergers chose to open this far out from their main market (Western WI and MN), in 1981, I always wondered why. You’d think Prange’s would’ve wanted to snatch it up. This banner switch to Boston Store only re-affirms Bon Ton’s goal (actually started by former parent, Saks Inc) to reposition the various banners they now own. Basically, Younkers is left to just NE and Northcentral Wisconsin, Boston Store taking SE and Southcentral WI (this includes Milwaukee and Madison), and Herbergers covers Western and NW Wisconsin.

    I see Elder-Beerman’s name being phased out from this state in short order. They only have three locations anyhow….Beloit, Sheboygan and West Bend. Sheboygan’s would go to Younkers, the others to Boston Store.

    Oh, and by the way, Home Depot didn’t make it in Fond Du Lac either, ditto northwestern Milwaukee (76th and Good Hope…in a former K-mart). The reasons, overexpansion, poor customer service, and let’s face it, Menards is king around here. (That’s not to say I’m a FAN of Menards). Lowes would’ve done better in FDL (I’ve talked to many in the area, including friends, who all say they would have much rather had Lowes), and Beaver Dam is a bit too small of a market for more than one big-box home improvement center.

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  43. matt
    elder beermans name has been switched to boston store in sheboygan as has the younkers in sheboygans downtown thay also have switched to the boston store name in westbend the green bay store was converted to a younkers funiture gallery and as far as i know the beliot store and the plover store remain elder beerman. im sure plover will go younkers and i got a feeling that beloit will close thay did close it once before when it was a bergners.

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  44. Thanks for that info John. Haven’t been in that area for a while, so I didn’t know.

    Looks like the Elder-Beerman name is going the way of the dodo here in WI. I’ll bet Younkers will all be changed to Boston Store in due time. It’s just the stronger of the two banners in this state. Pranges’ buyout just never resulted in much here……everyone liked Prange’s.

    It’s like the whole Marshall Fields to Macy*s debacle in Chicago. No one is warming up to Macy*s down there, just as no one really could warm up to Younker’s here in my area.

    Well this is good. If this is the path Bon Ton is going with….switching over all stores to their ‘strongest’ banner in their respective states / regions, maybe my town (Fond Du Lac) will finally see a brand new Boston Store building someday. Our Prange’s / Younker’s has been an anchor to the Forest Mall since 1966, and is looking very old and tired. They could use more room too….the store is relatively small compared to other locations other than Manitowoc’s that I’ve been to.

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  45. what does Macy’s or Fields have to do with Beaver Dam Mall’s Herberger’s?

    Anyway, am glad they renamed the mall from Beaver Dam to Heritage Village Shops, see if they get any new stores, the directory says they have about 5 so hopefully someone will move there, Dam Beaver!

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  46. okay, thanks to everyone who posted info on the mall. i grew up there going with my family and it’s been heartbreaking to see the mall go from a real local destination to a sad ghosttown. i’m so excited that new management seems to care, and i can only hope that this means good things for the future.
    i was so interested in the blog (great!) and all these comments i decided to make the half hour drive and went tonight.
    slumberland can be seen from inside the mall (thru the windows) but you can’t enter from inside the mall. herbergers is shockingly alive with merchandise considering just HOW empty the mall is. does anyone know if the boston store is going in the old wal-mart part?
    there is a family fun zone (games, etc.), the flower shop, the chinese restaurant, slumberland, and a few local organizations using the abandoned storefronts as a meeting place.
    i seriously felt emotional today thinking of all the times i spent in there with my family at the kay-bee toy store as a little kid, shopping at wal-mart and later in musicland as a teen….eating at the A&W, etc. etc.
    thank you so much for the info everyone posted….especially the older store listings. if anyone has old pictures, etc…..PLEAAAASE post!!!
    i took some new pics….if anyone knows how i can post these…lemme know.

    -eric

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  47. Boston Store is now renovating the former Wal-Mart (which moved out in 2004), and they have blocked the access to the store from the mall by building in a brick wall. They have covered all the windows and renovations are expected to be complete and Boston Store is expected to open in September 2009. Sam Goody, which is now the home of Third Heaven Martial Arts, will once again be vacated, the owner has leased the former Maurice’s because it has 6,000 sq. ft. vs. Sam Goody’s 2,000. It has been made a very big option for the local Senior Center to buy the former Herberger’s building at a “highly” discounted price (I don’t think a senior center in the mall is a good idea when they are trying to get new businesses into the mall). But whatever, their project. My personal note- I think they have good intentions, but they are getting more “local” businesses in the mall, for it to succeed, you need large, well-known stores to move in, I think they should try to get popular stores in, but I also think that Boston Store will hugely boost the mall.

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  48. I just discovered Labelscar and am addicted to the site! This write-up, and the subsequent posts, on Heritage Village and predecessor Beaver Dam Mall are great!

    I grew up in nearby Horicon as a kid and have fond memories of this shopping complex. In the 80s, when I was growing up, this was a popular place to go to. There’s a lot of comprehensive information on here, based on everyone’s collective memories.

    I have a few additions:
    * The Aurora Pharmacy was once known as Lewis Drug – for quite some time, if I am not mistaken.
    * Back in the 80s, there was a fitness center in the mall (near the former JCPenney, now Slumberland, store). I believe it was named Physique (sp?). My parents used to work out there.
    *There was a dentist, Midwest Dental, located inside the mall for a while (on the wing by JCPenney). That’s where I had my teeth cleaned for a while. And I remember feeling devastated when I learned the first time I had a cavity – which was at Midwest Dental! :)

    I was visiting my old stomping grounds a week ago and stopped in the mall. Sadly, it doesn’t look like there’s been too much activity in terms of new stores. But, as Dylan aptly noted in the post above, there has been quite a bit of action with the conversion of Wal-Mart to Boston Store. I agree with above posters; the Boston Store name change makes sense, and the renovated facility should (hopefully) give this mall a shot in the arm.

    It’s interesting how the stretch of Beaver Dam (around the mall) has grown. Back in the day, far fewer retailers surrounded the mall. Unlike other mall failures, the location of Heritage Village/Beaver Dam Mall can’t really be attributed to its decline.

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  49. Hello,
    Is there any one do massage in the mall?We’re Chinese. We want to do massage on business in the mall.Is it will be ok?And we need some information.Thank you!

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  50. I took a stroll through Heritage Village this past weekend. Construction of the new Boston Store is nearly complete, it appears. There is a sign saying it will open this month (September). At the same time, Herberger’s (which will close, as I understand it) appears to be clearing out most of its merchandise. Interestingly enough, the new Boston Store will consume one of the three wings of Heritage Village, which I guess makes sense since it will be larger than the old Herberger’s. There is a giant tarp covering the beginning of the north wing. (It will serve as an interior entrance.) There haven’t been any stores in that wing in eons, so it’s not a major deal. In addition to Heritage Village, here’s a round-up of what I found in the mall; all stores appear to be locally owned and operated:

    1. Floral Expressions (a store that has been there forever — probably from day one!)

    2. A Chinese restaurant (Despite having been there for ages, the name of the eatery always slips my mind.)

    3. a martial arts studio

    4. an indoor family game center

    There also is the Slumberland store with its sealed entrance, so I’m not sure if that counts. (If it does, that would be a second “chain” store in the mall.)

    Even with Boston Store consuming one of the wings, there is still a lot of vacant space througout the two remaining wings.

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  51. I was there yesterday and Boston Store is now open.

    The giant tarp is still there.

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  52. I swung by this mall while in the area today.

    It’s essentially sealed off (with that tarp). From what I could see through the translucent plastic barrier, the mall (at least its Center Court area) and the former Herbergers spot are being gutted out, save for the short center wing containing the FYI Zone, florist and Chinese buffet. I never got around to asking what’s happening.

    There’s now a Sears Hometown Dealer in the front half of the space (former JCPenney) hat also houses Slumberland.

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  53. Target IS NOT going n here, either is Big lots.

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  54. I lived in Beaver Dam when the mall opened, sucking the life from the once vibrant downtown area. I’ve been trying to remember the stores it had back then. There was the Gold Mine, the Lewis Drugs, a Zales store, A candy store that mainly sold Jelly Belly jelly beans, a custom T-shirt shop that did iron on transfers (that was all the rage back then). There was a shop next to the Regis hair salon called “World of Sound” or “World of Sound and Vision” that sold, or at least had for sale, high end stereo systems, VHS and Beta VCRs and laserdisk systems. There was a Copper Rivet, Levi company store, between Musicland and Herbies too. One of the town’s 3 Radio Shack stores was located close to the Woolco and next to that was a local TV and home stereo shop that sold Curtis Mathis TVs (I think that they were still making them in the USA back then, before Phillip bought the brand and ended it). I got my first (and last) pair of contact lenses at the Sterling Optical store in the Penny’s leg of the mall.

    In 1981 and 1982 the Mall was probably at about 90% of capacity and it looked like smooth sailing considering how bad the economy was at that time.

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  55. so today i was going past the mall and saw that they were building out… so i just researched and found out that the mall is getting a sports store.

    http://www.wiscnews.com/bdc/business/article_93ce773a-4efd-11df-9fe7-001cc4c03286.html

    it says in the article that fyi zone had ten days to decide if they wanted to stay in the mall, and the article is from april but i haven’t been in the mall for years so i dont know what happened with that.

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  56. A Jo-Ann’s Fabric is currently developing a location in the former mall building. It’s not revived, but making baby steps. The trick is going to be to keep rent at a reasonable rate. I had always been told by previous tenants that it was ultimately the expense of being in the mall that drove them out.

    On a Beaver Dam, Wi retail footnote, some flooding problems in the downtown area a few years ago led to the Department of Natural Resources requiring the removal of a significant number of buildings in downtown Beaver Dam. While the downtown has been in significant decline since the opening of the mall, unfortunately some of the nicer buildings had to be removed further eroding the downtown area. The mall area is the only viable retail development area at this point. Downtown revitalization seems grim.

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