Mass-based T.J. Maxx set up shop in the Woolworth space soon after that store's 1997 demise. Bed, Bath & Beyond took the place of an open breezeway in 2004.
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Sears assumed the McAlpin's spot in October of 1999.
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The WESTERN HILLS PLAZA Target opened its doors in March 2009. It had taken the place of Media Play (nee' Elder-Beerman) and Kroger.
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Michaels moved into the PLAZA when Old Navy moved out. The arts & crafts store opened in August 2011.
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Glenway Avenue and Werk Road
Hamilton County, Ohio

Ground was broken for Greater Cincinnati's first post-war shopping center in August 1953. Situated on 36 acres, 6.7 miles northwest of downtown's Fountain Square, WESTERN HILLS PLAZA was built by Cincinnati's Brune-Harpnau Builders, Incorporated.

The single-level strip center encompassed approximately 320,000 leasable square feet and included an open breezeway of inward-facing stores. Co-anchoring the PLAZA was a 3-level (75,000 square foot), Cincinnati-based McAlpin's, which began business September 30, 1954. An official dedication of the shopping hub was held November 15, 1954. This was followed by the completion of a 1-level (41,000 square foot), Cincinnati-based Mabley & Carew, which opened for business in mid-1955.

Among the thirty-five charter stores and services were Schiff Shoes, Potter's Shoes, Jack Marmer Shoes, Western Auto, Walgreen Drug, Sherwin-Williams Paints, an F. W. Woolworth 5 & 10 and Kroger and Alber's supermarkets.

The Kroger and Woolworth stores were expanded in the early-to-mid 1960s. Likewise, McAlpin's was enlarged into a 117,600 square foot operation. Mabley & Carew became the first anchor to be rebranded. The store was refitted with the nameplate of Dayton-based Elder-Beerman in 1978.

By the late 1980s, the shopping center proper had also been expanded. A 44,500 square foot addition was built on the west end of the complex. Two freestanding restaurants, Gold Star Chili and Shell's, had also been added to the front parking area.

Elder-Beerman was shuttered in 1994. Its space was taken by Media Play. Woolworth closed in 1997. Its space became a T.J. Maxx. McAlpin's (which was in the process of being absorbed by Dillard's) moved into a vacant Shillito's structure at the adjacent WESTERN WOODS MALL in July 1998. Its old store in WESTERN HILLS PLAZA re-opened as a Sears October 23, 1999.

Walgreen Drug and two adjacent storefronts became part of a new (25,000 square foot) Old Navy, which opened for business August 30, 2000. In April 2004, the breezeway area and adjacent stores were demolished. A 25,000 square foot Bed, Bath & Beyond was built.

Australia's Centro Property Group purchased WESTERN HILLS PLAZA in November 2005. They initiated a 6.4 million dollar overhaul of the aging retail center in 2008. Vacant Media Play and Kroger stores were knocked down. A 1-level (135,500 square foot) Target was built, which opened March 4, 2009. With this renovation, the shopping hub encompassed 322,000 leasable square feet and twenty-seven store spaces.

The latest store opening at WESTERN HILLS PLAZA involved a vacated Old Navy space. It was retananted by Michaels, which came inline August 21, 2011. The United States holdings of the Centro Property Group were acquired by New York City-based Blackstone Realty Partners in June 2011. An entity known as the Brixmor Property Group was created in September 2011 to manage the company's retail real estate.


The Cincinnati Enquirer
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