Elida and North Cable Roads
Allen County (American Township), Ohio

By the mid-1960s, Youngstown, Ohio's Edward J. DeBartolo Corporation had advanced from building small strip plazas to the development of fully-enclosed, regional-class shopping malls. The first two, SUMMIT MALL and LIMA MALL, opened in 1965.

Plans for the shopping hub were announced in May 1964. LIMA MALL would occupy a 69 acre parcel, located 3 miles northwest of downtown Lima, in an unincorporated division of Allen County known as American Township.

Thirteen initial stores opened for business on November 18, 1965. Anchoring the single-level complex were a 1-level (77,000 square foot), Lima-based The Leader and 1-level (100,900 square foot) Sears. A 2-level (126,600 square foot) J.C. Penney welcomed its first patrons January 20, 1966.

Among the thirty-two charter tenants were Carousel Snack Bar, Foxmoor Casuals, Jo-Ann Fabrics, MCL Cafeteria, Thrift Drug, Pangle's Master Market and an F.W. Woolworth 5 & 10. The only retail rival in the region, AMERICAN MALL {1.5 miles south, in Allen County} opened in October 1966.

LIMA MALL was expanded with a twenty store West Wing and Columbus-based Lazarus. The 2-level (108,700 square foot) store was completed in late 1971, with the dedication of inline stores in the new addition occurring in February 1972. Lazarus was enlarged, into a 132,300 square foot location, in the early-to-mid 1980s. LIMA MALL now encompassed 767,000 leasable square feet and housed sixty stores and services.

The Leader was the first anchor to sport a new nameplate. The store became known as "EB The Leader" in early 1975 with the full conversion into a Dayton-based Elder-Beerman in place by September of the same year. The store was expanded, into a 103,300 square foot operation, in 1996.

Lazarus became the second LIMA MALL department store to be rebranded. It became a Lazarus-Macy's in August 2003, and full-fledged Macy's on February 1, 2005.

The mall became a Simon DeBartolo property as a facet of the 1996 merger of the Simon Property Group and DeBartolo Realty Corporation. In 1998, ownership came under the Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group (who had dropped the DeBartolo co-heading).

LIMA MALL was given facelift renovations in 1978, 1997, 2011 and 2013. During the most recent remodeling, Old Navy moved into space vacated by MCL Cafeteria and New York & Company. The Shoe Department set up shop in the old Old Navy space.

The Simon Property Group created a spin-off Real Estate Investment Trust in May 2014. Known as the Washington Prime Group, it assumed ownership of forty-four of Simon's "Grade B" malls, including LIMA MALL. In early 2015, the newly-formed Washington Prime Group merged with Columbus, Ohio's Glimcher Realty Trust.

Elder-Beerman at LIMA MALL was shuttered January 31, 2016. As of early 2017, the store space was still vacant.

Malls of America Blogspot / Keith Milford webmaster
Allen County, Ohio tax assessor website