LIMA MALL
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 shopping plazas to developing regional-class malls. Among the first fully-enclosed, DeBartolo-built facilities were GLEN BURNIE MALL {outside of Baltimore}, SUMMIT MALL {outside of Akron} and LIMA MALL.

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

Thirteen 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, which was anchored by a 2-level (108,700 square foot), Columbus-based Lazarus. The store was completed in late 1971, with the dedication of the new wing held in February 1972. Lazarus was enlarged, into a 132,300 square foot store, in the 1980s. LIMA MALL now encompassed approximately 767,000 leasable square feet and housed fifty-five stores and services.

A 3-plex movie house was installed in a strip center adjacent to the west parking area of LIMA MALL. The General Cinema Corporation Lima Center Cinema I-II-III was in operation between 1985 and 2006.

The Leader was the first LIMA MALL 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 (to 103,300 square feet) in 1996.

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

The mall became a Simon DeBartolo holding with 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 face lift 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. Shoe Department Encore 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, a LIMA MALL tenant since September 1975, shuttered their store on January 31, 2016.

Sources:

http://limaohio.com
Malls of America Blogspot / Keith Milford webmaster
http://www.thedepartmentstoremuseum.org
http://www.movie-theatre.org / Mike Rivest
www.simon.com
Allen County, Ohio tax assessor website