A tentative plan for Middletown's inner city shopopolis. By 1980, two new anchor department stores would have been built; Swallen's and Elder-Beerman. Moreover, the complex would feature north and south parking structures. Additional inline retail space, to built from the ground up, is indicated here in medium gray.


A plan of what was actually built. The MART was unsuccessful from the start. It lost two anchors, Mabley & Carew and The Central Store, around the time of its 1975 dedication. Sears pulled out in 1977, followed by Penney's, in the early '80s. At least one of the two proposed anchor stores was actually built (Swallen's). However, it wasn't able to sustain the mall.


A pre-construction rendering of the Swallen's store, which would serve as the only anchor of CITY CENTRE MART after Penney's pulled out. The Cincinnati-based retailer opened their Middletown location in December 1979. The store would be shuttered in October 1995.
Photo from the George C. Crout Collection, courtesy of the Middletown Public Library