Jefferson Stores, originally based in Miami, became a division of Chicago's Montgomery Ward chain in 1973. The BOCA MALL Jefferson Store opened in 1974, was rebranded, and operated as a Jefferson Ward between April 1980 and August 1985. A Montgomery Ward Clearance Outlet went into the space in November 1985, but lasted only 1 year.
The prevailing wisdom is that BOCA MALL had been a bad idea from the start. It was located in downtown Boca Raton, when development of far-flung western suburbs was the order of the day. It was also a considerable distance east of Interstate 95, when that expressway opened to traffic in 1976. Lastly, the mall's middle-market focus wasn't a good fit in such an affluent area.
Graphics from The Boca Raton News
In business for only 14 years, BOCA MALL bit the dust in 1989. The glitzy MIZNER PARK, an open-air -and substantially upscale- lifestyle venue, held its official dedication in January 1991.
Photo from www.ggp.com (General Growth Properties)