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
BOCA MALL bit the dust in 1989. 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)