POMPANO FASHION SQUARE
North Federal Highway / US 1 and Copans Road
Pompano Beach, Florida

By the late 1960s, Broward County, Florida had three fully-enclosed shopping hubs; CORAL RIDGE SHOPPING PLAZA (1962), HOLLYWOOD MALL (1964) and LAUDERHILL MALL (1966). Ground was broken for a fourth interior mall August 1, 1968.

POMPANO FASHION SQUARE was developed by Hartsdale, New York-based Leonard L. Farber, Incorporated, who moved their home office to Pompano Beach as the mall was being built. The 25 million dollar complex was situated on a 60 acre tract, located 1.7 miles northeast of downtown Pompano Beach. The site incorporated land from the World War II-era Pompano Beach Air Park.

Promoted as "the Gold Coast's newest multi-million dollar enclosed mall", the shopping hub encompassed 870,000 leasable square feet and one hundred and nineteen stores and services. A 2-level (152,000 square foot), Miami-based Burdine's opened for business November 3, 1969. An official mall dedication was held January 14, 1970.

Aside from Burdine's, POMPANO FASHION SQUARE was anchored by a 2-level (164,000 square foot) J.C. Penney, 2-level (160,000 square foot) Sears and 1-level (84,000 square foot), Miami-based Jordan Marsh of Florida.

Predominantly a single-level structure, the mall featured a rooftop parking deck, upper level mezzanine and tenants such as Morrison's Cafeteria, The Barefoot Mailman Gifts, Gray Drug, Haber's Fashions, Baron's men's wear, Chess King apparel and an F.W. Woolworth 5 & 10.

There was never a motion picture theater in the mall proper, or in its parking area. However, a multiplex, originally known as the United Artists The Movies At Pompano 1-2-3-4-5-6, opened for business May 26, 1978. It was built adjacent to a Kmart, on a plot across East Copans Road from the mall. This theater was demolished and replaced by the Muvico Pompano 18, which made its debut on September 18, 1998.

POMPANO FASHION SQUARE did not have a true retail rival until the completion of TOWN CENTER AT BOCA RATON {7.5 miles northwest} in 1980. This was followed by the dedications of GALLERIA FORT LAUDERDALE {8.3 miles south}, also in 1980, and CORAL SQUARE MALL {8.9 miles southwest, in Coral Springs}, which opened in 1984.

The western environs of Broward County had been extensively developed by the early 1980s. POMPANO FASHION SQUARE, in the eastern sector, was soon in decline. An extensive facelift was initiated in March 1985.

During this project, courts and concourses were redecorated using a South Beach Tropical Art Deco motif. New skylights were installed, as was a high-tech (for the time) Pompano Info System video display network. Moreover, the small upper level was refashioned into a 12-bay Food Court, accessed by a new glass elevator.

The renewed retail center, renamed POMPANO SQUARE, was officially dedicated November 15, 1985. Initially successful, the reinvented mall fell on hard times once again. By the late 1980s, it was in a downward spiral and began to deteriorate due to lack of maintenance.

Jordan Marsh was shuttered in September 1991, with Mervyn's opening June 7, 1992. By mid-1997, this store was shuttered. Dillard's bought the building. They considered adding a second level and opening a store in the structure, but this never happened.

San Francisco-based Equities Development acquired the struggling shopping center in May 1997 and announced plans for its redevelopment. However, one of the partners in the venture passed away and the plan was abandoned. In July 1999, the Miami-based Lefmark Group bought POMPANO SQUARE, with its own scenario for redevelopment. This plan also never came to fruition.

Charlotte, North Carolina's Faison Retail Services came on the scene in the year 2000. After overcoming several red tape-type hurdles, they initiated a 75 million dollar renovation. The first phase, started in August 2003, involved demolition of the vacant Jordan Marsh / Mervyn's and South Wing of the mall.

These were replaced with a 3-level PLAZA area and open-air concourse of stores, along with a 1-level (163,400 square foot) Lowe's. This store opened for business in the fall of 2004. J.C. Penney had temporarily ceased operation in January 2003. The store was remodeled into a downsized, 1-level (85,000 square foot) operation, which was dedicated November 5, 2003.

The upper level of Penney's was divided by a corridor and sectioned into a (31,300 square foot) Pompano Fitness and (9,800 square foot) Jumpers Party Pad indoor family amusement center. Most of the remaining second floor area became leased office spaces.

Sears was given an interior and exterior remodeling. Burdines was rebranded as Burdines-Macy's January 30, 2004 and fully "Macy-ated" March 6, 2005. This store's interior was redecorated. The final section of the mall to be demolished fell to the wrecking ball in early 2006. Meanwhile, new exterior-entranced Office Depot, Linens 'n Things and Ross Dress For Less stores were built; these making their debut in mid-2006.

A new name came along with the mall's reinvention; POMPANO CITI CENTRE. The predominantly open-air complex encompassed 972,000 leasable square feet and fifty-eight stores and services. It was sold to the Palm Beach-based Sterling Organization in April 2012.

After Linens 'n Things' shuttering in October 2008, the store space at POMPANO CITI CENTRE was taken by Big Lots. Office Depot pulled up stakes, with most of its area going to a new PetSmart. This store began business June 25, 2016.

Sources:

Malls of America Blogspot / Posts by "Anonymous", "Tkaye" and "RetroDaddy"
The Boca Raton News
The Palm Beach Post
www.cinematreasures.org
The Sun Sentinel
South Florida Business Journal
http://www.pompanociticentre.com


FAIR USE OF POMPANO FASHION SQUARE IMAGES:

The graphics from The Boca Raton News illustrate a key moment in the mall's history that is described in the article. The images are of lower resolution than the originals (copies made would be of inferior quality). The images are not replaceable with free-use or public-domain images. The use of the images does not limit the copyright owners' rights to distribute the images in any way. The images are being used for non-profit, informational purposes only and their use is not believed to detract from the original images in any way.