VOLUSIA MALL
West Volusia Avenue / US 92 and Mason Avenue
Daytona Beach, Florida

The malling of Greater Daytona Beach began in May 1967, with the completion of ORMOND BEACH MALL. This was a meager -100,000 square foot- strip center with a small enclosed concourse. Next came SUNSHINE MALL, which was dedicated in November 1971. It was a fully-enclosed complex in South Daytona, which encompassed 256,000 leasable square feet.

DAYTONA MALL, comprising 300,000 square feet, was a redevelopment of the city's WESTGATE SHOPPING CENTER. This new mall, a fully-enclosed addition to an existing Montgomery Ward, opened for business in December 1973.

In the same month, construction started at a 93 acre site, located 2.3 miles southwest of downtown Daytona Beach. VOLUSIA MALL would initially comprise 820,000 leasable square feet and house eighty-seven stores and services. The single-level, fully-enclosed structure was developed by Youngstown, Ohio's Edward J. DeBartolo Corporation.

A 2-level (123,000 square foot), Charlotte-based Ivey's was the first VOLUSIA MALL anchor to open for business. The store was dedicated, along with thirty-five inline stores, October 15, 1974. A 2-level (110,000 square foot), Jacksonviille-based May-Cohens made its debut November 2, 1974. Next came a 2-level (150,000 square foot) Sears, on February 6, 1975, and 1-level (123,400 square foot) J.C. Penney, dedicated on August 27, 1975.

Charter VOLUSIA MALL tenants included Fremacs For Men, Walgreen Drug, Piccadilly Cafeteria, Pet Parade, Camelot Music, Chess King and Jack & Jean's Unisex Salon. The CinemaNational Volusia Mall Cinemas I-II-III showed its first features December 25, 1974.  Although physically part of the mall structure, the venue originally had only an exterior entrance.

Volusia County's new superregional center was the largest shopping complex in east central Florida, and the largest between Jacksonville and Orlando. Its only mall-type counterparts were the aforementioned DAYTONA MALL {1.4 miles southwest, in Daytona Beach} and SUNSHINE MALL {4.1 miles southeast, in South Daytona}.

The first expansion of VOLUSIA MALL was dedicated March 4, 1982. The project added a 2-level (157,500 square foot), Miami-based Burdines and 2-level (100,000 square foot), Orlando-based Belk-Lindsey, along with eight inline stores.

During the construction process, the existing Waldenbooks and Evanson's Hallmark stores were relocated so that a corridor could be cut through to the new Belk-Lindsey. Moreover, the triplex cinema was given a new lobby and direct connection with the mallway. The newly-enlarged VOLUSIA MALL encompassed 1,064,700 leasable square feet with a retail roster of one hundred and fifteen stores and services.

Anchor rebrandings started in September 1987, with the short-lived conversion of May-Cohens into a May Company Florida. The store came under a Baton Rouge-based Maison Blanche banner in July 1988. All eight Maison Blanche stores in Florida were rebranded with a Mobile-based Gayfer's trademark in early 1992.

The next anchor rebranding involved the conversion of Ivey's into a Dillard's, on June 4, 1990. Later on, a Dillard's "double-header" was created, using the existing Dillard's and a vacated Belk-Lindsey. On November 2, 1996, the former Ivey's re-opened as Dillard's West (a Women's & Children's Store). The old Belk-Lindsey was now Dillard's East (a Men's & Home Store).

A unique Dillard's "triple-header" (apparently the only one in existence) was established at VOLUSIA MALL in the fall of 1998. The Ivey's / Dillard's was still Dillard's West (but was now strictly a Women's Store). The Belk-Lindsey / Dillard's continued on as Dillard's East (still devoted to Men's & Home merchandise). Lastly, May-Cohens / Gayfer's was refashioned into the new Dillard's South (which carried Juniors & Children's lines).

A face lift renovation of VOLUSIA MALL had got underway in June 1996. New flooring, ceilings, skylights, landscaping and seating ares were installed. A 9-bay Food Court was created from seven inline stores. Moreover, an "interactive fountain" was installed in Center Court. The remodeling was officially dedicated November 22, 1996.

The mall changed hands in October 1998, with Charlotte-based Faison Enterprises taking the helm. They relinquished ownership interest in March 2004, when Chattanooga-based CBL & Associates Properties bought the property.

A seventh anchor rebranding occurred January 30, 2004, when Burdines morphed into Burdines-Macy's. The eighth nameplate change was done when this store became a full-fledged Macy's, on March 6, 2005.

The southwest corner of the complex was renovated in 2009-2010. A (15,100 square foot) space was created for Birmingham, Alabama-based Books-A-Million. Applebee's Neighborhood Bar & Grill built a freestanding restaurant adjacent to the mall's Southwest Entrance.

A 5 million dollar mall-wide renovation commenced in March 2014, which tweeked what had been done during the 1996 remodeling. The mall was re-dedicated October 30, 2014. By this time, an outparcel "Restaurant District" was being built in the southwestern periphery of the shopping hub.

The first eatery, Bahama Breeze Island Grill, served its first meals in August 2013. Olive Garden opened in September. Next came I.H.O.P. (International House of Pancakes), in January 2014. The final food vendor, Cheddar's Casual Cafe...make that Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen...debuted in September 2015.

In the mall's southeast corner, Chick-Fil-A, Taco Bell, Piccadilly Cafeteria, Vision Works and Dream Health Massage were shuttered. The space was gutted and rebuilt as a (22,400 square foot) H & M (Hennes & Mauritz). The Swedish-based  "fashion-forward" retailer opened for business December 10, 2015. The shopping hub now encompassed 1,083,700 leasable square feet, with eighty-six store spaces and thirteen kiosks.

VOLUSIA MALL, for years the preeminent shopping center in -or around- Daytona Beach, had no sizable competition. VOLUSIA SQUARE {1.4 miles southwest, in Daytona Beach} was a small (232,000 square foot) strip center. THE PAVILION AT PORT ORANGE {5.9 miles south, in Port Orange} was larger (encompassing 445,800 square feet). Still, this circa-2010 power center was no rival for its much larger, enclosed counterpart.  

Things began to change in November 2016, when the first stores in TANGER OUTLETS {2.2 miles northwest, in Daytona Beach} opened for business. The open-air facility encompassed 350,000 square feet, with a tenant list of seventy-five stores.

The open-air ONE DAYTONA {.5 mile west, also in Daytona Beach} was a mixed-use facility. Plans called for an eventual 1.1 million square feet of retail, restaurants, entertainment, hospitality and residential components. An official dedication of the first stores and services was held in February 2017.

Sources:

The Daytona Beach Morning Journal
"Volusia Mall" article on Wikipedia
http://www.volusiamall.net
http://www.cblproperties.com (CBL & Associates Properties)
www.news-journalonline.com
https://www.tangeroutlet.com/daytona
http://www.onedaytona.com

FAIR USE OF VOLUSIA MALL IMAGES:

The graphics and renderings from The Daytona Beach Morning Journal 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.