MOUNDS MALL
South Scatterfield and Mounds Roads
Anderson, Indiana

Indiana's Melvin Simon & Associates developed their first mall-type shopping center in Fort Collins, Colorado. Originally known as UNIVERSITY PLAZA, the partially-enclosed complex was officially dedicated in December 1964.

Simon chose Anderson, a satellite city of Indianapolis, as the site for their second covered shopping center. MOUNDS MALL was constructed on a 32 acre tract, formerly a landfill, that was located 2.5 miles southeast of downtown Anderson.

The single-level complex opened for business in January 1965. It was originally anchored by a 2-level (61,300 square foot) Montgomery Ward and 1-level (66,700 square foot), Indianapolis-based H.P Wasson.

Charter tenants included Hoyt Wright & Company, Paul Harris apparel, Roselyn's Bakery, Zales Jewelers, SupeRx Drugs, an MCL Cafeteria, Kroger supermarket and (18,000 square foot) F.W. Woolworth 5 & 10 (with luncheonette).

The primary feature of the original mall was a large, multilevel Center Court. An elevated stage provided a venue for fashion shows, concerts and other public events.

A 2-level (118,300 square foot) J.C. Penney opened in December 1968. The Cinecom Midwest States Theatres Mounds Cinema showed its first feature December 25 1970. The venue was a southwest outparcel of the mall. It was acquired by the General Cinema Corporation and reconfigured. The GCC Mounds Mall Cinema I & II made its debut August 16, 1974.

MOUNDS MALL had no major retail rival, as it was the only mall-type center in -or around- Anderson. Moreover, the malls nearest to it, MUNCIE MALL (1970) {in Muncie} and Indianapolis' CASTLETON SQUARE (1972), were also Simon-owned.

Anchor store rebrandings at MOUNDS MALL were many. Montgomery Ward closed and was replaced by Sears in 1983. H.P. Wasson morphed into an Anderson-based Weiler's and then a Terra Haute-based Meis. It became a Dayton-based Elder-Beerman in 1989.

The mall was given a major overhaul in 1986, when the Center Court stage area was torn out and replaced by a food court. In the mid-1990s, Sears expanded their store space. A small addition was built onto the southwest corner of the structure, with the interior being renovated. When the remodeled Sears was rededicated in October 1995, it encompassed a total of 83,400 square feet.

J.C. Penney was shuttered April 28, 2001, with its building being demolished. The Kerasotes Mounds Mall 10 opened on its space in April 2004. The old Kroger had become an Elder-Beerman Home Store.

MOUNDS MALL was acquired by the Coral Gables, Florida-based Bayview Financial Corporation in January 2003. They initiated a renovation of the 407,400 square foot  shopping facility soon after. This included new skylights, signage and an updated Food Court.

The property was sold again in September 2009, with the buyers being a joint venture of Anderson's Virgil E. Cook, II and Natalie Campbell. The official name of the complex was changed to MOUNDS MALL OF ANDERSON.

Anchor changes continued into the 21st century. The mall's two Elder-Beerman locations were rebannered as Carson's, another operative of York, Pennsylvania-based The Bon Ton Stores, on August 14, 2011. The most recent change involved Sears, which closed April 29, 2012.

Sources:

"Mounds Mall" article on Wikipedia
www.cinematreasures.org
www.moundsmallanderson.com
"Mounds Mall Still Courting Customers" / The Herald Bulliten / December 9, 2007 / Neal McNamara