Columbus' Northland Center



A frontal view of the Mid-Century Modern Sears that anchored the east end of the original shopping hub.
Photo from Sears, Roebuck & Company Annual Report 1964

A map showing the directionally-designated malls of Greater Columbus. Three regional centers, NORTHLAND, EASTLAND and WESTLAND, were built during the 1960s. SOUTHLAND, although referred to as a "mall", was actually a small strip center that opened in 1975.

In August 1964, Columbus caught up with its rival cities in Ohio, shopping mall-wise. Cleveland had opened its first mall in 1954; Cincinnati in 1956. Here, we see the physical layout of Columbus' first mall, in its original open-air configuration. The complex spanned approximately 710,000 leasable square feet and contained forty-three stores. Its ample parking area could accommodate 4,500 autos.
NORTHLAND CENTER TENANTS 1964:

LAZARUS (with Beauty Salon, restaurant and freestanding Tire Center) / SEARS (with Coffee House, Garden Center, Pet Shop and freestanding Auto Center) / F.W. WOOLWORTH 5 & 10 (with luncheonette) / ALBERS supermarket / A & S Curtain Shop / Baker's Qualicraft Shoes / Beneficial Finance Corporation / Cut-N-Curl Beauty Salon / Economy Savings & Loan / Fanny Farmer Candies / Flagg Brothers Shoes / Flemings Bookstore / Glidden Paint Center / Gray Drug / Holiday Shoes / House of Fabrics / Huntington National Bank / Kay Jewelers / Khourie's ladies' wear / Le Petit Cafe / Lerner Shops ladies' wear / Thom McAn Shoes / Madison's ladies' wear / Marianne Shops ladies' wear / Merle Norman Cosmetic Studio / National Shirt Shops / Northland Barber Shop / Northland Cinema (single-screen) / Northland Junior Bootery / Northland Shoe Repair / Park Federal Savings & Loan / Paris Hats / Phillips Shoes / Richman Brothers men's wear / Rogers Jewelers / Singer Sewing Center / Swan Dry Cleaners / The Limited ladies' wear / The Union Company / Tie Rak / Walker's Suburban / White's Furniture / York Opticians  

The NORTHLAND Lazarus, which was the Columbus-based retailer's second branch store. In its original state, it encompassed 3 levels and 185,000 square feet.


The Columbus-based Union Company operated a junior anchor store at the original NORTHLAND.
Photo from http://catalog.clcohio.org/ (Columbus Metropolitan Library)


A circa-'65 snapshot taken at the center of the main shopping concourse. A Sears mall entrance is seen in the distance.
Photo from http://catalog.clcohio.org/ (Columbus Metropolitan Library)

The complex was fully-enclosed and climate-controlled in 1975 and '76. Common areas were embellished with trees, shrubs, fountains and works of art. In this image, we see the West -or Lazarus- Wing. The Limited is on the left, with Lerner Shops across the mallway.
Photo from http://catalog.clcohio.org/ (Columbus Metropolitan Library)


As part of the mid-1970s renovation, a third anchor was added to the south side of the mall. Lazarus would be expanded twice (in 1968 and 1974). The in-mall cinema was replaced by a freestanding 8-plex in the mid-1980s. A 9-bay Food Court was built in existing store space in 1995. In the year 2000, NORTHLAND encompasses around 1,134,700 leasable square feet. The store count stands at 100, but not for long. 

A street side sign displaying the most recent trademark. By the year 2000, the mall was beginning to be outpositioned by newer and more trendy shopping facilities in its trade area. Within a few years, the complex would be virtually vacant.
Photo from www.tallgeorge.com


By 2003, NORTHLAND MALL was shuttered, abandoned and awaiting a wrecking ball renovation.
Photo from www.illicitohio.com

The moribund mall was replaced by NORTHLAND VILLAGE, a cluster of retail and office facilities. The Penney's and Lazarus buildings were repurposed, with several new structures added. These included Menards Megastore, Kroger, McDonald's, Tim Horton's Cafe & Bake Shop and the Shoppes at Northland store strip seen here.  
Photo from https://stonehenge-company.com / Stonehenge Company
NORTHLAND CENTER
Morse and Karl Roads
Franklin County (Columbus), Ohio

NORTHLAND, Columbus' first mall-type shopping complex, was one of three directionally-designated centers that were built in the city's rapidly-expanding suburbs during the 1960s. EASTLAND CENTER, Columbus' first fully-enclosed mall, was dedicated in February 1968. WESTLAND MALL was completed in February 1969.

Open-air in format, NORTHLAND CENTER was built on an 84-acre tract, located 6.5 miles north of the Ohio State House. The mall site was originally within unincorporated Franklin County (Mifflin Township), but was eventually annexed into the Columbus city limits.

The mall was designed by the Grossel & Jensen firm and developed by Cleveland's Visconsi, Mead-Jacobs Company (a precursor of the Richard E. Jacobs Group). A mall-wide dedication was held on August 13, 1964. There were two anchors in the original 710,000 square foot complex; a 3-level (185,000 square foot), Columbus-based F & R Lazarus and 2-level (212,900 square foot) Sears. Junior anchors were a Columbus-based Union Company and F.W. Woolworth 5 & 10.

Among the forty-three original stores and services were Rogers Jewelers, Lerner Shops, Madison's ladies' wear, Gray Drug and an Albers supermarket. The Cincinnati Theaters Company Northland Cinema, an in-mall venue, showed its first feature as part of the mall's August 1964 grand opening. The movie house was twinned in 1975.

A major mall renovation was underway at this time, with courts and concourses being fully-enclosed. A 2-level (175,000 square foot) J.C. Penney was added to the south side of the complex. Lazarus had been enlarged in 1968 and -again- in 1974. The store covered 228,000 square feet.

Now promoted as NORTHLAND MALL, the facility encompassed approximately 134,700 leasable square feet. Its original cinema was shuttered on April 21, 1985. The General Cinema Corporation Northland 8, a freestanding multiplex, was built in the southeast parking area. It opened in December 1985. A 9-bay Food Court was installed in a vacant Woolworth store space in 1995.

The once-thriving NORTHLAND MALL was on a downward trajectory by the turn of the century. Its first major rival, COLUMBUS CITY CENTER {5 miles south, in downtown Columbus} made its debut in 1989. MALL AT TUTTLE CROSSING {8.1 miles northwest, in Columbus} was dedicated in 1997. EASTON TOWN CENTER {3.5 miles east, in Columbus} was inaugurated in 1999.

The final blow to NORTHLAND came in 2001, with the completion of POLARIS FASHION PLACE {5.5 miles north, in Delaware County}. This fully-enclosed, upscale mall snatched all three anchor stores from NORTHLAND.

The mall was left anchorless and populated by several mom & pop-type tenants. Most of the major, national chain stores had moved to either EASTON or POLARIS. A virtually vacant NORTHLAND MALL closed for good on October 9, 2002. The past-its-prime property had been sold to the Columbus Urban Growth Corporation, a consortium of city officials and local businessmen.

Their plan, referred to as NorthPARK, proposed to redevelop the greyfield site as a mixed-use retail, office and residential complex. Demolition of the mall started in January 2004, leaving the Sears, J.C. Penney and Lazarus buildings; the latter being renovated into offices for the Ohio Department of Taxation. The Sears structure was eventually demolished.

The land parcel was to be dissected by new city streets. Traffic signals were to be installed, along with sidewalks and landscaping. Unfortunately, the NorthPARK project never got off the ground. Home Depot, plotted to anchor the new complex, backed out of the deal in late 2006.

The 8-screen cinema, which had closed in 2000, was purchased by Vaud-Villities, a local theater group. It became a venue for live productions and rehearsals. In 2010, the theater, which had been renamed the Northland Performing Arts Center, moved into a new space in the old J.C. Penney structure. The remainder of the building was renovated and retenanted by the Franklin County Department of Job & Family services.

Columbus Urban Growth sold the NorthPARK site in March 2008; the buyer being the Gahanna, Ohio-based Stonehenge Company. They announced a revised plan for redevelopment. In the new proposal, an 80 million dollar retail and office center, known as NORTHLAND VILLAGE, would be implemented in three phases.

Eau Claire, Wisconsin-based Menards broke ground on a 1-level (220,000 square foot) Mega Store in May 2010. The grand opening was held April 12, 2011. Several freestanding structures were added to the site. These included McDonald's, Telhio Credit Union, Tim Horton's, Chipotle Mexican Grill and John's Gourmet Sandwiches.

The final phase of the NORTHLAND VILLAGE project entailed construction of a 1-level (108,000 square foot) Kroger supermarket. This store opened its doors on October 19, 2016.

Sources:

The Columbus Dispatch
The Ohio Jewish Chronicle
preservenet.cornell.edu/publications/Longstreth Branch Store.doc
http://www.rejacobsgroup.com / The Richard E. Jacobs Group (website on Internet Archive Wayback Machine)
www.illicitohio.com
www.cinematreasures.org
www.urbangrowth.org / "NorthlandPARK"
www.vvproductions.com / Vaud-Villities Productions / "NorthlandPARK"
"Lazarus" article on Wikipedia
"Eastland Mall" article on Wikipedia
"Franklin County" (Ohio) website
http://www.stonehenge-company.com
www.bizjournals.com
https://www.thisweeknews.com


FAIR USE OF NORTHLAND CENTER IMAGES:

The photographs from The Columbus Metropolitan Library illustrate a key moment in the mall's history that is described in the article. 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.
Columbus' Eastland Center


The mall's south anchor -and its largest tenant- a 234,400 square foot Sears. This is how the store appeared in 1968.
Photo from www.columbuslibrary.org (Columbus Metropolitan Library)

The original footprint of EASTLAND CENTER, Columbus' first fully-enclosed shopping hub. At the time of this 1968 plan, the 950,000 square foot structure housed sixty-nine stores and services. Its parking area could accommodate 5,000 autos.


A vintage view of the EASTLAND Center Court and mallway entrance of the "Penneys" anchor store. A water-less "Wonderfall" fountain is seen in the distance. In a contemporary newspaper write-up, it was described as "an illusion created by a million droplets on 1,800 Nylon strands". 
Photo from www.columbuslibrary.org (Columbus Metropolitan Library)


Interior and exterior views of the north anchor store at EASTLAND; these taken while it was still operating as a Lazarus. In the first image, we see the store's upscale restaurant which overlooked the mall's North Court.
Photos from Wikipedia / "Dirty Harry"


A vintage view inside the shiny new Lazarus Eastland store.
Photo from Federated Department Stores, Incorporated Annual Report 1967

An interior snapshot of the north anchor store, taken during its phase as a Macy's. 
Photo from Wikipedia / "Dirty Harry"


The mall's north anchor sported a Macy's brand for  a year and a half.
Photo from Franklin County, Ohio 


In an aerial mall view, we see a new fourth anchor, which opened -as a Pittsburgh-based Kaufmann's- in October 2005.
Photo from www.glimcher.com (Glimcher Realty Trust)

A circa-2007 EASTLAND plan shows the latest modifications. The cinema closed in early 1993 and was divided into four tenant spaces. Woolworth's, shuttered in 1997, became a Food Court. A ten-store Streetscape (in light gray) has been added to the south-facing front of the mall, along with the aforementioned fourth anchor, which has been rebranded by Macy's. 


EASTLAND MALL TENANTS 2007:

J.C. PENNEY (with Styling Salon, Optical Department and Portrait Studio) / MACY'S (with Salon) / SEARS (with Optical Department, Garden Center and freestanding Auto Center) / Aeropostale apparel / American Eagle Outfitters / Andrews Jewelers / Another Goodie Shop / Ashley Stewart ladies' wear / Auntie Anne's Pretzels / B. Dalton Bookseller / Bath & Body Works / Body Jewel / Carlton Cards / Champs Sports / Christian Armory / Christopher & Banks ladies' wear / Claire's Boutique ladies' wear / Deb Shops ladies' wear / Eyebrowz / Fame / Fashion City ladies' wear / Finish Line / Firestone Tire & Auto (outparcel) / Foot Action / Foot Locker / Freedom Wireless / Fun 4 U / F.Y.E. (For Your Entertainment) / GNC / Gamestop / Harold Penner Man of Fashion / Hershey's Ice Cream / Hibbett Sports / Imports Chanel / J.B. Robinson Jewelers / Kay Jewelers / Lady Foot Locker / Lane Bryant ladies' wear / Lids / Lenscrafters / Man Alive men's wear / Mastercuts / Modern Nails / MW Tux / Northern Sports / NU Source / PayLess ShoeSource / Pearle Vision Center / Piercing Pagoda / Radio Shack / Rave / Remos / Revol / Sleep Number Store / Spencer Gifts / The Icing / Things Remembered / Trinity Brown Child Care / Underground Station apparel / Victoria's Secret / Vitamin World / Work N Gear / World Spice / Zales Jewelers

IN THE FOOD COURT:
Cajun Express / Chick-Fil-A / Panda Express / Sarku Japan / Sbarro Italian Eatery / Steak Escape / Subway

Our third -and final- EASTLAND plan dates to 2017. A pesky vacant anchor has stood on the north end of the complex since 2006. It was joined by another empty department store when J.C. Penney pulled up stakes, in mid-2015. Macy's moved on in March 2017, leaving the shopping hub with just Sears to sustain it. This store will go dark in September.
EASTLAND CENTER
Refugee and South Hamilton Roads
Franklin County (Columbus), Ohio

The first interior mall in Greater Columbus was built on a 60-acre site, located 8.3 miles southeast of the Ohio State House. The property was adjacent to the proposed route of the "Outerbelt" / Interstate 270 Expressway, with the section accessing the mall opening in late 1970.

EASTLAND CENTER was designed by Visnapuu & Gaede Architects of Cleveland and developed by the Visconsi-Mead-Jacobs Company, also of Cleveland. The first operational store, a 2-level (125,000 square foot) F & R Lazarus, opened for business in August 1967. 

A 3-level (149,600 square foot) J.C. Penney was dedicated on January 2, 1968. The single-level mall, which encompassed a total of 950,000 leasable square feet, held its grand opening on February 14 of the same year. A 2-level (234,400 square foot) Sears commenced operation at this time.

Among sixty-nine inline stores were Gray Drug, French's Sidewalk Cafe, Julie Ann Fabrics, Singer Sewing Center, Florsheim Shoes, Rogers Jewelers, Sills Shoes, Record Land, Silverman's men's & boy's wear, Seven Seas Gift Shop, Foxmoor Casuals, Spencer Gifts, an F.W. Woolworth 5 & 10 and outparcel A & P supermarket. The General Cinema Corporation Eastland Cinema opened along with the mall. It was twinned in the 1980s and shuttered in February 1993.

By 1976, the shopping venue was officially promoted as EASTLAND MALL. Its Lazarus store was expanded to 190,000 square feet. A mall-wide face lift was done in 1989. Marble flooring, new wall treatments and skylights were installed. 9 years later, a vacant Woolworth was gutted and replaced by an 8-bay Food Court. This new culinary complex opened for business in October 1998. The first anchor rebranding at EASTLAND MALL transpired on August 1, 2003, when Lazarus morphed into a Lazarus-Macy's. The store was "Macy-ated" on March 6, 2005.

Meanwhile, the Columbus-based Glimcher Realty Trust had acquired EASTLAND MALL in December 2003. A fourth remodeling had been planned by the previous owner, now known as the Richard E. Jacobs Group. Glimcher went ahead with the project. A thorough renovation was done, which removed landscaping from mall courts. Wall-to-wall carpet was laid in all concourses and a children's play area set up in Center Court.

In addition, the southeast-facing front of the complex underwent a dramatic transformation. 30,000 square feet of "Streetscape" retail was added, comprising ten new store spaces. Moreover, a 1-level (120,000 square foot), Pittsburgh-based Kaufmann's was constructed. The mall now encompassed 1,025,800 leasable square feet and contained eighty inline stores under its roof.

Kaufmann's held a grand opening on October 26, 2005. The store was rebranded in less than a year. As part of the May / Federated merger of 2005, the Pennsylvania-based chain ceased to exist. Stores were refitted with Macy's mastheads on September 9, 2006. The original EASTLAND Macy's, operating in the old Lazarus location since March 2005, was shuttered.

A fifth renovation of EASTLAND was in the planning stages for several years. This would have entailed demolition of the vacant Lazarus / Macy's and construction of a new J.C. Penney in its place. The project, originally scheduled to get underway in 2007, was abandoned when the economy turned sour. 

The Great Recession left the Glimcher Realty Trust with an upside down EASTLAND MALL mortgage. They decided to unload the property in an online auction, which was held in June 2014. A single bid -of 18 million dollars- was rejected.

In August 2014, Glimcher relinquished ownership of the shopping center to the Miami Beach-based LNR Property, Limited Liability Company. The mall's problems were exacerbated by the shutterings of all of its remaining anchor stores. J.C. Penney shut down (May 2015), followed by Macy's (March 2017) and Sears (September 2017).

Sources:

The Columbus Dispatch
preservenet.cornell.edu/publications/Longstreth Branch Store.doc
http://www.rejacobsgroup.com / The Richard E. Jacobs Group (website on Internet Archive Wayback Machine)
www.glimcher.com
https://www.eastlandmall614.com
Franklin County, Ohio tax assessor website
www.bizjournals.com


FAIR USE OF EASTLAND MALL IMAGES:

The photographs from The Columbus Metropolitan Library illustrate a key moment in the mall's history that is described in the article. 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.
Columbus' Westland Mall


Columbus' third directionally-designated shopping center was built in the city's western environs. 
Photo from https://abandonedonline.net


WESTLAND MALL was added to an existing Lazarus department store. Lazarus West opened its doors in August 1962. The shopping center would be added to the right side of the store.
Photo from http://ohsweb.ohiohistory.org / Lazarus Family Collection

Lazarus West was expanded with a second level -and given a facelift- as the mall was being built. An official dedication was held in February 1969.
Photo from https://www.digital-collections.columbuslibrary.org / Columbus Citizen-Journal / Columbus Metropolitan Library


In its original state, WESTLAND was open-air in configuration, which seems odd when considering that nearly every mall completed in 1969 was fully-enclosed. With the new mall, Lazarus was joined by large Penneys, Sears and Woolworth stores. By 1971, an outparcel twin cinema had also opened for business.


In this view, we see the mall's original open-air shopping concourse. The Lazarus mall entry appears in the left background.
Photo from https://abandonedonline.net


The open mall featured sculptures and water features by Cleveland artisan Charles E. Van Duzer.
Photo from https://abandonedonline.net

The WESTLAND Cassano Pizza King. The chain, more recently promoted as Cassano'S Pizza King, originated in Kettering, a Dayton suburb.
Photo from https://abandonedonline.net


Gray Drug, a fixture in many a mid-century Ohio mall, had its beginnings in Cleveland.
Photo from https://abandonedonline.net


The original WESTLAND included an A & P supermarket. This store was located in a freestanding strip plaza in back of the mall. 
Photo from The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company, Incorporated Annual Report 1969 

In this vintage aerial view, we see the west end of WESTLAND and its Sears anchor store. We might also notice that the open-air shopping concourse has been roofed-in. This was done in 1982. 
Photo from https://www.digital-collections.columbuslibrary.org  / Columbus Metropolitan Library


In the snapshot above, and the one that follows, we see storefronts in the newly-enclosed mall. J. Riggings was a young men's clothier that was acquired by the Saint Louis-based Edison Brothers conglomerate in the mid-1980s.
Photo from https://abandonedonline.net


The Orange Julius chain of fruit drink beverage stores had its beginnings in Los Angeles, in the late 1920s. 
Photo from https://abandonedonline.net

A circa-1994 WESTLAND layout shows the fully-enclosed shopping center and its re-enlarged Lazarus. At this time, the mall spanned 860,000 leasable square feet and housed over fifty stores and services. Its vast parking area could accommodate 5,000 autos at one time.


A more contemporary photo of the WESTLAND Lazarus. After two major renovations, the store encompassed 215,000 square feet. 
Photo from Wikipedia / "Dirty Harry"


A view of the Lazarus mall entry. This store anchored WESTLAND MALL for over thirty-four years.
Photo from www.labelscar.com / "Prange Way"
 

In 2007, WESTLAND MALL bid farewell to Macy's (nee' Lazarus). A contemporary store listing includes several mom & pop-type tenants and only a few national chains. In November 2012, mall concourses were shuttered, leaving only Sears and Staples in business. With the September 2017 shuttering of Sears, the mall was completely abandoned.
Graphic from www.westlandmallcolumbus.com (website on Internet Archive Wayback Machine)


WESTLAND MALL TENANTS 2007:

MACY'S / SEARS (with Beauty Salon, Dental Clinic, Optical Center. Portrait Studio and freestanding Auto Center) / STAPLES / A + Bingo / A Matter of Steak restaurant / A Novel Idea Bookstore / All About Floors of Ohio / Andrews Jewelers / Angelica Custom Wear / Bob Evans restaurant (outparcel) / Bubble Gum / Ceramic Art Gallery / Champs Sports / Christian Armory / Claire's Boutique / Diamonds Forever / D.O.C. Eyeworld / Dollar Cinema Westland (outparcel) / Elegant Style / Feng Shui Living / Firestone Tire & Auto (outparcel) / Foot Locker / Franklin County Sherrif Community Service Center / Fried Rice Factory / GNC / George's American Grille / Gwynn Vaughan Insurance / H 1 Fashions / H & R Block / Hat Fashions & More / Heaven's Scents / Huntington Bank ATM / Imperial School of Martial Arts / J.B. Robinson Jewelers / Jannie B's Wings & Things / K.C. Men's Clothing / Kelly's Barber & Beauty Salon / Key Bank (outparcel) / Ladies First / Lady Foot Locker / La Plaza Tapatia / Liberty Tax / Loan USA / Milner Shoes / Modern Nails / National Tire & Battery (outparcel) / Ohio Hispanic Coalition / Piercing Pagoda (kiosk) / Playtown Party Place / Studio 3 Photos & Massage Bar / Success Recruiting / Taco Juquila / Tempting Gold (kiosk) / The Finish Line / Tinder Box Tobacconist / Urban Trend / Wear Fresh Caribbean Connection / Westland Arcade / Westland Sports Collectibles / Westside License Agency (DMV) / World Gym / XO Restaurant & Bar

A parting snapshot of the WESTLAND MALL Main Entrance. It provided access to two North Mall concourses. Flanking these would be stores and services such as D.O.C. Eyeworld, Diamonds Forever and Modern Nails.
Photo from Wikipedia / Sam Howzit


WESTLAND MALL
West Broad Street / US 40 and Georgesville Road
Franklin County, Ohio

The third of Columbus' directionally-designated malls was added to an existing F & R Lazarus. This 1-level (80,000 square foot) store had opened, on August 16, 1962, as the Columbus-based chain's first branch.

WESTLAND MALL was developed by Cleveland's Visconsi-Mead-Jacobs Company (a precursor of the Richard E. Jacobs Group). The complex, officially dedicated on February 12, 1969, occupied a 59.9-acre plot, located 6 miles west of the Ohio State House. The site was adjacent to the future route of the "Outerbelt"/ Interstate 270 Expressway, with the section running by the mall opening to traffic in August 1970.

Open-air in format, WESTLAND was anchored by the aforementioned Lazarus, which had had been enlarged into a 2-level (171,000 square foot) structure. There was also a 1-level (104,800 square foot) J.C. Penney and 2-level (176,900 square foot) Sears. Charter inline stores included Orange Julius, The Limited, Waldenbooks, Gray Drug, House of Fabrics and an F.W. Woolworth 5 & 10. Courts and concourses were decorated with sculptures and fountains created by Cleveland artist Charles E. Van Duzer.

WESTLAND MALL underwent a major renovation in 1982. Its mallways were fully-enclosed. Lazarus was enlarged again and now encompassed 215,000 square feet. When construction dust settled, the shopping hub covered approximately 860,000 leasable square feet.

The Cinecom Theatres Westland Cinemas I & II debuted on July 1, 1971. The venue was installed in a southeast parking area strip center that had opened, along with the mall, in 1969. An all-new megaplex was built southwest of the original twin. It opened, as the General Cinema Corporation Westland 8, in early 1986 and was in business until late 2000. The theater operated as Dollar Cinemas Westland between 2004 and 2008.

Commercial competitors of WESTLAND MALL included COLUMBUS CITY CENTER (1989) {in downtown Columbus} and MALL AT TUTTLE CROSSING (1997) {8.4 miles north, in Columbus}. The decline of WESTLAND MALL began in the late 1980s, when Sears was downsized into a 1-level operation. The new MALL AT TUTTLE CROSSING snatched the Penney's store from WESTLAND in July 1997.

By the dawn of the 21st century, WESTLAND MALL was on life support. In November 2002, the past-its-prime property was sold to Sammy Kahen and Jack Kashani, two Beverly Hills-based realtors. A plan to redevelop WESTLAND, following the tenets of New Urbanism, was announced. 

The mall would be demolished, leaving Sears and Lazarus intact. A city street grid was to be imposed, with open-air shopping and office spaces constructed. Unfortunately, the redevelopment stalled after the failure of a similar plan at Columbus' NORTHLAND MALL.

The owners of WESTLAND sold a fifty-percent share in the center to Columbus-based Plaza Properties, in April 2005. The Beachwood, Ohio-based Krone Group was enlisted as a redevelopment and management agent. The earlier renovation proposal was revived and a new mall moniker -WESTON TOWN CENTER- unofficially adopted.

Lazarus was rebranded as a Lazarus-Macy's on August 1, 2003 and a Macy's on March 6, 2005. The store was shuttered in July 2007. This created a stumbling block to any progress toward the revitalization.

Alas, the WESTON TOWN CENTER project never got off the ground. Wisconsin-based Menard's home improvement centers expressed interest in building a new store at the site, but eventually cancelled this plan. The mall's downward spiral hastened.

By May 2011, the long-delayed reinvention of WESTLAND MALL was seeming to gain impetus once more. The 400 million dollar Hollywood Casino Columbus had been built on the site of an abandoned factory, which stood across Georgesville Road from the complex. Said casino opened on October 8, 2012.

It was hoped that the new casino would serve as a catalyst for the long-delayed redevelopment of the moribund mall, which was shuttered in November 2012. An exterior-entranced Sears remained in business, but closed for good in September 2017. In the early 2020s, plans were being drawn to redevelop the abandoned and deteriorating mall as a mixed-use retail and residential facility.

Sources:

The Columbus Dispatch
www.labelscar.com
Franklin County, Ohio tax assessor website
www.cinematreasures.org
http://www.movie-theatre.org / Mike Rivest
www.thekronegroup.com
https://www.teepublic.com
"Westland Mall" article on Wikipedia


FAIR USE OF WESTLAND MALL IMAGES:

The photographs from The Columbus Metropolitan Library illustrate a key moment in the mall's history that is described in the article. 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.
Toledo's Woodville Mall


The original trademark of Toledo's first enclosed shopping mall.
Graphic from the Edward J. DeBartlolo Corporation


A grand opening commemoration of the Glass City's WOODVILLE MALL. Its first thirty-six stores opened their doors on April 15 and 16, 1969. 
Advert from the Edward J. DeBartolo Corporation

Our first WOODVILLE plan depicts the mall as it stood in late 1969. The single-level center spanned approximately 871,000 leasable square feet, with a 5,000-car capacity parking lot. Its developer, Youngstown's Edward J. DeBartolo Corporation, was quite prolific. In the 1969-1970 time frame, the Corporation had five malls in various stages of completion.


WOODVILLE MALL TENANTS 1969:

J.C. PENNEY (with Coffee Shop, Beauty Salon and freestanding Auto Center) / LASALLE'S (with Beauty Salon) / SEARS (with Coffee House and freestanding Auto Center) / F.W. WOOLWORTH 5 & 10 (with Harvest House Coffee Shop) / FOOD TOWN supermarket / Bernard Wig Salon / Bresler's 33 Flavors Ice Cream / Butler's Shoes / Can-Do Shop / Card Mart / Snack Bar / Chess King men's wear / Clair Hats / Clothes Pin ladies' wear / Cunningham's Drug (with Highland Grill restaurant) / Disc Records / Docktor Pet Center / Father & Son Shoes / Fisher Shoes / Fanny Farmer Candies / Fireside Shops / First Lady Beauty Salon / First National Bank of Toledo / Fox Woodville Mall Theatre (single-screen) / Foxwood Casuals ladies' wear / French Cafe / Goodyear Tire & Auto / Grinnell's TV & Electronics / Gross Photo / Haig / Hanover Shoes / Hardy Shoes / Hobby Center / Hadley's / Home Furniture Company / Homemaker Shops / Hot Sam Pretzels / House of Nine ladies' wear / Hughes & Hatcher men's wear / Jo-Ann Fabrics / Keidan's Jewelers / Kinney Shoes / Marilyn Shop ladies' wear / Mary Jane Shoes / Maternity Modes / Max Davis Jewelers / Memory Lane Card & Gift Shop / Merle Norman Cosmetic Studio / Mode O'Day Frock Shop / National Shirt Shops / National Uniform Shops / Nobil Shoes / Parklane Hosiery / Princess Beauty Salon / Seven Seas Gifts / Strater Dry Cleaners / Tie Rak / Vassiliov Barber Shop / Woodville Coin Shop / Woodville Shoe Repair / Winkelman's ladies' wear / Zales Jewelers


By late 1969, the mall's thirty-six original stores had grown to eighty-seven. 
Advert from the Edward J. DeBartolo Corporation


A WOODVILLE MALL logo montage features trademarks of some of the eighty-seven charter stores.  


The Fox Woodville Mall Theatre made its debut on July 10, 1969. On the bill that evening was "The Lost Man", starring Sidney Poitier, Joanna Shimkus and James Mason. 
Advert from Fox Eastern Theatres

Although the original footprint of WOODVILLE MALL would never change, the shopping venue was given a face lift redo in the late 1980s. Its new Treats Food Court is shown in medium gray on this circa-1988 plan. The LaSalle's anchor store morphed into a Macy's in 1981 and the Elder-Beerman depicted here in 1985. An Anderson's store has just replaced a shuttered J.C. Penney.

The sky blue Center Court at WOODVILLE MALL was remodeled during the 1987 face lift. In the original mall, the area, known as the Marble Court, featured a large, shooting fountain with multicolored lights.
Photo from www.loopnet.com


By the early 21st century, competition from Greater Toledo's FRANKLIN PARK MALL -and other factors- had left WOODVILLE MALL on life support. Elder-Beerman pulled the proverbial plug on their store in September 2009.
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The downward spiral of the complex hastened. After failing a city and county inspection, inline tenants were given eviction notices. All shopping concourses were closed to public access in January 2012.
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The Anderson's store went dark in February 2013.
Photo from www.labelscar.com / "Prange Way"


Sears was the mall's last operational tenant. Demolition of the inline store section of the complex began in March 2014. Sears finally closed its doors for the last time in July of the same year.
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