Eastern Hills Mall

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Eastern Hills Mall
Location Image Eastern Hills Mall Small.jpg
Location Williamsville, New York
Opening date 1971
No. of stores and services 92
No. of anchor tenants 7
Total retail floor area 997,945 square feet (92,712.1 m2) [1]
No. of floors 1, two anchor tenants have small 2nd floors

Eastern Hills Mall is a shopping mall located at the western border of the Town of Clarence in Erie County, New York, USA. It lies on Transit Road (NYS Route 78), a 73.49 mile highway, which in the vicinity of the mall, divides Clarence from the Town of Amherst (Buffalo, NY). The mall is north of the junction of NY-78 with NY-5, Main Street.

The name "Eastern Hills" refers to the very low hills that contribute to a slightly higher elevation than the bordering areas along the Onondaga Escarpment.

Eastern Hills Mall is part of a long commercial strip on Transit Road. It consists of two long wings running north and south and one short wing running east and west, which connects the north-south wings in a "double L-shaped" formation. A major department store is at the end of each wing, except for the southern end of the north wing, where there is a temporary wall barricading off what was once a large sporting goods store, but is now used by the mall for storage. A food court is located adjacent to the end of the long south wing. A three-screen movie theater showing mainly independent films is also located in the mall, as well as a small New York State Department of Motor Vehicles office. There is an extensive, widely unused and generally very poor condition parking lot surrounding the entire complex, providing the highest parking ratio of any Buffalo area mall. Much of the parking lot space is leased to area car dealerships to store overstock vehicles due to the low volume of shoppers at the mall.

Eastern Hills Mall is currently at approximately 70% occupancy, with many vacant stores throughout the mall, and popular anchor store Dave & Busters soon shutting its doors to move to nearby Walden Galleria.[2] Eastern Hills is considered by many area residents to be a "dead mall" and is listed on the website Deadmalls.com.[3] Though at approximately 70% occupancy; except for the anchor stores, most major and nationally recognized retailers have left and been replaced by independently owned "mom-and-pop" type stores, selling crafts and homemade goods, which gives this mall a craft fair or flea market appearance. It is common for retailers to open and close within their first few months, unable to turn a profit due to the extremely low volume of shoppers that still visit Eastern Hills Mall. As of February 7, 2015, the mall's management hasn't paid to maintain their website, shopeasternhills.com[4] which links to website hosting service godaddy.com's offer page instead.

History[edit]

The Eastern Hills Mall was developed by the Edward J. DeBartolo Corporation. The mall was originally to be named "Buffalo Mall", but the name was changed to Eastern Hills Mall at the request of the town of Clarence. Construction began in 1969, some stores opened by 1971, and the mall was completed in 1972.

The three-screen cinema was owned and operated by General Cinema Corporation from 1971 to 1993. It was then sold to Dipson Theaters and converted to an independent/art film cinema in 1998.

The mall underwent an extensive overhaul in 1986 that added a food court. Another renovation to the small east-west center concourse and food court took place in 2005, largely cosmetic in nature. New floor tile was installed in both the center concourse and food court, and imitation fire places and small flat screen televisions were installed. The longer north-south concourses remained untouched during this second renovation, causing a break in a pink zig-zag floor tile line pattern, which prior to the 2005 renovation could be followed through the entire mall from end-to-end, but now remains only in the north-south concourses, broken by the new tile in the center concourse.

Anchors[edit]

Current[edit]

  • The Bon-Ton (1995–present) (151,208 sq ft.)
  • Dave & Buster's (2005–2015, slated to close in 2015 and move to nearby, busier Walden Galleria[5] (40,000 sq ft.)
  • JC Penney (July 27, 1972[6]–present) (152,360 sq ft.)
  • Macy's (2006–present) (129,824 sq ft.)
  • Orvis (2005–present) (17,967 sq ft.)
  • Sears (1971–present) (154,814 sq ft.)
  • Sports Performance Park, an indoor sports training facility (2009–present) (57,364 sq ft.)

Former[edit]

  • AM&A's (1971–1995); now The Bon-Ton
  • Burlington Coat Factory (1999–2004, later occupied by Dave & Buster's)
  • Hengerer's (1971–1981); became Sibley's 1981
  • Jenss (1971–1997); became Burlington Coat Factory
  • Kaufmann's (1990–2006); now Macy's
  • Sibley's (1981–1990); became Kaufmann's in 1990
  • Old Navy (1998–2005); became Orvis
  • Woolworth (1971–1993); became Waccamaw Home Decor
  • Waccamaw Home Decor (1995–1998); Remained closed for long periods; sporadically held small convention-type events in it's large, open space; for a short period was home to a Recreational Vehicle dealer; finally in 2009 became Sports Performance Park

Non-commercial activity[edit]

After the October Storm of 2006, which devastated much of the surrounding area, the parking lot of Eastern Hills served as a focal point for clean up and restoration of services. Many utility companies used the parking lot as a ramada for parking vehicles at night and a dispatch point by day. In addition, part of the lot was used for storing materials used to restore power to the area.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°58′19″N 78°41′35″W / 42.972°N 78.693°W / 42.972; -78.693