The Maine Mall

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The Maine Mall
Maine Mall in Portland, Maine.jpg
Location South Portland, Maine
Opening date 1971
Owner General Growth Properties
No. of stores and services 140+
No. of anchor tenants 4
Total retail floor area 1,200,000 square feet (110,000 m2)
No. of floors 1/(2)

The Maine Mall, built in 1971, is an enclosed shopping mall located in South Portland, Maine, a suburb of Portland. At 1,200,000 square feet (110,000 m2), it is the largest shopping mall in the state of Maine, and the second-largest in northern New England (behind only the Mall at Rockingham Park in New Hampshire). Anchored by Bon Ton, Best Buy, JCPenney, Macy's, and Sears, the mall features over 140 tenants, a food court and several ancillary restaurant/retail pad sites.[1]

History[edit]

Porteous, a department store chain based in Portland, Maine arrived in 1983 as part of a major mall expansion which doubled the mall's size. This expansion also brought in JCPenney, as well as the first Filene's in the state of Maine.[2][3]

In 1994 the Mall underwent a $6.5 million renovation;[4] this renovation added a food court, as well as Lechmere[5] and a larger Dream Machine (a video game and pinball machine arcade).

Porteous closed in 1996 and was replaced with a two-level structure, containing a Filene's Home Store on the lower level, with Sports Authority on the upper level. Jordan Marsh was acquired by Federated Department Stores in 1996; as a result, the former Jordan Marsh at Maine Mall became Macy's.

In 1997, Woolworth and Lechmere both closed; within a year, they were replaced by Linens 'n Things and Best Buy, respectively.

In 2003, General Growth Properties of Chicago, Illinois purchased the mall via a competitive sales process in October for $270M.[6]

In 2005, Federated Department Stores, the owner of Macy's, acquired the Filene's chain. Due to the presence of an existing Macy's at the Maine Mall, both the Filene's and Filene's home store were shuttered in 2005 to prevent overlap.[2]

In 2007 the vacant building that formerly housed Filene's was to be demolished and replaced by a 16-screen movie theater and restaurants.[7] General Growth also wanted to relocate the current Best Buy and David's Bridal stores to an adjacent property in an attempt to create a Lifestyle Shopping Center at that site. The project, however, was put on hold for unknown reasons.[8] Joseph Soley, a local property owner who owns two retail centers near the mall, attempted to file a lawsuit, claiming that General Growth's expansion of the mall would negatively impact his own businesses; the lawsuit was dismissed.[9] The project has been delayed indefinitely because of the suit.

In late 2008, Forever 21 and H&M opened in the former Filene's Mens & Home first floor. Sports Authority remained in the former Filene's upper floor. Also, an Apple Store and a Coach store opened.[citation needed]

On April 16, 2009 the Mall owner, General Growth Properties, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. This status has not seemingly affected the day-to-day operations of the mall, but raised questions as to whether the owner will be able to retain ownership of the property while they attempt to refinance $27 billion debt collateralized by their national real estate portfolio.[citation needed] Rumors have been further fueled by the mall owner's late payment of its 2009 bi-annual South Portland property tax bill.[10]

As of August 2012, several new stores have been added. The former Filene's has been occupied by XXI Forever, Super Shoes replaced part of the Linens N Things space, Ulta has taken over the former Vinny T's space, Francesca's Collections opened in summer 2010, and across the street, Chipotle Mexican Grill and Cracker Barrel have opened.

In 2013, The Bon-Ton stores of Pennsylvania announced that they planned to open a store in the former Filene's space, which had been vacant since 2006. This is Bon-Ton's first store in Maine,[11] and joined Sears, Macy's, and JCPenney to become the mall's fourth full-line department store when it opened on September 12, 2013.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 43°38′0″N 70°20′5″W / 43.63333°N 70.33472°W / 43.63333; -70.33472