North Towne Square
|Location||Toledo, Ohio, United States|
|Developer||Simon Property Group|
|No. of stores and services||50+ when open|
|No. of anchor tenants||3 (all vacant)|
|Total retail floor area||758,000 square feet (70,420.5 m2)|
|No. of floors||1 (2 in anchors)|
North Towne Square Mall was a shopping mall in Toledo, Ohio, United States. It opened in 1980 on the north side of Toledo, adjacent to the Michigan state border. Originally, the mall featured three major anchor stores, as well as several shops and restaurants, plus a movie theater. Changes in demographics and consolidations of anchor stores over time caused the mall to decline. By 2005, it was closed off except for a fitness center operating out of the former Montgomery Ward store, which is still in operation as of December, 2014.
North Towne Square was developed in 1980 by Simon Property Group of Indianapolis, Indiana. The mall was located on the north side of Toledo, on Telegraph Road (US-24), less than a mile from the Michigan/Ohio state line. Originally, its anchor stores included two local department stores, Lasalle's and The Lion Store, as well as Montgomery Ward. After only two years in business at North Towne Square, Lasalle's began operating under the Macy's name. R.H. Macy & Co., which had owned Lasalle's since 1923, sold their Toledo area stores to Dayton's Elder-Beerman in 1984.
Because of its proximinty to the Michigan border, the mall drew customers from southeastern Michigan as well. The 1988 opening of Frenchtown Square Mall in Monroe, Michigan significantly reduced the amount of traffic coming from Michigan to North Towne. Expansions at Franklin Park Mall and a declining economy in Toledo, both factored into North Towne Square's demise as well. Many of North Towne Square's chain tenants moved to Franklin Park or Frenchtown Square, being replaced by local stores.
Loss of anchor stores
Elder-Beerman filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 1995. As a condition of emerging from bankruptcy, Elder Beerman reduced operations at its North Towne store: first closing off the store's restaurant, and then by converting the upper level to a clearance center before the store was closed in 1997. Two years later, Dillard's acquired all of The Lion Store's locations in Toledo and converted them to the Dillard's name. Two years later, Dillard's closed as well, leaving the mall with only a single anchor store. The mall's movie theater complex was also closed by the early 2000s. Montgomery Ward closed its store at North Towne Square in 2002 as a result of Ward's bankruptcy.
Energy Zone (EZ): TV show
In December 2001, a new club called the energy zone was revealed. The dance club drew hundreds of youths on weekends, according to Nosa Oviahon and his wife, Robin. It was open Friday nights for ages 13 to 15 and Saturdays for those 16 to 20. By the end of the year the club became a TV show on TV5 (CW, formerly the WB) Originally hosted by Eric Yuhaus, Dj Zman and finally Greg Michaels; radio personality and TV host. A popular persona and widely considered the last hope for the show and club. However due to internal disagreements within the show's management Michaels quit the show. The club was closed in 2003.
Redevelopment and closure
In 2003, the mall was renamed Lakeside Centre as part of a redevelopment plan. The remaining tenants' leases were terminated in early 2005. By February of that year, the entire complex was closed, as its owners decided that electrical costs were too high to keep the largely vacant complex open. During the last five months prior to closure and after the mall's closure, a portion of the parking lot was used to store the excess inventory at a nearby Chrysler dealership.
On February 24, 2010, Toledo issued a Notice of Condemnation by Mayor Mike Bell and David Golis, P.E. Chief of Building, there were roofs caving in, and now the city has demanded the owners to pay heavily for unpaid fines, or else they would close the mall. The two main causes were a water main break has done damage to adjacent businesses (mainly Super Fitness Center), and owing delinquent taxes of nearly $86,000 dollars. The city has ordered the mall's owners, who are based in California, to repair all areas that have been damaged by water as a result of the water line break. The clean-up would include removal of all evidence of mold inside the building. The contract seemed to be invalid because it was named North Towne Square, instead of Lakeside Centre. However the case is still pending. Super Fitness Center, is caught in the middle, because although not necessary connected to the mall, the demolition and the political management on the deterioration are affecting the owners strategic management for the Fitness Centre.
In April 2012, it was announced that demolition of North Towne Square Mall would commence the following month at a cost of $600,000. Demolition began in January 2013, and was completed several months later. A new wall was added to Super Fitness, making it a stand-alone building. The original floors, parking lot, and lamp posts still remain.
- "Malls struggle with Toledo's economic decline". International Council of Shopping Centers. October 2002. Retrieved 2007-12-05.
- "Skateboarding, the mall, and dance clubs are fun draws for teens". Toledo Blade. 2002-06-16. Retrieved 2002-06-16.
- Chavez, Jon (2005-01-22). "Mall's Demise Blamed On Electric Costs". Toledo Blade. Retrieved 2007-12-05.
- "Ball: Wal-Mart is not right for North Towne". Toledo Blade. 2007-10-11. Retrieved 2007-12-05.
- "Vacant Northtowne Mall plaguing neighbors". Toledo On The Move. 2010-02-18. Retrieved 2010-02-18.
- "Once vibrant Toledo mall 'unfit for humans'". Toledo On The Move. 2010-02-26. Retrieved 2010-02-26.
- "Notice of Condemnation" (PDF). Toledo On The Move. 2010-02-26. Retrieved 2010-02-26.
- "City of Toledo to demolish 2 buildings". Toledo Blade. 2012-04-28. Retrieved 2012-05-05.