|Opening date||1964 (Enclosed 1979)|
|Closing date||2002 (Demolished 2004)|
|Developer||Richard E. Jacobs Group|
|Owner||Richard E. Jacobs Group
|No. of anchor tenants||3|
|No. of floors||1 (2 in Sears and JCPenney, 3 in Lazarus)|
Northland Mall was a shopping mall located on the north side of Columbus, Ohio, at the intersection of Morse Road and Karl Road. It opened in 1964 as an open-air shopping center and the first shopping mall in Columbus. Northland was the first of the four directionally-named shopping hubs in Columbus, along with Eastland (1967), Westland (1969) and Southland (1975) [a small strip center, now closed]. Though popular through the 1990s, three new shopping centers were completed in the late 1990s and early 2000s that took businesses and shoppers away from Northland. It closed in 2002 and was demolished in 2004.
Northland was the first shopping mall to open in the Columbus Metropolitan area, and remained the only one until 1967, when Eastland was constructed near the suburb of Whitehall. Its original two anchors were Lazarus (now Macy's) and Sears. A JCPenney was added in 1979, when the mall was expanded and enclosed.
From the time of its opening through the decade of the 1980s, it was one of the most popular and upscale shopping destinations in Columbus, drawing in customers from the affluent northern suburbs of the city. A food court was added in a further expansion in around 1990, replacing a Woolworths that had just vacated, and the main mall's facade was updated. During the 1990s, however, the mall began a steady decline caused by the introduction of newer shopping options in the Greater Columbus area. The first new mall in the area in 20 years, the downtown Columbus City Center, opened in 1989 and included several tenants that were unique in the Columbus area (among them Marshall Field's and Jacobson's), which took some business from Northland. However, it remained popular with shoppers in the northern half of Columbus, and continued to be an attractive destination for those who found City Center's downtown location (and paid parking) a hindrance.
The opening of The Mall at Tuttle Crossing in 1997 was the first major hit to Northland. It could not match the capacity of Tuttle, which was a larger two-level mall with four anchor stores (including all three of Northland's anchors, plus a Marshall Field's). The opening of Tuttle was far more devastating to Westland Mall, but nonetheless attracted shoppers from the nearby suburbs of Powell and Dublin who would have otherwise gone to Northland. Two years later, Easton Town Center opened in northeastern Columbus-- just five miles away from Northland -- as a mixed-use "lifestyle center" that further drew shoppers and businesses away, and the older facility (along with the Morse Road corridor itself) began to go into sharp decline.
The most severe blow to Northland's fortunes occurred in late 2001, when all three anchors (Lazarus, Sears, and JCPenney) pulled out of the dying mall and relocated to the newly constructed Polaris Fashion Place. Although Northland would remain open, it had been reduced to the status of a bazaar-type mall with only a small handful of specialty shops in operation. Finally, on October 31, 2002, after 38 years of service to Columbus, Northland Mall closed. The mall concourse and the Sears anchor were demolished in February 2004.
The only parts of Northland Mall that remain are two of its anchor stores: The former Lazarus, which was converted to offices for the Ohio Department of Taxation; and the former JCPenney, which was renovated to become the Northland Performing Arts Center, home to a local theater group (Vaud-Villites). A Menards home improvement store now lies on the site of the former Sears, and the Franklin County Dog Shelter moved to part of the area in October 2011.
- Lazarus 196,000 sq ft (18,200 m2). 1964-1979; 350,000 sq ft (33,000 m2). 1979-2002
- JCPenney 175,000 sq ft (16,300 m2).
- Sears 212,900 sq ft (19,780 m2).
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