Oglethorpe Mall

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Oglethorpe Mall
Location Savannah, Georgia, USA
Opening date April 1969
Developer Scott Hudgens
Owner General Growth Properties
No. of stores and services 150
No. of anchor tenants 4
Total retail floor area 948,000 square feet (88,000 m²) (GLA)
No. of floors 1
Parking 5,348 spaces (including parking deck)
Website oglethorpemall.com

Oglethorpe Mall is a super-regional shopping mall on the Southside of Savannah, Georgia.

Description[edit]

Named after General James Oglethorpe, the founder of Savannah, it has grown over the last forty-five years to be nearly one million square feet. Among some of its features are four restaurants, an 11-unit food court, approximately 150 stores and anchors of Belk, JC Penney, Macy's, and Sears.[1] The mall also features junior anchors of Barnes & Noble, Old Navy, and Stein Mart. Oglethorpe Mall opened in 1969 and was Savannah's first shopping mall. Largely written off as obsolete once the larger Savannah Mall opened in 1990, Oglethorpe Mall has been expanded and refurbished to include a strong tenant line-up. It has also maintained a low vacancy rating. Oglethorpe Mall is currently owned by General Growth Properties.

Center Court of Oglethorpe Mall, present day

History[edit]

Center Court of Oglethorpe Mall, 1977.

The mall opened in April 1969 at 7804 Abercorn Street. Its main anchors were Belk-Beery, McCrory, (now Stein Mart) and Sears. At the time, the mall featured Savannah's first Chick Fil-A store. Other tenants included Morrison's Cafeteria (still operating as Piccadilly), Adler's, and a Piggly Wiggly. By 1974 the mall was expanded by 25,000 square feet (2,300 m2). This expansion wing moved out from center court and began the mall's growth towards Fairmont Avenue.[2]

By 1982 an 230,000-square-foot (21,000 m2) expansion wing was constructed with JC Penney and Levy's of Savannah.[2] In February 1986, Levy's was acquired by Jordan Marsh, a major Federated Department Stores chain based in Florida and New England. In 1988 Jordan Marsh was consolidated with Maas Brothers of Tampa and operated as Mass Brothers/Jordan Marsh. Federated Department Stores consolidated all Florida divisions into their Burdines name in 1990. Burdines, being strictly a Florida chain, did not locate within the mall. Rather the Maas Brothers/Jordan Marsh store allowed for Rich's to enter the market. Maas Brother/Jordan Marsh closed in September 1991 and ground was broken for Rich's. [3] The Maas Brothers/Jordan Marsh store was converted into in-line mall space with an expansion wing and a two level 135,000 square foot Rich's constructed next door.

Many other modernizations have occurred, like the replacing of a section of the mall known as The Promenade (a new corridor built in 1985 as a replacement for Adler's, decorated with neon lights and glass block) with Barnes & Noble. A new food court was constructed in 2002, and the Abercorn Street facade has been extensively upgraded.[2]

The mall fared well through the Late-2000s recession with the opening of several new stores and several stores returning to the mall. Charming Charlie, Bare Escentuals, Jimmy Jazz, La Parrilla Mexican Grill (an Atlanta based restaurant), Crazy 8, Kirklands, and Shape's Brow Bar opened in 2011. Also, The Limited reopened a store in the mall after it left the Savannah market in 2008.[4] Oglethorpe Mall is now 98% occupied.

1989 Renovation[edit]

In 1989, the mall's corridors were remodeled to remove antiquated terrazzo floors, dropped ceilings, fluorescent lighting, and other late 1960s designs. The new mall corridors featured "coastal" design elements including whitewashed wood ceilings, tabby wall coverings, and cream colored walls. Most lighting was reduced to accent lighting in the forms of track lighting, can lights, and copper lanterns. The mall is extensively lit during the day by natural lighting from skylights that were installed at the same time. Finally, a new tile floor was installed, which would later go on to win awards in 1990. A new two level parking garage opened in the summer of 1990, and by 1992, the new expansion wing featuring Rich's opened.[2]

Anchors[edit]

  • Belk (159,892 square feet)
  • JCPenney (85,824 square feet)
  • Macy's (main store - 135,000 sq. ft., junior's store - 6,445 sq. ft., total - 141,445 sq. ft.)
  • Sears (155,868 square feet)

Major Retailers[edit]

Former anchors[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 32°00′12″N 81°07′01″W / 32.0034°N 81.1169°W / 32.0034; -81.1169