Palm Beach Mall
The mall's main entrance
|Location||West Palm Beach, Florida
|Address||1801 Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard|
|Opening date||October 26, 1967|
|Closing date||January 31, 2010|
|Developer||Edward J. DeBartolo Corp.|
|Management||New England Development|
|Owner||New England Development|
|No. of stores and services||3|
|No. of anchor tenants||1|
|Total retail floor area||1,085,000 square feet (0.1008 km2)|
|No. of floors||1|
The Palm Beach Mall was a shopping mall in West Palm Beach, Florida. It was the first fully enclosed, climate-controlled mall developed in Florida. Despite clear visibility from Interstate 95 and two major renovations, strong competition from newer shopping destinations, high area crime rates, and ultimately tentative speculation on redevelopment, the shopping center is perceived a dead mall, and closed in early 2010. Three stores remain open: J. C. Penney and George's Music which have outdoor entrances, and a Firestone outparcel. Past mall owner Orix, along with the City of West Palm Beach, was looking into luring IKEA and Bass Pro Shops to occupy the site. As of 2013, the Palm Beach Mall site is being redeveloped as the Palm Beach Fashion outlets.
When the mall originally opened on October 26, 1967, it was touted by its developer, the Edward J. DeBartolo Corporation, as the largest mall in the Southeastern United States. The founding anchors included J.C. Penney's, which moved from its historic store downtown on Clematis Street about three miles (5 km) southeast, Jordan Marsh, and Richards. By the end of the decade, the mall also featured Walgreens, Lerner Shops, Food Fair, Woolworth, and The Mall Cinema 1-2-3-4 quadraplex.
The Palm Beach Mall was expanded and renovated in 1980, in conjunction with the addition of Burdines (which also previously had a presence downtown) sporting a parking garage and Lord & Taylor. Sears moved into Richards space in 1980, which closed the same year following a statewide liquidation. The shopping mall's terrazzo floor was also replaced with tiles.
Furthermore, when Pantry Pride (formerly Food Fair) closed in 1987, a food court called Treats was developed from its space. Concepts popular in the 1980s, including skylights and a lofty ceiling, were introduced to the Palm Beach Mall at this time.
The 2000 renovation replaced most of the malls interior fixtures, redesigned the food court (this time calling it "Sea Side Café), and replaced the Wonderfall in center court with a much more modern fountain sporting a seahorse theme.
On May 1, 1999, Nicholas Megrath, an 18 year old manager at the Chick-fil-A restaurant once located in the mall's Treats food court was murdered Execution-style murder by Jessie Miller Jr. Investigators said Miller entered the store, gagged and bound Megrath to a chair with duct tape and unsuccessfully attempted to open the store's safe. Investigators then claim the Miller became frustrated and fired a bullet into the 18-year-old's temple. Miller and his gang fled the scene with about $500 cash. Miller was sentenced to life without parole in 2009.
The mall faced stiff competition after the turn of the century with CityPlace opening in downtown in 2000, and The Mall at Wellington Green opening up in 2001 in nearby Wellington. The mall also had to contend against increasing crime rates in the mall's surrounding area. Stores ran on shorter leases, and more left the mall entirely due to decreasing traffic. To bring business back to the mall, plans were devised but never executed to redevelop the property into mixed-use development, one proposal was a 290,000-square-foot (0.027 km2) IKEA. In addition to this 700,000 square feet (0.065 km2) of retail, 300,000 square feet (0.028 km2) office space, and 500 residential units were considered.
From the decline of business at the mall, Dillard's abruptly closed on October 31, 2008. Macy's announced as of January 8, 2009, that the Palm Beach Mall location will close due to under par performance. On March 9, 2009, the mall started operating under reduced hours to negate the lower foot traffic.
On April 14, 2009, banking firm JPMorgan Chase filed for a foreclosure suit against Simon for the failure to repay a $55.4 million loan used on the shopping center. The proposed foreclosure seeks the sale of the mall to satisfy the mortgage. As of July, 2009, Washington-based Madison Marquette is temporarily operating the mall by a circuit court judge's decision.
David Simon, CEO of Simon Property Group, claimed in July 2009 that the mall will remain open in its present form and that his company would continue being dedicated to making the aging mall a viable place to shop.
Beginning the first week of November, 2009, J.C. Penney has closed off its entrance to the mall. The store continues to see heavy use, but the air-conditioning in the respective wing of the mall was turned off due to vacancies. Sears closed on January 17, 2010, announcing liquidation sales to start November 19 of the preceding year.
On December 5, 2009, the malls court appointed receiver announced that the Palm Beach Mall would officially close on January 31, 2010 with the exception of J.C.Penney, George's Music and Firestone, which have outdoor entrances. Upon foreclosure under Simon ownership, Orix seized ownership of the Mall in December 2009 and in turn the mall was acquired by New England Development which will transform the Palm Beach Mall into the Palm Beach Fashion Outlets. The fashion outlet center is expected to open in 2013. Once revamped, it will offer an open-air outlet mall beside a strip of big box stores which will include long time anchor JC Penney. According to a news release from New England Development, Eastern Real Estate and Lubert-Adler, all of which partnered to buy the 80-acre property. It was announced in February 2013 that Whole Foods Market would open in its own facility towards the back part of the property behind the mall 
- Borders Books & Music (opened in 2000)
- Burdines (opened in 1979, converted to Macy's in 2005)
- Dillard's (opened in 2000, closed in 2008, space is currently vacant)
- Firestone (Opened 1980 after Firestone's Acquisition of J.C. Penney Auto Center; Formerly opened as Penney's Auto Center opened in 1967; closed 2013, to be relocated when new mall opens)
- Food Fair (later became Pantry Pride, closed 1987, became Food Court)
- George's Music Superstore (Opened in 2002,Temporarily relocated while new mall is being constructed)
- J. C. Penney; 202,812 square feet (18,841.9 m2) (Opened in 1967 closed in 2013)
- Jordan Marsh (opened in 1967, closed in 1992, became Mervyn's)
- Lord & Taylor (opened 1980, closed 2001, store demolished)
- Macy's (converted in 2005 from Burdines, closed in 2009, space is currently vacant)
- Mervyns (opened in 1992 in former Jordan Marsh space, demolished in 2000, became Dillard's and additional mall store space)
- Richards (opened in 1967, closed in 1980, became Sears)
- Sears (opened in 1980 in former Richards space, closed in 2010)
- Woolworth's (opened in 1967, became Borders in 2000)
- "JCPenny survives", The Palm Beach Post, 2011-05-11. Retrieved on 2011-05-11.
- Abramson, Andrew. "Palm Beach Mall's Last Christmas", The Palm Beach Post, 2009-12-21. Retrieved on 2009-12-21.
- Williams, Elisa. "Competition inspires older mall's new look" The Palm Beach Post Sept 26, 1988
- "Jurors Reach Verdict In Chick-fil-A Murder Trial", WPBF, 2009-07-24. Retrieved on 2009-12-06.
- Owers, Paul. "Palm Beach Mall loses Dillard's, may get Ikea after overhaul", TCPalm, 2008-09-23. Retrieved on 2009-02-16.
- Ostrowski, Jeff. "West Palm Dillard's closing, laying off 109", The Palm Beach Post, 2008-08-29. Retrieved on 2009-02-16.
- Jeff and Allison Ross. "Macy's to close Palm Beach Mall store, 10 others after poor holiday sales", The Palm Beach Post, 2009-01-08. Retrieved on 2009-02-14.
- Ross, Allison. "Palm Beach Mall to cut hours next month", The Palm Beach Post, 2009-02-25. Retrieved on 2009-02-20.
- Clough, Alexandra. "Palm Beach Mall in West Palm Beach slapped with foreclosure suit", The Palm Beach Post, 2009-04-20. Retrieved on 2009-04-20.
- Clough, Alexandra. "Palm Beach Mall's 'new sheriff in town' to ensure lights stay on during foreclosure", The Palm Beach Post, 2009-06-07. Retrieved on 2009-07-01.
- Clough, Alexandra. "Simon's redevelopment of Palm Beach Mall derailed by downturn", The Palm Beach Post, 2009-07-19. Retrieved on 2009-08-10.
- Ross, Allison. "J.C. Penney separates itself from the Palm Beach Mall", The Palm Beach Post, 2009-11-17. Retrieved on 2009-11-18.
- "Another Anchor Store At Palm Beach Mall To Close", WPBF, 2009-10-16. Retrieved on 2009-10-16.
- Abramson, Andrew. "Last call: Palm Beach Mall closing forever after Sunday", The Palm Beach Post, 2010-01-28. Retrieved on 2010-01-28.
- , "The Palm Beach Post", 2013-02-15.
- Fashion outlets on their way to neglected Palm Beach Mall, developers say - The Palm Beach Post
- Palm Beach Mall History
- Palm Beach Mall - Labelscar.com
- Memories of the Palm Beach Mall - The Palm Beach Post
- Palm Beach Outlets
- Remnants of the mall: A look inside the abandoned Palm Beach Mall
- A week before demolition, a last look inside the Palm Beach Mall