Rhode Island Mall

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Rhode Island Mall
Location Warwick, Rhode Island, USA
Coordinates 41°43′12″N 71°28′52″W / 41.7199°N 71.4811°W / 41.7199; -71.4811Coordinates: 41°43′12″N 71°28′52″W / 41.7199°N 71.4811°W / 41.7199; -71.4811
Opening date October 1967
Closing date May 22, 2011
Developer Homart Development Company
Owner Eastern Development, of Woburn, Mass
No. of stores and services 4
No. of anchor tenants 3 (0 with mall entrance)
Total retail floor area 579,499 square feet (53,837.2 m2) (GLA)[1]
No. of floors 2

Rhode Island Mall is a two-story, enclosed shopping mall located in the city of Warwick, Rhode Island, USA. It opened in October 1967 as the Midland Mall, as the first two-level mall in Warwick, RI.[2] In 1970, Warwick Mall was opened just North of the Midland Mall, across Interstate 295. Although the two malls co-existed for several years, Rhode Island Mall began to lose stores once G. Fox, one of its anchor stores, closed in 1994.

History[edit]

The land on which the mall sits was pasture land when Homart Development Company (the mall building subsidiary of Sears) purchased it in 1963. To accommodate the mall, a hill was leveled and the course of the Pawtuxet River was altered.[3]

The Rhode Island Mall opened in October 1967 as the Midland Mall that included 60 shops. Its anchors were Sears and Providence based Shepards department store. Homart sold the mall to MetLife in 1981 for $20 million.[3]

It was officially renamed the "Rhode Island Mall" in March 1985.[4][5]

In 1988, May Department Stores acquired Boston-based department store chain Filene's. May merged its previously owned G. Fox division into Filene's in 1993, and converted all of its stores, including the Rhode Island Mall location, to the Filene's name. Filene's closed their Rhode Island Mall location four years later, in favor of the existing store at Warwick Mall. After the closure of Filene's, nearly one-third of the mall (including both the former Filene's and the food court) was demolished for a two-level anchor, featuring Kohl's on one level and Wal-Mart on the other. When it became clear that neither store would open into the mall concourse, most of the remaining shops vacated, turning Rhode Island Mall into a dead mall.

Many of the mall's vacant spaces have been leased by Royal Ahold, owners of the Stop & Shop supermarket franchise; this lease has led to local speculation that Royal Ahold is attempting to keep the Wal-Mart from being converted to a Supercenter store with a full grocery section.

Present day[edit]

Rhode Island Mall is a dead mall, and has been listed on Deadmalls.com.[2] Its anchors include Kohl's, Wal-Mart, and Sears. (Sears was the final anchor store that actually opened into the mall, but began leaving their gates down permanently in 2011, finally closing access off via a partition wall in March, 2011.)

Rhode Island Mall also has five detached buildings in the parking lot occupied by Toys "R" Us, Wendy's, Chuck E Cheese's, On the Border Mexican Grill & Cantina and Sears, which operates an automotive tire sales and service center in the fifth building.

Despite the lack of storefronts in the mall, the fountain in the center of the mall, as well as the elevator and escalators, continue to operate on a daily basis. The mall also continues to staff a maintenance and custodian crew as well as a 24-hour security detail provided by IPC International Security.

As of April 30, 2011, Management had closed access to the mall [6]

On November 14, 2012, Winstanley Enterprises, LLC. of Concord, MA and Surrey Equities, LLC. of New York, NY announced they had purchased the mall for $38 million. A formal statement released by Adam Winstanley, a Principal of Winstanley Enterprises said, “There is a rich history with this property, and we are very excited to breathe new life into the development by putting together a plan that will once again position the mall as a vibrant part of Warwick’s retail hub.”[7]

A plan was announced in late 2014 to redevelop the mall as an outlet center, while retaining Kohl's, Walmart, and Sears.[8]

Anchors[edit]

  • Sears (Opened in 1967)
  • Walmart (Opened in 2000)
  • Kohl's (Opened in 2000)

Former anchors[edit]

Shepherd's (G. Fox in this location 1977-1994, Filene's 1994-1997)

Final indoor tenants[edit]

The following stores were the final tenants in the mall when it closed on April 30, 2011.

References[edit]