Woodville Mall

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Woodville Mall
Location Northwood, Ohio
Coordinates 41°36′12.9″N 83°27′39.6″W / 41.603583°N 83.461000°W / 41.603583; -83.461000
Address 3725 Williston Rd.
Opening date 1969
Closing date December 2011
Developer The DeBartolo Corporation
Owner Mike Kohan
No. of anchor tenants 4 when open
Total retail floor area 778,000 square feet (72,000 m2)
No. of floors 1 (2 in the now defunct Elder-Beerman)

Woodville Mall was an enclosed shopping mall off of Woodville Road (State Route 51) in Northwood, Ohio, outside the city of Toledo, Ohio. The mall opened in 1969 and, after losing most of its stores in the 2000s, became a dead mall. The mall (interior) was closed in December 2011 and demolished in March 2014.

History[edit]

The DeBartolo Corporation built Woodville Mall in 1969. A portion opened in April of that year, and the rest of the mall opened by year's end.[1] At the time of opening, it had three anchor stores: J.C. Penney, Sears and Lasalle's.

Woodville Mall Center Toward Andersons

Within two years, a new shopping mall on the northwest side of Toledo, the Franklin Park Mall (1971) began competing with Woodville Mall, taking away its status as Toledo's sole enclosed shopping mall. A Woolco store (later Hills and Ames) also opened across from Woodville Mall in 1971.[2]

R.H. Macy & Co., which had owned Lasalle's since 1923,[3] converted their local stores to the Macy's name in 1982, and sold the locations to Elder-Beerman two years later.[4][5] The Woodville Mall underwent a renovation in 1986, removing the center fountain area, adding a new center court area adding skylights, new carpeting, a food court and making the mall more "kid friendly". J.C. Penney closed its store in June 1987 due to declining sales.[6] The store was replaced with a general-merchandise store called The Andersons, which opened on September 1, 1988. After The Andersons opened, many mall merchants reported higher sales, including Spencer Gifts, Kay-Bee Toys and Orange Julius.[7]

F.W. Woolworth Company, also an original tenant of the mall, closed in February 1994 along with three other Woolworth stores in the Toledo area.[8] After this store closed, J.C. Penney negotiated opening a new store in the space vacated by Woolworth.[9] Woolworth also operated a restaurant adjacent to the store called the Harvest House Cafeteria from the time of the mall opening until 1994.

1990s and 2000s decline[edit]

Simon Property Group, which merged with DeBartolo in 1996, put Woodville Mall and another mall in Toledo, North Towne Square, up for sale in 1999.[10] Both properties were sold in 2004 to Sammy Kahen and Jack Kashani of California.[11] Most of the mall's inline stores closed in the 2000s; by 2006, fewer than 30 of the mall's 100 spaces were operational. At this point, the mall's owners considered tearing down portions of the mall.[11] Kahen and Kashani's plans for renovation never materialized, leading to the closure of the Elder-Beerman store and movie theater in late 2009.[12][13] Mike Kohan, a New York real estate investor, bought the mall from Kahen in November 2009 and announced plans to add stores.[12] New stores opened at the mall in 2011, including a sandwich stop, a furniture store and a radio station. Kohan also attempted to sell the mall to Royale Property Management, a New Jersey concern, but the deal failed because it was contingent on the replacement of the structure's roof.[14]

In December 2011, a county judge ordered the mall closed due to structural issues.[15] Among the issues were holes in the roof, water leaking into the mall, a partially failed alarm system, pervasive mold and mildew, and no heat (the mall had not paid the gas bill), forcing some mall tenants to use space heaters — a violation of state fire code. The county sought a permanent injunction to keep the mall closed, and the remaining tenants were told to leave by January 6, 2012.[16] Kohan stated he did not have the money to make the necessary repairs. On June 7, 2012, the closure of the mall was made permanent by a judge, as Kohan had failed to appear at a hearing about the state of the mall.[17] The Andersons and Sears would remain open, but the theater, which has no exterior entrance, is closed. The mall was scheduled to be demolished at the end of 2012, but the owner has not done so; the City of Northwood has been unable to obtain the property from the owner as well.

In November 2012, The Andersons announced the closure of its Woodville location effective February 2013, leaving Sears as the only anchor. According to The Andersons, the main reason for the closure of the 120,000 square feet (11,000 m2) store was the "serious deterioration of the [mall] structure".[17] The mall was demolished in March 2014,[18] except for the Sears, whose closure was announced the same month.[19]

Abandoned store in March 2014
Abandoned store in March 2014

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Toledo, Ohio, Is Opening An Enclosed Shopping Mall". The New York Times. 13 April 1969. Retrieved 14 December 2010. 
  2. ^ Brickey, Homer (7 March 1971). "Shopping opportunities to grow by millions of square feet". The Toledo Blade. Retrieved 14 December 2010. 
  3. ^ http://www.macysinc.com/aboutus/history/macysahistory.aspx?Print
  4. ^ Marrison, Ben (3 July 1985). "4 Macy stores in area sold to Dayton firm". The Toledo Blade. Retrieved 14 December 2010. 
  5. ^ Brickey, Homer (18 February 1988). "Elder-Beerman squelches exodus rumor by detailing expansion plan for area". The Toledo Blade. Retrieved 14 December 2010. 
  6. ^ Green, Pat (29 January 1988). "The Andersons to open third general store in area in Woodville Mall". The Toledo Blade. Retrieved 14 December 2010. 
  7. ^ Krauth, Laurie (4 October 1988). "Andersons brings more sales to other Woodville Mall stores". The Toledo Blade. Retrieved 14 December 2010. 
  8. ^ "Woolworth's to fold, slashing 9,200 jobs". The Toledo Blade. 18 July 1997. Retrieved 14 December 2010. 
  9. ^ "Penney officials weighing return to Woodville Mall". The Toledo Blade. 6 January 1994. Retrieved 14 December 2010. 
  10. ^ "2 Toledo malls remain unsold after 18 months". The Toledo Blade. 5 September 2000. Retrieved 14 December 2010. 
  11. ^ a b Pakulski, Gary T. (30 August 2006). "Owners may raze parts of Woodville Mall". The Toledo Blade. Retrieved 14 December 2010. 
  12. ^ a b "Investor buys Woodville Mall, intends to add stores". The Toledo Blade. 7 November 2009. Retrieved 14 December 2010. 
  13. ^ "Elder-Beerman Woodville Mall store to close". 13ABC.com. 1 July 2009. Retrieved 14 December 2010. 
  14. ^ http://www.toledoblade.com/business/2011/12/12/Woodville-Mall-faces-indefinite-closure.html
  15. ^ http://www.toledoblade.com/business/2011/12/16/Judge-orders-closing-of-Woodville-Mall.html
  16. ^ http://www.toledoblade.com/local/2011/12/29/Woodville-mall-tenants-get-clear-out-deadline.html
  17. ^ a b http://www.toledoblade.com/Retail/2012/11/20/Andersons-to-exit-Woodville-Mall.html
  18. ^ http://www.toledoblade.com/local/2014/03/05/Crews-now-tackling-teardown-of-crumbling-shopping-center.html
  19. ^ http://www.13abc.com/story/24985411/employees-woodville-sears-store-to-close