Belvidere Discount Mall

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Belvidere Discount Mall
Location Waukegan, Illinois, USA
Coordinates 42°20′57″N 87°51′31″W / 42.34927°N 87.85859°W / 42.34927; -87.85859Coordinates: 42°20′57″N 87°51′31″W / 42.34927°N 87.85859°W / 42.34927; -87.85859
Opening date November 18, 1965
Owner Imperial Realty
No. of stores and services N/A
No. of anchor tenants 1
Total retail floor area N/A
No. of floors 1

Belvidere Discount Mall is a small shopping mall located in Waukegan, Illinois, United States. It was one of the first shopping malls in the Chicago metropolitan area, and the first enclosed shopping mall in Lake County. Its current main anchor store is a Home Depot. The mall is notable for reinventing itself over time to remain open, with a current store mix.


Belvidere Mall opened on November 18, 1965 and was Lake County's first enclosed shopping mall.[1][2] At its opening, it contained 35 stores and 300,000 square feet (28,000 m2).[3]

While the mall thrived at first, the opening of the much larger nearby Lakehurst Mall in 1971 put a serious dent in Belvidere's fortunes. In 1988, sole anchor Montgomery Ward left for Lakehurst.[3] After about seven years of being empty, Builders Square occupied the anchor spot in 1995,[4] and was replaced with Home Depot around 2000.[1][5]

The mall has been renovated twice, in 1985 and again in 1998. The mall is currently owned by Imperial Realty, who purchased it from original owners Landuau & Heyman Inc. in the fall of 1985.[1] As part of the 1998 renovation, the mall was renamed Belvidere Discount Mall.

A 1,000 seat movie theater opened at the mall in January 1966.[6] It was originally operated by the General Cinema Corporation, and acquired around 2002 by Village Theaters, the same owners of the nearby Lakehurst Cinema.[6] It began as a one-screen operation, and was later divided into two, and then four, screens.[1] Village closed the cinema in 2004.

Today Belvidere Mall differs from Lake County's other shopping malls, Gurnee Mills and Hawthorn Center because all of the tenants, except for The Home Depot, are family-owned. Nearly all of them are Hispanic-owned or Hispanic-oriented.[7][8]


  1. ^ a b c d "Long-Suffering Mall Reinvents Itself". Lake County News-Sun. February 17, 1998. Retrieved November 16, 2009. ("The mall opened Nov. 18, 1965, and was once the shopping mecca of northeastern Lake County... The cinema split into two, then four screens over the years and now offers only discounted, second-run movies... Good things began to happen in 1995 when Kmart Corp. built a 109,000 square-foot Builder's Square at the former Ward's site.")(subscription required)
  2. ^ Judy Masterson, Realtor helped develop Waukegan, Chicago Sun-Times (IL), December 31, 2005, found at Google archives article. Accessed December 12, 2007.
  3. ^ a b "Belvidere Mall opens". Lake County News-Sun. March 2, 2009. Retrieved November 16, 2009. [dead link]
  4. ^
  5. ^ "City Lands Home Depot -- Deal Closed: Will Refill Idled Builders Square". Lake County News-Sun. June 29, 1999. Retrieved November 16, 2009. (subscription required)
  6. ^ a b "At the movies: Belvidere Mall Cinema under new ownership". Lake County News-Sun. July 18, 2002. Retrieved November 16, 2009. ("When it opened for business in January 1966, the Belvidere Mall Cinema was touted as 'the first motion picture theater' built in Waukegan in 38 years.")(subscription required)
  7. ^ Ralph Zahorik (February 16, 2002). "Belvidere Mall -- best-kept secret in county". Lake County News-Sun. Retrieved November 16, 2009. ("On a recent weekday night, the mall was crowded with shoppers, mostly Hispanics.... The stores cater to Hispanic and black families and, it appears, especially to teens looking for clothes, music and jewelry.")(subscription required)
  8. ^ Ryan Pagelow (March 30, 2007). "Se habla espanol and ... Korean?; Latino, Korean store owners work side by side at Waukegan mall". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved November 16, 2009. ("About 80 percent of my customers speak Spanish and 20 percent speak English," said Kim, who commutes from Chicago.")(subscription required)

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