Dort Mall

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Dort Mall
Location Flint, Michigan
Coordinates 42°59′27″N 83°39′21″W / 42.9908°N 83.6559°W / 42.9908; -83.6559Coordinates: 42°59′27″N 83°39′21″W / 42.9908°N 83.6559°W / 42.9908; -83.6559
Address 3600 South Dort Highway
Opening date 1965
Owner Robert Perani Jr. and family
No. of anchor tenants 3
No. of floors 1

Dort Mall (formerly Small Mall and Mid-America Plaza) is a shopping mall located in Flint, Michigan. It was built in two stages in 1964 and 1965, three years before Courtland Center and five years before Genesee Valley Center, making it the oldest mall in Genesee County. It is owned by the Perani family, who also owns Perani's Hockey World, which along with Bargain Hunterz (now closed) and City Market, is one of the mall's anchor tenants.

Its first anchor tenant was a Yankee Stores later renamed Zody's) store which was the first Dort Mall structure built in 1964.[1] The other anchor tenant was an A&P grocery store which opened when the rest of the mall opened the following year.[2] Both stores would close in the mid-1970s. A General Cinema movie theater was added in 1968, was divided into two screens in 1975, and closed in 1983. The movie theater was converted into a maintenance office and storage area, although the theater's restrooms are still in use.[3] Also in the 1970s, a discotheque was located in the mall's basement. Dort Mall would struggle to compete until 1995, when Bob Perani purchased the building.[4] The addition of a Perani's Hockey World store breathed new life into the building. Not soon thereafter, a third of the retail space was converted into office space. The rejuvenated Dort Mall could now accommodate three anchor tenants.

The Dort Mall, with 239,000 square feet of interior space on 30 acres,[5] is well known for its antique collection, mostly about automobiles and Mid-Michigan, but befitting its past—it was built on the site of an old drive-in--there are also movie props. Even the sign advertising "Dort Mall Cinema" is still attached to the exterior in the back.[6] There was even a merry-go-round at the mall. The neon "rotosphere," originally housed at Walli's West Restaurant, can be found in front of the mall and there is also a statue of Alfred E. Neuman near Bargain Hunterz. Some of the antiques are housed inside vacant store locations. Many of the antiques are owned by mall owner Bob Perani.[7] Following the 2012 departure of Big Lots, which moved into a former OfficeMax store near Courtland Center in Burton, City (Flea) Market filled the final anchor tenant vacancy in 2013. In addition to being a flea market, City Market is also a venue for professional wrestling and other events.[8]

In addition to the aforementioned tenants, other tenants as of 2012 include a Coney Island restaurant, a muffler shop, music memorabilia and clothing stores, an optometrist, and a cosmetology school (now closed). There are a few additional restaurants in Dort Mall's parking lot including a Subway restaurant which opened in 2011. It is located on the corner of Dort Highway, from which the mall takes it name, and Atherton Road. Its official street address is 3600 South Dort Highway.