Edison Mall

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Coordinates: 26°36′07″N 81°52′08″W / 26.601881°N 81.868972°W / 26.601881; -81.868972

Edison Mall
Location Fort Myers, Florida, U.S.
Address 4125 S Cleveland Ave.
Opening date 1965
Developer George Sanders
Management Washington Prime Group
Owner Washington Prime Group
No. of stores and services 160
No. of anchor tenants 5
Total retail floor area 1,051,000 square feet[1]
No. of floors 1

Edison Mall is an enclosed, super-regional shopping mall in Fort Myers, Florida. The mall opened in 1965, and has been expanded many times since. Owned by Washington Prime Group, the mall is anchored by JCPenney and Sears, as well as two Macy's stores and a Dillard's. The mall also includes more than 160 stores and a lifestyle center section. The mall itself is situated on just one floor, but all of the anchor stores (with the exception of Sears) have two floors.


George Sanders developed the Edison Mall, which opened in 1965 on U.S. Route 41 at Colonial Boulevard on the south side of Fort Myers. At the time, US 41 was only two lanes wide, and the only other businesses near the mall were a Publix supermarket and a drive-in theater,[2] (which later became the site of a Kmart store, and is now a Floor & Decor). The mall's opening led to more commercial development south of downtown Fort Myers.[3]

Upon its opening, the Edison Mall featured rival chains JCPenney and Sears as its anchor stores, making it the first mall in the United States to include both stores in the same mall.[4] Both JCPenney and Sears stores were relocated from previous stores in downtown Fort Myers. JCPenney's previous store downtown was located in the Langford Building, and Sears' downtown store was located across the street in the Heitman Building.[5] The Edison Mall also notably included a Woolworth's five-and-dime store.[6]

The Tampa-based department store Maas Brothers also opened in 1965 as a third anchor in the center of the mall. This was their first store to be located in a shopping mall (they previously only operated freestanding stores in downtown areas), and they would later go on to open more locations in malls on the west coast of Florida.[7] Maas Brothers also operated a restaurant on the second floor of the store.[8]

George Sanders sold the mall to Aster Realty in 1979, and the mall received a major expansion the same year.[9] A new wing was added along with the addition of a fourth anchor, Burdines.[10] A second floor was also added to JCPenney in 1979.[11]

Another expansion added J. W. Robinson's of Florida in 1985, whose Florida locations were acquired by Maison Blanche in 1987. Maison Blanche then sold its store and six others in Florida to Dillard's in 1991.[12] Also in 1991, Maas Brothers was acquired by Burdines. Burdines moved its women's clothing into the former Maas Brothers building which was heavily renovated, while retaining men's clothing and home goods at the original location.[13] Along with the rest of the Burdines chain, the two locations at Edison Mall were renamed Burdine's-Macy's in 2003, dropping the Burdine's name two years later.[14]

A 1998 renovation to Edison Mall added skylights in the center court. In 2005, Simon announced a further renovation of the mall, which would add an outdoor lifestyle center wing and renovate the interior.[15]


  1. ^ "Leasing information for Edison Mall". Simon Property Group. Retrieved 12 January 2011. 
  2. ^ Board, p. 121
  3. ^ Coward, Sarah. "Who owns downtown Fort Myers? Fewer players than you think". Retrieved 1 March 2017. 
  4. ^ "Influential local: George Sanders". News-Press. 2 October 2009. Archived from the original on 4 September 2012. Retrieved 12 January 2011. 
  5. ^ "Fort Myers River District: Seff-Guided Tours" (PDF). Film Fort Myers. Retrieved 16 March 2017. 
  6. ^ "Edison Mall". Malls of America. Retrieved 16 March 2017. 
  7. ^ "Maas Brothers History". Tampa Pix. Retrieved 9 July 2014. 
  8. ^ Lisicky, Michael J. (2015). Remembering Maas Brothers. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 978-1-4671-1473-8. 
  9. ^ Board, p. 124
  10. ^ "Austin-Westshore Construction Co Inc v. Federated Department Stores Inc". Open Jurist. Retrieved 9 July 2014. 
  11. ^ "JCPenney: The Christmas Store". The News-Press. 22 December 1979. Retrieved 12 March 2017. 
  12. ^ "Dillard's to buy 7 Maison Blanche stores in Florida". Daytona Beach Sunday News-Journal. 29 June 1991. Retrieved 12 January 2011. 
  13. ^ "BURDINES TO BEGIN $105. MILLION RENOVATION, EXPANSION AT EDISON MALL STORES IN FORT MYERS, FLA.". PR Newswire. 18 December 1992. Retrieved 12 January 2011. 
  14. ^ Mitchell, Anne (27 January 2004). "Burdines stores get renamed Friday". News-Press. Retrieved 12 January 2011. 
  15. ^ "Simon Announces Lifestyle Component at Edison Mall.". PR Newswire. 14 July 2005. Retrieved 12 January 2011. 
  • Board, Prudy Taylor (2006). Remembering Fort Myers: The City of Palms. The History Press. ISBN 159629101X. 

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