Kingsdale Shopping Center

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Kingsdale Shopping Center
Location Upper Arlington, Ohio
Coordinates 40°01′14″N 83°03′33″W / 40.020498°N 83.059096°W / 40.020498; -83.059096Coordinates: 40°01′14″N 83°03′33″W / 40.020498°N 83.059096°W / 40.020498; -83.059096
Opening date 1959
No. of anchor tenants 1
Total retail floor area 38 acres
No. of floors 1

Kingsdale Shopping Center also known as Kingsdale, Kingsdale Center, and Kingsdale Mall is a large mixed-use shopping center in Upper Arlington, Ohio, a suburb of Columbus. It features a Giant Eagle Market District supermarket.

Built in 1959, the shopping center covers 38 acres between Tremont Road and Northwest Boulevard. It is the location where Les Wexner opened his first Limited store.[1][2] It fell in disrepair, but has since been completely remodeled and now serves as a popular gathering place for the city's residents.


Early Years[edit]

The center was built in 1959 on what was once the Galbraith farm between Tremont Road and Northwest Boulevard in Upper Arlington, a suburban city founded in 1918.[3] In 1963, Les Wexner borrowed $5,000 from his aunt to open the first Limited store - the first of what is now a billion-dollar retailing empire, L Brands.[1]]].[1] Lazarus, now Macy's, opened a branch at the mall in 1970.[4] It started out as a 85,000 sq. ft. building and was enlarged to 108,000 sq. ft. in 1977.[5]

The Kingsdale Co. purchased the center in 1977 and completed a $4 million remodeling project in 1982.[6] In its early days, the Kingsdale attracted high-income shoppers from the suburb to anchor store The Union. Other tenants included Madison's women's clothing and an S. S. Kresge Corporation dime store.


Sales were waning in the late 1980's. The owners wanted to renovate the property, but their lender, Boston Real Estate did not approve of the plan. Kingsdale Co. withheld payments during the dispute, eventually filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in November 1990.[6][7] In 1991, about 20 percent of the retail space was vacant and at one time during the decade, only 55 percent of the center was occupied.[6]

Plans for remodeling began again after the center was given to Boston Real Estate Counsel Inc. in 1992 and Kravco Co. became the managing agent.[7][8] A 64-foot clock tower was built in 1993 and Stein Mart become a large part of the center in 1994.[8][9][10] The center gained 11 stores between 1992 and 1994, seven of which opened 1994, including Stein Mart. It was the third Stein Mart opened in Ohio and the first in the Columbus, Ohio area.[1]

In 1997, The Mall at Tuttle Crossing opened and Regency Realty Corp. bought the property from their partners in 1998. Regency was the largest owner of grocery-store anchored shopping centers in the country at the time.[1]

The lot has been used as a COTA Park & Ride, closing once in September 1999 to make room for center renovations.[11]

2000s to present[edit]

In 2000, the center’s vacancy rate ranged from 25-30 percent. There were several proposals about what to do with the complex including building a five-story community center, building office spaces and parking garages, as well as tearing down the retail spaces and building streets through the area.

In 2001, a deal fell through with Continental Real Estate, a successful local developer, to buy and redevelop two-thirds of the property.[12] This led to the city wanting to purchase 14 acres of the center to build a $27-million community center that would have had swimming pools, a gym, running track, fitness area, community hall, senior-citizens center, meeting rooms, and a kitchen,[13][14][15][16] but the levy did not pass due to opposition by organizations such as Citizens for Common Sense who felt that residents should not have to pay taxes for services they might not use and some residents believed the area was too valuable as a commercial site to develop it as a community center.[15] Upper Arlington also lacked sidewalks, making it dangerous for residents to walk there.[17] Despite the overwhelming rejection to the tax levy, the city continued with plans to develop a “town center.”[18] This caused some residents to seek recall the city council members who unanimously voted to buy the 14 acres prior to putting the community center levy on the ballot.[19] A few months later, in January 2003, the mayor resigned and the city backed out of their deal.[20][21]

With more than half of the storefronts empty, Regency Centers gave up on finding buyers to make it what the city had envisioned in their master plan.[22] Large tenants Stein Mart and Barron’s China and Gifts left later that year.[16][23] Regency Centers proposed a $1.5-million facade upgrade after Giant Eagle bought the bankrupt Big Bear store in 2004.[24]

In May of that year, the owners asked the city to lower its tax value by $3.3 million. They claimed the center remained mostly vacant due to zoning restrictions that requires to have a mixed-use center rather than the retail-only center for which the owner has been seeking tenants.[25] However, the owners also raised the price of their rent, which has also impeded sales. This backfired when the Franklin County Board of Revisions actually raised the center's tax value by $5 million, retroactive to 2002.[26][27]

In 2005, developers Long & Wilcox and Wears Khan McMenamy started buying up houses near the center and built multi-family condominiums called Town Center Place.[28] City Council lowered zoning restrictions on big-box retailers in September 2007, but turned down Regency’s proposed Target store.[29][30]

Although the 2001 deal fell through, Continental Real Estate, developers of Lennox Town Center and parts of Easton and the Arena District,[12] purchased Kingsdale in late 2009.[31] Ohio’s first Giant Eagle “Market District” was built a year later. The 110,168 square-feet store was built just south of the original store in place of the old Stein Mart building. It features a cafe, wine and beer store, exotic foods, an on-site dietitian, beauty specialist, cooking classes, and more.[32][33]

With the designation as an “entertainment district,” this allowed liquor licenses to be issued, continuing its growth and spurring interest by more tenants.[34] The center now has restaurants, bars, banks, an urgent care facility, hardware store, sporting goods store, video game store, pet supply store, Goodwill, a Giant Eagle Market District, and more.

In January 2015, Macy's announced that the company was closing three Ohio stores, including the Kingsdale location by the end of March.[5] The store closed in late March 2015, and the space was sold to Kroger, which has yet to announce how it will be redeveloped.



  1. ^ a b c d e Gebolys, Debbie. “Limited Departs Shopping Center Where Chain Began - First Kingsdale Store Opened in 1963.” The Columbus Dispatch. Published 09 Feb. 2000. Page 01B.
  2. ^ Wolf, Barnet D. and Charlie Zimkus. “Made in Ohio.” The Columbus Dispatch. Published 17 Aug. 2003. Page 01B.
  3. ^ Upper Arlington Community Improvement Corp.
  4. ^ Meyers, David; Meyers, Beverly; Meyers Walker, Elise (2011). Look to Lazarus: The Big Store. The History Press. p. 110. 
  5. ^ a b Feran, Tim. "Macy’s to close Kingsdale store." The Columbus Dispatch. 1 January 2015.
  6. ^ a b c Bacha, Sarah Mills. “Kingsdale Owner Shopping for Tenants.” The Columbus Dispatch. Published 5 Apr. 1991. Page 01C.
  7. ^ a b Bacha, Sarah Mills. “Kingsdale Looking for a New Start.” The Columbus Dispatch. Published 08 Feb. 1992. Page 02C.
  8. ^ a b Bacha, Sarah Mills and Betty Skain. “Kingsdale’s General Manager Shopping for Growth.” The Columbus Dispatch. Published 07 Sep. 1992. Page 02D.
  9. ^ “Tower Tops Kingsdale Project.” The Columbus Dispatch. Published 20 Aug. 1992. Page 02B.
  10. ^ Gebolys, Debbie. “Resurgence at Kingdale - Bringing in an Upscale Discounter the Latest Step to Draw Shoppers.” The Columbus Dispatch. Published 04 Nov. 1994. Page 01B.
  11. ^ “COTA Park & Ride Lot Forced to Close.” The Columbus Dispatch. Published 22 Sep. 1999. Print 10D.
  12. ^ a b Gebolys, Debbie. “Buyer Found to Redevelop Kingsdale.” The Columbus Dispatch. Published 16 Mar. 2001. Page 01B.
  13. ^ Albrecht, Robert. “Upper Arlington Residents Ponder Plans for Kingsdale.” The Columbus Dispatch. Published 12 Jan. 2001. Page 03B.
  14. ^ Stephens, Steve. “Upper Arlington Plans to Buy 14 Acres of Kingsdale Center.” The Columbus Dispatch. Published 11 Sep. 2002. Page 01D.
  15. ^ a b “Suburban Areas Seek Money to Expand, Improve Services.” The Columbus Dispatch. Published 03 Nov. 2002. Page 06D.
  16. ^ a b Weiker, Jim. “Two Stores to Leave Plaza.” The Columbus Dispatch. Published 14 May 2003. Page 01E.
  17. ^ Narcisco, Dean. “Arlington Split on Adding to Sparse Sidewalk System.” The Columbus Dispatch. Published 09 Oct. 2006. Page 03C.
  18. ^ Stephens, Steve. “Kingsdale Project Still On.” The Columbus Dispatch. Published 12 Nov. 2002. Page 03C.
  19. ^ Stephens, Steve. “Some Residents Call for New Council.” The Columbus Dispatch. Published 20 Dec. 2002. Page 11B.
  20. ^ Smith, Carla. “Arlington Terminates Kingsdale Deal.” The Columbus Dispatch. Published 28 Jan. 2003. Page 01B.
  21. ^ Gebolys, Debbie and Steve Stephens. “Arlington Group Ends Campaign to Recall Council.” The Columbus Dispatch. Published 29 Jan. 2003. Page 04B.
  22. ^ Gebolys, Debbie. “Kingsdale Owner to Keep Center.” The Columbus Dispatch. Published 30 Jan. 2003. Page 04C.
  23. ^ Weiker, Jim. “Restaurant, Housing in Plan for Kingdale.” The Columbus Dispatch. Published 24 May 2003. Page 01B.
  24. ^ Pramik, Mike. “Kingsdale Owner Plans $1.5 Million Facade Upgrade.” The Columbus Dispatch. Published 18 Dec. 2003. Page 01B.
  25. ^ Ellis, Nate. “Kingsdale Owners Seek Lower Tax for Mall.” The Columbus Dispatch. Published 06 May 2004. Page 09C.
  26. ^ Ellis, Nate. “Shopping Center’s Tax Value Going Up.” The Columbus Dispatch. Published 22 May 2004. Page 01B.
  27. ^ Ellis, Nate. “Revisions Board Raises Kingsdale’s Value.” The Columbus Dispatch. Published 27 May 2004. Page 01A.
  28. ^ Pramik, Mike. “New Condos, Shops Planned Near Kingsdale.” The Columbus Dispatch. Published 09 Feb. 2005. Page 01C.
  29. ^ Rozenman, Martin. “Big-Box Approach OK’d for Kingsdale.” The Columbus Dispatch. Published 29 Sep. 2007. Page 16C.
  30. ^ Jones, Gregory L. “Regency Seeks Target, Larger Giant Eagle at Kingsdale.” Upper Arlington News. Published 26 Oct 2007.
  31. ^ Rozenman, Martin. “UA Retail Center to Get Local Owners.” The Columbus Dispatch. Published 07 Oct. 2008. Page 10C.
  32. ^ Bournea, Chris. “New Giant Eagle to be One of a Kind.” ThisWeek Newspaper. Published 29 Apr. 2009. Page 09A.
  33. ^ Turner, Tracy. “Grocery ‘Disneyland.’” The Columbus Dispatch. Published 14 Oct. 2010. Page 10A.
  34. ^ Bournea, Chris. “Entertainment District Set for New Kingsdale.” ThisWeek Newspaper. Published 29 Oct. 2009. Page 05B.

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