Lansing Mall entrance sign on Saginaw Highway
|Location||Delta Charter Township, Michigan, United States|
|Address||5330 West Saginaw Highway|
|Opening date||July 1969|
|No. of stores and services||100|
|No. of anchor tenants||3 (2 open, 1 vacant)|
|Total retail floor area||830,052 square feet (77,114.4 m2)|
|No. of floors||1|
Lansing Mall is an enclosed shopping mall located in Delta Charter Township, Michigan, United States, just outside Lansing, the state capital of Michigan. Opened in July 1969, the same year as its crosstown competitor Meridian Mall, Lansing Mall consists of 830,052 square feet (77,114.4 m2) of gross leasable area, with more than 100 stores and restaurants, as well as a food court. Its original anchor stores were Wurzburg's, Federal's, and Montgomery Ward. Only three years after opening, Wurzburg's and Federal's were replaced by J.W. Knapp Company (Knapp's) and Robert Hall Village respectively. In 1979, the Robert Hall space was then vacated as part of an expansion project that also added a new mall wing ending in Hudson's, while J. C. Penney replaced Knapp's a year later and Mervyn's joined in 1987. The mall's anchor stores remained unchanged between then and the first decade of the 21st century: Hudson's was sold to Marshall Field's, which itself was then bought out by Macy's, while the bankrupted Montgomery Ward and Mervyn's were replaced with Younkers and a Regal Entertainment Group movie theater.
As of 2018, the mall's sole anchor store is J. C. Penney, following the closure of both Macy's and Younkers. Other major tenants include Dunham's Sports, Barnes & Noble, TJ Maxx, Tequila Cowboy Bar and Grill, a food court, and a 12-screen movie theater. The mall is managed and owned by Rouse Properties, a division of GGP Inc.
The Lansing Mall was built just outside the city of Lansing, Michigan, the state's capital, within Delta Township along M-43 (Saginaw Highway). Built by Forbes-Cohen, it officially opened to the public on July 31, 1969. Originally, it included three anchor stores: Montgomery Ward at the eastern end, Detroit-based Federal's at the western end, and Grand Rapids, Michigan-based Wurzburg's in the middle. Other major tenants at opening included Cunningham Drug, Schensul's Cafeteria, and McCrory. Wurzburg's sold its store to Lansing-based J.W. Knapp Company (Knapp's) in March 1972, in order to focus on its stores in Grand Rapids. In December of the same year, Federal's announced the closure of six stores due to a bankruptcy filing, including both the Lansing Mall store and a second Lansing-area location at Frandor Shopping Center. Robert Hall Clothes announced in late 1974 that it would open a Robert Hall Village discount store in the former Federals space. This store also lasted only three years, and its inventory was liquidated in 1977 after Robert Hall filed for bankruptcy.
In 1979, the mall underwent a two-phase expansion. The first phase divided the former Federal's/Robert Hall Village anchor store into a new mall concourse, which featured soft seating areas, planters with ficus trees, and skylights. Stores present in this expansion included The Limited, Casual Corner, Lane Bryant, The Gap, and Herman's World of Sporting Goods, along with a cluster of restaurants that included Elias Bros. Big Boy, York Steak House, Hot Sam Pretzels, Great Hot Dog Experience, Morrow's Nuts, Mrs. Fields, and Olga's Kitchen. The second phase, featuring identical decor, consisted of a new wing extending westerly beyond the first phase of expansion, adding several new stores along with a Hudson's department store. After the expansion was complete, the mall featured over 105 tenants. One year after this expansion, Knapp's also filed for bankruptcy and sold its location at Lansing Mall, along with ones at Meridian Mall in nearby Okemos and Westwood Mall in Jackson, to J. C. Penney. After York Steak House closed, its space was used to create a food court known as the Picnic, which opened for business in August 1984. Included in the food court were nine restaurants, seating for 299 patrons, and new planters. As they were adjacent to the Picnic, many of the restaurants added in the 1979 expansion were considered part of it as well.
Another expansion to the mall was announced in 1986, consisting of a new wing anchored by a Mervyn's department store. Construction of this wing reqiured the demolition of an original outparcel, the Lansing Mall Theater, which was the last single-screen cinema in the Lansing area. Mervyn's entered the state of Michigan by opening several stores all at once, including a second one built as part of an expansion to Meridian Mall. Lansing Mall's expansion, extending northerly from the Picnic, consisted of fifteen new storefronts including Lerner New York (now known as New York & Company) and LeRoy's Jewelers, along with relocations of Waldenbooks and three other existing tenants. In addition, Taco Bell joined the food court.
Many store closings ensued at the mall in the early 1990s, including five chain clothing stores and a T.J. Cinnamons bakery all in late 1991 and early 1992. Despite these closures, the mall also gained Champs Sports and a dollar store, and its occpuancy level of 92 percent was higher than the average occpuancy rate of 85 percent for malls in the Midwestern United States at the time. Following the closure of Herman's World of Sporting Goods in 1993, the space became Limited Express (now known as Express, Inc.), which opened a combination store that also featured their men's clothing division, Structure. At the same time, then-parent company Limited Inc. also opened a Victoria's Secret, then the most requested store by mall shoppers. Following these additions, Lansing and Meridian malls were seen as highly competitive, due to both malls having nearly 60 stores in common with each other and nearly 40 others that were unique to each mall. In 1995, the mall received new planters and an enlarged customer service booth. Meanwhile, RadioShack and Regis Hairstylists moved to new storefronts, Lane Bryant expanded its existing store, and Buckle, Bombay Company, and Pacific Sunwear joined. These were followed in 1996 by Gymboree, Bath & Body Works, and the second Disney Store in the state of Michigan.
1990s and 2000s
In 1996, Forbes-Cohen sold the mall to General Growth Properties (now GGP Inc.), who soon embarked on a renovation plan that cost more than $24 million. As part of this renovation, the mall concourses were given new tiles, skylights, and seating areas, while the exterior was given new lighting and signage. Also, the food court's seating area was doubled in size and the mall restrooms were renovated. Following the closure of Montgomery Ward in May 1999, many renovations focused on the eastern wing of the mall. Old Navy opened in July 2000, displacing seven smaller storefronts in that wing. One of these stores, Men's Wearhouse, moved to a new storefront with exterior access. Barnes & Noble opened two months later, displacing seven more storefronts in that wing and resulting in the closure of B. Dalton, which was owned by the same company at the time. Two new restaurants also joined at this point: Panera Bread and Genghis Grill, whose location was both their first in Michigan and their first to be located in a mall. The former Montgomery Ward building was tenanted by Younkers in 2002, although the store's construction was delayed. Saks, Inc., then-owners of the Younkers chain, had bought the Montgomery Ward building in 1997 but lacked the finances to construct the store at the time. As a result, General Growth purchased the building back and leased the space to Younkers. The former Montgomery Ward automotive repair center, located just east of the store, was demolished and replaced with a Best Buy, which opened in 2002 as well. Two years after this expansion was completed, Dunham's Sports took further space in the Younkers wing.
More anchor store changes ensued in 2006: Mervyn's closed in January of that year, and became Steve & Barry's that November. TJ Maxx moved into the mall in March 2006, replacing an older store across the street. The opening of TJ Maxx replaced several storefronts, including three stores that closed entirely (Gap, Buckle, and Bombay Company), along with two others (FYE and Foot Locker) which were relocated elsewhere in the mall. Both Steve & Barry's and Old Navy closed at the mall in 2009. General Growth created a spinoff entity known as Rouse Properties in 2011, and moved Lansing Mall to the Rouse division.
In January 2013, Regal Entertainment Group announced that it would build a 50,000 square feet (4,645 m2) 12-screen cinema on the site of the vacated Mervyn's/Steve & Barry's anchor. The new theater opened in July 2014. Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill began to build a bar in several storefronts adjacent to the theater in 2013, but construction was halted due to several contractors filing liens against the owners of the chain for not "reimbursing them in a timely and complete manner". As a result, the chain was evicted from the still-unfinished property, and Rouse Corporation won a $6.2 million lawsuit against its owners. A local bar known as Tequila Cowboy ultimately took over the space, and opened there in December 2015.
Macy's announced in January 2017 that its store at Lansing Mall would close that year, along with three others in Michigan. Another anchor vacated in 2018 when The Bon-Ton, which took ownership of the Younkers chain in 2006, filed for bankruptcy and underwent liquidation at all stores. The closure of these anchor stores has coincided with the closure of several other inline tenants throughout. As of 2018, the mall had over 15 vacancies, and several other storefronts that had been repurposed as store displays. Closures at this point included Vitamin World, rue21, and Finish Line, the latter of which was repurposed as a storefront church.
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