Rhode Island Mall

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Rhode Island Mall
Location Warwick, Rhode Island, US
Coordinates 41°43′12″N 71°28′52″W / 41.7199°N 71.4811°W / 41.7199; -71.4811Coordinates: 41°43′12″N 71°28′52″W / 41.7199°N 71.4811°W / 41.7199; -71.4811
Opening date October 1967
Closing date April 30, 2011
Developer Homart Development Company
Owner Eastern Development
No. of stores and services 4 (at closing)
No. of anchor tenants 3 (at closing)
Total retail floor area 579,499 square feet (53,837.2 m2)[1]
No. of floors 2

Rhode Island Mall was a two-story, enclosed shopping mall located in the city of Warwick, Rhode Island, United States. It opened in October 1967 as the Midland Mall, as the first two-level mall in Warwick, RI.[2] In 1970, Warwick Mall was opened just North of the Midland Mall, across Interstate 295. Although the two malls co-existed for several years, Rhode Island Mall began to lose stores once G. Fox, one of its anchor stores, closed in 1994.

History[edit]

The land on which the mall sits was pasture land when Homart Development Company (the mall building subsidiary of Sears) purchased it in 1963. To accommodate the mall, a hill was leveled and the course of the Pawtuxet River was altered.[3]

The Rhode Island Mall opened in October 1967 as the Midland Mall that included 60 shops. Its anchors were Sears and Providence based Shepards department store. Homart sold the mall to MetLife in 1981 for $20 million.[3]

It was officially renamed the "Rhode Island Mall" in March 1985.[4][5]

In 1988, May Department Stores acquired Boston-based department store chain Filene's. May merged its previously owned G. Fox division into Filene's in 1993, and converted all of its stores, including the Rhode Island Mall location, to the Filene's name. Filene's closed their Rhode Island Mall location four years later, in favor of the existing store at Warwick Mall. After the closure of Filene's, nearly one-third of the mall (including both the former Filene's and the food court) was demolished for a two-level anchor, featuring Kohl's on one level and Wal-Mart on the other. When it became clear that neither store would open into the mall concourse, most of the remaining shops vacated, turning Rhode Island Mall into a dead mall.

Many of the mall's vacant spaces were leased by Royal Ahold, owners of the Stop & Shop supermarket franchise.

Closure[edit]

Rhode Island Mall is a dead mall, and has been listed on Deadmalls.com.[2] Its anchors are Kohl's, Wal-Mart, and Sears. Sears was the last to open into the mall interior, but began leaving their gates down permanently in early 2011, finally closing access off via a partition wall in March, 2011.

Rhode Island Mall also has five detached buildings in the parking lot occupied by Toys "R" Us, Wendy's, Chuck E Cheese's, On the Border Mexican Grill & Cantina and Sears Automotive.

Despite the lack of storefronts in the mall, the fountain in the center of the mall, as well as the elevator and escalators, continued to operate on a daily basis. The mall also continues to staff a maintenance and custodian crew as well as a 24-hour security detail provided by IPC International Security.

In April 2011 mall management closed access to the mall's interior.[6]

Redevelopment[edit]

The mall undergoing redevelopment in February 2016.

On November 14, 2012, Winstanley Enterprises, LLC. of Concord, MA and Surrey Equities, LLC. of New York, NY announced they had purchased the mall for $38 million. A formal statement released by Adam Winstanley, a Principal of Winstanley Enterprises said, "There is a rich history with this property, and we are very excited to breathe new life into the development by putting together a plan that will once again position the mall as a vibrant part of Warwick's retail hub."[7]

A plan was announced in late 2014 to redevelop the mall as an outlet center, while retaining Kohl's, Walmart, and Sears.[8]

As of February 2016 the mall has undergone construction to create space for four "big box" style tenants instead of the original outlet style plan. Burlington Coat Factory has been confirmed as one of the leasees. Construction is slated to be finished by September 2016, although the remaining three rental spaces have yet to be filled.[9]

Tenants[edit]

Store Size Opened Previous stores Notes
Burlington Coat Factory 2016 Interior of mall (1967–2011)
Kohl's 2000 G. Fox (until 1993)
Filene's (1993–97)
Located on second floor of new construction built on the land formerly occupied by G. Fox and Filene's
Sears 1967 N/A
Walmart 2000 G. Fox (until 1993)
Filene's (1993–97)
Located on first floor of new construction built on the land formerly occupied by G. Fox and Filene's
Final indoor tenants in April 2011

References[edit]