The Orchards Mall

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The Orchards Mall
Location Benton Township, Michigan
Coordinates 42°05′07″N 86°25′26″W / 42.0853°N 86.424°W / 42.0853; -86.424Coordinates: 42°05′07″N 86°25′26″W / 42.0853°N 86.424°W / 42.0853; -86.424
Address 1800 Pipestone Road
Opening date 1979
Developer Edward J. DeBartolo Corporation
Management Edward Moore[1]
Owner Kohan Retail Investment Group[2]
No. of stores and services 34 (as of November 2016)[3]
No. of anchor tenants 3 (1 open, 2 vacant)
Total retail floor area 624,972 square feet[4]
No. of floors 1

The Orchards Mall is an enclosed shopping mall near Benton Harbor, Michigan. Opened in 1979, it is anchored by JCPenney, Carson's, and Jo-Ann Fabrics.


Meyer C. Weiner Company first proposed a mall called Pipestone Mall in Benton Harbor in 1974. By March 1976, Hudson's had been rumored as a potential anchor store.[5] Westcor acquired the land in August of the same year.[6] The mall was part of a development along Pipestone Road near Interstate 94 which also comprised a strip mall anchored by a Kmart. By 1977, Sears and JCPenney had been confirmed as anchors, with negotiations underway for Carson Pirie Scott as the third anchor.[7]

Orchards Mall was built in 1979 by Edward J. DeBartolo Corporation[8] with Westcor as leasing agent. It had Sears and JCPenney, both of which relocated from downtown Benton Harbor,[9] as its anchor stores. It also featured a Walgreens drugstore, a York Steak House (later Ponderosa Steakhouse), and a food court. Elder-Beerman was added in 1992 as the mall's third anchor store.[10] Walgreens moved out of the mall in the late 1990s, and remained vacant until Jo-Ann Fabrics replaced it in the late 2000s.[11][12]

General Growth Properties became the mall's management in 1999. A year later, several new stores were added including Bath & Body Works, while the Casual Corner and Finish Line, Inc. stores were remodeled, and Benton Township approved a $111,000 tax cut to help attract more new businesses.[13] General Growth sold the mall to Sequoia Investments in 2002, at which point four more businesses opened, including a Subway and a Chinese eatery in the food court.[14] In 2003, Sears expanded its sales floor by 4,600 square feet.[15] KB Toys, an original tenant, closed in 2004.[16] Ponderosa, which closed in 1997, became an Italian eatery in 2007.[17] The same year, the Subway became a local restaurant.[18]

Sears closed its store at the mall in 2009.[19] Overflow Church purchased the building in 2012 and intended to move into it.[20] Elder-Beerman was converted to Carson's in 2011.[21] Sears returned to the mall in 2012 with its Sears Hometown format, a smaller-scale Sears store which sells major appliances and household hardware, in a spot vacated by an FYE music store. At the same time, the former Sears Auto Center on a mall outparcel was reopened as a local auto repair shop.[22]

In 2014 the mall was put up for sale;[23] Kohan Retail Investment Group purchased it on December 9.[2]

On January 31, 2018, The Bon-Ton announced that Carson's would be as part of a plan to close 42 stores nationwide. The store will close in April 2018.[24]


  1. ^ Wittkowski, Tony (March 15, 2018). "Orchards Mall gets new manager". The Herald-Palladium. Retrieved March 15, 2018. 
  2. ^ a b Matuszak, John (December 12, 2014). "Orchards Mall's new owner: rescuer or bad apple?". The Herald-Palladium. Retrieved December 12, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Breathing New Life into the Orchards Mall". Moody on the Market. Mid-West Family Broadcasting. June 28, 2016. Retrieved June 28, 2016. 
  4. ^ "Lighthouse Place Premium Outlets Michigan City, IN: Other Retail" (PDF). May 2012. p. 3. Archived from the original on December 13, 2014. Retrieved March 15, 2018. 
  5. ^ Wyndarden, Mike (March 17, 1976). "Hudson store reported for Pipestone Mall". The Herald-Palladium. 
  6. ^ "Pipestone Mall start scheduled. Opening of big shopping center planned in '79". The Herald-Palladium. August 31, 1976. 
  7. ^ "Pipestone development termed 'new city': Shopping mall just part of commercial-residential project". The Herald-Palladium. July 2, 1977. 
  8. ^ "Commercial Real Estate Reporter - Southeast". Retrieved 12 December 2014. 
  9. ^ Hunts' Guide to West Michigan. Retrieved 12 December 2014. 
  10. ^ Leuty, Ron (October 11, 1992). "elder+beerman" "Pinning hope on Elder-Beerman". Herald Palladium. p. 1E. Retrieved 15 February 2018. 
  11. ^ "Orchards Mall; Benton Charter Township, Michigan - Labelscar". Labelscar: The Retail History Blog. Retrieved 12 December 2014. 
  12. ^ "New in business". The Herald Palladium. Retrieved 12 December 2014. 
  13. ^ "Exceeding expectations: Orchards Mall stages comeback". The Herald Palladium. Retrieved 12 December 2014. 
  14. ^ "Retail building boom stalls, but property owners count on a turnaround soon". The Herald Palladium. Retrieved 12 December 2014. 
  15. ^ "Business news in brief: Changes made at Orchards Mall Sears". The Herald Palladium. Retrieved 12 December 2014. 
  16. ^ "KB Toys at Orchards Mall one of 377 going under". The Herald Palladium. Retrieved 12 December 2014. 
  17. ^ "BENTON TOWNSHIP Ñ By Christmas,…". The Herald Palladium. Retrieved 12 December 2014. 
  18. ^ "New in business". The Herald Palladium. Retrieved 12 December 2014. 
  19. ^ "Sears store to close in Benton Harbor; some workers may land jobs at Portage store". Retrieved 12 December 2014. 
  20. ^ "Michigan Church selling former Sears building to Orchards Mall". Retrieved 12 December 2014. 
  21. ^ "Elder-Beerman changing names". South Bend Tribune. Retrieved 12 December 2014. 
  22. ^ "Sears returning to Orchards Mall". The Herald Palladium. Retrieved 12 December 2014. 
  23. ^ Dalgleish, Jim (June 21, 2014). "Orchards Mall up for sale". The Herald-Palladium. Retrieved 21 June 2014. 
  24. ^

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