Washington Square Mall (Evansville, Indiana)
Washington Square Mall, April 2016
501 Washington Ave #1 |
Evansville, Indiana, United States
|Opening date||October 31, 1963|
|Management||Evansville Holdings LLC|
|Owner||Hahn Kiefer Real Estate|
|No. of stores and services||around 55|
|No. of anchor tenants||2 (2 vacant)|
|Total retail floor area||800,000 sq ft (74,000 m2)|
|No. of floors||1 (anchors are 2 story)|
Washington Square Mall is a shopping mall located in Evansville, Indiana, United States. It opened October 31, 1963 and was the first enclosed shopping center in Indiana. Developed by Erie Investments, the mall was originally anchored by Sears and an A & P supermarket. Louisville-based Stewart Dry Goods was added, as a second anchor department store, in 1969. This store -as well as the entire chain- was merged with Indianapolis' L. S. Ayres chain in 1980.
After the larger Eastland Mall opened in 1982, Washington Square struggled to retain stores. In 1987 the mall was remodeled and expanded to help it compete with the newer mall. The expansion was initially successful and the mall was sold a few years later to Facet Financial.
Facing even more department store consolidation, L. S. Ayres closed in January 1992. The location was converted into a Dayton, Ohio-based Elder-Beerman, which held its grand opening in October 1993. This store was shuttered in December 2000, as Elder-Beerman said the mall "lacks a strong tenant base". As a result, vacancy rates at the mall climbed, with much business being lost to Eastland Mall. In 2002, the struggling Washington Square Mall was sold to local real estate developer Gene Hahn.
A portion of the former Elder-Beerman store was home to a Values Unlimited discount mart between October 2004 and March 2007. In July 2010, Merchants Outlet Mall opened, utilizing all of the 2-level store space, until its two-year lease expired in 2012.
Washington Square Mall was re-branded as Washington Square after it was purchased in November 2016 by a New York-based real estate developer. The new owner is doing business as Evansville Holdings LLC. Hahn Kiefer Real Estate Services will be the leasing agent and property manager.  Over the next year improvements were slow to be made, but new parking lot lighting and signage have brought hope to nearby residents.
On Thursday, January 4, 2018, Sears Holdings announced they were closing 103 stores nationwide, including their location in Washington Square. On April 8th, 2018 the Sears location closed for good in Washington Square Mall. This now leaves the mall with two vacant anchor stores.
- "Manager enjoying comeback of reborn Washington Square". Evansville Courier & Press. July 14, 1988.
- "Elder-Beerman to Close Store in Evansville, Indiana". September 29, 2000. Retrieved May 1, 2018.
- "Some retail changes coming to Washington Square Mall". Evansville Courier & Press. Retrieved 2007-04-22.
- "Elder-Beerman store gets tenant". Evansville Courier & Press. Retrieved 2010-07-04.
- "Washington Square Mall owners to raze, rebuild Merchant's Outlet Wing". Evansville Courier & Press. Retrieved 2013-04-28.
- "New owner buys Washington Square Mall". Courier & Press. Retrieved 2016-11-18.
- "Evansville's Sears to close in April after 54 years on East Side". Courier & Press. Retrieved 2018-01-04.