Beechmont Mall was enclosed shopping center near Cincinnati, Ohio. It was constructed in 1969, demolished in 2003, and replaced with Anderson Towne Center.
Beechmont Mall was completed in 1969 and featured Shillito’s, Pogue’s, and F.W. Woolworth’s as anchors, with 56 stores spread over 600,000 square feet. 11 12 15 23 The mall developers were undercapitalized early on and filed for bankruptcy. 12
Beechmont was expanded to the north in 1980 that included a 94,700 square-foot Hills Department Store 22 and additional retail in the concourse. 23 Elder-Beerman replaced Pogue’s in 1981, and Shillito’s became Shillito-Rike’s in 1982, which was rebranded as Lazarus in 1986. Hill’s was later replaced by K-Mart. In 1992, Parisian replaced Elder-Beerman.
The shopping center saw increased competition after Eastgate Mall opened in 1980 along Interstate 275. 12 By 1997, township officials began pursuing Zamias, who had just acquired the mall, into redeveloping it into a mixed-use retail and office complex. 11
Parisian closed on July 31, 1999, 12 21 and within a few years, only a few stores remained in the concourse, anchored by Lazarus, K-Mart, and CVS.
Zamias made preparations to tear down Beechmont Mall and replace it with a mixed-use retail and office development in January 2001 and received commitments to 85% of the retail spaces. 18 20 In preparation for demolition, several of the stores were relocated into converted mobile homes. The rebranded Anderson Towne Center project was put on hold in March because of the slumping national recession. 19
Victory Investments purchased the shopping center in December but had no long-term reuse plans for the complex. 8 13 On July 31, 2002, the township purchased a small gully behind the mall, long used for illegal trash dumping, for $1 million. 11 16 The township envisioned that it would be beneficial for flash flood and erosion control and for use as a possible park.
Bids were opened for the demolition of Beechmont on January 7, 2003, 14 with the tear-down commencing on March 10. 8 Twenty-five residents won a raffle for the chance to sit in a backhoe to help maneuver a wrecking ball. 9 The demolition, excluding Lazarus and K-Mart, 14 was completed in June 10 at the cost of $1.6 million. 9
The new 21-acre Anderson Towne Center opened in October 2004 4 at the cost of $21.1 million. 1 Patterned after a traditional town square, it featured the nation’s largest Kroger store, a remodeled Lazarus, and K-Mart as anchors. 2 5 6 8 Two office buildings were added in 2005. 2 3
A two-story office and performing arts auditorium for the township were finished at the cost of $6 million in 2007. 2 6 It included a 15-acre park 13 with a small man-made lake, a small waterfall, and a two-mile-long paved path for walkers and bicyclists. A $2.5 million Metro park-and-ride station opened shortly after. 1 6 7