Beechmont Mall

Beechmont Mall

Beechmont Mall was enclosed shopping center near Cincinnati, Ohio. It was constructed in 1969, demolished in 2003, and replaced with Anderson Towne Center.






History

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.

Tenants

  • F.W. Woolworth (1969)
  • Hills Department Store (1980) / K-Mart
  • Pogue’s (1969) / Elder-Beerman (1981) / Parisian (1992-1999)
  • Shillito’s (1969) / Shillito-Rike (1982) / Lazarus (1986) / Macy’s
  • Thriftway Food and Drug

Redevelopment

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






Further Reading


Sources

  1. Kemme, Steve. “Mall transformation getting noticed.” Cincinnati Enquirer 10 Aug. 2006. 5 Dec. 2008: 3C.
  2. Kemme, Steve. “Shopping center’s retail sites vacant.” Cincinnati Enquirer 30 May 2005. 5 Dec. 2008: 3B.
  3. Kemme, Steve. “Anderson Twp. waiting for site to be beautiful.” Cincinnati Enquirer 17 Feb. 2005. 5 Dec. 2008: 1B.
  4. McNutt, Randy. “Towne Center to give Anderson new heart.” Cincinnati Post 17 Feb. 2004. 5 Dec. 2008: 3G.
  5. Edwards, Jennifer. “Mall makeover poised to begin.” Cincinnati Post 6 Feb. 2004. 5 Dec. 2008: 1D.
  6. Edwards, Jennifer. “Anderson plan for town center has auditorium.” Cincinnati Post 17 Jan. 2004. 5 Dec. 2008: 8B.
  7. Osborne, Kevin. “Transit hub ok’d near Anderson Town Center.” Cincinnati Post 13 Aug. 2003. 5 Dec. 2008: A9.
  8. “Plans released for Anderson Towne Center.” Cincinnati Post 12 June 2003. 5 Dec. 2008: Z1.
  9. Luz, Lia. “25 to wield wrecking ball.” Cincinnati Post 7 March 2003. 5 Dec. 2008: A12.
  10. Hartong, Glenn. “Making way for new mall.” Cincinnati Enquirer 12 March 2003. 5 Dec. 2008: 1D.
  11. O’Neill, Tom. “Mall poised for transformation.” Cincinnati Enquirer 18 Feb. 2003. 5 Dec. 2008: 8E.
  12. Garretson, Craig. “Regional malls stole the show – Beechmont complex couldn’t compete.” Cincinnati Post 8 Jan. 2003. 5 Dec. 2008: A8.
  13. Garretson, Craig. “Last days of Beechmont Mall – Obsolete Anderson complex to be new town center, park.” Cincinnati Post 8 Jan. 2003. 5 Dec. 2008: A1.
  14. Paeth, Greg. “Complex nearing plans to demolish.” Cincinnati Post 13 Dec. 2002. 5 Dec. 2008: B8.
  15. Vance, Karen. “Mall will lose some walls.” Cincinnati Enquirer 1 Oct. 2002. 5 Dec. 2008: 5B.
  16. Moores, Lew. “Anderson moves on mall plan.” Cincinnati Enquirer 18 May 2002. 5 Dec. 2008: 1B.
  17. Moores, Lew. “Potential buyer of Beechmont Mall envisions revamp.” Cincinnati Enquirer 30 Nov. 2001. 5 Dec. 2008: 5C.
  18. Driehaus, Bob. “Beechmont Mall stores preparing for major makeover.” Cincinnati Post 8 Jan. 2001. 5 Dec. 2008: 7B.
  19. Driehaus, Bob. “Retail blues hit Beechmont Mall.” Cincinnati Post 17 April 2001. 5 Dec. 2008: 6C.
  20. Driehaus, Bob. “Beechmont Mall plans open-air face-lift.” Cincinnati Post 17 May 2000. 5 Dec. 2008: 6B.
  21. Fasig, Lisa Biank. “Store closing at mall.” Cincinnati Enquirer 9 April 1999. 5 Dec. 2008: 10D.
  22. “Beechmont Mall gets sixth threat.” Cincinnati Post 4 Dec. 1990. 5 Dec. 2008: 4A.
  23. “Cincinnati’s Beechmont Mall.” Mall Hall of Fame 1 July 2008. 12 Dec. 2008 Article.

8 Comments

  1. I worked at Unos Pizza in Beechmont mall (anyone remember the creepy flipping clown on the trapeze?) . I grew up in that mall. I went to Anderson before Nagel Middle School so from 7th to 11th grade everyone would walk to the mall after school. I remember Aladdins Arcade, Super X had cheap makeup a must for a teenage girl. K Mart had an eatery with hot quick cheap snacks. I remember my mom always making us check in back at the center of the mall where they had this seating area. Mom would mall walk with her friends which used to embarrass me but now it’s a good memory. I don’t like the “Open mall’ they put up replacing the old mall. You need to drive from store to store unless you want to eat run over, and no one really gathers there with friends anymore it’s cold impersonal and to be honest weirdly laid out. Some really good memories. Wish they would have left it alone

  2. The discount store was Gold Circle in 1980, not Hills. Hills took over many Gold Circle locations after Federated pulled the plug on the chain, but I’m not sure about this one. This location did become a Kmart, however, at some point.

  3. My friends and I used to frequent this mall quite a bit in the mid-80s when we were teenagers. It was THE place to hang out and meet up with other friends. Anyone remember Aladdin's Castle? It was a video game arcade, very dark and always crowded. We'd hang out there, then go to Orange Julius, try on clothes at The Limited. They also had a toy store called The Hobby Shop and a Hallmark-like store called Paperphanalia. And don't forget other clothing stores such as Hit-or-Miss, Lerners, Casual Corner, Shillitos, Elder Beerman, and The Family Tree. In the late 80s I worked at the Corn Dog shack directly in front of Gold Circle.

    It's kinda silly to admit this, but I really loved this mall and all the fun times I had there.

    1. Oh, malls of the 1980s. I remember going to the Huntington Mall (still active) in West Virginia and going to the then-vintage Sears, hopping over to the Radio Shack (with its funky orange motif) – which was the Best Buy in its hayday, and then snacking at Hickory Farms with its barn-like decor. Good times then!

  4. Glad to see some astute people are out there and pointed out that the Hills then Kmart location was originally a Gold Circle. GC was a Columbus, Ohio based upscale discount department store chain (ala Target) which was owned by Federated Department Stores. Sadly, the Gold Circle chain went out of business in late 1988.

  5. My parents met at the SuperX store there… My grandma fought crazy women to get Cabbage Patch Dolls at Gold Circle…. It was sad to see it go.

  6. I am 100% sure that the former Elder-Beerman/Parisian anchor store was originally a Mabley & Carew branch and not a Pogues. Similar chains and lots of great history.

  7. I grew up in Milford in the 80's and 90's, and my family frequented Beechmont and Eastgate.

    Something to add- the K-mart/Hills originally started as Gold Circle, until the entire chain closed down in the late 80's.

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