The Evolution of Indian River Mall in Vero Beach, Florida

Indian River Mall Brief History

The Indian River Mall, located in Vero Beach, Florida, opened its doors in 1996. Developed by the Edward J. DeBartolo Corporation, the mall initially featured anchor stores Sears, JCPenney, Burdines, and Dillard’s. The mall expanded to include a food court and a 24-screen movie theater the following year.

In 2005, Burdines underwent a name change and became Macy’s. Interestingly, in 2007, a customer discovered $5,200 inside a pair of shoes they were purchasing. 2008, Disney Store, Gap, and RJ Gator’s closed. The RJ Gator’s space was earmarked for conversion into a new restaurant.

Unfortunately, Simon Malls entered into foreclosure on the property for $71 million in 2014. The property, including its adjacent plaza, was auctioned for $100 to the highest bidder in May 2015.

The mall changed hands again in August 2016 when it sold the Indian River Plaza, which houses well-known stores like Best Buy, Ross Dress for Less, Target, Office Depot, Bed Bath & Beyond, Lowe’s Home Improvement, and Michaels Arts & Crafts.

Store Closures and Changes

The mall experienced a series of store closures in recent years. In August 2019, Sears announced the closure of its Indian River Mall location as part of a nationwide plan to shutter 26 stores. The store closed its doors in October 2019.

Macy’s followed suit in January 2020, announcing its closure in April 2020 as part of a plan to close 125 stores nationwide. The same year, Victoria’s Secret closed at the mall as part of a strategy to close 250 stores nationwide. TGI Friday’s also closed later that year. Finally, in January 2021, Hollister Co. closed its location in the mall.

Indian River Mall
Indian River Mall” by jeffmgrandy is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Despite the closures, the mall currently features about 50 stores and services, with Dillard’s, AMC Theatres, and JCPenney as its anchor tenants. In addition, two vacant anchor spaces remain, the last occupied by Macy’s and Sears.

Event Year
Mall Opening 1996
Food Court & Theater 1997
Burdines to Macy’s 2005
Gap, Disney & RJ Gator’s Closures 2008
Foreclosure & Auction 2014-2015
Sears Closure 2019
Macy’s Closure 2020
Victoria’s Secret Closure 2020
TGI Friday’s Closure 2020
Hollister Closure 2021

The Future of Indian River Mall

Despite the challenges faced by the Indian River Mall, it remains an important retail hub in Vero Beach, Florida. The mall offers various stores, services, and entertainment options for residents and visitors alike.

It is essential to support local businesses and explore the opportunities provided by the Indian River Mall as it continues to adapt and evolve in an ever-changing retail landscape.

Current Anchors:

  • Dillard’s
  • AMC Theatres
  • JCPenney

Vacant Anchors:

  • Macy’s (Closed in 2020)
  • Sears (Closed in 2019)

As the community reminisces about the memories created in the Indian River Mall, it is essential to look forward to the future and the potential opportunities it may bring.

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With continued support, the mall can thrive and adapt to the changing retail environment, ultimately benefiting the residents of Vero Beach and the surrounding areas.

Exploring the Mall Today

Although some stores have closed, the Indian River Mall remains a vibrant destination, with numerous shops, restaurants, and entertainment options for the whole family. Here are some highlights of what the mall has to offer:

  • Dillard’s: A popular department store offering various products, from clothing and accessories to home goods and cosmetics.
  • AMC Theatres: Catch the latest movie releases at this state-of-the-art theater with comfortable seating and modern amenities.
  • JCPenney: A long-standing anchor tenant, JCPenney provides a vast selection of clothing, home furnishings, and more at affordable prices.

Dining Options

Eateries Cuisine Description
Olive’s Tacos and Pizza Mexican & Italian A fusion of Mexican and Italian dishes, offering delicious tacos and pizzas
Asian Chao Asian Serving a variety of Asian cuisine, including Chinese, Japanese, and Thai
Casa Amigos Mexican Kitchen Mexican Traditional Mexican fare, with a wide range of dishes for everyone to enjoy
Oceans Cafe Café-style A cozy café offering a selection of sandwiches, salads, and beverages

Events and Entertainment

The Indian River Mall also hosts various events throughout the year, including seasonal activities, community gatherings, and entertainment for all ages. Watch the mall’s website and social media pages for upcoming events and promotions announcements.

In Conclusion

The Indian River Mall has seen its share of ups and downs but remains a staple for shopping, dining, and entertainment in Vero Beach.

As the mall adapts to the changing retail landscape, the local community must support the businesses that call the mall home. Together, we can help ensure the Indian River Mall remains a vibrant and cherished destination for years.

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Comments: 14
  1. Avatar of Jean

    What about the Orange Blossom Mall in Fort Pierce? It withered and died when the Indian River Mall was built. Seems like these big malls are destined to be white elephants…

    1. Avatar of Spencer Walsh
      Spencer Walsh (author)

      While it’s true that malls may face challenges, let’s remain optimistic that creative solutions and reinvention can breathe new life into these spaces, ensuring they continue to serve their communities and create fond memories for generations to come.

  2. Avatar of JD

    Thank you for the historical on the mall. Maybe we can write an article that will entice businesses to come back our population is growing explosively, and there are no fine retailers in our area.

    1. Avatar of Spencer Walsh
      Spencer Walsh (author)

      It’s exciting to see the population in Vero Beach booming, and I believe the Indian River Mall has immense potential to attract top-tier retailers.

  3. Avatar of Clark

    A vibrant destination? Seriously? I’ve lived in Vero for 17 and have watched the mall fade tremendously during that time.

    1. Avatar of Spencer Walsh
      Spencer Walsh (author)

      While it’s true that the Indian River Mall may not be as vibrant as it once was, I believe that with the right vision and resources, it can be transformed into a top-tier destination for shopping and entertainment in the Vero Beach area.

  4. Avatar of David

    They should put a go cart track in the mall where sears us to be I group here in vero beach :cool:

    1. Avatar of Spencer Walsh
      Spencer Walsh (author)

      A go-kart track could be a unique and engaging addition to the mall, offering a fun and exciting activity for visitors of all ages.

  5. Avatar of ivana

    i’ve lived here almost 40 years, remember the “little” mall in the center of town, pretty sure there was a Sears and Botnicks (?). now Publix and Hair Cuttery , etc. on 12th St. it’s now a successful and very busy plaza, because of timely and attractive changes. if the now “old”. mall will be able to reinvent itself and get current it will definitely remain an important part of Vero Beach as it’s the only shopping plaza under one roof that we have (and need)

    1. Avatar of Spencer Walsh
      Spencer Walsh (author)

      Thank you for sharing your experience and perspective about Vero Beach, Florida. Your comment about the need for the mall to stay current and relevant is spot on.

  6. Avatar of Michael BarberMacy
    Michael BarberMacy

    Another could be done with much of the vacant spaces in the Vero Beach Mall Such as a Musium, large indoor Fresh Water and Salt Water Aquariums like in Baltimore MD. A PHOTO Gallory Featuring New photographers from across Florida and around the USA that changes and features new pieces weekly. A one Wheel shop.

    1. Avatar of Spencer Walsh
      Spencer Walsh (author)

      Thanks for sharing your ideas! I agree that incorporating cultural aspects like museums and photo galleries could add a unique touch and appeal to a broader audience.

  7. Avatar of Michelle

    it would be nice to get a mall back here .. bring new stores and products to this city.. as an resident we have to travel to Jensen Beach or Melbourne to shop why when we have an mall here …its a shopping mall not an nevermind but bring back the old mall but with new and better STORES!!!! FOR SHOPPING

    1. Avatar of Spencer Walsh
      Spencer Walsh (author)

      Thank you for your comment on Indian River Mall. I agree that revitalizing the mall with new stores could greatly benefit the community. It’s an exciting prospect and resonates with many residents.

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