What Happened to Midland Mall in Midland, MI?

An Icon in Midland

In the heart of Midland, Michigan, a city renowned for its vital manufacturing and agriculture sectors, stands an iconic structure: the Midland Mall. This enclosed shopping mall, which has been serving the community since its doors in 1991, has etched itself into the memories of those who live or have lived in this vibrant city.

As a place where you could once find the enticing aromas of freshly brewed coffee, the latest fashionable threads, and the inviting scent of new books, the Midland Mall was a go-to destination for many.

However, as with everything, change is inevitable. The Midland Mall is no stranger to this, having seen many stores come and go over the years.

The Journey of Tenants

The Midland Mall, initially anchored by J.C. Penney, Elder-Beerman, Target, and Sears, has seen a revolving door of retailers. In 2003, the JCPenney wing welcomed Barnes & Noble, adding a touch of literary elegance to the mall.

A few years later, in 2008, Steve & Barry’s joined the mall, but its stay was brief, closing its doors the same year. Yet, this closure did not signal an end; it simply marked a new beginning.

The space was transformed and, in 2011, became home to Dunham’s Sports, bringing a touch of athletic spirit to the mall.

The Turning Point

Unfortunately, not all changes brought renewal. Over the years, the Midland Mall lost several anchor stores. The closure of JCPenney and Sears marked significant changes in the mall’s landscape. The Elder-Beerman store was renamed Younkers in 2012, but this could not stave off the inevitable.

In 2018, Younkers’ parent company, The Bon-Ton, went out of business, leaving Target as the only original anchor store.

Yet, the spirit of Midland Mall remained strong. Despite the closures, the mall welcomed new tenants. In 2020, Fantastic Finds, a resale store, opened in the former Younkers space. Additionally, Planet Fitness relocated to the former JCPenney, bringing a healthy dose of fitness to the mall’s offering.

A New Chapter

In a promising development for the Midland Mall, 2023 promises the future arrival of Hobby Lobby. The big-box arts and crafts supplies retailer will join the mall’s tenant lineup, which includes Target, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, GameStop, Planet Fitness, Bath & Body Works, Hallmark, Dunham’s Sports, and Olvera’s Texas Pit Bar B-Q.

Even as it faced changes, the Midland Mall has shown resilience. The mall has reflected the broader retail landscape, navigating the challenges and opportunities with grace.

As it embarks on a new chapter with Hobby Lobby and other tenants, the mall continues to be a testament to the city’s adaptability and spirit.

The Auction and Beyond

In an unexpected turn of events, the Midland Mall was auctioned in March 2023 with a starting bid of $1.5 million. The mall, which the Kohan Retail Investment Group purchased for $9.4 million in 2018, was up for grabs after its former owner, CBL and Associates Properties, went into foreclosure following a defaulted loan of $31.9 million.

The auction concluded with sold to ‘Michigan entrepreneur’ for more than $5 million, marking another chapter in the mall’s dynamic history.

As the mall adapts to the changing retail landscape, it remains a place for the community to gather, shop, and create memories. For locals who have watched the mall’s transformation over the years, these changes reflect the evolving nature of Midland itself.

Timeline of Major Tenants

1991Midland Mall Opens
2003Barnes & Noble Opens
2008Steve & Barry’s Opens and Closes
2011Dunham’s Sports Opens
2012Elder-Beerman Renamed to Younkers
2016Sears Closes
2017JCPenney Closes
2018Younkers Closes
2020Fantastic Finds and Planet Fitness Open
2023Hobby Lobby Set to Open
Avatar of Spencer Walsh

I'm Spencer Walsh, a professional traveler who loves to help people discover new places and learn about different cultures. I've traveled worldwide, from Europe to Asia and Africa to South America. My favorite thing about traveling is getting lost because it allows me to discover unexpected gems—finding a hidden museum or stumbling upon a beautiful park in the middle of the city.

Comments: 2
  1. Avatar of Robert

    why did the midland moll close that’s wrongful

    1. Avatar of Spencer Walsh
      Spencer Walsh (author)

      The mall was auctioned in March 2023 due to foreclosure. However, it was purchased, and I have no information about the closure.

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