The Birth of Signal Hill Mall
In the heart of Statesville, North Carolina, the early 1970s brought excitement and anticipation. The city was on the cusp of welcoming Signal Hill Mall, a modern shopping center that promised to redefine the local shopping experience.
The announcement of this new venture by C&J Associates in 1972 was met with enthusiasm as residents eagerly awaited the mall’s grand opening.
The initial anchor stores, F. W. Woolworth Company and Belk, were not just brands but retail giants. Their commitment to Signal Hill Mall was a testament to the mall’s potential and the city’s growth prospects. Additionally, Spainhour’s, a beloved local department store, added a touch of local flavor as the third anchor.
August 1, 1973, marked a significant milestone for Statesville. As the doors of Signal Hill Mall swung open, it wasn’t just about shopping; it was about community, connection, and the promise of a vibrant urban center.
The Golden Years
The 1990s can be aptly described as the zenith for Signal Hill Mall. From its humble beginnings, the mall expanded both in size and reputation.
With 42 diverse stores and an expansive area of 350,000 square feet, it was more than a shopping center; it was a gathering place symbolizing Statesville’s progress.
The addition of the Hills Stores Company in 1995, occupying a sprawling 83,000 square feet, further elevated the mall’s status.
Weekends saw families thronging the mall, children laughing, and bags filled with the latest fashion and gadgets. The mall wasn’t just a commercial space but the heart of the community.
However, as the saying goes, “All good things must come to an end.” The turn of the millennium brought challenges that Signal Hill Mall couldn’t escape.
The exit of Sears in 2012 was a significant blow, and when JCPenney shuttered its doors in April 2015, it was clear that the mall’s golden era was behind it. The closure of Saslow Jewelers and Radio Shack in 2017 finally turned the shopping center into a dead mall.
The once-crowded corridors echoed silently, and a palpable sense of loss replaced the vibrant energy. With only Belk, Wooten Jewelers, and Stars Wireless remaining, the mall’s future seemed uncertain.
Despite its challenges, Signal Hill Mall had several features that made it stand out. The smaller of its two fountains in front of JCPenney was a sight, especially when illuminated at night.
The mall’s architecture, particularly its entrances and the design of its storefronts, offers a unique blend of the past and the present.
The Future of Signal Hill Mall
Yet, in the face of adversity, there’s always hope. Recent developments have brought a renewed interest in the Signal Hill Mall property.
Colliers International, a global powerhouse in professional services and investment management, has reined, exploring potential avenues for the mall’s revival.
The vision is clear: transform Signal Hill Mall into a multi-faceted community hub. Imagine a space that seamlessly blends residential units, boutique retail outlets, gourmet eateries, and recreational areas. This isn’t just about rebuilding a mall; it’s about reimagining a community space for the modern era.
Impact on the Community
For the residents of Statesville, North Carolina, the potential redevelopment of Signal Hill Mall is more than just a commercial venture. It symbolizes resilience, adaptability, and the community’s unwavering spirit.
While the transformation will require time and patience, the result promises to be a vibrant, inclusive space that caters to the community’s diverse needs.
The journey of Signal Hill Mall, from its inception to its current crossroads, mirrors the broader narrative of many American towns and cities. It’s a story of growth, challenges, and hope for a brighter tomorrow. As Statesville looks to the future, the mall is a testament to the city’s enduring spirit and potential.