Indian Mound Mall in Heath, OH: Shopping Center That’s Breaking the Mold

The Dawn of Indian Mound Mall

On a brisk autumn day in 1986, Indian Mound Mall opened its doors, inviting residents of Heath, Ohio, to explore a new hub of commercial activity in their area.

Standing proudly as Licking County’s second indoor shopping mall, its logo symbolizes local heritage, featuring a circle with lines and a feather representing the Native American Indian.

The first anchor stores welcomed at the mall were Elder-Beerman, JCPenney, Lazarus, and Hills, promising a diverse range of products and services to visitors. Not to forget, Crown Cinema was added to the mall’s rear in 1988, becoming a favorite entertainment destination.

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Imagine the hustle and bustle in the central area where a delightful fountain stood between 1986 and 1997, where people would gather, chat, and rest after a long shopping day.

Later, in 1997, Sears replaced a freestanding store nearby, further enhancing the mall’s attractiveness and offering more shopping options to visitors.

Evolution Through Time

Time passed, and Indian Mound Mall evolved, adapting to the changing retail landscape and customer needs. In 1995, Target, a well-known retail corporation, opened next to the mall. However, the late 90s and early 2000s were marked by changes in the mall’s tenant mix.

Hills, one of the original anchors, was replaced by Ames in 1999, which later closed in 2002. Steve & Barry’s moved into the empty store in 2004, only to be replaced by Big Sandy in 2017.

Another major anchor, Lazarus, closed its doors in 2004, making way for Goody’s. However, Goody’s too had to wrap up its operations in 2008, and the space was taken over by Dick’s Sporting Goods in 2011. Change is inevitable, and Indian Mound Mall bore witness to this truth.

Culinary Corner and More

The Food Court at Indian Mound Mall has also seen a fair share of changes. One of the most memorable establishments was Lee’s Kitchen, a Chinese restaurant that served as the last restaurant in the Food Court until it closed its doors in March 2020.

Its closure marked the end of an era, following the closures of Seraphina’s coffee shop in 2014 and Osaka Japanese Grill in 2018.

But not all changes were about closures and goodbyes. The mall also welcomed a unique establishment, a Developmental Disabilities Center named Blend, in the old Master cuts portion of the Big Sandy section of the mall.

The Newest Additions

Despite the challenges faced by the retail industry, Indian Mound Mall continued to reinvent itself. In 2020, the newest anchor, Altitude Trampoline Park, opened its doors in some old Elder-Beerman space.

Imagine the sounds of laughter and joy filling the air as kids bounce around, creating memories they’ll cherish for years. Right next to it, the Apex Fitness Center operates 24 hours a day, offering a dedicated space for fitness enthusiasts to work out and train.

Revitalizing the Indian Mound Mall

2021 brought a new wave of revitalization to the Indian Mound Mall. Under the leadership of the new General Manager, the mall filled every leasable space, welcoming a dozen new stores and restaurants within a year.

The strategy focused on local businesses, bringing a mix of tenants that breathed new life into the mall. As a result, the once-vacant spaces were filled with unique and vibrant businesses catering to various tastes and interests.

Among the new tenants, Plush Pals offers children a fun and interactive experience, allowing them to create their plush toy complete with a heart, outfit, and sound box.

For the home and fashion-conscious, Cricket’s Closet provides a range of home goods and clothing for men, women, and children. Buckeye Pop Shop is a haven for anime fans and Funko pop collectors, while Déjà vu offers a selection of women’s accessories, hats, and shoes.

Food options have also significantly expanded, transforming a food court. Baker’s Table serves up delectable deli sandwiches, flatbreads, and a variety of baked goods, providing a spot for shoppers to relax and refuel.

Jamies Philly Steaks brings the taste of Philly to Heath, Ohio, with its selection of cheesesteaks in chicken or steak, along with tater tots and loaded tots options. And soon to join this culinary variety is Evelyn’s Table, a locally-owned, southern-style restaurant promising hearty sit-down meals like pork chops and meatloaf.

In addition to this, the mall continues to be anchored by popular stores such as AMC Theatre, Big Sandy Superstore, Altitude Trampoline Park, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and JCPenney, providing a mix of entertainment, furniture, sports, and fashion offerings for visitors.

The revitalization of the Indian Mound Mall is a testament to the resilience and adaptability of local businesses and the community. It represents an intentional pivot to local ownership, reflecting the values and preferences of those who live and shop there.

As a result, the mall stands as a beacon of local collaboration and resilience, demonstrating that traditional retail spaces can adapt and continue to serve their communities effectively with the right vision and leadership.

Conclusion

The future of the Indian Mound Mall looks bright as it continues to innovate and adapt, creating a unique shopping experience that blends the best of local businesses with larger retail anchors.

The Indian Mound Mall’s transformation journey illustrates that with a commitment to local businesses and a responsive approach to community needs, the traditional mall format can indeed find renewed relevance and vibrancy​​.

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