Nestled in the heart of American Township near Lima, Ohio, Lima Mall has been a beacon of retail and community engagement for decades.
Opening its doors in 1965, this enclosed shopping mall has seen the ebb and flow of commerce, the rise and fall of retail giants, and the ever-changing tastes of the local populace.
With the recent news of its sale to New York investors, Lima Mall is a testament to resilience and transformation.
The Inception of Lima Mall
In the bustling year of 1965, Lima Mall first welcomed shoppers, offering a fresh and innovative shopping experience.
Developed by Edward J. DeBartolo, Sr., the mall was initially a modest 166,000 square feet but quickly became a regional attraction.
Lazarus, synonymous with quality, became an anchor in 1971, adding prestige to the mall’s offerings.
Around the same time, a local department store called The Leader found its home in Lima Mall, only to be sold to Elder-Beerman in the mid-1970s.
The mall’s early years were marked by growth and excitement. It was more than a shopping center; it was a gathering place where families came to spend their weekends, and friends met to catch up.
Growth and Expansion
As the years rolled on, Lima Mall continued to evolve.
The Lazarus store transformed into Lazarus-Macy’s in 2003, reflecting the changing retail landscape. 2005, the Lazarus name was dropped altogether, and the store became simply Macy’s.
The mall’s physical space expanded to an impressive 742,000 square feet of retail floor area.
New stores and services were added, reflecting the diverse needs and wants of the local community.
But it wasn’t just about shopping. Lima Mall became a hub for events, entertainment, and social interaction.
The sound of laughter, the buzz of conversation, and the thrill of finding that perfect purchase became the soundtrack of Lima Mall.
Challenges and Closures
However, not all was smooth sailing. The closure of the F. W. Woolworth Company store in 1997 marked the beginning of a series of challenges.
MC Sports closed its doors in 2017 due to bankruptcy, followed by Sears in 2018 and Macy’s in 2021.
These closures left scars on the mall’s vibrant landscape. Empty storefronts stood as silent reminders of a bygone era.
Yet, Lima Mall persevered, adapting and finding new ways to engage with its loyal patrons.
Ownership and Management
Ownership of Lima Mall has seen its share of changes.
From Simon Property Group to Washington Prime Group and Kohan Retail Investment Group, the mall has been guided by various hands.
Each ownership brought its vision and strategy, striving to keep Lima Mall relevant and attractive.
The management’s efforts were not in vain, as the mall continued to be a beloved destination for shopping and leisure.
Recent Developments and Future Prospects
Legal matters also made headlines, with Lima Mall’s company filing a complaint against Allen County.
The case was filed in May of 2022 with the Texas Southern Bankruptcy Court.
The complaint submitted by the company asks the court to establish its tax liability to Allen County, Ohio.
2023 Lima Mall was sold to New York-based Kohan Retail Investment Group for 12 million dollars. This sale marked a new chapter in the mall’s storied history.
What does the future hold for Lima Mall? With new ownership and a legacy of resilience, the possibilities are endless.
One can only hope that the mall will continue to thrive, adapt, and remain a cherished part of the community.
Lima Mall in the Community
Lima Mall is more than a collection of stores; it’s part of the fabric of Lima.
Community events, collaborations with local businesses, and a commitment to being a positive force in the area have defined the mall’s relationship with its neighbors.
The economic impact of Lima Mall cannot be overlooked.
The mall has been vital to the local economy by providing jobs, supporting local commerce, and contributing to the tax base.
Memories have been made within its walls, friendships forged, and milestones celebrated. Lima Mall is not just a place to shop; it’s a place to live, laugh, and love.
Lima Mall’s journey reflects the broader retail landscape, marked by growth, challenges, transformation, and resilience.
From its humble beginnings to its current standing, the mall has been a constant presence in the lives of those who have walked its halls.
The recent sale and the unfolding legal matters add a layer of complexity to the mall’s narrative. Yet, one thing remains clear:
Lima Mall is more than a shopping center; it symbolizes community, connection, and continuity.
As we look to the future, we can only hope that Lima Mall continues to be a place of joy, discovery, and togetherness for generations to come.