The Birth and Evolution of Polaris Fashion Place
It was an instant hit when Polaris Fashion Place Mall opened its doors in November 2001. Developed by Glimcher Realty Trust, the mall was envisioned as a part of the 1,200-acre POLARIS Centers of Commerce.
Over the years, the mall has undergone several transformations, including shifts in anchor stores and the introduction of new retail spaces. Despite these changes, it has remained a cornerstone of the local economy, drawing in residents and tourists alike.
The mall’s initial tenants included some of the biggest names in retail (Sears, JCPenney, Saks Fifth Avenue, Lord & Taylor, Kaufmann’s, Lazarus, and The Great Indoors), setting the stage for a shopping experience unlike any other in Columbus.
Over the years, some stores have closed, but new ones have always taken their place, keeping the mall vibrant and relevant. The mall’s ability to adapt and evolve has been one of its most vital attributes, ensuring its continued success even in a challenging retail environment.
The mall has also been part of significant community events, including holiday celebrations and charity fundraisers, making it more than just a shopping destination.
Today, Polaris Fashion Place continues to be a vital part of the Columbus community. With its wide range of stores, dining options, and events, it’s a place where everyone can find something to enjoy. It’s not just a mall but part of Columbus’s cultural fabric.
The Architectural Layout and Floor Plan
Polaris Fashion Place is not just any mall; it’s a carefully designed space that aims to offer a seamless shopping experience. The mall is expansive but not overwhelming, with a total retail floor area of 1,278,000 square feet. The two-level structure is laid out to make navigating easy, ensuring you can find your favorite stores without hassle.
The mall’s design goes beyond mere functionality and aims to create an aesthetically pleasing environment. From the moment you walk in, you’re greeted by modern architecture, clean lines, and abundant natural light. It’s a space that invites you to linger, whether shopping, dining or just enjoying a day out.
Accessibility is another strong point of Polaris Fashion Place. The mall is well-served by public transit, including routes 41 and 102 PARTA 200. This makes it easy for everyone to visit, whether you’re coming from downtown Columbus or the surrounding areas. And with ample parking, those who prefer to drive are also well-accommodated.
So, if you’re looking for things to do in Columbus, Ohio, a trip to Polaris Fashion Place should be on your list. With its well-thought-out design and multiple access options, it’s a place that welcomes everyone, from avid shoppers to casual visitors.
A Diverse Range of Tenants
Polaris Fashion Place is home to an impressive 200 stores, making it one of the most comprehensive shopping destinations in Columbus, Ohio. The mall’s retail landscape blends high-end, mid-range, and budget-friendly options, ensuring a shopping experience that caters to a wide demographic.
For instance, luxury seekers can find solace in stores like Saks Fifth Avenue. At the same time, tech enthusiasts can head straight to the Apple Store or AT&T for the latest gadgets.
The mall also champions local businesses and unique boutiques, adding a distinct flavor to the shopping experience. Stores like Beetlebug Art Collective offer artisanal and locally sourced products that you won’t find in typical chain stores. These smaller shops provide a platform for local artisans and entrepreneurs, enriching the mall’s overall retail mix.
Polaris Fashion Place is not just about fashion and accessories; it also offers a variety of specialized stores. For instance, book lovers can spend hours in Barnes & Noble, while those interested in home decor can explore Pottery Barn Kids or Williams-Sonoma. The mall caters to specific hobbies and interests, with stores like GameStop for gamers and Dakota Watch Company for timepiece enthusiasts.
Recent years have seen the arrival of several new tenants, keeping the mall’s offerings fresh and up-to-date. In 2021, FieldhouseUSA opened its doors, transforming the former Sears space into a 90,000-square-foot indoor sports facility. This addition has expanded the mall’s appeal beyond traditional retail, making it a multi-dimensional space that offers a wide range of activities and experiences.
The Dining Experience at Polaris Fashion Place
Concerning dining, Polaris Fashion Place offers an eclectic mix of options. From upscale restaurants like Benihana and The Cheesecake Factory to more casual spots like Starbucks and Auntie Anne’s, the mall has something to satisfy every palate. Whether you’re in the mood for a gourmet meal or just a quick snack, you’ll find plenty of options.
But the dining experience at Polaris Fashion Place goes beyond just the food; it’s also about the atmosphere. Many restaurants offer outdoor seating, allowing you to enjoy your meal in the fresh air. You can enjoy a beautiful dining view with many restaurants near the mall’s central fountain.
If you’re in the mood for something a little different, the mall also offers a range of international dining options. From Asian cuisine at BIBIBOP Asian Grill to Italian fare at BRIO Italian Grille, you can take a culinary trip worldwide without ever leaving the mall. And for those with a sweet tooth, options like Cinnabon and I Scream Gelato offer the perfect way to round off your meal.
So whether you’re looking to enjoy a leisurely meal or grab a quick bite, the dining options at Polaris Fashion Place have got you covered. Its wide range of restaurants and cuisines makes it the perfect place to satisfy your culinary cravings.
The Transformation of Sears into FieldhouseUSA
The year 2021 was a landmark for Polaris Fashion Place, as it saw the transformation of the former Sears space into FieldhouseUSA. This wasn’t just a simple tenant change but a complete overhaul of the area into a state-of-the-art, 90,000-square-foot indoor sports facility. FieldhouseUSA brought a new dimension to the mall, offering various sporting activities and events.
From basketball and volleyball to soccer and even cheerleading, FieldhouseUSA offers something for everyone. The facility hosts leagues, tournaments, and training sessions, making it a hub of athletic activity. And it’s not just for kids; adults can get in on the action, too, with leagues and events specifically designed for them.
But FieldhouseUSA is more than just a place to play sports; it’s a community hub. With offerings like birthday parties, corporate events, and even boot camps, it provides various activities beyond traditional sports. It’s a place where families can spend an entire day, from shopping at the mall to playing sports to enjoying a great meal.
Events, Sales, and More
Polaris Fashion Place is more than a mere locale for shopping and eating; it’s a vibrant center for community gatherings and activities. The mall organizes many events throughout the year to captivate and involve those who visit. From fashion shows to holiday celebrations, there’s always something happening at Polaris Fashion Place.
But it’s not just the significant events that make the mall special; the smaller, more regular activities add to its charm. From weekly farmers’ markets to monthly craft fairs, these events offer a great way to engage with the community and discover something new. And for those looking to snag a bargain, the mall’s regular sales events provide the perfect opportunity.
In addition to its range of events, Polaris Fashion Place offers many services to enhance your shopping experience. From personal shopping services to gift wrapping, these little extras make a big difference, turning a simple shopping trip into a memorable experience.
So whether you’re looking to attend a special event, discover a new hobby, or enjoy a day of shopping and dining, Polaris Fashion Place has got you covered. With its wide range of activities and services, it’s more than just a mall; it’s a community hub.
Safety Measures and Incidents
Safety is a top priority at Polaris Fashion Place, especially considering the unfortunate shooting incidents in March 2021. These were the first such incidents in the mall’s history, leading to a comprehensive review of its safety measures. Since then, the mall has implemented a range of new protocols designed to ensure the safety and well-being of all visitors.
These measures include increased security patrols, state-of-the-art surveillance systems, and regular safety drills. In addition, the mall collaborates effectively with nearby police forces to guarantee a well-organized approach to any possible security issues. This ensures a protected and worry-free atmosphere for everyone, letting you relish your mall experience with peace of mind.
In addition to its security measures, Polaris Fashion Place offers services designed to enhance visitor safety. From well-lit parking lots to secure storage lockers, these services are designed to provide peace of mind and improve your overall shopping experience.
While no place can be completely free of risk, Polaris Fashion Place goes above and beyond to ensure the safety and well-being of all its visitors. So you can shop, dine, and enjoy all the mall offers with complete peace of mind.
Polaris Fashion Place has stood the test of time, evolving to meet the needs of a changing consumer landscape while maintaining its essence as a comprehensive shopping, dining, and entertainment destination. Its transformation over the years, most notably with the introduction of FieldhouseUSA, has kept it relevant and engaging.
If you’re a local, a trip down memory lane might bring nostalgia for closed stores, but the mall’s current offerings will inspire you for future visits. From its diverse range of tenants to its wide array of dining options and events, Polaris Fashion Place offers something for everyone.
So go ahead and make a day of it at Polaris Fashion Place. You’ll find plenty to see and do if you want to indulge in retail therapy, enjoy a gourmet meal, or participate in a community event. It’s not just a mall; it’s a part of Columbus’s cultural fabric, a place that brings people together and creates lasting memories.
With its commitment to safety, community engagement, and diverse shopping and dining options, Polaris Fashion Place is more than just a mall; it’s a destination. One that invites you to explore, enjoy, and return for more.