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The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

RANDALL PARK MALL - The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

The RANDALL PARK MALL, one of the world's largest enclosed shopping malls, was built by the Edward J. DeBartolo Corp. of Youngstown, a major developer of shopping centers. DeBartolo bought the old RANDALL PARK RACE TRACK racetrack in NORTH RANDALL and WARRENSVILLE HEIGHTS in 1960 and 3 years later announced plans to develop the 117-acre site as a single-level mall. With zoning problems, costly court battles, and market changes, it was not until Mar. 1973 that the racetrack was torn down and construction began on a $175 million, 2-level mall with over 200 stores in 2.2 million sq. ft. of retail space. The Randall Park Mall opened on 11 Aug. 1976 with 4 department stores and over 100 specialty stores. In the months that followed, an additional department store and many other smaller stores opened for business.

The interior of the mall was unique, with tiled floors, marble columns, sculptured ceilings, and decorative ramps and crossovers. Owned and operated by DeBartolo, the mall was a success, with collective first-year sales of $140 million. Although Randall Park siphoned off business from other shopping centers, it did not cause any to close. In 1995 the 120-store mall employed 5,000 people.

In 2004 the mall was purchased by Whichard Real Estate for $6 million; the group decided to close the mall in June of 2009. At the time of the closure, the mall's few remaining stores were told they had to close or relocate to a location outside of the mall. Large department stores like Macy's, Dillard's, and JCPenney were already closed; they were joined in May 2009 by Sears. Burlington Coat Factory, a movie theater and Ohio Technical College's PowerSport Institute planned to remain open, since they can be accessed from outside of the mall.

Last Modified: 30 Jul 2009 09:54:34 PM

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