- Universal Mall
infobox shopping mall
shopping_mall_name = Universal Mall
location = Warren,
opening_date = 1965
closing_date = June 2008
manager = Universal Mall Properties
owner = Universal Mall Properties
building_costs = $650 million (2007 redevelopment)
number_of_anchors = 5 (3 open, 2 vacant)
floor_area = convert|765000|sqft|m2|1 (pre-demolition) [http://www.theoaklandpress.com/stories/121105/loc_2005121102.shtml The changing face of malls] ]
floors = 1
website = http://www.universalmall.biz
Universal Mall was an enclosed
shopping malllocated in Warren, a suburb of Detroit, Michigan, United States. Opened in 1965 under the name Universal City, the mall features A.J. Wrightand Burlington Coat Factoryas anchor stores, with three vacant anchor spaces formerly occupied by Montgomery Ward, Mervyns, and Value City; respectively, these closed in 2001, 2006 and 2008. In addition, the mall featured a food court and discount movie theater.
Universal Mall is classified as a
dead mall, due to a high rate of vacancy and low customer traffic; as a result, it has been slated for closure and demolition since late 2007. [http://www.dailytribune.com/stories/052807/loc_mall001.shtml/Universal Universal Mall may be demolished] ] Partial demoltion of Universal Mall began on June 23rd, 2008, with plans to replace it with a $20 million retail complex.cite web |url=http://www.clickondetroit.com/news/16683558/detail.html?subid=10100241 |title=Universal Mall meets wrecking ball |accessdate=2008-07-21 |date=2008-06-23 |work=WDIV] Target will open the first store in the new complex in July 2009, and about 35 businesses are expected to be a part of the new complex when it is completed. [http://www.macombdaily.com/stories/062408/loc_local04.shtml Universal Mall is coming down] ]
Originally named Universal City, the mall opened in 1965, with
Montgomery Ward, Woolworth, and Federal Department Store (a Detroit-based chain) as its anchor stores. By 1979, Federal had closed and was converted to Crowley's. [http://www.universalmall.biz/history.htm Universal Mall history] ] A western wing with Mervynswas added to the mall in 1985; shortly afterward, the eastern wing was renovated to include a movie theater and food court. After the addition of Mervyns and the food court, the mall was re-named "Universal Mall".
In 1997, the F. W. Woolworth chain closed the last of its stores, leaving a large vacancy in the northern wing. Three years later, Montgomery Ward closed the last of its stores as well. Also in 2000,
Value Cityacquired the Crowley's location at Universal Mall and two other Detroit-area malls. [ [http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-54252957.html VALUE CITY TO REVAMP 4 CROWLEY'S. (Brief article)] ] Many of Universal Mall's major chain tenants either moved to other malls, or closed up entirely. By the end of the 1990s, Universal Mall's occupancy was below 35%.
Universal Mall Properties acquired the mall in 1999, and mall renovations began soon afterward.
Burlington Coat Factoryopened that year, displacing the former Woolworth and most of the other stores in the northern wing; [ [http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-71874245.html Universal Mall to fill Woolworth's space with Burlington Coat Factory.(Burlington Coat Factory Warehouse Corp., Universal Mall Properties L.L.C.)(Brief Article)] ] A.J. Wrightopened a year later. Plans were also made to divide the former Montgomery Ward space into smaller shops. [ [http://www.detnews.com/2005/business/0503/03/A01-106494.htm Aging malls fight to remake their images] ] Eventually, occupancy at Universal Mall rebounded to 75%, although by 2007 it had declined to 48% (in part due to the closure of Mervyns' Michigan operations in 2006). [http://www.crainsdetroit.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070625/SUB/70623009/-1/toc Crain's Detroit Business] ]
The mall was closed in June 2008 and demolition began on the 23rd of that month. By July 2009, the complex is slated to be replaced by a new outdoor shopping center anchored by the existing AJ Wright and Burlington Coat Factory, as well as a new Target store (which will relocate from a nearby store).
* [http://www.universalmall.biz/ Official website]
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