Southland Center (Michigan)


Southland Center (Michigan)

infobox shopping mall
shopping_mall_name = Southland Center


image_width =
caption =
location = Taylor, Michigan, United States
opening_date = 1970
owner= General Grouth Properties
manager= General Grouth Properties
developer= J.L. Hudson Corparation
number_of_stores = 108
number_of_anchors = 4
floor_area =
parking =
floors= 1 in main mall area, 2 in JCPenney, 3 in Macy's
website = http://www.shopsouthlandcenter.com/

Southland Center is an enclosed mall located at 23000 Eureka (corner of Eureka and Pardee) in Taylor, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. It is the newest of the Detroit area's four "land" malls (Northland, Southland, Eastland, Westland). Southland Center opened on July 20, 1970, and has been expanded over time. Currently, it is owned by General Growth Properties.

History

When opened in 1970, Southland Mall consisted of three anchor stores: Hudson's at mall center, Woolworth's dime store, off the center court, and a Kroger supermarket on the eastern side. A two-screen movie theater was opened within weeks of the mall opening. Kroger built a new facility across Eureka Road in the mid-1970s, with JCPenney opening a store in 1976 in the former Kroger storefront.

Smaller stores at this time included Suzy Hats, Hughes & Hatcher, Corey's Jewelers, United Shirt, Hallmark, Baker Shoes, Winkelman's, Hartman's, Albert's, Sanders Confectionary, Franklin-Simon, Homemaker Shops, Circus World Toy Store, The Gap, The Limited, Jeans Galore, Singer (sewing machines), Father & Son shoes, Flagg Bros. shoes, Wurlitzer (keyboards & organs), Musicland, and The Plum Place, a psychadelia storefront.

Eateries were scattered throughout the mall and were numerous as well, including two bakeries (Tiffany's and Cookie Kitchen), Hot Sam's (pretzels), Lafayette Coney Island, Elias Brothers Big Boy, and a meat retailer (Ray's Prime Meats).

The mall would see numerous renovations in the mid-1980s. First to be renovated was the center court, re-designed with pillars and partial dropped ceilings and providing better use of space for mall kiosks. The west court was redesigned next, mainly to promote the opening of Olga's Kitchen, which used part of the court itself for its customers. At this time, many of the building fixtures dating back to its 1970 opening (including a fish tank and 20-foot high bird cage) were removed due to safety concerns, and a new water fountain (still in use today) was constructed. The original fountain, consisting of three "waterfalls", was removed and three new storefronts were put in its place. Also added were room for six more small stores along the west/center court connector.

During this time, Mervyn's became the fourth anchor store in 1985 when they opened their 75,000 square foot store on the mall's west end.

Toward the end of the 1980s, the movie theater was expanded to house four screens and was renamed the "Southland 4". Though the doubling of screens was initially a success, movie audiences began flocking to the new 8-screen facility operated by "Star Theaters" across Eureka Road, which would later become the first theater in the area with "stadium seating". Ironically, Star Theater was built on the site of the newer Kroger store that had relocated there from the mall.

Then in 1993, a food court was added to the south end of the mall. The food court, along with a large arcade called "Tilts' N' Tumbles", was to serve as the mall's new main entrance. The food court featured ten restaurants, as well as a large, pyramid-shaped glass atrium with a tropical theme. Concurrently, the center court was renovated again, with the pillars and dropped ceilings being removed and the court repainted with brighter colors.

Up to this time, the mall had no "outbuildings" surrounding it, other than a Target store about a block north of the mall, built around 1990. Kohl's department store and a strip mall of two other stores was built to the east of Southland in the early 1990s, but it is not considered part of the mall itself.

In 1999, the theater closed and was soon replaced with Borders bookstore. Woolworth had closed their store two years previously, and Tilts' N' Tumbles was vacated by 2000 as the arcade business declined due to the popularity of home gaming systems.

Hudson's was converted to Marshall Field's in 2001 due to a merger with parent company Dayton Hudson, and then to Macy's in 2006 upon its merger with Federated Department Stores. By this time, Mervyn's had closed all its Michigan stores as the chain decided to concentrate its efforts on its West Coast stores; the building remains vacant. Added to the growing vacancies was the food court, 75% empty by this time. Closed altogether in 2006, another renovation took place, and Best Buy electronics opened for business in its space in January 2007. The former occupants of the food court have either moved to other parts of the mall, or closed entirely.

The mall currently houses 98 stores and kiosks within its space, including anchor tenant Macy's. Of these, only Macy's and Big Boy remain in the mall in their original location since its 1970 opening.

Anchor Stores

* Borders Books & Music (22,500 sq. ft.)
* Best Buy (45,000 sq. ft.)
* JCPenney (216,000 sq. ft.)
* Macy's (292,000 sq. ft.)

Former Anchors

* Hudson's - converted to Marshall Field's in 2001
* Marshall Field's - converted to Macy's in 2006
* Mervyn's - closed 2006, vacant (75,000 sq. ft.)
* Woolworth

External links

* [http://www.shopsouthlandcenter.com/ Southland Shopping Center Website]
* [http://www.generalgrowthproperties.com/ General Growth Properties Website]
* [http://info.detnews.com/newsgallery/index.cfm?project=oldmalls&pixnumber=11 Photo of Southland Mall in 1970]


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