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College Mall

College Mall
Location Bloomington, Indiana, United States
Opening date 1965
Developer Melvin Simon & Associates
Management Simon Property Group
Owner Simon Property Group
No. of stores and services 90+
No. of anchor tenants 4
Total retail floor area 643,000 sq. ft.
No. of floors 1
Website College Mall

College Mall is a regional shopping mall located in Bloomington, Indiana. This is home to Indiana University's flagship campus. The mall's anchor stores are Dick's Sporting Goods, Macy's, Sears, and Target.


College Mall was one for the first enclosed mall properties developed by Melvin Simon & Associates[1] and was first opened in 1965 with just 250,000 square feet retail space.[2] This makes the mall one of the older malls in the central/southern part of Indiana.

H. P. Wasson and Company, and Sears were the original anchors.[3] Sears was the first store to open at the mall in March 1965 with 95,000 square feet[4] and Wasson opened later in August of the same year with 35,000 square feet.[5] A total of 33 shops were opened by the following year.

The first major addition occurred from 1969 to 1970 in which an additional 63,000 square feet of retail space was added.[6][7] At this time, Wasson was able to nearly double its space to make 59,000 square feet.[8] Notable new tenants included the 2 screens College Mall Cinema (operated by General Cinema),[9] MCL Cafeteria,[10][11] and L.S. Ayres's Sycamore Shop. Shortly after the completion of this addition, Danner's 5 and 10 Cent Store vacated their 18,000 square feet store which they had occupied since 1965.[12] William H. Block replaced Danner in 1972 with a very limited store while keeping their Block's College Shop open at Indiana and Kirkwood until 1980.

Another major addition and renovation had occurred from 1979 to 1982[13][14][15] in which a new wing was built and the mall expanded east adding J.C. Penney and L.S. Ayres as new anchors plus over two dozen other stores. Available retail space was increased by 360,000 square feet to make 750,000 square feet. During this time, Sears was able to add 15,000 square feet to make a new total of 125,000 square feet.[16] The new J.C. Penney store had open in April 1981 with 130,000 square feet[17][18][19] while the 2 level new L.S. Ayres store open in August 1982 with 80,000 square feet.[20] At this time, J.C. Penney relocated from a smaller store that was previously located in downtown Bloomington. For L.S. Ayres, they increased their presence in Bloomington by building their first full department store in the community as replacement to their smaller format Sycamore Shop, a store concept that was used mostly in small communities that may not be able to support a full store, that was previously in the mall.

In September 1980, H. P. Wasson and Company's parent, Goldblatt's, made a surprised announcement that they were going to close their Bloomington store in January 1981.[16][21] From the time of Wasson's closing in January 1981 to J.C. Penney's opening in April 1981, Sears store was the only fully functional anchor still operating at the mall.

Block's was able to take advantage of this unexpected situation caused by the unexpected Wasson's vacancy by moving across the hall to occupy the former Wasson's location in August 1981.[22] This move allowed Block's to triple its size and become a full anchor at the mall.[23] When Block's was sold by its parent company to Federated Department Stores in 1987,[24][25][26] the Block's location was rebranded Lazarus in November of that year.[27] The Lazarus store was later closed in April 2003 by its new parent Macy's as a part of a nationwide cost cutting measure[28][29][30][31][32][33][34] and the site was left vacant for nearly two years before it was razed and a T.G.I. Friday's was built at the location in November 2005[35][36] but without a connection to the interior of the mall.

The property owner Simon DeBartolo Group spent $4.2 million in 1996 for the renovations of the 689,000 square foot mall which included new ceramic floors, new ceilings and new entrances.[37][38][39]

Also in April 2001, J.C. Penney left its 2 level store and closed operations.[40][41][42][43][44] The store was demolished to make way for a new single level 125,000 square feet Target anchor in March 2004.[45][46][47][48][49][50] Target previously had occupied an 86,000 square feet free standing building on an out lot of the mall that was originally build for its Ayr-Way predecessor in 1969.

General Cinema eventually doubled the number of screens to 4 by 1983. After much competition with Kerasotes Theatres, General Cinema later sold the College Mall Cinema to Kerasotes in 1988[51][52][53][54] to allow Kerasotes to form a monopoly in South Central Indiana. Kerasotes quickly fired all of its union projectionists, citing a corporate policy "of using only manager-projectionists who are responsible for all aspects of managing the theater".[55][56] In 2000, the 4 screen cinema at the mall was changed from a first run to a discount theater as a result of opening of a large 12 screen complex on the west side or the city.[54] After dwindling ticket sales and the completion of their new multiplex on the west side of Bloomington, Kerasotes closed the College Mall Cinema[57] at the same time neighboring MCL Cafeterias decided to move out of the mall to a location on the westside in 2004. Both the cafeteria and theater had been at the mall since the 1969 era mall addition. Dick's Sporting Goods built a 50,000 square foot store as a new anchor in the area formerly occupied by the cafeteria and theater to replace the old Lazarus in April 2005.[58][58][59][60][61]

L. S. Ayres became Macy's in September 2006 following Federated Department Stores purchase of L. S. Ayres's parent, The May Department Stores Company, the previous year.[62][63][64][65]

The distribution of food services within the mall was radically changed in 2007 by the construction of a new 12,000 square feet centralized food court that included a large common seating area, new restrooms, and places for staging events.[66][67][68][69][70] Prior to this time, food services with in the complex were scattered throughout the mall.


  1. ^ "Simon firm is 25 years old". Bloomington Herald-Times, Volume 18, Number 46, July 7, 1985, Page F1. Please note that the newspaper had erroneously used the date "Sunday, July 6, 1985" for this edition when in fact the actual publishing date was "Sunday, July 7, 1985".
  2. ^ "Mall addition has 22 new stores". Bloomington Herald-Telephone, April 23, 1981, Pages 44-45, 50.
  3. ^ "City's New Shopping Center, Industries Greet Students". Bloomington Daily Herald-Telephone, September 22, 1966, Section 5, Page 1.
  4. ^ "Huge New Sears Store Sets Grand Opening Day". Bloomington Daily Herald-Telephone, March 8, 1965, Section 1, Pages 1-2.
  5. ^ "The Mall has experience many changes, much growth". Indiana Daily Student, 10th Anniversary Celebration College Mall Supplement, April 2, 1976, Page 10 of supplement.
  6. ^ "College Mall Shopping Center 'Showplace of Indiana'". Bloomington Herald-Telephone, September 23, 1970, Page 36.
  7. ^ "Mall to grow". Bloomington Courier-Tribune, March 13, 1969, Page 1.
  8. ^ "Expanded Wasson's Has Fifteen New Departments". Bloomington Daily Herald-Telephone, September 23, 1970, Page 28.
  9. ^ "Top Quality Movies Shown At Cinema I & II". Bloomington Daily Herald-Telephone, September 23, 1970, Page 43.
  10. ^ "New MCL Cafeteria opens in College Mall". Bloomington Courier-Tribune, March 5, 1970, Pages B7.
  11. ^ "MCL Popular Mall Cafeteria". Bloomington Daily Herald-Telephone, September 23, 1970, Page 43.
  12. ^ "Block's Plans Store In Mall". Bloomington Courier-Tribune, December 29, 1971.
  13. ^ "Commission OKs plan for Mall Building". Indiana Daily Student, March 21, 1979, Page 6.
  14. ^ "Mall expansion leads 1980 retail store 'explosion'". Bloomington Herald-Telephone, March 18, 1980, Page 35.
  15. ^ "Grand opening this weekend: Mall to celebrate". Bloomington Herald-Telephone, August 20, 1981, Page 8.
  16. ^ a b "College Mall first opened for business in 1965". Bloomington Herald-Telephone, April 23, 1981, Page 50.
  17. ^ "The New Mall: J.C. Penney and 18 stores to open in Mall addition". Bloomington Herald-Times, April 19, 1981, Pages 1, 18.
  18. ^ "Civic and business leaders join in the celebration". Bloomington Herald-Telephone, April 21, 1981, Page 4 of supplement.
  19. ^ "JCPenney announces new store details". Bloomington Herald-Telephone, April 21, 1981, Page 4 of supplement.
  20. ^ "Ayres opening cap city's retail explosion". Bloomington Herald-Times, July 25, 1982, Pages A1, A4.
  21. ^ "Goldblatt's putting its house in order". Chicago Tribune, September 7, 1980, Page N1. Link via ProQuest.
  22. ^ "Block's grand opening Friday". Bloomington Herald-Telephone, August 20, 1981, Pages 1, 6.
  23. ^
  24. ^ "Allied Stores agreed to sell its Blocks division". Los Angeles Times, April 28, 1987.
  25. ^ "Federated to Buy 12 Allied Stores". New York Times, April 28, 1987.
  26. ^ "Lazarus buys Blocks chain for $55 million". Bloomington Herald-Telephone, June 19, 1987, Page A2.
  27. ^ "Lazarus to open Sunday". Bloomington Herald-Telephone, October 29, 1987, Page A7.
  28. ^ "Federated closing 11 stores, cutting 2,000 jobs". Business Courier, January 16, 2003.
  29. ^ "Federated To Close 11 Stores And Cut 2,000 Jobs". New York Times, January 17, 2003.
  30. ^ "Lazarus closing at College Mall: Store's departure will leave mall with two vacant anchor positions". Bloomington Herald-Times, January 17, 2003, Pages A1, A7.
  31. ^ "Closure 'an opportunity'". Bloomington Herald-Times, January 17, 2003, Pages A1, A7.
  32. ^ "Another local store leaving: Financial factors force Lazarus closing". Indiana Daily Student, January 17, 2003.
  33. ^ "Lazarus loss will be felt: Retail shift west is a matter of design and, to some, a concern". Bloomington Herald-Times, January 18, 2003, Page A8.
  34. ^ "Coupons no good at Lazarus". Bloomington Herald-Times, February 07, 2003, Page D6.
  35. ^ "TGI Friday's now open at the mall". Bloomington Herald-Times, November 24, 2005.
  36. ^ "T.G.I. Friday's opens in mall". Indiana Daily Student, December 1, 2005.
  37. ^ "$4.2 million face lift to give fresh look to College Mall: Anchor stores may be expanded if parking issues can be resolved". Bloomington Herald-Times, June 5, 1996, Page A1.
  38. ^ "Mall's grand re-opening planned for Nov. 22-23: Work continues on enhancing College Mall's two main entrances". Bloomington Herald-Times, September 15, 1996, Page G1.
  39. ^ "Mall re-opens with festivities". Bloomington Herald-Times, November 22, 1996, Page C1.
  40. ^ "J.C. Penney to close College Mall store". Bloomington Herald-Times, January 18, 2001, Page A1.
  41. ^ "J.C. Penney store to close: One more retail store calls it quits". Indiana Daily Student, January 24, 2001.
  42. ^ "Penney closing looms at mall". Bloomington Herald-Times, March 16, 2001, Page C1.
  43. ^ "Closings of Penney stores just days away". Bloomington Herald-Times, April 15, 2001, Page F1.
  44. ^ "J.C. Penney's closes local store with sale: After 20 years in Bloomington, College Mall store shuts down". Indiana Daily Student, April 30, 2001.
  45. ^ "Target mulling newer Bloomington store: Vacant J.C. Penney site could be a contender for expansion". Bloomington Herald-Times, May 15, 2002, Page B6.
  46. ^ "Target taking aim at empty Penney store: Plan calls for tearing down building at mall". Bloomington Herald-Times, February 8, 2003, Page A1.
  47. ^ "New Target at former Penney site a year away: Store could open next summer; other new businesses coming to College Mall". Bloomington Herald-Times, May 19, 2003, Page A1.
  48. ^ "New Target store to open in March". Bloomington Herald-Times, December 12, 2003, Page D1.
  49. ^ "College Mall Target opening Wednesday". Bloomington Herald-Times, February 27, 2004, Page D6.
  50. ^ "Target holds grand opening at College Mall location: New larger store features groceries, Pizza Hut, Starbucks". Indiana Daily Student, March 8, 2004.
  51. ^ "Mall theater to be sold; new complex uncertain". Bloomington Herald-Telephone, March 8, 1988, Page A1.
  52. ^ "College Mall cinema sold to Kerasotes chain". Indiana Daily Student, March 22 1988, Page 5.
  53. ^ "The changing scene of the movie screen: Age of multiplex cinemas owned by a few large corporations seems to be here to stay". Bloomington Herald-Times, April 24, 1988.
  54. ^ a b "College Mall Cinema to offer discount movies". Bloomington Herald-Times, April 28, 2000, Page C1.
  55. ^ "Projectionists protest firing in moviehouse sale". Bloomington Herald-Telephone, March 23, 1988, Page A7.
  56. ^ "Kerasotes to proceed with building eight-screen complex in Bloomington". Bloomington Herald-Times, April 24, 1988.
  57. ^ "Theater at mall closes". Bloomington Herald-Times, April 14, 2004, Page B5.
  58. ^ a b "College Mall could see big changes". Bloomington Herald-Times, February 3, 2004, Page A1.
  59. ^ "Dick's Sporting Goods coming to College Mall". Bloomington Herald-Times, April 20, 2004, Page A1.
  60. ^ "College Mall under major renovation". Indiana Daily Student, June 10, 2004.
  61. ^ "Dick's opening in Bloomington: College Mall to house expansive sporting goods store". Indiana Daily Student, April 6, 2005.
  62. ^ "Ayres merger could bring local changes: Federated likely to turn regional stores into Macy's next year". Bloomington Herald-Times, March 1, 2005.
  63. ^ "Federated to retire L.S. Ayres nameplate, several others". Bloomington Herald-Times, July 29, 2005.
  64. ^ "It's so long to Ayres and hello to Macy's: New products, new features coming to College Mall fixture by September". Bloomington Herald-Times, June 21, 2006. Alternative link via Bloomington Herald-Times.
  65. ^ "Macy's plans bash for opening: The first 500 customers will receive a $10 gift card". Bloomington Herald-Times, September 8, 2006.
  66. ^ "College Mall to add food court". Bloomington Herald-Times, March 27, 2007.
  67. ^ "College Mall to add food court area by spring 2008". Indiana Daily Student, April 2, 2007.
  68. ^ "Mall eateries move to food court". Bloomington Herald-Times, July 30, 2008.
  69. ^ "New College Mall food court will include stir fry, pizza restaurants". Bloomington Herald-Times, November 1, 2007.
  70. ^ "Huge chandelier to be centerpiece of mall food court". Bloomington Herald-Times, November 10, 2007.

External links

  • Simon Property Group
  • College Mall article on Bloomingpedia

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