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The Malling of Jacksonville

When complete, this mall will employ the newest concepts in suburban shopping facilities. It's going to be something very unique, architecturally.

Published October 15, 2008 in History      58 Comments    Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article


feature

The statement above is a combination of two quotes from the 1960's describing the opening of Normandy and Grande Boulevard Malls.  The enclosed shopping mall has been a fixture in the Jacksonville landscape since the early 1960s.  Today, Metro Jacksonville takes a look at the rise and fall of suburban regional shopping centers of Greater Jacksonville.

Definition of "Shopping mall" according to answers.com

1. An urban shopping area limited to pedestrians.
2. A shopping center with stores and businesses facing a system of enclosed walkways for pedestrians.

Under this definition, open-air strip shopping and lifestyle centers like St. Johns Town Center would not be considered as an enclosed shopping mall.


1960 - Philips Mall

Philips Mall opened in 1960 on the corner of Philips Highway and Emerson Street.  Initial anchors for the 42 acre mall included Montgomery Ward, Food Fair Stores and a movie cinema.  Soon, the vibrant suburban area around the mall and new interstate became known as "The Miracle Mile."  During the 1980s, the center was renovated, converted into an outlet mall and renamed Market Square Mall.

After this concept failed, Southpark Corporate Center LLC. converted the property into an open-air office complex called Metro Square.  Today, the 471,000 square foot complex lives on with companies like Wachovia, Baptist Health and ACT Advanced Career Training operating in spaces where Jacksonvillians once shopped.

 

1963 - Normandy Mall

Developed by Edward J. Debartolo, Westside's Normandy Mall was the second indoor shopping mall in Jacksonville.  It was said to "employ the newest concepts in suburban shopping facilities." 

The 416,000 square foot mall originally featured a Montgomery Ward and Woolco as the anchors, as well as a 1,000 seat movie theater and 60 specialty shops.  The 37 acre site served as the home of the Normandy Drive-In Theater before making way for the mall.

Normandy Mall's downfall would begin during the mid 1980's when Jefferson Ward (Montgomery) closed the mall location.  Sam's Club operated a store at Normandy for a few years, but the struggling center eventually closed for good in 1994. 

The Potter's House Christian Fellowship bought the abandoned mall for $4 million in 2002.  The church then converted the old Sam's Wholesale Club building into a 4,000-seat sanctuary, a 600-seat children's church, nursery, classrooms and offices.

Potter's House reopened a portion of the old mall in 2007.  The new Kingdom Plaza at Normandy Mall is anchored by a popular Soul Food restaurant and a bowling alley.

 

1967 - Gateway Shopping Center



Gateway Shopping Center opened on Norwood Avenue, as an open air strip shopping center in 1959. In 1967, the center expanded to include a 32-store, 300,000 square foot indoor mall, anchored by JCPenney and Montgomery Wards.

Gateway's days as a regional shopping mall would peak somewhere between 1976 and 1978.  The mall's anchors at this time included JCPenney, May Cohens, Service Merchandise and Jefferson Ward.  During the 1980s and early 1990s, Gateway would struggle with a rash of major closings because of changing market demographics.

In 1985, Jefferson Ward shut down and was replaced by Zayre (later Ames) a year later.  1988, Maison Blanche (formerly May Cohens shut down and Ames shuttered their store two years later.  The most devastating blow would come in 1992, with the closing of Service Merchandise and the relocation of Gateway's JCPenney to a strip center at the intersection of Dunn Avenue and Lem Turner Road.

In 1997, the largely vacant mall was purchased by Gateway Center Economic Development Partnership, with the goal to change the focus from a regional orientation to a neighborhood center.  Today, Gateway survives with a Publix as the feature anchor, along with several neighborhood focused specialty shops and services.

For more information: www.gatewaytownctr.com

 




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58 Comments

reednavy

October 15, 2008, 07:14:18 AM
I didn't realize OP Mall was that old!

Traveller

October 15, 2008, 07:56:04 AM
One website I occasionally visit is http://www.deadmalls.com/.  It provides a good list of malls that, for one reason or another, failed to continue as sucessful retail shopping centers.  Presently, there are no entries for Jacksonville, but perhaps some of the failed malls listed in this article should be included.

fsujax

October 15, 2008, 08:17:44 AM
You forgot to metion Parisian at the Avenues, it was added on two or three years after the mall opened. I worked there while in high school. By far it was Jacksonville's nicest department store, now its just another Belk, even thoguh they do sell very high end clothing. Their Lacoste section is bigger than the lacoste store at SJTC.

billy

October 15, 2008, 08:22:44 AM
Is that Regency in the first photo?

thelakelander

October 15, 2008, 08:30:55 AM
Yes, that's Regency in the 1960s.

billy

October 15, 2008, 08:52:41 AM
What was the record store just off the main entry?
It was a local store, I think, that was originally downtown.

I also remember the International Bazaar.

Jason

October 15, 2008, 09:19:14 AM
Quote
Belk, JCPenney and Regal Cinema are the anchors for this 187,000 square foot, 23 store mall.  In need of renovation and with increasing competition nearby, this center is now at the crossroads that Jacksonville's older malls faced 25 years ago.
www.poncedeleonmall.com


The Ponce Mall is undergoing a renovation but there are no talks on an expansion.  I just finished a design for new lighting throughout the mall interior.  Also in progress are new floors, ceiling system (to accomodate lighting), and some other patching and painting which should be completed by late March.  That mall structure has literally remained virtually unchanged since the day it was built.  Now it holds on with Belks and Pennys and a glob of mom and pops in the interior.


Also, the Prime Outlets expansion is due to be complete in the next month with a grand opening in November.

Ocklawaha

October 15, 2008, 10:02:51 AM
The ANCIENT ONE SPEAKS! Roosevelt Mall is not quite right. It NEVER was a strip center or even a town center sort of place. It was a mall from day one. What made Roosevelt stand out in 1961 from the rest of the pack, was it's cutting edge fusion of two concepts. This concept seems to have been pioneered locally by Cedar Hills Shopping Center, which also had a mall section, way back when. It was a partly a semi-roofed court yard with surrounding small shops and a center garden.

AT ROOSEVELT

1. All stores focused inward (except for a small run of attractive mini shops on each side of the front entry along Roosevelt Blvd). This was not unlike Regency or Normandy, Gateway etc.

2. Unlike the others, Roosevelt celebrated our beautiful climate and though it was 1960's MODERN ART in style, it took a page from the Spanish Plaza's and cut huge holes in the roof over the paseos.



The 300 store SAN DIEGO CENTER in Medellin, Colombia is very similar to the original Roosevelt concept.

So it never was an open air strip center, rather a fully enclosed but un-air-conditioned version of TOWN CENTER before there was a TOWN CENTER. No vehicles entered these spaces, but at the East End large duck pond with water falls and tropical gardens caught the noon time sunshine, with full grown palms reaching far above the mall itself.

The main or center piece was a fantastic modern art sculpture of brass pipe welded at every conceivable angle into a soaring tower as tall as a tree. This lives on, and is displayed today in front of JU. (Psst- the locals used to call it the "sewer pipes"). Water ran down and splashed onto a concave plaza with recycle pumps. This made it a favorite of kids in the area.

There were at least 4-6 other plant islands each with it's own exposure to mother nature from above. Each was a garden with features of it's own.

When the modernized it, it was ruined. They cut all the trees out and got rid of the ducks and geese. The sculpture didn't fit the plan either, but Air Conditioning would be the BE ALL - SAVE ALL. IMO it destroyed the mall. Certainly the uniqueness had flown out with the birds.

================================================================================
THE UGLY DUCK OF ROOSEVELT

There was a Roosevelt Mall legend about a ugly duck that was very adept at biting the Lady's coming out of Furchgotts, Lerner's or Ivey's. Seems a young boy who spent much time in the woods around Yukon, was shopping (dread) with his mother and 3 sisters. That stupid duck went after the youngest of the three older sisters.

So while the quartet of women were shopping, the kid went to the bicycle and hobby shop. On the way he spotted the offending bird. In a sneak attack that would have made YAMAMOTO proud, he grabbed the quacker from the neck and dragged him squawking and flailing out the door - kicking him into the parking lot.

Security was called and they came running, certain the kid was chewed beyond recognition. To their amazement the kid survived with only a mud bath and a few minor scratches. The stupid bird vanished and for many years the shop keepers told the legend of the crazy little kid that gunned down the fearless "Billy The Ugly Duck".


OCKLAWAHA

thelakelander

October 15, 2008, 11:41:10 AM
Quote
So it never was an open air strip center, rather a fully enclosed but un-air-conditioned version of TOWN CENTER before there was a TOWN CENTER.

By fully enclosed, the defination typically refers to air conditioned space.  For the article, I focused on fully enclosed malls with air-conditioned common space.  The 1960's Roosevelt article about the re-grand opening as an air conditioned space did mention it was open air for the first couple of years.  There was also an image of the before and after work, but I did not make a copy and scan of it.

Btw, here's a link to an image I found of the outside.  According to the caption, this was taken around 1967.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/40726390@N00/7292259/

Abhishek

October 15, 2008, 12:42:11 PM
This is why I like talking physics more than talking about urban planning. Words and definitions in physics can not be twisted to ones benefit and every living bloke is not allowed to just make up a term.

Calling the Town Center Mall a 'Lifestyle Center' is one of the silliest things that I have ever heard. The only lifestyle it promotes is that of cheap gas and sprawl. This is also the same lifestyle promoted by my neighborhood strip mall!

thelakelander

October 15, 2008, 01:02:44 PM
No doubt.  I certainly don't disagree with that notion, Abhishek. 

Quote
A lifestyle center (or lifestyle centre[1]) is a shopping center or mixed-used commercial development that combines the traditional retail functions of a shopping mall but with leisure amenities oriented towards upscale consumers.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lifestyle_center_(retail)

A power centre (or power center[1], also known as a retail park) is an unenclosed shopping centre with 250,000 square feet (23,000 m2) to 750,000 square feet (70,000 m2) of gross leasable area[2] that usually contains three or more big box retailers and various smaller retailers (usually located in strip malls) with a common parking area shared among the retailers. It is likely to have more money spent on features and architecture than a traditional big box shopping center.[3]

Power centres function similar to a traditional shopping mall, but more closely resemble open-air malls and lifestyle centres, rather than the modern enclosed shopping malls of today.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_centre

SJTC is really a hybrid because the Target/Ross area is really a "Power Center" (a strip center with a bunch of big box stores next to each other).  However the impact on the surrounding environment is essentially the same as any other retail center located in the middle of a sea of parking.

vicupstate

October 15, 2008, 06:10:53 PM
7 million visitors to the Landing in it's first year.  That is a huge number, yet spupposedly it has never made a profit.

DjDonnyD

October 15, 2008, 11:57:57 PM
Hello All!!!! :D

Does anyone have any pictures of Philips Mall? Inside or outside? I worked at the Gameroom (Arcade) at that mall in the early 1980's. The Arcade was right next to the Original Renna's Pizza. If anyone has any pics, Please contact me at DjDonnyD@aol.com .... THANKS Soooo Much!   

DjDonnyD

October 16, 2008, 12:15:19 AM
Oh.... Also, There was Train in the courtyard at Philips Mall near the Theater and near J.M. Fields. There was a restaurant right next to the train, But I don't remember what the name of it was. I do know for many year, That location, (restaurant) was used for the Original Hall of Terror. Any more info on Philips Mall would be great! Thanks Again! DjDonnyD ;D 

Charles Hunter

October 16, 2008, 06:09:04 AM
If I remember correctly, Philips Mall - like Roosevelt - started out as open or semi-open, and was fully enclosed later on.

Also, my recollection of Roosevelt Mall was that it did not have any doors (to the mall part) before it was fully enclosed and a/c added.  I remember getting real Cherry Cokes at the snack bar / soda fountain in the old F.W. Woolworth's.

Ocklawaha

October 16, 2008, 08:55:52 AM
There was a steam locomotive that came from one of the chemical companies in Jacksonville. It was a small switcher - if I recall an 0-6-0T or 0-4-0T type. (Steam engines classed by wheel type, in this case 0-6-0 meaning zero leading trucks - 6 drive wheels - zero trailing trucks {and a rare "T" meaning it carried it's own water and fuel in a saddle T or TANK across the boiler, "T" usually means it had it's own coal bin too, and thus no coal tender - but that is not always the case}) It was a handsome little engine. I understand that the mall tried VERY HARD to see it moved and preserved and last I knew the local National Railroad Historical Society had arranged to save it. I have no idea if this ever happened...Does anyone know?

As for Roosevelt, I believe you are right Charles. As I usually entered the Roosevelt Mall from the SW corner where the bicycle and hobby shop was. I do recall that the large shade area's and the design seemed to catch the air and keep a comfortable breeze blowing through. I don't EVER remember it being terrible hot as in TOWN CENTER, In fact Town Center could take a page from Roosevelt and give us those wide - expansive roofs leaving holes for the trees and gardens, insert electric transit and ban autos from the main roadway - making it a pedestrian mall (hey if it works THEN lets try it downtown!). I think your also right about the FW Woolworths, they had the best cherry colas at the fountain. Also an incredible BLT or black cow. The only other thing close was the Rexall Drugs at Timmaquana and Roosevelt. Rexall had a good view of the action on the nearby ACL mainline.

The last of the "GREAT" woolworths restaurants and fountains that I can remember was the one in Regency. It lasted well into the 1980's and had been done over so that it was quite modern - almost Dennys like. But the food and service was better. It was so well patronized, I was shocked that it not only closed but vanished.


OCKLAWAHA

thelakelander

October 16, 2008, 10:36:08 AM
An interior pedestrian mall would work at SJTC before it would in downtown.  Basically, because a portion of SJTC is laid out just like an enclosed mall, including the huge surface lots surrounding it and the anchors.  The difference is instead of having air conditioned space, its a narrow open air street, intended to give off a Main Street style feel.

On the other hand, closing off a downtown street for only pedestrian use, without having any true anchors to attract and keep heavy foot traffic would end in disaster.  This was tried all across the country in the 70s and most of those projects ended up killing the remaining retail in their city cores.  Outside of a select few (those that already had good population density and heavy foot traffic) most have been reopened to automobile traffic.

77danj7

October 16, 2008, 03:16:39 PM
I would think the Landing and opening up Laura Street would be a great place to do a South Street Seaport feel like in New York...



Knowbusiness

October 16, 2008, 03:45:59 PM
I worked at the Gateway Books stores in Philips Mall and Roosevelt Mall in the early 80s. I remember going to Philips Mall as a kid also. We saw Earthquake in surround sound at the theater. I loved Renna's Pizza and try to stop by and get in at one of their locations when I come to town.

DjDonny, do you remember Chris West or Ron, who was one of the owners of the arcade? I went to school with Chris. Bambi was the manager of the bookstore when I worked there. I also remember gallagher coming into the mall once when he was in town. He was staying at the hotel that was by the interstate in the mall parking lot.

Philips Mall is where the Body Shop clothing store got its start. I was on the mall merchant board with the owner of that store.

There used to be a fitness center across from the Gateway Books in Roosevelt Mall. It was an interesting place. That mall was not fully enclosed originally. the section where the Belks is/was was added when the mall was enclosed

I grew up near the Orange Park Mall and remember riding my skateboard down the hill next to the Sears service center before the mall opened. We used to steal coins from the fountain in the middle of the mall.

I also lived near recengy Square and remember the Big Star that used to be in an outparcel. I saw Jaws at the Regency Twin. I remember that the movie was there for like 6 months straight.

Normandy was the dregs, even in the 70s and 80s.

There were also a couple of mini malls in town. One was the Expressway Mall on Arlington Expressway, where one of the first, if not the first Publix was located in town. There were about 15-20 shops in the mall with a movie theater in the back. It has a Roses department store on one side. The University mall was on University Blvd, west of Philips Hwy. There was a Publix and the first Stein Mart. That mini mall had about 10 shops and no movie theater. One other mini-mall was in Orange Park. I believe it was called Kingsley Town Center and it had 10 shops with a movie theater in the back. there was a Winn Dixie and Townsend's Pharmacy, with a DQ in an outparcel. It was just west of Park Ave on Kingsley.



There was also an Outlets Ltd. Mall on Lane Ave, just off of I-10. I believe it is a Home Depot now with a few other stores.

DjDonnyD

October 17, 2008, 05:03:23 AM
hey Biz,
Gateway books was right across from the arcade. Ron Pritchard ,was the owner I Believe. I have tried to find him... But no luck. I'm am in the arcade biz now....30years later! I was like 14-15 when I worked there.
LOL, I remember gallagher coming into the mall Too! Funny, I forgot about that. He was getting produce at Food Fair for his show. The hotel behind the mall was a Holiday Inn. Me and my brother used to sneak into there pool. We live right behind the gate gas station across from Food Fair and Woolworths. After Woolworth closed, They held a few auction there and I bought my first Pinball machine. I rolled it across Emerson behind The gate gas stationand up to my house with my brother. I bought my first stereo and my first record at Montgomery Ward in the mall. Which All of these thing started my Biz and made me who I am Today!( See My Biz At www.Party-Animalz.com) I work for many years at the hall of terror. I was just in Jax in April. When I was in Jax I went to the Renna's in Baymeadows... As soon as I walked in the door... BAM ... The smell sent me back in time. How can the Pizza Smell the same after 25 years? Amazing!  I Now live in Connecticut. I'm moving back to Jax in 3years,11 months,14days And 19hours.... LOL Not that I'm Counting! I miss it soooo Much! Thanks For Sending me on a Flash-Back Trip! If you know anything about Ron please let me know. Was his last name Pritchard? Thanks Again, Your Mall Friend DjDonny@aol.com ;D 

Ocklawaha

October 20, 2008, 01:02:54 AM
Hey DJ we need you back man, us oldsters are dropping like hippies at an acid fest. Speaking of which when my nephew and I (about the same age) were really goof off hippies we went to a Food Fair closing. Think maybe we had the munchies or something? Anyway, they had like tons of ice cream of all flavors and were selling it for something crazy like 25 cents a carton. So we bought all that we thought the freezer could hold and carted it off in a VW bus. Packed our freezers and invited some female friends over for an evening of smoke and cuddles... Opened the ice cream and it looked like frosty the snow man had attacked. That junk had been thawed and re-frozen so many times it was a trip just looking at it. Of course we thought it was funny as hell and dumped the whole mess in a friendly neighborhood dumpster. Be funny if we all knew each other somehow.

OCKLAWAHA

Ocklawaha

October 20, 2008, 01:10:32 AM
Quote
77Danj7
I would think the Landing and opening up Laura Street would be a great place to do a South Street Seaport feel like in New York...

Sorry to say, when I was a kid we had a seaport all along the waterfront. From the Acosta to the Hart and on both sides of the river. We tore it all down and filled in the river with a zillion tons of sand and cement piles. Now these rocket scientists can't figure out why the Northbank Riverwalk washes out? DUH? It's called scouring. We blew our chances, we also had some cool old ships including Adolph Hitlers private launch. All gone. In the case of AH's boat - symbolic nonsense over came our possession of history so not only did we make a reef out of it. We blew it to pieces when it was sunk! Within the last 30 years no less.

OCKLAWAHA

Knowbusiness

October 20, 2008, 04:41:07 PM
Ron and I played softball together for a couple of years, in 1982-1983. You probably knew Bambi, who managed the bookstore and lived behind the Gate Station sort of. She lived on the first left after you went on that street.

I haven't lived there in 21 years now. I used to live on Clinton Avenue, around the corner from Allen Collins' (Lynyrd Skynyrd) mom.

My favorite thing at Renna's other than the pizza was the bread, 3 for $1 back then. You would have them drench it in butter and oil and just gorge yourself on it. They made the best hot subs around too.

deathstar

October 20, 2008, 07:24:53 PM
Roosevelt Mall might have its anchors, but the layout is HORRIBLE! If you're coming from Lakeshore BLVD. and take the entrance by Charles and George's Car Wash, headed towards Publix, your best bet is to make a left and find a parking spot that way. One car at a time can only turn at both ends of the Publix branch of buildings. The parking situation is something people have been griping about for a decade now. No angle parking, very few parking spots in just 1 row, and customers complain about having to park by Belk, Fuji Sushi, and Panera.

We're also out of room inside that store. If you go into the Publix on Argyle, you'll see it has the same exact design. You'd also think their store is Bigger!! Nope, that's not the case, they don't do the type of business WE do. The back room, and even the Frozen Food Freezer, is so small and tightly compact, that we're barely able to fit our backstock anywhere!

Although Roosevelt Mall brings in heavy business, its a big failure as far as parking, building designs, and location!

Charles Hunter

October 20, 2008, 08:30:31 PM

We're also out of room inside that store. If you go into the Publix on Argyle, you'll see it has the same exact design. You'd also think their store is Bigger!! Nope, that's not the case, they don't do the type of business WE do. The back room, and even the Frozen Food Freezer, is so small and tightly compact, that we're barely able to fit our backstock anywhere!

Which must explain why the customer aisles are always FULL of carts of stock, waiting to be put on the shelves or in the freezer cases.  Getting up and down the aisles is a real challange.

Ocklawaha

October 20, 2008, 08:35:33 PM
They just need a good transportation guy Charles. Wonder if I should apply?

Deathstar, I think if you go back and read over the thread - we're discussing the original enclosed or semi-enclosed malls in Jacksonville. Roosevelt has been wrecked and rebuilt into a whole new animal, not even close to the original mall or it's later enclosed version.

It's been all downhill from there...


OCKLAWAHA

thelakelander

October 20, 2008, 10:32:55 PM
Here's some more pics and plans of a couple of these malls....

Roosevelt Square - the original layout



Philips Mall - the original layout



Market Square Mall (Philips during the 1980s)



Grande Boulevard Mall (what it looks like today as FCCJ)


civil42806

October 21, 2008, 09:38:36 AM
Roosevelt Mall might have its anchors, but the layout is HORRIBLE! If you're coming from Lakeshore BLVD. and take the entrance by Charles and George's Car Wash, headed towards Publix, your best bet is to make a left and find a parking spot that way. One car at a time can only turn at both ends of the Publix branch of buildings. The parking situation is something people have been griping about for a decade now. No angle parking, very few parking spots in just 1 row, and customers complain about having to park by Belk, Fuji Sushi, and Panera.

We're also out of room inside that store. If you go into the Publix on Argyle, you'll see it has the same exact design. You'd also think their store is Bigger!! Nope, that's not the case, they don't do the type of business WE do. The back room, and even the Frozen Food Freezer, is so small and tightly compact, that we're barely able to fit our backstock anywhere!

Although Roosevelt Mall brings in heavy business, its a big failure as far as parking, building designs, and location!

Odd I didn't think the Roosevelt Square, hasn't been a mall in years, was in the business of parking or design.  They are selling a bunch of crap though, parking lot is usually full.

DjDonnyD

October 21, 2008, 03:34:28 PM
Hey Lake Lander!
Outstanding Stuff From Philips Mall! Where you and Ock. Find this stuff?! Everyone Keep the mall stuff coming!
It is amazing how much I forgot about the malls around Jax! Oh, And how much I Do really remember!How Long did Market Square last at the old Philips mall? Did it really make any money? How long did the mall sit empty? HEY KnowBiz? Is Ron's Last name Pritchard? I would love to track him down! Oh, Yes, I think I do remember Bambi! Yes, She lived on the street across from my front door. The street Was off of Copper Circle West. Thanks All! Keep Up the Great Work! I Can't Wait to get back to my Home In Jax! DjDonnyD@aol.com   

DjDonnyD

October 21, 2008, 03:38:44 PM
Hey Lake Lander,
I have A question about the floor plan for Philips Mall. Can you contact me at DjDonnyD@aol.com. I will make it worth your while! Please contact me! Thanks!

Also, anyone who has any Philips mall Info. Please Contact me! Thanks All!

thelakelander

October 22, 2008, 11:03:23 AM
There's a ton of stuff regarding these malls in the Special Collections department at the Main Public Library.  The next time I'm down there, I'll try to scan some more images to upload to this thread.

Knowbusiness

October 22, 2008, 11:19:18 AM
Market Square only lasted a couple of years. When it opened as Market Square, there was an Oshman's Sporting Goods in the old Woolworth's spot, and a clearance center for the Body Shop or something else like that in the old Food Fair/Pantry Pride space. I can't remember if Jefferson Ward's was there then or not. There was talk of building a high rise office building where the Garden Center for Ward's had been, but obviously, that didn't happen. Renna's moved down to an area where the JM Field's had been. It was intended to be a combination Food Court/amusement/arcade area, but it never took off. Most of the inline space was filled to the old JM Field's space, and there was a Sam's Club in the back corner parking lot, which later became a skating rink.

A Taco Bell and McDonald's opened in outparcels about the same time and it looked promising, but the overall area around the mall was still not good, so it didn't make it.

Bambi did live on the street across from your house. She was a wild one.

thelakelander

October 22, 2008, 11:25:44 AM
The Taco Bell and McDonald's are still operating in their same locations.

Knowbusiness

October 22, 2008, 11:42:26 AM
Metro Square Office park opened in November, 1999. The skating rink behind the mall in the old Sam's space was called Skate World and had an ice skating rink in it.

Oshman's closed in July, 1995. Below is part of an article regarding the mall's 2nd demise.

Oshman's Sporting Goods is closing Saturday, leaving other tenants of Jacksonville's Market Square Mall to wonder about the Southside center's future.

Once touted as the "Southeast's Biggest Shopping Center," the 35-year-old mall at Philips Highway and Emerson Street used to boast a movie theater, department stores, an arcade and grocery. Today, about 10 stores remain after the mall's bumpy ride through the 1990s.

In 1994, it sealed off its north corridor and closed an adjoining food court.

The decision to close came because the Jacksonville store was not performing

Knowbusiness

October 22, 2008, 12:04:43 PM
Publix and Roses anchored the Expressway Mall for years. Burlington Coat Factory moved into the Roses space when it closed in the mid 80s. The supermarket was one of the first two stores Publix opened in Jacksonville in March 1971.  But it closed in June 1995. One month later, Burlington Coat Factory moved to the former Kmart at Regency Plaza shopping center on Atlantic Boulevard.

The former mall now houses various churches.

thelakelander

October 22, 2008, 12:47:16 PM
Expressway Mall was torn down about two years ago.

deathstar

October 23, 2008, 06:47:43 AM
Sorry, I just saw the mention of Roosevelt and needed to vent about its poor design lol.

And Charles, we hear it all the time from customers griping about no space on the aisles. If there was any way for us to work overnight we absolutely would. But the business is so high volume, that bonus buys (buy one, get one's, 2/5.00's, etc..) get wiped off the shelf in a matter of minutes.

Knowbusiness

October 23, 2008, 08:28:13 AM
Interesting on the original Roosevelt Mall layout. Both Sections of 3c became store space, although a large part of 3c on the right was a fitness center in the early-mid 80s.

thelakelander

October 28, 2008, 11:33:32 PM
Some more images.....

Normandy Mall


Roosevelt Mall


jacksonvilleconfidential

October 29, 2008, 12:00:08 PM
This thread reminds me of a timeless quote from one of my favorite movies of all time, Clueless (1995)

Mel: I'd like to see you have a little direction.
Cher: I have direction!
Josh: Yeah, towards the mall.



As if!

Knowbusiness

November 04, 2008, 10:55:15 AM
Here is a link to a T-U article about the renovation of old Philips Mall into the office complex. It has a picture of the back of the old Montgomery wards, with part of the old sign still there.

http://www.jacksonville.com/tu-online/stories/031899/bus_1E1metro.html

YellowBluffRoad

October 10, 2009, 10:38:43 AM
Knowbusiness said "The University mall was on University Blvd, west of Philips Hwy. There was a Publix and the first Stein Mart. That mini mall had about 10 shops and no movie theater."

There was a Rose's anchoring that one early on also. Stein Mart eventually moved in to the old Rose's space.

Ocklawaha

October 10, 2009, 02:23:35 PM
Being an Ortega brat, downtown Yukon (Ginger snap cookies, if you bailed out the Sunday School window and walked down to the market with your tithe money!)  Wesonnnett, god WHAT a cool hardware store, even got a few rides to Brasil for there! Venetia Village, great fountain at the Rexall and the best darn Danish Wedding Cookies in the world. Ortega village home of the Euro import toy store. Cedar Hills Shopping Center, something for everyone in the family. All of this and ROOSEVELT MALL, took the prize in beauty indoors or outdoors, depending on which era one refers to. To this day, IMO it was far more artistic, tropical, artsy, then any other North Florida Mall. In fact it has me wanting to do some research, and maybe one of you or Lake can help... Who designed the Roosevelt Mall, before the AC and Roof over? I ask because one of my favorite shopping places on earth today is a similar, almost "twin" design, call "SAN DIEGO" in Medellin, Colombia. The only major difference is a couple of traditional Spanish plaza's, but even there the art work, water features and such are a carbon copy.

San Diego Mall, is showing it's age very gracefully, compaired to our own Landing, Gateway, Regency etc... Even though there are another dozen upscale versions, much larger, and much closer to "the money", we still enjoy a yearly trek to San Diego. The fortune of this part of Colombia, is that there are NO INSECTS, and year around 72 degrees. El Tesoro Mall, the largest (I think) is a giant "H" pattern, on a steep slope of the Andes. A turbulent creek tumbles and roars down through the Center of the "H" with a tropical jungle amusement park spread out along "trails". It is stunning. So is Oviedo Mall, with it's large under the floor parking. Something every business in town has. NOBODY builds large surface parking lots in Medellin.

BTW, the giant copper? brass? angled pipe tower sculpture, that once stood in the center of Roosevelt, is now displayed just North? of the Admin building at JU.


OCKLAWAHA

stjr

October 10, 2009, 04:09:11 PM
Knowbusiness said "The University mall was on University Blvd, west of Philips Hwy. There was a Publix and the first Stein Mart. That mini mall had about 10 shops and no movie theater."

There was a Rose's anchoring that one early on also. Stein Mart eventually moved in to the old Rose's space.

At the University strip, there was a Hallmark card shop to the left of the Publix's Danish Bakery (it had both a store and street facing entry) and an Eckerd Drugs next to Roses on the western end.  I am thinking there was another store after Roses and before Stein Mart but the name escapes me at the moment.  I believe there was also a Lord's Gift Shop in the corner of Roses and Publix.

stjr

October 10, 2009, 04:13:39 PM
Patti's Restaurant had a second location in the front of Roosevelt Mall for a long time.  See the bottom image on the postcard below:

DavidWilliams

October 10, 2009, 05:26:45 PM
^^^^Would that have been late 60's? How long was it there?

stjr

October 10, 2009, 05:59:00 PM
^^^^Would that have been late 60's? How long was it there?

Can't say for sure, but I would say a good guess would be mid 60's (maybe earlier) to early 70's or so from my memories.

jandar

October 12, 2009, 06:31:52 AM
definitely wasn't there in the late 70's when I grew up in that part of town.

roninvirginia

November 19, 2009, 02:44:29 PM
When the Roosevelt mall opened in 1961 there was a huge ad campaign. One of the draws to the Grand Opening was to be the exhibition of two pairs of matched Black Swans from somewhere in South America (if I remember correctly). Unfortunately one of the pairs escaped during the offload process on the waterfront in downtown Jax. These two birds merrily began swimming (escaping) down the St. Johns River. It seems these birds are/were paired for life.

I remember this because our family dog (a handsome black and red mutt of undetermined breeding) apparently took umbrage at their presence in the water near our neighborhood on Greenwood Ave. in Avondale. He jumped from the quay wall into the river and took off in pursuit of the trespassers. Much to our shock and dismay he quickly caught one and promptly killed it. It made the front page of the Times-Union the next day. We were so afraid we would lose our dog, but nothing was ever said. They had to destroy the other bird.  Thats my story and I am sticking to it.

KenFSU

July 10, 2011, 09:10:04 PM
Though I've been in Jacksonville since 2003, I have never been to the Orange Park Mall. I decided to check it out on Saturday morning. I was actually really impressed by what I saw. They've done a shockingly great job keeping that mall feeling modern and successful. Whereas the Avenues has become somewhat depressing to visit -- with it's empty storefronts, low-rent tshirt shops, and general "dying mall" vibe -- the OPM felt full of life. It was packed out with people, occupancy seemed shockingly high for a 2011 indoor mall, the tenets were of a good quality, and there were a million dining options (Five Guys and Camicakes!). The movie theater and surprisingly nice in-mall bookstore (Books a Million) definitely make it a nice destination for more than just shopping as well. If it wasn't so far, I'd definitely head out there more often.

Jaxson

July 10, 2011, 11:55:37 PM
I worked at the Gateway Books stores in Philips Mall and Roosevelt Mall in the early 80s. I remember going to Philips Mall as a kid also. We saw Earthquake in surround sound at the theater. I loved Renna's Pizza and try to stop by and get in at one of their locations when I come to town.

DjDonny, do you remember Chris West or Ron, who was one of the owners of the arcade? I went to school with Chris. Bambi was the manager of the bookstore when I worked there. I also remember gallagher coming into the mall once when he was in town. He was staying at the hotel that was by the interstate in the mall parking lot.

Philips Mall is where the Body Shop clothing store got its start. I was on the mall merchant board with the owner of that store.

There used to be a fitness center across from the Gateway Books in Roosevelt Mall. It was an interesting place. That mall was not fully enclosed originally. the section where the Belks is/was was added when the mall was enclosed

I grew up near the Orange Park Mall and remember riding my skateboard down the hill next to the Sears service center before the mall opened. We used to steal coins from the fountain in the middle of the mall.

I also lived near recengy Square and remember the Big Star that used to be in an outparcel. I saw Jaws at the Regency Twin. I remember that the movie was there for like 6 months straight.

Normandy was the dregs, even in the 70s and 80s.

There were also a couple of mini malls in town. One was the Expressway Mall on Arlington Expressway, where one of the first, if not the first Publix was located in town. There were about 15-20 shops in the mall with a movie theater in the back. It has a Roses department store on one side. The University mall was on University Blvd, west of Philips Hwy. There was a Publix and the first Stein Mart. That mini mall had about 10 shops and no movie theater. One other mini-mall was in Orange Park. I believe it was called Kingsley Town Center and it had 10 shops with a movie theater in the back. there was a Winn Dixie and Townsend's Pharmacy, with a DQ in an outparcel. It was just west of Park Ave on Kingsley.



There was also an Outlets Ltd. Mall on Lane Ave, just off of I-10. I believe it is a Home Depot now with a few other stores.

I don't think that there was a 'Town Center' on Kingsley back in the day, but I remember that there was a Pinch-a-Penny, a Spa Lady and a Dairy Queen there when I was growing up.  I am trying to think of the name of the shopping center, but it escapes me...

Paisleyparker330

October 06, 2011, 03:07:55 PM
I have a question...

Does anyone remember the caricature artist that was in Regency Mall back in the 1980's...probably last 80's? I'm trying to find away to get in touch with her....like a needle in a hackstack for sure:)

Thanks...

redgiant

March 04, 2012, 05:18:02 AM
I live in Seattle now, but I was born in '61 and grew up in Jax.

A couple notes I saw asked ...

We ate almost every week at the Patti's on Beach Blvd, awesome Italian food. And the American Fitness Center inthat strip mall next to Patti's was always crowded and was the epitome of 80s hair and spandex and leg warmers. It was silly and hilarious and fun to be young then.

The restaurant near the train engine at Phillip's Mall I think was a Lum's. Their hot dogs steamed in beer were pretty famously loved.

Expressway Mall also had a CJ's (Callico Jacks) in the parking lot on the west side out near the service road. It was a big oyster and chicken wing/beer spot for us youngsters.

Regency's original stand-alone building (kind of around where the Jax Navy credit union I think is there nowadays) was a single Regency Cinema, then they split its giant screen down the middle and made it the Regency Twin theatre, where my dad took me to see the release of Star Wars in '77. I remember to this day the little center garden they had outside the entrance between the two ticketing booths on either side, and the Time Capsule they had buried under the garden with a marble plaque etched with "To be opened in the year 2000". And I said to my dad, "Wow, that is a really long time from now".

Much later, they knocked down that stand-alone building and added the Regency 6 inside the mall's middle during a rennovation period. The food court was surrounding the theatres, but I guess later on when they built the bigger 24-theatre building they converted the existing Regency 6 space to food court or stores.

I can still smell Mr. Dunderbach's down by JC Penney's, what a great gernan deli smell it always had with all the food and counter sandwiches.

lovelylotus

September 29, 2013, 09:02:41 PM
Hi, I started a new blog called "Malltopia" it's hosted on Blogger.
I am working on a case study because I read this Malling of Jacksonville thread.
I am going to go to the Jacksonville Public Library and go through the microfilm reels to find the news articles where each of the dead and current malls announced their grand opening. I see that the years of their opening are listed on here,
but not the month. It would spare me alot of time if I knew what month each mall opened.
Unless someone knows where there's an archive of newspaper online.
thanks

thelakelander

September 29, 2013, 09:20:34 PM
Just go to the main public library's Special Collections Department on the 4th floor.  Ask whoever is behind the information desk for the vertical file on shopping centers and malls.  You'll find newspaper clippings about the openings of all the local malls in the same folder.

deathstar

October 26, 2013, 06:56:06 AM
How much, if any, of the original Roosevelt Mall (before and after the enclosure) still remains? Is the Belk building the only building still standing from that?

thelakelander

October 26, 2013, 08:03:15 AM
The retail buildings closest to Roosevelt where the Starbucks and West Marine are located were a part of the original mall. The break between them was the mall's central promenade.  The north section of Belk was also a part of the old mall.

deathstar

October 27, 2013, 03:54:54 AM
Thanks, Lake. Had always wondered.
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