LAKEVIEW CENTER: MANITOWOC, WI
Posted March 28, 2008 (user submitted)
The Lakeview Center was built in the mid 1960's back before there was much development on the southwest side of Manitowoc. The mall is fairly small and had two anchor stores, Montgomery Ward on the North side with a restaurant inside and J.C. Penny's on the South side. Built adjacent to the mall was an auto service center. When economic times hit hard in the early 80's the mall fell on hard times and it never really recovered. I remember among other things in the mall was a Bank, a Radio Shack, a barber shop, and I believe an Osco drug was there also.
Montgomery Ward was the first to fold up shop in 1983 and things went down hill from there. A Hardees was built in 1986, but it was shut down in 1996. In 1988 a Piqueres moved into the old Wards store, but they never fully developed the store and only lasted about two years, only some of the lights inside were ever turned on and the store had the feeling of a really bad warehouse store. I remember their TV display played the movie E.T. on a continuous loop.
The real death blow to the mall was dealt in 1988 when the current mayor was elected. His vision was to move retail development to the SW side of the city near to where Interstate 43 ran. In August of 1990 the Wal-Mart opened in that region and peoples attentions were shifted to southwest side of town.
With no takers for the vacant stores in the mall, odd things appeared in the vacant stores. One store became an RC race track, two stores were combined to form a mini golf course. Others were boarded up. The last time I set foot in mall was 1993 and today only the J.C. Penny's remains there due to dirt cheap rent. The rest of the mall is boarded up and closed off.