SUMMIT PARK MALL / SUMMIT PARK CENTER: WHEATFIELD (NIAGARA FALLS), NY
(Above is a logo that was tested and not implemented)
Don McHoull's Commentary:
Posted June 30, 2009 (user submitted)
Debra Perry's Commentary:
Posted April 3, 2005 (user submitted February 20, 2005)
In March 2003, ToyWorld Cafe' opened in the Summit Park Mall, due to the fact that there was an overwhelming amount of talk and media publicity that the Summit would be the hottest spot due to a new Toronto buyer of the present Summit Park Mall. The mall was to be converted to a Christmas Wonderland Mall. There were blue prints, and major changes planned to convert this dead mall to a "Hot Spot". ToyWorld Cafe' with many collectible toys, including some toys from Ruldolph "Misfit Toys" was told that they would definitely fit in well with this new conversion. Two years later, nothing has happened, instead the present mall owner is trying to fill the mall with retail/business. Who knows what will really become of this mall? Summit Park Mall has added yet another owner, ToyWorld Cafe' to its list of heart broken owners deep in debt. with promises for a changed "New Mall".
This was old news, a lot has happen since then. I just want you to
know the mall owner has decided to keep the mall since my commentary
which was written last year. Jim Anthony is his name, and he is
really a wonderful man who is trying to do everything he possibly can
to bring the Summit back to life, with help of the new leasing agent, Dominic.
Jim is helping a lot of the tenants so they can stay, including myself.
Dominic has been on a roll trying to fill all the vacant stores. It
has been tough, but I only see a rainbow ahead.
Steve Thompson's Commentary:
Posted April 3, 2005 (user submitted February 16, 2005)
I'm with a roofing company "Blue Ox Roofing" and we have been there
the past 5 months putting a whole new roof on, starting at Bon ton
and working towards Sears. Just thought I'd infom you guys on the this.
Jim Anthony's Commentary:
Posted April 3, 2005 (user submitted December 30, 2004)
The previous post by Erica is 100% accurate, but today there is news worth
reporting. I am the general partner who is leading a redevelopment process
for Summit Park Mall that will change the mall and the community for the
are now underway to refill the property with predominantly local tenants.
There is no market for another fashion mall, but our plan
is to create the premiere "micro-retailing" property in the region.
We are underway with a redevelopment of Summit Park Mall that is already
getting a lot of positive local and regional attention. We have leased
over 100,000 sq ft in 6 months since we took over leasing, and LOTS more is in process. We will have the premiere educational, entrepreneurial development, and retail (mixed-use) community and tourist destination in the region.
Stay tuned for more info as 2005 unfolds, because we will have
a true regional draw that will create hundreds of jobs as well as a lot of excitement.
Jennifer Mundy's Commentary:
Posted April 3, 2005 (user submitted August 18, 2004)
In response to the Summit Mall I would like to agree but also disagree. I am the Mgr for the Deb Shop there. Ten years ago when we first opened the mall was thriving to the point of us waiting to completely open beth our Deb and TopsNBottoms. Over the years I transfered to Mckinley mall and then back again with the vision that our store really could be successfull. Boy was I right. Last year we expanded again this time taking up 1600 sq feet more and adding a plus size dpt. Making us one of only 7 triple combos in our company. Our figures continue to grow making us a contender for many larger malls. While yes there are a lot of vacancy's there are some success stories also. In addition to mine a few months ago The Krows Nest opened (play land-phaserball-Bear house etc), this month Omega sports opened a kiosc and Sept 15 a furniture store is set to open. Yes there have been a lot of broken promises. There is another person doing some creative leasing really hitting the
pavementout there (Dominic is his name) hopefully he can really do some good. I do know that I have not seen this much traffic into the vacant stores in a long time. There seems to be a lot in interest and hopefully he can make a difference.
John Grdovich's Commentary:
Posted April 3, 2005 (user submitted August 3, 2004)
The Summit Park Mall is just a stone's throw away from the infamous Love Canal neighbourhood. As everyone old enough may recall, the neighbourhood was evacuated in '78 and '79. Over 800 families were moved from the area, and the Summit Park Mall, built to service the area, suffered. The Summit Park Mall is probably built on top of a toxic dump, like the Love Canal neighbourhood was. I used to go to the Summit Park with my parents during the late 80s when all the Canadians used to go 'over the river' to shop, thinking that they got a good deal. I remember I liked the mall, but that it had a empty, sad feeling to it.
Richard Sterben's Commentary:
Posted April 3, 2005 (user submitted October 4, 2003)
Erica has not interviewed the new owners to be on the Redevelopment of Summit Park Mall. The acquisition closing should be November 2003.
The due dilligence tour of the Mall, prior to siging contracts of acquisition was January- February, and there were 80 vacant stores out of 90. This all happened between the years of 1997 & 2001.Forest City Enterprises, org owner of the Mall walked away from the Mall 1998. The insurance company that held the mortgage took it over and hired outside off site managers to run it or sell it. July 10, 2000, a new owner came in, but tryed only to sell off major stores in the Mall. Unsuccessfully, he left and the finance company that held the new mortgage, took it over August 2002. This owner was located in North Carolina and wanted to sell it for his mortgage, pay the back taxes and get out of "Dodge" or Wheatfield as it's known. The new buying group came in and the story is above. More to report, after closing, and the rehab begins.
Basically, the "Dead Mall" has been taken to another level of redevelopment.The larger picture of marketing is, 14mil-18mil annual tourist visits come to the American & Canadian Sides of the Falls. The Mall is 8 minutes to the Downtown City of Niagara Falls, via the Lasalle Expressway. The Market Focus is, Build an Tourist Attraction & Entertainment Complex and with the proper Advertising & Marketing Programs, they will come. The initial Marketing Spark for Niagara Falls, NY is the Seneca Nation Casino opening Janurary 1, 2003. The State of New York has commited Financial backing for future development in the City. It took 40 years of non-anything to put the City in it's present condition. We believe it will take 5 years to have substantial development occuring, that will make the Niagara Region making the headlines of Development- Niagara USA.
Erica Hayes's Commentary:
Posted August 20, 2003 (user submitted)
If I recall correctly, the Summit Park Mall opened in 1972. Its one anchor was Sears, the other must have been AM&As, and right in the middle was the mother of all local department stores, Jenss. It's not actually in Niagara Falls, it's in Wheatfield. Back in the day, it was a popular spot. While not a childhood mainstay like the Rainbow Centre, I did frequent Summit Park as a child. My grandparents lived nearby, and my mom, a teacher, stuck me in a play she held there when I was 4. I was a flower.
Some things I recall about Summit Park in the mid 80's was that it had a Jean Nicole and a Hickory Farms (I only know that because they're in a picture I have), a McCrory's and a York Steakhouse. It had a stage at one end (later replaced by a carousel, later replaced by tables), and a fountain/pond in the middle, in front of the food court. Apparently it had a Williams Bros. Department store in the beginning, but they were long gone by the time I was around. In the late 80's my cousin opened a restaurant at one end of the mall, called Doyle's. There was a 6-screen cinema across the street (now closed), and a Toys R Us that was never accessible from the mall itself (go figure).
Summit Park's demise was either so fast that I didn't notice, or so slow that I didn't care. I think it's a little of both. It stayed stagnant for a while, after losing a ton of stores. My dad and I walked from one end to the other one day and counted open vs. closed stores. It was about half-and-half back then. I had no reason to go there for a long time, since there are much bigger and better malls in my area now, but from the last time I was there to the most recent time, the following chain stores closed: Radio Shack, Claire's, Kay-Bee, Victoria's Secret, Rite-Aid, Payless Shoe Source, and Waldenbooks.
In many cases, a mall will go under because its anchors close. The exact opposite is true here. While Jenss has been gone for a long time now, Sears sunk millions into a renovation back in the mid 90's, and Bon-Ton (formerly AM&As) did the same. So in this case, the mall has a stubborn anchor on either end, and nothing in the middle. The only stores left that aren't of the 'local merchant trying to make a buck for a couple months' variety are Lerner, Bath & Body Works, Hallmark, Laux Sporting Goods and Deb. They just added a Subway to the food court, though it's anybody's guess as to why.
As usual, developers are promising things left and right, and still the mall sits year after year, another store closing all the time. Wheatfield wasn't the best place to put a mall anyway.
Exclusive deadmalls.com photos coming soon!
1) The main sign - unchanged since 1972!
2) Jenss - the anchor for more than one local mall. They were in business for over 100 years, and closed all their stores within the last 5.
3) The tiled building used to be a Rite-Aid.
4) Shuttered storefronts and a local group advertising themselves.
5) More shuttered storefronts.
6) The food court, known as 'Picnic Place'. To the far right in the distance, where the kiddie rides are, there used to be more restaurants. And where the tables are, there was a giant fountain/pond with a bridge over it.
7) The awnings represent former restaurants, which are now long gone and walled over.
8) Claire's - a recent victim.
9) More storefronts. To the far right you'll see Victoria's Secret.
10) The mothership - Jenss. It kept the mall thriving for years.
11) Yet more storefronts.
12) Kay-Bee Toys, which closed not long ago.
13) More storefronts, and the decaying floor.
14) Kay Jewelers, and a kiosk.
15) The sitting area, which was once home to a carousel and before that, a stage.
16) The sitting area from further back - note the Bon-Ton in the left back corner.
17) The saddest sight of all - my cousin's restaurant, Doyle's.
www.summitniagara.com - The current official Mall Web site.
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