Spence Lean's Commentary

Posted April 29, 2006 (user submitted)

Golden Ring Mall opened in 1974 by Simon properties in Rosedale, MD a suburb just east of Baltimore. It had a Hechts, Caldor, and Montgomery Ward as anchors. It was supposed to be a slightly below a Mid Market mall, not a discount mall by any means but not quite a mid market mall. Right off the bat shoppers complained that stores higher end merchandise that their sister stores did. The mall had easy acess to I-695, Route 40, and Route 7. In 1981 two new malls opened in Baltimore County, Hunt Valley Mall which was a failure almost from the begining (read more about this mall on this site) and White Marsh Mall.

White Marsh Mall is much larger,upscale and is much closer to intense residential and commercial devlopment it is also much closer to Golden Ring Mall. The two malls existed nicely because although White Marsh was close, there wasn't much in the way of roads linking them together. When Route 43 (White Marsh Boulevard)was extended to I-695 providing a link from White Marsh Mall to Rosedale and surrounding areas in the early 1990s trouble for Golden Ring Mall was in its future. Mall traffic dropped off dramatically and vacancies rose. A Diiscovery Zone did open at the mall but I don't believe it had acess to the mall. Discovery Zone was a small chain of indoor amusement parks. Dispite from what appeared to be booming business at the locations I went to including the one at Golden Ring the chain went belly up. It was around this time that Hutzlers left White Marsh Mall and Hechts replaced it. The Hechts at White Marsh was nicer and newer than the one at Golden Ring and did carry the high end merchandise that the one at Golden Ring lacked. Hechts pulled out of Golden Ring a short time later. It was around this time that demographics in rosedale changed brining crime and poverty to the area. The other two anchors Caldor and Montgomery Wards went bankrupt leaving the mall anchorless. Simon properties gave the boot to the few remaining small tenants and shuttered the mall around 2000. The mall sat vacant and decaying for a couple of years. In 2002 Petrie Ventures inc. bought the mall from Simon Properties minus the vacant Montgomery Wards who owns their building. Petrie Ventures razed the mall and built a big box center dubbed "The Centre at Golden Ring" in its place which opened in 2003. The new center has a Wal-Mart, Home Depot, and a third whose name escapes me. The vacant Montgomery Ward remains and Petrie Ventures inc. is trying to aquire it so they can expand and have the whole former mall property. It's sad that yet another mall has died and was replaced with Big Boxes. With better mall alternatives Golden Ring just couldn't or wouldn't compete.

Links - Picture of the mall on the day after Thanksgiving; 1993
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