Eric Mackey's Commentary:

Posted December 2, 2006 (user submitted)

Livonia Mall is an enclosed shopping mall located in Livonia, Michigan. The center is located at the corner of 7 Mile Road and Middlebelt Road. The Mall fell victim to the overmalling of the Western Detroit Suburbs, which were bigger, newer and consistantly remodeled to stay current with the times. Livonia Mall faced competition From Wonderland Mall (Which was also located in Livonia, but closed in the late 90's), Westland Mall in Westland (built in 1967), and the high-end Laurel Park Place Mall also in Livonia (1989). All of these malls are within 7 miles of Livonia mall.

The mall opened in 1962 with Sears and Kresge as anchors. A southern wing with Crowley's was added in the 1970s, and a northern wing with Mervyn's came in 1981. The mall also featured many retailers that were new to the Detroit area over the years such as a Jonathan B. Pub and a Pet store. Livonia Mall prided itself on having the largest Mall-based Sears in the state of Michigan. The Kresge Space closed in the late 80's and remained vacant for years, until the late 1990's when The futureball paintball (yes, I said paintball) began leasing the space. Crowley's converted their store to Value City in the 1990's and Most recently in 2006 Mervyn's closed all their Michigan locations, leaving that space vacant.

Livonia Mall has also not been remodeled since it first opened, and sections of it looked very dated. Many storefronts are vacant, and most of the remaining tenants are mom-and-pop stores. Last time I was at the mall, it was virtually empty the entire day. Its simply could not compete with Westland Mall which also features a large Sears, and The high-end Laurel Park Place which features a Von Maur (Formerly Jacobsons) and a brookstone. Since the mall has fallen on hard times, plans were made to convert the center to a strip mall in 2006. These plans have stalled, however, as the mall could not strike a deal with the Sears anchor.

Andy S Rodriguez's Commentary:

Posted December 5, 2006 (user submitted September 15, 2006)

Livonia Mall opened in 1964 at Middlebelt and 7 Mile Rd in Livonia. I remember when I was little, my mom and I would go to Livonia and Wonderland Malls during Christmas season if we didn't find what we wanted at the Westland Mall. At the time, the mall was busy and full of occupants.

Just recently after reading the editorials on the Summit and Wonderland Malls, I wanted to do an editorial on Livonia Mall. According to my friend Tommy, who lives in Livonia, told me Livonia wasn't doing too great either. So two weeks ago, I went and I was shocked.

I entered at the entrance next to Sears. As soon as I walked in, I noticed the whole right side of the hallway didn't have any stores except for the JoAnn Fabrics. The only store opened in the hallway was the pet store in the corner. I remembered going to the pet store as a lad and I was glad it was still around.

I continued on and right away I noticed too more things:

  1. The mall wasn't busy at all. At Westland Mall, the whole place is crowed.
  2. The lighting was very poor.
I continued walking and noticed a lot of stores vacant and shuttered. I turned down the main hallway and most of the kiosks were closed as well. The place was so empty that I yelled randomly down the hall way and I could hear my echo.

One thing they did have that Westland doesn't have is... water fountains! I threw in a penny and wished for the mall's survival.

Other than Value City, Sears, the pet store and JoAnn Fabrics, the only places that were open were the Cinema, GNC, Foot Locker, FYE, Gamestop (formerly Babbages), a very small arcade, and a few other small chain clothing stores.

And a food court? I cannot even remember if there was one. I couldn't imagine where there would be one since it's shaped like a T. I know there use to be places like a Baker's Square, a pizza place and a cafe. Now, there is only a small hot dog place and a Coney Island.

There were still signs up of places like Claire's and Radio Shack. It's a shame the paintball place closed. And the now-closed Mervyn's is an eye sore.

Tommy said that in a Livonian paper, the mall would close soon. However, when we interviewed a kiosk and Footlocker worker (they were just talking, not being busy of course), the kiosk lady said she just renewed a lease for a year and a lease cannot be broken. Thus, we know the Livonia Mall will be around at least until August 2007. After that is unknown.

Sears and Value City were really busy so I doubt the whole mall will get demolished. However, I think the indoor part may go. I think that if more worthwhile stores were put in, then more people would come. But without shoppers, business owners won't want to go there. It seems to be an unfortunate cycle.

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