MARKETPLACE MALL: CICERO (SYRACUSE), NY
Chuck Burke's Commentary:
Posted August 4, 2005 (user submitted)
I think there are some misconceptions in the article on Marketplace Mall, which I'd like to clear up.
Marketplace Mall was always intended as a discount alternative to the then-upscale Penn Can Mall. Most, if not all, of the original tenants were discount or outlet stores.
In the early days, the enclosed portion of Marketplace Mall was anchored by Service Merchandise and Silo, with additional, external-access only anchors of Price Chopper Supermarkets and Kiddie City, and external non-anchors Fashion Bug and Fays Drugs. Inside the mall, you had the obligatory food court (mall-owned kiosks, no big names) and arcade, the usual fountains, and an assortment of retail stores and service shops, such as beauty shops, barber shops, electronics repair and even the town's community center. The stand-alone store mentioned in the article started life as a clothing store (Levis, I think) and later went through a succession of auto parts companies. It is still there today.
For many years, that Price Chopper, which opened in 1980 was one of the newest in the Syracuse area, until they started a big push around 2000 to build new stores. It was remodeled in the late 80's, but only a slight expansion.
Service Merchandise closed when the chain died out in the mid-90's. We bought a lot of our kids' stuff (high chairs, car seats, playpens, etc) there, and I still miss that store.
Kiddie City was the first of the big stores to go - I'd say it was sometime between 1994 and 96 - I know it was after my son's fifth birthday, because I bought his first two-wheeler there. They did great business in that store until 1989, when Toys-R-Us finally came to central New York. No store ever moved into that location after Kiddie City closed, something that became a trend for all of the anchor stores in Marketplace Mall. There was, as mentioned in the article, a dog training group that used that space for their classes, and did so up until demolition began.
Silo was the next to go - we bought a computer there in 94, and I think the store (and the chain) was gone less than 2 years later. Unfortunately, the credit bill lingered on until 2001. That store was very commonly used as a pass-through from the mall to the strip of stores where Kiddie City was located, along with the Champions Fitness and Pet Express that are shown in the pictures.
The Fays store there actually did quite well. They moved out after the company was bought by Eckerds. Eckerds had a big push to have all of their stores as free-standing boxes, and they built a new store about a quarter mile away.
The other stores in Marketplace Mall were a mish-mash of clothing and homewares outlets. Syracuse Glove Factory ran a small but well-stocked outlet there for several years, where I could easily get a pair of lined, leather gloves for $10 or less. There were very few big-name stores, though.
In 2002, demolition began on the enclosed portion of the mall. All that was left standing was the Price Chopper store at one end, and the strip containing the former Kiddie City, Champions and Pet Express at the other. In it's place, a new strip center, with a new Price Chopper store and some small shops. The next phase saw Pet Express and Champion moved across the road into a former Hechinger store, with the small strop where they had been demolished to make way for Onondaga County's first Lowes Home Improvement store. Where the old Price Chopper stood, a free-standing center with Panera Bread, Mo's Southwestern Grill, and a couple of smaller shops now stands.
As of August 2005, Marketplace Mall is dead: long live the new Marketplace Center.
Pete Blackbird's Commentary:
How's this for poor demographical studies. The year is 1984, the
place is Cicero, NY, the corporation is Finard & Company. Right next
to the thriving (yes, at one time it WAS thriving) Penn-Can mall,
Finard builds a small enclosed mall. The only thing dividing the
property lines is a road. the Mall was anchored by a Price Chopper, which
isn't even accessable via the mall, A Silo, Service Merchandice, and nothing
Anyhow, this weak competitor to the then strong Penn-Can never saw
a very high percentage of occupancy. Apparently, later in the malls
life, management tried to re-invent it's image as an outlet center, and
luered in a TJ-Maxx, but that was short lived. Silo was gone almost as
quickly as it came, Service Merchandice was able to carry on until
Christmas of 1998, and Fay's never made it either. More recently,
Pillings infant furntiture store moved in, as well as a dog training
class, and a pet store, hearing aid store, and a Champion fitness.
All these spaces are accessible from the outside of the mall,
so the inside of the mall was sealed off. A stand alone Parts America
was constructed. But this is definently a dead mall. Not much to see,
but stop by if you're checking out the Penn-Can.
The Price Chopper operating is in it's 1984 time warp.
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Bing Bird's Eye View:
Penn-Can and Marketplace mall from a satellite in space