FJP's Commentary:

Posted May 27, 2009 (user submitted)

This mall has been doing much better.

The Steve & Barry's location survived the original wave of closings in the S&B bankruptcy but of course is now gone. Other closings have occurred since. A local paper reported (Jan 2009) that 25% of the stores are vacant. Burlington Coat Factory, Target, Bass Pro, AC Moore and Dillards are hanging on and doing alright. The smaller stores were filling up as a result.

The public library is building a new branch on an outparcel and when that branch opens, the branch at Oglethorpe Mall will close. That should help bring traffic farther south. There is still the overall question whether Abercorn Street can support two malls relatively close to each other. In the last 5 years most of the residential growth has been to the west of the city rather than the south, and Savannah Mall is not well positioned for that.

Adam Caracci's Commentary:

Posted May 11, 2005 (user submitted)

Savannah Mall opened in June 1990. However it was close to another mall.

The mall was built, for some reason 4 miles, away from Savannah's older and at the time recently renovated/expanded and larger mall, Oglethorpe Mall. Oglethorpe Mall was 1 level, built in 1969, and 1,000,000 square feet. It housed a Belk, JC Penney, Sears, and Maas Brothers (now Macy's). They both sat on Abercorn Expressway.

Savannah Mall was announced in 1988 and would be 850,000 square feet and would be anchored by another Belk, Parisian, J.B. White, and supposably a Jordan Marsh. Jordan Marsh left Oglethorpe Mall and the Maas Brothers filled its space. Jordan Marsh was consildated with Maas Brothers however and it was never built. The vacant pad which was supposed to be Jordan Marsh was announced to be a Montgomery Ward, which opened in 1991.

The mall opened in 1990 and was remarkable. It was two levels for one thing, nothing the Savannah Market had ever experienced. There were 110 in-line tenants like the usual: Gap, Radio Shack, Casual Corner, Zales, Limited, and many more. However those stores were not new to Savannah, the real stores that were new to the market were Abercrombie and Fitch, Ann Taylor, Disney Store, Benetton, Paul Harris, 5-7-9, Maurices, and others.

The mall actually did well until about 1996 when the stores like Ann Taylor and Benetton, which were at the time too sophisticated for the market,left. Besides those stores, maybe 5-10 stores had left. Still too many. By 1998 Montgomery Ward had chose. out of bankruptsy, to close the Savannah store. The 110,000 square foot store remained vacant. Also in 1998 Mercantile Properties was bought out by Dillards. The J.B. White became Dillards almost overnight. By 2001 more stores left like Maurices, 5-7-9 (which actually moved to Oglethorpe Mall), Country Seat, and Paul Harris.

In late 2002 Belk (which lasted almost to long) and Parisian announced there departure. The only anchor, temporarily, was Dillards. The mall had been newly purchased by Jones, Lang, and Lasalle. They had a plan to revive the mall. The 102,000 square foot ex-parisian became a Bass Pro Shop and the Belk remained emtpy unil October 2003. In August 2003 the Bass Pro opened which actually attracted shoppers. By October 2003 Target had purchased the Belk and demolished the 165,000 square foot building. A new 213,000 square foot building was built in 10 months. Target was on the second level and visible from Abercorn Expressway and took up 123,000 square feet. The 1st level store has not been announced yet but is 90,000 square feet. It probably will be a Kohl's or Burlington Coat Factory.

In October 2004 the mall and Savannah aquired its first Target. Then in December 2004 the six year vacancy of Montgomery Ward was ended with the opening of a Steve and Barry's University Sportswear. Savannah Mall has continued to lose in-line tenants, like: Aberombie and Fitch (which is rumored to be opening in a new upscale shopping center), The Disney Store, KB Toys (which was short-lived, it lasted only of the christmas season 2004), Paul Harris, and several others. All of those store I just listed left within the last 18 months.

Savannah Mall really has not died per say but its not what it used to be. Several decent stores still exist in-line like, Gap/Gap Kids, Ritz Camera, Black Market Minerals, Texas Roadhouse, and RadioShack. The mall seams to have found its niche whith junior apparel (despite losing Abercrombie and Fitch during the Christmas season 2004) and entertainment businesses (A Chuck -e- Cheese type kiddie playland opened in Febuary 2003.) There has yet to be a interior renovation. The mall is suppose to be reborn but if it is, its happening slowly.

Joe Carter's Commentary:

Posted September 22, 2005 (user submitted)

I have been a shopper at the mall for quiet some time and have lately seem much work at reviving the mall. Yes it did suffer a severe decline, but much is and has been done to attempt to revive it.

The new Texas Roadhouse attracts a huge crowd, Target has done much to draw more people to the mall along with Bass Pro and in the spring of 2006 a new Burlington Coat Factory will open below Target. A week spot might be the Steve and Barry's. Dilliards has made major renovations and seems to be doing much better on the business front.

A new national craft store, similar to Michaels, is suppose to open on the 2nd floor covering a large area at the Target end of the mall. Pac Sun has opened a store, Charley's is opening in the food court, Marks and Morgans has opened a new store and the list goes on.

I do not believe the death nail has rung for the mall yet and I believe that much is being done and will be done to work on the revival.

Rumors still persist also that Kohl's will open at the mall and one vacant space remains, the floor below Steve and Barry's. I fully believe that this space in time will be filled meaning that the mall will have anchor stores of Dillard's, Bass Pro, Target, Burlington Coat Factory, Steve and Barry's and a new retailer. Most of the vacant spaces will be filled except for the old Abercrombie, which was a major draw and a major loss for the mall, but work continues at revival.

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