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Mounds Mall in Anderson to close April 1 after 53 years

Staff Reports - ANDERSON, Ind. (WISH) -- An Anderson mall first opened more than 53 years ago announced Thursday it will close April 1.

Recent announcements of the closing of Carson's department store and the Garfield's restaurant at Mounds Mall left the enclosed shopping center without a major tenant. The Mounds 10 Theatre and a longtime tenant, Dr. Tavel Family Eye Care, will remain open, the mall announced on its Facebook page.

The Mall Hall of Fame blog says Melvin Simon & Associates in Indianapolis developed Mounds Mall as its second mall-type, enclosed shopping center on 32 acres that was a former landfill. The initial stores included two department stores, a two-level Montgomery Ward and a single-level H.P. Wasson. Those stores opened Nov. 12, 1964. A Kroger supermarket opened in March 1965, followed by 23 other stores opening on May 2, 1965. Other initial tenants included Roselyn's Bakery, Zales Jewelers, SuperRx Drugs, MCL Cafeteria and F.W. Woolworth 5 & 10.

A two-level J.C. Penney opened Jan. 2, 1969.

Montgomery Ward closed in 1983 and was replaced by Sears. Sears closed in August 2012.

H.P. Wasson went dark in January 1981 and re-opened as Meis in August the same year. The store became Elder-Beerman in 1989 and was rebranded into Carson's in August 2011.

J.C. Penney was shuttered April 28, 2001, with its building being demolished. That space later became the Kerasotes Mounds Mall 10 movie theater, which opened in April 2004.

The primary feature of the initial mall was a large multilevel center court that provided a venue for fashion shows, concerts and other public events, the blog said. That court was removed in 2003 and turned into a food court after Simon Property Group sold the mall. The current owners, Virgil E. Cook II and his sister, Natalie Campbell, took over the mall in 2009, the blog said.

Braun Roosa, manager of the mall, did not immediately return a call seeking comment. An email message to the mall also was not immediately returned.

The mall issued this statement on its Facebook page:

Any decision that directly impacts the lives of our employees and the employees of our tenants are always the toughest to make. Unfortunately, the mall has not been profitable for several years. With the loss of Carson's the mall owners simply cannot continue to subsidize the operation of the 300,000 square foot enclosed mall going forward. As many of you know, unfortunately, this is not something that is unique to our mall as retail centers around the country are struggling. As with other malls around the country, we will be looking to repurpose the mall in the future.

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