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Edison Mall is an enclosed, super-regional shopping mall in Fort Myers, Florida. The mall opened in 1965, and has been expanded three times since. Edison Mall is owned by Washington Prime Group, which took over the mall along with Boynton Beach Mall, Seminole Towne Center, Orange Park Mall, Paddock Mall, and Melbourne Square after its spinoff from Simon Property Group in 2014. The mall's anchors are Dillard's, JCPenney, two Macy's stores, and Sears and also includes 133 stores and a lifestyle center section. The mall itself is situated on just one floor, but all of the anchor stores except for Sears have two floors.

Edison Mall
LocationFort Myers, Florida, United States
Coordinates26°36′07″N 81°52′08″W / 26.601881°N 81.868972°W / 26.601881; -81.868972Coordinates: 26°36′07″N 81°52′08″W / 26.601881°N 81.868972°W / 26.601881; -81.868972
Address4125 S Cleveland Avenue
Opening date1965
DeveloperGeorge Sanders
ManagementWashington Prime Group
OwnerWashington Prime Group
No. of stores and services133
No. of anchor tenants5
Total retail floor area1,051,000 sq ft (97,600 m2)[1]
No. of floors1 (2 in anchors except Sears)

HistoryEdit

George Sanders developed the Edison Mall, which opened in 1965 on U.S. Route 41 at Colonial Boulevard on the south side of Fort Myers. At the time, US 41 was only two lanes wide, and the only other businesses near the mall were a Publix supermarket and a drive-in theater,[2] (which later became the site of a Kmart store, and is now a Floor & Decor). The mall's opening led to more commercial development south of downtown Fort Myers.[3]

Upon its opening, the Edison Mall featured rival chains JCPenney and Sears as its anchor stores, making it the first mall in the United States to include both stores in the same mall.[4] Both JCPenney and Sears stores were relocated from previous stores in downtown Fort Myers. JCPenney's previous store downtown was located in the Langford Building, and Sears' downtown store was located across the street in the Heitman Building.[5] The Edison Mall also notably included a Woolworth's five-and-dime store.[6]

The Tampa-based department store Maas Brothers also opened in 1965 as a third anchor in the center of the mall. This would be Maas Brothers' first store to anchor a shopping mall as they previously only operated freestanding stores in downtown areas. Maas Brothers would later go on to open more locations in malls on Florida's Gulf Coast starting with WestShore Plaza and Tyrone Square Mall.[7] As with their previous stores, Maas Brothers operated a restaurant within the store on the second floor.[8]

George Sanders sold the mall to Aster Realty in 1979, and the mall received a major expansion the same year, thus resulting in a new wing with a second mall entrance to Maas Brothers.[9] The new wing also included the addition of a fourth anchor, Miami-based Burdines.[10] JCPenney was also expanded in 1979 with the addition of a second floor.[11]

Another expansion in 1985 added J. W. Robinson's of Florida, who sold its locations to Maison Blanche in 1987, which in turn then sold its store and six others on the Gulf Coast of Florida to Dillard's four years later.[12] Also in 1991, Maas Brothers was acquired by Burdines, with the former Maas building which was heavily renovated becoming a women's store while the men's, kids, and home departments were retained in the original location.[13] Dillard's was expanded and renovated in 1999 and along with the rest of the Burdines chain, the two locations at Edison Mall were renamed Burdine's-Macy's in 2003, dropping the Burdine's name two years later.[14].

Also in 2005, Simon announced a further renovation of the mall, which added an outdoor lifestyle center wing and renovated the interior.[15]

In 2015, Sears Holdings spun off 235 of its properties, including the Sears at Edison Mall, into Seritage Growth Properties.[16]

In late 2017, a new wing was opened within the mall connecting two existing corridors. The new wing was part of a $4 million renovation and was designed to shorten the distance between the two ends of the mall.[17]

The Edison Mall has been known to the locals, however, to be a hotbed of criminal activity, from drive-by murders to multiple counts of assaults and armed robberies. The mall is also known to be an active place for illicit drug and weapon trades and sales, both in and around the mall. This is partially due to the nearby neighboring communities that surround the mall, which also experience these various crimes.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Leasing information for Edison Mall". Simon Property Group. Retrieved 12 January 2011.
  2. ^ Board, p. 121
  3. ^ Coward, Sarah. "Who owns downtown Fort Myers? Fewer players than you think". Retrieved 1 March 2017.
  4. ^ "Influential local: George Sanders". News-Press. 2 October 2009. Archived from the original on 4 September 2012. Retrieved 12 January 2011.
  5. ^ "Fort Myers River District: Self-Guided Tours" (PDF). Film Fort Myers. Retrieved 16 March 2017.
  6. ^ "Edison Mall". Malls of America. Retrieved 16 March 2017.
  7. ^ "Maas Brothers History". Tampa Pix. Retrieved 9 July 2014.
  8. ^ Lisicky, Michael J. (2015). Remembering Maas Brothers. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 978-1-4671-1473-8.
  9. ^ Board, p. 124
  10. ^ "Austin-Westshore Construction Co Inc v. Federated Department Stores Inc". Open Jurist. Retrieved 9 July 2014.
  11. ^ "JCPenney: The Christmas Store". The News-Press. 22 December 1979. Retrieved 12 March 2017.
  12. ^ "Dillard's to buy 7 Maison Blanche stores in Florida". Daytona Beach Sunday News-Journal. 29 June 1991. Retrieved 12 January 2011.
  13. ^ "BURDINES TO BEGIN $105. MILLION RENOVATION, EXPANSION AT EDISON MALL STORES IN FORT MYERS, FLA". PR Newswire. 18 December 1992. Retrieved 12 January 2011.
  14. ^ Mitchell, Anne (27 January 2004). "Burdines stores get renamed Friday". News-Press. Retrieved 12 January 2011.
  15. ^ "Simon Announces Lifestyle Component at Edison Mall". PR Newswire. 14 July 2005. Retrieved 12 January 2011.
  16. ^ http://www.seritage.com/retail/property/4125-cleveland-ave/3312495/landing
  17. ^ McDonald, Britni. "Edison Mall to receive $4M makeover" (24 May 2017). WINK News. Retrieved 2 December 2017.
  • Board, Prudy Taylor (2006). Remembering Fort Myers: The City of Palms. The History Press. ISBN 159629101X.

External linksEdit