Lafayette Square Mall
Lafayette Square Mall is a super-regional shopping mall in Indianapolis, Indiana. Developed in 1968 by Edward J. DeBartolo Sr., the mall is managed by Jones Lang LaSalle and owned by Ashkenazy Acquisition Corp. Its current anchors consist of Burlington Coat Factory and Shoppers World.
|Location||Indianapolis, Indiana, USA|
|Developer||Edward J. DeBartolo Sr.|
|Management||Jones Lang LaSalle|
|Owner||Ashkenazy Acquisition Corp.|
|No. of anchor tenants||4 (2 open, 2 vacant)|
|No. of floors||1|
|Website||Lafayette Square Mall|
This mall was built by Edward J. DeBartolo, Sr., and opened in April 1968 at 38th Street and Lafayette Road in Pike Township, just two miles north of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It was the first enclosed shopping mall in greater Indianapolis.
Upon completion, Lafayette Square featured 90 inline tenants, a single-screen General Cinema movie theatre, and over 1,000,000 square feet of retail space located on an 80-acre site. Originally, there were five anchor stores built: JCPenney in the south end, Sears on the north end, G.C. Murphy in the north wing near Sears, a Kroger grocery store in the south wing near Penney's, and William H. Block at center court (opened in 1969).
An expansion in 1974 saw a sixth department store added near Sears. This wing added Ohio-based Lazarus as well as about eight new stores including Radio Shack. In 1975, the Kroger store connected to the mall was demolished to make way for another expansion that included its replacement, Indianapolis-based L. S. Ayres, on the south end near JCPenney.
The success at Lafayette Square prompted DeBartolo to plan two additional malls on opposite sides of town. Ground was broke on the northeast side of Indianapolis for what was to become Castleton Square, opening in 1972. Washington Square Mall on the east side of Indianapolis opened in 1974.
Facing competition from new malls such as Circle Centre (opened in 1995), the mall needed a remodel. DeBartolo's company had merged with Circle Centre's operator, the locally based Simon Property Group, and they remodeled the aging mall in 1998, adding a racetrack-themed food court in the former G.C. Murphy. Montgomery Ward liquidated in whole in 2001, with Burlington Coat Factory taking over the first floor of that store.
Lazarus closed in 2002, and the space was converted into the Emmaus Christian Church.
In 2005, the lifestyle center known as Metropolis opened in the nearby suburb of Plainfield near the new entrance for Indianapolis International Airport, causing more withdrawals of stores from the mall once leases came up. JCPenney and Old Navy left the mall in 2005, precipitating a swift decline in the mall's fortunes. By 2006, many of the nationally known chains had begun to close at Lafayette Square and were replaced primarily by discount stores and local merchants on shorter-term leases. On September 9, 2006, the L. S. Ayres store was renamed Macy's due to the May/Federated merger.
Facing the mall's long decline and preferring to focus efforts on other malls in the Indianapolis area, Simon sold the mall to Ashkenazy Acquisitions Corp. in December 2007. Some months later, the mall underwent a new remodel that included a rebuilt entrance, a Pretzelmaker/Maggie Moo's/Great American Cookie Co. kiosk, an east-coast chain called "Shopper's World" located in the former JCPenney (it was described as being between JCPenney and Value City in price points), and an entertainment facility called Xscape featuring a variety of games. In October 2008 and January 2009 respectively, Sears and Macy's announced they would both close despite the new renovations.
XScape was later replaced by America's Incredible Pizza company in the summer of 2010. In Late 2010, Bath & Body Works, Victoria's Secret, and Andrews Jewelers all closed. In early 2011, the Pretzelmaker/Maggie Moo's/Great American Cookie Co. kiosk closed, along with Radio Shack and GameStop.
In the first quarter of 2012, Claire's Boutique, The Children's Place, and America's Incredible Pizza Company closed, leaving Burlington Coat Factory and Shoppers World as the mall's only two remaining anchors. America's Incredible Pizza announced that they would close, effective March 19, 2012. By November 2012, the last remaining original tenant, GNC, had closed, leaving the mall with mainly local stores. The only four remaining first-tier businesses in the mall are Finish Line, Foot Locker, Champs Sports, and Burlington Coat Factory.