- Amazon is planning to build a 700,000-square-foot facility on the site of the shuttered Rolling Acres Mall in Akron, Ohio.
- Rolling Acres Mall fell victim to declining shopper traffic and permanently closed in 2013.
- Former tenants include Macy’s,JCPenney,Target, and Sears.
- Amazon’s move into the site is symbolic of a new era of retail dominated by e-commerce giants after the retail apocalypse wiped out hundreds of shopping malls.
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Amazon is taking over the site of a once-thriving mall in Akron, Ohio, that was shut down and abandoned after a decade-long decline.
Amazon is planning to build a 700,000-square-foot facility at the site of the former Rolling Acres Mall, one of two fulfillment centres the company is opening in Ohio.
Rolling Acres Mall opened in 1975. At its height, the mall boasted more than 140 stores including Macy’s, JCPenney, Target, and Sears.
Four decades later, the mall fell victim to years of falling customer traffic.
As the mall lost customers, several department stores abandoned their leases, and smaller tenants followed suit.
Rolling Acres never recovered …
… and it lost its last store tenant in 2013.
As business slowed, the building became a target for criminal activity.
A homeless man was sentenced to a year in prison for living inside a vacant store in 2007.
Another man was electrocuted trying to steal copper wire from the mall in 2011.
That same year, the body of an apparent murder victim was found behind the shopping center.
Even vacant, the mall remained a safety concern.
The mayor of Akron instructed residents in 2016 to “stay clear of the area.”
The outside of the mall decayed along with the inside. Weeds sprouted up between cracks in the parking lot.
This building originally opened in 1978 as an O’Neil’s department store.
In 2006 it became a Macy’s, which shut down just two years later.
This cinema was added to the mall around 1977.
Storage of America at one point took over this space, which was formerly occupied by Target.
This truck unloading center also belonged to Target.
This was originally the now-defunct Montgomery Ward department store before it closed in 1986. The store became Dillard’s in 1992. In 1997, it became a Clearance Center.
The city began the process of demolishing the rotting shopping center in 2016.
Years after it was abandoned, the Rolling Acres site is now set to become a brand-new Amazon facility.
Amazon said that the two Ohio fulfillment centres will bring more than 2,500 jobs to the area.
Amazon’s move into the site is symbolic of a new era of retail dominated by Amazon and other e-commerce giants after the retail apocalypse wiped out hundreds of shopping malls.
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