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Cuyahoga County


Randall Park Mall meets wrecking ball today
After years of neglect, the 100-acre site is slated for industrial use
by WKSU's KABIR BHATIA


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Kabir Bhatia
 
Aside from the Power Sports Institute and Burlington Coat Factory, the Randall Park Mall complex has been shuttered and decaying for years
Courtesy of K. Bhatia
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One of the biggest malls in the country has been sitting empty for years, and will be demolished starting today. WKSU’s Kabir Bhatia reports on what will become of Randall Park Mall.
Randall Park Mall meets wrecking ball today

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When it opened in 1976, Randall Park was the biggest mall in the country. Today, it would still be among the top 20, except it’s mostly abandoned. Changing demographics, reported high-crime and other nearby shopping options led to the mall’s decline, and it closed in 2009. Developer Stuart Lichter acquired the sprawling complex last summer, and is now planning to level most of it to make way for light industrial buildings.

One building not being leveled is the former JCPenney, which has been home to Ohio Technical College’s Power Sports Institute since 2008. Earlier this year, Admissions Director Mike Huff remembered moving in.

“Oh, it was more than empty. It was filled with water and mold and it required some significant and concentrated clean-up and rehabilitation.”

Lichter tells the Plain Dealer that the former Magic Johnson Theater and Sears store will also be refurbished into warehouse space. He’s still trying to acquire the former Macy’s and the abandoned Days Inn hotel – both tied-up with tax issues.

North Randall city council last week unveiled a new master plan, based on successfully rehabbing the 100-acre site near the I-271/I-480 interchange.


Randall Park as it was then...


...and now

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