The mall was originally proposed in 1977 as Broadway Mall. It was to have featured 90 stores on two levels, but plans were reduced to just a one-level mall. Original anchors were Montgomery Ward (145,000 square feet (13,470.9 m2)) and Goldblatt's.
Between its 1979 opening and 1982, it was only 70 percent leased. Simon Property Group bought the mall in August 1982, a day before Goldblatt's filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and closed its store there. Simon then split the Goldblatt building among Burlington Coat Factory, Service Merchandise, and other stores. The company also converted the mall to an off-price and discount-oriented concept, similar to what it had done at Eastgate Mall in Indianapolis, Indiana and Arborland Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
A small food court was located near the south side of the mall, located near the long corridor leading to Service Merchandise and Burlington Coat Factory. The food court contained many small local restaurants, but also included a Schoop's Hamburgers and a Subway. The mall at one time housed R-Way, a drug store located on the north side, just outside of Montgomery Ward. Outlot buildings include (or included at one time) White Castle, Shakey's Pizza, Checkers Drive-in and a Shell gas station.
In 1990, in cooperation with the Northwest Indiana Walkers, Century Mall opened the interior of the mall to accommodate mall walkers.
Despite the initial success of the off-price format, the mall continued its economic decline. Service Merchandise relocated in 1995 to a new store roughly half a mile away at the Crossings at Hobart shopping center. Burlington Coat Factory then expanded into the former Service Merchandise space. The Montgomery Ward anchor store closed in March 2001 when the entire chain filed for bankruptcy. Century Mall and the surrounding land were purchased by Tri-Land Properties in February 2001 with the intent to convert the space to a power center.
Read more about this topic: Century Mall
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