I find it endlessly amusing in the current retail climate that so many malls continue to promote themselves as being “one stop destinations.” Is there such a thing anymore in the brick and mortar world? Do these centers truly believe that they are able to live up to this claim when half (or more) of their leasible space stands empty? Perhaps it’s nothing more than proof of the old adage “hope dies hard.”
To be fair, a smaller city like Steubenville, Ohio, might have found a modest mall like Fort Steuben entirely capable of serving its needs. It certainly has the distinction of being home to the only “Free Hugs” booth I have ever encountered throughout my travels. I would have sworn that the shuttered Sears location here was a former theater, based on its curved ground-level facade and regular series of window-like frames.
The mall went into foreclosure in January of 2016, with plans to repurpose much of its unused space for family-oriented entertainment being announced earlier this year.