According to its current owner (Cafaro Company), this mall seems to be following in the footsteps of so many other dead or dying malls throughout the country in that it is being redeveloped into a mixed-use property. It still has its JCPenney – at least for now – along with a Hobby Lobby, Books-a-Million, and enough other tenants to keep it from falling into the ranks of some of the other truly dead malls that I’ve featured here, although it doesn’t seem very likely that it will see a return to more prosperous days.
I’d almost put Sandusky Mall in a class of its own. Unlike some of the centers I’ve visited, this one is situated along a very busy road that not only features an abundance of other retail, entertainment, and dining options nearby, but also serves as one of two primary accessways to Cedar Point, an iconic and extremely popular amusement park. A Great Wolf Lodge and Kalahari Resort are both located on the same road, as are access points to a major interstate as well as the Ohio Turnpike. Plus, it’s the only major shopping center within 45 miles, so again – unlike several of the other malls I’ve visited – competition from other nearby centers really wouldn’t seem to be a factor here.
Outside of the more general trends of declining brick-and-mortar sales and company closures/bankruptcies that we’ve been seeing lately, it would be interesting to see how the same stores that are now located inside the mall would fare if they were to be transplanted to nearby locations outside. Perhaps that would be a vivid illustration of just how far in popularity the traditional enclosed shopping center has fallen since its glory days.