Located over an hour from Grand Rapids, The Orchards Mall is a one floor mall situated on Pipestone Road, minutes from Interstate 94 E/W in Benton Harbor, MI. The malls current anchors are:
In 1974, a company called Meyer C. Weiner proposed a mall to be built in the township of Benton Harbor called Pipestone Mall. By March of 1976, The Hudson's Department Store chain rumored that it would host as an anchor to the malls construction.
A differednt development company, Westcor, acquired the land in August 1976, where the future mall would be built.
By 1977, Sears Department Store and JCPenney were confirmed as anchor stores, with negotiations underway for Elder-Beerman as the third anchor.
The Orchards Mall was bulit in 1979 by the Edward J. DeBartolo Corp., with Westcor as the primary leasing agent to the stores in the mall. Both department stores relocated from there downtown locations to the mall.
Many other stores filled the mall as it opened, such as Walgreens Drug Store, York Steak House, which later turned into a Ponderosa Steak House and a food court and many more.
Some early pictures are displayed in the mall now to show its vast history of different stores and events that were in the mall over the years, looking back to when the mall was popular, would soon be over.
|What is now a Vintage Sears sign seen in 1988|
|Mall under renovations|
|Mall celebrating one year anniversary in 1980|
|Jo-Ann Fabrics opened in the former Walgreens location in 2012|
Elder-Beerman opened in 1992.
The mall started to go south in the mid-90's, when Walgreens closed in 1992 and some stores began to close.
Sears announced in 2009, that it would close its Orchards Mall location by the summer.
Sears in the early 2000's.
Sears after it closed in 2009.
|Former Sears Department Store|
Jo-ann Fabrics as well as a smaller Sears hometown opened in 2012.
Other than some shoe stores and a few eateries, the mall in mostly vacant now.
Here is what the mall looked like in July 2012:
|What does Sears know about driving?|
|Close-up shot of former Sears|
|Outside the former Sears|
|The only mall I've ever been to that displays its history of past stores and events to the public, more malls need to do this.|