Mounds Mall in Anderson closing after 53 years in business

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Mounds Mall in Anderson—the very first enclosed shopping center developed by Melvin Simon & Associates—is shutting down at the end of the month after 53 years in business.

Mall owners announced plans for the closure Thursday, according to the Herald Bulletin of Anderson.

The looming loss of anchor tenant Carson’s was the last straw for the struggling shopping center, according to the Cook family, which has owned and managed the mall at 2109 S. Scatterfield Road since 2009.

Carson’s, which operates a traditional department store and a home store in the mall, is in the process of closing most of its stores in Indiana, including its anchor store in Circle Centre mall in downtown Indianapolis. The stores are currently conducting liquidation sales.

Besides Carson’s, the 300,000-square-foot Mounds Mall has only a handful of traditional mall retailers remaining, including Finish Line, Bath & Body Works and Claire’s.

Melvin Simon & Associates, a predecessor to Simon Property Group, opened the mall in 1965 as the second enclosed shopping center in Indiana. Evansville’s Washington Square Mall, which opened in 1963, was the first.

Simon, the largest shopping mall operator in America, sold the mall in 2003 to Coral Gables, Florida-based Bayview Financial LP.

Bayview sold the mall in 2009 to Anderson siblings Virgil E. Cook II and Natalie Campbell, who already owned the land the mall was built on.

The Cooks tried to keep the mall afloat amid a deteriorating retail environment but have struggled in recent years. The closure of anchor store Sears in 2012 furthered the demise.

More than $434,000 in back taxes are owed on the property, according to the Herald Bulletin. No buyer materialized at the most recent sale of delinquent properties in Madison County.

The Cooks told the newspaper that the Mounds 10 Theatre and Dr. David Tavel's optometry office would remain open after the rest of the mall closes because each has an exterior entrance.

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