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Chick-Fil-A, Columbia Mall: Early 2013   23 comments

Posted at 10:13 pm in closing

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Well, it took me quite a long time to get the interior shot here, largely because every time I would come in the door of the food court, a sample tray holder from the Asian restaurant would make a beeline on me. I really appreciate that kind of hustle, but it makes it difficult to inconspicuously take a picture when you are the sole focus of someone's attention! I finally recently got a bit of a zoom from the back end of the court. You can see the boarded up section where Chick-Fil-A used to be just to the right of China Max.

I was actually in the place to look at lawnmowers at Sears, and I note that they seem to be giving up on the mall. The mall stays open until 9PM, but Sears turns out the lights at 8PM, at least during the week. It certainly surprised me.

UPDATE 13 August 2013: Forgot the hat tip to commenter Trina.

Written by ted on August 12th, 2013

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23 Responses to 'Chick-Fil-A, Columbia Mall: Early 2013'

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  1. On the other side of China Max is a former Schiano's that closed here and they I think wound up moving out to 4839 Forest Drive.

    Andrew

    12 Aug 13 at 9:57 pm

  2. I haven't been in Columbia Mall in years. What IS left in the food court? Look almost as bad as Dutch Square!!

    Homer

    13 Aug 13 at 12:27 am

  3. Will the last tenant leaving Columbia Mall please turn off the lights?

    Tom

    13 Aug 13 at 11:10 am

  4. Wow...Chik-fil-A leaving is huge. Mall is pretty much done for, I guess.

    I can't remember the last time I was in that Mall. Christmas 2101 maybe, and it was pretty hoodie then (I didn't buy anything).

    tonkatoy

    13 Aug 13 at 12:14 pm

  5. Uh..2010, not 2101.

    tonkatoy

    13 Aug 13 at 12:14 pm

  6. 2008 for me. All the spots were occupied then. What a difference 5 years makes.

    MrBO

    13 Aug 13 at 12:48 pm

  7. I haven't been in Columbia mall since the late 1990's. I am surprised it is still going.

    Roy

    13 Aug 13 at 1:40 pm

  8. I think I went there one time just after I moved here in 2006, and about two minutes later I left saying "Nope nope nope nope nope nope nope"

    How it's still open is a mystery. I genuinely thought for a while that it was only still open because it's really a money-laundering operation.

    Jason

    13 Aug 13 at 2:20 pm

  9. @ Jason, Macy's and Sears is what keeps it going. Frankly I am surprise that those two have not pulled out for the Sandhills area.

    Tom

    13 Aug 13 at 2:48 pm

  10. There are plenty of mall tenants remaining and Columbia Place Mall has more to it than Dutch Square.

    Here's the kicker...last time I walked through Columbia Place Mall was December 2011 (week between Christmas and New Years). There were plenty of people and plenty of stores and all that but it left me with the impression that it was a mall I'd rarely set foot in. Old Navy was already gone by this point and a place called Shoe Dept. Encore had taken over the downstairs of it (Old Navy was 2 floors) and the escalator was blocked by custodial signs which was a turnoff for me. There appears to be more vacancies compared to the last time I was in the mall.

    Sears is rumored to be in trouble and perhaps on the way out. That would deal a major blow to Columbia Place Mall. I've envision Macy's moving to Richland Mall...

    Andrew

    13 Aug 13 at 4:27 pm

  11. Columbia Mall is a dying mall.. it's just a matter of time before it falls apart. Ever since most of the upstairs tenants moved, it's gone downhill.. Penny's, Duck-in, Orange Julius, Lowery Organs, Record Town/Record Bar, Tiffany's bakery, Lens Crafters, Leisure time hobby store, etc.. and the clientel out there now has really taken it down hill too. It has too many shoe stores and apparel stores..and not enough of anything else. Eveything has moved up the road on two notch towards Walmart and Target. I don't go to Columbia Mall mainly because of the trouble making crowd that's out there from late morning til it closes. Malls are a thing of the past.

    semiquaver2013

    13 Aug 13 at 4:44 pm

  12. "Malls are a thing of the past." I think that says it all. Malls in general had a pretty good run from the 1960s and even into the early 1990s. But those days are gone. I remember Eastland Mall in Charlotte in the late 1980s to early 1990s as full of life, and it's completely dead now. One thing obviously is changing demographics, but also shopping patterns have changed.

    badger

    13 Aug 13 at 7:08 pm

  13. When did the Schiano' close? That's a bummer. Used to enjoy getting a beer with pizza there. Last year when my hubby had knee surgery we used the mall for walking/rehab. Comfortable enough crowd early in the day on a weekend, lots of little tykes and families but that would change midday. Used to notice soldiers from Ft. Jackson on weekends also, but that seems to have evaporated over the years. Now whenever we have the need to visit the mall, we walk into Sears or Macy's directly and seldom venture into the mall itself.

    Cheryl

    13 Aug 13 at 9:58 pm

  14. another waste of money and effort is/was Sandhills.. it was a good idea, but it's for a select group of people out in that area..which cant support high-end stores like that. I read somewhere that the Strip Mall is coming back..and the in-door Malls are dead. Richland Mall is a good example of something that was a good idea, but it failed, and now it's more dead than Dutch Square Mall.

    semiquaver2013

    14 Aug 13 at 4:01 am

  15. I haven't walked Richland Mall in a while but I can tell you that it has fewer tenants than Dutch Square. Dutch Square gets more traffic I believe and has a lower vacancy rate than Richland Mall but it's not the level that folks that remember it before Columbiana was built in 1990 was.

    I don't think Village at Sandhill is the failure some here make it out to be. It draws primarily from Northeast Richalnd and to a lesser extent Kershaw County communities of Elgin, Camden, Lugoff and maybe even Cassatt. I do theorize that it's too far from an interstate to draw from other parts of Columbia though.

    Andrew

    14 Aug 13 at 4:53 am

  16. VAS is indeed a failure.

    Strip malls are the future. You aren't heating/cooling vast non money earning covered walkways, and you don't have unsold condos (ahem...VAS) sitting above them adding cost, complexity, and eventual Section Eight tennants.

    If Richland Mall had stayed an open mall, it would have probably experienced a renaissance in the 2000s. Parkland Plaza seems to be turning around after a few down years. Trenholm Plaza is going gangbusters.

    tonkatoy

    14 Aug 13 at 11:37 am

  17. I agree that Richland Mall might have survived if it had remained an open mall, although it would still be pretty different. That way, the indiviual stores could have been more easily redeveloped/renovated over time. But, at the time that, the covered mall was still the way it was done.

    badger

    14 Aug 13 at 2:22 pm

  18. Nationally, yes, but I think it was pretty clear to everyone not looking at the project through a developers rose colored glasses that the redevelopment was a failure from the get go.

    tonkatoy

    14 Aug 13 at 3:35 pm

  19. The one "Mall" that I don't remember doing all that well was the old Midlands shopping center. It may have done a lot more business in the early to mid 60's, but by the late 60's and 70's it was going downhill fast..and now it's really nothing left of it. Richland Mall should have kept it's original look too. As the saying goes: " If it aint broke, don't fix it".. but some people never learn and think they can "improve" on what was..and assume they know better. And now you see how well these places have done....NOT.

    semiquaver2013

    15 Aug 13 at 5:01 am

  20. Midlands Shopping Center has an educational facility and City of Columbia police have a station there (either region headquarters for that area or a substation)...The Edgewood Post Office is still going but I think the low visibility it has hinders it from living to its potential (but I've been in Edgewood a few times and it seems to get its share of activity but typically it has only person behind the counter and it closes for lunch during the 1:00 hour). It wasn't until my dad pointed it out to me as a hidden post office (somewhere in the 2005-08 timeframe) that I knew it even existed.

    Andrew

    15 Aug 13 at 5:41 am

  21. Midlands was built in a declining section of town...

    tonkatoy

    15 Aug 13 at 11:40 am

  22. Edgewood has been on the chopping block as far as USPS Branches slated for closure on at least two occasions in recent years but the community has stepped each time to keep it going (with the support of Mayor Benjamin as well as his predecessor Coble (depending on who was mayor at the time))...

    Andrew

    15 Aug 13 at 4:44 pm

  23. The last time I was in the Sears at Columbia Mall, I noticed that there were the appliances had been moved and there were large sections of the store that were blocked off. It was very similar to what they do when they are closing a store and they have more space than they need.

    Matt

    16 Aug 13 at 1:49 pm

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