A majority of Randall Park Mall, once an iconic shopping mecca in North Randall, is about to be demolished.
The developer of the property, the Industrial Realty Group, confirmed the news to NewsChannel 5 Wednesday.
“There is strong demand for industrial space, and the location of Randall Park Mall is good,” said Stuart Lichter, chairman and president of Industrial Realty Group.
Lichter said an industrial park will be built where the former mall stands now. Everything but the Sears building will be torn down in the next three months.
PSI, the Burlington Coat Factory and Furniture and Mattress Liquidators are still operating on the site and will not be torn down.
“Unbelievable, I can't believe it,” exclaimed Robert Moss, a Cleveland resident. “I used to shop there!”
Moss was saddened to hear the news. He said he enjoyed shopping at May Company, JC Penney and Higbee's department stores.
“It brings tears to my eyes,” he added. “I hate it, I hate it, I hate that it's happening.”
The mall closed four years ago. It was open for more than three decades. But the demand for retail space in North Randall has diminished while the need for industrial space has soared.
“Vacant land is going to go at a premium soon because we're just running out of buildings,” said Terry Coyne, executive managing director at Newmark Grubbs in Cleveland, a global commercial real estate company.
News of the transformation pleased Warrensville Heights resident Tony Scurry. He is eager to see more jobs in his neighborhood. But memories of Randall Park Mall still make him smile.
“My favorite store was York Steakhouse,” said Scurry.
Fond memories make it easy for others to talk about what shopping used to be like at Randall Park.
“It was a lot of fun, a lot of shops, a lot of good stores,” said Rosie Wheatley, a Warrensville Heights resident.
“It was home away from home,” said Moss.