Monday, December 25, 2023

A Merry Christmas special post. College Park Mall April and July 2021.

Here is a new mall to the blog and the first of three in Corsicana Texas. College Park Mall opened on November 17, 1983 with JCPenney, Bealls, and Walmart as the anchors to the mall. Tenants included Aladdin's Castle, Athlete's Foot, Cato, Circus World (pictured on this link), Corn Dog 7, Don's Humidor and Coffee Beans, Famous Chocolate Chip Cookie, Gordon's Jewelers, Hastings Records and Tapes, Kinney Shoes, Peanut Shack, Regis Hair Stylists, Revco Drugs, Royal Optical, Summit Stationers, T-shirts Etcetera, and United Jewelers and Distributors. The mall opened in 3 phases, with the final phase opening on March 7, 1984.

The mall is listed as 222,000 square feet of retail space. That number may not include the former Walmart/Atwoods building. JCPenney closed sometime presumably in the late 90's early 2000's and became Goody's which lasted until the company folded in early 2009. The first section of the mall to be redeveloped in late 2012 was the JCPenney corridor. 

Today the interior mall has been mostly absorbed by the big box stores as the property gets redeveloped one piece at a time. A small portion of the center court remains. The interior mall is only accessible when the driving school is open. 

April 2021

Bealls closed in 2020 along with the rest of the chain. Later in 2021 the larger Bealls store was replaced by Burke's Outlet which has since been renamed Bealls. The original Bealls anchor in the center court of the mall moved to the former JCPenney space in late 2012. 

The only remaining mall entrance. At the time, I did not know that the car parked at the door is from the driving school to show that they are open.

Atwoods was formerly Walmart until they moved across the street to a Supercenter location in the early 2000's.

Craftsman tools before they were common to see at Lowe's.

Atwoods still retains the look of the former Walmart, but the floors were stripped away at some point. I am curious to see how the Atwoods in Lufkin turns out inside of the former Kmart. Atwoods is what I picture as a modern-day general store. They sell food, drinks, clothes, guns, tools, garden supplies, animal food, live chickens, and so much more. You can easily spend an hour at this place.

The stretch from one end of the mall to the other. We are standing at the entrance to Atwoods. 

As the evening progressed the car at the entrance was gone so we were able to get a look inside. Sadly, the doors were now locked.

The Bealls mall entrance stands out.

Planet Fitness

The Atwoods building still looks like Walmart.

 July 2021

Med Now is also listed on the directory, but not pictured. There is a space in the back area of the near the former JCPenney where that business was/is located.

Now we will get to see the inside of the mall that remains.

Lots of cobwebs. Maybe this should have been the Halloween special instead. The mall interior was baking in the July heat with no A/C.

The center court of the mall pictured here is all that remains. The redevelopment here is very similar to what we have seen in Marshall and Nacogdoches where large store redevelopment began chipping away at the interior mall. 

Pretty sure this was the Corn Dog 7 that we saw in the old Corsicana Daily Sun article.

Too bad the directory is still not place. From the looks of the directory mall logo, the directory was probably old school.

The original Bealls mall entrance.

The former jewelry store gates were open on one side. You can see the walled off former mall corridor here. Ollies and Planet Fitness take up this side of the mall now.

Old school Bath and Body Works.

This was probably the Peanut Shack. The former JCPenney corridor would have been just past the wall on the left side.

The walled off area was the JCPenney corridor. The spaces were filled in with outward facing tenants.

The corridor leading to the Walmart/Atwoods tucked away in the center of this photo.

The only business open in the interior mall, the driving school.

The skylight design is similar to what we have seen in many small-town Texas Malls of the early 1980's.

Now we will head back outside.

This was the only door unlocked to enter the mall.

Now for more exterior shots of the mall. The former JCPenney/Bealls lot had a lot of illegally dumped trash. 

The back of the former JCPenney still has the old school look and covered up entrance.

Look at the carts that you can use at Ollies. Coincidentally, there is a long abandoned Super Kmart across the main intersection from the mall. In 2021 Ollie's only had a few Texas locations, now there are numerous stores across the state. 

So now we will get a store tour of the Ollies.

Ollie's has so many quirky signs all over the place. I took photos of a bunch to see as we tour the store.

A view of Ollies and the Atwoods side of the mall as we walk towards the former JCPenney.

Inside of the former JCPenney now Burke's Outlet. Just a few months ago, this space was vacant.

The Bealls shoes space was still vacant on our visit. This store space is now occupied by Shoe Sensation.

Inside of the Bealls shoes.

More shots of the exterior of the mall.

The original Bealls location. The back of the mall was pretty empty on my visit. There is a sign for the Navarro College Cosmetology and Massage Therapy school. I am not sure if the college is still using this space.

I found this labelscar on the back wall of the mall near the former Walmart. I could not make out the letters to see what this says.