That Mall is sick and that Store is dead!

January 31, 2007

Coliseum Mall being demolished for ‘Peninsula Town Center’

Filed under: "coliseum mall" — Anita @ 5:58 pm


By MICHELLE E. SHAW, The Virginian-Pilot
© January 31, 2007

HAMPTON – Tearing down Coliseum Mall was not part of the initial renovation plan.

“When we shared our original ideas with retailers, they said it wasn’t enough,” said Raymond Tripp, the mall’s general manager. “Just remodeling wasn’t going to get it done, they said.”

Today, the former Dillard’s department store is gone, and wrecking crews are poised to raze much of what’s left of the 1 million- square-foot mall just off of Interstate 64 and Mercury Boulevard, near the Hampton Coliseum.

In its place will rise Peninsula Town Center, a network of streets and buildings featuring residential, office and retail space with a construction price tag of more than $200 million.

The town center will be more of a destination, said Justin Leyda, a development executive with Steiner and Associates, the development group working on the project with the center’s owners, Mall Properties Inc.

“You won’t have just a single purpose for visiting this area,” Leyda said. “This will not be just a retail establishment.”

Poquoson residents Richmond and Charlotte Long, shopping in the mall on a recent Monday, welcome the changes.

“It’s lost its appeal,” Richmond Long said.

“They have to do something to bring the people back,” his wife added. “And I think this might work.”

The city of Hampton certainly thinks so. It projects that Peninsula Town Center will generate $6 million a year in tax revenue once it’s completed and businesses are open in 2009, said Kathy Grook, a senior development manager in Hampton’s economic development department. In recent years, she said, the mall, which opened in 1973, has produced about $3 million a year in tax revenue.

“We think Peninsula Town Center will do more to establish us as a destination,” she said. “We’ve already seen some private investment taking place as a result of this.”

Before the new town center can emerge, the old mall must be torn down. Getting the mall ready for demolition is no easy task, said Tripp, who has managed Coliseum Mall for 16 years.

“Just taking the building apart is complicated,” he said. “I’ve got water meters that need to come out and be collected, utilities that need to be disconnected. When the building was built, there were about 110 small spaces that were designed, and you’ve got to realize we’ve chopped and added and all of that, so who knows what else has to happen.”

Tearing down the mall includes helping to relocate dozens of tenants, putting on a job fair for more than 50 employees who will lose their jobs and finding a place for the Mall Striders walking club to exercise, Tripp said.

The next phase of demolition is tentatively scheduled for March, but Tripp said he’s got to make sure all of the tenants are out first. Even though the mall closed in mid-January, a handful of stores remain open.

“We hadn’t finalized our negotiations,” he said. “But now we have, and thank goodness we did, because I can’t tear down a building with people in it.”

One issue has been access to the mall’s LensCrafters, which is tentatively scheduled to relocate in mid-February. The eyewear store’s exterior mall entrance is in a construction zone, so the mall’s interior is being kept open until LensCrafters’ temporary location at the nearby Mercury Plaza is ready in late February or early March, Tripp said.

“We’ll actually start some real hard demolition sometime in mid-March or at the end of March,” he said. “It’s all a matter of timing. We’re going to start the first part of the demolition down by Macy’s and work back this way, so by the time we get to LensCrafters we’ll have them in their temporary quarters.”

Other retailers still open at the mall are Barnes & Noble, Burlington Coat Factory, JC Penney and Macy’s. The bookseller is scheduled to close around the same time as LensCrafters and the coat factory will permanently relocate to a new building at Mercury Plaza.

“Penney’s new building is under construction where the old Dillard’s used to be,” Tripp said. “They will only close long enough to transfer the merchandise. Macy’s however, will never close. They will remain in that building.”

Even after all of the moves are made and Coliseum Mall comes tumbling down, Tripp said his work will not be complete.

“I’ve never de-malled a mall before, so I don’t know if things will slow down or not,” he said. “How about I’ll let you know when it’s all over.”


  • Reach Michelle E. Shaw at (757) 446-2667 or




January 15, 2007

Wallets Open As Doors Close

Filed under: "coliseum mall" — Anita @ 3:38 pm

Wallets open as mall’s doors close
Shoppers took in clearance sales as Coliseum Mall starts to make way for a town center.
January 15, 2007
HAMPTON — So this is the end of a mall.

With much of the parking lot already blocked off for the upcoming demolition, cars crammed into the remaining spaces as customers came for one last shopping trip before Coliseum Mall closes for good.

Shoppers wandered the corridors, passing by many shops already closed and shuttered. Many people clutched multiple shopping bags, having taken advantage of the clearance sales.

Sunday marked the day that most stores closed at the nearly 34-year-old mall, which will reopen in a few years as the Peninsula Town Center – an open-air shopping center that will include residential and office space.

For Michele Woods-Jones, a Hampton resident who’s been shopping at Coliseum Mall for years, her visit was a bit like saying good-bye to an old friend.

“In some ways it’s sad,” Woods-Jones said as she clutched a large J.C. Penney bag in each hand. “In another way, you want to take advantage of the best deals. It’s like my own personal way to say good-bye.”

After all, it’s not often she can afford silk pillowcases and leather purses for each of her three daughters, Woods-Jones added.

J.C. Penney, the only one of the mall’s original big-name retailers that still exists today, offered deep discounts on Sunday. A $44 pair of Liz Claiborne pants, for example, sold for about $13.

J.C. Penney will join Macy’s and Burlington Coat Factory as one of the few stores that will remain open throughout most of the construction – scheduled for completion in April 2009 – although J.C.Penney and Burlington Coat Factory will close briefly to change locations.

Barnes & Noble, Life Uniforms, Lenscrafters and Lee Nails will stay open at least through the end of the month. The free-standing restaurants – Steak & Ale, Bennigan’s and Outback Steakhouse – will remain.

Lee Nails, which merged with Venetian Nails, is moving to a new location at Riverdale Plaza. Other stores are moving, too – like Kay Jewelers to Coliseum Crossing Shopping Center – but some posted signs directing shoppers to other locations.

While Coliseum’s closing is a matter of moving or sending inventory elsewhere for some stores, the smaller businesses didn’t all fare so well. Keum C. Hairston decided to close her kiosk, “Picture Me,” for good.

Hairston has printed customers’ personal photographs onto T-shirts, calendars, mugs and key chains from her kiosk for the past six years. It wasn’t worth it to look for a new location, she said Sunday.

“I had a lot of customers, especially at the holidays,” Hairston said as she finished transferring a grandchild’s photo onto a canvas bag. “They’re going to miss me, and I’m going to miss them. But I guess it’s time to go.”

But for Ines Ledbetter, Elena Welch, Maria Godfrey and Mercedes McHenry, a group of Hampton friends – and natives of Spain – who spent Sunday afternoon shopping together, the closing isn’t a bad thing.

The four said they’re looking forward to the new shopping center as well as the possibility of new nightspots.

“I think,” Ledbetter said as she carefully examined the miniature model of the Peninsula Town Center on display, “I’m going to like this one better.”

Coliseum Mall’s Last Day Of Business

Filed under: "coliseum mall",bath & body works,dead stores,J.C. Penney — Anita @ 12:44 am

The Last Coliseum Mall Marquee Sign

Coliseum Mall Directory

{I know, that’s the worst picture ever}

Here it is in better days from the yearbook from my high school back in 1993: Coliseum Mall Directory, Kecoughtan High School tomahawk 1993

Coliseum Mall This was the only mall entrance open.

Food Court (Coliseum Mall)

The Food Court was dead.

The closed Chick-a-Fila (I wish I took a pic of it now but I was scared of security) still had red Christmas garland on it, and the door to the kitchen had been taken off its hinges and it was out at the counters, and there was a sign on it about how employees would be charged with shoplifting if they were caught taking food before closing.

Bath and Body Works (closed 1-13-07)   Macys (Coliseum Mall) JC Penney (Coliseum Mall)
The anchors are still staying in their spots until their new buildings are built.

Burlington Coat Factory (former Korvette's and Wards) I dunno about Burlington though, its rumored that they’re moving practically back to their old location at the old Mercury Plaza, in a new building. Close Up on Colseum Mall Doors

Channel 13 had a camera woman there.

January 13, 2007

Coliseum Mall closing on Sunday

Filed under: "coliseum mall" — Anita @ 5:58 am

{WAVY TV 10}

Filed by Shannon Powell

The first mall built on the Peninsula is closing its doors on Sunday. Coliseum Mall is being torn down to make way for the Peninsula Town Center. The mall was built in 1973. Over the years the structure was renovated, but owners believe it is time to update the shopping center. Some people are looking forward to the new shopping area.

“I really think it is going to be very nice. I think it’s going to bring in more revenue. More jobs and make our city look better than what it looks right now, ” said Mone Gilliam.

Then there are those who like Coliseum, as is.

“You become familiar with the clerks and therefore it become like a family environment around here. Now, you won’t have that,” said Billie Jean Neil.

“Over the 33 years, our population has started to grow, ” said Coliseum Mall General Manager Raymond Tripp, “we realize we need to do something more dramatic.”

The new Peninsula will cost around $200-million dollars to complete. During the construction phase, Macy’s Department store will remain open. Barnes & Nobles, Burlington Coat Factory and JCPenny will remain open until the stores’ new buildings are ready.

The Town Center is scheduled to open in 2009.

January 12, 2007

End of an era for local shoppers

Filed under: "coliseum mall" — Anita @ 8:25 pm

{Photo I took in October of 2006}

Most stores will close Sunday, as the 33-year-old mall gives way to the open-air Peninsula Town Center.
January 12, 2007

HAMPTON — At Coliseum Mall on Thursday, Norma Reed peered at the miniature model of the Peninsula Town Center, which will replace the mall that would turn 34 years old in October.

Reed, who has been living in Hampton for 40 years, remembers when the mall opened on Halloween in 1973.

“It was bustling,” Reed, 71, said. “Everyone was here. It was beautiful.”

In two days, most of the stores that are still open at the mall will close their doors for the last time. Demolition is scheduled to begin in late February, and construction of the Peninsula Town Center is set to finish in April 2009.

Macy’s, J.C. Penney and Burlington Coat Factory will remain open throughout most of the construction; the latter two will close briefly in order to change locations. The three free-standing restaurants – Steak & Ale, Bennigan’s and Outback Steakhouse -will also remain. A handful of other stores, including Barnes & Noble, Life Uniforms and Lee Nails, will stay open until mid-February.

Declining sales and the growing popularity of outdoor shopping centers were factors in the decision to give Coliseum Mall the $207 million makeover, according to executives at New York-based Mall Properties Inc., which owns the mall.

Retail sales dropped from $142 million in 1999 to $112 million in 2004. In 2005, it declined further to $99 million, in part because some stores didn’t renew their leases and left the mall. According to Ross Mugler, Hampton’s commissioner of revenue, Coliseum Mall made up to 20 percent of the city’s taxable sales in 1992. In 2005, the mall made up about 11 percent.

Local newspapers carried stories about Coliseum Mall starting in 1970, when the city announced the development. A Daily Press article published on July 9, 1970, reported: “Fully enclosed, the center will be 100 percent climate controlled.” When it opened on Oct. 31, 1973, it was the biggest mall on the Peninsula, anchored by three big-name department stores: Korvette, Rices-Nachmans and J.C. Penney. About 50 stores were open on that first day. J.C. Penney is the only original retailer that still exists.

According to a Nov. 1, 1973, Daily Press article, then-mayor David N. Montague said the mall would “bring a depth and diversity to shoppers who previously have turned to out-of-town suppliers for special items.”

The mall was a popular site for community events throughout the 1970s and 1980s. Art competitions, health fairs, bird shows and cake-decorating contests all were held at the mall during its first decade. In March 1978, there was a rock-a-thon – with rocking chairs – to benefit the Hope Haven Children’s Home in Virginia Beach.

It had some rough times, too. There were lawsuits, broken water pipes, power outages and complaints about traffic congestion. And the opening of each stage of development was delayed.

On Thursday the gates were down and the lights were out at many of the mall’s stores. Earlier this week, the mall’s general manager, Raymond Tripp, said 33 of the 100 or so stores were open for business. Tripp has been the mall’s general manager for the last 16 years.

“Every day, it’s less and less,” he said Thursday, walking through the mall.

“It’s kind of like going away to college,” Tripp said of the mall closing. “You leave behind a lot of good friends, good memories. You’re excited about where you’re going, but nervous.”

Many of the stores at the mall were offering steep discounts to move their remaining inventories.

“Some people say this is eerie-looking,” Tripp said, passing by a row of empty stores. At best, there were a handful of shoppers at any given store on Thursday.

Reed, the 71-year-old Hampton resident, felt a little nostalgic. She remembered when the parking lots were full and the mall’s walkways were crowded. “I’m of the older generation so I don’t like change,” she said. “But I know things have to change. And it’s a little sad.”


There are also some photos, hopefully they’ll stick around the DP site long enough for everybody to look at them:


//edit, 2020, photos added//


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The Big List Of Coliseum Mall Tenants Past And Present

Filed under: "coliseum mall" — Anita @ 6:59 am

Coliseum Mall

I’ve also copied the final list of tenants on the Coliseum Mall website. I need to straighten them up before posting them though. One day this past summer I wrote down every tenant I could remember as well, I need to type that up. If no date is mentioned for the anchors, that means I need help with it.


J.C. Penney (1973-present)

Thalhimer’s/Hechts/Macys (1973-present)

Korvettes (1973-early 1980’s)

Smith & Welton


Hess’s [in former Rices-Nachmans place]

Montgomery Ward [in former Korvette’s place] (1985 or 1986-2001)

Children’s Palace Toy Store [former Smith & Welton location](I know this place closed up shop in about 1992)

Proffits [former Rices-Nachmans and Children’s Palace](early 90’s-1996)

Dillards (1997-2003)

Barnes & Noble (2002-ish to present, slated to come back when Peninsula Town Center opens)

Burlington Coat Factory (2003-present)

{no specific order}

Steve and Barry’s (opened 2003, closed 2006)
Lane Bryant (lord knows I gave them thousands of dollars though the years)
Bath & Body Works (another store I gave gobs of money too)
Disney Store (closed in either 1999 or 2000 or 2001)
Life Uniforms
Spensers Gifts
Clare’s Boutique (closed 2006)
Lens Crafters (this and Bath and Body works were the last places I ever went to at Coliseum)
The Sports Fan
The Gap
Ashley Stewart
The Icing
Fredrick’s Of Hollywood (closed 2007?)
Victoria’s Secret (closed 2005?)
New York and Co.
Sunglass Hut
Shoe Dept.
Stewart’s/Stewart’s Plus (gave this place money in middle school and 9th grade, closed in 1997)
Everything’s A Dollar
A Dollar
Wilson’s Leather
Foot Locker/Kids Foot Locker/Lady Foot Locker
Ingle’s Nook
K&K Toys/Kay Bee Toys
This End Up
Camelot Music/FYE
Casual Corner
Afterthoughts (closed 1999?)
Chic Wigs
American Eagle
Payless Shoes (right next to Wards I remember!)
Trade Secret
Carlton Cards (closed 2006)
Up Against The Wall
Glamor Shots
Raw Blue
Vitamin World

Corn Dog On A Sick
Cinnabon (closed about 2003)
Orange Julius (closed about 1996)
Dairy Queen (opened in about 1997 or 1998)
“The Sandwich Shop (I didn’t see it when I visited in 2005)
The Coffee Beanery (closed 2005?)
Piccaddily Cafeteria (closed 2004?)
Mrs. Fields Cookies

***I know there are many more! Please help me add them to the list!****

January 7, 2007

John’s Coliseum Mall Updates (January, 2007)

Filed under: "coliseum mall" — Anita @ 6:12 pm

So the funeral for Coliseum Mall starts:

Demolition begins in February on the rest of the mall. What people are calling demolition is actually deconsturction of the parking surface on the old Smith & Welton side (Children’s Palace/Proffitt’s/Dillard’s for Men) where they are preparing to start construction of the new parking garage and the new JC Penny building.

Last saturday I walked through for probably the last time. Steve & Barry’s is closed (“Please visit our Lynnhaven location” the sign reads); Kay’s is moving on the 10th to a storefront beside Ross’. The tailor is moving in February. Carlton Cards is gone. Claire’s is gone. Many places had their closing dates posted as Jan 4, Jan 9, Jan 10, and Jan 14. One place (I can’t remember which — I know it wasn’t Frederick’s, which is going out in mid-January) has a sign up announcing “Mall Closing Sale.”

The Nail shop beside where Carlton Cards was (in the Hecht’s wing, almost directly across from the now torn-down DIllard’s for Men) has a sign stating they are open and will not be moving until Mid-Feburary.

Personally, I can’t see people visiting an empty shell of a mall to get their nails done, but then again, who am I?

Gent’s was still open, but Rainbow is having the “everything must be sold to the bare walls!” Zale’s didn’t have a closing date posted, or a location where they would be moving to. No word on where Barnes & Noble Booksellers would be located (or if they were simply going to close up shop and build a new building — the Daily Press confirmed they would be back, but could not give specifics as to where the new store in the “Peninsula Town Center” would be).

There had been a number of rumours that Burlington was staying (which would be a major mistake, in any Dead Mall fan’s book), that Burlington was moving into the old Hill’s/JM Field’s/Lionel Play World/Mr. How’s/Builder’s Square location at Riverdale (also not confirmed), and the rumour that Burlington was going to move back to the original location at what is now Power Plant. That’s the least likely, as there are two hotels going to be going in behind Cracker Barrell and Texas Steakhouse.

I’m happy I didn’t get the chance to go to Coliseum mall recently. It would be too sad. I still have the creepies from watching Newmarket Fair empty out through the years.

January 6, 2007

Holiday Parade Marks Transition of Coliseum Mall to Peninsula Town Center

Filed under: "coliseum mall",Christmas — Anita @ 6:14 am

{this is old, I know}




{If anybody has one of these Christmas Ornaments and they don’t want it, I’d be your best friend “foreverz”}

Even the Chick-Fil-A cows were on hand to celebrate the final Holiday Parade at Coliseum Mall, a milestone that in many ways marks the transition to The Peninsula Town Center, a $200 million mixed-use redevelopment of the vintage enclosed mall in Hampton, Va.

The cows served as Grand Marshals of the 7th annual event, which was held on Nov. 18 and attracted a crowd of more than 12,000 people. In addition to the Chick-Fil-A cows, the parade was attended by Santa Claus, festive floats, marching bands and other entertainment.

“We know that the community loves the parade in its existing form, and the parade will be bigger and better when it returns,” says Raymond Tripp, General Manager of Coliseum Mall and the forthcoming Peninsula Town Center that will take its place. “And this is symbolic of the larger transition taking place. Area residents love the Coliseum Mall, and we recognize that, but they will love even more the bigger and better Peninsula Town Center when it opens in 2008.”

To commemorate the holiday event, Coliseum Mall designed and produced a holiday ornament that features the original Coliseum Mall logo from 1973 on one side and the current Coliseum Mall logo on the other .

The 2006 Holiday Parade at the Coliseum Mall paraded down Hampton Roads Center Parkway to Coliseum Drive and ended on Von Shilling Drive. The parade went through the construction site for The Peninsula Town Center, which consists of two phases, including the pad for a new J.C. Penney’s store. This week, Steiner expects to deliver that pad to the department store chain, which will likely begin construction of its store soon after the pad is delivered.

In addition to the pad site work, Steiner + Associates began demolition of one wing of the mall in early September. About 25 percent of the existing mall has been demolished to make way for the new town center, which will encompass 800,000 square feet of retail and restaurants, 100,000 square feet of office space, and 150,000 square feet of residential space, situated around a town square. “Our goal is to actually blend into the community as it revitalizes itself around Peninsula Town Center,” Tripp notes. “We’ve taken great pains to extend the street network to and through our project so the community parks and public space within the center will anchor the project.”

The Peninsula’s public space will eventually house the Annual Holiday Parade, Tripp says. “We expect that the Center will be the hub for the community, where the Christmas tree and Santa Claus will entertain shoppers and residents for many years to come .”

(originally posted here)

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