Now I was born in 1982, which is I believe 10 years after this mall opened. However I can remember this mall very very well. This was an enclosed mall in a busy part of what use to be a hot spot in Hollywood, Florida which is some 20 minutes south of Miami. I don’t know the exact specs of the mall, though it was pretty big. It had 4 anchor stores. Burdines(which just recently merged with Macy’s), JC Penny’s, Jordan Marshe, and Zayre’s(which later became Ames). It’s a 2 story parking garage which was very unusual to me. You had the ground parking, and some of under the 2nd story of the parking garage. But the 2nd floor was a different. Only the anchors had a 2nd story. The interior of the mall was 1 floor. But the 2nd floor of the parking garage surrounded the entire mall even going over the interior section. Basically you parked your call ontop of the mall.
This mall had been doing very good business for a very long time and kept up with the times pretty much. Going into late 1989 to early 1990 there was no signs of the mall closing shop. But the area the mall was in was a different story. In 1985 my brother was jumped by bunch of punks for no reason. The crime in the area was increasing. In 1989, the family decided to move to a up and coming city west of Hollywood called Pembroke Pines. Pembroke Pines was a pretty afluent city where basically at the time, if you didn’t have money, you couldn’t live here. From where we lived in Pembroke Pines it was only a good 10 minute drive to the Hollywood Fasion Center which was the closest mall to us. Pembroke Pines virtually had nothing but a supermarket here and there. But all that was about to change.
In 1990, Zayre’s/Ames closed it’s doors due to lack of traffic. It might have had something to do with the K-Mart 2 blocks down the street. However those 2 stores competed with each other for 20 years. Obvisiously K-Mart won and is still open to this day. 1991 spelled the end of Jordan Marshe. I remember walking in there and the building was almost completely empty with just a few tables of various clothes and what not. With 2 of the 4 anchors gone, the mall still held up pretty well due to JC Penny’s and Burdines(which is #1 retailer in Florida).
1992 was a year that spelled the end of the mall. And it wasn’t a slow process. It’s happened mostly all in one shot. Pembroke Pines which at the time was the fastest growing city in the state of Florida built a mall in which virtually all the tenants of the Fashion Center flocked too including Burdines and JC Penny’s. The opening was in October of 1992 and the mall was called the Pembroke Lakes Mall(which by the way I have a story about being an employee there for 3 years).
With no achors and very little 2nd rate stores inside, the mall was closed and boarded up by the end of 1993. And this property would stand like that for years. Halloween 1995 brought a way to use the mall. The entire mall was opened, and used as a haunted house which generated big money. However this was for only one Halloween. Many times over the years, the open parking lot would be used for carnivals and things of that nature but the actually building was never touched. In 1998 a Save-A-Lot supermarket moved into the Burdines building. When I got my driver’s license, if I was in the area I would go and drive around the empty mall which was covered in graffiti and look as if it were decaying. Months later on the news was that a few kids hanging out in the parking garage were stupid enough to play with bats in rafters. The bats came out and they got bit and had to get something like 30 shots for rabbies.
At the beginning of 2003 I was driving around and saw something shocking. I saw a huge sign that said, “Millennium Mall: Opening End of 2003″. They renamed the mall and were going to reopen it. And the proof was there because remodeling of the interior was very appearent. So in November 2003, I heard that the Millennium Mall was open, so I went to check it out. That was not a mall, it was an indoor flea market. A big one at that and showed no signs of life. The mall had very little people and was depressing to see. Jordan Marshe was turned into offices, and the other 2 anchors were left boarded up and havent seen the light of day in 10 years. When driving by, I think it’s an eye soar and think it’s high time to tear it down and make way for something new and better. The good days of the Fashion Center are long gone though the mall that put that mall in ruins, isn’t doing all that great itself but that’s a different story for another time.