This mall has a promising beginning, and plenty of room to make things work, but sometimes there just isn’t anything that can be done to save a failing mall. Port Plaza Mall had its fair share of ups and downs throughout the 29 years that it was in existence, along with plenty of store location changes, upgrades, and downgrades. Nevertheless, the mall that opened its doors on August 10th, 1977 would inevitably close them for good on February 27th, 2006.
However, redevelopment plans are still in the works for this once moderately popular shopping center. Nothing is set in stone yet, but in 2012 the mall property was razed as part of a redevelopment project, but specifics of this project are currently unknown to the general public. Although the 900,000 square foot mall that housed a maximum capacity of 120 different stores had a short lifespan, there’s still some history about this mall to be uncovered.
Early years for Port Plaza Mall
Development began for Port Plaza Mall in 1975, despite numerous attempts by various city leaders in Green Bay to start up a shopping center. Then, after two years of construction, the Port Plaza Mall opened its doors to the public in 1977. At the time, Port Plaza was owned and operated by Mansur & Associates, who were based out of Chicago.
The mall had room for 99 tenants, as well as two anchor locations when it was built, those two anchor locations would initially be occupied by JCPenney on the East, and H.C. Prange on the west. By the year of 1982, Port Plaza would implement brand new expansion to the Port Plaza Mall, which included a brand new food court as well as a third anchor location.
Four years after the expansion, Port Plaza Mall was purchased by Bostone Store Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. Two years after that, the new owners decided to have the mall undergo some renovations that would include brand new neon lighting, and new floor tiling throughout the mall.
Anchor Changes at Port Plaza Mall; Re-naming of the establishment
There wouldn’t be any anchor changes at Port Plaza until 1992, 15 years after the mall first officially opened. The change came when H.C. Prange was bought out by Younkers, causing the H.C. Prange within Port Plaza to become a Younkers. Eight years later, Boston Store would close due to the company owning Boston Store being combined with Macy’s.
The next year, Port Plaza Mall was bought by Development Associates, who had plans to change a very important aspect of the mall, its name. Along with the name change came a near completely different layout to the area that included adding office space combined with the retail space, turning it into a mixed-use facility. The name would inevitably be changed to Washington Commons once the changes had been made. After the change, the mall died very quickly and Development Associates lost ownership of the establishment, and rights were picked up by the city.