There are hundreds of different malls and shopping centers through the United States, yet it is still pretty rare to come across a mall with as much history and retains such an interesting past as Salisbury Mall. Although the mall is now closed, it still has over 35 years of stories to tell, beginning with the fact that it was the first mall on the Delmarva Peninsula to be climate-controlled in an enclosed environment.
Grand opening for Salisbury Mall landed on October 16th, 1968, and the mall closed its doors after 36 years on November 23rd in the year of 2004. Initial reports indicated that the cost to build the mall was over 7 million dollars, and that the original parking lot was set to hold 3,300 vehicles.
Beginnings of Salisbury Mall
Construction started precisely one year before the mall opened, and when the mall did open, there were only 16 stores. However, there was room for 40 different tenants, and it did not take long for those spots to fill up with hopeful tenants. Originally, the mall was anchored by two stores, Sears and The Hecht Co, who would later change their name to Hecht’s.
There were over 1,000 employees and a 6 million dollar budget for payroll at the start of Salisbury Mall, which made a very good impact on the local economy.
RENOVATION AT SALISBURY MALL
In the fall of 1976, Salisbury Mall already had executed its first renovation plans which included the expansion of an east wing. The east wing would eventually be completed and in use by September 12th, 1976. Included in this renovation was a complete rework of the malls interior flooring, replacing the ceramic tiles that originally were in the mall with new wood flooring.
This expansion actually made the mall close to twice the size it was before, therefore parking would need to be accommodated. Nearly 2,000 additional parking spots were added to make room for new guests who wanted to experience the new Salisbury Mall, and those spots definitely filled up fast. The new east wing called for two new anchor locations, which would be occupied by Shoppers Food Warehouse and Hutzler’s.
On top of the new anchor locations, the new wing would also provide room for up to 30 more retail locations, and also produced a two-screen movie theatre. Salisbury Mall was now up to 70 total stores, a decent increase from its original 40.
DOWNFALL OF SALISBURY MALL
Things started to go downhill for Salisbury mall right around the time a murder was committed in one of the restrooms located within the mall. It was then that residents began to realize how big of an issue crime had become in the community, thus causing less people to be out shopping. Over time businesses continued to leave the mall, and the final tenant closed its doors in November of 2004. The mall was demolished in August of 2007 after close to three years of no business. Redevelopment plans have arisen and fallen through over the past few years, and it looks like Salisbury Mall really has come to an end.
Check out some great photos found here http://salisburymallarchve.blogspot.com/