Chapel Hill Mall
Chapel Hill Mall is a one-story, 860,000 sq ft (80,000 m 2) enclosed mall located at 2000 Brittain Road in Akron, Ohio. Built by Richard (R.B.) Bucholzer and Forest City Enterprises, it opened on October 12, 1967. They continued to own the mall until 2004, when it was sold to the Chattanooga, Tennessee company CBL & Associates Properties, Inc.. The mall features more than 100 stores, with three anchor stores in JCPenney, Sears and Macy's.

Background
Chapel Hill Mall sits on land once owned by Richard Bucholzer's father, J.J. Bucholzer. During the Great Depression, J.J. Bucholzer became owner of a Hower's department store in downtown Akron. The Bucholzers knew Akron would grow to the north, and they felt that a Hower's store should be located on their land. It later became evident that even larger opportunities existed, and the natural choice was a climate-controlled shopping mall. Bucholzer teamed up with Forest City Enterprises to build Akron's first indoor mall. Plans were ready by 1963, but before the mall opened, Edward J. DeBartolo Corporation built Summit Mall on the west side of Akron. Chapel Hill Mall was the first completely self-contained shopping mall, with its own water storage/distribution facility, gas-fired electricity generating plant, and central heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning system. In the 1930s, young Richard Bucholzer found what appeared to be an old Indian council circle on his father's land. Because of this, Bucholzer named the development "Chapel Hill".

Major tenants
Chapel Hill Mall features three anchor stores: Macy's, JCPenney and Sears, which opened in 1966 before the mall proper. Macy's operates in an anchor that was originally occupied by local chain O'Neil's until 1989, May Co. until 1993, and Kaufmann's from 1993 to 2006. There used to be a multi-screen cinema at the mall as well. It opened in October 1966 as a two-screen theater, and eventually expanded to five screens. In 1987, General Cinemas (owner of the mall's cinema) opened an 8-screen multiplex just west of the mall, and in October 1996, Regal Cinemas opened their 10-screen theater immediately south of the mall. Less than two weeks later, the General Cinemas at the mall closed, and Old Navy took over the former theater. Woolworth also operated a store at the mall until 1997. It was later occupied by The Gap which has since closed as well. Steve & Barry's also operated a junior anchor until late 2008.

Layout
The mall follows a basic, horizontal plan. The main concouse has Sears at one end and Macy's at the other. At the very center of this concourse is the fountain. JC Penney is located here. Across the fountain from JC Penney is a corridor leading to the food court, added in the 1990s. The food court is home to a carousel. The carousel displays images of Akron-area landmarks and icons. These include the Stan Hywet estate, Blossom Music Center, Derby Downs, a Goodyear Blimp, Firestone Country Club, and the Ohio and Erie Canal.

Earlier expansion plans
Expansion plans to include a Higbee's store came up numerous times in the late 1980s and early 1990s. A plan was considered in 1988 by part-owner Forest City Enterprises. It included a 90,000-square-foot (8,400 m 2) addition for an additional department store. Expansion was again mentioned in 1989. A front-page story on the January 31, 1990 edition of the Akron Beacon Journal read "Higbee's Coming to Chapel Hill Mall". The store, along with a food court and additional retail space, would be open by Fall 1991, it said.

1994 expansion
In 1994, the mall's owners added the food court and retail expansion that exists today. New flooring and ceiling tiles, a new fountain, and new lighting were also added.

Other malls in Akron area
  • Rolling Acres Complex
  • Summit Mall


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