Thursday, January 12, 2012

Signal Hill Mall: Statesville, NC (Update of post from January 16, 2011)

Barely large enough to support a mall, the city of Statesville, NC has still managed to have its very own mall. Problem is, not only is the mall quite small, but it does not seem to be doing terribly well these days. It is an attractive mall, though, for its size. It also holds onto most of its original wonderful 70's elements such as the planters, fountains and just about everything else aside from the anchor entrances to Belk and Sears. The mall opened in 1973 and likewise the mall still looks like 1973 inside and out barring a few modifications such as one of the fountains near Belk being covered, planters downsized, different paint and updated storefronts. For Signal Hill Mall, the combination of dated design, small size and a loss of many stores in the mall has made it rather popular with both fans of dead malls and fans of classic mall design. Its website, however, is quite ugly and the description of the mall rather strongly highlights the lack of a marketing consultant. It is not even clear who even owns the mall!

"We might not be the largest mall, or the most exciting shopping and entertainment destination in North Carolina. Signal Hill Mall, a beautiful gem, located in the rolling foothills of North Carolina, brings you the the fashion, dining and family entertainment options in an eccentric setting". Let us decipher this passage. First, they are putting themselves down in that first sentence. Then, they counteract that with an exaggerated statement in the next sentence. I guess they have small town fashion down pat since the anchors are holding steady, but I think the dining has diminished a bit with Chick-Fil-A gone. However, IHOP and the local barbeque restaurant hopefully make up for that somewhat. Family entertainment I guess means those gumball machines and kiddie rides that you sometimes find even in abandoned malls, but it seems that here you can be a little bold and try out their hurricane simulator. Too bad they don't have a tornado simulator. While you're pretending to be blown away and drowned in a storm surge, don't break your teeth on the gumballs. The last part, "an eccentric setting" is a little scary. Do we mean panhandlers, pot enthusiasts, bohemians from an anemic arts district or just a colorful term for a redneck? I think we should award this mall with the best advertising ever.

The smaller of two fountains in the mall is located in front of JCPenney and the former Spainhour's, which both make entrances at an angle from the mall wing. The first photo is a night-shot of the classic brutalist entrance. I sincerely hope the owners do not remove all of the fountains.

Another view of the fountain looking south along the JCPenney wing toward the main entrance. Photo by Mike Kalasnik.

A view back along the JCPenney wing with JCPenney and Spainhour's in the background. Note one of the many planters in the mall with the light blue painted wood and brown tiles surrounding it.

JCPenney at a right diagonal.

Spainhour's visible on the left diagonal. A wall with an American flag divides the two anchors.

Close-up of JCPenney mall entrance. Photo by Mike Kalasnik.

Close-up of Spainhour's mall entrance. Photo by Mike Kalasnik.

Right in front of Spainhour's and JCPenney on both sides are these narrow entrance wings. Notice how the overhead light forms a long arrow. Also note the mix of brown tiles and pea gravel flooring along the floor leading to the exit. Too bad this hallway doesn't double as a time machine.

I actually visited this mall after writing the initial post on this, so finally getting to see it was a treat. It was also even more archaic than I expected. In fact, the only other mall I know of that Sky City covers that looks this original has been sealed off for 10 years. I guess some people would consider this seedy, but seeing things like well-placed brown linoleum floor tiles, large in-floor fountains, lush planters, cylindrical light fixtures pea gravel step walls and ancient storefronts was a real treat. Unfortunately, a look like this is not going to keep the tenants forever. Sears is closing in early 2012, so something needs to be done to make this mall more appealing without making it dirt plain like the Hull Storey Gibson malls. If nothing else, the owners should keep the fountains and planters including uncovering and making the fountain in front of Belk more safe, although modernizing the fountains somewhat (perhaps larger) would be much appreciated. Beautiful fountains are rare in malls today, but this should be one mall that doesn't remove them.

Three views of the fountain in center court. This is what I expect to see when I see a fountain a mall: an in-ground large tub-like fountain with a distinctive modernist design with water falling off the edges and plants all around. The first photo is looking toward Sears, second toward JCPenney and last towards the main entrance. All three photos by Mike Kalasnik.

A close-up shot of the funky old fountain in center court.

Row of mostly empty shops on left side of Sears wing. The empty store with the red outline was a former Kay Bee Toys. Photo by Mike Kalasnik.

Close up of Kay-Bee Toys with Labelscar visible. Along with Circus World, these were a staple of malls up to the 1990's despite the presence of Toys 'R' Us and Lionel Play World. A loss of variety including stores like this are one reason malls are struggling today. Photo by Mike Kalasnik.

The raised "stage" area in the JCPenney wing features light blue paint on the wood trim and pea gravel on the side. Photo by Mike Kalasnik.

A closer look at the stage area. While interesting, this seems to serve absolutely no purpose at all.

The mall's three anchors are pretty much what you would expect in North Carolina in a smaller town: Belk, Sears and JCPenney. The mall also once had a fourth anchor, which last operated as Peeble's. Peeble's was configured very strangely in the mall squeezed up beside JCPenney in the back of the mall.  This was done in a 1988 expansion which moved the Spainhour's in order to add JCPenney. Also, on an outlot on the northwest corner of the mall is a vacant grocery store that previously operated as Winn-Dixie. It should also be noted that despite this generic list of anchors that there were a few changes over the years. While Belk and JCPenney are original anchors, the other mall anchors proved to be far more volatile. Sears is a late arrival to the mall, opening in 1997. The Sears was originally Woolworth (more like a junior Woolco) and it closed in 1992. In 1995, it was replaced by Hills Department Store only to close the following year. Sadly, Sears will be closing this spring in the same location. Peeble's, the other anchor to close, operated as Spainhour's until 1992. Peeble's itself closed about 10 years after it arrived, completely leaving the city. The store remains vacant today. IHOP also replaced a restaurant called Apple House Buffet which apparently was originally a Bonanza Steakhouse.

Belk features an updated entrance in total contrast to the mall's surroundings. It is at least a positive sign that Belk has made a real investment in the store even if it means a standard post-2000 mall entrance. Also note the red patch in the middle. This is a boarded-over deep fountain that is visible in the second of two videos I linked to below. I hope if this mall gets remodeled this fountain is uncovered and some nice railing put around it to keep people from falling in so we can see it again.

The same planter in the earlier photo on the JCPenney wing looking instead toward center court. The left side shown here shows there is still life in the mall. I'm sure like Lenoir Mall, GNC will be the one shutting out the lights if everything else here leaves.

Sears mall entrance with round planter in front. I'm pretty sure Hibbett Sports was probably next to Sears on the right along this wing.

One thing you didn't find in 70's malls was "plush" seating. This backless bench looks like the place where sometime in the 80's a middle aged man was plopped down staring sullenly into space waiting for the wife with stars in her eyes and a furious click to her heels to charge up his credit card.

Ramps and stairs are found on both sides of center court with Belk lower than Sears.

Bookland, the rare small format Books-A-Million, at least keeps a bookstore in the mall. I wonder if a full-scale Books-A-Million couldn't be squeezed in between the soon-to-be-former Sears and center court since it looks like outside access does exist there.

I am still trying to figure out this very very dated former tenant. The only thing that comes to mind is Wicks 'N' Sticks.

This store front has a label scar, but I cannot remember what it said and am having trouble telling from the photo at this angle. The fact it is clad with wood paneling says it has been closed for possibly as much as 20 years. It seems like I remember it saying "Happy Hermans".

Sadly, once you get past IHOP or enter the mall from the department stores, there is not much to offer in this mall anymore. Absolutely no popular fashion stores exist in the mall. Even Rue 21 lacks a presence in the mall, so it is clear that the mall will not have a lengthy future if it is not repositioned or at least marketed better, and the main problem is that it is plainly too small and dated in a town that is likewise possibly too small to support it despite the anchors. I wonder if it is also an issue of the local economy. The town is in a region that has been badly hurt by the offshoring of jobs and subsequent closing of factories. Strip centers that have popped up in the last decade both have stores like GameStop. Does the mall have a GameStop? Nope. Nevertheless, it is well-located next to I-77, so basically it suffers from the Cookeville curse. My guess is that a strip mall with those same anchors would probably be more successful, and it looks like the culprit to the malls vacancy problem is the explosion of new strip malls around the city in the past few years when Signal Hill once owned the market. Wal-Mart as well as the recently built strip just to the east with Bi-Lo both caused the bleeding to occur, and likely the lack of investment in the mall is a combination of small, local ownership lacking the leverage to draw tenants and a lack of need to invest in an extensive remodel before the retail boom in the past decade.

Before this post was updated, the post featured 7 separate short videos of Signal Hill Mall by Mike Kalasnik taken in May 2010. With his help, I compiled those clips into one adding captions to describe diferent places filmed. This is my first attempt at compiling a video and posted them on the new YouTube channel for Sky City.

A friend found this footage taken of the mall in its far better days back in 1991. Note the presence of a deep fountain next to Belk, Woolworth and Spainhours still operational, warm orange trim and a fully tenanted healthy mall. Seeing the video above first makes this painful to watch. The person taking video also has video walking around the Woolworth as well as further footage inside the Woolworth Harvest House restaurant in the store.

In the first photo, Signal Hill Mall's entrance is firmly trapped in the 70's, and it looks just fine. The geometric shapes and loopy font is actually very eye-catching. The first photo was submitted to me by Mike Kalasnik. In the second photo, this is actually from the 70's. It is from LiveMalls courtesy of Pat Richardson. Note the Woolworth's located where Sears is today and the Spainhour's logo next to the JCPenney logo.

Spainhour's labelscar is visible from the front of the mall if the light is right. The sign rests above the mall near the main entrance.

A map of the mall with all anchors current and former listed. The last store occupying an anchor is listed first with previous anchors listed below it.

A map of the mall as it is today. Note the awesome logo at the bottom. This map may date to the early days of the mall. Photo by Mike Kalasnik.

The mall features several styles of overhead skylights including this one close to Sears.

The mall is trying on an international flavor with POHI! Here you can get scrambled egg samosas and salmon teriyaki burritos. In the background is the front/main entrance.

With Signal Hill Mall, I see some very creative potential to make this mall more competitive with the strip malls that have wounded the mall. While I do not see Target coming to town, what I do see is a strip mall next door in desperate need of redevelopment. It is dragging down the mall, and it should become one with the mall somehow or have its dead parts demolished. What I am basically talking in regards to "one with the mall" about is integrating a pedestrian corridor between the two centers via an open-air but covered walkway by expanding the mall either through or in front of Belk into the strip mall. I also see a pitiful website that scares away those wishing to invest in the mall. Small upgrades to the mall like new paint (such as a return to the burnt orange), new flooring, improvements to the main mall entrance and refurbishment (not removal) of fountains, benches and planters inside would help as well. I would at least suggest replacing the off-white square tiles that look dingy and plain with more attractive flooring (perhaps a slate-looking tile?).

In case you missed the joke above, POHI is what you see above. Whlie hardly first-class dining, it is at least a chain restaurant willing to anchor the mall. Photo by Mike Kalasnik.

On this overhang, JCPenney is right justified while Spainhour's labelscar is on the left. Apparently Peeble's did not post a sign up here judging by the lack of their label scar.

Belk runs the show as the top dog anchor of the mall. If Belk leaves for any reason, the mall will fold like a gambler with a bad hand. Note that the mall appears to have had canopies removed underneath the arches.

Will anything come to fill the void Sears is about to leave behind? If nothing else, I could see Rose's working here though I hope for something better, more unique and more of a draw.

Spainhour's looks lonely and forgotten hidden in the least visible corner of the mall. This store should honestly be absorbed into JCPenney to strengthen JCPenney's position at the mall.

If JCPenney closes this store on the heels of Sears closing, this mall will be near impossible to save. It is quite possibly one of the plainest JCPenney stores I've ever seen, and if the renovated and combined with Spainhour's space, it could be far better. If JCPenney leaves, Kohl's or Hamrick's should take this space.

View of Winn-Dixie store on northeast corner of the mall. Does anybody know when this might have closed?

One of the long, narrow mall exits in the mall. This one is next to Belk.

As Sears prepares to depart the mall, this will either be a disaster for the mall or an opportunity to make it better. Toying with many plans, the plan that makes the most sense is to build a new 2-level Belk on top of what is now Newtowne Plaza, converting the old Belk to mall space with an additional junior anchor.  From the old Belk, a small amount of mall would be built connecting the upper level of Belk to the mall.  JCPenney would also move into the old Sears, and the existing JCPenney and abandoned Peeble's would be demolished.  Along with that, Newtowne Plaza would be reconfigured to include another grocery or discount anchor and the theater would be demolished.  The old Harris Teeter would be refinished and subdivided as well.  Doing this would make the mall viable and marketable again since the current mall is too old, small and poorly configured.  Possible anchors to add to the mall include Dunham's Sporting Goods, Hamrick's, Ingles (in the strip portion), Peeble's/Burke's Outlet, Wal-Mart, Target, Academy Sports, Cabela's among others.  The new mall addition should also be designed more lush than modern malls with a new fountain, wood along the ceiling, lots of natural light (high windows and an overhead skylight) and integrated with the older part of the mall.  Indeed, Signal Hill is troubled, but with Belk and JCPenney hanging on this is the last chance for the mall to pull out and have another shot at success. Do the people in the town just prefer strip malls? They are lucky to have a mall, but it is up to them to make the once great mall great again, and it will take a really sound plan to save it. At nearly 40 years old, the people of Statesville should fight to keep this little gem from dying. Maybe this was what the mall website meant when it talked about "an eccentric setting".

The first redevelopment plan is pretty ambitious with an unusual layout.  It calls for two department store anchors, one sporting goods anchor, one discount or grocery anchor where JR's is currently and one junior department store anchor.  It retains much of Newtowne Plaza but reconfigures it demolishing the old Harris Teeter to make Belk fully visible from the road.  Belk will have two mall entrances, the lower level of the mall will be open-air with stairs and escalator to the back wing and the mall will have greatly expanded space.  However, the back anchor will have no visibility from the road.

The second redevelopment plan is more economical and more likely basically converting the Belk to a combination of a junior anchor and mall space.  It includes a small mall addition to connect to a new Belk in Newtowne Plaza from the upper level of the replacement Belk.  It also includes a complete overhaul of Newtowne Plaza and demolition of the back anchor that currently includes an undersized JCPenney.  The plan here makes the mall more front-facing and offers the ability to turn Newtowne Plaza into a lifestyle center.  In both plans, the existing JCPenney and former Spainhour's is demolished, JCPenney relocates into the old Sears/Woolworth, Belk becomes an expanded mall and a new 2-level Belk store is built on what is currently a portion of Newtowne Plaza.  The two levels are needed due to the grade difference between the strip and the mall, and in the second plan Belk will provide the only access from Newtowne Plaza to the mall by foot.


  1. The Carolinas are full of mediocre malls piddling along- not dead but not thriving either (Dutch Square, Monroe Crossing/Mall, etc.).

    As long as there's a Belk, the mall will hang in there.

  2. I've been to this mall before, I'm surprised the Peebles closed. Stage/Bealls/Peebles(all the same company) stores always find a way to put their run of the mill dept stores in small towns though its hard to find one in a bigger city. In this case a Peebles along side a JCPenny and Sears was unusual.

    Statesville exists in an odd position. It's at the intersection of two major Interstates but its just off the cutting edge of being just outside the Charlotte metro area as southern Iredell County is quite urban compared to the rural part Statesville is in. I suspect while the anchors Belk, JCPenny and Sears are successful for convience, most Statevillians are now use to the 20-30 minute drive to Mooresville or that nice mall in Concord etc.

  3. "We might not be the largest mall, or the most exciting shopping and entertainment destination in North Carolina. Signal Hill Mall, a beautiful gem, located in the rolling foothills of North Carolina, brings you the fashion, dining and family entertainment options in an eccentric setting."

    No comma needed after 'mall' or 'gem,' but there should be one after 'dining.' Omit 'the' before 'fashion.' And those are just the grammar mistakes.

    "It's all about location. Conveniently situated in the heart of North Carolina, Signal Hill Mall is within diret access of Interstate 77 from Exit 50."

    ...diret? Really? And "within access of __ from __" just doesn't sound right to me anyway...

    "Signal Hill Mall has been designed to mirror North Carolina's rich, love of nature. Brilliant sky lights drown the atmosphere with luminist sunshine that nutures our botanical areas."

    Oh man. No comma after 'rich;' and I think 'skylights' is one word. 'Luminist'? 'Nutures'? Jeeze....

    I don't even feel like doing the last paragraph. The first word is 'hungrey'...

    That was probably the most pathetic attempt at advertising a mall that I have ever seen.

  4. let the citys around statesville have all the traffic an mess,statesville is a quiet little nice town,we hardly ever have a traffic jam even though it gets a little tight around walmart but compared to other towns its not so bad.its nice to run errands an not have to worry bout a bunch of junk, an stupid people leave statesville alone an as is....

    1. Does it occur to you that this is why there are no jobs and no progress in Statesville? Once the older generation dies out, the town will go with it, mainly because all the younger people have moved to the other cities that have "all the mess", including better employment opportunities. Companies and stores come to places that have traffic. You may not like it when it becomes "jammed", but the alternative is for your quiet little town to be silenced forever.

    2. Not sure where your jobs numbers are coming from but I was just reading that two new plants are opening as I type this bringing around 100 jobs to Statesville. There is a new Business Park being purchased and developed. Hobby Lobby is finishing up there new store in Statesville, so on and so on. The problem is people comment with what they think is happening as opposed to what is actually happening. Statesville will continue to grow as the Charlotte region expands and the new will replace the old (both in people and in buildings). Because a mall the never has been managed correctly is failing you and others discount an inter city?

  5. What does this have to do, though, with the fact your mall is dying?

  6. That SHM website is an embarrassment, as is the poorly worded/spelled/punctuated comment by "Anonymous ". Having lived in Statesville for most of my life, I've watched steady decline of SHM for years. It's been a slow, slow death.

    The mall opened in the Spring of 1973. Opening day was chaos; wall to wall people, every store doing a brisk business...

    Nearly 40 years later, it's pretty much a useless eyesore. A kid could drown in one of the fountains and they wouldn't find the body for months. The powers that be decided years ago to keep Statesville a quiet little place, and they have been quite successful. Not necessarily a bad thing, but I'll bet even Peyton Place had at least ONE decent bookstore.

    1. The owner of Signal Hill Mall was approached with the idea of rebuilding the mall and expanding it to a second level, taking the other ghost area of that street: the JR Tobacco strip mall. However, the owner reportedly declined and refuses to sell or change the mall at all. Apparently progress and job growth are not of interest, even though it would be in Statesville's best interest. The older clans that control commerce in this town are killing it. Millions of dollars were poured into the Downtown area, just down the street from SHM, in the form of huge planters, too much foliage, and widened sidewalks. Poor planning, as it cut parking in half and reduced the easy diagonal spaces into compact parallel parking. What they should have done is fixed the damaged, old buildings to attract new business and increased parking. Now the Downtown area is dying off with the mall. If not for the Mitchell Community College kids seeking lunch, there wouldn't be any business. It's awkward and uncomfortable, leaving most folks with distaste for venturing there. And did anyone consider how much more dangerous it would be to unload your family in the single lane, parallel spots? It puts your kids in the line of traffic. When you do try to park, you have to pull ahead of your space to properly maneuver, but the person behind you (in the only lane) doesn't know that and won't stop to leave you room to back up into your spot. FAIL! It's just not worth the effort, just like the mall isn't either. We're all going to the cities that have what we wanted here. Didn't any of you "All Wise" planners and decision makers consider ANY of this?

  7. Sears announced 12/29/11 that the Signal Hill Mall store will be closing. That can't be good for this mall.

  8. I LOVE the additions and revisions done to this one. GREAT WORK!!!!!

  9. Great entry on Signal Hill. I'd love to see Signal Hill do some quick reworking once Sears pulls out, and I like the idea of relocating the JCPenney to the Sears space, and trying to lure a store like Rose's or something else(does Dick's consider opening in towns as small as Statesville, NC? if they do, Signal Hill should definitely pursue them to open in one of the anchor spaces) to this mall.

    I hope if renovation work is done to this place, that it isn't done at the expense of the cool older touches in the interior, such as the fountain, skylights, etc.

    1. JRs use to be Roses and before that Kings. The latter two have already left and JRs plans on downsizing and move to Mooresville in 01/2015.

  10. You should to a post about Desoto Square mall in Florida. Defiantly dying.

  11. Apparently in the mid-2000s, there were plans of a huge renovation here: according to DeadMalls, there were "elaborate and expensive scenarios including giant 4,000 gallon fish tanks, huge green gathering areas, band performance space, interactive fountains, a hotel, a wedding chapel, many upscale restaurants, etc"

  12. Whoops, wrong mall.

  13. I think the center court fountain is great but the other ones look like broken pond fountains to me. The outside signage is unique and with some cool colors could work even now. The long dark hallways are horrible though and I wouldn't want to go down them.

  14. This mall is not coming back. The door is about to swing shut for good on Signal Hill Mall, Salisbury Mall and a whole slew of other malls that should never have been built in the first place.

  15. While I agree that this mall may be too late to save, I disagree on "should never have been built". Even Salisbury Mall supplanted another smaller mall (Towne Mall), and it was location that has hurt that mall more than anything else. If Signal Hill hadn't been built, then these stores would have just populated a more unsightly strip mall that would be dead now leaving even more blight on the landscape. This mall in particularly is nearly 40 years old...pretty impressive for a tiny mall that has never received anything more than a paint job since the day it opened. It was very successful for nearly 20 years and has hung on ever since. I think those that built the malls did not foresee the economic devastation that would soon unfold with the closing of the furniture and textile mills and decline of the tobacco industry.

  16. Wow, this one brings back memories. I've always wondered why Hickory grew and Statesville did not considering that Statesville has two major interstates (77 and 40) and is a much easier commute to Charlotte and Winston-Salem? But, I digress. I have not been to Signal Hill Mall in probably 40 years! One thing I do remember though is the Mom-n-Pops cafeteria that was where IHOP used to be. I don't think there are any Mom-n-Pops left and that's a shame because those places had the BEST food: much better than K and W, Morrisons, Apple House and the other cafeterias that every NC mall used to have.

    1. As of 2014/2015 the mall is almost forty-two years old.

  17. I used to love visiting this mall as a young kid. Woolworth's was especially exciting. It is really depressing to see the place in this current state of disrepair. I saw some people mentioning Roses. Statesville actually used to have one located right next to the mall along with Toys R Us and Circuit City in the 80's. Walmart has a stranglehold on the city as it is really the only thing keeping it alive. There were rumors of a revitalization. The plans were to expand and integrate J.R. Tobacco next door but they refused, I am not sure why since they would have increased profits with foot traffic from the mall.

  18. I think they should do something about the mall,get some more stores in the mall and knock down that wall pebbeles use to have and let J C Penneys have more room. Let the people shop thats all they want to do. And get a fat people store in the mall.they took away all the fat stores for women and they cant shop. Big wheels own the mall and they dont want to do anything about it. FIX IT UP!!

  19. This mall could be saved with the right investment. It's in an excellent location and despite everything against it, the mall is hanging on. I have seen many, many Belk-anchored malls across the state that have died or are hanging on barely and this one has suprisingly high occupancy and could be saved if they did something now. Belk should move to the old Sears to update their look and add more space, JCPenney should take over the old Belk and Dunham's Sports should take over all of the old Spainhour's/JCPenney space. Renovate the mall and expand it back from the Spainhour's wing to the north side of what is now Belk, connect it to the strip center and I believe that the mall would spring back to life and do well again.

  20. Bring a toy store back put in an antique mall and a hot wheels collector shop and a sports card shop back and put in a roses.also that was a ton of toys store not a toys are us store by what is now hrs.

  21. It's hard to believe but back in the late 80s to the early 90s, this place was actually very crowded on a Friday or Saturday night. Coming back home to Statesville, and seeing SHM in it's current state is emotionally painful. In general, the city of Statesville allows so many of it's closed store buildings to remain vacant. The former Winn-Dixie store by the mall, and the old Davis Hospital (locally known as being haunted) have also been empty for over 20 years! Well I do believe the old hospital is privately owned, and monitored by security but why allow a decrepit old building remain?

  22. The "raised stage" in the JC Penney wing was additional dining space for Chik-Fil-A and the ice cream shop. Looks like they removed the tables when CFA closed.

  23. chik fila a left due to their opening of a free standin location.Mal ha nothn to d wt it,Sars was a corporate shut down,so was toys r us,andmot all thother stores.Were al corporate down sizing.Maybehad sme of thecoplainers gne and patronized this place it wouldnt have issues.Also the owner needs to sell as his son doesnt know what going on an t lsing agent gets paid she doesnt wnt to rock te boat or get off her ass and ok for stores to occupy the facility.

  24. I would love to see this mall saved, it has so much charm and potential. I use to take my daughter trick or treating there when she was little. I also use to go there on Black Friday, it use to be quite an event for us. We use to go to the Signal Hill Mall about once a month to shop, now maybe once every six months or so.

    If the owners of JR's would consider leaving the dilapidated building they're in now and move on over to the old Sears store I think that would really set the mall moving into right direction. JR's gets a lot of tourist and local people shopping in it and I do believe the mall's owner also owns the ruined down strip mall JR's is in. It could be the reboot this mall needs. Add in another restaurant too and I think more businesses would consider SHM when looking to Statesville.

    Since Sears left the shoe store next to it (Shoe Shoe) has since closed. So sad, I hope someone does something to revive it.

    BTW, Rue 21 opened in strip mall Walmart's in. It gets a lot of traffic, too bad they didn't look to the mall instead. The website for the mall is also dead.

  25. Peebles does not have an apostrophe, as the company was known as
    W. S. Peebles and Company before being bought out for the first time in the late 1980s. Peebles is the founder's last name. This can be verified by visiting the website, The company is now a division of Stage Stores, Inc.

    I worked at Store 67, at Myrtle Square Mall in Myrtle Beach, SC during 1984-1986.

    Great blog!


  26. FROM the first video,the abandoned store was not was a winn Dixie grocery store...sears also used to have a car garage in the back...SINCE VIDEO WAS SHOT..shoe show closed as well as sears and tunes...the store wth wood front was not wicks and sticks,buta store called memory lane..

    1. From about 2000 - 2005 the store with the wooden front and lights was a store called Pines & Needles. It had home accessories in it like picture frames and candles and it smelled so good. The great things about it though was that they had a couple train tables with full sets of Thomas the Train tracks set up on them and the owner would let the kids play on the sets as long as they wanted. They also sold all of the Thomas the Train merchandise. With two small boys back then much of my time and money was spent there. They day we found out it was closing my sons sobbed all the way home. We still have two amazing Thomas the Train sets thanks to Pines & Needles.

    2. From about 2000 - 2004 the store with the wooden front was a store called Pines & Needles. They sold small home accessories like candles, photo frames, etc. The best thing though was that they had two train tables set up in the store with two full Thomas the Train sets and would let the kids play as long as they wanted on those train tables. Of course, they also sold the Thomas the Train merchandise so as a mom of two boys back then much of my money and time was spent in that store. Anytime I would ask my boys what they wanted to do it was "go to the train store". The day we found out it was closing they both cried all the way home. We still have two amazing Thomas the Train sets though!

  27. JR's is closing at the end of December. Article:

  28. JRs use to be Roses and before that it was Kings. The latter two have already left and JRs plans on downsizing and moving to Mooresville in 01/2015.

  29. J.C. Penny will be closing on April 4, so there isn't much hope for the mall even if Belk is able to stay in the mall for a little longer. Hibbett sports decided that the mall wasn't a good location for its new store, so they decided to open at the strip mall close to the mall.

  30. I recall the garage on the side of the Sears location as a Midas Mufflers location. Years ago it was mentioned that Sears might use the Winn-Dixie vacancy as a tire and auto section. Of course this never happened.

  31. Well guess what. Jcpenney closed their doors. Nand Raido shack is doing the same. Belks is the only store left in the so called mall.

  32. The Winn Dixie relocated across the street to the Kmart shopping center in the 90's into a former Brendle's store. The old Winn Dixie has been empty ever since

  33. RadioShack hasn't closed down. In fact, the store underwent some minor renovations to include a Sprint store to occupy some of its space as part of the company's "store within a store" strategy. Unfortunately, Bookland closed down as of January 23 this year.

  34. Statesville is run by a few people with money. These people, since they shop elsewhere, care little about any progress in the town ( hence the reason it is no longer called "City of Progress' and they hold onto their money and care less about getting new developments or improving the ones that they do have. Apathy is the problem here