Eastland Mall to shut down permanently after 54 years of business
After years of decline, and court orders, Eastland Mall is set to close permanently on Dec. 31, 2022.
A water line break on Monday forced the mall to shut down several days early.
Store owners are emptying their merchandise. "I've been in this mall for 25 years, and I had stable business with repeat customers, for sure I'm not happy," says Alaa Zedan, owner of Remo’s Menswear.
The 54-year-old mall was Columbus’ first to be enclosed. It was a shopping haven with anchor stores Sears, JCPenney, Lazarus, and then Macy’s, until competition with other malls and Easton Town Center drew shoppers away.
Zedan says when he began at Eastland, the mall was very busy. “The mall was packed at that time. But as I said, I was new to the business at that time,” says Zedan. “Over the years, I built a wide range of clientele, which was good and a staple of my business, but unfortunately, they're going to shut down everything.”
Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein had filed health and safety violations against the mall owners, Eastland Mall Holdings LLC of New Orleans.
Zedan is sad to move his thriving business, but knew there were building problems. "I heard that there is leaking in the sewer pipes in the basement,” says Zedan. “That's what I heard. I mean, I didn't see anything myself. I heard also there is some gas leak in the food court."
Zedan says he did see repair crews working at various times.
WOSU was unable to reach owner Eastland Mall Holdings LLC of New Orleans for comment.