Shopping center names no one uses

In Ye Olden Dayes (early 1960s), what we now call “strip centers” were the big destination retail innovation. They all had puffed-up names (by the genteel standards of the day), and people tended to refer to them by that name.

By the late 60s, the “indoor mall” had been invented, suburbia was filling in all over the country, and strip centers were well on the way to being just minor necessity shops anchored by a single grocery store as all the department stores and specialty retail stores flocked to the malls. Other than grocery stores, big box retail mostly hadn’t been invented yet. And the puffery coefficient of retail center naming was on a steady upwards trend.

After the late ‘60s recession and stagflation followed by the oil crisis, retail had a boomlet in the late 70s. But it was a boomlet of strip centers anchored by KMarts and a new chain called Target. By this time the name of the strip center had become obsolete. Nobody but the centers’ owners used it. Everybody else calls them by the anchor store and general location: e.g. “the North side Target”.

An Oakland county. But even outside of it, people just love oaks here apparently.

Not sure whether to post here or the “dead mall” thread, but since it isn’t a mall, LSLGuy’s post reminded me of the D+F Plaza appropriately on the border of Dunkirk and Fredonia, NY. One of the largest strip malls I’ve seen before the “Destination” ones of the 90s, it even included a miniature golf course and a department store outbuilding. But its décor never went past the 70s or late 60s, but it still kept up its occupancy of local stores (Laundromat, Book Nook, Quality Markets, except the Your Host left), even when the road it was on was bypassed by another new road a block away. Ironically, when big box stores started to be built on that road, that was when it started to get empty. It still feels weird to drive past it and see crowded big box stores just across the street from an empty strip mall…couldn’t one of them have taken the department store location for a lot cheaper?

Oh, and I guess this is the opposite of the theme of the thread. Everyone did call it the D+F plaza.

In my hometown, for a period in the early 2000s they named the outdoor mall with a perfectly cromulent name as “Towne Centre.” Sic, I shit you not. You have only two pertinent words, and you manage to misspell and pretentious-the-hell-up both of them!? (by US spelling standards). Made me rage every time I read it. I guess others felt the same as last I checked they changed it back.

There’s a city called California in Maryland?

I, too, usually refer to specific stores instead of the names of whole shopping plazas or malls here in Missoula, but there’s two shopping centers I do refer to by name most of the time: Southgate Mall, an anachronistic enclosed 1980s-style shopping mall, and Trempers, a strip mall anchored by an Ace Hardware and the Book Exchange, a used book store. Both of those are, in their own fashion, distinctive enough to be landmarks in their own right, and locals know them by name.

Let’s go to the quarry and throw stuff down there! Brilliant!

Now just where have I heard that before ??? It’s vaguely familiar and yet I can’t quiiiite place it. :smiley:

Yes. Population 11,857 at the 2010 census. Saaaaaa-lute!

Now pardon me, I need to get back to my cornfield.

Monroeville Mall has been considering changing its name to Thunderdome but Mel could get upset with that.

Zombies seem to be the least of their problems these days.

Good point.

But how did they get people to internalize the new name?

Ha! ISWYDT. :smiley:

Is that in Issaquah or Redmond, WA?

Interesting – that jibes with the vintage of the signage on the places I am thinking of. I still wonder, if someone offered to completely clear away the signs for free, if they would take the offer rather than continuing to bother with maintaining these huge, internally lighted signs. They can still keep the names for whatever legal purposes they need, after all.

Nope, not Washington.

Down the road from Hollywood, Maryland

Why not? There’s a city (or town) called Indiana in Pennsylvania (hometown of Jimmy Stewart, where his Best Actor Oscar for The Philadelphia Story sat in the window of the hardware store for many years).

And in my state, we have towns called Mexico and Milan (the latter pronounced “my-lunn” despite it having become a majority Latino city).

Named by the people who went West and then came back.

“Bulletproof Plaza” might appeal to tenants.

I spend a lot of time in Indiana, PA.

Not very far from here are various town names- Yukon, California, Wyoming, Panic, Desire, and the wonderful town I live in currently, Black Lick.

Indiana has a mall, which is no longer an indoor mall bu a collection of storefronts called Regency Mall, but only on the street signage. In the olden days we either called it Hills or Montgomery Ward, the stores which were at either end.

Now it’s just Martin’s.

(You can see much more at the Jimmy Stewart Museum in Indiana now!)

The state of Wyoming is named for the Wyoming Valley in Pennsylvania.

A bit north of Scotland, MD. And while it’s not stolen from another place, we’ve got Loveville, too!!

Beautiful St. Mary’s county.

Yes, there is. That’s like, so totally neat, fersure?