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Water Tower

Florence Mall is an indoor shopping mall in Florence, Kentucky. The mall has 4 anchor stores: JCPenney, a former Sears and two Macy's stores. It also has a food court. The mall is noted for the adjacent Florence Y'all Water Tower which is painted with the phrase "Florence Y'all", which originally read "Florence Mall". The mall is the largest mall in northern Kentucky.

JCPenney

History[]

The Florence Mall opened in 1976 on a site along Interstate 75 just south of Kentucky Route 18. The two-story mall was constructed by Homart Development Company, a former real estate division of Sears, Roebuck and Company. Sears also served as one of the anchor stores, opening on March 10, 1976. The mall itself opened 6 months later, with Pogue's serving as the second anchor. Two more anchors, Shillito's and JCPenney, were added in 1977 and 1978, respectively. At the time of opening, the mall had 87 stores. The mall's opening led to the development of several retail stores in Florence, and as a result, the city became a retail hub for northern Kentucky.

While JCPenney and Sears remained the same throughout the mall's history, the other two anchor stores changed as chains were acquired and merged. The Shillito's chain was merged with Rike's and all former Shillito's and Rike's stores briefly carried the dual branding of Shillito-Rike's from 1982 until 1986, when the chain was merged into Lazarus. Pogue's was converted to L. S. Ayres in 1983, which in turn sold its store to Hess's 5 years later. Also in the mid-1980s, the food court was renovated.

Hess's closed in 1993, and one year later, Lazarus moved its home goods into the former Hess's space. During the 1990s, the mall underwent an $8 million renovation, including the addition of 64 new tenants.

In 2003, the mall was acquired by General Growth Properties in partnership with the Teachers' Retirement System of the State of Illinois. General Growth had managed the property for several years prior. Both Lazarus stores were converted to Lazarus-Macy's in 2003, then to just Macy's in 2005. The food court was renovated again in 2004.

In 2016, a man was arrested for selling methamphetamine at the mall.

On August 22, 2018, it was announced that Sears will close in November 2018. After the store closes JCPenney, Macy’s and Macy’s Home will be the remaining anchors.

Water tower[]

Prior to the mall's opening, a water tower with the words "FLORENCE MALL" was built between the mall and Interstate 75. However, this commercial advertisement was considered a violation of federal and state laws - the mall had not even yet opened. As a result, the "M" in "Mall" was partially painted over, converting it to a "Y" and an apostrophe was added, changing the text to "FLORENCE Y'ALL".

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