Sears closing at Ridgmar Mall, leaving the once-popular hangout with just one anchor

Sears storefront
Sears storefront Star-Telegram

The once-popular Ridgmar Mall soon will be down to just a single anchor department store, after Sears disclosed Thursday that the west Fort Worth store will be among 63 retail venues to close by September because of a lack of profitability.

Ridgmar — once anchored by five full-size department stores and dozens of small shops on two floors — now has only a JC Penney as a full-fledged anchor, as well as a Dillard's outlet store that takes up half an anchor space.

However, Ridgmar Mall has an aggressive plan to reinvent itself as a mixed-use destination, with apartments and attractions such as SeaQuest, which opened last year.

Interactive exhibits are key to new aquarium opening in Ridgmar Mall, a key to redeveloping the struggling mall.

Sears Holdings' Thursday announcement included 63 Sears and Kmart stores that will be closed by September. In all, Sears identified 100 unprofitable stores (with the stores to be closed among them), as the company attempts to make a financial turnaround.

Ridgmar Mall opened in 1976 near Interstate 30 and Green Oaks Road, and for decades it was a popular hangout for teenagers, and a shopping hot spot for teens and adults of all ages.

But like many traditional indoor malls in the United States, Ridgmar has endured steady declines in the age of online retail shopping and delivery. By last year, about 40 percent of the stores in the two-story mall had shuttered.

Other anchors, including Neiman Marcus and Macy's, closed as well.

Illinois-based GK Development bought Ridgmar Mall in 2013 and embarked upon an ambitious plan to convert it into a 21st century attraction.. Artist renderings by InPlaceDesign show a concept that includes residential units, restaurants and lots of green space.

Gordon Dickson: 817-390-7796; @gdickson
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