Images of this Property
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About this Property
We grew up in North Smithfield, RI, minutes away from the Lincoln Mall, which was glorious when we were early teenagers in the late 80s. We attended birthday parties at Papa Gino’s (the bigger one, this mall had 2!), sank quarters into arcade games at Dream Machine, and munched popcorn watching movies at the General Cinema. We watched puppies through the window at the Pet Stop, bought cassette tapes (Run D.M.C.!) at Music And…, looked and played with all the new toys at KayBee, and gawk at the bawdy stuff in Spencer Gifts. We might have even had our photo taken with Santa in the center pavilion when we were younger. We know our high school band played a short concert there. It was the center of our young universe for a short time.
What happened? Retail changed and grew in the area. The Emerald Mall in Attleboro took a chunk out of its market when it opened in 1989, as the Emerald Mall was the big new shiny thing. But the Lincoln Mall was still the closest destination for shoppers from Woonsocket, North Smithfield, Lincoln, and Cumberland. It continued to do pretty well even though there was anchor store turnover every five years or so. When the Providence Place Mall opened in 1999 it took some traffic away as well, but mostly by then, the retail landscape had changed away from mid-sized suburban malls and towards big box stores which were not a place to hang out but instead were a one-stop-shop for most anything you needed.
An extensive interior renovation in 2000 attracted new junior anchor tenants, but the footprint of the mall already started to shrink. A new Stop-n-Shop took the place of the Caldor anchor space and did not open up into the mall. Kmart closed its store in 2003 and in 2004 store closures dropped occupancy down to 50%. Target replaced Kmart and again turned its back to the inner mall. A large Cinema World was added to the back of the mall and does retain a narrow corridor into it. Now the mall is a mix of outdoor plaza — with Marshalls, Target, Homegoods, and a Five Below facing mainly into the parking lot — and inner mall with vacant storefronts save for about 20 retail destinations.
Other stores that were in the mall at some point include the Outlet Stores Woolco, (the first anchors), Zayre, Ames, Caldor, Kmart, Cherry & Webb, Anderson Little, the Roast House, Hickory Farms, Almacs (across the parking lot), Waldenbooks, Fanny Farmer, Music And…, T.W. Rounds, Hallmark, Newport Creamery, Fayva shoes, The Pipe Den, Michael’s Jewelers, Deb, Continental Limited, The Gap, Lowrey Organs, and a McDonald’s in the front of the parking lot which is still there.
The mall had two “arms” at an angle off a central atrium space (photo 1). The central round area had a fountain and roof of it had a portion of it as skylights. Two main corridors were anchored on either side by large chain department stores as a draw while the corridors were lined with smaller shops. Two smaller main corridors ran through the center to wide entrances off the parking lot. The construction was mostly wood beams and cinder blocks with minimal detail. This central-atrium-with-arms-design was popular in the mid-seventies and similar to the Naugatuck Valley Mall in Connecticut.
In the early 2000s, the “arms” have been cut short to give additional space to a full Stop-n-Shop on one side and a Target on the other. Neither has an entrance into the mall, in fact most of the newer “anchor” retail generally ignores the mall, which is part of why the inner mall is dying. It’s strange that it is still there in some ways, but we are sure that some are very grateful that it is.
No formal history, but many anecdotal ones like ours. Here are some that we enjoy:
- Labelscar, the Retail History Blog: Lincoln Mall
- DeadMalls.com, John Donovan’s Commentary
- The Lincoln Mall Cinemas at CinemaTreasures.org
#In the News
Lincoln Mall sold for $56 million
by Nicole Dotzenrod
Valley Breeze | July 10, 2019 (abridged)
The Lincoln Mall has been sold to New York-based Acadia Realty Trust, an investment firm operating locally under the name “Lincoln Mall Owner LLC.”
The company purchased the mall property at 622 George Washington Highway from MB Lincoln Mall LLC in late June for $55.7 million. That price includes the main mall, Ocean State Job Lot building, Stop & Shop, Santander and McDonald’s, but not Target.
MB Lincoln Mall LLC, a subsidiary of Highlands REIT Inc., had been the owner on record since 2006 when they acquired the property for $61.4 million. They entered into an agreement to sell the Lincoln Mall to Acadia in February for a gross sale price of $57 million.
According to the new owner’s website, Acadia Realty owns one other property in R.I., a 225,000-square-foot shopping plaza located at 650 Bald Hill Road in Warwick, part of the Rhode Island Mall. Tenants in the center include Dick’s Sporting Goods, Burlington and Planet Fitness.
A first quarter update provided by the real estate investment trust in May said the Lincoln Mall was under contract for $56 million. […]
Representatives from Acadia and the mall’s property manager did not return request for comment on the acquisition or their plans for the future of the Lincoln Mall property.
The Lincoln Mall has been in operation since the 1970s, undergoing a major transformation following its 2006 sale when the shopping center was turned into a hybrid indoor-outdoor mall.
In addition to a number of retail tenants like Five Below, Marshalls, and Dollar Tree, the property includes a variety of restaurants and newer, fast-casual eateries that include Chili’s, Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop, Chipotle Mexican Grill, IHOP, Five Guys, Asia Grille and Starbucks.
Captured on September 11, 2021 from https://www.valleybreeze.com/2019-07-10/cumberland-lincoln-area/lincoln-mall-sold-56-million#.YTyrNC1h1Z0