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csedwards72

Bell Tower Mall

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Does anyone recall Bell Tower Mall, that poor shopping center on University Ridge that closed in the 1980s and was redeveloped into County Square?

I'd be curious to hear about it, as my only memories of it are of shopping at Woolco, going to movies at the Towers Four movie theater and stopping at the Baskin-Robbins. I don't have any adult recollections of it, other than walking through its sad, empty interior in the late 1980s. Why did it go under? Was it a dump or was it a decent mall? What stores were in it? Why did the developers not do more to keep it going? It lasted only a short while (1968- about 1982) and so whoever developed it must have lost a fortune.

Thanks for any feedback.

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I don't recall EVER seeing a picture of this mall when it was open. I would be curious to see one. As far as why it died, most likely it was too small and out of date to compete with McAlister Square. Also the area around there is not to great right now.

The good news is the area is starting to make a comeback.

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I've also heard of an old Wade Hampton Mall. Where was this? On Wade Hampton? From the 60's? Anybody know about this? Was it torn down?

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I think that Wade Hampton Mall is still there, on the right-hand side of Wade Hampton Boulevard between downtown and Pleasantburg Drive. It's an outdoor mall that Bob Jones U. eventually bought. There was an Eckerd Drugs, a movie theater and more there. There was supposedly an Ivey's there, but I don't recall shopping there. I think that the movie theater closed in the late 1990s (or maybe early 2000s). You're not missing much if you haven't shopped at that mall.

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Wade Hampton Mall previously had a Winn-Dixie (now Bob Jones Primary Center) and a hair school, which relocated a couple years ago. The two-screen movie theater closed up in the late-1980s; it now serves as BJU's maintenance department.

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I think that Wade Hampton Mall is still there, on the right-hand side of Wade Hampton Boulevard between downtown and Pleasantburg Drive. It's an outdoor mall that Bob Jones U. eventually bought.  There was an Eckerd Drugs, a movie theater and more there.  There was supposedly an Ivey's there, but I don't recall shopping there.  I think that the movie theater closed in the late 1990s (or maybe early 2000s).  You're not missing much if you haven't shopped at that mall.

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Ivey's was probably at Wade Hampton Mall at one point. Most of Ivey's early suburban stores were kinda small and specialized in women's wear. I don't think they opened up a full-sized branch until SouthPark in Charlotte in 1970.

The one at Wade Hampton probably closed after they left downtown Greenville and opened at McAllister Square, or possibly after they were bought out by Marshall Field & Company in 1980.

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A bunch of properties around Bell Tower Mall/County Square seem to be closed and up for sale- now, the factory or whatever across Church Street from the mall. This whole area really could be redeveloped together and could really be a nice place if done right. Any recent updates on what's happening?

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I also remember shopping at the Woolco when young. I do remember a replica of the Furman Belltower somewhere within the mall. I also have been to movies at the old cinema (now Family Court?) while in high school in the late 70's.

I think Belltower suffered the same problem that Greenville Mall is having now. A more prominent mall - McAlister Square - was located too close. I'm just glad that the county has been able to make very good use of the facility.

As for Wade Hampton Mall, there were also quite a few specialty stores there, in addition to the Winn Dixie and Ivey's. There was one musical instrument store (can't remember the name) and an excellent camping gear store on the lower level called Wilderness Outfitters. As a point of trivia, Jim Kelly, who went on to start Sunrift Adventures in Travelers Rest, once worked at Wilderness Outfitters.

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The article on Haynie-Sirrine in todays paper was excellent! Nice to see the cities plan for this area coming together. Somewhere, in one of the post, SC Smitty posted the master plan and also, I remember one of the UP'ers having some inside knowledge about Bi-Lo developing a new store with multi level parking and shops in this area. Lots happening in this area! :thumbsup:

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Thanks for all of this information- very interesting!

Wade Hampton Mall must not have lasted long; I remember going to movies there but have no memories of shopping there. Hopefully whoever developed it and Bell Tower at least broke even on the investment; I doubt that either one was particularly profitable.

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