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Summit Place Mall, originally Pontiac Mall, was a shopping mall in Pontiac, Michigan, United States. Opened in 1962 as the first enclosed mall in Michigan, it was built on a 74-acre (30 ha) site located in Waterford Township. After expansions in 1987 and 1993, it comprised more than 1,400,000 square feet (130,000 m2) of retail space. At its peak, it had approximately 200 inline tenants and six anchor stores: Hudson's (later Marshall Field's, then Macy's), Sears, J. C. Penney, Montgomery Ward, Service Merchandise, and Kohl's.
Following the opening of Great Lakes Crossing Outlets in nearby Auburn Hills, Michigan in 1998, Summit Place Mall lost many of its tenants to this newer mall, also losing Service Merchandise and Montgomery Ward to their respective bankruptcies in 1999 and 2000. In the 2000s, Summit Place became a dead mall as the majority of its stores closed. Kohl's closed in March 2009 and the mall concourses were closed off in September 2009. J.C. Penney and Macy's remained until early 2010, and Sears until 2014.
Michigan's first enclosed shopping center, Pontiac Mall was built at the northwest corner of Telegraph Road (US 24) and Elizabeth Lake Road, on the boundary between the city of Pontiac and Waterford Township. Two tenants opened ahead of the mall: a Kroger supermarket began operation in 1961, and a Montgomery Ward department store in February 1962. Opening on Thursday, May 10, 1962, the mall featured one other major department store: a "budget" branch of Detroit-based Hudson's, which unlike the existing Hudson's stores, did not feature furniture or small appliances. It was later upgraded to a full-line Hudson's store.
Among the mall's 42 inline tenants on opening day were a Cunningham Drug pharmacy and a Kresge dime store. It occupied 500,000 square feet (46,000 m2) of store area overall. The mall was built by A&W Management (later known as Ramco-Gershenson and now known as RPT Realty) and its architect was A. Arnold Agree, son of Detroit architect Charles N. Agree. The mall concourses featured over 120 sculptures. Sears built a 181,900-square-foot (16,900 m2) store north of the property in 1972, although this store was not part of the mall at the time. In 1972, an elephant named Little Jenny, who starred in the movie Elephant Walk, was buried on the mall site.
Ramco-Gershenson announced renovation plans on the mall in 1983. According to then-company treasurer Dennis Gershenson, the mall had "fallen behind current shopping center design" and had lost many key tenants such as the Cunningham Drug store due to chains going out of business. The $1,000,000 renovation included new store facades, floors, and ceilings, plus renovated designs for Hudson's and Montgomery Ward. Foot Locker and Kinney Shoes were relocated to new storefronts, while new tenants such as Musicland, Circus World, The Limited, Casual Corner, Sibley's Shoes, Gap, and B. Dalton were added. Following the renovations, the mall was renamed Summit Place Mall.
J. C. Penney opened at the mall in August 1988, replacing a store in Bloomfield Township. This was part of an expansion first announced in 1987, which added 470,000 square feet (44,000 m2) of retail space, along with a Service Merchandise catalog showroom, a MainStreet department store (bought out by Kohl's soon after opening), and a connection to the existing Sears. Also included in the new construction was a food court called Picnic Place. [Wikipedia]