Spence Lean's Commentary

Posted March 7, 2006 (user submitted)

This Mall was built in the late 1960s or early 1970s as Route 40 became the hub for Ellicott City's reatil. It Featured Caldor and K-mart as Anchors. (K mart may have originally been Bradlees) It also had a Giant Food Outlot as well as a Bank which has changed hands many times and a Roy Rogers. The enclosed mall was very small and had little more than a dozen store fronts. Among them were "Just a Dollar", "Music and Arts Center" (I took Saxophone lessons here), "Jo Ann Etc", "South Hunan" (chinese restaurant), "Radio Shack","GNC" "The Dugout" (Baseball Cards) a ciagr store and of course Flickers.

Flickers was a video arcade which my friends and I had many birthday parties. This mall was very small and featured a mix of mom and pop stores and some national chains. This mall didn't have the amenities of a traditional mall either. No center court or food court, no fountain, no seats for shoppers to take a break.

Columbia Mall on the other hand catered to the shopping needs of Columbia and Ellicott City. It was much larger and upscale. In the mid to late 90s Chatham mall's had many vacancies. The Dollar store, Jo Ann Etc, and Flickers had all closed up shop.

Mall traffic had dropped dramatically. The mall corridor just became a walk way from Kmart to Caldor. Speaking of Caldor, it was around this time that Clador had decided to call it quits. Kmart then sealed off its mall Entrance and could only be entered from the outside. Chatham mall was in real trouble.

The mall was torn down and the few tenants moved into newly built strips through out the property. The only remaining vestiage of the former mall is the Kmart which survived Kmart's round of chapter 11 closings. Home Depot built a store on the property too. The name was chnaged from Chatham mall to Chatham Station Shopping Center. It has many of the tenants from the enclosed mall, they include: Radio Shack, Newscenter, the Cigar Store, The Dugout, Music and Arts Center, a goodyear tire center, and Oriental Manor. The Anchors are Kmart and Home Depot and old Giant Food Outlot that really needs to be renovated and expanded. The Roy Rogers building became Eistein Brothers Bagels and the bank is a Wachovia.

Chatham mall just became too small and didn't have upscale tenants for the area. Bascially Chatham Mall just couldn't compete with much larger and more upscale Columbia Mall.

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