Genesee Valley Center is an enclosed shopping mall located in Flint Township, Michigan, outside the city of Flint, Michigan, United States. Opened in 1970, the mall is 1,272,397 square feet (118,209.5 m2) of leasable area. The mall has four anchor stores: Burlington Coat Factory, JCPenney, Macy's and Sears. It comprises more than 120 tenants, including a food court, and an external concourse called the Outdoor Village which also features a Barnes & Noble bookstore. The mall is located on Miller Road and Linden Road, near the junction of Interstate 69 and Interstate 75.
Genesee Valley Center was developed in 1970 as a one-level, enclosed shopping mall, consisting of a straight-line concourse with an anchor store at either end. Sears, the northern anchor, was the first store to open, doing so in May 1970. Detroit, Michigan-based Hudson's followed two months later, with this location being the chain's largest store outside of Detroit. These two stores served as the northern and southern anchor stores to the mall, respectively. On August 8, 1970, Genesee Valley Center opened to the public. At the time, it comprised fifty-six tenants, including a Hamady supermarket and a Cunningham drugstore. By September, a Woolworth dime store had opened next to Sears.
In the mid-1980s, an eastern wing anchored by JCPenney was added to the mall, followed a few years later by a Montgomery Ward store, which was added on a short wing extending southeasternly from JCPenney. The Cunningham drugstore was demolished in 1985 for a western wing anchored by Mervyns, and two years later, a mezzanine featuring a food court was added to the mall's center court. This addition brought the mall to 1.3 million square feet of gross leasable area, making it the largest mall in Michigan to be located north of Detroit.
1990s and 2000s
Woolworth was briefly downsized to a cosmetics-oriented prototype called Woolworth Express before closing entirely. Its space was eventually divided into several smaller stores, including an arcade called Tilt! Eventually, most of these stores relocated, and the majority of the former Woolworth space was reconfigured as Steve & Barry's.
In 2001, Montgomery Ward had closed the last of its store nationwide. The same year, Hudson's was renamed Marshall Field's, which itself became Macy's when the parent company of Marshall Field's was acquired. The former Montgomery Ward location was demolished in 2005 for a new section called the Outdoor Village. Opened in early 2006, this addition features additional mall tenants in an outdoor setting. Anchoring the Outdoor Village is a Barnes & Noble bookstore, the opening of which resulted in the closure of a B. Dalton bookstore within the mall itself.
Mervyns also closed its Michigan operations in early 2006. A year later, their space at the mall was replaced with Burlington Coat Factory, which relocated from an existing store nearby. Steve & Barry's closed in early 2009 when the chain declared bankruptcy, and became a clothing store called Wear District in October.
Since the mall's development, the Miller Road and Linden Road corridors become the site of several big box retailers. A power center operates directly across Linden Road from the mall itself, and a strip mall anchored by Target, Jo-Ann Etc., and Old Navy is located on Miller Road east of the mall. This strip mall was also the location of Burlington Coat Factory until it relocated.