The former JCPenney department store. JCPenney was one of three original anchors when Glynn Place Mall opened during the mid-1980s. JCPenney closed its mall store in 2019.

The planning for Glynn Place Mall dates as far back as 1982 when D. Scott Hudgens, Jr. submitted a rezoning application for a regional shopping mall and related commercial development at Golden Isles Parkway and Altama Avenue. Hudgens was a prominent Atlanta-based developer. Associated with shopping malls, other malls in Georgia developed or co-developed by Hudgens include Savannah’s Oglethorpe Mall, Valdosta’s Valdosta Mall, Greenbriar Mall, Gwinnett Place Mall, North DeKalb Mall and the Mall of Georgia in the Atlanta area.

When Glynn Place Mall opened its doors in early 1985, the shopping center included Sears, Belk, and JCPenney as its three anchor department stores. Glynn Place’s Sears was the first of 126 “Stores of the Future” developed by Sears. At the time, the chain’s strategy was aimed at creating a more exciting environment which encouraged customers to browse and buy a broader assortment of goods. By the end of decade, the mall was home to one hundred shops, restaurants, a 40-foot Venetian Carousel, and an 8-screen movie theater. In 1991, an additional wing was added to mall. This wing was anchored by Kmart and a full service hotel.

The Glynn Place 14 theater complex is located on the former site of the mall’s Kmart store.

The shopping center’s fortunes began to change in the early 21st century with the closure of its Kmart location in 2002. Steve & Berry’s, a retail clothing chain featuring casual clothing, footwear and accessories briefly occupied the former Kmart space. However, Steve & Berry’s time at Glynn Place Mall quickly came to an end when the entire New York-based department store chain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and liquidated its stores throughout the country in 2008 and 2009.

The single-level 502,792 square foot mall was acquired by CityView Commercial in March 2012. At that time, the mall was host to Belk, JCPenney, Sears, Embassy Suites Hotel, Georgia Theaters and specialty shops such as American Eagle Outfitters, Bath & Body Works, Hallmark and Kay Jewelers. Between 2014 and 2015, the former Kmart anchor space was razed and replaced with an expanded Glynn Place Stadium Cinemas 14.

Like many enclosed shopping centers across the country, the mall was negatively impacted by the downfall of once popular departments like Sears and JCPenney. In 2018, Sears Holdings closed its 102,247 square foot department store at Glynn Place Mall, along with 46 additional “unprofitable stores” across the country, including Savannah’s Oglethorpe Mall store and Atlanta’s Cumberland Mall location. A year later, the Texas-based JCPenney department store shuttered 20 locations nationwide, including Glynn Place’s 49,994 square foot location and another at Ponce De Leon Mall in St. Augustine.

Belk is the last operating department store at Glynn Place Mall.

As of 2024, Belk is the mall’s only surviving traditional department store anchor. While there are several vacancies inside the mall and portions of the shopping center have been closed off to the public, it still contains a small mix of national chain stores and local businesses. What happens with the property in the future remains to be seen, however it does enjoy the benefit of being the only enclosed mall between Jacksonville and Savannah. It is also located along the main thoroughfare connecting Interstate 95 to Brunswick and the coastal resort destinations of St. Simons Island, Jekyll Island and Sea Island.

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