Milwaukee, WI

Long-Abandoned U.S. Shopping Mall, Closed Since 2003, May Be Renovated and Reopened

Joel Eisenberg

The conclusion of a complex legal dispute will determine the future of the once popular entity that has remained abandoned for 20 years.
Northridge Mall; Milwaukee, WisconsinPhoto byAdobe Stock

Author’s Note

This article is based on corporate postings and accredited media reports. Linked information within this article is attributed to the following outlets: and


I write extensively about the state of U.S. shopping malls for NewsBreak. In recent months, the majority of my articles have detailed longstanding mall closures. This article, however, is different as it focuses upon a mall shuttered in 2003 that may reopen decades later.

Wikipedia features a comprehensive and well-attributed overview of Milwaukee’s long-abandoned Northridge Mall: Northridge Mall was a shopping mall located in the northern part of Milwaukee, Wisconsin that first opened in August 1972. It was developed by Taubman Centers. The mall's original anchor stores were JCPenney, Sears, Boston Store, and Gimbels. Gimbels was sold to Marshall Field's, then H. C. Prange Co., and finally Younkers. The mall underwent a period of decline and was shuttered in 2003.

Milwaukee’s Northridge Mall, shuttered 20 years ago and since an abandoned property, may be remodeled if a bidder for the property has their way.

Let us explore further.

U.S. Shopping Malls, 2023

According to a March 17th report from, entitled “Milwaukee Firm to Acquire Northridge Mall from Chinese Company Found in Contempt of Court,” if the acquisition is successful the new owner intends to remodel the long-abandoned location.

As excerpted from the report: Milwaukee-based Phoenix Investors submitted a purchase agreement Friday to buy the former Northridge Mall from China-based Black Spruce Enterprise just hours before a Milwaukee County Circuit Court hearing. The Chinese company, which had plans to turn the mall into Asian marketplace, was held in contempt of court yet again Friday... Friday’s hearing was for the city’s request to take over ownership of the former mall.

Among the initial actions in the event of a city takeover would be a partial razing of the property.

The report goes on to state: Attorney Mark Foley, who was representing Phoenix Investments, asked the judge to adjourn court for 45 days to perform due diligence and said his client would secure the property and perform landscape work... Judge Sosnay said the investors’ plans didn’t address the city’s raze order or previous liens given to Black Spruce. The mall would be “renovated and not torn down,” under Phoenix Investments’ plans, Foley said.

Though the city and Phoenix Investments appear in favor of a hastened conclusion to this matter, the legal situation as of press time remains fluid.


This is a developing story. In the event of pertinent updates to this matter, inclusive of progress and official announcements of milestone dates, I will share them here on NewsBreak.

Thank you for reading.

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I am an award-winning author, screenwriter for film and television, and producer. My mission on News Break is to share socially important perspectives on both culture and pop-culture. Member of PEN America, and the WGA.

Northridge, CA

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