- Associated Press - Friday, March 2, 2018

ANDERSON, Ind. (AP) - One of Indiana’s oldest enclosed shopping malls is closing its doors after more than a half-century of operation.

The owners of Mounds Mall announced Thursday that the 300,000-square-foot Anderson mall would be shuttered after its final day of operation on March 31.

The mall opened in 1965 in the city about 30 miles northeast of Indianapolis and was the first fully enclosed mall owned by Melvin Simon & Associates, a predecessor of Simon Property Group - the nation’s largest shopping mall operator.

Mounds Mall is currently owned by the Cook family. Family spokesman Jonathan Cook said simple economics dictated the closure decision, The Herald Bulletin reported. He cited the impending departure of the mall’s Carson’s department store and the 2012 loss of Sears, another anchor tenant.

Cook said a mall theater and an optometry office will remain open because each has an exterior entrance.

More than $434,000 in back taxes are owed on the property, The Herald Bulletin reported.

Mounds Mall was Indiana’s second enclosed shopping center. Evansville’s Washington Square Mall, which opened in 1963, was the first, the Indianapolis Business Journal reported.

Greg Winkler, executive director of Anderson Economic Development Department, said there was little that could be done to keep Mounds Mall from closing.

“It’s the end of an era,” he said. “Retail has changed so much with Amazon Prime offering next-day delivery. There is not a single thing municipalities can do to change that.”

This story has been corrected to show the Mounds Mall was Indiana’s second enclosed shopping mall, not the state’s first.

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