Living history: Columbia's Arcade Mall gets makeover, new lease - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Living history: Columbia's Arcade Mall gets makeover, new lease on life

Many of the nation’s shopping malls may be taking a hit from online sales, but the Midlands’ first shopping center is attracting new customers. (Source: WIS) Many of the nation’s shopping malls may be taking a hit from online sales, but the Midlands’ first shopping center is attracting new customers. (Source: WIS)
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

Many of the nation’s shopping malls may be taking a hit from online sales, but the Midlands’ first shopping center is attracting new customers.

Columbia’s Arcade Mall, built in 1912, has been undergoing renovations for more than a year. The L-shaped structure with entrances on both Main and Washington Streets has added a restaurant, office and art gallery tenants while retaining long-time businesses.

None of them with a longer tenure than shoe repairman Bill Ramseur, who’s been working in the mall for 38 years. Ramseur and several other tenants have been able to hold on during a time when the mall itself had deteriorated and occupancy had dropped below 50 percent.

But after Columbia native and real estate developer Ron Swinson bought the property in 2015, he and a partner began work to restore the mall’s roof, skylights, and bathrooms along with the ornate Italian Renaissance interior columns and panels.

The mall now includes a men’s clothing store and a newly-opened Pita Pit restaurant. An area that had been occupied by an art gallery is being turned into a location for a Stoner’s Pizza outlet.

The 105-year-old building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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