Mishawaka’s 'Field of Dreams': 45 years of University Park Mall

NOW: Mishawaka’s ’Field of Dreams’: 45 years of University Park Mall

MISHAWAKA, Ind. - Right now, too many local shopping centers, like the Orchards Mall in Benton Township, are struggling to survive or turning into complete ghost towns. But another one is thriving.

The University Park Mall in Mishawaka celebrated 45 years of business on Thursday, March 14 by welcoming new businesses.

The mall celebrated the big 4-5 by welcoming a new LoveSac, KPOT, and the Suit Company.

"If you build it, they will come… And we built it,” said Matt Lentsch.

The Princess City’s very own "Field of Dreams".

What started as a marshy plot of land, and a fight between South Bend and Mishawaka to get the mall, is now a regional staple, and a catalyst for growth in the area.

Thursday the mall held a birthday party to celebrate, and in attendance was one of the original 1979 tenants, Chick-fil-A.

Community members shared their well wishes for the mall, that has sparked hundreds of millions of dollars of redevelopment along Grape Road and Main Street over the past 45 years.

We looked back at the archives through the years to celebrate, and despite undergoing a number of transitions in the past four and a half decades, including losing Sears in 2019.

University Park Mall officials say they see a bright future ahead, even as traditional malls are struggling around the country.

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