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This is the story of a shopping plaza that never came to fruition. The dream begins in March 1974 with a groundbreaking ceremony attended by township officials and the developers. The budget was 1 million dollars and the mall was to be "climatized" which meant that a portion of it was to be enclosed. The proposed lot next to Colony Bowl doesn't look that big today but this place was slated to be 76,000 square feet. The bowling alley design was to be used as a guide for the architecture and look of the center.
A twinned mini-theater was also part of the plan. Mini-theaters were "a thing" back at this time with the defunct Jerry Lewis and United General chains being an example. Supposedly the developers had rental commitments for almost 80% of the available retail space including a pharmacy, beauty shop, True Value Hardware, Shoe Barn, and a chain supermarket that was unnamed.
By January 1975 it was revealed the plaza was in financial trouble. There were some block walls constructed but they sat dormant for months. At some point some of the unfinished walls were toppled by strong winds. This raised the ire of the township building inspector who reported the problem to the board. He had warned this may happen as he had inspected the walls previously. By June 1975, the site had become a "stone dumping" operation which was annoying local residents due to noise issues. By now it was becoming obvious the plaza would never be completed.
The final chapter came in June 1978 when Clay Township managers put out a request for bids to demolish what remained of the unfinished plaza. As of 2022, nothing remains of the former development. Note - I have used the address of Colony Bowl next door as a reference for the approximate location.