History

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One of Cleveland’s Most Historic & Nostalgic Shopping Centers

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In August 1955, JC Penney was the first store to open at Southgate USA. This was the beginning of what was soon to be one of the largest outdoor shopping centers in the United States. By the mid-1960s, Southgate was home to many major stores, including Woolworth’s, May Company, and Hough Bakery. Southgate became the “in place” for local teens to meet and show off their hot rods. Many current and former residents have fond memories of cruising the shopping center, which they they still refer to as “shooting the gate”.

Vintage Southgate USA Santa Buttons

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The annual holiday parade was a popular event for many years, featuring local dignitaries, high school bands, and civic groups. Ted Knight, Tim Conway, Halle Berry, Big Chuck and Little John helped to promote the parade or served as parade marshals. Another tradition at Southgate is the Santa Button. Distributed free of charge every year to Southgate shoppers, these have been collectors’ items since the 1970’s.  The 2015 button is a special “sixtieth anniversary edition” and marked 60 years for the shopping center. Current year buttons are available in our stores on the Friday after Thanksgiving while supplies last.

Ted Knight – 1970’s TV Commercials & Christmas Parade

A New Era

The opening of Randall Park Mall in 1976 drew some major stores away from Southgate, but new tenants soon replaced them. Although Randall Park closed in 2008, Southgate continues to thrive. America’s Realty purchased Southgate in 2013. They have been attracting many new tenants, and investing substantially to upgrade neglected infrastructure.