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Just Askin’: What was at the Northgate Mall site before it was a shopping center?



The Enquirer’s Just Askin’ series aims to answer the questions that no one seems to have an answer for, not even Google.

Colerain Township’s Northgate Mall sits on a pretty big plot of land. What was it before it was a mall?

Question: What was on the site of Northgate Mall before it was built?

Answer: The land at Colerain and Springdale roads used to be the old Mount Healthy airport.

Ewing Industries, owned by businesspeople from Cincinnati and Canton, Ohio, honed in on the 80-acre site for a shopping center, according an Enquirer article published July 26, 1970. The Cincinnati Aviation Heritage Society says the airport closed in 1955.

The airport opened in Colerain Township in 1927, as Mount Healthy officials at the time thought the municipality could eventually expand into the township (though that never happened). Additionally, aviation officials at the time thought an additional airport was needed in Greater Cincinnati because the East Side’s Lunken Airport was always flooding in the spring.

Fifteen years after the airport’s closure, developers swooped in to build a shopping mall. Its initial major stores were Sear’s, Pogue’s and McAlpin’s. When the facility was built, it was 1 million square feet and could hold 6,000 cars in the parking lot.

Today, Northgate Mall has more than 30 tenants. The last remaining anchor store, Sears, closed in 2018. Colerain Township bought the Sears property in September for uses to be determined.

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