The SOUTHGATE SHOPPING CENTER, one of the nation's first large shopping centers, was built by A. Siegler & Sons, Inc., of Cleveland as part of a $17 million community development in MAPLE HTS., which also included homes and apartment units. Situated on Libby Rd. between Warrensville Ct. and Northfield Rd., Southgate Shopping Center was dedicated in 1955 with 44 stores. Operated by the Siegler-owned Southgate Management Co., the center's stores had total annual sales of $7-8 million for the first several years.
As Southgate grew, with new stores opening each year, so did the surrounding community. By 1961 the center had 86 stores with over $70 million in sales and Maple Hts.' population had almost doubled during the 1951-61 period. Expansion continued with more stores, supermarkets, banks, residences, restaurants, and hotel, office, and medical facilities added to the complex, which employed nearly 2,500 persons. Southgate lost 3 department stores (JC Penny, Sears, and later May Co.) and experienced a $42 million decrease in sales when nearby RANDALL PARK opened in 1976. However, it retained many of its specialty stores and the largest supermarket outlet in the state. By late 1978 Southgate experienced a resurgence when Ohio's largest K-Mart opened there (it would close in 2002).
By 1995, the center had 150 stores and 30,000 shoppers daily. Despite drops in the population of surrounding suburbs such as Maple Heights, Southgate remained viable --it outlasted its bigger competitor, Randall Park, which closed in 2008. Acquired by America's Realty in 2013, the area's pioneer shopping center celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2015.