The 758,000-square-foot shopping center was built in 1972 and received more than $40 million in renovations between 2010 and 2014. It houses Target, Best Buy, Home Depot, Petco, Ross, T.J. Maxx, Burlington Coat Factory, West Marine, Michaels, a Stanford’s Restaurant and a (soon to be built) Cracker Barrel restaurant, among other businesses.
The Jantzen Beach Mall has changed hands several times since it opened in 1972 as an indoor mall. In 1995, MBK Northwest acquired Jantzen Beach Center for about $18 million and demolished about two-thirds of the mall in 1995 and 1996, including some 150 small stores to make room for big box development.
In December 1996, MBK Northwest sold the 70-acre center for $76 million to a Edens, a Michigan-based pension fund. In April 2012, center managers Edens & Avant Realty announced $50 million in renovations that finished in the summer of 2013 and eliminated the indoor mall for drive-up parking outside of individual stores.
Kimco Realty Corp. paid $131.8 million for the Jantzen Beach Center in July 2017. Kimco’s other eight strip mall properties in the metro area, include Clackamas Promenade, Tanasbourne Village, Sunset Mall and Gresham Town Fair. As of June 30, 2017, the company owned interests in 510 U.S. shopping centers across 32 states.
Before the mall, from 1928 into the 1960s, the Jantzen Beach Amusement Park was frequented by up to 725,000 people annually. The Jantzen Beach Amusement Park featured the huge Big Dipper Roller Coaster, the C.W. Parker Carousel, a Ferris Wheel, a small railway, thrill rides, midget auto racing and a swimming pool.
By 1970 attendance had dipped at the amusement park and was closed in 1970. The park was razed in 1970 to make room for the Jantzen Beach Shopping Center, which opened in 1972. The original Jantzen Beach Mall kept only one relic of its former days: its 1921 C.W. Parker carousel.
The Jantzen Beach Carousel has been a fixture of Hayden Island since the opening of Jantzen Beach Amusement Park in 1928. It was built in 1921 by the C.W. Parker Amusement Company, the “American Amusement King”.
C. W. Parker built five large extravagant “park” machines. Only one of those five is still left, the Jantzen Beach Carousel. The 72 horse, four row carousel is said to be lit by 1,350 lights with 286 mirrors. The base is a large 67-foot diameter that can travel up to ten miles an hour on the outside steeds, making it the largest and fastest ride still in operation.
Commissioner Fish asked his office to look into the whereabouts of the merry-go-round, reports the Oregonian in June, 2015. A member of his office called Edens, the South Carolina-based mall owner, and the company told them the carousel was right where it should be: in a camera-monitored, climate-controlled building at the Jantzen Beach shopping center. They were told the carousel is intact.
There’s no definitive word on the Carousel’s mysterious disappearance over the last 3-4 years. But multiple workers at Jantzen Beach have told me that the carousel was packed up and shipped out in 2014. Some believe the Jantzen Beach carousel was transported back “home” to the C. W. Parker Carousel Museum.
I called the Leavenworth Kansas museum and the volunteer I spoke to said they didn’t have the carousel and had no knowledge where it might be. Arno Jenkins has some nice photos of the carousel which features 72 jumping horses and two chariots. Restore Oregon has additional details.
The 72-horse Merry-Go-Round first operated at the Venice Beach, California Pier from 1921 until 1927. It survived a major fire and was put into storage until 1928 when it was then shipped to Jantzen Beach Amusement Park, where it operated for 42 years as one of the park’s main attractions — along with the Big Dipper Roller Coaster.
The Jantzen Beach Mall opened in 1972 and the carousel operated for 22 years inside the shopping center.
In 1995, the Merry-Go-Round underwent a thorough $500,000 restoration and was relocated to become the center piece of the new “Jantzen Beach SuperCenter” which added new retailers including Circuit City and Barnes & Noble.
In 2007 the owners requested that the Jantzen Beach Carousel be de-listed from the National Register of Historic Places. The owners then attempted to have it moved to Portland’s Children’s Museum. However, the funding to move the carousel failed to materialize.
On April 22, 2012, the Carousel was closed to the public in anticipation of yet another remodel. This time a $50-$60 million project by the new owners, EDENS, a South Carolina-based developer and real estate holding company.
Jantzen Beach Center’s newest remodel altered the mall from an inward facing walking mall to a 100,000-square-foot, U-shaped design where shoppers will enter stores from the outside. The disadvantage of this design is that the Carousel would likely need a dedicated building.
While EDENS publicly committed to retaining the Carousel on-site at Jantzen Beach Center, the firm’s site plans never showed a dedicated location for the Carousel.
If the carousel remains at Jantzen Beach, it can be re-listed on the National Register.
Economics are a consideration. Authentic, hand carved horses, of the quality that CW Parker created, can cost between $5,000 – $20,000. The Jantzen Beach Carousel is widely known for its many elaborately carved and one-of-a-kind horses, says Carousel News. If just the horses were sold at $10K each, that would be $720,000. It may be more profitable to part out carousels, especially the ones CW Parker made, then to make them a public attraction.
Edens may have hard time turning down $3-$4 million for their fully restored and operational 72-horse Parker carousel. Ready to roll.
Some of the hand carved horses were made by inmates of the United States Penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kansas, near the Carousel shop of Charles Wallace Parker. By 1925 the C.W. Parker factory began phasing out the wooden carved horses, and began creating the aluminum cast figures.
The Portland Carousel Museum and the International Museum of Carousel Art in Hood River, has been the dream and passion of Oregon residents Duane and Carol Perron. Starting with the restoration and operation of a 1914 carousel in Portland, Oregon in 1978, they have restored and placed into operation seven antique carousels at various locations around America.
Today, if you want to ride an antique carousel, Salem’s Carousel, lovingly restored by a large group of volunteers, may be your best bet.