Empire Mall and Empire East; Sioux Falls, South Dakota

empire-mall-30Empire Mall opened in 1975, with 47 stores and two anchors – Younkers and JCPenney. However, Empire was not the first enclosed mall in Sioux Falls – the 350,000 square foot Western Mall – anchored by Montgomery Ward, Brill’s apparel, and Tempo supermarket – opened in 1968 just half a mile east of Empire on 41st street. Empire Mall’s original layout was a simple dumbbell of enclosed shops between the two anchors, with JCPenney flanking the eastern side and Younkers at the western end, respectively. When it opened, Empire was a little more than half the size it is today, with about 600,000 square feet of total leasable area.

Winrock Shopping Center; Albuquerque, New Mexico

winrock02In response to its tremendous growth, Albuquerque decided to jump on the mall-building trend and began planning the state’s first mall in 1960. Due to development patterns favoring the sprawling east side, combined with the pending completion of Interstate 40 across Albuquerque around the same time, a centrally-located site was selected along Interstate 40 at Louisiana Boulevard – about 6 miles east of downtown.

Once the site was selected, Victor Gruen – the Grandfather of malls – was hired to design Winrock Center, which opened in March 1961. It opened with 42 stores, anchored by Safeway, Kresge, Walgreens, Fedway discount mart, Montgomery Ward, and JCPenney. Wards and Penneys flanked the eastern side of the center, and the rest of the anchors were located along the western side with a semi-enclosed mallway in between. The semi-enclosure consisted of a roof with open grillwork to allow the free flow of air into and through the center. In addition, two completely open-air plazas existed on the east and west ends of the center.

Brunswick Square Mall; East Brunswick, New Jersey

The Brunswick Square Mall is a Simon-managed, 769,000 square foot enclosed mall located along New Jersey route 18, a little southeast of New Brunswick. The mall is more or less a modified old dumbell, with JCPenney and Macy’s as the primary anchor stores and Barnes & Noble and Old Navy as junior anchor tenants.

Waldenbooks Slowly Disappearing

This isn’t a shocker, but according to an article in the Wall Street Journal (which has been reprinted all over the place, including the San Francisco Chronicle), Borders plans to close another 200 of its Waldenbooks stores, leaving a paltry 130 remaining in the chain. Despite what the article says, it’s unlikely even those are […]