Aurora Mall; Aurora, Colorado

Aurora Mall sign in Aurora, CO 

What better activity is there on a cold January day than going to the mall?  That’s just what I did on a free day I had back in January, 2005, in the Denver area.  My first stop was east suburban Aurora Mall, one of Aurora, Colorado’s two enclosed centers.  It’s located at the interchange between I-225 and Alameda Avenue.

Aurora itself is both typical and atypical of American suburbs today.  It’s similar to most American suburbs in that it lacks a strong, historical central business district like many cities, and it’s also very large and sprawly.  It’s not typical because of its sheer size: Aurora has nearly 300,000 residents, over half of the city of Denver itself.  It’s actually projected that in the next 25 years that Aurora will eventually surpass the city of Denver in population, making it a massive super-suburb like Anaheim, California or Scottsdale, Arizona.  Notable people from Aurora include Home Improvement child actor Zachery Ty Bryan and former presidential hopeful John Kerry (yes, he was born here).  There’s an Air Force Base, but other than that, Aurora’s your standard middle-of-the-road American suburb.

Aurora Mall, now called the Town Center at Aurora, was beginning a series of renovations which updated the dated center’s appearance in 2005, giving it new life for the new millenium, or something like that.  In the past few years, Aurora Mall/Town Center at Aurora has been under some scrutiny for its management policies.  An investigation by a local Denver TV station has stated the Aurora Mall’s leasing agents have official policies of discrimination and that they are attempting to oust minority shoppers in favor of getting more caucasian shoppers into the mall.  Purposely.  A leasing agent is actually quoted on tape as saying he wants to gear the mall more toward whites.  This alarming controversy certanly paints a different picture of the kinds of unscrupulous, ruthless individuals and terrible policies and a framework of careless responsibility.

Aurora Mall as of my visit in January, 2005 was still mostly outdated.  The two-level, straight shot center was anchored by Foley’s (two locations), Sears, and JCPenney.  The decor of Aurora Mall was decidedly 80s: a pastel pink, purple and green combination dominated, with blond wooden railings throughout the center.  The floor was being replaced with the typical drab, uber-modern white tiles that are on every mall everywhere today, so you can be sure it’s different now.  I’m actually curious as to what became of all the renovations.  Is Aurora Mall back on its feet?  Pictures taken Jan. 2005.

Aurora Mall sign in Aurora, CO Aurora Mall Foley's in Aurora, CO Aurora Mall in Aurora, CO

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Aurora Mall JCPenney in Aurora, CO Aurora Mall in Aurora, CO Aurora Mall Foley's in Aurora, CO

Aurora Mall in Aurora, CO Aurora Mall in Aurora, CO Aurora Mall in Aurora, CO Aurora Mall in Aurora, CO

 

33 Responses to “Aurora Mall; Aurora, Colorado”

  1. Hey guys, just want to tell you this blog has become on my favorite places on the Web. I’m impressed by the photographs, the research, and the uncanny understanding of what makes shopping malls tick. Most of all, I’m impressed by your ability to locate obscure malls and make them interesting and relevant.

    Keep up the good work. I hope your blog continues to build a following among retail buffs everywhere.

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  2. Thanks a lot for the support! It’s greatly appreciated. Hopefully you can chime in about southern California and other areas you’re more familiar with when they get posted on here. Our research in that area is definitely lacking.

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  3. Thanks again Mitch–we appreciate the support! Like he said, we’d definitely love your input on the west coast since that’s really not our area of expertise (I haven’t even been out there since the ’80s–at least Prangeway does have something to tell).

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  4. man…i read about this blog in our arts weekly here in boston. although i’m from boston i spent quite a bit of time in colorado during my teenage years….guys you got to do some bits on Cinderella City, Southglenn Mall and Northglenn Mall….man did i spend a lot of time in those!

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  5. Is THIS what killed Buckingham Square Mall? It’s a bit different than I thought (that’s not saying much, tho…)

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  6. Here’s what became of the mall, wow!

    http://www.simon.com/mall/mall_info.aspx?ID=232

    Check out the interior, nice.

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  7. As far as I know, (Thanks Simon Malls!) :) this mall is now called Towne Center at Aurora, also Dillard’s took over the Macy’s (Foley’s) Men’s Store and rebranded it as a Dillard’s, so Macy’s shoved all the men’s and home merchandise on the Macy’s Women’s Store, oh, and for all of you orange smoothie lovers, Orange Julius closed :(

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  8. There’s still an Orange Julius, it’s just combined with a Dairy Queen now.

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  9. I love Orange Julius! :) Dairy Queen…not so much, Blizzards give me brain freezes! :O

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  10. I went down to check out this piece of retail “heaven” about a week & half ago. It sure has changed. I sure do miss cin city. It was fun even for someone like me from the west slope of Colorado. They don’t do malls like that any more!

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  11. Hey David,

    I miss Cinderella City too, it was a fun mall, especially Cinder Alley. Unfortunately it was located in a decaying area and nobody wanted to go there anymore.

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  12. Aurora’s population of 300,000 is not part of Denver’s population of 500,000, it’s its own City. The Denver Aurora Metro area has 2.3 million people.

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  13. I just found this website, and don’t really know what to say. My husband had heard that the Aurora Mall had closed it’s doors. So I had to try and find out. I spent four years working in the mall at on of the anchor stores, and was sad to hear that it may no long be there. After looking at the pictures posted here, I’m still a little sad to see that center court is being changed. Mrs. Field’s use to be there and the glass elevator I hope gets to stay. My daughter has so many memories riding the elevator going to the Disney store. So please, I would like for someone who lives in Aurora to fill me in on what has happened to the mall.

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  14. I too, worked at one of the anchors at the Aurora mall (Sears). I live about a mile away and my family sometimes go there for dinner in the food court (they built on by JC Penney’s, where the Wallgreen’s was back in the day. It’s still going strong. the center court is not the same, there’s a tiny kid’s play area and some kiosks there instead of the mrs fields. but the glass elevator is still there. the renovation updated it, but it’s still a pretty old-school mall by modern standards.

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  15. anyone remember when Mcdonald’s,sam goody, taco bell, and subway where there? man this mall has sure changed i remember the old arcade used to be so good and now its lame they shutdown the kb store and other kool things too sad that simon accquired it :( anyone know who owned it before simon

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  16. Jennifer, Aurora Mall is still there and very much a part of Aurora. With nearby Buckingham Square recently bulldozed, business has actually upticked a little at the mall. Buckingham Square was bulldozed for a mixed retail/residential units with Dicks Sporting Goods and Target being the anchors. Aurora, also recently opened a new mall in the south called Southlands Mall. Wal-Mart, Best Buy, JC Pennys and Kerasotes 16 Theathers being the anchors.

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  17. My late grandmother lived in Aurora when I used to visit her as a kid in the mid-to-late ’80s; I remember when there was a department store called “The Denver” that was probably at the Aurora Mall (I could be mistaken). This was maybe around 1986 or so. Maybe someone remembers this store.

    I also wonder if anyone remembers “The Shops At Tabor Center” that was in downtown Denver in the late ’80s.

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  18. Tabor Center is still open in downtown Denver even though there really isn’t much retail there but Tabor is the home of Denver’s ESPN Zone and I believe some rather large heath club.

    Back in 1988 when I was a student at the University of Denver I interned at then KRZN radio 760/KMJI “majic 100″ ( now KIMN Mix 100 ). One day we were told to head down to Tabor Center for a “special surprise”. The surprise? The entire cast of the then-new TV show “Roseanne” was there. I think KUSA channel 9 ( then ABC ) and Joslins were behind in bringing the cast to Denver and of course Tabor Center. Since Roseanne Barr had ties to Denver having Rosey in town was a very big deal.

    I also remember seeing Roseanne Barr, John Goodman and Laurie “Jackie’ Metcalf outside the side entrance of Tabor..smoking cigarettes.

    For some reason I remember NBC-TV having a “studio store” in both the Tabor Center and Aurora Mall. They didn’t last long but the downtown (Tabor ) store did move across the 16th Street Mall to the Joslins store where it stuck around for a few more months. I still remember some the items they had for sale. like T-shirts featuring David Letterman and the cast of the Cosby show and pillows and blankets…with a pic of the anchors of “News 4 Colorado” on them.

    I would imagine those “channel 4″ items didn’t sell. I can’t imagine in Denver who would want to “sleep” with weatherman Ed Greene.

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  19. I am interested in the econome there and the demographics of the area where the aurora mall is, I have a store that sales lowrider stuff can anyone give me there input as far as if my customer is in the mall ( chicano 13-45 ) into lowrider bikes die cast collectables, cholo clothing.

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  20. This is where the 2012 Aurora shootings occurred today at midnight today.

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    Tracey Bright Reply:

    @Pseudo3D, Rest in peace to all the people that died in the movie theater at this mall. May God be with all the victims of this shooting and also with all the friends and family members of the people who have passed away.

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    Nordrike Field Reply:

    @Pseudo3D, The Century 16 Screens Cinemas are across the parking lot from Dillard’s (formerly Foley’s Men’s), the movie was “The Dark Knight Rises”, as of right now (4.30 P.M. Pacific Time) Yahoo mentions that there’s 12 dead and 59 injured, I am sure there’s going to be more as the days go by,according to Simon’s website the mall is shut down for the day (the cinemas aren’t IN the mall, they are a free-standing building), Macy’s according to our employee website will reopen tomorrow, LET’S PRAY FOR THE VICTIMS OF THIS HORRIBLE TRAGEDY!

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    Nordrike Field Reply:

    @Nordrike Field, UPDATE! One of the victims, Jessica Ghawi, who was a 24-year-old sports writer who used the pen name Jessica Redfield survived the Eaton Town Center shooting in 2, 2012 in Toronto, Canada but sadly lost her life in this horrible shooting in Colorado!

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    Boyd Reply:

    @Nordrike Field,

    I only live about 3 miles from this place. Didn’t watch FOX or any of the national news coverage of this but of course I did catch local Denver’s coverage of this and one thing I have to admit the Denver stations sure as hell did their best to put a stop at rumors. Unfortunately due to the crimes of this type, well here come the rumors and one sadly does involve Jessica Ghawi. The “rumor” was that she was about to sign a big contract with Denver’s KCNC-CBS 4 to do sports for them ( another one had her “working soon” for Denver’s KOOL 105 radio )..ah both KCNC and KOOL said more/less it was bullsh*t.. Anohter “rumor” had it that Holmes was homophobic and was targeting the local Denver gay men social group “Front Range Bears” since that group usually does have late night movie nites and sometimes at Century 16. Again totally false !!

    Anyway there is debate going on right now about what to do with Century 16.

    http://denver.cbslocal.com/2012/07/25/theaters-future-in-question-after-shooting/

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    Nordrike Field Reply:

    @Boyd, I didn’t know that, thanks for telling me; although I was born in Denver, I moved from there with my mom after my biological father died when I was just 2 years old and I live now in Southern California, there is going to be a lot of rumors but it shouldn’t be forgotten that 12 people lost their lives; I don’t know if it was rumor that she was in Toronto at the time of the Eaton Center shooting but it doesn’t matter now, she and 11 other souls died tragically and we can only hope justice will be served.

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    Boyd Reply:

    @Nordrike Field,

    The story about Jessica Ghawi and Toronto’s Eaten Centre is true.

    Now that it has been over a week since the shooting had taken place I have to admit.,.I am NOT surprised this sort of thing had taken place within the Denver metro area. Yes mental illness is an illness everywhere but in Denver it seems this sort of thing seems to be a very serious problem. * Mental Illness is considered a joke by many here including the local media who often makes jokes about the “retarded”.

    Virginia Tech..the shootings in rural Virgnia..THAT was a shocker. Aurora, Colorado and someone shoots and kills many in a theater…I wish I could say that it was a “shocker”.

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    Pseudo3D Reply:

    @Nordrike Field, Jessica Ghawi lived in my town (Bryan-College Station, TX) for a while, worked in a local restaurant, attended a community college (same one I go to)

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    Mike Reply:

    @Pseudo3D,

    I’ve been keeping up with this story on and off since Friday night on Fox News, and this is just a completely senseless tragedy. I pray for the victims and thier families, and that James Holmes will be brought to justice and spend the rest of his life in jail like the lowlife scum that he is!

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    Nordrike Field Reply:

    @Mike, I couldn’t have said it myself better!

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  21. Oh shut up, we have television and the internet.

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  22. ” An investigation by a local Denver TV station has stated the Aurora Mall’s leasing agents have official policies of discrimination and that they are attempting to oust minority shoppers in favor of getting more caucasian shoppers into the mall. Purposely. A leasing agent is actually quoted on tape as saying he wants to gear the mall more toward whites. This alarming controversy certanly paints a different picture of the kinds of unscrupulous, ruthless individuals and terrible policies and a framework of careless responsibility.”

    If you don’t want a gang-ridden ghetto, this is what you do. Face reality. You can take your pick. If facts are “alarming,” your head is in the ground.

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  23. They institute discriminatory business practices, but I don’t think whoever is in charge of Aurora Mall stopped to think about where exactly they’re located.

    Aurora is a crime-ridden slumhole, and it’s filled with wannabe thugs and gangs – it’s no wonder their clientele isn’t the management’s ‘desired type’.

    That being said, I went to Aurora Mall way back in 2001, and after spending 10 minutes in the place, management had a police officer escort me out because they didn’t like my spiked collar and wristbands and I refused to take them off.
    So I definitely attest to the discrimination present at the place, even back then.

    I never spent another cent in Aurora Mall, but I visited sporadically through the years, and while the mall may have received a cosmetic facelift, it’s still a suppressive venue with thugs roaming around the concourse.

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  24. Southwest Plaza near Denver to Undergo Multi-Million Dollar Redevelopment

    Littleton, Colo. – Southwest Plaza in suburban Denver will spend millions to redevelop the 1.3 million-square-foot property. Improvements include renovating the center court with multiple open-air cafes, new seating areas and free Wi-Fi access, as well as new directional signage crafted from natural materials, accented by colorful, regional landscape elements; indoor fireplaces; skylights; and light coves. The redevelopment will be completed in fall 2015. Studio H2G of Birmingham, Mich., is design architect for the renovation, with Omniplan of Dallas, Tex., serving as architect of record. Southwest Plaza is owned and managed by General Growth Properties.

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