Chapel Hills Mall; Colorado Springs, Colorado

chapel-hills-01.jpg 

With a 2005 estimated population of 520,000 people sitting at over 6,000 feet above sea level, metro Colorado Springs is a bustling economy.  Mainly known for Pike’s Peak, the Red Rocks area, and numerous military installations, the city grew over 30 percent in the 1990s.  Much of this growth was sprawl, in the way of strip malls, apartment complexes, and housing subdivisions as far as the eye can see.  Two malls dominate Colorado Springs, and both are mid-tier in terms of the type of stores.  You won’t find a Nordstrom or too many expensive boutique offerings in Colorado Springs because people drive about an hour or so north to the Denver area for that.  The two major malls in Colorado Springs are The Citadel, located just east of downtown along Academy Blvd, and Chapel Hills Mall, located north of downtown near I-25 and Academy Blvd.   

2006 Mall Map of Chapel Hills Mall in Colorado Springs, COOpening in 1982, Chapel Hills Mall is a two-level, super-regional enclosed mall located on the north side of Colorado Springs along Academy Boulevard just south of I-25.  It is currently approximately 1.2 million square feet and has the capacity for 154 retail stores.  Chapel Hills Mall is currently anchored by K-Mart, JCPenney, Sears, and Macy’s.  For those of you who are counting, there are 5,754 parking spaces at Chapel Hills Mall.  I counted them all.  Just kidding, it was listed on the mall’s leasing website.

Chapel Hills Mall is owned and operated by General Growth Properties of Chicago, who built the mall in 1982.  Over the years the mall has gone through two major renovations, in 1985 and 1998.  The latter renovation was the most extensive, and it brought with it a large ice-skating rink which was very popular.  However, Dick’s Sporting Goods began negotiations with General Growth in 2005 to open a store within the mall in the very same space which the ice-skating rink occupies, so away went the ice-skating rink in June 2006.  The renovation in 1998 also brought a climbing wall, Borders Books, and a 15-screen theatre. 

Other changes have been afoot at Chapel Hills Mall in terms of the anchor stores.  In 2005, Mervyns was sold by Target Corp. and became its own independent parent company called Mervyns LLC.  Due to a slump in sales, Mervyns LLC decided to lay off over 4,000 employees and close over 60 underperforming stores, focusing on western and southwestern markets.  Unfortunately, this included most of the stores in Colorado, and the Chapel Hills store closed in January 2006.  In addition to the Mervyns change, Foley’s became Macy’s in September 2006 when Macy’s created their national brand and converted all the May properties they bought to the Macy’s nameplate. 

I visited Chapel Hills Mall for the first and only time in January 2005 and took the pictures featured here.  Mervyn’s and Foley’s were still at the mall, as was the ice rink.  So, there has been significant change in just under two years.  However, the mall is still a super-regional draw and competes with Citadel Mall (and also to a lesser degree with Denver) for the Colorado Springs shopping dollar.

Mountains near Chapel Hills Mall in Colorado Springs, CO Chapel Hills Mall in Colorado Springs, CO Chapel Hills Mall in Colorado Springs, CO

Chapel Hills Mall in Colorado Springs, CO Chapel Hills Mall in Colorado Springs, CO Chapel Hills Mall Mervyn's in Colorado Springs, CO

Chapel Hills Mall in Colorado Springs, CO Chapel Hills Mall The Love Shop in Colorado Springs, CO Chapel Hills Mall in Colorado Springs, CO

Chapel Hills Mall Old Navy in Colorado Springs, CO Chapel Hills Mall in Colorado Springs, CO Chapel Hills Mall in Colorado Springs, CO

Chapel Hills Mall in Colorado Springs, CO Chapel Hills Mall Skating Rink in Colorado Springs, CO Chapel Hills Mall in Colorado Springs, CO

Chapel Hills Mall K-Mart in Colorado Springs, CO Chapel Hills Mall Foley's in Colorado Springs, CO 

38 Responses to “Chapel Hills Mall; Colorado Springs, Colorado”

  1. Wait, both malls have the same anchors? That’s weird. I guess with half a million people, two malls may not be enough. In fact, I didn’t even know there was a second mall there. I’ve been to the Citadel Mall, with its funky multi-level design. I think Hooter’s was there, too. I tell ya, I wasn’t overly impressed the awful drivers and crowds just about everywhere. But, when I got to the mall, it was a relief.
    Scott

    [Reply]

  2. You mentioned that this mall has Mervyn’s as an anchor. What kind of store was that??? I saw one of their locations when I was in Michigan one time, but it was out of business (clearly one of those 60 underperforming locations). From the picture, it sort of looks like a Kohl’s to me.

    [Reply]

  3. How much longer will it be before anchors like Dick’s ruin the (ice skating rink) charm of certain malls and just uniform every mall in the country?

    [Reply]

  4. Claire – Mervyn’s is kind of in the same vein as Kohl’s. And actually, Mervyn’s left Michigan in 2006.

    [Reply]

  5. Ask and ye shall receive. You’re right, Mervyn’s is a lot like Kohl’s in many ways. However, they never really established themselves and that’s why they aren’t doing well today. Mervyn’s was founded in northern California about 50 years ago, and purchased by the Dayton Hudson Corporation (who owned department stores of those names, began Target, and also bought Marshall Field’s eventually) in 1979. Dayton Hudson became the Target Corporation after Target started taking off and they kept the Mervyns brand until 2004. Facing competition from (ironically) Target, Kohls, Wal-Mart, etc., the new owner divested about half of the stores which are closing now.

    Mervyn’s never really seem to get a loyal following like Target, Kohls, and Wal-Mart, for various reasons. For one, they never identified with any sort of image the consumer would associate with them. You know how Wal-Mart has ‘low prices’, Target is the cool, hip discount store for young people, and Kohls is the cool place to get cheap soft lines, it’s kind of like that. In the mid-1990s Mervyns attempted to rebrand some of their stores as Mervyn’s California, with a sea green and magenta store theme and sign, but oh God was it awful. There really wasn’t a reason to be shopping at a California-themed store in Minnesota, or anywhere else really. It didn’t offer anything special, or any special merchandise, just crappy colors. So you see, they never really got a following or established themselves properly. They also opened stores in what seemed to be kind of random, non-linear patterns. They had stores in Atlanta, Detroit metro, Denver, Minneapolis, and sort of skipped all over rather than expanding linearly like most chains.

    [Reply]

  6. Oh, and as for Dick’s, yes they are a wildfire spreading all over everything. But they’re probably more benevolent than anything. Here where I live, they took over defunct anchor spaces in each of our malls, respectively, and blew them out to build their huge 2-story prototype store-o-fun. I agree that the mall’s character probably suffered in this case with losing the skating rink; however, it was probably going to happen anyway and there would just be a dead space there to fill. Dick’s is actually coming along at quite an opportunistic time for enclosed malls. Large anchor stores are basically a thing of the past, and have to reinvent themselves dramatically to avoid becoming dinosaurs. Look at what Macy’s is doing. They’ve eaten up what, 20 regional brands so far to create their nationally uniform nameplate. They have to do this to avoid going out the window, basically. Sears, JCPenney, Dillards, Belk, and all of them have to be on their toes to woo the next generation of shoppers who honestly don’t like shopping in mall anchors and would rather be at the brand new, really cool (but soulless) strip mall or lifestyle center. Anyway, my main point is that a lot of anchor spaces are being emptied and have to go to other uses. In many malls, they’re being filled with traditional big box stores, like Bed, Bath, and Beyond, Cost Plus, Wal-Mart, Target, and Dicks. These are not your momma’s anchors, but I’d rather have them eager to be in malls than to have empty anchors and eventually, empty malls.

    [Reply]

  7. Re: Dicks

    In an advertising class I took in university last year we had to brainstorm sexually-themed ads for major retailers. My group chose Dick’s. And what was our slogan? I Love Dick’s. Simple, to the point. I didn’t go over very well.

    [Reply]

  8. There is a loyal following to Mervyn’s here in northern California, probably because everyone has been shopping there forever. But, I must admit, I stopped shopping there years ago. I got tired of the necks of their shirts shrinking. Shotty merchandise. Then, they re-branded with this Mervyn’s California thing, like “California” means something. For everyone here, we were confused. But, it still beats the pants off Kohl’s, which is still making inroads here. I do find it ironic, though, that Kohl’s ads are remarkably similar to Mervyn’s, with many of the same “Super Saturday” type sales.
    Scott

    [Reply]

  9. I love Mervyn’s. It’s not like a Kohl’s because it carries a lot of name-brands, it is more like a JCPenney without the catalog, salon, and good website. The Mervyn’s California branding really took off here in Las Vegas because everyone here thinks that California is cool and hip. Kohl’s is only in affluent areas of Las Vegas while Mervyn’s is everywhere. I don’t know many people that shop at Kohl’s only because it doesnt have many name-brands as well as not have Southpole or Avirex which Mervyn’s and JCPenney both have.

    [Reply]

  10. I actually work at the chapel hills mall (gap store)and it’s an interesting case study of mall performance, on one hand many MANY of the malls stores are closing or constantly changing (usually with cheap looking local stores) and it seems empty-er and empty-er everyday. yet on the other hand retailers are investing in (high concept stores) like the gap i work at for instance, isnt one of the regular gaps but a “louise in clark gap” wich is a higher end model built to resemble a new york loft, complete with seating area, high ceilings,pendant lamps, wood encaved shelvings… its quite nice, i even lived in chicago last year and noticed none of the gaps there were as nice as the one in chapel hills mall. (and our sales performance is AWFUL!) american eagle also has a nice set up .

    Citidel mall on the other hand is known around here as “the ghetto mall” lots of hip-hop whatevers tend to frequent that mall making it uncomfortable for heavy spenders, yet alot of the nicer stores tend to be here. (wich dont even cater to the hip-hop market like victorias secret,the former abercrombie & fitch (wich is completely non existant in colorado springs) holister,express,etc..

    Really the only disrable mall here is the shops at briargate , wich is a high end out door lifestyle center..

    But talk about a new mall opening is starting to surface and downtown colorado springs is building it’s first skyscraper wich promises to lease out to the real high end market. im curious to see what becomes of chapel hills, and the citedel. they are both quite outdated and not impressive at all. i say demolish them both.

    and p.s. myrvins totally sucked, hince its shut down (wich they replaced with a burlingtons coat factory..yuck)

    [Reply]

  11. Colorado Springs’ estimated population in 2005 was NOT 520,000, it’s estimated population as of July 2006 was only 369,815. Get it right, folks!

    [Reply]

  12. I think Prangeway was referring to the metropolitan area population, which was estimated at 587,500 in 2005. For our purposes, the population within municipal boundaries isn’t usually as meaningful as the overall metropolitan area population figures.

    [Reply]

  13. You are correct, the population for the city of Colorado Springs is only 369,000.

    However…

    The metro population which I specifically referenced (of 520,000) is a more meaningful statistic for us when we seek to define a trade area for a particular shopping center, because it reflects all the people living in the area the shopping center could potentially serve. A particular municipality’s population often doesn’t include all the people in suburban or outlying areas, and this overall statistic is more important to our analysis. Therefore, the agglomeration of all the municipalities in a metropolitan area is what we typically use in our analyses.

    [Reply]

  14. June 2008

    Mall is nice, BUT so many of the trees are dying or have died around the mall. The landscaping of a mall is essectial and sets a “tone” of the mall inside as far as maintance etc. Please remove the dead trees, increace the watering scheduling ….and replace the trees….!! It really reflects and says a lot about the mall…

    Thanks
    Linda

    [Reply]

  15. Yuk! Those poor food court patrons now have stare at an ugly Dick’s storefront instead of graceful ice skaters.

    This appears to have bizarre specialty stores: Everest Tibet Imports, All Things Catholic…what a strange place.

    [Reply]

  16. Was Kmart added on later…? It sure looks like it.

    [Reply]

  17. Prangeway: According to GGP’s lease plans, the Kmart here sells groceries. Does that mean it’s a Super Kmart?! And “The Love Shop”? What the heck is that?

    [Reply]

    Kyle Reply:

    @Jonah Norason,

    It’s where you buy love and they say love is something money can’t buy!

    [Reply]

  18. I did some researching.

    Chapel Hills Mall did open with Kmart as an anchor, and as of 1990 had Dillard’s, Joslin’s, Kmart, Fashion Bar, and Service Merchandise. And Sears, of course. Foley’s opened in 1998 in the old Joslin’s, but the look, feel, and employees remained the same.

    Meanwhile, Service Merchandise left prematurely in 1994, becoming JCPenney soon afterward. link

    [Reply]

  19. They’re losing the K-Mart.

    http://www.gazette.com/articles/mall-55523-chapel-kmart.html

    [Reply]

  20. The mall is actually doing some upgrades. They are re-doing the concrete and bollards at the main entrances, adding a soft seating location in the Upper level near Macy’s, and are adding a bunch of landscaping. They did loose K-mart this year but it probably is not a huge loss for the mall and who knows maybe they will get something cool to expand into it. I would love to see a big JC Penney expansion or something. I think the mall is making a big push to reinvigorate their experience level and could turn a corner once the economy recovers…

    [Reply]

  21. Once the K-mart leaves, maybe they should look into remodeling that entire wing, perhaps with entertainment in mind considering that the movie theater is already there…

    [Reply]

  22. I worked there in 1982 at Bishops Buffett which was kity corner from K-Mart. The mall was brand new then.
    Ironically K-Mart bought Bishops and decided to turn it into a Furrs, which they also owned. They transferred the Bishops employees, who wanted to go, to Bloomington Illinois.

    I heard the Furrs didn’t last too long there after that.

    Then mall was great when it first opened with Famous Barr and a Tex Critters Pizza Jamborie.

    I have a lot of great memories of the mall and Colorado Springs in general.

    [Reply]

  23. There is a Wal-Mart attached to Chapel Hiils now. Is this the old K-Mart spot. It is open to the mall?

    [Reply]

    Jared Reply:

    @Chip,

    The Walmart is across the street from the Chapel Hills Mall. It’s totally unassociated with it.

    [Reply]

  24. I was just at this mall yesterday, and I wanted to say a few things –

    First of all, no one has moved anything into the former Kmart yet. They painted the entrance to it and put up some veteran poster.

    Next, they’re opening a Baskin Robbins where the customer information desk used to be.

    The Taco Bell Express that was inside the food court closed a little while ago, and the regular Taco Bell on the grounds of the mall just closed too.

    (There also used to be an Arby’s and a Pizza Hut — now Sonic’s the last restraunt on the grounds of the mall, but outside it.)

    All the other major anchors at this mall (Dillard’s, Macy’s, Burlington Coat Factory, J.C. Penny’s Sears, etc.) are still there.

    The lower-Dillard’s wing (especially between Burlington Coat Factory and Dillard’s) probably the part of the mall with the most vacancies right now, although I think some dress shop just opened down there.

    One last thing: Somebody sympathized that instead of looking at the hockey court from, people had to look at the Dick’s store front. That’s not the case. It’s just a wall and I think that it has an advertisement on it right now for “Allidan’s Rug Gallery,” but it has no Dick’s Sporting Good Signs or anything.

    [Reply]

  25. After posting my updates to the mall yesterday, an article entitled “Changes Coming for Chapel Hills Mall” was published in a local paper.

    If you want to read the story, you may download it here: http://www.megaupload.com/?d=P6ZZWJXP

    Also, somebody told me about this article, which is a little dated, but I thought that it was interesting:

    http://www.gazette.com/articles/mall-108148-chapel-move.html

    [Reply]

  26. Remember how I said that the Taco Bell on the mall grounds closed?

    I was driving past there yesterday and saw that an “El Super Taco” was opening in its place.

    That makes me wonder if the mall is going to start loosing major companies from it like Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Arby’s, Kmart, Old Navy, etc. and be filled with places like “El Super Taco.”

    [Reply]

  27. I was here yesterday. Appearantely, Sears is using 1/4 of the former Old Navy location as sort of a clearance outlet. It looks kinda tacky. All of the windows are covered in white and blue, the enterance farther away from the Sears is closed (there’s a pic of this location above), all of the shelves are still in there and they’re all empty, there’s yellow caution tape put up around the rest of the store, and there’s one Sears cash register with 2 bored looking employes standing around and chatting by it.

    I think that it would be cool to see Sears develop this location as a permeant extension to Sears.

    Also, just a bit of history from this mall, this old Old Navy location used to be an mall enterance. On the outside of the mall, there are still enterance things set up. I also think that there used to be an outdoor play area by there.

    [Reply]

  28. The Chapel Hills Mall has been sold: http://www.gazette.com/articles/hills-119140-mall-chapel.html

    [Reply]

  29. Now Borders will be leaving too as the entire chain is shutting down.

    [Reply]

  30. Boarders gone, K-Mart gone, and Old Navy gone. The Pizza Hutt in the parking lot has been gone for years.

    [Reply]

  31. The (former) Kmart at this mall is (supposedly) haunted!

    “There have been report of displays being knocked over and strange noises back in the garden shop. Employees who have had to open the Garden Shop early in the mornings have reported cold spots and the feeling of someone brushing against them as they’ve gone through the isles. The occurrences have been attributed to a former manager there by the name of Carl who passed away in 1998.”

    Source: http://theshadowlands.net/places/colorado.htm

    [Reply]

    Kyle Reply:

    @Kurt Bivona,

    I bet the cold spots are fans to make it feel like someone is brushing pass them and the noises are likely some teenagers pulling pranks.

    [Reply]

  32. The former Kmart space has been purchased by the mall’s owner from some New Jersey partnership.

    http://www.gazette.com/articles/mall-133708-kmart-chapel.html

    [Reply]

  33. JC Pennys is closing! Only store in Colorado (I think there are only two left in Denver…) to close.

    [Reply]

    Johnny Reply:

    @Devin,

    There are still two left IN town, First & Main, and Citadel Mall.

    [Reply]

  34. Kmart and Carmike 15 was demolished for a new Carmike 13 and BIG D experience theatre. It is great, and is putting some life in the old mall.

    Supposedly there will be a new mall north of chapel hills in the interquest area near Bass Pro Shops. Exciting!

    [Reply]

Leave a Reply


two × = 10