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.