The Boulevard Mall; Las Vegas, Nevada

Boulevard Mall sign in Las Vegas, NV OK, so you already knew all about the Strip in Vegas, you said? Of course you did.

Labelscar readers know that we’re not afraid to trek off the beaten path, and when people tell me that one seven mile stretch of tar is all there is worth seeing in a city, it only encourages me to venture away even more. This is the first in a string of posts about the malls where Las Vegas area residents actually shop.

The Boulevard Mall is a General Growth Properties mall located approximately 2 miles east of the strip at the corner of Desert Inn Rd. and Maryland Parkway. With approximately 170 stores including four anchors and 1.2 million square feet of floor space, it is the second largest mall in the valley and the oldest continuously operating one (the long-defunct Charleston Plaza Mall was the oldest). Built at what was apparently the “outskirts of town” at the time, the Boulevard Mall is now positioned pretty much in the middle of the city, near the popular tourist regions and much closer to the center-city than many of the area’s other malls, especially the Galleria at Sunset, which is its other competition on the city’s southeast side and is located way out in Henderson.

The Boulevard Mall was my favorite mall in Las Vegas by some measure, both because of its unusual floorplan and unusual decor. Judging by the time capsule (!) located outside of Macy’s store (which was a time capsule in and of itself!), it seems the mall was originally constructed in 1966. Note the cheerful optimism that the mall itself would still be standing in 100 years, which is something that the odds seem to generally be against:
Time capsule in front of Macy's at Boulevard Mall in Las Vegas, NV

However, judging by the unusual floorplan and differences in decor inside and out, I think only half of the mall dates to the 1960s. My guess is that the Boulevard Mall was originally constructed as a simple “dumbell” style mall in 1966, with a single hallway connecting the Macy’s and Sears buildings, and the JCPenney store halfway along the corridor. I believe that the mall was later almost doubled in size via the corridor built parallel to and behind the original corridor, connecting JCPenney and a new Dillard’s store with an entrance to Macy’s midway. Essentially, this new wing created a mirror image of the old mall, and made it possible to pass through both Macy’s and JCPenney to access one part of the mall from the other. Of course, this is all speculation, but check it out:

Boulevard Mall directory in Las Vegas, NV

I also think it’s worth mentioning the crazy, swooping supports in the front mall and the super-jazzy exterior. I thought this was a really fun mall, and if you know something else about it, please tell us!

Someone else thought to take some pictures too, so check theirs out. I’ll be honest, it would really hurt my feelings, but you just might like them better.

Boulevard Mall in Las Vegas, NV Boulevard Mall in Las Vegas, NV Macy's storefront at Boulevard Mall in Las Vegas, NV

Older, “Front Mall:”

Boulevard Mall in Las Vegas, NV Boulevard Mall in Las Vegas, NV Boulevard Mall in Las Vegas, NV Boulevard Mall in Las Vegas, NV

Boulevard Mall in Las Vegas, NV Sears at Boulevard Mall in Las Vegas, NV Food court at Boulevard Mall in Las Vegas, NV JCPenney store at Boulevard Mall in Las Vegas, NV

The passageway between the two halves:

Passageway between

Newer, “Rear Mall:”

Boulevard Mall in Las Vegas, NV Boulevard Mall in Las Vegas, NV Boulevard Mall in Las Vegas, NV

Dillard's at Boulevard Mall in Las Vegas, NV Boulevard Mall in Las Vegas, NV Macy's at Boulevard Mall in Las Vegas, NV

56 Responses to “The Boulevard Mall; Las Vegas, Nevada”

  1. I’m excited to see a hometown mall on here! I love that time capsule too, I’ve looked some in the local paper from that week to see if there is any mention of what’s in it, but I haven’t been able to find anything. It’s sad to think that people probably won’t even care about the time capsule if the mall ‘dies.’

    I’ve lived in Las Vegas since the 80s, and remember when they added on to the mall. When they added on the named that hallway the “Promenade.” Most of the construction took place around the mid-90s, although they’re doing some renovations presently. The spot that is Dilliards now was originally Ronzones, a local chain of department stores. Macys was the Broadway before Macys West took over all their stores.

    The Boulevard is an interesting mall, we’ve got lots of shopping here with the Fashion Show and the other malls on the Strip and the newer Galleria in Henderson. Chain stores are slowly leaving the Boulevard, American Eagle Outfitters and Hallmark have left recently.

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    Rob Lemons Reply:

    @Angela,

    Hello there Angela. You stated “The spot that is Dilliards now was originally Ronzones” you were partially right, yes Dillard’s was Ronzones, however, where the Promenade is located was the original location for Ronzones, which became Dillard’s and was then demolished to make way for the expanded mall. At that time the Dillard’s (now shuddered) was rebuilt where it stands today. I love the Boulevard Mall. I have been shopping there since the 1970′s. Its my favorite mall here in Las Vegas. There are rumors that it is going to close and be demolished, I hope and pray that doesn’t happen.

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    TRACY L. POWERS Reply:

    @Rob Lemons,

    Wait wasn’t it Ronzones then Diamonds THEN Dillard’s???

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  2. I remember seeing a 1980s remodel of this mall profiled in a library book back in the day. The columns in the main mall brought the memory back.

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  3. [...] The Boulevard Mall; Las Vegas, Nevada [...]

  4. Yikes, narrow! I think this was one of the originals in LV. I hope it continues to thrive.
    Scott

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  5. Growing up in Henderson, the Boulevard Mall was the only place to shop. I remember the Sears Restaurant with its dim lighting. Sears also sold pet fish! The whole mall was stuck in time until the ’80′s, when they ruined it. I hated to see the classic original Sears sign replaced with the ugly logo they use now. There was a Woolworth’s in the Boulevard, too. If I remember correctly, it had a basement.

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    Franciine Reply:

    @Allen,

    I also remember that Sears had a popcorn stand in the store and sold records and hi fi equipment. JC Penney also had a diner! Wow, I really miss those times!

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    Rob Lemons Reply:

    @Allen,

    Yes, Woolworth’s DID have a basement! There was a small pet store down there.

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  6. Yes the Woolworths was actually a bomb shelter because it partly was in a basement and the mall was a concrete bunker with those massive pillars… Across the street was the famed Maryland Square shopping Centre “Nothing compares to Maryland Square” was the old jingle on the commericail… It has died and been wiped out.. There was the BEST record store near there called The Underground. I loved going to that mall all gothed out with my friends…

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  7. Hallmark has not moved as it is just south in the Best of the Boulevard. American Eagle moved because not many people shop there in that area. Until recently, it also had the only Marshall’s in town. The Sears is different because it has a basement, which is really unusual in Las Vegas.

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  8. I was at Boulevard yesterday and noticed that the Gap at Boulevard is closing effective January 27.

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  9. Well, now there is a Circuit City there and the Foot Locker is being remodeled. Gap is a terrible store to begin with, no good fashion comes from there. I wonder when the Maryland Square across the street will be redone, since its been demolished. Maybe a power center or a supermarket-anchored center could go there. A DSW, Old Navy, or Petco, or something could go in there.

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  10. Boulevard is useless. It is dying, slowly, but it is dying. I would rather go to Fashion Show before Boulevard. In fact, I would rather drive to Henderson than go to Boulevard. All of the department stores at Boulevard are dated and slowly the interior stores seem to be pulling out.

    I would agree that Vegas could use one or two more Old Navy locations.

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  11. The Boulevard isn’t useless, its usually more busy than the Galleria. The department stores are in fine shape and stores are pulling out of the Galleria left and right more than the Boulevard. The stores at the Boulevard are useful and it has a nice food court as well. The Sears is huge, but they could expand the JCPenney. The Dillards feels like any other Dillards and the Macy’s feels a lot more upscale than the one at the Galleria and is also much busier. There’s a lot of stores you can find at the Boulevard that aren’t at the Galleria.

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  12. Anyone got any more info on Maryland Square? I’m finding nothing.

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    pinkler Reply:

    @Bobby,

    I grew up in Henderson and I can vividly remember my mother always saying, “We need to stop at over at Maryland Square to visit Mervyn’s.”

    I still remember seeing television commercials for Maryland Square and I can still sing the jingle. It goes, “What can compare, to Maryland Square… Maryland Squuuuaaaare!”

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  13. The Maryland Square was a big shopping center that went completely downhill a few years ago. The buildings were so old and bad-looking. The School District bought the shopping center and demolished some buildings to build an Elementary School. One or two buildings still exist and are being used by retailers (mainly independents). The rest of the remaining land has trash and old signs from previous tenants. I am guessing that it used to be a huge shopping center with a lot of service-related businesses. I think the land now is better suited as a power center as it is now an eyesore and empty.

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  14. Maryland Square was occupied by a Smith’s, Wonder World, and The Quilted Bear as I have found out from the RJ’s eForum…

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  15. Hmm, now the Boulevard will be the only mall in town with a Circuit City, Marshall’s, and an Old Navy, I don’t think that’s a sign of a dying mall, Old Navy, is going to render the Boulevard even more useful, since the other two locations are so far away…Hopefully, the location won’t be cannibalized by the other Old Navy opening at Town Square…

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  16. This mall creaps me out. People have said to me that the neighborhood is very questionable. After riding the bus through there several times there is no dout in my mind why that is the case.

    Galleria at Sunset is much nicer even if it is in Henderson.

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  17. Here is a little history of the Ronzone’s department store chain, one of which was located at the Boulevard Mall. This caption is from the the Woman’s Research Institute of Nevada’s website. The entry was under Bertha Ronzone, who passed away in 1969.

    “Ronzone lacked the funds needed to start her business, but was able to secure a $500 loan from George Wingfield to open the first store in Manhattan in 1917. Ronzone moved the store to Tonopah in 1923 when the Manhattan mines went bust. In 1929, she and her husband moved the business to Las Vegas prompted by news of the dam to be built near the new city. After her husband’s death in 1938, Ronzone’s son joined her in the family business. In 1939, the Tonopah store closed, but the family expanded their chain to northern Nevada in 1943. One of the Ronzones’ final accomplishments was the opening of a Ronzone’s in the new Boulevard Mall in Las Vegas in 1968. The stores were later sold and the store in the Boulevard became Diamond’s and later a Dillard’s department store.”

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  18. I lived in the Las Vegas area from 2002-2006. I remember reading in the local newspaper that a teenager was killed by gang members in the Boulevard Mall food court. They beat him to death in front of his parents and girlfriend, if I remember correctly.

    I don’t see how an Old Navy can save this dump.

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  19. The area is very questionable, but the weird thing about the area is that back in the day (60′s and 70′s) the area was very affluent, you can still see signs of this if you drive to the East right behind the mall, seems once you get past, oh, Spencer I think, the houses get bigger and bigger and bigger.

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  20. I have a home behind the mall….the neighborhood is actually great….virtually no crime at all….the houses really are amazing…and many are being renovated…..many celebrities and hotels owned homes there….the stuff that needs to go is the stuff west of Maryland….a lot of lowlife people in crummy apartments…..
    One day those apartments will be bulldozed and the area will once again thrive…..
    The only thing we can blame for the dumpiness of an area is….People….

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  21. The pictures that are supposedly better don’t work.

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  22. Anyone recall the grocery store at the Boulevard Mall? It was not connected directly to the mall, but near the Parkway Theater. Also, I believe it was the birthplace of Freed’s Bakery.

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  23. I remember a teacher of mine telling our class about a woman who had been kidnapped from the Boulevard Mall some time in the 80s. She was murdered in the desert by a then Chaparral High School Student who I believe worked as a bagger at Smith’s. I never found anything on this, so I’m wondering if it is an urban legend. Any old school Vegas residents remember this case? Please post.

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    Robert Reply:

    @ExLVResident,

    Not an urban legend. You can read the details of the case by Googling “Scott Sloan.” I went to UNLV with the victim’s son when she was murdered, in 1984.

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  24. When I moved to Las Vegas in 1981, the Boulevard was the only place to shop. I thought it was great. Macy’s was The Broadway and a great store. Many people would incorrectly call the Mall “Broadway Mall.” The Woolworth’s restaurant had great grill cheese sandwiches. There was a great restaurant “The Vineyard’s” which you had to enter from the outside. It had a lunch buffet with salads and pizzas. Near the time it closed (probably early 90′s) it went downhill (much like Alpine Village did).

    The Fashion Show opened in 1982, I believe. It didn’t seem to take much business from the Boulevard since it was considered upscale.

    In the mid- 90′s they redid the mall and Dillards moved to it’s current location opening up the Promenade to add more stores. They also added a food court. I forget what was in the food court area before they added it.

    I was there a few years ago during the Holidays and it was looking pretty bad. Lots of young kids and not much up keep. Now, I only shop at the Fashion Show but I do remember the Boulevard fondly.

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    D. Barnes Reply:

    @HH,
    Thanks for the memories! True vintage Las Vegas :-) especially The Vineyard and walking through the Woolworth store just to get into the mall.

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  25. Another possible nail in the coffin for Boulevard as Dillard’s announced they are pulling out of Boulevard in October.

    If there was any doubt this mall is on the decline, this is your proof.

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  26. I think Dillard’s pulling out is a very grim sign for the future of this mall. The neighborhood is ghetto and the general economy of Las Vegas is in bad shape. The Boulevard could soon become America’s next dead mall. This is sad because I have been shopping there since I moved to Las Vegas in 1977.

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  27. I think that Dillard’s leaving is the beginning of the end. I think they might have a tough time filling that hole.

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  28. Rumor has it that the Blvd Mall will be closed by the end of ’09

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  29. as well as dillards pulling out, jcpenny is as well another nail in its coffin

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  30. My sister works at Dilliard’s. They are closing as many of you know.

    She has been moved to Meadows Mall.

    Rumor has it that yes the Boulevard Mall will close, and that Steve Wynn is going to make a golf course there. Rumors i remind you.

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  31. I was Born (10/10/72) & Raised in Las Vegas, NV. I grew up in a House off of Flamingo & Mt.Vista. During my Teen years i LIVED at the Blvd Mall. I now live in GV,Henderson in Whitney Ranch by the Galleria Mall. It just breaks my Heart to see what a terrible Neighborhood both the Blvd Mall area & the House i grew up in as turned into!!! My fave Stores in the Blvd Mall growing up were WoolWorths, Contempo Casuals, The Limited, Foxmoore, WhereHouse Records, After Thoughts, & 5,7,9. We loved grabbing Lunch at good old Mickeyds and snacks at Orange Julis and Visitng the Pet Shop afterwards. I know everything Changes w/time but this is just so sad, i hate to see all this History go away like this…..

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  32. wasn’t the original Alpine Village Inn Restaurant on Las Vegas Blvd. South?

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    terry king Reply:

    @Esther, the only Alpine village i know of was across from the Hilton(International), next to the Landmark.

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    Robert Reply:

    @Esther,

    It was across the street from the old Hacienda Hotel (now Mandalay Bay) in the 1960s before moving to Paradise Road, across from the Convention Center. I miss that place.

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  33. That was not an urban legend. In fact, it’s in the news again http://www.lvrj.com/news/42869357.html

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    terry king Reply:

    @Reply to EXLV Resident, i just looked at the RJ article. it says she worked at Saks. that’s in the Fashion show, which just goes to show you. it is sad what the area has become around the blvd. back then, that was the nice, happening part of town.

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    Can you read? Reply:

    @terry king,

    Did you not read the article?
    “Police believe her assailant or assailants had abducted her from the Boulevard Mall parking lot.”

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  34. I got to vegas in ’72, and the blvd. mall was it! right next to penneys was Diamonds dept. store, and across from it was Marvin Strusser’s bed and bath shop with the most exquisite things! I still have some of them (a brass bow tie lamp that was about $300 back then!) Then, that NEW Meadows mall opened. Anyone remember a home decor store called the Habitat? I bought so much stuff there, they probably retired! I moved to Ca. in the 80′s, and just came back a few years ago.

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  35. The Meadows Mall is expected to be demolished for a new arena June 2010.

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    SEAN Reply:

    @News, You mean the Boulevard Mall, right?

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  36. I worked at Diamonds in the Boulevard in 1977-78 and at that time it was very high class. I waited on several celebrities who shopped at the store at the time.

    I also worked at the Woolco down on Charleston for several years.

    Lots of great memories for me there.

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  37. No, actually the Ghetto Meadow has a date with the wrecking ball. This one will probably die a slow and painful death.

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  38. I remember walking home from Ruby Thomas Elementary and across Maryland Pkwy. My sister and I would walk thorugh Sears…the store was air conditioned and I can stilll remember the cold air htting us as as we walked though the doors

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  39. At the risk of repeating some info already here, I’ll throw in my two cents. My family came to Las Vegas in 1974, and the Boulevard was basically the only mall. The old Charleston Plaza Mall was still around, and it had its own charm, but the Boulevard was the place with the major anchors. Yes, around 20 years ago they added on a whole other section including the big, new Dillards which recently closed.

    In those days, the area around Maryland and DI was considered a pretty nice part of town. In fact, if there was a major “shopping area” this was it. As others have alluded to, the Maryland Square shopping center was across the street with Wonder World and a Smith’s Food King, and a bunch of other free-standing stores were nearby. There was also a shopping center with Mervyn’s, Service Merchandise, and Von’s at the southwest corner of Twain and Maryland.

    The area immediately to the west of the mall really went to hell in the 1980′s. The apartments along Sierra Vista St. have become gang and drug infested and that has hurt the Boulevard a lot.

    35 years ago, if you wanted something to eat at the mall, your choices were pretty limited. There was a little snack shop down next to the Broadway, and there was a small restaurant in Woolwoth’s–I think it was called “The Quiet Corner.” If you went outside, there was a great Italian place called “The Vinyard.” I remember the buffet they used to have upstairs. My old company, Household Finance, had an office in the Boulevard, but it only had an outside entrance. Within the company, it was known as “Las Vegas 3.”

    Very few things remain unchanged. The end down by Sears has changed the least. The little key shop stand alone building located by the Sear’s north side is still there, and I think that it is still functioning. And if I am not mistaken, Sears still has the old style cursive “Sears” sign on the west outside wall.

    Going to the Boulevard is rather depressing these days, especially if you head down to the section by the former Dillards. It is a dark and empty. When I consider all the time I spent at the mall growing up, it makes me a little sad to see it in decline. Of course, almost everything about Las Vegas has changed drastically since I was a kid, so I guess this has to change, too.

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  40. To add one more thing, not exactly related to the Boulevard but something old-timer’s will remember, it strikes me that we had a lot more shopping choices in those days. Circa 1980, if you wanted to go to what we would now call a free-standing department store in Las Vegas, there were a ton of choices. There was Gemco, Grand Central, Vegas Village, Wonder World, Kmart, Ardans, Woolco, and probably a few others that I have forgotten. These were full range department stores with clothing, electronics, sporting goods, housewares–you name it. Today, only Kmart remains of these, and the market is dominated by Target and Walmart.

    Las Vegas had only around 400,000 people in those days, maybe a sixth of what we have today, yet we had so many more choices! I’m sure I speak for more that one of us when I say, “Too bad we can’t turn back the clock to go back and visit those days.”

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  41. I lived in Las Vegas from 2003 to 2006 and left to come back to Chicago. I just loved the Boulevard Mall had just the right stores; Sears, JC Penny and Macys what else does one need. I felt so relaxed in the mall; people that worked in the mall were friendly and had fun. Jobs were the reason I left Las Vegas, but I am returning this year or next I will be closer to retirement and I will be able to hang out again. I love the hot weather and Las Vegas and can not wait to walk the mall again.

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  42. I lived in Las Vegas when the mall opened and worked at The Broadway department store. It was a great mall with desert surrounding it, I an sad to see what has happened to that area of town.

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  43. The Boulevard Mall was amazing at Christmas (in the early 70s). I have a vague recollection of a lion cub being named Ronzone – or at least somehow connected with the store in the Boulevard. Anyone? I remember slices of pie on a turntable in a cafe in Woolworths as well as the fallout shelter sign above the stairs to the basement. Pet store in the mall… DoctorRex (?) near the entrance to JC Penney and Orange Julius nearby. Remember the fountains two(?), a large one inside the main entrance and a smaller one somewhere. Are they still there?

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  44. New Ownership for Boulevard Mall

    By Caroline Bleakley, Senior Online Editor
    By Diane Tuazon, Reporter

    LAS VEGAS — The oldest mall in the Las Vegas valley has new ownership. The Boulevard Mall, built in 1965, was sold to Sansone Companies, Boulevard Ventures, a local entity. Boulevard Ventures plans to retain the mall’s existing tenancy and add new vendors.

    Charles Moore is the senior vice president of CBRE’s Private Capital Group, which brokered the sale. He says the mall was one of the largest retail assets marketed in Las Vegas over the past five years.

    “There’s some good plans. The mall itself has 75 percent leased at this point and his intension is to release as it is and bring new life to the asset that will cater to surrounding community,” Moore said.

    The new owner of the mall, Roland Sansone, is familiar with the Boulevard, he used to have retail shops in the mall. Running the mall is no new territory for Sansone’s company and they are about to make it bigger and better.

    “He is going to bring more excitement to the area, potentially some entertainment options,” Moore said.

    Part of the plan is to bring an entertainment venue to the property and while they are not sure exactly what that might be yet, CBRE says there is potential for a movie theater.

    Sansone Companies plans to also bring in more restaurants and new retail to fill the vacant spots, along with a full exterior and interior renovation.

    The mall went up for sale in June 2013 when the previous owner, Rouse Properties, completed deed in lieu of foreclosure.

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