Mall 205; Portland, Oregon

Mall 205 in Portland, Oregon

Trudging along for over 30 years, Mall 205 left an indelible mark on shoppers located on the east side of Portland, Oregon.  The mall opened in 1970 anchored by Montgomery Ward and White Front department stores, with enclosed in-line space between them.  White Front went out of business in the late 1970s, but the mall didn’t suffer.  Instead, it converted White Front’s space into more space for stores and added an Emporium location which would also close.  

Demand was high in this mall, which filled (and continues to fill) a shopping void between several larger malls in the Portland area, all within a 10 minute drive via expressways: Lloyd Center to the west near central Portland, Westfield Vancouver Mall to the north, and the large Clackamas Town Center to the south.  The mall chugged along into the 80s and through the 90s and was going just fine until a devastating closure in 2001 when Montgomery Ward departed as that chain went out of business nationwide

Following the devastating departure of Montgomery Ward, vacant space inside Mall 205 shot up fast.  Almost immediately, local mall owner Center Oak Properties decided a radical revamp of the mall was in order.  In 2002, Mall 205 got a radical facelift – the first and only major renovation the center received.  Home Depot, Target and 24 Hour Fitness stepped in where Montgomery Ward left the reigns and the mall’s interior received brand new fixtures, flooring, ceiling, and the whole kitchen sink.  Part of the overhaul was also a complete change in the mall’s blank, walled exterior, giving it a downtown look complete with glass storefronts, colorful awnings and tree-lined sidewalks. Inside, the mall has a new food court, ceiling and floor. The parking lot was also extensively renovated with all-new light fixtures, a system of rectangular grids with 20-foot-wide sidewalks and 900 new trees. A ditch for catching parking lot runoff looks more like a park, complete with plantings and bird feeders.

Mall 205 remains successful today as it ever was, existing mostly as an ancillary mall to the larger centers it supports.  Some of its tenants include Famous Footwear, a bakery, car stereo place, pizza parlor, and other shops and services.  A final notable thing about the mall is that it’s one of two enclosed malls I can think of named after an interstate.  The other was called Mall 189 in Burlington, Vermont, and has since been disenclosed.  Thankfully, this is one of the few mall renovations that allowed for enclosure.  I took the pictures in November 2005. 

Mall 205 sign in Portland, Oregon Mall 205 in Portland, Oregon Mall 205 in Portland, Oregon

Mall 205 in Portland, Oregon Mall 205 in Portland, Oregon near Mall 205 in Portland, Oregon

82 Responses to “Mall 205; Portland, Oregon”

  1. Interesting story here and an inspiring one of how to keep a troubled mall alive when you’ve got the right ideas and money allocated for it. This mall did fall within the bounds of luck; they had the ability to include prime anchor stores like Target, BB&B, and Home Depot – some areas already have them off or near mall grounds leaving the malls themselves to face anchor doom.

    They could’ve, however, done something about that “Mall 205″ name seeing as if they just couldn’t think of a slightly more descriptive name.

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    shopperinme Reply:

    @XISMZERO, The name is an homage to I-205, which passes right by it.

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  2. Does that Home Depot open into the mall? I think that may be the only time I’ve ever seen that.

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    Tamila Reply:

    @Caldor, Yes it does. That part of the mall used to be a Payless Drug Store and an Emporium with a mall entrance between them. Emporium went out of business and Payless was bought by Rite-Aid, which then closed the location. After a major remodel the Home Depot was put in with a mall entrance as well as a traditional entrance into the parking lot.

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  3. I believe that it does. Center Oak Properties used to have a lease plan of the mall but it seems to have disappeared.

    At some point there was a Rite Aid in the mall too, it used to be another drugstore. The Home Depot takes up the former Emporium site if I’m not mistaken.

    The lease plan showed a Borders Express proposed in the food court; it appears to be empty in the pictures. Perhaps it was just a Walden that closed or a proposal that never came to be.

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  4. Seems to be a pleasant little mall, and a great comeback story.

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  5. In response to Caldor’s post there is another Home Depot that “sort of” opens out into a mall. The Turfland Mall in Lexington, KY replaced its closed Montgomery Ward with a Home Depot. While the main store does not have a mall entrance the tool rental center does if my memory serves me correctly.

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  6. Several Midwestern malls are/were anchored by Menard’s, which is a Midwestern competitor to Home Depot. I’m too lazy to look them all up, but I know that Michigan has two malls anchored by Menard’s – Delta Plaza in Escanaba and Centerpointe Mall in Grand Rapids. Both open into the mall, and neither store is very big either. Escanaba’s, in fact, is only in the 50K square foot range! (Incredibly, it was a former Woolworth.)

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  7. Home Depot also has a location on a former Ward’s pad that was an original anchor for Waukegan’s (IL) Belvedere Mall. I’m not sure if this particular location opens up into the mall though.

    Nice to read these stories of a mall that was close to dead, only to be resurrected by some smart heads at the company that owns the property. I like the low rambling appearance and diffused lighting shown in these images. It sort of harkens back to the styles of older malls, but with modern touches.

    I agree though, that they could also have thought up a new name.

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    Tamila Reply:

    @Matt, It was a very nice mall back in the 1980’s and 90’s, but now it’s just large big box anchors with some of the original mall hallways between them. Most of the smaller stores that were left after the major remodel have closed. So the end result is an odd, empty feeling to the mall. Basically it’s an outside mall of anchors with the hallways still intact.

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  8. On the surface this sounds like a happy comeback for Mall 205 but I go there not infrequently and the mall itself, the small space stores, are not robust. The anchors are faring well. I would estimate up to 25% vacancy rate, and lots of the little spaces are unable to sustain even low-rent tenants. Last I checked, the makeshift glamour shots place had gone belly-up. What this ambitious anchoring has done has made the anchors destinations while the interior of the mall, which is tiny, is mostly overlooked. There is a homeschooling store that gets traffic and a couple other businesses I’m not able to name, but for food there’s very little besides Pizza Schmizza. There is a very visible vacancy to your left if you look at that picture that looks into the 24-Hour Fitness. There was a fifties-themed food purveyor on the corner, since 205 lacks a food court per se, and the fifties place moved out leaving visible signs of pulling up stakes.
    The problem is that if you’re that far east in Portland, it’s not an economically robust area, and Mall 205 reflects this. The upshot is that the 24 Hour Fitness is rarely full now that a fancier location is finished right off of Interstate 84, so to avoid the rush, I can go there and go to my favorite Target. ;}
    I hope to do a current vacancy count one day. I’ll post findings here.

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    Tamila Reply:

    @Kendal, Most of those small stores have closed so the vacancy inside is close to 90% now.

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  9. Although the mall opened in 1970, I-205 past the mall did not open until 1983. If I remember correctly, Mall 205 had originally been designed by Victor Gruen and Associates. California based White Front had opened stores in the north and south ends of the Seattle area in the mid-late 1960s and had added stores in Everett, Bellevue, Tacoma, and Portland (Mall 205) around 1970.

    The Everett store was built at the opposite end of Everett Mall from Sears and sat vacant for a few years after the White Front chain went out of business in the 70s. The store became a branch of The Bon Marche in 1977 and was later renamed Bon-Macy’s. It is now Macy’s. The North Seattle White Front is now a Kmart, the Bellevue and Burien (south of Seattle) stores Fred Meyer. The Tacoma White Front has been split up into smaller stores and shops. Part of the building was a Jafco/BEST.

    The Mall 205 White Front was divided up into smaller anchors. The end of the building was a 3 screen cinema without an interior entrance to the mall. Other parts of the former White Front building became Payless Drugs (eventually purchased by Rite Aid) and Emporium, a Eugene Oregon based junior department store that is now defunct.

    In the days of Sears and Montgomery Ward catalogs, the Sears Pacific Northwest catalog warehouse was in Seattle and the Wards warehouse was in Portland. Both warehouses had adjacent stores. It seems that Wards located its stores for the most part at second tier malls in the Portland area while Sears and J C Penney, along with stores such as Meier and Frank (now Macy’s) and Nordstrom were located at the first tier malls. In addition to the central and Mall 205 stores, Wards had a store at Jantzen Beach Center, a free standing store in Beaverton, and finally in 1981 a store at a first tier mall, Clackamas Town Center. Jantzen Beach Center, originally a mall built circa 1970, has been mostly rebuilt as a power center. I think that the mall wing that connects the former Wards with Kmart is still standing. The Jantzen Beach Wards, like the Mall 205 wards, is now a Target.

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    Tamila Reply:

    @mapper, Anything that was left of the original Jantzen Beach Mall is now gone. The Barnes and Noble and a restaurant were torn down, then the Target was torn down, and a new and larger target was built where the Barnes and Nobel had been. The small interior section that had been left from the original mall was torn down and the Burlington Coat Factory (where K-Mart used to be) received a new outside entrance now that the interior mall entrance is gone. More retail is being added between the Burlington Coat Factory and the (new) Target. Circuit City is gone and replaced with a Best Buy. CompUSA is gone and was a Best Buy until the Circuit City closed and then Best Buy moved into that location. A small strip was added in the parking lot between Home Depot and the far strip where Staples, Old Navy, and the new Target are. Stores in this new strip include a Pier 1 Imports, a Petco, and a Casual Male Big & Tall. The Video Only closed and moved into the much larger old Stereo Super Stores location. The Toys R Us closed and then remodeled into a combo Toys R Us/Baby’s R Us (which sucks). The New strip being built between Burlington Coat Factory and the new Target are supposed to include a Famous Footwear, a Ross, a TJ Maxx, and some other things. Now if Tri-met would only do the intelligent thing and extend the MAX all the way to the mall.

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  10. What was it like before renovation?

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    Tamila Reply:

    @Jonah N., It was a typical smallish mall with 4 anchors and around 60 small stores. It was a nice little mall in the 80’s and 90’s.

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  11. Has this mall ever had a cinema?

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    dancinmikeb Reply:

    @Halbert, The cinema once stood where the building materials sections at the Home Depot now stands. four screens, if I recall. It was first run for a long time, then went to late run bargain shows for a year or two before getting the wrecking ball.

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  12. Here’s an interesting article from 1996 about a proposed addition that never happened.

    http://www.bizjournals.com/portland/stories/1996/06/24/story3.html?page=1

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  13. What’s this about the waterslides in the mall over at DeadMalls.com? Won’t that make the whole mall smell like chlorine?

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  14. http://www.portlandtribune.com/news/story.php?story_id=6901 has an article on Mall 205. And where is Center Oak’s website?

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  15. HOORAY! Here’s the URL (click on my name) to the page with the Leasing PDF. I’m so sorry for quadruple posting!

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  16. i would like to know the name of the homeschooling store located in Mall 205 in Portland Oregon if someone actually knows the name. thanks so very much

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    Tamila Reply:

    @yr2cute4me, It was called The Learning Center and it’s closed.

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  17. That Target’s facade looks very bland and old. Does anyone else think so? Considering the innovative Home Depot entrance, you’d think Target would have an interesting storefront.

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  18. Also, I have never seen a Claire’s storefront like that. What era would that be from? I can think of maybe 4 other storefronts that they have had too.

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    Tamila Reply:

    @boomshakla, That Claire’s façade is from the mid 1980’s.

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  19. Claire’s unusual facade shows that Claire’s was operating before the major renovation.

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  20. Yeah, I figured. But I have never seen that facade before. I know before they remodeled everything, their logo in the 1990s/early 00s looked like this: http://www.alpenamall.com/images/claires.jpg. And I think there’s an even older one lurking around here too.

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  21. I’ve only seen two Claire’s with that square logo — that very store at Alpena Mall, plus the one at Genesee Valley Center in Flint. The store at Universal Mall had a labelscar matching the logo pictured above; Claire’s later took over the old After Thoughts store in the same mall and has since closed.

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  22. http://flickr.com/photos/cafemama/422751444/

    This is Mall 205, and the outparcel auto center is obviously of the old Wards. What is it used for now?

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  23. I arranged all the stores in the leasing plan plus some more snooping into this handy-dandy Mall 205 store list. Please send in corrections and additions for the next edition of this.

    HOME DEPOT BLOCK AND FOOD COURT
    The Home Depot (Anchor): Appears to lack a Garden Center.
    Learning Palace: The aforementioned homeschooling store.
    Saigon Cuisine: Seems to be Vietnamese food.
    Wok Express: Likely Chinese food.
    Waz-Wan: Unknown food court store. Sounds vaguely Asian.
    Subway: Likely a new addition after renovation.
    La Sierra: Unknown food court store.
    Ozzie’s: Unknown food court store.

    24 HOUR FITNESS BLOCK
    24 Hour Fitness (Anchor)
    Blue Star Diner: A 1950s themed diner that has gone out of business.
    Kase Confections: A cake shop that has likely gone out of business.
    GNC: Likely operating before renovations.
    Image Star Shots: A “makeshift glamour shots” place. Out of business.
    Perfect Look: “Family Haircare without the appointments”! Likely around before renovation.
    Claire’s Boutique: The distinct neon sign says it was operating before the renovation.

    TARGET BLOCK
    Target (Anchor): Two stories. Despite the size, it isn’t a hypermarket.
    Bed Bath & Beyond (Anchor)
    Performance Bike: “For people for love bikes”. Probably sells bikes and bike parts.
    Beauty Nails: Could be out of business.
    Bed Bath & Beyond (Anchor)
    Harry Ritchie Jewelry: A jewelry store.
    Van Duyns: Unknown.
    Smart Wireless: A cellular store.
    Pizza Schmizza: A regional pizza chain.
    McMenamins Bar & Grill: I think it has taken the place of the proposed Daphne’s Greek Cafe.
    Hallmark: Do we need to explain this?
    Dress Barn: Clothing store.
    Famous Footwear: Shoe store.
    Oregon Air National Guard: Likely operating before renovations.
    BCTI: A mysterious kiosk listed on the leasing plan.

    FORMER STORES (by no means complete)
    Troutman’s Emporium: Space has been swallowed up plus some by The Home Depot.
    White Front: Currently the 24 Hour Fitness.
    Montgomery Ward: In former Target space.

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  24. The old Ward’s outbuilding is being renovated into what appears to be a small strip mall type setting.

    To add a bit of info:

    Performance Bike: It does sell bikes and bike gear.
    Van Duyns: Chocolatier
    McMenamins: I don’t think there’s one in the mall, but I’ll know for sure today as I’m heading to The Learning Palace after work.
    The Learning Palace: It’s not as much a homeschooling store as it is an educational store in general.
    Beauty Nails: The last I saw was it was still around.

    I’ll submit more info after I visit if anything is different from what’s been submitted above.

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  25. One thing I’m a bit confused about is the waterslides tower. It’s mentioned on DeadMalls.com about a tower in the center of the mall and older aerial photos prove that this is possible (as the roof on the Home Depot side was redone). Frankly, a waterpark inside a SMALL mall is pretty unimaginable to me. Please explain, somebody…Pictures would be nice, if possible.

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  26. This place used to have a new-and-used video game store called “Game Trader” which was excellent for finding rare and unusual games. I wish somebody’d taken a pic of it, as it left in 2003. I bought an unopened Super NES game there one year earlier. You just didn’t find those in proper retail anymore.

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  27. In the early to mid 1980’s, there were several ‘hydrotube’ waterslides in the Portland area. Many were in or near malls (Jantzen Beach Center, Washington Square, Eastport Plaza) and a stand-alone slide in Vancouver, WA. At the time, they were the ‘hot new attraction.’ I remember going to the Jantzen Beach one for a birthday party in 1985. Not sure if this is the true reason, but supposedly they were shut down due to insurance/lawsuit reasons.

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  28. Wait, so it was waterslides in the middle of the mall? I’m still dreadfully confused on that aspect…

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  29. Apparently, Mall 205 is doing badly now. The interior is virtually vacant: here’s a quote from http://deadmalls.wordpress.com, deadmalls.com new “minor updates” site:

    “The first time I went to the mall in 2003 I seem to remember the food court area had four or five food venders. Only one little food place remained in February 2008. Inside, the mall truly looked depressingly barren.”

    Shock and dismay. When do you think the anchors will seal off mall entrances?

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  30. All of the “big box” stores at Mall 205 would appear to be doing well – Target, Home Depot, Famous Footwear, as well as a 24 Hour Fitness, and a store called Performance Bike. All of these stores have entrances to the outside as well as to the mall, which seems to be a key distinction. In addition there is a Bed, Bath, and Beyond which has only mall access, but appears to be successful too. Almost all of the interior-only stores have closed, except for a Dress Barn, a GNC, a Van Duyn chocolates store, a jewelry store and a glamour shots store. There is also a store called Learning Palace, which is something of an educational toy store, and which still seems to be doing OK, and a place that does nails. The only restaurants are a Pizza Schmizza located near one of the entrances, and a deli called Ozzies located in what was once their food court. At one time the food court had a Subway and McDonald’s Express among it’s six parcels, but apparently the lack of foot traffic killed them as well. The times I’ve been in this mall in the last few years, you could fire a cannon down the main corridor and you wouldn’t come close to hitting anyone. It’s too bad because it used to be a cool place to hang out when I was a pre-teen in the 80’s, with an arcade, a four-plex, a B. Dalton, a Spencer Gifts, and a Hickory Farms among the sixty-odd stores. It will be interesting to see if they are able to do anything to change this mall’s situation in the coming years, perhaps by tearing down the interior corridors, or if they just let it go on as is.

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  31. What about Oregon Air National Guard? So, that leaves about 11 in-line stores left. Sucks.

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  32. the question about the “hydrotube” waterpark in the mall: those hydrotube waterslides in the 1970’s/80’s were big green fiberglass pipes that would have water running through them. you slid down them and got dumped into a pool. they were extremely popular for the few years they were in business. there were a couple of standalone hydrotube places in salem, or at the time of their existence. they were alot of fun. they got sued by a parent who didn’t understand that their kid was obviously not real smart to stop in the middle of one. if your kid stopped in the middle of a crosswalk so a car would hit them, would you sue the city and close the road forever? don’t think so. not sure why that got blown so far out of proportion?

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  33. There’s a video on YouTube on Mall 205, basically some teenagers fooling around in there. Even though it was added a month ago, I don’t when it was filmed, and there’s definitely some empty feeling. Great mall shots, though…

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  34. 24 Hour Fitness here has a pool for water exercise stuff…like the waterslides, except different.

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  35. I cannot be certain because it was so long ago and my mother, who could probably confirm this for me, is deceased. However, I think that this is the mall we used to go to when we lived in Portland for approximately a year between 1974 and 1975. I have very few clear memories of my time living in Oregon because I was very young, but a few things stand out. Going to the Montgomery Ward’s store at whatever mall we frequented there is one. Back at this time, some stores had these little booths that greatly resemble the instant picture booths that used to be so popular, but that showed cartoon shorts for a dime or a quarter. I vividly remember going into a red cartoon booth at Ward’s and watching Yogi Bear and Deputy Dog shorts. I also remember being in there one day and experiencing a strange, overpowering smell like bad fried chicken. It had something to do with another little kid who was there, but I can’t remember if he was actually eating chicken or if he just smelled funny…(kind of mean, but it had to be something for me to remember it almost 35 years later!) I have no memories of the mall itself, just the Ward’s store, but based on where I think we lived and the names of the other malls, I’m thinking this has to be the one. Glad it’s still alive and kicking.

    By the way, does anyone from that area know anything about a little place we used to go to called Heidi’s? I’m thinking it had a Swiss Chalet theme to it and maybe it was near Mt. Hood. I remember going there and seeing it like something out of a fairy tale. I would always get their hot chocolate, which they served with a fun little plastic monkey hanging off the edge. Not very Swiss, but I loved them. They were transparent and came in bright colors. There was also some kind of little theme park in the area out there which had fairytale stuff in it…there was some kind of tunnel that looked like you were going into the mouth of the Wicked Witch from Snow White. I guess I was doing just fine until my dad said, “Ooh, let’s go into the witch’s mouth!” at which point I flipped out.

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  36. Erika: One of the things I’ve heard about the “old Mall 205″ is that it was “quite dark inside, lit only by the occasional fluorescent light” and that it had a waterslide in it at one point.

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  37. I definitely don’t remember a waterslide, but again my only true memories of this place were within the Montgomery Ward’s store and not the inner mall itself, though I remember seeing the mall from the outside. I just wondered if maybe this was the same place. It was so long ago that my few memories of living in Portland are very murky.

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  38. Heidi’s was out on Hwy 26 in Boring heading towards Mt. Hood. There was a restaurant and gift shops and mini theme park. It did have a Swiss theme. We used to stop there often and I remember the hot chocolate monkeys too.

    It was sold and is now called Ashley’s and many of the out buildings have gone through many changes. There is a A & W Rootbeer drive in there now too. There was a cute tea room but she went under.

    There is a Heidi’s restaurant still open in Gresham under the original owners.

    The Home Depot does open into the mall. It does have a garden center. The only way into the BB & B is through the mall. There are many empty stores, sadly. Claires and the recruitment center do pre-date the remodel. That Claires has been there a long long time.

    There is a Red Robin and an Olive Garden on the pad as well as Baja Fresh and that Panda fast Chinese. The McMennemin’s is across the street.

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  39. Thanks, Leeanne! I’m glad to know I wasn’t hallucinating the whole Heidi’s thing. I have to add that in 1974 I was only 2, so it is remarkable that I have any Portland memories at all. The only other 2 things that stick out to me are a terrifying sledding incident on Mt. Hood; I can vividly see these two long-haired guys standing along the side of the hill laughing at me as I flew by. I also remember standing at the fence separating my yard from my neighbor’s, shoving weeds through at their geese. They actually ate it and didn’t bite me.

    If I ever come back to Oregon, I will have to check out the Heidi’s that remains.

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  40. There also used to be a Mrs. Fields cookie down where the food court is now and a DMV which obviously brought alot of business to the mall. They had a clothing store that teens could buy very inexpensive clothes at, my friends and I used to shop there. I sure do miss those days.

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  41. Jonah, you are sadly right; 205 is plummeting once more. The Target and the Home Depot still get great business, but nobody goes in between and it really shows now. The Hallmark is gone and the Learning Palace, which was there BEFORE the renovation, has just closed shop as I type this.

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  42. Erika,
    The big witch’s mouth that you remember, may actually be at the Enchanted Forest, just south of Salem, Oregon. It is still there, it is an amusement park with small roller coasters,little trails hat lead to different displays, like Snow White, Alice in Wonderland, the mouth of the witch, little tunnels, and a frontier village with gift shop. It is only open during the summer months.
    My wife and I went to the grand opening of the White Front at Mall 205. Our oldest son worked there in the early 90’s Time flies when you are having fun.

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  43. Actually our son worked at Montgomery Wards, not White Front.

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  44. Hi, It’s really interesting to hear about these old places. I lived in Vancouver and when I was a child my parents used to shop at a store called “Bazaar” on 82nd Ave I believe. This would have been the late 60’s and early 70’s. Does anyone else have a recollection of this store. I’d like to find out more information on it. I also remember Jafco and it seemed like there were several of them. Any input would be greatly appreciated !

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    ECD Reply:

    @Michael,

    BAZAAR was on 82nd & Division, it was a general merchandise retailer like K-mart. Next to it was a grocery called ‘MR. C’s’. Then it became Builder’s Square, a Home Depot type store and the grocery became an Albertson’s which had moved up the street from Eastport Plaza, on 82nd & Holgate. Then Albertson’s moved out into a new store built next to GI Joe’s at Eastport after the mall was demo’d and Builder’s Square closed down. It sat empty several years until Portland Community College converted it into the ‘SOUTHEAST CENTER’ and it is a community college campus now.

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  45. I’ve grown up in the SE Portland area. I remember Mall 205 before it “went under”. To my knowledge, there was never a waterslide there. However, there was a water park of sorts at Eastport Plaza, a mall that used to exist about 10 minutes south of Mall 205. Eastport Plaza was torn down years ago for a Wal-Mart and cinema. But I definitely remember thinking that the coolest thing at the old Eastport Plaza mall was the waterslide. It was an indoor mall as well, however it died off…much like Mall 205 is now. Makes me sad. :(

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  46. The Hydrotube was right outside of the GI Joes at Eastport Plaza, not at Mall 205. There was also one at Jantzen Beach and Washington Square. I only know this because I found a twenty dollar bill and my childhood best friend and I spent an entire Saturday in the Hydrotube. Seriously from Open to close. I remember that you’d come splashing out into the pool inside the mall. There were glass walls into the mall and there were always a ton of shoppers watching the tubers. Of course, Ben and I were probably some of the reasons they got shut down. We would stop ourselves just around the first turn and wait for the other to catch up. Then we’d fly down and try to do tricks splashing into the pool…Good Times!

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  47. There was DEFINITELY a waterslide in Mall 205 at some point. I never did see it, since I was born in ’85, and that was around the time they were in the mall. I distinctly remember the tower though, it was in the middle of the east-to-west walkway, and directly down from the north entrance as well. Right in the middle.

    I remember the jewelry shop and candy shop on the corners as you turned into the walkway. There was a pretzel cart at the tower…I loved those pretzels.

    Recently I started drawing a map of the mall and stores I remembered, like Scamp’s, B. Dalton, Game Trader, Regis, Perfect Look, the Aladdin’s Castle arcade….those last four places moved spots a couple of times each, too. I miss the old days of that mall, going for an A&W hot dog, fries, and float….playing in the arcade…..going through KB Toys and Ward’s. I wish I could go back.

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    ECD Reply:

    @Matt,

    The tower was at Eastport. It was torn down when the waterslide closed. I worked at GI Joe’s for 12 years, I saw it come down. I also saw Mall 205 go up and it never had a waterslide. Been here since 1970.

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  48. Mall 205 used to have an emporium and Payless Drugstore purchased by Riteaid in 1998 (?). The now Home Depot sits where those two stores used to be. Yes, Home Depot opens to the mall- but ALL of the smaller stores in the mall have closed. I believe there is a sandwich place and then 24 hour fitness, a GNC store, a Photo shots place, A bike place, a nail place, The shoe store, a clothing store and Target. There is also a Bed Bath and Beyond and Pizza Schmizza. There are no more food courts all of those places are empty. There are a few other empty stores. They need to fill those holes. I remember Mall 205 growing up- we hung out there- now the only people who hang out there are the seniors who use the mall as a place to walk. LOL. Bring more shops to mall 205 and it could generate ALOT more business.

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    Erin Reply:

    Oh and they have just opened the new MAX train line that stops at Mall 205 making getting there easier. The MAX runs from Clackamas Town Center to Mall 205 to Gateway (another mall) to Lloyd Center then Downtown. You can access all the malls on one line.

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  49. I don’t remember the waterslide at Mall 205, but definitely the one at Eastport Plaza. Wasn’t it on the wing that attached to GI Joes?

    I was in charge of opening the Musicland/Sam Goody at Mall 205 back in the late 80’s/early 90’s. I remember thinking the mall was pretty cool to have it’s own liquor store and the bar/pub that was right across from it. Also, a nice cigar store was there during the cigar craze of the 90’s

    I was at the Target recently having moved back to Portland after 20 years and was surprised to see the inside of the mall still exists, but there’s basically nothing there anymore except the one locally owned fast food joint.

    Also, someone asked about a movie theather and there was one there in the 80’s, but it did not connect to the mall. It was on the outside and faced North if I remember correctly.

    [Reply]

  50. I would love to see some more of Oregon’s malls here…especially the Valley River Center in Eugene as seen in the 1980 movie The High Co$t of Living and the sleepy Rogue Valley Mall in Medford which I got to visit in summer 2003 and is one of my all time favorite malls.

    [Reply]

  51. Wow. I went to Mall 205 yesterday because I was looking for something at Bed, Bath & Beyond, and that was the closest location. I walked up and opened the door and…I was inside a mall! I guess I never realized that it was a real indoor mall, I’ve always just seen it from the freeway and thought it was a strip mall.

    It was creepy…there’s nothing in there. The Pizza Schmizza is there, but it’s out of business. I looked around and there are just tons of empty stores. If any filmmakers are looking to make a movie about a mall, even something along the lines of the car chase in The Blues Brothers, I think the owners of Mall 205 would be happy to rent it out to you…it wouldn’t affect their business in any way. Well, it might affect BB&B…their four customers might have to go to the next nearest location during filming (as I will do if I ever need to shop there again).

    Sad, truly sad. You’d think they could do something with all of that interior space. Considering our weather, maybe a giant indoor go-kart racing track?

    [Reply]

    luckylady01 Reply:

    @Chas, I read your article and Pizza Schmizza is still there as I have gone there (Mall 205) meaning 2 days ago , there is now a cricket store also located inside mall 205 open 7 days a week for payments, service, upgrades, this is not a kiosk like at Clackamas but a real store.

    [Reply]

  52. Having wrote part of the deadmalls.com writeup, I’ll definitely say that so far as I remember there was no waterslides at Mall 205. Also it saddens me to see that the mall has gone downhill again, but it has done this several times that I can remember.

    I was a kid back then, but I do not remember them slides being there. But then there was this weird spot with stairs leading up from the main hall to (I guess offices) above the carmelcorn shop. Or was that a gym up there. Never could figure out what that was. Nobody seemed to go up there ever, but it was very brightly lit inside the windows that looked out over the darker mall (the only non-anchor 2-story mall section!). And yeah, it was definitely REALLY dark in that mall! About as dimly lit as the awful architectural abortion that the food court at Clackamas Town Center was and is even today sans ice rink (do NOT get me started on how awful they made the new CTC food court!) BTW, Lloyd Center and Clackamas Town Center are the only malls in Portland that had ice rinks. Heard that Washington Square had one, but where I’ve heard that it was seems too small a space to fit it into (in front of the old Mervyn’s-now Dick’s Sporting Goods-Anyone know anything about that?)

    Slides definitely were inside Jantzen Beach Mall, Eastport Plaza, and in an outparcel in Washington Square’s Parking lot close to where the Embassy Suites Hotel stands. I think the building that the Washington Square tubes were in still may be around, minus the towers and tubes-it still was in the early ’90’s at least. The tubes in Salem was off Lancaster in a strip mall, a number of blocks north of Lancaster Mall. A Chucky Cheese’s used to be next door to it, and also moved to another location but still in the same strip mall. An interesting note is that (in my memory) absolutely none of the spaces that these waterparks took up ever were successful retail space again. All the way to the end, Eastport Plaza’s & Jantzen Beach’s remained boarded up, and likely not coincidentally in the parts of the malls that were demolished.

    When I was a kid, my mom said a kid that was too fat to fit into a slide got stuck in it, and the parents sued the owners into oblivion. Quite likely an cautionary tale to get me to eat more veggies and excercise. My parrents never let me go on those even though I wasn’t overweight and no matter how hard I begged!

    I’m not sure, but I think Beaverton Mall (first Barnard’s Mall, now Cedar Hills Crossing) may have had the watertubes inside of it at one time. Didn’t go to that mall too much as a kid, and its too late to investigate it for evidence-It too has had a significant section demolished a la Mall 205 for Big Box category killers, leaving only a small indoor segment of the original mall left. But I swear that I remember the typical arcade/slides setup in it! I ALWAYS tried to at least get my mom to let me go into the arcade…

    [Reply]

    luckylady01 Reply:

    @AJ, from what I was told is that there was a piece of broken glass that had cut a child and that is why they were removed..because there wasn’t a way to ensure the safety of children they had to be removed. I was 12 when the one at Eastport Plaza was no longer available.

    [Reply]

  53. OOps. I liked the OLD Clackamas Town Center food court. The new one is awful and an architectural mess. Tons of wasted space down there where Tonya Harding eventually skated to infamy.

    [Reply]

  54. I remember Mall 205 very well from my earliest childhood. There was a fountain with a triangular base just outside the Wards mall entrance. You could sit on the base and watch the fountain that sat in the middle, spilling water into a pool that surrounded it. It was made of grey stone. About 2 or 3 stores down from the fountain on the left was a store that had a little display area outside the store with a blue carpet. It was on both sides of the door with a wooden enclosure. I used to pretend I was feeding fish in there every time I went. (I was only about 3 or 4 then). Was very sad when that store closed down! As I grew, that mall became a hangout for me. Never a water slide-that was Eastport. I used to get Strawberry Julies drinks at that store, there was a candle store that smelled wonderful, a cigar store that also smelled good, a men’s clothing store with big heavy double doors and a kind of mid-evil type of theme. It was a large store on the right (coming from the fountain) about 2 or 3 stores down. Remember, this is all in the ’70’s. I got a fun little bank there that was a black box that would have a green hand come out and grab the coin and pull it back into the box. Loved that bank! There was also a yarn shop that sold latchhook kits in the SE entrance of the mall. I think it also may have been a wine shop at one time? Across from there was a HUGE circus themed restaurant. It occupied space from the outside entrance through space for 2 stores. It had circus theme throughout. As the years progressed and the mall started dying, the restaurant slowly started shutting down, but still operated. They closed the whole second seating section down. The last time I was there as a child, it was very creepy. We sat in the first seating area, all alone except for the 2 employees and I could see all the circus things in the darkened part of the second section. Enough to give a girl nightmares! On a better note though, I could go to Baskin-Robbins and get a black licorice ice cream cone!

    Later on in the 70’s, I went to Wendy Ward Charm School in Montgomery Wards. It was upstairs and we had training in modeling, manners and other social graces. The modeling was the best part! I got to pick anything in the store to model! I still have the books we got. So dated!!!!

    In the 80’s, there was a Cookie Connoisseur store, a Waldenbooks, a shoe store, an arcade (where the freaky circus restaurant used to be) and a hair salon right next door. There was also a hot dog place that served kosher beef hot dogs, a Things Remembered Kiosk and The Blade next to a teen clothing store. I worked at a chicken kiosk for about a week, then the Blade and Things Remembered. The upstairs that someone mentioned here was offices and my boss would use that place for performance reviews. I also had an interview there with someone for a kind of beauty shop-wigs and earrings and things like that. Didn’t get that job, but she was kinda weird anyway! My time at the Blade was so fun! A little girl selling men’s polyester suits and Levi’s 501 shrink to fit jeans for $17.99 “The lowest price in town”!

    [Reply]

  55. Portland, Oregon has always known the right way to recycle. It takes a community that truly desires getting away from the “use it and throw it away” approach to life.

    [Reply]

  56. I grew up in portland and from my earliest memories we used to shop at Eastport Plaza, when I got my first job at Orange Julius a kiosk inside the mall, I remember going to the Arcade at the North end of the mall and I had a friend that worked there, he was the manager of the arcade….both his name and the name of the arcade slip my mind…now 22 years later, I find myself pondering 2 questions what was his name and what was the name of the arcade that I had spent so much time at.

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  57. I just recently went back to this mall yesterday,
    I always thought it was a barren place, but I just realized how much deserted it was.

    I remember when I was a child, me and my brother would go into the play area outside the Learning Palace.

    Now everything seems so small and sad, everywhere I look, theres stores closing down left and right.

    I truly hope that Mall 205 would bring more popular stores of some sort, to bring back more bussiness.
    This place was were I made some of my most important childhood memories.

    [Reply]

  58. I grew up going to this Mall in the late 70’s & 80’s- me and my best friend would hang out there every weekend all thourhg the mid-80’s. I also worked at a clothing store called the Right Price in the early 90’s (right before a lot of the stores started going out of business) I bought books from B. Dalton’s, the best cream cheese frosted sugar cookies at The Cookie Connoisseur, before the Learning Palace moved in, there was a great place to eat I think called the Yogurt Shop- it had an upstairs, and, of course, a couple tables that played Pac-man and Frogger. All of my school clothing came from Emporium & Monkey’s (Montgomery Ward). I loved buying all of my 80’s jelly braceltes and long plastic bead neckalces at a cool jewellery store with the name Bangles in the title. Of course we spent time in the arcade- and enjoyed movies at the cinema. They had some nice clothing stores like Learner New York in the 90’s as well as lots of other great shops. This was a great Mall in the 80’s- just small enough that our Mom’s felt comfortable letting us walk around alone, unlike Clackamas which was too big for that. Boy, I wish Malls like this were still around, we had sooo much fun, great memories.

    When my kids were little I would stroll them around what was left of the Mall- and stop in at Learning Palace for a fun treat. It was sad to see it so dark and empty. But, I am glad that they have brought in bigger retailers like Target & Home Depot, so that the Mall didn’t deteriorate in nothing. I now live an hour away, so i don’t get there more than once every year or two, it was nice reading everyone’s memories.

    [Reply]

    Hank Stevens Reply:

    @April,
    Yeah, I miss smaller malls like 205 and Eastport where they had enough stores in their prime so you could do your shopping, but the traffic and parking lots were not a total cluster like Clackamas and Washington Square and you could get in and out relatively stress free.

    [Reply]

  59. Where the current Bed, Bath, and Beyond store is used to be a hot clothing store called 20 Below. Every item cost $20 or below – hence the name. I worked there for two years in high school. My good friend, Nancy, worked next door at Hallmark and we would visit each other on our breaks. My sister worked at the pretzals place and at a nail store. My brother worked at GNC. Long live the old school Mall 205!

    [Reply]

  60. SRS Real Estate Becomes Leasing Agent for Portland’s Lloyd Center
    Jul. 9, 2013 NREI Staff

    Cypress Equities appointed SRS Real Estate Partners as leasing agent for Lloyd Center, a 1.478-million-sq.-ft. mall in Portland, Ore.

    Nordstrom, Macy’s, Sears, Barnes & Noble, Marshall’s and Ross Dress for Less anchor the property. Lloyd Center also features 180 specialty shops, a 900-seat food court, an indoor ice-skating rink and an eight-screen movie theater.

    Ron Dowhaniuk will handle this assignment on behalf of SRS Real Estate.

    On the outside of the mall there’s a Safeway & a second cinema with 10-screens amung other businesses & a MAX light rail station.

    [Reply]

  61. Remodel aims to open up Lloyd Center

    BY Elliot Njus
    enjus@oregonian.com
    The Oregonian

    on January 27, 2014 at 10:21 AM

    The new owners of the Lloyd Center unveiled plans Monday for a significant renovation designed to improve pedestrian access to the shopping center.

    Cypress Equities, which acquired the Lloyd Center last summer, said the renovation is part of its plan to refresh the mall while “appealing to shoppers’ sense of nostalgia.”

    “This property is an iconic symbol of the Lloyd District, and restoring its famed relevance in the Portland community is our primary objective,” Todd Minnis, Cypress’ chief investment officer, said in a statement.

    The remodel also comes as the Lloyd District is on the verge of doubling its residential population. American Assets Trust is building nearly 660 apartments on a block adjacent to the mall, and it is contemplating more residential development nearby.

    One new entrance is planned between the parking garage and Macy’s on the south side of the wall, facing Northeast Multnomah Street. The work will also make more storefronts on Multnomah — facing the new apartments, Holladay Park and MAX light rail lines — accessible from outside the mall.

    Another new pedestrian entrance is planned on the mall’s east side, between Sears and Marshalls.

    The budget for the work wasn’t disclosed.

    The proposal has been submitted to city development officials for approval, and work is set to begin once the city gives its OK.

    Cypress paid $148 million for the mall in June. At the time, the mall was 97 percent occupied, and in 2012 the mall’s owners reported annual store sales of $346 per square foot.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    Follow up…

    Lloyd Center Owners To Acquire Department Store Space

    Portland, Ore. — CAPREF Lloyd Center LLC will purchase the 130,000-square-foot building that Nordstrom currently owns and occupies at the Lloyd Center, an enclosed 1.2 million-square-foot regional shopping center near downtown Portland that opened in 1960. The acquisition is part of the historic center’s renovation plans, which include adding alternative retail and service options to complement the mall’s existing merchant mix, says Chris Maguire, chief executive officer for Cypress Equities, which manages the asset.

    “As one of the first Nordstrom locations in the country, we recognize the great history that the renowned retailer established at Lloyd Center. However, as we begin to embark on our plans to enact significant change at the shopping center, we are excited about the opportunity to remake the space into something that is truly unique in the city of Portland,” says Todd Minnis, chief investment officer for Cypress Equities Real Estate Investment Management. “We have reached an agreement with Nordstrom to reclaim the space so that Cypress will have complete control of the future of this prime real estate. We anticipate making an exciting announcement regarding our plans later this year.”

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @SEAN, Follow up.

    LLOYD CENTER UNVEILS VISION FOR COMPREHENSIVE REDEVELOPMENT

    Mid-Century Modern design influences exterior and interior renovations

    Cypress Equities, the management company for Lloyd Center, announced its plans for updating the interior and exterior of the historic shopping center at the heart of the acclaimed Lloyd District adjacent to downtown Portland. Below are a few of the key elements that will be addressed when modernizing what was the largest mall in the country when its doors opened in 1960.

    Gateway Pedestrian Entrance

    The company previously announced its intention to create a new gateway pedestrian entrance on NE Multnomah Street directly across from Holladay Park and the adjacent light rail station. This entry leads pedestrians into the heart of the shopping center and will consist of a transparent glass curtain wall façade serving as an illuminated beacon designed to better connect the neighborhood to Lloyd Center. The pedestrian plaza approaching the main doors will be infused with lush landscaping treatments, bright lighting, ample sidewalk café-style seating, and vibrant storefront displays featuring the west entrance into Macy’s department store.

    Spiral Staircase

    Once inside the new entrance, shoppers will be greeted by a grand spiral staircase spanning all three levels of the shopping center. Lloyd Center patrons will recall the original iconic spiral staircase that served the shopping center until 1989 and connected the second and third levels. This sculptural element in the redevelopment plan aims to reestablish a memorable image in the center’s rich history and create a signature point of entry. This staircase acts as the gateway to Center Court in the heart of the mall.

    Halsey Street Entrance

    The renovation plans also call for updating existing entryways, including the center’s northern entrance on Halsey Street. In this case, the new look will entail uncovering and restoring the pre-cast terrazzo portal that had been concealed during an earlier renovation of the mall. This high-quality material denotes the clean, simple lines of its day while restoring a key entrance component to the mall. Keeping with the Mid-Century Modern design approach, this strategy incorporates a found piece of history that stimulates a sense of nostalgia through the use of key, classic building materials from the 1950s.

    Northeast Mall Entrance

    Another of Lloyd Center’s common area entrances slated for an update is located between Marshalls and ULTA Beauty on the shopping center’s northeast corner. The façade above the doors will feature a glass and slatted wood theme featuring the new Lloyd Center logo, which was introduced less than a year ago. Both the Halsey Street and northeast mall entrances include additional transom glass and updated storefronts allowing for more natural light to enter the mall, as well as improve pedestrian visibility into the mall concourse. These upgrades are also designed to make the mall’s primary points of access more prominent and inviting.

    Southeast Mall Entrance

    At the southeast corner of the mall, near Sears, the existing entrance will be refreshed. Continuing the theme of clean, crisp and illuminated lines, the entrance will raise the ceiling, making it more prominent. The existing Salmon Fountain will be restored and showcased with new lighting, making this entrance a beacon within the existing ground-floor parking garage from Multnomah Boulevard.

    Interior Common Areas

    The shopping center’s interior will showcase new flooring treatments throughout. A new carpet pattern will be introduced on the second and third levels, as well as inset among tiling on the ground floor. The pattern will be simple, clean and sharp, thus reducing the excessive ornament and visual noise of the existing scheme. The ground floor tile will be textural in its appearance and provide a more uniform light color. The effect will be simple, clear lines in a straightforward design that is complementary with the mall’s mid-century roots.

    New benches and soft seating, along with planters and other fixtures, will supplement the common areas to create a comfortable environment for guests and provide opportunities to pause and watch the activities of the shoppers.

    The east and west concourses will feature updated wood-capped glass handrails. Excessive ornamentation will be removed from the guardrails to promote the clean, simple line of the railing. The mall’s Center Court will highlight a glass rail system with stainless steel caps above wood-clad fascia at the floor openings.

    Lighting enhancements within the center will highlight the new design with crisp and clean LED technology. Bulky sconces found on columns along the second level will be replaced with LED inset fixtures behind frosted glass incorporated into the columns. Concourse hallways leading from Center Court will feature new up-lighting, making them far brighter and appealing. Center Court will feature new overhead lighting mounted to theatrical trusses for ease of maintenance and updating.

    Building Efficiency

    In addition to lighting improvements through the use of energy-efficient LED fixtures, Lloyd Center will also upgrade heating and cooling systems that are expected to reduce energy use by 25% to 30%. Lloyd Center officials are working with representatives from the Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE) and the Energy Trust of Oregon to achieve deeper reductions in energy use that would not be possible otherwise. Lloyd Center has continually made energy improvements over the years, but this upgrade will finally replace many older pieces of equipment, some as old as the mall itself. It will take the next step in efficiency, gaining state-of-the art technology and modern building controls that allow building operators to optimize building comfort and efficiency.

    Food Court

    As the focal point of the third level of Lloyd Center, the Food Court will receive an updated look with a focus on upgrading the dining experience. This popular shopping amenity will feature a larger contiguous floor area for seating. New tables, chairs and benches will be strategically positioned in groups to form welcoming dining areas. Each of the Food Court units will be updated with new wood-treated facades and colorful graphics. The restructured Food Court will showcase the center’s new logo on an elevated latticed wood-slat crown that overlooks the ice rink below.

    Ice Rink

    Finally, the famous Lloyd Center Ice Rink is slated to be reconfigured and upgraded with the rest of the interior improvements. Featuring a more traditional oval design, it will be shifted to the east and become the central attraction of a newly revamped Center Court. The rink will be visible from all three levels where balconies overlook from three concentric oval cut-outs in the floor plan. The existing chalet will be reworked, too. This redesign reinforces the rink’s dedication to providing a recreational opportunity for visitors and allows for more efficient use and visibility of the space around the rink, including the creation of additional retail storefronts. The existing ice-making equipment related to the rink dates back to the opening of the mall, and will be upgraded to new, energy-efficient technology for optimal efficiency.

    “Our redevelopment of Lloyd Center focuses on reconnecting with the center’s history,” said Todd Minnis, chief investment officer for Cypress Equities Real Estate Investment Management. “We recognize the importance of the ice rink and have worked to make that the focal point of the shopping center. In addition, bringing back the spiral staircase and showcasing it at the new gateway entrance provides a touch of nostalgia while opening up the mall to natural sunlight and improving visibility and connectivity with the Lloyd District community.”

    Lloyd Center is also a contributing member of the Holladay Park Partnership, a new non-profit entity that is a collaboration between Portland Parks & Recreation and neighborhood residents and businesses, including Lloyd Center. The partnership is leading efforts to revitalize the park with programming and events that create a mutually beneficial synergy among Lloyd District businesses, residents and visitors.

    “Lloyd Center’s comprehensive remodel will feature stunning interior updates plus a unique and modern facade, creating a more energetic and inviting shopping experience,” stated Chris Maguire, chief executive officer of Cypress Equities. “Our company is pleased to be contributing to the overall renaissance of the Lloyd District.”

    Cypress will begin construction of the exterior as early as this fall, while most interior projects will commence after the 2014 holiday shopping season.

    [Reply]

    Can'tBelive Reply:

    @SEAN, Thank GOD they are NOT turning it into an ugly out door life style center which would be a dumb down version of Europe kinds.

    [Reply]

  62. There most definitely were water tubes at Mall 205. Anyone who says there wasn’t on is completely wrong.

    They also had a carousel.

    I was there during the grand opening.
    Actresses Lori Saunders (Bobby Jo from Pettycoat Junction) and Ann B. Davis (Alice from the Brady Bunch) were at the grand opening. So was Neil Diamond.

    [Reply]

  63. Glad I don’t live in Portland with the *tree hugging* crazies that want to barge into people’s lives and faces to make everything there way which if they had their way there wouldn’t be *Any* mall left in Portland standing.

    They think these *life style* centers are cool because they want us to be like Europe but in Europe they know how to make it fancy and mall like without it being an actual mall and have roof parking so you don’t have to drive around to get around.

    Get around now let’s get around now! *Beach Boys*

    Keizer Station is actually prettier then the ugly thing they call the Super Center at Jantzen Beach and I don’t like the layout of either.

    Mall 205 and Jantzen Beach didn’t have to go the route they did but chose 2 cave into the tree huggies and also charged insane rents.

    Clackmas Center is pretty much the only mall other then Washington Square worth going to and even then it’s a shame that the ice rink was gone and malls generally are no longer unique since so many fun stores have closed down except the rich snooty stores.

    The Ice Rink at CC had these Ice Gods that would at random intervals blow cold air which was fun to watch from the fast food court and looking at the people skate was cool.

    Does anybody remember the neat ice rink at the Clackamas mall?

    [Reply]

  64. The Keizer Station is actually better then Jantzen Beach and I don’t like either because Keizer Station does a weird figure 8 loop where there is a false path and a true path out.

    The false path you have to go a long ways past the main road before you are given a chance to turn around because it goes under the main road and the true path goes directly to it but you have to go on a regular basis to get familiar with the layout.

    You have to drive around to get around for every section unless you enjoy walking with huge bags of goods across boring parking lots.

    Malls are much funner to walk in and you can even do *Mall Walking* programs if you live close enough to one to take advantage of the early hours.

    [Reply]

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