Galleria Dallas; Dallas, Texas

Situated on the far north side of Dallas at the intersection of I-635 and the Dallas North Tollway, the upscale Galleria Dallas opened as Dallas Galleria in 1982.  The large, three level mall was originally anchored by Chicago-based Marshall Field’s on the north end and Saks Fifth Avenue at the south end, with over 150 upscale stores and a 432 room Westin Hotel in tow, and was modeled after the historic Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan, Italy.

The idea for Dallas Galleria was born after developer Gerald D. Hines of Hines Interests, who originally developed The Galleria in Houston in 1970, saw the potential in Dallas for a similar mall.  He selected a site centrally located in monied far-north Dallas, on a spot one block from an extant super-regional mall, Valley View Center, and several miles north of upscale stalwart NorthPark Center.  What was he thinking?

When Dallas Galleria opened, it threw neighboring Valley View Center for a loop, forcing it to add a Bloomingdale’s store to upscale its selection and woo shoppers away from Dallas Galleria.  It wasn’t long before the Galleria was expanded and a large Macy’s store opened at the back of the mall near the middle, across from the Westin Hotel, in 1985.  Somewhere along the way a large ice rink was also established in the basement, giving the center court an impressive four levels.

The 1990s brought more changes and continued success for Galleria Dallas.  A 1995-96 expansion brought a Nordstrom and a 75,000-foot extension of the mall’s north end.  Then, in 1997, Marshall Field’s pulled out of Texas and closed their Galleria store; however, it was quickly replaced by 1999.  Saks Fifth Avenue moved into the former Field’s location near the mall’s north end, where it remains today, and the south end was converted into a Gap powerhouse, featuring Banana Republic on the first level, Gap on the second level, and Old Navy on the third level.  This anchor arrangement and layout remains as of 2010.

In the 2000s, Dallas Galleria was sold, renamed, and renovated.  In 2002, original owner Hines Interests sold the mall to a Connecticut-based investor for $300 million.  The new owner, UBS Realty LLC, immediately began an extensive renovation on the 20-year-old mall, giving it a modern upscale look, which was complete in 2003.  The new owner also renamed the mall from Dallas Galleria to Galleria Dallas, which apparently sounds more upscale or something.  In 2009, mall manager General Growth went bankrupt, and their management duties went to Simon, who manages the mall today.

As of 2010, Galleria Dallas continues to dominate the far-north retail landscape due to its positioning niche, location, and upscale cachet of stores.  Other malls, both newer and older, exist all around north and far-north Dallas in every direction, yet the Galleria remains an A-tier establishment.  Neighbor Valley View Center competed well against Galleria Dallas for well over 20 years before finally succumbing and pitching 2 anchors in 2008.  Also, the Galleria is a bright, beautiful place to shop - take a look at the pictures.

I went to Galleria Dallas in January 2009 and took the pictures featured here.  Feel free to add your own thoughts and experiences in the comments section.

12 Responses to “Galleria Dallas; Dallas, Texas”

  1. That is one impressive mall. How would you compare it to North Park Center, who’s demo is pritty much the same as Galleria Dallas.

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  2. Sean,

    The two malls are VERY similar, but the vibes are a bit different. Northpark has that “old money” vibe to it, as it’s right above the city limits of Highland Park, one of the wealthiest cities in the nation. Even with the expansion of the mall, the “feel” of it didn’t change much. It helps that the newer part of the mall replicated the original look of the mall.

    The Galleria feels more “new money” to me. The crowds seem to be a bit younger. Northpark can feel a bit “stuffy” in ways that the Galleria does not. I also think that the Galleria attracts more tourists than Northpark does (which seems to be preferred among Dallas locals), but that could have changed with Northpark’s expansion.

    Also, the neighborhood surrounding the Galleria is much newer, but there are some issues with nearby apartment complexes, as the area has matured as the Metroplex continues to go ever northward.

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  3. I’m still kicking myself for not having pictures of The Galleria when it was daytime. The Galleria is one of those malls (and this one, I’m sure) where the mall look changes dramatically from day to night.

    I have a directory from 2005 or 2006 of this mall.

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    SEAN Reply:

    @Pseudo3D, So do I. The directory I have shows what semes to be a dead anchor.

    grafic shows…

    Nordstrom left
    Sacks bottom, slightly off center left
    Macy*s top center
    empty anchor right

    What was in that spot, Marshall Fields?

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    Prange Way Reply:

    @SEAN, The only time there would have been an empty anchor on the right (south) side of the mall was from 1997-1999, when the south anchor Saks closed in 1997 and took the Fields space on the other end of the mall, where it is today. Then, in 1999, the south anchor space was subdivided into the 3 gap nameplates, one for each floor. This is probably one of the only malls where Gap Inc. is a legitimate mall anchor?

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    SEAN Reply:

    @Prange Way, Thanks for clearing that up.

    Good work as always.

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  4. Very, very impressive looking mall. Love the skylights and the 3rd floor palms.

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  5. You never do miss a Teavana, do you?

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  6. the mall can’t really compete with Northpark. Northpark snatch some stores from this mall, and a lot of stores have closed. I noticed a lot of barricades and temporary stores the last time I was there.

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  7. Its a nice mall, but definitely overpriced just like the Houston Galleria.
    I myself prefer the older malls, better deals.

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  8. [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yb0g0p5XUuw&w=420&h=315

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  9. FYI Belk is replacing Sacks 5th Avenue in 2014. This Belk location will be a flagship similar to Phipps Plaza Atlanta or it’s main store at SouthPark Charlotte.

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