David Kruger's Commentary

Posted March 29, 2006 (user submitted)

Northglenn Mall began its life in 1968 as the regional mall for a planned community, the Denver suburb also known as Northglenn. Located just west of I-25 at 104th Avenue, Northglenn was the first substantial indoor mall (830,000 square feet) for northern Colorado and southern Wyoming, with J.C.Penney, Denver Dry Goods "The Denver", Woolworth's, and Sears serving as original anchors. The mall itself was largely one level, with anchors such as J.C.Penney and "The Denver" holding two levels. Northglenn Mall had a very prosperous decade throughout the 1970's, and well into the 1980's, when Mervyn's also joined as a 2 story anchor. May D&F eventually replaced The Denver when that chain was bought out.

After 1987, when original developer Jordon Perlmutter sold the mall for $34.5 million, Northglenn Mall immediately began to go downhill. Three factors accelerated its demise: one was the nearby development of the much larger, cleaner, and safer Westminster Mall, which featured J.C.Penney, Joslins, Mervyn's, Montgomery Ward, Broadway Southwest, and May D&F. The second was development of regional malls in Longmont (Twin Peaks), Fort Collins (Foothills Fashion), Greeley (Greeley Mall), and Cheyenne (Frontier). The third and most damning factor for Northglenn Mall was a justiable perception of Northglenn as a blighted part of Denver with high crime.

Within 1 year of the sale, May D&F pulled out of their Northglenn store to focus on their Westminster location. A year later, J.C.Penney closed its Northglenn store, also in favor of their Westminster location. Sears vacated their Northglenn store for Westminster in 1996, and Woolworth's vacated theirs when the Woolworth chain liquidated in 1997. Mervyn's quickly became Northglenn's only anchor, with mall occupancy at less than 20%. Ironically, all the prominent anchors facing I-25 and 104th Avenue were permanently shuttered. Northglenn Mall had become an ugly husk, with rotten and outdated wooden-shingled architecture hanging above its brick facade.

In 1998, Jordon Perlmutter, who had originally built Northglenn Mall 30 years earlier, bought it back for $9 million, and planned to demolish everything except for the 2-story Mervyn's. He began demolition in 1998, eventually turning the mall into one of Denver's first power-centers called "Marketplace at Northglenn", complete with several category killers such as Lowes, Borders, Ross, Petsmart, and the original 2 story Mervyn's. When Mervyn's decided to leave the Denver market after 2005, the closing of the Northglenn store erased the last trace of Northglenn Mall. Even so, Jordon Perlmutter was still able to sell his redeveloped "Marketplace at Northglenn" for $91 million in February of 2006.

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