Jeff Lowry's Commentary

Posted September 3, 2006 (user submitted)

Denver is home to a number of dead malls (Cinderella City, Villa Italia, Northglenn), and as of June 2006, another one can be added to that list: Southglenn Mall. Southglenn, located in what's now called Centennial, opened in 1974 with approximately 90 stores, including anchors Sears, the Denver (Denver Dry Goods Company), and May D&F. Though not a major player in the Denver retail scene, the mall held its own for quite a long time. There were some minor changes in the late 1980s. In 1987, May D&F bought out the Denver, and the Southglenn location was sold to JC Penney. Renovations took place around the same time to update the mall's dated 70s decor, and it had to be shut for a couple of months for asbestos removal. A few years later, in 1993, May D&F was rebranded to Foley's. Things appeared to be looking up in 1994, when Joslins (a local chain) added a flashy, flagship store to the mall after closing their downtown store. Joslins became Dillard's four years later after the chain was sold.

Throughout the 1990s, the mall had a good selection of national retailers, though the changing nature of the Denver retail scene made it difficult for Southglenn to keep up. Park Meadows, a self-proclaimed "retail resort" which opened in suburban Douglas County in 1996, drew shoppers away from Southglenn's base. JC Penney, which opened a new store at Park Meadows, closed its Southglenn location in 1999 and converted it to a home store. In contrast to Park Meadows, Southglenn didn't have a food court, and it wasn't located near an interstate highway. There was a further challenge in 2001 with the opening of Aspen Grove, a trendy shopping center located a few miles away. JC Penney closed their home store the next year, leaving a gap in the center of the mall.

Following the trend spreading across the country, the mall's owners announced in 2005 that it would be converted into an open-air 'lifestyle center'. Sears and Foley's (soon to be Macy's) would remain open during the conversion and anchor the new center, called The Streets At Southglenn. Dillard's, the old JC Penney, and the rest of the mall would be demolished. The mall closed in February 2006 and demolition began in June. According to the developer's website, the new center will contain a 16-screen theater, a gourmet grocery store, a variety of bistros and boutiques, and 300 condos. It's expected to open in the summer of 2008. More information, including pictures of the old mall just before it was shut, is available here:

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