There has been so much hoopla in the past few years over the opening of City Creek mall that we may forget that there are many other malls in this state of Zion. The first ‘enclosed’ shopping mall ever built was Cottonwood Mall in Holladay in 1962, with its anchor stores at opposite ends- ZCMI and J.C. Penny. Just before the Crash of 2008, General Growth Properties tore down the mall and left Macy’s standing all by itself. Oops, the GGP then filed bankruptcy itself in 2009 and was split into two companies by the courts. The current owners are the Howard Hughes Corp.
Valley Fair Mall in West Valley opened in 1970 as large new home subdivisions started popping up on the old farmlands out there. Fashion Place was built in 1972. University Mall in Orem followed the trend and opened in 1973 and then got later competition with the Provo Town Center. If you travel around the state you will find the Layton Hills Mall, The Newgate in Ogden, South Town in Salt Lake, the Tanger Outlet in Park City, the Outlets at Zion in St. George and in Lehi, University Mall in Orem, Gateway Mall in downtown and for lack of a better description, the ‘theme malls’ like Gardner Village and Trolley Square.
Shoppers love a good Mall. I am not a shopper/gatherer. I’m a hunter. That means I do not like to go into a department store and walk up and down the aisles touching the rounders of clothes gathering ideas. If I need a new pair of pants, I know who sells them, what size I wear and what color I need. I want to park reasonably close, run in, purchase and leave. Wandering aimlessly in crowds in and out of stores is not good therapy for me.
The Cottonwood Mall ‘hole’ of 54 acres weeds and rocks feels like a sad tale of boom and bust, but don’t feel badly for the big money boys. Right now the Howard Hughes Corp. is working with Ivory Homes to design a high end housing development within a mixed use of new stores around the Macy’s island in the Holladay dirt. Although no timeline has been announced for ground breaking you can be assured that one of the largest mixed use shopping and housing projects in the Salt Lake Valley since the City Creek Mall will be announced within the year.
In mall news, props to Gateway this past weekend for having a hugely successful sidewalk Chalk Fest for the Foster kids program here in the state combined with a KSL book giveaway for kids. The media giant gave out 20,000 books in just one day. Also, do NOT miss the world of the Broadway Musical WICKED on the sky bridge at City Creek. The costumes and a display of ‘Behind the Emerald Curtain’ are on display in the sky over Main Street through June 28th. And the bridge itself is lit up green at night while the display is up.