28th Street / US 36 and Arapahoe Avenue
Boulder, Colorado

The Centennial State's first fully-enclosed shopping center was dedicated on March 14, 1963. CROSSROADS CENTER was developer Gerri Von Frellick's second Greater Denver retail hub; the first having been LAKESIDE SHOPPING CITY, in Lakeside.

Encompassing 394,000 leasable square feet, the 10 million dollar CROSSROADS CENTER was designed by Gene Shrewsury. It occupied a 62 acre parcel, located 28 miles northwest of the Colorado Capitol, in suburban Boulder. Anchoring the mall were 2-level (149,000 square foot square foot) Montgomery Ward and (86,000 square foot) J.C. Penney.

Among the thirty-three charter inline stores were Fashion Bar, Furr's Cafeteria, Walgreen Drug, Singer Sewing Center, Anita Shops, Zale's Jewelers, Walgreen Drug, an S & H Green Stamps Redemption Center, King Soopers grocery, S.S. Kresge 5 & 10 and (10,000 square foot) The Randall Shop boutique.

Denver Dry Goods, who operated The Randall Shop, expanded it into a (60,000 square foot) "The Denver" store, which opened in March 1976. During the 1970s, the potential enlargement of the mall had been a hotly-contested issue in sprawl-busting Boulder. The stalemate was resolved in early 1979, by the formation of the Boulder Urban Renewal Authority (BURA). They were empowered to supervise any further additions.

Southern California's Macerich Company acquired the CROSSROADS property in August 1979. Soon after, ground was broken for a 2-level North Wing. The 208,000 square foot expansion included a 12-bay Food Court and 2-level (114,000 square foot), Denver-based May D & F.

The 20 million dollar addition, which practically doubled the size of the shopping facility, was officially dedicated August 11, 1983. In February 1986, a 2-level (82,400 square foot) Mervyn's opened for business. Another expansion was completed in 1990. May D & F increased its area to 148,800 square feet and an adjacent parking garage was constructed. CROSSROADS MALL now encompassed approximately 808,900 leasable square feet.

"The Denver" was shuttered in October 1987 and was was soon reoccupied by Sears. May D & F was rebranded, by Houston-based Foley's, on May 2, 1993. Montgomery Ward was shuttered in September 1997, with its space briefly retenanted by Gart Sports. Mervyn's went dark in January 1998. Sears moved from its older -and smaller- The Denver space, opening in the former Mervyn's in October 1998.

PEARL STREET MALL (1977) {in downtown Boulder}, WESTMINSTER MALL (1977) {14.9 miles southeast, in Westminster} and FLATIRON CROSSING (2000) {8.5 miles southeast, in Broomfield) were quickly becoming the preeminent shopping venues in the CROSSROADS trade area. The mall entered a downward spiral. 

Macerich had announced a 150 million dollar Boulder Crossroads project in June 1998. Under this plan, the South Wing would be demolished, making way for an open-air, "urban village", complete with ice rink, hotel and multiplex cinema.

The inline store section of the South Wing was closed off. Demolition of interior walls got underway in October 1999, but was halted in July 2000. The existing mall, it was decided, would be too expensive to retrofit. The gutted south end sat for over 4 years while the fate of the shopping center could be decided.

Meanwhile, two more anchor stores were shuttered; Penney's pulled up stakes on April 21, 2001, with Sears shutting down in January 2003. Macerich, which had merged with Phoenix-based Westcor, submitted a new redevelopment plan to the Boulder City Council. It was quickly approved and the mall closed for good on January 8, 2004.

A wrecking ball renovation commenced in September. Foley's was left standing, along with its adjacent parking structure. The Mervyn's / Sears building was retained, as well. These would be worked into an open-air power center known as TWENTY-NINTH STREET. Construction on the 130 million dollar project was underway by October 2004.

Forty-eight stores and services were dedicated October 13, 2006. In addition to the former Foley's (which had been rebranded by Macy's on September 9, 2006), there were Borders Books, a (20,100 square foot) Staples and a 1-level (141,300 square foot) Home Depot.

The 16-screen Cinemark Century Boulder Theatres megaplex showed its first features on August 17, 2007. TWENTY-NINTH STREET now encompassed 824,800 leasable square feet and contained eighty-seven stores and services.

Boulder-based Wild Oats Natural Marketplace moved its corporate offices into the upper level of the old Mervyn's / Sears building. The plan was to install a Wild Oats grocery, the chain's new flagship, in a space at the southwest corner of the structure. This never came to pass.

Wild Oats was acquired by Austin-based Whole Foods Market in August 2007. They established a (45,500 square foot) regional headquarters in space previously occupied by the Wild Oats headquarters. A (36,200 square foot) Colorado Athletic Club eventually opened in the lower level of the building.

Nordstrom Rack dedicated a (39,000 square foot) TWENTY-NINTH STREET store on April 28, 2011. A freestanding Applebee's restaurant closed and was demolished. California's Trader Joe's built a (14,000 square foot) store, which welcomed its first shoppers on February 14, 2014.

Urban Exploration Recource / "Duluoz"
"The Denver Dry Goods: Where Colorado Shopped With Confidence" / Mark A. Barnhouse


The photo from the History Colorado Collection illustrates a key moment in the mall's history that is described in the article. The image is of lower resolution than the original (copies made would be of inferior quality). The image is not replaceable with a free-use or public-domain image. The use of the image does not limit the copyright owners' rights to distribute the image in any way. The image is being used for non-profit, informational purposes only and its use is not believed to detract from the original image in any way.