CROSSROADS CENTER
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 2-level (86,000 square foot) J.C. Penney.  A (10,000 square foot) Randall Shop was operated by the Denver Dry Goods Company.

Among the thirty-three original 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 and S.S. Kresge 5 & 10.

14 acres at the north end of the parcel had been set aside for a kiddie ride amusement park and recreation area. This land was soon engulfed by peripheral development of the shopping center. Denver Dry Goods expanded the Randall Shop into a (60,000 square foot) "The Denver" store, which opened in March 1976. This had been the only expansion of the mall up to that time.

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 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 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 mall, was officially dedicated August 11, 1983. In February 1986, a 2-level (82,400 square foot) Mervyn's opened for business.

The mall was expanded again 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 830,000 leasable square feet.

PEARL STREET MALL (1977) {in downtown Boulder} and WESTMINSTER MALL (1977) {14.9 miles southeast, in Westminster} had begun to put the hurt on CROSSROADS. An anchor store exodus ensued. "The Denver" became the first to go, in October 1987. The store 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 pulled out of CROSSROADS MALL in January 1998. Sears moved from its older, and smaller, Denver Dry Goods space, opening in the former Mervyn's in October 1998.

The mall now had two vacant anchors, in addition to too many empty inline stores. Macerich announced the 150 million dollar Boulder Crossroads project in June 1998. Under this plan, the South Wing of the mall would be demolished, making way for an open-air, "urban village", complete with ice rink, hotel and multiplex cinema.

Demolition got underway in October 1999, but was halted in July 2000. The existing mall, it was decided, would be too expensive to retrofit. Parts of the structure, by now reduced to rubble, sat for over 4 years while the fate of the shopping center was decided.

A major competitor came on the scene in the year 2000. FLATIRON CROSSING / THE VILLAGE {8.4 miles southeast, in Broomfield} was a hybrid enclosed mall-lifestyle center combination.

Meanwhile, at CROSSROADS MALL, two more anchor stores were shuttered; Penney's went dark 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 January 8, 2004.

The wrecking ball renovation commenced, in earnest, in September. The old May D & F / Foley's was left standing, along with its adjacent parking structure. The Mervyn's / Sears building was retained, as well. These were 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 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.

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

Sources:

www.thedailycamera.com
"KCPhoto"
Urban Exploration Recource / "Duluoz"
http://gracklecolorado.edu
"The Denver Dry Goods: Where Colorado Shopped With Confidence" / Mark A. Barnhouse
www.macerich.com
www.cinematreasures.org
www.denvergov.org


FAIR USE OF CROSSROADS DENVER DRY GOODS IMAGE:

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.