TYRONE SQUARE MALL
Tyrone Boulevard North / US 19 and 66th Street North
Saint Petersburg, Florida

Ohio's Edward J. DeBartolo Corporation opened three fully-enclosed shopping malls during 1972; CASTLETON SQUARE {in Indiana}, SECURITY SQUARE {In Maryland} and TYRONE SQUARE.

The single-level facility was the corporation's fourth Sunshine State shopping hub. It was developed on a 71 acre parcel, located 6.2 miles northwest of center city St. Petersburg. Construction commenced in July 1967. A 2-level (183,600 square foot) Sears was built as a freestanding structure. It which was dedicated in April 1968.

Ground was broken for a Tampa-based Maas Brothers store in September 1971. The 2-level (162,000 square foot) mercantile was dedicated August 17, 1972. TYRONE SQUARE opened at a twenty-store Preview Opening, which was held October 5, 1972. The dedication was attended by Lieutenant Governor Thomas Burton "Tom" Adams, Junior (D), Suzanne Charles "Miss Florida 1972" and Edward J. DeBartolo, Junior.

An account of the mall's 1972 grand opening describes its interior as featuring "bold, Picasso-like colors, mirrored lights and shining, terrazzo and marble floors" with "accents of chrome, glass and satin silver". It goes on to say that "two large fountains decorated in chartreuse and purple geometric designs" graced its court areas.

A 2-level (183,900 square foot) J.C. Penney opened its doors January 3, 1973. The mall's 2-level (183,600 square foot), Saint Petersburg-based Robinson's of Florida began business September 4, 1973. It was the first store in the newly-created division of New York City-based Associated Dry Goods.

Upon Robinson's completion, TYRONE SQUARE encompassed 995,900 leasable square feet and contained one hundred and nine stores and services. This made it the largest shopping mall in the Tampa Bay Area.

Original inline stores included Egerton & Moore men's wear, Fremacs For Men, Foxmoor Casuals, Figure Fair, Colony Shop, Baker's Shoes, Disc Records, SupeRx Drugs and Hickory Farms of Ohio. The American Multi-Cinema Tyrone Square 6, an in-mall multiplex, showed its first features on December 25, 1972.

Shopping mall contemporaries on the Pinellas Peninsula included GATEWAY MALL (1968-1998) {6.2 miles northeast, in St. Petersburg}, SEMINOLE MALL (1970-2015) {4.6 miles northwest, in Seminole}, CLEARWATER MALL (1973-2002) {11.1 miles north, in Clearwater} and PINELLAS SQUARE MALL (1977-2004) {3.9 miles northeast, in Pinellas Park}.

TYRONE SQUARE was situated northwest of CROSSROADS CENTER (1958), an open-air strip complex. An adjacent J.M Fields discount mart and Pantry Pride supermarket (1971) were intended to be part of a fully-enclosed CROSSWINDS MALL, but this project was cancelled, due to community opposition, in 1975.

Anchor store rebrandings began at TYRONE SQUARE after the August 1987 acquisition of eight Robinson's of Florida stores by Baton Rouge-based Goudchaux's / Maison Blanche. West Florida locations were rebranded as Maison Blanche stores July 28, 1988 and acquired (and rebranded) by Little Rock-based Dillard's in August 1991.

Maas Brothers stores were rebranded by Miami-based Burdines on October 20, 1991. They became Burdines-Macy's January 30, 2004 and full-fledged Macy's March 6, 2005.

The 1996 merger of the DeBartolo Corporation and Indiana's Simon Property Group brought TYRONE SQUARE into the Simon property portfolio. A major remodeling, and the only expansion of the mall, got underway in June 1998. A 9-bay Food Court and Tia's Tex Mex Restaurant were built at the mall's Main Entrance. The culinary complex was dedicated July 19, 1998.

The 10 million dollar renovation included a face lift of all mall common areas and construction of a 1-level (24,300 square foot) Borders Books. This store was added to the northwest corner of the complex and opened for business in the spring of 1999.

A subsequent redo, done between February and November 2005, rebuilt 40,000 square feet on the mall's northeast corner into a mini lifestyle center. A new entrance was created, with stores such as J. Jill, Jos. A. Bank and C.J. Banks added to the retail roster. TYRONE SQUARE now encompassed 1,096,000 leasable square feet and housed over one hundred and twenty stores and services.

Borders Books was shuttered September 12, 2011. DSW assumed the space and opened a store on October 11. Two new sit-down restaurants joined the mall's lifestyle section in 2013. Lime Fresh Mexican Grill opened August 22, 2013. Red Robin Gourmet Burgers debuted on October 7. A freestanding movie megaplex, the Cobb Luxury 10, showed its first features April 15, 2016.

The TYRONE SQUARE Sears, in business since 1968, was shuttered on January 28, 2017. The building was knocked down. A new store structure, encompassing 151,900 square feet, housed a mallway-connected Dick's Sporting Goods and exterior-entranced PetSmart and Lucky's Market, a Boulder, Colorado-based gourmet grocer. These opened for business in the summer of 2018.

Sources:

St. Petersburg Evening Independent
The Tampa Bay Times
www.simon.com (Simon Property Group)
Pinellas County, Florida tax assessor website
www.cinematreasures.org


FAIR USE OF TYRONE SQUARE IMAGES:

The graphics from The St. Petersburg Evening Independent illustrate a key moment in the mall's history that is described in the article. The images are of lower resolution than the originals (copies made would be of inferior quality). The images are not replaceable with free-use or public-domain images. The use of the images does not limit the copyright owners' rights to distribute the images in any way. The images are being used for non-profit, informational purposes only and their use is not believed to detract from the original images in any way.