PALOUSE EMPIRE MALL
West Pullman and Farm Roads
Moscow, Idaho

Idaho's fourth shopping mall was built on a 45 acre site, located 1.2 miles west of downtown Moscow. This city is located in the northern "Panhandle" section of the Gem State, in a 20 square mile region known as The Palouse. This area owes its name to its original inhabitants, the Paluse Native American tribe.

PALOUSE EMPIRE MALL originated with a single-level strip center, built on land leased from the University of Idaho. The complex, developed by Spokane's Earl D. McCarthy, was dedicated in October 1976. Three tenants occupied the 96,000 square foot structure; a (40,300 square foot) Kmart, Rosauers supermarket and Pay 'n Save Drug.

An enclosed mall of 250,700 square feet was added to the west side of the existing strip center. This addition opened to the public on October 4, 1979. Comprised of a single level of retail, the expansion was originally anchored by a 1-level (38,500 square foot) J.C. Penney and 1-level (37,400 square foot), Seattle-based The Bon Marche.

The grand opening of PALOUSE EMPIRE MALL was attended by US Representative Steve Symms (R), Idaho Senator Norma Dobler (D) and Don Mackin, Mayor of Moscow. Charter stores and services included Kinney Shoes, The Dog's Ear, Waldenbooks, House of Fabrics, Lerner Shops, Musicland and Orange Julius.

PALOUSE EMPIRE MALL now spanned approximately 371,000 leasable square feet. A 1-level (39,200 square foot), Bellevue, Washington-based Lamonts was dedicated in August 1980. It was followed by a 1-level (37,300 square foot) Ernst Home Center. This store was added as a southwestern outparcel of the mall proper. The Theatre Operators University Four-Plex was built as a northeastern outparcel. This venue showed its first features in 1983.

A face lift refurbishment was announced in March 1996. During this project, the mall's exterior was remodeled, a vaulted ceiling Main Entry built and new interior lighting installed. Kmart had been shuttered on September 27, 1995. The vacant store was expanded by 13,000 square feet (to 52,300). It re-opened, as a Salem, Oregon-based Waremart Foods, on July 22, 1996.

The newly-renovated shopping hub was rededicated on November 13, 1997. As part of its remodeling, its name had been shortened to PALOUSE MALL. J.C. Penney went dark on August 1, 1998. Eugene, Oregon-based Troutman's Emporium renovated the building and opened their thirty-first location there, on September 5, 1998. Waremart Foods morphed into WinCo Foods in January 1999.

The Lamonts chain was acquired by Fresno-based Gottschalks in April 2000. They rebranded the PALOUSE MALL Lamonts on August 26 of the same year. The Troutman's store began a liquidation sale in February 2003 and eventually re-opened as a Ross Dress For Less.

The Bon Marche was rebranded as a Bon-Macy's on August 1, 2003 and became a bona fide Macy's on March 6, 2005. Gottschalks closed their PALOUSE MALL store on January 27, 2007. The structure was divided between Old Navy and Bed, Bath & Beyond stores. These opened for business on August 14 and 15, 2007.

By the twenty tens, PALOUSE MALL housed forty-one stores and services, with eight outparcel tenants. Major stores included Ross Dress For Less, Bed Bath & Beyond, Jo-Ann Fabrics, Rite Aid Drug, Michaels, Winco Foods and Marshalls. The mall's Macy's was shuttered in April 2016.

Sources:

"Palouse Mall" article on Wikipedia
The Lewiston Morning Tribune
The Idaho Argonaut
The Moscow-Pullman Daily News
http://movie-theatre.org / Mike Rivest
www.palousemall.com
www.wsulibs.wsu.com