MALL 205
Southeast Main Street and Southeast 96th Avenue
Portland, Oregon

The fourth shopping mall in -or around- "PDX" was built on a 41.5 acre plot, situated 5.1 miles east of the urban core, in Portland's Russellville community. A psychiatric facility, known as Morningside Hospital, had occupied the site between 1910 and 1968.

MALL 205 was named for the Interstate 205 expressway that now follows the western boundary of shopping center site. Plans for the roadway were announced in 1965, but it would not open to traffic until 1983. In the meantime, the mall was built. A groundbreaking was held April 25, 1969.

MALL 205 was designed by Los Angeles-based Victor Gruen Associates and developed by New York City's Lenrich Associates. The single-level, fully-enclosed complex was anchored by a 1-level (150,000 square foot), Los Angeles-based White Front discount mart, which opened September 17, 1970. This was followed by a 2-level (175,000 square foot) Montgomery Ward, dedicated September 30 of the same year.

Stores and services in the 430,000 square foot retail hub included B. Dalton Bookseller, Aladdin's Castle Arcade, Regis Hairstylists, Kinney Shoes and a Benjamin Franklin Savings & Loan Association. An A & W Root Beer stand was an outparcel of the mall proper.

In addition to LLOYD CENTER (1960) {4.3 miles northwest, in Portland), commercial competitors were EASTPORT PLAZA (1960) {1.5 miles southwest, also in Portland} and VANCOUVER MALL (1977) {9.6 miles north, in Vancouver, Washington}.

The first anchor store change at MALL 205 transpired after the shuttering of White Front, in June 1974. The store space sat vacant for 3 years before it was divided into sections. Tenants included PayLess Drug and the Luxury Theaters Mall 205 Quad Cinemas. This venue showed its first features April 15, 1977. A Eugene, Oregon-based Troutman's Emporium ("The Emporium") opened in February 1978.

A facelift remodeling was done to MALL 205 in the early 1990s. A subsequent renovation, proposed in 1996, was to add a food court and upper level multiplex cinema. This project never got past the planning stages. By this time, the shopping hub was in decline. Gresham, Oregon-based Center Oak Properties (now known as CenterCal Properties) acquired it in late 2000 and embarked on a renovation in May 2001.

The 32 million dollar project entailed updating the mall's bland block exterior with new entrances, glass store fronts and colorful awnings. The parking lot was refurbished, with new sidewalks and landscaping installed. The interior received a major upgrade, as well.

New outparcel structures, built in the north parking area, included Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Olive Garden. Lastly, a strip center, housing Panda Express and Baja Fresh, was constructed.

All tenants in the old White Front structure had closed. The building was gutted and rebuilt as a 1-level (133,200 square foot) Home Depot. It began business in November 2001. Montgomery Ward, shuttered in March 2001, was also gutted and rebuilt. A 2-level (175,000 square foot) Target held its grand opening in July 2002.

New stores and services in the mall proper included 24 Hour Fitness, Car Stereo City, Famous Footwear, Pizza Schmizza, Performance Bike and Bed Bath & Beyond. In addition, a 9-bay Food Court was built in the north mallway.

On September 12, 2009, MALL 205 became rail-transit-accessible, via the MAX (Metropolitan Area Express). The 14.1 route mile, Portland State University South-to-Clackamas Town Center Green Line opened for revenue service. Its SE Main Street station was adjacent to the shopping facility's southwest parking area.

Solana Beach, California's Gerrity Group acquired MALL 205 in August 2014. They renamed the complex MARKETPLACE 205.

Sources: / "Old Mall 205 Facts & History Page" / "Prange Way"
"Mall 205" article on Wikipedia
Comment post by "Mario"