ALEXANDRIA MALL
Memorial and Masonic Drives
Alexandria, Louisiana

Located near the geographic center of the state, ALEXANDRIA MALL was developed by the Pineville, Louisiana-based Tudor Construction Company. It was situated on one hundred and five acres, located 1.5 miles southwest of downtown Alexandria. Ground was broken for the project in March 1972.

Encompassing 545,000 leasable square feet, the retail hub was entirely a single-level structure. It was anchored by a 1-level (109,000 square foot) Sears and 1-level (132,000 square foot) J.C. Penney. Three Bayou State retailers served as junior anchors; a (30,000 square foot), Alexandria-based Weiss & Goldring, (32,000 square foot), Alexandria-based Wellan's and (19,100 square foot), Shreveport-based W.F. Beall.

The mall was officially dedicated, with thirty operational stores, on August 1, 1973. Sears and J.C. Penney opened for business at this time. When fully-leased, ALEXANDRIA MALL housed sixty-three retail spaces.

Charter tenants included Peoples Shoes, Walden Books & Hallmark, Newson Music, J. Howard Limited men's wear, Lerner Shops, Gordon's Jewelers, Tie Castle, Wicks 'n Sticks, Musicland, K & B Drug and a Piccadilly Cafeteria. A (59,400 square foot), Baton Rouge-based H.J. Wilson Catalog Showroom was a northeast outparcel. The General Cinema Corporation Alexandria Mall Cinema I & II (an in-mall venue) showed its first features December 25, 1973.

Two major shopping hubs were located in close proximity to ALEXANDRIA MALL. MACARTHUR VILLAGE {.7 mile northwest, in Alexandria} had opened for business in November 1957. SOUTHGATE MALL {.5 mile west, also in Alexandria} held its grand opening in August 1972.

A major expansion of ALEXANDRIA MALL got underway in May 1985. This project added 328,000 square feet in a single-level Southeast Wing. The addition was officially dedicated August 13, 1986. A 1-level (102,000 square foot), Little Rock-based Dillard's and 17-bay The Market Place Food Court opened at this time. A 1-level (63,000 square foot), Hayward, California-based Mervyn's began business October 17 of the same year.

The freestanding General Cinema Corporation Alexandria 6 megaplex replaced the in-mall twin cinema, which had been shuttered as part of the expansion of the shopping complex. The Alexandria 6 was located on a pad southeast of the mall proper and showed its first features September 19, 1986.

As part of the renovation, the existing structure was refurbished with new skylights and flooring. With all modifications completed, ALEXANDRIA MALL encompassed approximately 873,000 leasable square feet and housed ninety-seven stores and services.

The Wellan's store was shuttered on July 25, 1989. It was expanded into adjacent area and retenanted by a (38,000 square foot), Jacksonville, Florida-based Stein Mart and (12,000 square foot) Sam Goody. Stein Mart opened for business in October 1995. W.F. Beall (a.k.a. Bealls) had been rebranded as Beall-Ladymon in the mid-1980s. In April 1995, the store morphed into a Houston-based Stage.

Mervyn's closed in February 2006. Soon after, Weiss-Goldring, a 1973 charter tenant, moved to a substantially downsized store, in a portion of the old J.C. Penney Auto Center. In mid-2006, the mall was given a interior face lift. This was followed by the opening of a new Burlington Coat Factory, in the vacant Mervyn's, in March 2007.

J.C. Penney took a major hit from Hurricane Gustav in September 2008 and was closed for repairs for several months. The refurbished store resumed business in July 2009. It was joined by new tenants The Children's Place, The Buckle, McAlister's Deli and a Slinkee's Family Fun Center (in a vacated Stein Mart space). The old Weiss-Goldring spot was sectioned into three stores, with the largest being a (24,300 square foot) Bed, Bath & Beyond.

Today, ALEXANDRIA MALL is owned by the New York City-based Radiant Partners, Limited Liability Company and managed by Chicago's Jones Lang LaSalle. Among the shopping center's fifty operational stores are Ulta Beauty, Versona, Shoe Department Encore and It's Fashion Metro.

Sources:

The Alexandria Daily Town Talk
www.alexandria-louisiana.com / "Alexandria Retrospective"
www.ggp.com (General Growth Properties)
www.cinematreasures.org
www.alexandriamall.com
"Alexandria Mall" article on Wikipedia
"Dillard's" article on Wikipedia