VALLEY FAIR MALL
South 2700 West / Constitution Boulevard and West 3500 South
Salt Lake County (West Valley City), Utah

The second shopping mall built in the Salt Lake Valley occupied a 71 acre site, located 7 miles southwest of Temple Square, in an unincorporated section of Salt Lake County known as Granger. VALLEY FAIR MALL was envisaged by Salt Lake City-based Valley Centers, Incorporated and designed by the Copeland, Novak & Isreal firm of New York City.

Construction on the 20 million dollar shopping center commenced in October 1968. The half-completed facility was sold to an entity known as BUR, Incorporated in 1969. When finished, the "dumbell plan" mall encompassed approximately 520,000 leasable square feet and was anchored by two department stores, one on the north end and one on the south.

On the north was a 2-level (130,700 square foot) J.C. Penney, which opened for business July 15, 1970. A 1-level (106,000 square foot), Salt Lake City-based Zion's Co-operative Mercantile Institution, or ZCMI, made its debut July 27th of the same year.

The official dedication of VALLEY FAIR MALL was also held on July 27, 1970, with seventy stores and services in operation. A ceremonial ribbon was cut by Clyde L. Miller, Utah Secretary of State, and Debbie Dunn "Miss Utah 1970".

The fully-enclosed mall included a (36,300 square foot) S.H. Kress 5 & 10 and (20,000 square foot), Salt Lake City-based Castletons junior department store. Other charter tenants were Walgreen Drug, Zinik's Sporting Goods, Karmelkorn, Docktor Pet Center, Deseret Book, Hart Brothers Music, Baker's Shoes, Singer Sewing Center, Anita Shops and Pehrson's Hardware & Appliance. The exterior-entranced Valley Fair 4 Cinemas showed its first features August 14, 1970.

The original rival of VALLEY FAIR was COTTONWOOD MALL (1962) {7.9 miles southeast, in Salt Lake County / Holladay}. The second commercial competitor, FASHION PLACE MALL (1972) {5 miles southeast, in Murray}, was completed in 1972.

VALLEY FAIR MALL became a "freeway friendly" shopping facility with the completion of the western segment of the Interstate 215 "Belt Route". This took place in November 1976. 4 years later, the Salt Lake County communities of Granger, Hunter, Redwood and Chesterfield were incorporated as West Valley City. The municipality, which came into being July 1, 1980, was the Beehive State's third-largest city.

Meanwhile, a mall expansion had been undertaken in 1979. A 2-level (90,000 square foot), Hayward, California-based Mervyn's was built on the east side of the complex. The store opened, in unison with three other Utah Mervyn's locations, on July 26, 1980.

A subsequent renovation of VALLEY FAIR MALL began in March 1986 and was completed the following November. Center Court was remodeled and new landscaping, flooring and skylights were installed. In the South Wing, existing store space was gutted and rebuilt into the 12-bay Cafe Fair Food Court. The 4-plex cinema was also expanded into a 9-screen venue.

The mall's only anchor rebranding to date commenced with the conversion of ZCMI, to a Portland-based Meier & Frank, on April 18, 2001. This store was "Macy-ated" September 9, 2006.

The Granger Elementary School, at the southeast corner of the mall site, had been demolished some months before. It was replaced by a "shadow anchor", a 1-level (152,000 square foot) Costco, which opened August 3, 2007. This store's dedication may now be seen as the beginning of a major renovation and expansion of the shopping complex.

A joint venture of Sandy, Utah's Satterfield Helm Management and New York City-based Coventry Real Estate Investors had acquired VALLEY FAIR MALL in 2005. In April 2008, ground was broken for the first phase of its reinvention as a hybrid enclosed and open-air retail venue.

During this construction phase, the old Penney's Auto Center (at the northwest corner of the site) was razed. Six outparcel structures were built along the north and west boundaries of the parking lot. These housed twelve tenant spaces, which were leased by restaurants such as Smashburger, Olive Garden, TGI Friday, and Winger's Diner. Grand openings were held in late 2009.

Phase two of the reinvention consisted of renovation and expansion of the mall proper. The west facade was rebuilt with two Streetscape-type businesses. A (30,000 square foot) Ross Dress for Less and (7,900 square foot) Famous Footwear opened between October 2010 and March 2011. They joined a previously-existing Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, at the south end of the Streetscape. DSW and Marshalls stores, proposed for a north Streetscape, never came to fruition.

The new mall facade was joined by a five-building Village Shops section, which surrounded an outdoor plaza. Eight stores and services were included, with a (13,500 square foot) Petco being among them. This stage of the mall's metamorphosis was completed in October 2010.

A third construction phase consisted of the demolition of Mervyn's, which had closed in early 2009. The central area of the mall adjacent to Mervyn's was also gutted. A (125,000 square foot) Larry H. Miller Megaplex Theatre & IMAX was built; this cinema being dedicated November 30, 2012.

VALLEY FAIR MALL become rail transit-accessible via a new station stop on the Utah Transit Authority's TRAX system. Service on the 5.1 route mile Central Pointe-to-West Valley Central extension was inaugurated  August 1, 2011.

The fourth, and final, stage of the mall's reconstruction completed the north end of the west facade Streetscape. A (23,000 square foot) Bed, Bath & Beyond and (10,400 square foot) Ulta Beauty made their debut in the fall of 2014. VALLEY FAIR MALL now encompassed over 1 million leasable square feet and housed approximately one hundred and twenty-two store spaces.

Sources:

http://www.shopvalleyfairmall.com
http://www.coldwellbanker.com
"Valley Fair Mall (West Valley City, Utah)" article on Wikipedia
The Deseret News
http://www.uen.org


FAIR USE OF VALLEY FAIR MALL IMAGES:

The graphics from The Deseret News 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.