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, fully-enclosed 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".

Charter tenants included Walgreen Drug, Zinik's Sporting Goods, Karmelkorn, Docktor Pet Center, Deseret Book, Hart Brothers Music, Baker's Shoes, Singer Sewing Center, Anita Shops, Pehrson's Hardware & Appliance, a (36,300 square foot) S.H. Kress 5 & 10 and (20,000 square foot), Salt Lake City-based Castletons "junior department store".

The Lippert Theatres Valley Fair 4 Cinemas showed its first features August 14, 1970. Although an in-mall venue, the cinema had an exterior entry.

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 the Cinemark Valley Fair Movies 9, which had a direct connection with the interior mallway.

The shopping facility's only rebranded anchor store is its ZCMI. It was converted to a Portland-based Meier & Frank on April 18, 2001 and "Macy-ated" September 9, 2006.

By the mid-2000s, the Granger Elementary School, at the southeast corner of the mall site, had been demolished. It was replaced by 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 was razed. Six freestanding structures were built along the north and west boundaries of the parking lot. These housed 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 a south Streetscape of stores. A (30,000 square foot) Ross Dress for Less and (7,900 square foot) Famous Footwear opened in October 2010 and March 2011, respectively.

The new mall facade was joined by a five-building Village Shops section, which surrounded an outdoor plaza. One of eight Village Shops stores was a (13,500 square foot) Petco. This stage of the mall metamorphosis was completed in October 2010.

A third construction phase replaced a vacant -and demolished- Mervyn's, which had closed in early 2009. Adjacent mall space was also gutted. The Larry H. Miller Megaplex at Valley Fair & IMAX was built, which showed its first features on November 30, 2012.

VALLEY FAIR MALL had become rail transit-accessible with an extension of the Utah Transit Authority's TRAX system. Revenue service began on the 5.1 route mile Central Pointe-to-West Valley Central extension on August 1, 2011.

The fourth, and final, stage of the mall's reconstruction completed the north end of the west side 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
http://www.movie-theatre.org / Mike Rivest


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.