Caldwell Boulevard and West Karcher Road
Nampa, Idaho

Plans for the Spud State's first shopping mall were announced in August 1964. The complex would be built on a 34.9-acre tract. This was located 19 miles west of downtown Boise ["boy-see"], in the suburb of Nampa. KARCHER MALL was built by the Nampa-based Daum Development Corporation.  

The original shopping hub was a single-level, fully-enclosed structure, which encompassed approximately 103,000 leasable square feet. Its first tenants, Kinney Shoes, the Karcher Mall Barber Shop and a (34,000 square foot) Buttrey Foods grocery, opened for business on August 26, 1965. Four additional stores and services were dedicated on September 15; Andre's Beauty Salon & Sauna, Anne's Flowers, a Sprouse-Reitz 5 & 10 and (30,000 square foot) Tempo Discount Center.

Construction commenced on a Phase I southward addition on March 8, 1967. This 2.9 million dollar project expanded the existing mall southward. New stores included Irene's Fashions, Singer Sewing Center, Skagg's Drug Center and the Boise-based ID Store. The centerpiece of the renovation was a 2-level (140,000 square foot) J.C. Penney. This store was dedicated -along with the new South Wing- on October 23, 1968. The ribbon cutting ceremony was attended by Harry Daum, the mall's developer. Mayors of the cities of Caldwell and Nampa were also in attendance, as was Karen Ryder, "Miss Idaho 1969."

In late 1969, the mall's discount variety store was rebranded as a Rasco Tempo. A Phase II southward expansion was announced on July 26, 1972. Work got underway in January 1973. This project would add a  1-level (60,000 square foot) Seattle-based The Bon Marche the Virgil O'Dell Red & Blue Twin Cinemas and nineteen new inline stores. 

The expanded South Wing opened for business on August 3, 1973. KARCHER MALL now encompassed approximately 600,000 leasable square feet and housed fifty stores and services. One of these went dark in March 1976. A vacant Rasco Tempo was replaced by an F.W. Woolworth 5 & 10.

KARCHER MALL encountered its first bona fide competitor in October 1988. BOISE TOWN SQUARE {15.8 miles east, in Boise} snatched J.C. Penney, the primary anchor of KARCHER, along with several inline stores. To add insult to injury, BOISE TOWN SQUARE was expanded, to 1,170,000 square feet, with additions in 1998 and 2000.

KARCHER MALL persevered. In 1989, the first level of the old Penney's had been leased to Eugene, Oregon-based Troutman's Emporium (a.k.a. "The Emporium"). By 1993, KARCHER MALL housed stores such as The Hub Clothing (in the ID store space), PayLess Drug (in the Skagg's space) and Sears Catalog & Appliance.

Unfortunately, the shopping center was in foreclosure by the mid-1990s. It was bought and sold several times, with a major renovation done in 1998. This 10 million dollar project included the installation of an upper level Food Court and new Main Entrance. Empty retail spaces were leased. Intermountain Sports replaced Woolworth's, with Jo-Ann Fabrics assuming the PayLess Drug space. Big 5 Sporting Goods set up shop in the North Wing.

KARCHER MALL lost Troutman's Emporium in February 2003. Pleasanton, California-based Ross Dress For Less leased the old Buttrey Foods location in 2004 . The mall's west anchor was rebannered as a Bon-Macy's on August 1, 2003, and was fully "Macy-ated" on March 6, 2005.

The shopping hub changed hands four more times. Anaheim, California's Milan Properties began a refurbishment in 2008. A more ambitious remodeling, which had been proposed by the previous owners, was scrapped. Milan's scaled-down renovation concentrated on a face lift of the interior, remodeling of entrances and painting the exterior. The 14 million dollar project was completed in the spring of 2009. As part of the refurbishment, new Burlington Coat Factory and Steve & Barry's University Sportswear stores had opened. Unfortunately, Steve & Barry's went bust after only 11 months.

The cinema space, which had operated as the Karcher Reel Theatre until February 2000, re-opened, as the Northern Lights Cinema Grill, in September 2009. The primary Macy's had been shuttered on October 14 of the same year. Macy's had moved to the new open-air NAMPA GATEWAY CENTER {4.3 miles east, in Canyon County}. A KARCHER MALL Macy's Clearance Center remained intact, for a time.

Meanwhile, a third commercial competitor came on the scene. The TREASURE VALLEY MARKETPLACE power center {.7 mile northeast, in Nampa} opened for business in August 2010. The Macy's Clearance Center at KARCHER MALL was finally shuttered in July 2014. The standard Macy's store morphed into a Mor Furniture For Less in June 2016. The Burlington store went dark in September 2018.

Livermore, California's Rhino Investments bought KARCHER MALL in May 2019. A 30 million dollar demalling was soon proposed. An 81,000 square foot section of the South Wing would be demolished and the enclosed shopping concourse converted into inline store space. 

A revitalized power center, known -at first- as KARCHER MARKETPLACE, would include 216 residential units. A photo-op groundbreaking was held in November 2019, with demolition on the South Wing getting underway soon after. The official name of the shopping complex was eventually changed to DISTRICT 208.  


The Idaho Free Press
Canyon County, Idaho property tax assessor website
http://www.baumrealty.com (Baum Brothers LLC)
http://www.rinconadadevelopment.com (Rinconada Development, LLC)
"Karcher Mall" article on Wikipedia