|Location||4400 Sharon Road, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA|
|Opening date||February 12, 1970|
|Management||Simon Property Group|
|Owner||Simon Property Group|
|No. of stores and services||135|
|No. of anchor tenants||6|
|Total retail floor area||1,621,000 square feet (150,600 m2)
|No. of floors||1 (Belk has 4 floors; Dillard's has 3 floors; Dick's Sporting Goods, Macy's, Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom each have 2 floors)|
SouthPark Mall is an upscale shopping mall located in Charlotte, North Carolina. With 1,621,000 square feet (150,000 m2), SouthPark Mall is the largest mall in Charlotte and the Carolinas, as well as one of the most profitable malls in the country with sales at over $700 per square foot. It is the 10th largest on the East Coast and is the 28th largest in the United States. The area around SouthPark Mall is the most congested shopping area in the United States during Black Friday weekend. The mall is located approximately five miles (8 km) south of Uptown Charlotte at the corner of Sharon and Fairview Roads in its eponymous neighborhood.
SouthPark Mall opened on February 12, 1970 with anchor stores Belk, Ivey's and Sears. The area where SouthPark is today was considered to be the on outskirts of Charlotte at the time it opened; people were skeptical about a big shopping mall in the middle of pastureland. The mall was developed by the Belk and Ivey families, owners of the eponymous department stores, who jointly owned and operated the mall, and included a Sears store as a complement due to its focus on homewares. The mall had approximately 1,000,000 square feet (93,000 m2) when it opened, and the design of the shopping mall was starkly modernist, with an underground parking deck, a signature white brick facade and tinted windows. The inspiration for the mall's original architecture reportedly was Dallas' NorthPark Center. A strip mall opened behind Sears in June 1970 with a Colonial Stores grocery store (later a Big Star food market, then acquired by Harris Teeter in the 1980s) and the SouthPark Cinemas I & II.
The mall did not face any real competition until the two-story Eastland Mall was built about 6 miles (10 km) northeast. Eastland had the same anchor lineup as SouthPark, but also included a JC Penney store and an ice skating rink giving that mall a competitive advantage.
In 1986, a major expansion and renovation was announced. The plans called for bringing department stores Thalhimer's and May Company's Lord & Taylor to the mall, in addition to a new food court. The food court and Thalhimers department store joined the mall in a new wing; however the addition of Lord & Taylor never materialized, although it was rumored for years that they'd take the Sears space. The new wing opened in 1988. In 1990, Dillard's bought out, and subsequently renamed, Ivey's department stores, and in 1992 Thalhimer's was converted to Hecht's as a result of May Company's buyout. After this, Belk, Dillard's, Hecht's and Sears were the mall's anchor stores throughout the next decade.
In the 1990s, SouthPark standbys such as Woolworth's, The Intimate Bookstore and Morrison's Cafeteria left, and many changes resulted from the new competition of Carolina Place Mall, located several miles to the south, in Pineville. The strip mall's Cinemas 3 closed after the new Phillips Place Cinemas opened, and the Harris Teeter moved to Morrocroft Shopping Center across Sharon Road.
In the late 1990s mall owners announced that upscale retailers Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom would join the mall in SouthPark's biggest expansion yet. The Belk and Ivey families sold their interest in the mall to Rodamco (managed by Trammell Crow), who in turn sold the mall to Simon Property Group. In 2001 and 2002, Belk renovated and expanded its flagship store and Hecht's renovated and expanded their store in 2003 and 2004. The site of the former convenience center and movie theater has been redeveloped into Symphony Park, an outdoor amphitheater and pond home of a summer concert series called "Pops in the Park." In 2003 Sears, citing under performance, closed their store in the summer of that year, which was eventually demolished to make way for a new outdoor plaza that included a Joseph-Beth Bookstore and a new Galayan's Store (which opened as a Dick's Sporting Goods as a result of a buyout). Saks Fifth Avenue pulled out of the expansion, and as of 2011 the company still does not have a Charlotte location, but Nordstrom opened its doors in 2004. This luxury expansion brought exclusive and upscale stores to the area such as Burberry, Louis Vuitton, and Apple. In late 2005, Simon Property Group announced that Neiman Marcus would be the tenant of the former Saks Fifth Avenue anchor pad, along with another wing of stores & boutiques. Neiman Marcus opened in late 2006. Also, three new parking decks have been added. Dillard's was the last anchor to renovate its original 1970s Ivey's facade and interior, and Crate and Barrel joined the mall as an outparcel in 2007 in the new Village at SouthPark, which includes street-level retail and restaurants and luxury apartments. Joseph-Beth closed its bookstore in 2010 and The Container Store replaced it in August 2011.
On 6 December 2007 at approximately 12:15 PM EST a portion of the Nordstrom/Neiman Marcus parking deck collapsed. The collapse of the deck was caused by a car colliding with a retaining wall on the third and highest level. Eyewitness accounts stated an elderly woman may have suffered a heart attack, which triggered the accident; the woman died. Two cars were destroyed by the collapsed section of concrete; no one was in either of the cars. At the time, this was the second American parking structure to collapse in two weeks, leading people to question the structural integrity of such buildings.
SouthPark Mall contains many stores that have their only location in the Charlotte area and North Carolina. These stores include:
* Indicates the store's sole location in the state of North Carolina.
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