Westminster Mall: A Defunct Shopping Destination in Colorado
Westminster Mall was once a famous enclosed shopping mall in Westminster, Colorado, just a stone’s throw away from Denver.
The mall, established in 1977, boasted a single anchor store, namely Joslins, and later saw the inclusion of Dillard’s, Montgomery Ward, Mervyn’s, Sears, and Macy’s as additional anchor stores.
Besides the department stores, Westminster Mall also offered visitors a food court to grab a quick bite and a movie theater to catch the latest flick. However, despite these amenities, the mall gradually lost its appeal and ultimately ceased operations in 2011.
Westminster Mall’s Transformative Journey
Westminster Mall, which opened in 1977 with Joslin’s and thirty other stores, underwent several significant changes. In 1980, a hallway was added to the mall to connect it to the May D&F store, which increased the number of stores to 75.
A substantial expansion followed in 1986, adding May D&F, Mervyn’s, and Broadway Southwest, 112 more stores, and a modern food court. JCPenney joined in 1987, followed by Wards in 1996, which brought the mall’s gross leasable area to an impressive 1,200,000 square feet.
May D&F transformed in 1993, becoming Foley’s. Two years later, in 1996, Joslin’s underwent a remodel and became Dillard’s. Dillard’s also acquired land around the mall, expanding its presence. Broadway Southwest, the last store in its chain, closed its doors in 1996, and soon after, Sears took over the space.
In September 2006, Foley’s was rebranded as Macy’s, completing another transformation in the mall’s history.
Westminster Mall’s story is one of growth and change, from its humble beginnings with thirty stores to one of the largest malls in the Denver metropolitan area with six department stores. Despite its eventual closure in 2011, it remains a significant part of the area’s retail history.
A Time of Loss and Redevelopment for Westminster Mall
Between 1997 and 2009, Westminster Mall underwent significant changes that would alter its landscape. The mall experienced the loss of three of its six department stores, as well as its central tenant Fashion Bar, which closed its doors in 1997.
The first significant anchor store to depart was Wards, which closed in 2001 due to the chain’s demise. This was followed by Mervyn’s closing in 2005, as the company passed from the Colorado market in 2006. Finally, in early 2009, Macy’s also closed, marking the end of an era for the mall.
With these anchor stores’ departure, Westminster Mall became increasingly vacant, with only half of the stores occupied as of 2009.
This left mall owners with the challenge of redeveloping the space to remain relevant and profitable in the changing retail landscape. In June 2009, the owners purchased the vacant Mervyn’s as part of a larger redevelopment plan.
Demolition of Westminster Mall: The End of an Era
The City of Westminster eventually purchased the mall in May 2011 with a plan to demolish the 34-year-old mall by the end of the year, with hopes that the anchor stores would remain open. However, this was not the case, as Dillard’s announced its closure in May 2011, followed by Sears in June 2012.
By the spring of 2012, three anchors, Macy’s, Mervyn’s, and Montgomery Ward, two restaurants, Trail Dust Steakhouse and Steak & Ale, the cinema, and the remaining mall corridor had been demolished. The demolition of Dillard’s began that spring, with Sears following suit in August 2012.
The demolition of Westminster Mall marked the end of an era, with the mall’s management unable to save it from its inevitable fate. However, the memories and experiences of the mall’s heyday will forever remain in the hearts and minds of those who once visited and enjoyed its offerings.
Westminster Mall Site’s New Downtown Plan
On August 27, 2013, plans for redeveloping the former Westminster Mall location were announced. The city’s proposal for a new downtown on this site has taken a significant step forward.
The development blueprint will feature multi-story residential and office buildings, emphasizing public spaces and vibrant shopping areas.
The master plan, which is set to unfold over the next 20-30 years, outlines a framework and vision for the new downtown.
It covers a range of critical components, including permitted land uses, public parks and plazas, multi-modal circulation, access to transit, urban design, development flexibility, and the utilization of the site’s scenic views of the Front Range.
Westminster’s master plan for the new downtown is a thoughtful and comprehensive approach to transforming the former mall site into a thriving urban center.
By prioritizing public spaces and mixed-use development, the city aims to create a dynamic and inclusive community that will serve residents and visitors for decades.
Don’t miss the mall, but miss the BBQ place that cut off you tie if you where dumb enough to wear one to it! GOOD FOOD!
Thank you for sharing your experience with Westminster Mall. It sounds like you enjoyed the food at the BBQ place. It’s always interesting to hear about unique experiences like that!