The Many Faces of Southdale Center Mall: Retail Wonderland in Edina, MN

The Birth of Southdale Center: A Revolutionary Concept

Southdale Center Mall burst onto the scene in 1956, forever changing how we think about shopping. This was the nation’s first indoor regional shopping mall, a groundbreaking concept at the time. It set the standard for indoor malls across the United States in Edina, Minnesota.

The architectural features of Southdale Center were nothing short of revolutionary. It was designed with climate-controlled environments and offered shoppers a comfortable experience away from Minnesota’s harsh winters and humid summers. Skylights and a bird aviary added a touch of nature, making it more than just a shopping destination.

Fast forward to today, and you’ll find that Southdale Center has maintained its innovative spirit. While the bird aviary is a thing of the past, the mall continues to adapt and evolve, ensuring it remains a relevant part of Edina’s retail landscape.

So, if you’re looking for things to do in Edina, Minnesota, visiting this historic mall is like walking through retail history. It’s a testament to how far we’ve come in creating spaces that serve multiple community needs, from shopping to socializing.

Anchoring Southdale Center: The Pillars of the Mall

Anchors are crucial to any mall’s success, and Southdale Center is no exception. Currently, the mall is anchored by Macy’s, Dave & Buster’s, AMC Theatres, and Life Time. These establishments draw significant footfall, making them the pillars that support the mall.

Macy’s offers a wide range of products, from clothing to home goods, attracting a diverse customer base. Dave & Buster’s, on the other hand, is all about entertainment. Its arcade games and sports bar atmosphere make it a hit among the young and the young at heart.

But wait, there’s more on the horizon! Two new anchors, Kowalski’s and Puttshack, are set to join the lineup. Kowalski’s is a well-known grocery store, and Puttshack is an upscale, tech-infused mini-golf experience. Both are expected to add a new dimension to the mall’s offerings.

These anchors not only provide a diverse range of services but also contribute to the mall’s overall appeal. They ensure that Southdale Center remains a bustling hub of activity, drawing people from all walks of life.

Southdale Center’s Tenants: A Diverse Portfolio

When it comes to variety, Southdale Center doesn’t disappoint. With tenants ranging from Ala Moana Nails and Hennepin County Service Center to niche stores like Chess Castle of Minnesota and Dance With Us, America, there’s something for everyone.

Fashionistas will find a haven in stores like American Eagle Outfitters, Banana Republic, and Madewell. Tech enthusiasts can get their fix at the Apple store, or AT&T. Let’s not forget the foodies, who can indulge in everything from DeLeo Bros. Pizza to Shake Shack.

Over the years, the tenant mix at Southdale Center has seen significant changes. While some stores have stood the test of time, others have made way for new entrants, keeping the mall’s offerings fresh and exciting.

The mall also caters to specialized interests. For instance, Legacy Toys offers children a wide range of toys, while LensCrafters takes care of all your eyewear needs. This diverse portfolio makes Southdale Center a one-stop destination for all.

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Southdale Center
Southdale Center” by Bobak Ha’Eri is licensed under CC BY 3.0

Southdale Center’s Recent Renovations and Future Plans

Change is the only constant, and Southdale Center understands this well. A significant renovation is planned to start in late 2023 to give the mall a sleek, modern look. This is part of a broader strategy to keep the mall relevant in today’s competitive retail environment.

In addition to the renovation, Simon Property Group has ambitious plans for the mall. By early 2025, they aim to bring in more than 20 luxury and aspirational retailers. This is expected to elevate the shopping experience, making Southdale Center a destination for high-end shopping.

Safety upgrades are also on the cards, especially in light of recent incidents. Enhanced security measures ensure visitors can shop and socialize in a safe environment.

In 2021, Life Time unveiled plans for a major redevelopment project to add a walkable urban village to the property. The vision for this project includes an open-air plaza, green spaces, a hotel, office space, additional residential units, and a network of pedestrian-friendly walkways.

By integrating these elements, the mall seeks to embrace the live-work-play model further, providing a modern, community-oriented space for residents and visitors alike.

These plans indicate a proactive approach to modernizing Southdale Center. It’s about keeping up with the times and setting new retail and community engagement standards.

Southdale Center and Community Safety

Community safety is a priority for Southdale Center, especially given recent incidents. In April 2023, a shooting at the mall raised concerns among visitors and tenants alike. The Edina police were quick to respond, and investigations are ongoing.

In response to this incident, the mall management and Edina police have ramped up security measures. Surveillance cameras have been upgraded, and additional security personnel have been deployed. These steps aim to deter future incidents and ensure the safety of all visitors.

The community has been supportive of these efforts, understanding the importance of collective responsibility. Many have expressed their trust in the new security measures and are willing to continue their patronage of the mall.

While safety concerns have posed challenges, they have also allowed the community to unite. It’s a reminder that Southdale Center is more than just a shopping destination; it’s a communal space where all have a stake.

Southdale Center in the Media and Public Perception

Southdale Center has been a subject of interest in local media, especially with its upcoming renovation and plans for luxury retail. Coverage has generally been positive, highlighting the mall’s efforts to adapt and evolve.

However, the recent safety incidents have also garnered media attention. While these events have raised concerns, they have also sparked a dialogue about community safety in the mall and Edina.

Public opinion about Southdale Center is generally favorable. Many locals view it as a significant part of their community, where they’ve made memories, celebrated occasions, and even experienced milestones.

The mall’s ability to maintain a positive reputation amidst challenges speaks volumes about its significance in Edina. It’s not just a shopping center; it’s a community landmark that has stood the test of time.

Southdale Center
Southdale Center” by Bobak Ha’Eri is licensed under CC BY 3.0


Southdale Center has come a long way since its groundbreaking debut in 1956. It has remained a vital part of Edina’s community, from setting the standard for indoor malls to continually evolving its tenant mix and services.

The mall’s future looks promising, with significant renovations and new luxury retailers on the horizon. While challenges exist, particularly concerning community safety, efforts are underway to address them comprehensively.

As Southdale Center gears up for its next chapter, it continues to symbolize community, innovation, and resilience. It’s a place that invites us to shop, socialize, and be part of something bigger than ourselves.

So, the next time you’re in Edina, don’t miss the chance to visit this iconic mall. It’s not just about shopping; it’s about being part of a community that values history, embraces change, and looks forward to a promising future.

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