The Evolution of Mid Rivers Mall: St. Peters, MO’s Resilient Shopping Center

History and Growth of Mid Rivers Mall

Situated just off Interstate 70 in the bustling city of St. Peters, Missouri, the Mid Rivers Mall came to life in 1987. Back then, it was a vibrant shopping center bustling with activity, with shoppers frequenting its two anchor stores – Dillard’s and Famous-Barr.

As time passed, the mall expanded, new shops sprung up, and the footfall increased, adding to the mall’s charm and popularity.

The 1990s marked a period of rapid expansion for Mid Rivers Mall. During this time, the mall saw the addition of Sears as a new anchor store. The latter half of the decade was no different as JCPenney joined the league of anchor stores, relocating from the nearby Mark Twain Mall in St. Charles.

As the new millennium unfolded, the mall underwent a significant transformation. Famous-Barr, one of the initial anchor stores, was rebranded as Macy’s in 2006 following the acquisition of The May Department Stores Company by Federated Department Stores. Further adding to the mall’s appeal, Dick’s Sporting Goods opened its doors in 2008.

The mall’s management developed an innovative idea 2018 to drive more foot traffic. They offered relatively inexpensive weekly lease rates, allowing new retail businesses to test the waters of physical retail space.

This initiative brought in a flurry of fresh retailers, adding to the mall’s diversity. The same year, H&M debuted at the mall, further solidifying its position as a shopping mecca in St. Charles County.

Mid Rivers Mall
Mid Rivers Mall ” by LittleT889 is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

Challenges Faced by the Mall

Mid Rivers Mall was not immune to challenges despite its steady growth and popularity. One of the most significant blows came in 2019 when Sears, one of the longstanding anchor stores, announced its closure. This move was part of a nationwide plan to close 26 stores, leaving a vacant spot in the mall.

The mall also witnessed a share of legal battles and unfortunate incidents. In 2017, the mall’s owner sued former tenant Max & Erma’s for a whopping $680,000 over unpaid rent, interest, and fees.

On a more serious note, the mall faced several criminal activities, such as shoplifting and privacy invasion, that raised concerns about safety and security.

The Current State of Mid Rivers Mall

The departure of Sears was indeed a setback, but Mid Rivers Mall did not let that dampen its spirit. The mall still houses over 140 shops and several anchor stores, including Macy’s, Dillard’s, H&M, JCPenney, Marcus Theatres, Vintage Stock, and Dick’s Sporting Goods, offering various shopping options to visitors.

The ownership of the mall has also seen changes over the years. In 2007, CBL Properties acquired the mall from the Westfield Group, marking a new chapter in the mall’s story.

Mid Rivers Mall has managed to hold its ground despite the changing retail landscape and its challenges. It continues to be a significant part of the St. Peters community.

Recent Developments and Future Prospects

Mid Rivers Mall has always been more than just a shopping center. It’s a place where the community comes together, and this aspect of the mall was further highlighted when the St. Louis Area Foodbank added a distribution center in January 2022.

This move signified the mall’s evolving role in the community, transitioning from a purely commercial space to a hub that serves broader community needs.

As for the future, it’s clear that Mid Rivers Mall is poised to adapt and evolve. The vacant anchor store presents an opportunity for redevelopment, perhaps for more community-centric initiatives.

Currently managed by CBL Properties, the mall is the only enclosed shopping mall in St. Charles County, offering national, regional, and local brands​.

The area surrounding Mid Rivers Mall has seen significant growth and development in recent years. Two cities in the Mid Rivers primary trade area, St. Peters and O’Fallon were ranked among the Top 100 “Best Places to Live” by Money Magazine in 2019-2021.

The next couple of years promises further growth, with household income expected to rise by over 15%. Over the past five years, the region has witnessed an estimated 23% growth in population, 25% growth in home sales, and a 35% increase in the average value of homes​.

With this continued growth and the presence of major employers like Boeing, Citigroup, SSM Healthcare, and MasterCard Worldwide, the prospects for Mid Rivers Mall remain bright.

Whether it continues to be a shopping destination or evolves into a multifaceted community hub, the mall is set to remain a vital part of St. Peters and the more comprehensive St. Charles County.

Conclusion

Mid Rivers Mall, with its rich history, enduring presence, and evolving role, stands as a testament to the resilience and adaptability of St. Peters, Missouri. It’s more than just a shopping center; it’s a place of community, commerce, and connection.

Despite the challenges faced, the mall’s story is far from over. As the community around it grows and evolves, so will Mid Rivers Mall, continuing to serve as a vibrant hub in the heart of St. Peters for years to come.

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