Discover the Evolution of Southgate Mall in Missoula, Montana

Southgate Mall: Missoula’s Shopping Haven

Southgate Mall in Missoula, Montana, is the largest enclosed shopping area in the Western Montana region. It opened its doors on August 2, 1978, and was initially anchored by Hart-Albin, Hennessy’s, Nordstrom Place Two, and Sears.

Today, the mall is anchored by AMC Theatres, two Dillard’s stores, and Scheels All Sports, while an adjacent strip mall is anchored by Bed Bath & Beyond, Bob Ward’s, and Cost Plus World Market.

Since its opening, the mall has undergone several transformations, closures, and expansions. As a result, the shopping center has grown to accommodate 85 stores and services, spanning over 398,000 square feet of retail floor area.

As a gathering place for the community, Southgate Mall hosts over 25 events annually, including Fourth Fest, KidX Club events, Ladies Night, Garden City Shootout 3on3 Basketball Tournament, Halloween, Santa’s Arrival, and more.

Southgate Mall Anchor Tenants

Current Anchor Tenants Former Anchor Tenants
AMC Theatres Hart-Albin
Dillard’s (2 stores) Hennessy’s
Scheels All Sports Nordstrom Place Two
Sears
JCPenney

A Glimpse into Southgate Mall’s History

The idea of creating an enclosed shopping center in Missoula originated in 1973 when Erickson Development Co., a development firm from Minnesota, suggested building a $15 million regional shopping complex south of the Buckhouse Bridge, situated along U.S. Highway 93.

On February 9, 1977, developer George Lambros unveiled plans to construct a 398,000-square-foot shopping mall on 68 acres between South Avenue and U.S. Highway 93 in Missoula. The Missoula City Council approved Lambros’ plans on February 14, with construction commencing on April 1.

The mall’s first tenant, Kings Table Restaurant, opened on June 28, 1978, with Sears following on July 12 and Hart-Albin on July 27.

The mall’s second phase, completed between August and November 1979, added 25 stores and anchor JCPenney. Over the years, several anchor stores closed and were replaced, including Lamonts, Nordstrom Place Two, Pay ‘n Save, Hart-Albin, and Ernst Home Centers.

By 1998, two Herberger’s stores were added to the mall, replacing the vacant Hart-Albin and Lamonts areas.

Timeline of Major Events at Southgate Mall

Year Event
1978 Southgate Mall’s grand opening
1979 The second phase of the mall completed
1998 Herberger’s stores added to the mall
2007 Bed Bath & Beyond replaces Fabricland
2014 Cost Plus World Market replaces Ashley HomeStore
2015 Montana’s first H&M store opens
2018 Mall expansion completed; recognized as Montana’s top mall
2021 Scheels All Sports opens, replacing JCPenney

Revitalization and Expansion of Southgate Mall

In 2015, plans for a $64 million renovation and expansion of Southgate Mall were announced, opening a new era for the shopping center. Bed Bath & Beyond replaced Fabricland in 2007, and Cost Plus World Market took the place of Ashley HomeStore in early 2014.

Montana’s first H&M store opened at the mall in September 2015, and in April 2016, AMC Theatres (then known as Carmike Cinemas) revealed plans to build a 900-seat dine-in movie theater at the mall.

The completion of the mall’s expansion took place in 2018. In February 2019, plans were announced for a second Dillard’s store, replacing the Herberger’s store in the mall’s center.

On January 17, 2020, JCPenney announced its closure, and Scheels All Sports opened on October 2, 2021. In October 2021, Hobby Lobby obtained a building permit to refurbish the previous Lucky’s Market location, making way for a new store.

Southgate Mall: Montana’s Top Shopping Destination

In 2018, Southgate Mall was recognized by INSIDER Travel as the best shopping mall in Montana. As Missoula’s premier shopping destination, the mall offers a unique mix of market-exclusive brands and locally-owned specialty shops.

This variety caters to a diverse clientele and ensures visitors can access national and local retail, dining, and entertainment options. In addition, the dynamic offering of things to do and buy at Southgate Mall keeps guests engaged and encourages them to return frequently.

More than just a shopping center, Southgate Mall is a central hub for the Missoula community. It provides a gathering place where guests can share experiences, interact with products and services that fit their lifestyles, and spend quality time together.

The mall’s role in fostering community spirit and engagement is evident in its numerous events that cater to different age groups and interests throughout the year. Southgate Mall has established itself as an essential part of life in Missoula by offering a space where people can come together and create lasting memories.

Tuba Christmas 2022 at Southgate Mall

Annual Events at Southgate Mall

Event
Ladies Night
KidX Club events
Fourth Fest
Garden City Shootout 3on3 Basketball Tournament
Halloween
Santa’s Arrival
Tuba Christmas

Embracing Southgate Mall’s Legacy in Missoula

Southgate Mall has come a long way since its opening in 1978. The mall has adapted to the ever-evolving retail landscape with numerous transformations, expansions, and store changes.

Its continuous growth and improvement reflect its management’s dedication to providing the best shopping experience for the people of Missoula and beyond.

More than just a shopping center, Southgate Mall is a testament to Missoula’s vibrant community spirit. As a gathering place for people to connect, celebrate, and create lasting memories, the mall remains an essential part of life in Missoula.

Its unique combination of national and local retailers, dining options, and entertainment offerings ensures that it will continue to thrive and serve as Montana’s top shopping destination for years.

Frequently Asked Questions about Southgate Mall

Q: When did Southgate Mall open?
A: Southgate Mall first opened its doors on August 2, 1978.

Q: Where is Southgate Mall located?
A: Southgate Mall is situated in Missoula, Montana, between U.S. Highway 93 and South Avenue.

Q: How many stores are in Southgate Mall?
A: Southgate Mall is home to over 85 stores and services, including a mix of national and local retail, dining, and entertainment options.

Q: What are the current anchor tenants at Southgate Mall?
A: The current anchor tenants at Southgate Mall include AMC Theatres, two Dillard’s stores, and Scheels All Sports.

Q: Does Southgate Mall host any events throughout the year?
A: Yes, Southgate Mall hosts more than 25 events annually, including Ladies Night, KidX Club events, Fourth Fest, Garden City Shootout 3on3 Basketball Tournament, Halloween, and Santa’s Arrival, among others.

Q: Has Southgate Mall been voted the best mall in Montana?
A: In 2018, INSIDER Travel recognized Southgate Mall as the best shopping mall in Montana.

Q: Was there a renovation or expansion project at Southgate Mall recently?
A: Yes. A $64 million renovation and expansion project was announced in 2015, with construction completed in 2018.

Q: Are there any new stores opening at Southgate Mall?
A: In October 2021, Hobby Lobby secured a building permit to renovate the former Lucky’s Market space for a new store.

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Comments: 4
  1. Avatar of Karen Renne
    Karen Renne

    this article failed to mention the Garden City Duplicate Bridge Club, which hosts five games every week, three annual tournaments, and other events, bringing people into the mall almost every weekday and some weekends.

    Reply
    1. Avatar of Spencer Walsh
      Spencer Walsh (author)

      I appreciate your insight on the Garden City Duplicate Bridge Club’s presence at Southgate Mall. It’s beautiful to have such an active organization fostering a sense of community and friendly competition. For those interested in joining or learning more, kindly explore https://www.bridgewebs.com/gardencity/

      Reply
  2. Avatar of Sandra Fisher
    Sandra Fisher

    Why isn’t Hennessey’s mentioned in the article? Did I miss something?

    Reply
    1. Avatar of Spencer Walsh
      Spencer Walsh (author)

      Your inquiry reflects a keen interest in the details of the article, which is commendable. Hennessy’s presence in the Southgate Mall was acknowledged in the piece in the first paragraph and the anchors’ table.

      Reply
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