Cross Creek Mall in Fayetteville, NC: From Past to Present

Origins and Development

Henry Faison, a developer from Charlotte, bought 90 acres in Fayetteville from J.P. Riddle Jr. in 1970. This land, previously farmland, was set aside for a major commercial project.

The All-American Freeway construction began in May 1974. This freeway provided critical access to the area, encouraging commercial development. In February 1975, Cross Creek Mall opened its doors to the public.

The mall initially featured five anchor stores: Sears, JCPenney, Belk, Miller & Rhoads, and Thalhimer’s.

JCPenney, Belk, and Sears relocated from downtown Fayetteville to this new suburban shopping center, marking a shift in retail activity from the city center to the suburbs.

Early Years and Expansion

In the early years, Cross Creek Mall grew rapidly and attracted many popular stores. One of the early attractions was Cross Creek Mall Cinemas I-II-III, which opened on February 28, 1975, just two days after the mall itself.

Owned by General Cinema Corporation, the three-screen cinema became a popular entertainment spot for visitors.

The cinema was closed in January 2001. The food court, Creekside Café, replaced it in 2002, providing a new dining experience for shoppers.

The mall quickly expanded its retail offerings. Stores like Woolworth and RadioShack opened their doors, adding to the variety of shopping options.

During the 1980s, Cross Creek Mall continued to evolve. Miller & Rhoads, one of the original anchors, closed its doors in 1985.

This change marked the beginning of a series of transitions for the mall’s anchor stores. Despite these changes, the mall maintained a strong retail presence in the area.

By the late 1990s, Cross Creek Mall had solidified its position as a retail hub. The addition of specialty stores like Bath & Body Works and Victoria’s Secret drew even more shoppers.

This period of growth and expansion set the stage for future developments and changes in the mall’s landscape.

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Cross Creek Mall
Cross Creek Mall” by MikeKalasnik is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Cross Creek Mall Anchor Changes

Anchor stores play a crucial role in a mall’s success. At Cross Creek Mall, these stores have seen many changes over the years. Thalhimer’s, one of the original anchors, became Hecht’s in 1992.

This transition was part of a larger trend of department store consolidations during that era. In 2006, Hecht’s rebranded as Macy’s, bringing a well-known name to the mall.

Sears, another original anchor, faced its challenges. On October 15, 2018, Sears announced it would close its Cross Creek Mall location as part of a nationwide plan to shut down 142 stores.

The store officially closed on January 6, 2019, ending nearly 44 years of operation at the mall. This closure left a large vacant space that needed to be filled.

In January 2020, CBL Properties announced that Dave & Buster’s would move into the former Sears location. However, plans changed, and Rooms To Go eventually occupied the space.

By late 2021, Rooms To Go had completed construction, offering a new shopping option for furniture enthusiasts.

Around the same time, LongHorn Steakhouse opened, adding a dining element to the mall’s offerings.

These anchor changes reflect the evolving retail landscape. Each transition brought new opportunities and challenges, shaping the mall’s identity and ensuring it remained relevant to shoppers.

Entertainment and Dining

Cross Creek Mall always looks for ways to enhance its entertainment and dining offerings. In December 2022, Main Event, a subsidiary of Dave & Buster’s, announced it would open a new location at the mall.

By August 2023, Main Event had opened its doors, offering bowling, arcade games, and other entertainment options. This venue quickly became a popular spot for families and groups seeking entertainment.

Main Event offers a variety of entertainment experiences designed to bring family and friends together for fun and memorable social activities. The center features a pro-level bowling alley with an electronic scoring system and cosmic bowling.

Guests can immerse themselves in a range of virtual reality experiences, from Beat Saber to VR Rabbids.

The multi-level laser tag arena provides an exciting and interactive environment. Main Event also offers billiards, shuffleboard, a full bar, and a chef-inspired menu.

The gaming floor includes the latest and classic games with plenty of prizes. Other attractions include escape rooms, glow-in-the-dark mini-golf, an indoor ropes course, and the innovative MultiBall experience, blending virtual and real elements.

The mall’s dining scene also continues to grow. LongHorn Steakhouse, which opened in late 2021, offers a great place to enjoy a meal after shopping.

The restaurant’s presence highlights the trend of adding sit-down dining options within shopping centers.

US Foods CHEF’STORE and Bahama Breeze opened in the Spring of 2024. US Foods CHEF’STORE provides bulk food supplies, catering to both businesses and large families.

Bahama Breeze brings Caribbean cuisine to the mall, offering unique flavors and a tropical atmosphere.

These developments make Cross Creek Mall a diverse destination for shopping, dining, and entertainment. The mix of new stores and restaurants ensures that there is always something fresh and exciting for visitors to experience.

Cross Creek Mall
Cross Creek Mall” by MikeKalasnik is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Impact and Community Role

Cross Creek Mall plays a vital role in Fayetteville’s community. The mall isn’t just a shopping destination; it serves as a social and economic hub. Over the years, it has hosted various community events, from holiday celebrations to local fundraisers.

The mall’s retail stores employ many residents. Major retailers like Macy’s, Belk, and JCPenney contribute to the local economy. Restaurants and entertainment venues like LongHorn Steakhouse and Main Event also create jobs and attract visitors.

The mall’s presence has influenced local real estate. Businesses in the surrounding area benefit from the mall’s traffic, leading to the growth of nearby shopping centers and restaurants.

The development of the All-American Freeway in the 1970s made the mall easily accessible, further boosting its popularity.

Cross Creek Mall adapts to changing trends, ensuring it meets the needs of the community. The introduction of new stores and dining options shows a commitment to providing a diverse and enjoyable experience for visitors.

The mall remains a key part of Fayetteville’s retail landscape, attracting both locals and tourists looking for things to do in Fayetteville, NC.

Shooting Incident in January 2024

On January 5, 2024, Cross Creek Mall in Fayetteville, NC, experienced a shooting incident that shocked the local community. The man, 51, entered the mall’s food court after an argument with an employee and later returned with a firearm.

He got into an altercation with the same employee in an employees-only area, where a gunshot was fired. Fortunately, the employee managed to disarm him.

The man faced multiple charges, including discharging a firearm in an enclosed space and second-degree kidnapping. No injuries were reported during this incident.

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