The Streets at Southpoint Mall: A Blend of Old and New in Durham, NC

The Inception and History

Ah, The Streets at Southpoint MallDurham‘s crown jewel of retail therapy. Opened in March 2002, this shopping center quickly became more than just a place to buy new shoes.

It evolved into a social hub where memories are made, and retail dreams come true. Developed by Urban Retail Properties, the mall was designed to be a cut above the rest, offering a blend of traditional mall stores and a main street-style shopping area.

The mall’s design was a collaborative effort involving architects, city planners, and even landscape designers. They aimed to create a space that was not just functional but also aesthetically pleasing. Natural light, open spaces, and even a creek that runs through the property set it apart from your run-of-the-mill shopping center.

Over the years, the mall has seen several changes. Stores have come and gone, and the mall has been renovated to keep up with the times. Yet, the essence of The Streets at Southpoint remains the same—a place that offers something for everyone, from the fashion-forward to tech enthusiasts.

Architectural Highlights

The Streets at Southpoint isn’t just another mall; it’s a work of art. The architecture is a draw, designed to make shopping an experience rather than a chore. The mall’s layout is intuitive, guiding shoppers naturally from one section to another, almost like a well-planned cityscape.

One of the standout features is the use of natural elements. The incorporation of a creek and landscaped areas not only adds to the aesthetic appeal but also creates a more relaxed shopping environment. It’s a far cry from the sterile, artificial atmosphere that many other shopping centers possess.

The design also considers the hot North Carolina summers and mild winters. The mall’s indoor-outdoor concept allows for natural temperature regulation, making it a comfortable place to shop year-round. The Streets at Southpoint sets itself apart by being more than just a collection of stores—it’s a carefully designed space that elevates the entire shopping experience.

The Streets at Southpoint: Current Tenants and Stores

From high-end fashion to tech gadgets, The Streets at Southpoint offers a diverse range of stores catering to all shoppers. Anchor stores like Macy’s, JCPenney, Nordstrom, Belk, and AMC draw in the crowds, but smaller, unique stores add character to the mall. For instance, Amitie Macaron tastes France right in Durham, while The Artisan Collective showcases local crafts and art.

Fashionistas will find their haven with stores like Aerie, ALDO, and Anthropologie. Tech enthusiasts aren’t left out either, with Apple offering the latest gadgets and gizmos. And let’s not forget the bibliophiles; Barnes & Noble provides a cozy corner for book lovers.

The mall also offers a variety of dining options to suit all palates. There’s something for everyone, from fast food joints like Chick-fil-A to more upscale options like The Cheesecake Factory. For those who prefer a more active shopping experience, stores like Athleta and The Athlete’s Foot offer a range of athletic wear and equipment.

Dining and Entertainment

But The Streets at Southpoint is not just about shopping; it’s also a place to unwind and have fun. The AMC theater is a popular spot for movie-goers, offering the latest blockbusters in a comfortable setting. Seasonal events, like holiday markets and summer festivals, add a touch of excitement to the shopping experience.

For the foodies, the mall offers an array of options. Fast-food favorites like Popeye’s, Subway, and Charleys Grilled Subs offer quick bites, while Firebirds Wood Fired Grill and Maggiano’s Little Italy provide a more leisurely dining experience. And let’s not forget the various cafes and dessert shops that offer the perfect end to a shopping spree.

The mall also hosts various events throughout the year, from fashion shows to cooking demonstrations. These events provide entertainment and create a sense of community among the shoppers. It’s not just a place to spend money; it’s a place to make memories.

The Streets at Southpoint
The Streets at Southpoint, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The Mall as a Community Hub

The Streets at Southpoint is more than just a commercial center; it’s a community hub. The mall management often collaborates with local organizations to host events that benefit the community, from charity runs to educational workshops for kids. It’s a place where people come together, not just to shop, but to connect.

Moreover, the mall has become a significant part of local tourism. Visitors to Durham often spend a day at The Streets at Southpoint, drawn by its unique blend of shopping and entertainment options. It’s not just a place for the locals; it’s a destination.

Economic Impact

The Streets at Southpoint plays a significant role in Durham’s economy. It’s not just about the revenue generated from sales; the mall also creates numerous jobs, from retail positions to management roles. It significantly contributes to the city’s tax revenue, helping fund public services and infrastructure projects.

Foot traffic data indicates the mall attracts many local and neighboring city visitors. This influx of shoppers benefits the mall and surrounding businesses, creating a ripple effect that boosts the local economy.

The Latest Developments

Significant changes are in store for The Streets at Southpoint in Durham, North Carolina. The Durham City Council recently approved a zoning change that will pave the way for significant expansions at the mall. The new plans include adding more office space, hotel rooms, and residential units.

The expansion had been delayed for years due to concerns about affordable housing. However, the mall’s owner, Brookfield, has committed to contributing $1 million to the city’s affordable housing fund. Additionally, the plan will introduce more bus stops and bike lanes in the area.

The specifics of the expansion include over 300,000 square feet of office space, nearly 1,400 residential units, 200 hotel rooms, and an expanded retail footprint. The mall aims to adapt to changing market conditions and compete with emerging commercial areas like Fenton and Raleigh Iron Works.

This development represents a significant shift in the mall’s role within the community, transitioning from a purely retail space to a mixed-use district. It also raises questions about the mall’s future impact on local housing and transportation and how it will continue to evolve to meet the needs of a changing consumer landscape.


The Streets at Southpoint is more than just a shopping center; it’s a part of Durham’s social and economic fabric. It’s a place where people come to shop, dine, and make memories. It’s a destination that offers something for everyone, from the young to the young at heart. So, stroll down this remarkable mall’s streets the next time you find yourself in Durham. You won’t be disappointed.

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