North Star Mall in San Antonio, TX: Must-Visit Shopping Center

Inception and Early Years

North Star Mall opened its doors on September 23, 1960. The Rouse Company developed this 250,000 sq ft shopping center at Loop 410 and San Pedro Avenue intersection. Initial tenants included Wolff and Marx, H-E-B, Walgreens, and 50 other shops offering various retail options.

In its early years, North Star Mall quickly became a central retail destination in San Antonio. The mall featured a fully enclosed shopping environment, which was innovative for its time.

Located strategically at the crossroads of Loop 410, the mall was easily accessible, drawing shoppers from all over the city and beyond.

To commemorate its opening, a time capsule was buried in 1960, scheduled to be opened 25 years later, in 1985. This marked a tradition for the mall to engage with its community and plan for the future.

Over the next few years, the mall saw various expansions and additions. It soon became clear that North Star Mall would be a central part of the things to do in San Antonio, Texas, providing a wide range of shopping and dining experiences for locals and visitors alike.

Expansions and Renovations

1963 North Star Mall expanded and welcomed Frost Bros. as a new anchor store. This expansion added more space and brought in more shoppers.

The next year, a two-screen movie theater opened, providing entertainment options beyond shopping.

By 1969, the mall had expanded again. Wolff and Marx moved into a new four-level building and rebranded as Joske’s.

A new two-level parking deck with a Texaco service station was added south of Joske’s, making the mall more convenient for visitors.

The early 1980s brought further changes. In 1982, a major renovation introduced food and music courts.

Foley’s, another key anchor store, took over H-E-B and Walgreens’ previously occupied sites. This renovation aimed to enhance the shopping experience and keep the mall competitive.

In 1985, North Star Mall added a new multi-level parking garage and a two-story wing. Saks Fifth Avenue opened as a new anchor store.

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The mall celebrated its 25th anniversary by opening the 1960 time capsule and placing a new one to be opened in 2010. These expansions and renovations kept the mall relevant and exciting for shoppers.

Changes in Ownership and Management

1974, Rodamco North America bought a 62.5% stake in North Star Mall. This change in ownership marked a new phase in the mall’s management.

The Rouse Company sold more of its stake in 2000, retaining less than 5% ownership. This shift in control reflected the mall’s evolving business dynamics.

The Rouse Company reassumed ownership in 2002 by purchasing the property back from Rodamco. This move brought stability and allowed for new development plans.

However, General Growth Properties acquired The Rouse Company in 2005, becoming the mall’s new owner. This acquisition paused some renovation plans but promised future improvements.

In 2006, Macy’s decided to close its 178,000-square-foot store at North Star Mall and rebranded the 250,000-square-foot Foley’s store as Macy’s, consolidating its presence.

General Growth Properties bought the Macy’s location from Federated in 2006, and JCPenney moved into the former Macy’s/Marshall Field’s space in 2007.

Brookfield Property Partners acquired General Growth Properties in 2018, transferring its portfolio management to Brookfield Properties.

These changes in ownership and management shaped North Star Mall’s trajectory. Each transition brought new opportunities and challenges, reflecting the mall’s importance in San Antonio’s retail landscape.

Iconic Features and Public Art

In 1980, North Star Mall added a unique feature that set it apart: a pair of 40-foot-tall cowboy boots.

These boots, created by artist Bob “Daddy-O” Wade, stood on the I-410 frontage road and quickly became a landmark. The mall celebrated the boots’ 40th anniversary in 2020, highlighting their lasting appeal.

Another memorable feature was the underground arcade, which was added in 1982 near the north entry. It housed stores like Expensive Toys for Big Boys and a record store.

Oshman’s Sporting Goods later took over this space but closed in the 1990s. These iconic features and public art pieces added character and drew visitors to the mall.

Anchor Stores and Retail Evolution

During the mid-1980s, the mall added new multi-level parking garages and another wing. These expansions included a new anchor, Marshall Field’s, and a new food court. Foley’s extended its store north, increasing its space to 256,000 square feet.

After being bought out in 1987, Joske’s rebranded as Dillard’s. Frost Bros. closed in 1989, and the Gucci boutique relocated next to Saks Fifth Avenue. These changes reflected the mall’s evolving retail landscape.

2006, Macy’s closed its smaller store and rebranded the larger Foley’s space. This move consolidated Macy’s presence and provided a flagship store for San Antonio shoppers.

JCPenney opened in the former Macy’s location on August 2, 2007. This addition brought new shoppers and revitalized the space.

Mervyns closed its store 2008, and Forever 21 moved into the vacant spot. This transition kept the mall vibrant and appealing.

The mall continued to attract notable stores. The Apple Store opened in 2008, drawing tech-savvy shoppers.

Michael Kors launched a store in 2010, just in time for the holiday season. These new retailers kept the mall’s offerings fresh and diverse.

Throughout its history, North Star Mall has adapted to changing retail trends. The mall consistently brought in new stores and updated its offerings to meet shoppers’ needs.

This evolution ensured that North Star Mall remained a key retail destination in San Antonio.

Major Events and Challenges

The mall celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2010. During this celebration, it opened the 1985 time capsule, reconnecting with its rich history.

The event also included placing a new time capsule, scheduled to be opened in 2035. This tradition of time capsules underscores the mall’s connection to its past and future.

In March 2020, North Star Mall faced an unexpected challenge. It closed for 24 hours to undergo disinfection after a visitor tested positive for COVID-19.

This event highlighted the mall’s commitment to public health and safety during the pandemic.

In 2023, North Star Mall welcomed several new stores, enhancing its diverse retail offerings. Round1 Bowling & Amusement and Zara opened their doors, drawing more visitors and adding to the mall’s vibrant atmosphere. These additions reflect the mall’s ongoing efforts to keep its retail mix fresh and appealing.

Incidents and Safety Concerns

Despite its bustling retail environment, North Star Mall has faced some challenges. On October 31, 2023, a shooting incident occurred involving a security guard who was hospitalized.

This was the third shooting incident at the mall in the past year, causing some shoppers to reconsider their visits.

The San Antonio police have been actively investigating these incidents and have increased security measures to ensure shopper safety.

Another alarming event took place involving a hatchet attack near the mall, which left a few people injured. These incidents have highlighted the need for enhanced security and have been a concern for the local community.

North Star Mall: Current Landscape and Tenants

Today, North Star Mall boasts over 170 specialty stores. Major anchors like Macy’s, JCPenney, Dillard’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Forever 21 draw a wide range of shoppers. These anchors provide stability and variety, catering to different shopping preferences.

Fashion and Apparel

North Star Mall houses an impressive array of fashion and apparel stores that cater to diverse tastes and styles.

  • Abercrombie & Fitch offers trendy casual wear for young adults, known for its distinctive style and quality.
  • American Eagle Outfitters provides casual and comfortable clothing that is popular among teenagers and young adults.
  • Aéropostale features laid-back and affordable fashion, targeting the teen demographic.
  • H&M brings fast fashion to shoppers, offering various reasonably priced clothing.
  • Zara presents chic and contemporary styles, appealing to a broad range of fashion enthusiasts.
  • Michael Kors’s luxury handbags, accessories, and stylish apparel stand out.
  • Kate Spade New York is known for its colorful and stylish accessories, handbags, and clothing.
  • Louis Vuitton offers high-end luxury goods, including handbags, accessories, and ready-to-wear.
  • Victoria’s Secret specializes in lingerie, sleepwear, and beauty products, and it is known for its iconic styles.
  • Torrid caters to plus-size women with trendy and stylish clothing options.

Jewelry and Accessories

The mall also features a range of jewelry and accessory stores, perfect for those looking to add a touch of elegance to their outfits.

  • Pandora provides customizable charm bracelets and a wide range of jewelry items.
  • Swarovski is known for its high-quality crystal jewelry and accessories.
  • Kay Jewelers offers a variety of fine jewelry, including engagement rings and fashion pieces.
  • Helzberg Diamonds provides an extensive selection of diamonds and fine jewelry.
  • Zales features a wide range of jewelry, from engagement rings to fashion accessories.
  • Brighton Collectibles offers fashion accessories, including handbags, jewelry, and more.


For footwear enthusiasts, North Star Mall offers several renowned stores that cater to different tastes and needs.

  • Aldo presents stylish and affordable footwear, along with accessories.
  • Dr. Martens is known for its iconic boots and footwear, which are popular for their durability and unique style.
  • Vans offers casual and skateboarding shoes, along with apparel and accessories.
  • Journeys provides a variety of trendy footwear, including sneakers, boots, and casual shoes.
  • Steve Madden features fashionable and on-trend shoes and accessories.
  • Foot Locker and its specialized sections, House of Hoops and Kids Foot Locker, offer a wide selection of athletic footwear and apparel.

Specialty Stores

North Star Mall also hosts several specialty stores that add to the shopping experience.

  • Apple attracts tech enthusiasts with its range of iPhones, iPads, Macs, and accessories.
  • Build-A-Bear Workshop allows customers to create and personalize their teddy bears and stuffed animals.
  • Lush offers handmade cosmetics and beauty products that are popular for their natural ingredients.
  • Sephora provides a wide range of beauty and cosmetic products from various high-end brands.
  • The LEGO Store is a paradise for fans of the iconic building blocks, offering a variety of sets and products.

Beyond the categories mentioned, North Star Mall has several other popular stores that enhance its appeal.

  • Coach is renowned for its luxury handbags and accessories.
  • Sunglass Hut offers a variety of designer sunglasses.
  • The Children’s Place provides stylish and affordable clothing for kids.

North Star Mall remains a vital part of San Antonio’s retail scene. Its mix of well-known anchors and unique specialty stores, combined with a strategic location and continuous updates, makes it a prime shopping destination.

Over the decades, the mall’s ability to evolve and adapt has cemented its status in the community.

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