The Parks Mall at Arlington, TX: More Than Just Shopping

Unfolding the Tale

Nestled between Fort Worth and Dallas in South Arlington, Texas, The Parks Mall at Arlington, a bustling shopping hub, has woven itself into the fabric of the community. It’s not just a mall—a living, breathing entity that has grown and evolved with the city it calls home.

It all began in 1987, with Homart Development Company and Herring Marathon sowing the seeds of a shopping destination that would become integral to the city’s identity. The grand opening 1988 introduced the people of Arlington to an exciting new world of retail and entertainment.

The original anchor stores—Dillard’s, Mervyns, and Sears—quickly became household names, cementing their places in the hearts and minds of shoppers.

But The Parks Mall at Arlington was not content to stand still. In 1990, just two years after its grand opening, it expanded its horizon with the addition of Foley’s, which would later evolve into Macy’s, as the fourth anchor store. The mall continued to grow and change, mirroring the dynamic spirit of its patrons.

Dynamic Anchors of the Mall

Today, the mall stands as a testament to the enduring legacy of its anchor stores—JCPenney, Macy’s, Dillard’s, Nordstrom Rack, and Dick’s Sporting Goods—each with its unique narrative.

Dillard’s, one of the original anchors, opened its doors in 1988 and broadened its presence in 1991 with a vertical expansion. The store has become a symbol of the mall’s long-standing commitment to providing diverse shopping experiences.

JCPenney joined the mall’s family in 1996, adding another dimension to the retail landscape. Its presence brought fresh energy to the mall, further solidifying its status as a preferred shopping destination.

With its roots as Foley’s in 1990, Macy’s rebranded in 2006, showcasing the mall’s ability to adapt to changing market trends. It continues to be a shopper’s favorite, offering a wide range of products.

The story of Dick’s Sporting Goods exemplifies the mall’s versatility. What started as Galyan’s in 2003 morphed into Dick’s Sporting Goods just a year later, demonstrating the mall’s openness to change and progress.

Nordstrom Rack, the off-price retail division of Nordstrom Inc., has found a welcome home at The Parks Mall, becoming a quick favorite among the mall’s visitors.

Weathering the Pandemic Storm

When the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the globe, The Parks Mall at Arlington, like every other institution, had to adapt to a new normal. Yet, it did so in a way that exemplified its resilience and commitment to the community.

Chick-fil-A, one of the mall’s popular dining spots, rose to the challenge by introducing a temporary drive-thru service in the parking lot. This innovative approach allowed it to continue serving its customers while adhering to social distancing norms. The drive-thru was more than just a business move—it was a testament to Chick-fil-A’s dedication to its customers.

In addition to Chick-fil-A, several other businesses, including The Cheesecake Factory, offered curbside delivery. Customers could order online or by phone, pick up their orders without leaving their vehicles, and continue to enjoy their favorite foods and products.

In the face of adversity, The Parks Mall at Arlington survived and thrived. The mall updated its cleaning practices to ensure the safety of its customers and employees. It continued to be a beacon of normalcy and comfort for the community, even as the world outside its doors grappled with unprecedented change.

Dillard's Parks Mall at Arlington
Dillard’s Parks Mall at Arlington DFW FAA Brianvators, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Pillar in the Community

The Parks Mall at Arlington has always been more than a shopping center—it’s a cornerstone of the community. This was never more apparent than during the pandemic when the mall’s businesses sought to give back to those who had supported them through the years.

Chick-fil-A, for instance, expressed its gratitude to the healthcare workers of USMD Hospital at Arlington by offering free meals.

This act of kindness was a small yet poignant testament to the restaurant’s—and by extension, the mall’s—commitment to the community. The mall has always been a place of business, but events like these prove it is also a place of heart and humanity.

Macy's Parks Mall at Arlington
Macy’s Parks Mall at Arlington DFW FAA Brianvators, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Looking Back, Moving Forward

From its humble beginnings in 1988 to its evolution as a shopping powerhouse, The Parks Mall at Arlington has been a constant presence in the lives of the people of Arlington.

Its stores may change, its appearance may evolve, but its essence remains the same—a gathering place for the community, a symbol of progress, and a testament to the enduring spirit of Arlington.

The mall has demonstrated a remarkable ability to adapt and flourish through expansions, renovations, and even a global pandemic. The journey of The Parks Mall mirrors the journey of its city and its people—ever-changing, dynamic, and resilient.

To walk through The Parks Mall at Arlington is to walk through a living piece of Arlington’s history—a history that continues to be written with each passing day.

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