The History and Demise of Valley View Center: A Once-Flourishing Mall in Dallas, TX
Valley View Center, a shopping mall located at the intersection of Interstate 635 and Preston Road in north Dallas, Texas, was once a bustling retail destination.
Developed in 1973, the mall experienced growth and expansion throughout the 1980s, but by the 1990s, it began to face financial challenges.
In 1990, Bloomingdale’s closed its location at the mall, leading to a legal dispute between its then-owner, LaSalle Street Fund, and Montgomery Ward, who attempted to acquire the empty anchor space.
The conflict resulted in the area remaining vacant until JCPenney opened there in 1996.
Anchor Stores Close, Theater Vacant: Valley View Center’s Decline Continues
Another blow to the mall came in 1991 when the original movie theater closed down, leaving the space empty for over a decade until it was renovated and replaced with studio spaces for radio stations KBFB and KZMJ.
A larger AMC movie theater was later opened in 2004, but the addition did not fully revive the mall’s fortunes.
In March 2008, Macy’s (who had acquired the department store Foley’s in 2006) closed its location at Valley View Center, followed by Dillard’s in December 2008 and JCPenney in April 2013.
Despite various proposed plans for renovation, all three anchor spaces remained vacant, contributing to the mall’s continued decline.
The Complicated Journey of Redeveloping Valley View Center: Current Status and Future Plans
Valley View Center‘s decline in recent years has prompted various efforts to redevelop the area. In 2011, the North Dallas Chamber of Commerce became involved in an initiative to coordinate the mall’s redevelopment and its surrounding vicinity.
The following year, new owners Beck Ventures announced a $2 billion plan to redevelop the mall and the surrounding property, naming it “Dallas Midtown.”
The Dallas Midtown Plan and Setbacks
The plan included luxury condominiums, a “five-star” hotel, and retail space. To fill vacant slots, storefronts were converted into artist studios and a gallery, and a mall was set to be constructed in collaboration with a local Spanish-language radio station.
Multiple food court restaurants were also expected to become test kitchens for local food trucks.
However, various challenges have arisen since the plan’s announcement in 2012, multiple challenges have arisen hindering the redevelopment’s progress. The second floor of El Mercado closed in May 2014, and the planned demolition was halted due to concerns about the impact on utilities in the remaining stores.
As a result, approximately $36 million in tax incentives from the City of Dallas were rescinded when Beck Ventures failed to raze the original mall site by the end of June 2016, as initially planned.
A later proposal by Beck Ventures in 2017 to offer $50 million in new incentives was rejected by the Dallas City Council. As a result, by early 2017, El Mercado was closed entirely.
Uncertain Future and Ongoing Discussions
In September 2017, a joint venture proposed using 100 acres of the original mall site as the location for Amazon HQ2, but this plan did not materialize.
On February 11, 2023, Valley View Center faced another setback when it caught fire. Approximately 50 firefighters responded to the two-alarm fire, which was later extinguished. The cause of the fire is still being investigated.
Today, Valley View Center is a dead mall owned and managed by Dallas-based Beck Ventures. The anchor stores that were once JCPenney, Macy’s, Sears, Sanger-Harris, and Dillard’s all sit empty, a stark reminder of the mall’s past glory and subsequent decline.
The mall’s future and surrounding area remain uncertain, with ongoing discussions about potential redevelopment plans. Despite the obstacles, various stakeholders continue to explore options to revive and reinvigorate the area, potentially bringing new life to what was once a thriving retail destination.