In an age where many shopping centers have suffered the fate of transforming into community colleges or pseudo-churches, NorthPark Center has seemingly found itself expanding towards ever-greater success. The most significant milestone in its history — the turning point at which the mall transformed to embrace a new era of retail — was its 1.2-million-square-foot, $250-million expansion in 2006.
NorthPark has long striven to cultivate a sense of a community among those who shop its 2 million square feet. Even after bringing more egalitarian offerings (such as a multiplex and food court) into its mix, the mall has continued to choosily curates its store selection — boasting a number of exclusive Dallas-Fort Worth outlets of major brands. Similarly, the mall monitors underperformers, with stores such as Forever 21, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Hollister, leaving within the next 16-18 months.
As NorthPark prepares to celebrate its 50th anniversary Saturday, let’s reflect upon the stores that represent the mall’s strong foundation and those emblematic of its 21st-century evolution.
The Old Guard
As original tenants of NorthPark, Neiman Marcus and Eiseman Jewels stores have helped solidify the mall’s infrastructure while growing along with it.
Serving as one of NorthPark’s four anchor stores, Neiman Marcus is known for its Dallas, roots as well as for helping make the city a shopping destination. The high-end department store’s second location, which was moved from Preston Center, opened in 1965 along with the mall, making it one of NorthPark’s longest tenants.
Last year, Eiseman Jewels celebrated its 50th anniversary with renovations – and the addition of a Rolex boutique.
The New Blood
Building on the mall’s reputation for attracting new and sometimes-innovative retailers, these stores have added to NorthPark’s momentum.
Welcoming the Seattle-based upscale fashion retailer in 2006 has paid off for NorthPark. The addition of the 200,000-square-foot department store not only gave the center a new façade but filled its new wing, doubling the size of the shopping center.
Another Dallas exclusive, the car-maker opened a storefront last year, offering customers the full Tesla experience with test drives of the Model S, which are parked at charging stations in the Macy’s garage. Above all, this is a new concept for traditional shopping malls.
Opening in November, the mall’s newest dining addition will offer reimagined American classics, all with a local touch. Inspired by Teddy Roosevelt, the restaurant was created by Dallas-based Turn The Tables Hospitality – the minds behind restaurants as SMOKE, Bolsa, Bolsa Mercado, as well as Chicken Scratch and its next-door bar The Foundry.