Results tagged “retail” from Raincross Square

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2011
Forever 21 - Galleria at Tyler, Riverside
Photo Gallery: The Broadway / Macy's / Forever 21


Following 5 years of vacancy -- and several months of renovation work -- the former Broadway / Macy's department store at Riverside's Galleria at Tyler mall is once again occupied.

Last weekend, the doors to the distinctive building reopened as Forever 21 relocated its smaller inline mall store into the much larger pad located at the north end of the enclosed center.

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October 1970
The Broadway
(Courtesy of Jim Van Schaak)

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2006
Macy's

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2011
Mall entrance

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2011
First level

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2011
Second level

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2011
North entrance

We're glad to see the building back in use. As we've previously stated, the building's cantilevered (one | two)* style of architecture showcases department store design from a now bygone era. Designed by Los Angeles-based architectural firm of Charles Luckman & Associates, the 164,000 sq. ft. store originally opened as The Broadway in 1970 as part of the then newly-built Tyler Mall.

For 26 years, The Broadway nameplate remained atop the iconic 3-story building. It was replaced by Macy's in 1996 after Federated Department Stores acquired Carter Hawley Hale Stores (parent company of The Broadway). In 2006, Federated again acquired a competing chain, this time May Department Stores. The acquisition resulted in Macy's relocating into the Galleria's freeway-friendly Robinson's-May building, leaving the former Broadway pad vacant -- until last Saturday.

This past July, Los Angeles-based Forever 21 began remodeling the vacant building. After seeing a similar move two years earlier by F21 into the former Harris' / Gottschalks department store at Riverside Plaza, we were a bit unsure what to expect. That particular "remodel" appeared to be not much more than carpet cleaning, a few splashes of paint and some signage. Passable, but certainly not a full makeover.

However, results at the Galleria remodel are remarkably different. On the outside, the building looks as good as ever. All three exterior entrances were remade, including a sleek makeover of the north entrance, which essentially turned the space into a large window display (something sorely missing in today's retail environment).

The interior remodel includes a clean and crisp design with touches of old-school department store flair. Though somewhat sparse in the middle sales floor areas, the makeover retained much of the former Broadway's "department store" partitions, particularly on the second floor.

Overall, we're pleasantly surprised with the makeover. The most jarring aspect was the remodeling of the escalator bank. The new look completely opened up the space by removing interior walls that had partially enclosed the escalators. Gone is the overhead lighting and interesting 1970s tiling that once lined the escalator walls. But more interesting is the disappearance of the escalators to the third floor. Published reports indicate F21 is occupying 106,000 of the building's 164,000 square feet, which begs the question -- what's going on up on level three?

Also unclear is how space for the former California Room restaurant that was part of the original Broadway store (and for which exterior windows are still visible) is being used. It's possible it may have been gutted under Macy's reign, but we're not sure.

In addition to the "missing" third floor, one other missing aspect left us scratching our heads. As part of its grand opening in 1970, The Broadway had placed a time capsule just outside the north entrance. For years, shoppers walked atop a metal plaque exclaiming that it was to be opened in 100 years (2070). However, as part of the remodeling of the north entrance, the time capsule is now gone. Where did it go? And what was in it?

Finally, yet to be answered is what will become of the Forever 21 currently at the Riverside Plaza. Speculation has F21 not renewing their lease for the former Harris' / Gottschalks building across town, which is said to expire in September 2012. And based upon the much more permanent makeover given to the Galleria store, that outcome seems likely.

And if so, what would happen to the Plaza building? Relocating Riverside's stand-alone Sears could be one option (though that could then leave the Charles Luckman & Associates designed Sears building in peril). But with fewer traditional department stores around these days, other options -- including demolition -- are possible.

However, we suppose the building's 204,000 square feet could entice a large, non-department store retailer the likes of Ikea, which could be a good fit. The Swedish retailer has no Inland locations and has previously refurbished a former 3-story department store at a Carson mall in Los Angeles County. So maybe doing the same at Riverside Plaza is indeed plausible?

Photo Gallery: The Broadway / Macy's / Forever 21

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* Courtesy of Jim Van Schaak

Sources: Riverside Public Library, The Press-Enterprise, Los Angeles Times, General Growth Properties, WikiPedia


3333 Arlington Avenue - Gemco / Target

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@1975
3333 Arlington Avenue
(Courtesy of Daniel Balboa / Riverside Fire Dept.)


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@1970
Gemco advertisement
(Courtesy of Gemco-Memco)

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A typical late 1960s / early 1970s
Gemco storefront
(Courtesy of Gemco-Memco)

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@2010
3333 Arlington Avenue
(Google Maps)

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Sept. 2011
3333 Arlington Avenue

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Nov. 2011
3333 Arlington Avenue

Currently undergoing an extensive remodel, 3333 Arlington Avenue is one of three Riverside locations for retail giant Target.

City permits indicate the building was originally built in 1970 for Gemco membership department stores. The value for the original 99,200 square-foot building was listed as $950,000. The architect was listed as Maxwell & Starkman Associates and the contractor as Ernest W. Hahn (who also built Riverside's original Tyler Mall).

A 4,365 square-foot gas station valued at $40,000 was also permitted in 1970. Located at the western edge of the property next to McMahon Street, the address for the station was listed as 3335/7 Arlington Avenue. A city permit was issued in 1995 to demolish the station. (The site is now used for parking.)

City permits indicate the adjacent retail strip -- Arlington Square -- on the eastern edge of the Arlington Avenue property was built in 1977.

Established in Anaheim in 1959, Gemco was acquired by Lucky (grocery) Stores in 1962, which expanded the chain throughout California, Nevada, Arizona and into Houston, Texas. The company also opened stores under the Memco banner in the Washington D.C. and Chicago areas.

In October 1986, Lucky Stores closed its Gemco division, selling 54 of the chain's 80 stores to Dayton-Hudson (Target Corp.). In 1987, Dayton-Hudson used the acquisition of the former Gemco stores -- including the Arlington Avenue building -- to expand its Target chain.

The Arlington Avenue Target was the second Riverside location for the Minneapolis-based chain. The first, located at 3520 Tyler Street, opened in 1983 (along with its then sister store, Mervyn's) in the former Treasury discount store building. The third location -- a newly constructed building located at 2755 Canyon Springs Parkway -- opened in 2003.

In 1979, a second Gemco location in Riverside opened at 10471 Magnolia Avenue near Tyler Street. A smaller attached building housed various other businesses, including a Nautilus Health Club and an Army-Navy-Air Force recruitment office.

After Gemco closed the Magnolia Avenue store, the main building was divided up for use as a Lucky's grocery store and Kids R Us clothing store. More recently, it had remained mostly vacant. A demolition permit was issued in 2008 and, excepting the parking lot and a small strip center at the western edge, the lot remains empty (one | two).

Nov. 2011 Update: Remodeling work has finished at the Arlington Avenue store. Besides the addition of a "Fresh Grocery" section, the store has been completely updated and reconfigured. And judging by these swanky ceiling lamps, someone at Target obviously understands the importance of design aesthetics. Also new is a Starbucks Coffee cafe area. View an updated photo gallery.


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Sources: City of Riverside, Los Angeles Times, WikiPedia, Groceteria.com


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July 2011
Renovation work

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July 2011
Mall entrance

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October 1970
The Broadway
(Courtesy of Jim Van Schaak)

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2006
Macy's

After nearly 5 years of being vacant, renovation work has begun on the former Broadway/Macy's department store at the Galleria at Tyler in Riverside. Unofficial reports have clothing retailer Forever 21 relocating from a smaller store elsewhere in the mall into the much larger, 3-story building.

Opening with the then-Tyler Mall in 1970, the 164,000 sq. ft. store for The Broadway was designed by Los Angeles-based architectural firm of Charles Luckman & Assoc. The building's cantilevered (one | two)* style of architecture showcases department store design from a now bygone era.

Also of note was the store's original interior, which had a bit of late 1960s flair. Designed by Jim Van Schaak, it was honored as "Department Store of the Year" in the national "Store Interior Design" competition.

In 1996, The Broadway chain -- and its sister stores, Emporium and Weinstock's -- was purchased by Federated Department Stores, becoming part of Federated's Macy's West division. As with most stores in the newly-acquired chain, the Riverside location was re-branded as a Macy's.

In 2005, Federated purchased May Department Stores, parent of several regional chains, including Robinson's-May, Marshall Field's, Foley's, Filene's and Caldor. This resulted in duplicate properties at several malls, including at Riverside's Galleria at Tyler. As such, the Riverside Macy's relocated in late 2006 across the mall into the Robinson's-May building (2000 | 2006), leaving the former Broadway building vacant.

Recently, work began on renovating the vacant Broadway space. Associates at the mall have indicated the building is being spruced up for Forever 21, which currently occupies a much smaller store within the mall.

Established in 1984, Forever 21 has been on a major expansion the past few years. The Los Angeles-based clothing chain has been gobbling up several vacant department stores, a departure from its typical small-store format.

One such large store is the former Harris' / Gottschalks building at Riverside Plaza (one | two | three). With three floors (plus basement) and 204,000 total square feet, it's one of the largest buildings in the Forever 21 chain. However, only two of the building's three above-ground floors are currently in use (one | two | three | four).

Which begs the question -- will Forever 21 keep both large-format stores open?

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1973
Tyler Mall
The Broadway**
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2006
Vacant Macy's
(former Broadway)
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2007
Vacant Macy's
(former Broadway)


* Courtesy of Jim Van Schaak
** Courtesy of Patricksmercy

Sources: Riverside Public Library, The Press-Enterprise, Wikipedia, Jim Van Schaak


Riverside's Galleria at Tyler mall turns 40

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1970
Press-Enterprise special section
RPL


In a fanfare of Spanish fashioned pageantry, Riverside's new Tyler Mall will be trumpeted to a formal opening tomorrow morning, the 64-acre shopping center adding $40 million stature to the city's retail sphere. It is the first mall-under-roof in the city.

That's how the local newspaper -- The Press-Enterprise -- described the city's new retail mecca 40 years ago in an October 11, 1970 special section highlighting the mall's grand opening.

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1976
GRCC

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1976
Tyler Mall
GRCC

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2006
Galleria at Tyler

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2010

At over 800,000 sq. ft., the indoor Tyler Mall (now Galleria at Tyler) was nearly double the size of the city's other major shopping center, the outdoor Riverside Plaza, which opened as the Inland area's first regional shopping center in 1956/57. The new mall's developer and general contractor was Ernest W. Hahn of Los Angeles. The architect was Jon Jerde of Burke, Kober, Nicolais and Archuleta, A.I.A., Los Angeles.

Joining anchors The Broadway* and JCPenney** were more than 80 stores (including a two-level, 61,000 sq. ft. Woolworth's) stretched along a 1,000 foot-long, single-level corridor. Parking for 5,000 cars surrounded the mall. The opening of the third major anchor, May Co.,*** was delayed until July 1973.

Some of the mall's initial tenants included standard national and regional chains of the time: Kinney Shoes, See's Candies, Singer Sewing Co., Weisfield's Jewelers, Swiss Colony, Fashion Conspiracy, Thom McAnn Shoes, The Show-Off, Ardens and Gallenkamp Shoes. Also present were a few smaller chains and local shops, including Tinder Box (which remains today), Jeanne's, Kirk Jewelers and Cheney's Music (which relocated from downtown Riverside where it had been since 1944).

The mall also included several outparcel pads, including JCP and Broadway tire centers, a gas station, Howard Johnson's Restaurant, United California Bank (currently Wells Fargo), Anaheim Savings, and United Artists Theaters, which originally opened as a twin theater before quickly doubling to four. It stood where Barnes & Noble is today.

Many of the original stores and chains have long since been replaced. Probably the most missed tenant of all, however, is Farrell's Ice Cream Parlour, which faced Magnolia Avenue** near where Yard House stands today. (Ordering "the Zoo" at Farrell's was standard practice during kids' birthday parties in the 1970s and early 1980s.)

In May 1990, work began on a major expansion that included a fourth department store (Nordstrom), second level of shops and two parking garages. When the grand reopening took place on October 17, 1991, the mall had a new name -- Galleria at Tyler. At the time, plans had been approved for up to two more department stores (for a total of six***), but the 1993 merger of J.W. Robinson's with May Co. -- forming Robinson's-May -- scuttled at least one of those. Subsequent mergers has seen Macy's replace both The Broadway (1996) and Robinson's-May (2006), the latter resulting in the vacancy of the former Broadway building.

Today, the Galleria at Tyler sports over 170 stores and 1.2 million leaseable space. Modest outparcel expansions took place in 2001 (Barnes & Noble) and 2006/2007 (AMC Theaters, Yard House, Cheesecake Factory, PF Chang's, Elephant Bar and Robbins Bros.). In 2008, the center's large, freeway-visible sign was replaced. It had last been updated in 1991, which was a replacement for the original 1970 version*). The sign was updated again in 2010 with the addition of the center's major anchors.

A more in-depth look at the mall and how it came about can be found here: Then & Now - Galleria at Tyler

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* Courtesy of Donahue-Schriber
** Courtesy of RPL
*** Courtesy of Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce
Sources: The Press-Enterprise, Riverside Public Library, Donahue-Schriber, General Growth Properties, Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce


From Treasury to Mervyn's to Kohl's

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Oct. 2010
3520 Tyler Street, Riverside


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1979
The Treasury

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2008
Side entrance for former Mervyn's

About 2 weeks back, a new Kohl's opened in Riverside, one of 21 stores the Wisconsin-based chain opened that week across the U.S. It is the second Kohl's in Riverside with the other store situated on Van Buren Boulevard in the Orangecrest area.

Located across from the Galleria at Tyler mall, the new Kohl's opened adjacent to Target in the space previously occupied by Mervyn's, which closed in early 2009. The entire building -- including the portion that currently includes Target -- opened in 1972 to house a store from the discount division of JCPenney known as The Treasury.

Shortly after the closing of The Treasury chain, the 185,000 sq. ft. building was divided for use by both Target and Mervyn's, with the latter occupying 79,000 sq. ft. when it opened in mid-1983.

During the recent renovation for Kohl's, we were surprised to see the uncovering of the iconic "squiggly roof" that The Treasury was known for. As expected, the kooky roofline was eventually replaced by a new facade. We can only hope some elements of the mid-century inspired roofline remain hidden for possible future re-discovery.

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Sources: The Press-Enterprise, City of Riverside, Riverside Public Library


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May 2010
3520 Tyler Street, Riverside
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1979 advertisement
Greater Riverside
Chambers of Commerce


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1991
Target (on left) & Mervyn's

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2010
Unhidden squiggly

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2010
Kohl's incoming

This past weekend, we stumbled upon a bit of retail archeology when we noticed the false-front of a now-shuttered Mervyn's had been removed to reveal the zig-zag roofline of the building's original occupant -- The Treasury. (The removal is part of refurbishing the former Mervyn's space for an incoming Kohl's, expected to open in September 2010.)

For those who don't remember, The Treasury was the discount division of JCPenney, which acquired the small chain (also known as Treasure Island in some parts of the U.S.) from General Merchandise Co. in 1962. Many of the stores sported a zig-zag roofline above the main entrance, which became part of the chain's advertising slogan of "Under the squiggly roof."

The stores were quite large, often in excess of 150,000 sq. feet. Permits from 1971 show the Riverside location at just under 185,000 sq. ft. (plus an 11,600 sq. ft. basement). To help patrons navigate the expansive sales floor, several colored lines designating the major departments (housewares, electronics, toys, womens' clothing, etc.) fanned out on the floor from the main entrance leading shoppers toward the desired department.

The Riverside store, located at 3520 Tyler Street, opened in 1972 and closed in 1981 when JCP shut down the then money-losing discount chain. Permits indicate the Riverside location was developed by Ernest W. Hahn, who also opened the then Tyler Mall (Galleria at Tyler) across the street in 1970.

In early 1983, Minneapolis-based Dayton-Hudson purchased the former Treasury site in Riverside, partitioning the large building for use as both a Target and Mervyn's. A Press-Enterprise article from July 1983 indicates Mervyn's spent $7.7 million over 4 months to refurbish its portion of the building (approximately 79,000 sq. ft.). (Interesting to note, the article also states Mervyn's had been looking for a site in the city since 1975 -- prior to the chain's 1978 acquisition by Dayton-Hudson -- but was unable to find a suitable location.)

Around 1992, Target enlarged their portion of the building slightly by expanding outward along the store's Diana Avenue (freeway side) frontage.

In mid 2008, Mervyn's -- now no longer part of Target Corp. (formerly Dayton-Hudson) -- filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, eventually leading to the shuttering of the chain by early 2009. The Riverside location remained vacant until the recent renovation by Kohl's.

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2008
Mervyn's
signage
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2008
Concealed zig-zags
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2008
Tyler street facade


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2010
Post
Mervyn's
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2010
Zig-zags revealed
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2010
Tyler street facade


Sources: The Press-Enterprise, City of Riverside, Riverside Public Library, WikiPedia


Postcard: Harvest House at the Tyler Mall

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Harvest House Cafeteria
3535 Tyler Mall
Riverside, Calif. 92503
We invite you to visit other Harvest House locations throughout the United States and Canada


This October will mark the 40th anniversary of the Tyler Mall in Riverside. Previously, we did an overview of how the mall came into existence and how it came to be as it's known today -- Galleria at Tyler. In the coming months, we'll add a few more posts about various aspects of the mall. For now, we begin with one of the few postcards we can find associated with the mall itself -- Harvest House cafeteria.

... in 1954, (F.W. Woolworth) began setting up its own chain of cafeterias and restaurants, named Harvest House. Located near, usually adjoining, Woolworth stores, the new Harvest House restaurants, with their cornucopia insignia, were not intended to take the place of the in-house lunch counters and soda fountains, but to supply more leisurely settings for customer dining."
F.W. Woolworth and the American Five and Dime
(2003, Jean Maddern Pitrone)

The Tyler Mall Harvest House opened with the mall in October 1970. It was situated on the mall's southeastern side halfway between anchors JCPenney and May Co. (though May Co. would not open until 1973). Immediately adjacent to Harvest House was a 61,000 sq. ft., 2-story Woolworth's (today, the former Woolworth's basement serves as a Tuesday Morning outlet).

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1970
Grand Opening

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1970
Harvest House

According to a Press-Enterprise article on the mall's grand opening, the general manager of the new Woolworth's was Larry G. Shappart while the manager for Harvest House was Francis A. Costanzo.

One variation of Harvest House's "Colonial" theme (as seen in the postcard above) gave the cafeteria style restaurant a down-home "Americana" feel. But the wood brown paneling with red carpet and green-hued walls also made it feel dated and dreary (at least to us kids). And when the dining room was near empty, as it often seemed at the Tyler Mall location, it felt more like a mausoleum than a restaurant. Only the occasional kitchen noise and faint sounds of shopping activity drifting in through the entrance from Woolworth's would break the eerie silence.

Moreover, one of the strangest aspects of Harvest House was the indoor mall entrance itself, which consisted of an elaborate blue, mansard-style facade with a large cornucopia underneath as part of the "Harvest House" signage. (As a kid, nothing says mystery food better than a strange looking cornucopia. There was also a larger, much creepier version adorning a dining room wall.)

Once past the semi-formal entryway, patrons encountered a long narrow hallway -- separated from the dining area -- leading back to the cafeteria service. (Again, as a kid, this is where the trepidation, wondering what kind of awful food is actually served here, would begin -- assuming you hadn't already begged your parents to go to McDonald's instead).

By 1976, there were 50 Harvest House cafeterias in existence, with even more lunch counters/cafes still in operation inside many Woolworth's (including, at one time, a small cafe attached to the Tyler Mall store). Surprisingly, Harvest House lasted well into the 1980s, with the last one closing in the mid-1990s (we seem to recall the Tyler Mall HH had closed by 1990). Woolworth's itself would succumb in 1997, though the parent company lives on in the form of its most successful division -- Foot Locker.

Photo Gallery: Galleria at Tyler

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Sources: City of Riverside, Riverside Public Library, The Press-Enterprise, WikiPedia


Forever 21 at Riverside Plaza

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This weekend marked the grand opening of Forever 21 clothing stores inside former Gottschalks/Harris' buildings at Riverside Plaza and Hemet Valley Mall. The stores are part of the Los Angeles-based retailer's aggressive growth plans that includes new large-format stores, many of which are currently taking up residence within former Mervyn's and Gottschalks stores.

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2009
Forever 21

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1964
Harris'

In excess of 50,000 sq. ft. -- well above the majority of the chain's existing mall stores, most of which are under 10,000 sq. ft. -- these larger stores will include a wide-ranging mix of clothing and accessories for both men, women and youth. More recently, the chain began opening 20,000 sq. ft. stores, including a location at The Shoppes at Chino Hills.

Initially, the Riverside location will take up 90,000 sq. ft. on two levels of the 204,000 sq. ft., 3-story store, which opened in 1957 as Harris'. Future plans call for possible expansion into some of the third floor, likely making it one of the largest stores in the chain. What will eventually become of the unused portions of the building -- including a basement -- remain unknown.

Earlier this year, the chain opened a large-format store in a former Mervyn's store in Victorville. A fourth Inland Southern California store is expected to open later this fall inside a former 3-story, Macy's/Broadway department store at Inland Center mall in San Bernardino. Once fully occupied, it will likely rival the Riverside location in eventual size.

It'll be interesting to watch how these new large-format stores evolve -- and perform -- for the mostly youth-oriented clothing chain. At the very least, the re-using of the former Gottschalks/Harris' (Riverside) and Macy's/Broadway (San Bernardino) have forestalled any potential demolition of the mid-century department store buildings.

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Sources: The Press-Enterprise, Riverside Plaza, City of Riverside


(Harris') Gottschalks gone

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July 2009
Store closing

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July 2009
Sign says it all

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July 2009
Final day

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1964
Back in the day

This past weekend saw the end of an era as Fresno-based Gottschalks closed for good on Sunday. For local folks, this also means an end to what once was the remnants of San Bernardino-based The Harris Co., which operated 7 department stores across Inland Southern California before the chain was sold to Gottschalks in 1998.

At the Riverside Plaza location, shoppers crowded parts of the first floor to buy merchandise that had been reduced up to 95% in the store's final days. Also up for sale were fixtures and even signage. Other areas of the selling floor had already been stripped bare of most merchandise.

The 3-story (plus basement) store will be transformed into a large-format Forever 21, which is expected to open sometime in August. Yet to be made public is exactly how much of the 204,000 sq. ft. former Gottschalks will be used by Forever 21. It's possible sub-leasing might take place.

As for both Gottschalks and Harris', what began in 1904 and 1905 respectively, is now history. The story behind both chains offer similar parallels, each having been founded by newly immigrated German families (Emil Gottschalk and Philip, Herman and Arthur Harris respectively).

Although Gottschalks grew much faster as a chain in the post-war years relative to Harris', both chains remained independently owned for many decades, thriving on local control and insights. For Harris', this led to a very loyal customer base, becoming what many considered the Marshall Field's of the Inland region.

By 1981, however, the smaller Harris' chain was facing stiffer competition against the larger department stores. It was at this time that third-generation members of the Harris family decided to sell the Inland Southern California chain to Spanish retailer El Corte Ingles.

And by the time of their 1998 merger -- in which the 7 local Harris' stores were re-branded as Harris'-Gottschalks -- both chains were beginning to struggle against the national department stores and discount chains. Within 10 years, signs of possible selling off to larger chains began to surface at Gottschalks, none of which managed to fully materialize. As such, it was a dire economy that finally ended the chain for good as Gottschalks filed for bankruptcy in early 2009.

In today's mega-franchise retailing environment, such personalized regional chains are a rarity (and likely to become even more so). And with Sunday's closure of the 58-store Gottschalks chain -- most of which were located in California -- the last remnants of Harris' is no more as well.

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Update

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July 2009
Last day!
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July 2009
Empty cases
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July 2009
Clearing out
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July 2009
Display sales


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July 2009
Escalator up
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July 2009
Nothing left
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July 2009
RIP
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July 2009
'H' for Harris'



Sources: City of Riverside, The Press-Enterprise, Fresno Bee, Riverside Plaza, "The Harris Company" (Aimmee L. Rodriguez, Richard A. Hanks, Robin S. Hanks)


Then & Now - Sears

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In 1964, after nearly 35 years in downtown Riverside, Sears Roebuck & Co. opened a new, larger "suburban-style" store about 5 miles southwest of its former Main Street store.

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Then & Now
Riverside Sears: 1964 - 2008
Flash: View photo overlay

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@2009
Area overview
MS Virtual Earth

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@2009
Store overview
MS Virtual Earth

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Mid-1960s
Full parking lot

Located on 19 acres at the northeast corner of Arlington and Streeter avenues, the 93,000 sq. ft., $3 million store was Sears' largest store in Inland Southern California when it opened. As a "Class A" store, it offered the retailers' complete line of merchandise -- both hard and soft goods. It also included a full-service automotive fueling and repair station. And, according to a Press-Enterprise article from November 1963, it included a 76-seat restaurant. (Can anyone confirm whether the restaurant opened, and if so, how long it remained?)

Though the iconic green Sears script logo, the gas station, the restaurant -- if there ever was one -- and the aroma of freshly-popped popcorn so many of us remember as kids are all long gone, the store itself remains much as it did in 1964, with a ground-level sales floor and full basement.

Outside, the exterior sports the classic "California" motif with mid-century facade, flagstone veneer and palm trees sprouting up through the overhangs. This design, seen in several west coast (a) stores built during the 1960s, was a product of Los Angeles-based Charles Luckman (b) & Associates (who also designed the former Broadway (c)/Macy's store at Riverside's Galleria at Tyler). For those interested, Lindgren & Swinnerton was the general contractor for the new store.

Prior to the Arlington Avenue location, Riverside's first Sears store opened in 1929 near the corner of Fifth and Main streets (near today's Marriott Hotel). Nine years later, on June 2, 1938, a newly-relocated Sears opened at 3700 Main Street. The new store, which replaced the 1890 Rubidoux Building, included two floors, a mezzanine and basement. It also provided "drive-up" service to an automotive center (d) in an adjacent building located at the rear (where Mario's restaurant is today). Enclosed skybridges provided access between the two buildings. For several years recently, the former Main Street Sears has housed the popular Mission Galleria antiques.

It's interesting to note the Arlington Avenue Sears is a bit of an anomaly in Southern California in that it is not located at or near a mall, but in fact is a full-size, stand-alone store. Most SoCal Sears, particularly those built post-1960, anchor malls, including nearby stores in San Bernardino, Montclair and Moreno Valley. But with the recent announcement of Gottschalks' bankruptcy and liquidation -- which will create a vacancy at the Riverside Plaza -- will Riverside's Sears make the move to a mall?

Flash: Riverside Sears: 1964 - 2008

More: RaincrossSquare.com - Then & Now

riv-2008c-sears-022-600.jpg
2008
"California" motif
riv-2009f-sears-024-600.jpg
2009
East entrance
riv-2009f-sears-002a-600.jpg
2009
1960s logo


riv-2009f-sears-004-450.jpg
2009
Stairwell
riv-2009f-sears-010-600.jpg
2009
Escalators
riv-2009f-sears-014-600.jpg
2009
Basement
riv-2009f-sears-008-450.jpg
2009
Ground floor


riv-2008c-sears-007a-600.jpg
2008
Sleek facade
riv-2009f-sears-027-600.jpg
2009
Automotive center
riv-2009c-dt-main-3700-009-400.jpg
2009
Old Main
Street Sears
riv-2008fn-dt-galleria-004-450.jpg
2008
Old Main
Street Sears



(a) Courtesy of Malls of America
(b) Loyola Marymount University - Charles Luckman Collection
(c) Courtesy of Jim Van Schaak
(d) Courtesy of RPD Remembers



Sources: City of Riverside, The Press-Enterprise, "Colony for California" (Tom Patterson)


Local malls holding their own

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On the heels of the worst holiday shopping season since 1969, the nation's retail landscape is likely headed for moderate changes as weak and battered retailers file for bankruptcy protection, close stores and/or shut down entirely. The transformation could see shoppers, both nationally and locally, greeted in the coming months with more than a few empty storefronts lining the halls and pathways of their favorite malls and shopping centers.

Thus far, former retail giants Circuit City, Mervyn's and KB Toys have each announced full closures, while regional department store Gottschalks recently filed for bankruptcy protection. Though the closures of the former have affected nearly every mall nationwide, Gottschalks -- if forced to close -- could spell additional trouble locally as the Fresno-based retailer has anchor stores at 7 area malls. (It could also bring a final end to a local retail empire that began in 1905 as The Harris Company).

Another potentially large impact locally is whether national mall owners will shed some or all local malls as they struggle under the weight of debt during a very tight credit market. With the possibility of reorganization on the horizon, Chicago-based General Growth Properties -- owner of four local malls, including three of the region's largest -- in particular could add additional stress to the local retail scene.

So, where does this recent -- and potentially future -- turbulence leave local malls? Let's take a closer look at each.


sb-2006-carousel-050.jpg
2006
Carousel Mall

Carousel Mall - San Bernardino

For all intents and purposes, this mall is already dead. Opened with great fanfare as Central City Mall in 1972, the 37-year-old, Victor Gruen-designed center began its decline in the mid-1990s, not long after being rechristened as the Carousel Mall. In 2000, the flagship Harris' department store closed (it had opened independently in 1927). The remaining anchors, Montgomery Ward and JCPenney departed soon thereafter (2002 and 2003 respectively). Although a planned mixed-use redevelopment has stalled, it's not likely the few remaining stores will survive the current retail environment.


red-mall-002.jpg
2001
Redlands Mall

Redlands Mall

Tiny by mall standards, the Redlands Mall is likely to be the next area mall to fall -- particularly if General Growth Properties reorganizes and/or Gottschalks closes. Such a closure would leave the 32-year-old mall without its only department store. However, this may not be such a bad thing as it could expedite pending redevelopment of the downtown block into a mixed-use project that will both complement and enhance the existing retail and commercial uses on State Street.


hem-2003-mall-001.jpg
2003
Hemet Valley Mall

Hemet Valley Mall

HVM is another relatively tiny mall that could potentially be greatly impacted by Gottschalks' bankruptcy. A closure by Gottschalks here would leave the 29-year-old mall with two anchors (JCPenney and Sears). However, with the Hemet-San Jacinto area primed for future growth (and still relatively underserved retail-wise), it's doubtful an empty anchor would remain unused over the long haul. The center's biggest threat is likely to be any future large-scale retail development that may occur nearby in the coming years.


sb-2006f-inland-009.jpg
2006
Inland Center

Inland Center - San Bernardino

With the fall of Mervyn's, which had been slated to fill the shuttered Broadway/Macy's, and the recent bankruptcy announcement by Gottschalks, this mall is probably the largest local mall potentially on shaky ground. The 43-year-old center could very well end the year with two of four anchor pads empty (leaving Macy's and Sears). However, with the all-but-final demise of nearby Carousel Mall nearly complete, coupled with potentially having two available department store pads, Inland Center could also have a slight advantage redevelopment-wise when the economy picks back up.


cor-2006f-doslagos-012.jpg
2006
Promenade Shops

The Promenade Shops at Dos Lagos - Corona

Another small, non-traditional mall, The Promenade Shops in Corona could be the newest center that's struggling the most. Depending upon how the national retail landscape shakes out, the center's lack of large department stores could either hurt or help. In the short term, the 3-year-old center could very well see some store closings. However, its location within a high-growth and higher-end demographic corridor likely assures a future of some sort (though it could use help increasing its visibility). It also has that unique lake/bridge feature to boot. Even so, its biggest threat is the nearby Galleria at Tyler in Riverside, which includes a Nordstrom, Macy's and over 100 more stores than does Dos Lagos.


mv-2006f-mall-026.jpg
2006
Moreno Valley Mall

Moreno Valley Mall at Towngate

Already impacted by last year's closure of its Gottschalks store (which remains empty), the Moreno Valley Mall could see significant impacts from any potential reorganization of General Growth Properties. The 17-year-old center was slated to receive a Steve & Barry's, until that company joined the ranks of shuttered retailers last fall. However, with three other anchors -- Macy's, JCPenney and Sears -- the mall, which has struggled in the past, remains relatively healthy. Likewise, future long-term growth to the east and south favor its survival.


riv_2005_plaza_ss_041.jpg
2005
Riverside Plaza

Riverside Plaza

Another one-anchor mall that could be greatly impacted by any potential closure of Gottschalks is the venerable Riverside Plaza. As the region's oldest, large-scale shopping center, the 52-year-old, Victor Gruen Associates-designed Plaza has been performing well since its third incarnation opened in 2005 (which is less mall and more dining and entertainment). On one hand, a closure of Gottschalks would offer a unique opportunity for just the right anchor to step in and assume the 204,000 sq. ft., 4-level building (maybe an IKEA?). However, it could lead to the demolishing of the region's oldest, "modern" department store (and first, large-scale Harris' to be built beyond the flagship store in downtown San Bernardino). Yet, among the smaller malls of the region, Riverside Plaza is most likely to weather the turbulence.


ont-mills-016.jpg
2001
Ontario Mills

Ontario Mills

Though more outlet center than traditional mall, the gigantic Ontario Mills recently had its own brush with fate as the beleaguered Mills Corp was acquired by Simon Property Group in early 2007. It's difficult to say exactly how Ontario Mills will be affected by the retail downturn as its size -- and lower-grade store makeup -- is probably as much an asset as it is a liability. In some sense, the lack of traditional department store anchors might be beneficial. Likewise, the area surrounding the 13-year-old center has become a strong magnet for peripheral commercial uses, attracting everything from major big-box retailers and traditional strip centers to mid-range hotels. But this has led to unfriendly traffic levels (and very unfriendly pedestrian atmosphere) and possibly over-saturation. However, its location at the highly visible junction of the I-10 and I-15 likely assures its long-term future -- in one form or another.


chs-2008f-shoppes-024a.jpg
2008
The Shoppes

The Shoppes at Chino Hills

About the size of Corona's Promenade Shops but with the look of Victoria Gardens, The Shoppes at Chino Hills will likely weather the current retail turbulence. Its location adjacent to the city's new (and future) civic center coupled with the area's high-end demographics likely assures a future for the small, 1-year-old center. However, its lack of traditional department stores and insufficient parking could be a significant hindrance. As such, the center's biggest threat is the nearby Montclair Plaza, which offers both a Nordstrom and Macy's (and many more stores).


mon-2008f-plaza-sign-002a.jpg
2008
Montclair Plaza

Montclair Plaza

As one of the area's largest and oldest indoor malls, the Montclair Plaza recently underwent a moderate interior renovation. With anchors Nordstrom, Macy's, JCPenney and Sears, it has traditionally been one of the strongest malls in the region. Yet, the 41-year-old center does have an empty anchor (the former Broadway/Macy's) and could be impacted by any potential reorganization of its owner (General Growth Properties). It also faces stiff competition from newer, higher-end developments nearby (Shoppes at Chino Hills and Victoria Gardens). However, the mall is more than likely to weather anything excepting a major transformation of the retail landscape.


riv-2006f-galleria-058.jpg
2006
Galleria at Tyler

Galleria at Tyler - Riverside

With anchors Nordstrom, Macy's and JCPenney, the Galleria at Tyler is both one of the largest and strongest traditional malls in the region. Solidified by recent expansions that included AMC Theaters, Yard House, The Cheesecake Factory and PF Chang's, the 39-year-old center is likely to weather anything but a major retail shake up. Yet, it too is owned by General Growth Properties and also has an existing empty anchor (the former Broadway/Macy's). However, its freeway-adjacent location between higher-end demographics in both Riverside and Corona more than likely assures the center's long-term viability.


tem-2006f-mall-008.jpg
2006
The Promenade

The Promenade in Temecula

Probably the most insulated mall in the region, Temecula's Promenade stands on relatively solid ground. With four anchors -- Macy's-north, Macy's-south, JCPenney and Sears -- and few large-scale competitors nearby, the 10-year-old center dominates the southwestern Riverside County retail market. As with Montclair Plaza and Galleria at Tyler, the Promenade will withstand anything but a major retail shake up. And, along with Victoria Gardens, it will likely be in the running for the region's next Nordstrom.


cuc-2006f-vicgardens-038.jpg
2006
Victoria Gardens

Victoria Gardens - Rancho Cucamonga

Probably the strongest and certainly the most unique mall in the region, Victoria Gardens is likely to weather most anything excepting a major transformation of the retail landscape. Its solid reputation, above-average store mix and pleasant outdoor atmosphere puts this center on relatively solid ground. It also contains the city's cultural center (with library and playhouse). The only foreseeable scenario potentially affecting the 5-year-old center would be the closing or consolidation of one or both Macy's anchors (one | two). Such closures could potentially leave the 3-anchor mall with a single anchor (JCPenney). However, its highly likely a retailer the likes of Nordstrom would quickly snap up any empty anchor store.



Related

Sources: Los Angeles Times, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, The Press-Enterprise


Pedestrian mall renovation begins

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Last week saw the beginning of the multi-phase renovation of the Main Street Pedestrian Mall in downtown Riverside. The nearly $10 million dollar project, which is currently underway on two blocks between Tenth Street and University Avenue, is the first overall makeover in the 42-year history of the pedestrian mall. Completion of the 4-block project is expected in mid-2009.

riv-2008f-dt-mall-027a-600.jpg
March 2008
View south from University Avenue
toward City Hall

riv-2008-dt-mall-008-600.jpg
March 2008
View north toward University Avenue
from City Hall

The project includes extensive underground infrastructure improvements that will require re-surfacing of the mall's walkways, many of which have suffered from patchwork fixes over the years. Although such extensive resurfacing will no doubt be a bit of an inconvenience, we think the resurfacing is long-overdue regardless of the need for underground work.

Plans also call for a 5,000 square foot "civic plaza" between University and Mission Inn avenues with an overhead tensile fabric roof providing shade during the summer months. The area would allow for larger gatherings as well as better accommodate the ice rink for the annual Festival of Lights. New benches, lighting, speakers, additional electronic surveillance and better access for the disabled round out the project.

Probably the most controversial aspect of the renovation has been with regards to the landscaping, and in particular, the proposed removal of a number of large, mature trees. Fortunately, the project's landscape architect -- Riverside-based Ian Davidson -- has since revised the number of mature trees being removed. In the end, Davidson says the renovated mall will have more trees than it did prior to the makeover.

Another part of the plan includes the re-opening of Ninth Street through the mall near City Hall. Though we have some reservations about this particular aspect, we're glad the design calls for a smaller, two-lane roadway with limited parking as opposed to a wide, four-lane arterial.

Built in 1966, the mall is one of the few remaining, original "pedestrian malls" developed by cities during the 1960s as a way to help stem the outflow of retail to suburban malls. Although many such malls have since disappeared -- including a similar mall in nearby Burbank -- Riverside's has managed to weather the lean years and is now poised to thrive as a new era begins taking shape downtown.

We're glad to see the pedestrian mall get the much needed upgrades and repairs. But more importantly, we're glad to see the mall still in existence and that a growing number of residents, businesses and visitors alike are beginning to better appreciate this truly unique asset.

Photo Gallery: Main Street Pedestrian Mall

Previous

Sources: City of Riverside, Ian Davidson Landscape Architecture, The Press-Enterprise


Out & About - 02/23/2008

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Trips to local malls this weekend brought evidence of renovation and change at two of the region's largest shopping centers.

First up, a quick stop at the Galleria at Tyler in Riverside saw the removal of the center's 1991 sign, itself a replacement for the orignial 1970 sign*.

With the recent additions to the mall of an AMC theater complex and several restaurants, including Yard House and The Cheesecake Factory, new freeway signage is not completely unexpected. In fact, we spotted new signage recently at the newly expanded parking garage that hinted a new logo -- and new colors -- might be forthcoming.

Elsewhere, a trip to Montclair Plaza gave us a chance to see that mall's interior renovation currently underway. Meant to soften up the center's somewhat industrial look (as a result of a 1986 expansion), the design includes ceiling enhancements, accent lighting, glass railings and new furniture. The work is being done after hours and is expected to be completed before the end of the year.

Also planned as part of Montclair's renovation is the demolition of the 1968 building that once housed The Broadway and later Macy's. The building sports classic 1960s modern design, a form that seems to be quickly disappearing from the local landscape. In fact, many of the iconic buildings that once housed The Broadway have met similar fates across Southern California over the last few years.

Finally, could the Montclair renovation provide a glimpse into possible future renovation at Montclair's sister mall in Riverside? Though we're not aware of any planned renovation of the interior for the Galleria at Tyler, both malls underwent similar expansions within five years of one another about 20 years ago. Likewise, both centers are owned by Chicago-based General Growth Properties.

Photo galleries: Montclair Plaza | Galleria at Tyler

Previous

* Photo courtesy of RPD Remembers


'North Village' opens at Galleria

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After several years without a multiplex theater, Riverside's Galleria at Tyler mall is once again lighting up the big screen following last weekend's opening of the AMC Tyler 16. As part of the mall's "North Village" expansion, the AMC theater replaces the center's original UA Theater that was cleared to make way for a free-standing Barnes & Noble in 2001.


Dec. 2007
North Village - Galleria at Tyler

Also included in the outparcel expansion are two restaurants (Yard House and Elephant Bar), a Robbins Bros. store as well as an expanded Hughes Alley parking garage. The 105,000 sq. ft. addition ups the mall's GLA to 1.2 million sq. ft.

The "North Village" addition comes on the heels of last month's opening of a 20,000 sq. ft. H&M clothing store inside the mall itself, and completes the center's recent expansion that began in 2006 with the opening of free-standing P.F. Chang's and The Cheescake Factory restaurants.

Photo Gallery: Galleria at Tyler

Slideshow: Then & Now - "North Village"

Related

Previous

Sources: Galleria at Tyler, General Growth Properties


Then & Now - Galleria at Tyler: Part Two

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Since its opening as the single-level Tyler Mall in 1970 and re-christening as the two-level Galleria at Tyler in 1991, Riverside's primary shopping center remains one of Inland Southern California's top retail destinations. Currently undergoing its third major expansion, the Galleria at Tyler has flourished as both the city and the Inland region have grown and prospered.

Below is Part 2 in a brief history of the Riverside mall. Part 1 can be found here.

riv-galleria-027a-200.jpg
QUICK FACTS - 1991
Nordstrom Opening: September 6
Mall Re-Opening: October 17
Expansion Cost: $100 million
Construction: 17 months
Project Manager: Donahue-Schriber,
Newport Beach, CA
General Contractor: Charles Pankow
Builders, Ltd., Pasadena, CA
Nordstrom Architect: Callison
Architecture, Seattle
Anchors: The Broadway, J.C. Penney,
May Co. (1973), Nordstrom (1991)
Stores: 160
Size: 1.1 million sq. ft. (GLA)


1988
Expansion plans
Donahue-Schriber


1988
Interior depiction
Donahue-Schriber


1990
Construction
Donahue-Schriber


2006
Similar view


QUICK FACTS - 2007
Anchors:
Nordstrom, Macy's, J.C. Penney
Primary Out-Parcels:
Barnes & Noble (2001)
The Cheesecake Factory (2006)
PF Chang's (2006)
AMC Theaters (2007)
Yard House (2007)
Elephant Bar (2007)
Robbins Bros. (2007)
Tenants:
175-plus
Size:
1.2 million sq. ft. (GLA)


July 2007
North Village


2006
Galleria at Tyler
(pre-North Village expansion)
MS Virtual Earth

1980s - Growing Pains

By the early 1980s, both residents and city officials alike began voicing opinions about the lack of an upscale department store at the then Tyler Mall. And although Buffum's considered the area in the late-1960s and Bullock's officials had recently began scouting the area, neither brand had yet committed to building a local store.

In 1985, Seattle-based Nordstrom took the initiative and began work on the region's first upscale department store in nearby Montclair. And by late 1986, following a successful opening at Montclair Plaza, Nordstrom began scouting for a second area location. The upscale retailer took particular interest in Montclair's sibling mall in Riverside, which was in the midst of planning a similar expansion. In April 1987, Nordstrom made it official -- a store was planned for an expanded Tyler Mall. However, the mall expansion would be delayed by local politics -- and local competition.

Earlier in the decade, Riverside annexed the site for a proposed regional mall on the city's eastern edge near the soon-to-be city of Moreno Valley. The mall, dubbed Canyon Springs Fashion Mall*, was proposed by Riverside-based T&S Development, developers of Riverside's highly-successful Canyon Crest Towne Centre. The two-level, 1.3 million sq. ft. mall (with 6 to 8 department stores) was part of the master-planned "Canyon Springs"* development proposed on 900 acres owned by T&S at the conjunction of Highway 60 and Interstate 215.

Although department stores Bullock's and Harris' eventually signed letters of intent for the proposed mall, T&S encountered several delays in obtaining financing. And by the late-1980s, in the face of stiff competition from another proposed mall in adjacent Moreno Valley as well as the Tyler project, T&S essentially joined forces with a small, but vocal group of Riverside residents opposed to the Tyler expansion, which gained final approval in January 1989:

The Riverside City Council, seeking to boost revenues and fulfill a community desire for upscale shopping, yesterday voted 6-1 to approve plans to nearly double the size of the Tyler Mall, including construction of a Nordstrom and J.W. Robinson's.
The Press-Enterprise - February 1, 1989

On the same day in March 1989, both T&S and the local residents group filed separate lawsuits aiming to block the expansion. But by December 1989, after key setbacks in court -- including the revelation of a thinly-veiled link between the two groups -- both lawsuits were dropped following out-of-court settlements, thus paving the way for expansion to finally begin.

(T&S suffered an even greater setback with the eventual pullout of Bullock's and the jumping ship of Harris' to the then-proposed Moreno Valley Mall at Towngate, which opened in late 1992 directly across Day Street from the proposed Canyon Springs mall. The land-rich, but cash-poor company ultimately dissolved. Today, portions of the Canyon Springs development include assorted big-box retail, offices and vacant land.)

1991 - Galleria at Tyler

After nearly 5 years of planning, negotiating, battling lawsuits and fending off competition from two proposed malls on the eastern edge of town, ground was broken in May 1990 for a $100 million expansion for the 20-year-old Tyler Mall. Included in the 500,000 square foot expansion were a second-level of mall shops, a 3-level, 164,000 sq. ft. Nordstrom department store and separate 4-level and 2-level parking structures:

"Tyler, upon completion, will appear to be a brand new mall...Everything will change. Nothing will be the same. Every piece of wall and floor will change."
William Kenney, V.P. of Donahue-Schriber
The Press-Enterprise - May 20, 1990

Expansion plans for the mall closely followed those undertaken in 1985 at Montclair Plaza, also owned at the time by Newport Beach-based Donahue-Schriber. However, unlike Montclair's expansion, one major change would be how the second level of mall shops was added.

In Montclair, the second level was placed directly on the existing roof resulting in a taller overall structure. However, this also caused the new level to be a few feet higher than the second-story levels of the existing department stores. This required a gradual lowering of the mall's new second level walkways immediately heading into the department stores (including a customized mini-escalator heading into The Broadway).

In Riverside, a relatively new technique was used in which the second level would be suspended from a truss system designed to rest a few feet below the existing roof level. As such, the ceilings in the existing mall stores had to be lowered to accommodate the newly-built second level above. The result was matching floor levels and a shorter overall structure. It was more expensive, but according to Donahue-Schriber, was less disruptive to both shoppers and merchants as fewer overall support columns were needed (the added weight was distributed across the new truss system).

Seventeen months after construction began, an expanded Tyler Mall officially opened on October 17, 1991 as the newly-christened Galleria at Tyler. Shoppers eagerly welcomed the doubling of mall shops (from 85 to 160), more parking and, of course, the long-awaited Nordstrom**.

Plans originally called for two more department stores (for a total of 6), one of which was to be Robinson's. However, the 1993 merger with May Co. -- resulting in Robinson's-May -- altered those plans. To date, neither the 5th nor 6th department stores have yet to be added. (In fact, the 2006 consolidation of Robinson's-May into Macy's resulted in Macy's relocating to the opposite end of the mall into the former Robinson's-May building.)

In 2001, Barnes & Noble replaced the original United Artists cinema located on Hughes Alley adjacent to the 91 Freeway. The theater, which originally opened with 2 theatres, was quickly doubled to 4 shortly after the mall opened. A 1978 proposal to double again to 8 screens failed to receive city approval. By the mid-1990s, the small theater was struggling to compete against the rise of mega-multiplexes. Various mall expansion plans floated in the late 1990s and early 2000s envisioned the UA 4 being replaced with a modern multiplex (including plans for a subterranean version).

2006/07 - Expansion


In July 2006, the Galleria at Tyler embarked on its third major expansion. The plans, which are taking place at out-parcels at opposing ends of the mall, include a multiplex theater, restaurants, additional retail and an expanded parking structure.

First to open in late 2006 were The Cheesecake Factory and PF Chang's restaurants, both on the south end of the mall. And by July 2007, work was well underway at the north end of the mall property for what is being dubbed "North Village," which will house an AMC 16 theater multiplex, Elephant Bar and Yard House restaurants, a Robbins Bros. store as well as additional shops. Architects for the project are MBH Architects of Alameda, CA. Completion is slated for late 2007.

Elsewhere in the mall, the tenant mix continues to be updated. Recent additions include specialty shops the likes of Metropark, LoveSac, Coach and Aldo. In November 2007, Swedish fashion retailer H&M is set to open a 20,000 sq. ft. store at the mall's north end.

Yet to be determined is the fate of the distinctive 3-story, former Broadway/Macy's department store located near the "North Village" expansion. The building's cantilevered style of architecture showcases department store flair and design from a now bygone era. Its unique design was used only one other time for a sister store*** that opened in 1972 in Citrus Heights (Sacramento), Calif. (Correction: A third version of this design was used for a Fresno, Calif., Weinstock's store that also opened in 1970.)

Speculation for the now vacant building ranges from signing another department store -- such as Macy's sister store Bloomingdale's -- to revamping the 164,000 sq. ft. interior into micro shops (which, at the very least, would preserve the building). Another possibility, of course, is a complete tear down for further mall expansion. Though we'd definitely hate to see a vacant anchor for an extended number of years, we'd also hate to lose such an iconic architectural landmark. Moreover, what would become of the time capsule buried in 1970 by The Broadway, which states it's to be reopened in 2070?

We suspect only time -- and future department store mergers -- will tell.

Related


2006
Macy's (south)

2006
Macy's (north)

2006
Nordstrom



2007
J.C. Penney

2006
Interior view


* 1988 / Greater Riverside Chamber of Commerce
** 1991 / Nordstrom, Inc.
*** Photo courtesy of Jim Van Schaak

Sources: Galleria at Tyler, General Growth Properties, Donahue-Schriber, City of Riverside, The Press-Enterprise, Riverside Public Library, Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce


Then & Now - Galleria at Tyler

|

Since its opening as the single-level Tyler Mall in 1970 and re-christening as the two-level Galleria at Tyler in 1991, Riverside's primary shopping center remains one of Inland Southern California's top retail destinations. Currently undergoing its third major expansion, the Galleria at Tyler has flourished as both the city and the Inland region have grown and prospered.

Below is Part 1 in a brief history of the Riverside mall, which is currently owned and managed by General Growth Properties, Inc.

1976-tyler-02c-162.jpg
QUICK FACTS - 1970
Opening: October 12
Cost: $45 million
Anchors: The Broadway,
JCPenney, May Co. (1973)
Stores: 85
Size: 880,000 sq. ft.
Land: 66 acres
Developers: Ernest W. Hahn,
Broadway-Hale, May Co.
Mall Architect: Jon Jerde of
Burke, Kober, Nicolais and Archuleta,
A.I.A., Los Angeles


Scale model for The Broadway
Architect: Charles Luckman Assoc.
(Courtesy of Jim Van Schaak)


Architect's rendering of JCPenney


@1976
Interior
1976 / GRCC


@1976
Exterior
1976 / GRCC


@1988
Tyler Mall
1988 / GRCC

1970 - Tyler Mall

Although the Tyler Mall did not open until October 1970, development of it began in 1965 as representatives from regional and national department stores began taking interest in two competing mall developments proposed for Riverside.

The first proposal, a 66-acre development by Beverly Hills-based Hunter Penn, was planned for the southeast corner of Magnolia Avenue and Tyler Street. The three-anchor, enclosed shopping center was preferred by two department stores, May Co. and Los Angeles-based The Broadway:

Broadway and May Co. executives say they plan to begin building department stores on the 66-acre Hunter Penn shopping center site at Magnolia and Tyler in Riverside in late 1966 or early 1967.
The Press-Enterprise - Sept. 9, 1965

The second proposal, which was approximately 2 miles northeast of the Tyler site, was a 113-acre development planned for the southeast corner of Magnolia Avenue and Monroe Street on land that comprises a portion of California Baptist University. Proposed by Riverside-based Marcus W. Meairs Co., "Magnolia Mall" was conceived as a four-anchor, enclosed shopping center and also gained the interest of two department stores, JCPenney (which had a stand-alone store downtown) and Los Angeles-based Buffum's:

...J.C. Penney Co. announced that a lease is likely to be signed soon to locate a $6 million store at the 113-acre Magnolia Mall...

On Sept. 4, Buffum's Department Stores revealed that Meairs has a letter committing Buffum's to a store at the Magnolia Mall center if certain other major stores also become tenants.
The Press-Enterprise - Nov. 13, 1965

Retail experts at the time agreed the city could not support both proposals, particularly with two similar-sized malls also proposed nearby in San Bernardino (Inland Center) and Montclair (Montclair Plaza). Likewise, those proposals included May Co. and Broadway stores, with the Montclair site also controlled by developer Hunter Penn.

In mid-1966, both The Broadway and May Co. bought out Hunter Penn's interest in the Montclair and Riverside sites with the Tyler property reportedly costing $2 million, or an average of $33,000 per acre.

Although Riverside originally approved zoning for both the Tyler and Magnolia malls, which actually led to a delay in construction, the Tyler site eventually became the preferred site. Its location on what was then sheep grazing land sat adjacent to the Tyler Street exit off the Riverside Freeway.

With the delays, initial site preparation and development of infrastructure did not begin until early 1968. And in February 1969, with Los Angeles-based developer Ernest W. Hahn now on board, plans were officially released:

Plans for immediate construction of a $45 million regional shopping center, officially named Tyler Mall, at Tyler and Magnolia in Riverside were formally made public...

...participants are Broadway-Hale Stores Inc., May Co., J.C. Penney Co., and Ernest W. Hahn...
The Press-Enterprise - Feb. 5, 1969

Major construction began in October 1969 with the mall officially opening one year later on October 12, 1970*, ushering a new era of shopping to Riverside. Already familiar with the mall concept via the 1956 opening of the outdoor Riverside Plaza -- one of the first mall-like developments within Southern California -- the city welcomed this new enclosed version with open arms -- and open pocket books.

With 68 original stores (soon to be 85), including two department store anchors (The Broadway, JCPenney, plus a third pad) and a 61,000 square foot, two-level F.W. Woolworth, the 800,000 square foot Tyler Mall was nearly twice as large as its older cross-town cousin. Several exterior buildings, including a twin theater (United Artists), free-standing bank (United California Bank), two restaurants (Howard Johnson's, Farrell's Ice Cream Parlour), two auto centers (JCPenney, Broadway) and a gas station rounded out the property.

After a three-year delay in finalizing a new interior prototype, the May Co. building opened in July 1973, anchoring the south end of the mall. Containing a restaurant and cocktail lounge, the $5.5 million store was among the first stores to introduce the company's new retailing concept.

With the exception of The Broadway and May Co. buildings, the mall's original exterior was rather conservative, uniform and perfunctory. Rough textured, beige brick dominated the overall look with walls hiding the exterior utility corridors. Four entrances, two on each side, graced the north and south ends of the mall near the department stores. At the center of the 1000-foot linear mall was a short corridor housing more stores and the main entrance**, which faced west toward Tyler Street (where Nordstrom stands today).

Of particular interest was the striking architecture of The Broadway building. Designed by Los Angeles-based architectural firm of Charles Luckman & Assoc., the building's cantilevered*** design remains unique even today. Also of note, was the store's interior. Designed by Jim Van Schaak, the interior was honored as "Department Store of the Year" in the national "Store Interior Design" competition. (In late 2006, the building was vacated by Macy's for the freeway-friendly Robinson's-May building. As of mid-2007, plans for reusing the building are pending.)

Unlike the exterior, the mall's original interior** had a bit of late 60's flair, albeit with a modernist touch. Colorful skylights, hanging light clusters, abstract, high-gloss flooring, bark-filled planters and wooden, semi-circular benches added a whimsical touch to the mall.

For much of the 1970s and 1980s the mall performed well, but many felt there was at least one missing element -- an upscale department store. Although Buffum's initially appeared interested in the market in the late 1960s and Bullock's considered a store in 1980, economic conditions -- and eventual mergers -- kept both from making firm commitments:

"...we're interested because of the population growth and eventually we'll get there."
Bullock's executive
The Press-Enterprise - Sept. 22, 1980

In 1987, following strong population growth in the region and a successful 1986 opening at a newly-expanded Montclair Plaza, Seattle-based Nordstrom began showing interest in Montclair's sibling mall in Riverside, which was also working to expand. However, shoppers in Riverside would have to wait a few more years as obstacles threatened to derail the proposed expansion.

Continue to: Part 2

Related


1969
Site Plan
(1969 / RPL)

1976
Interior
(1976 / GRCC)

1985
Interior (remodeled)
(1985 / GRCC)


1985
Advertisement
(Donahue
Schriber)

1990
Signage
(Donahue
Schriber)
grcc-1990-tylermall-02c-450.jpg
1990
Main Entrance
(1990 / GRCC)
grcc-1990-tylermall-01c-600.jpg
1990
Advertisement
(Donahue Schriber)


* 1970 / RPL
** Greater Riverside Chamber of Commerce
*** Courtesy of Jim Van Schaak

Sources: Galleria at Tyler, General Growth Properties, Donahue-Schriber, City of Riverside, Riverside Public Library, The Press-Enterprise, Los Angeles Times, "Colony for California" (Tom Patterson), Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce


One of the things we find fascinating are how places and/or buildings change -- or don't change -- over time. Sometimes it's a simple paint job on an old house or building while at other times an entire building -- or entire block -- is completely redeveloped. Sometimes the transformation takes several years, while in other cases the landscape changes rather quickly.

Click the image below for two views of "E" Street in downtown San Bernardino, first from the 1940s and next from 2007.

Both views are looking north toward the intersection with 3rd Street (note: the 1940s postcard incorrectly states the view as being from 3rd Street as opposed to being toward 3rd Street).

On the immediate left is the Harris Co. department store, with its decorative elements, while just beyond it is the Andresen Building, which was the former home to Bank of America. As seen in the 2007 view, both structures remain standing today, though the Harris Co. building is currently closed.

On the right, the scene has changed dramatically. Civic Plaza -- which encompasses City Hall, Exhibit Hall and the Clarion Hotel -- has replaced the buildings on the immediate right, including the one-time branch of Citizens' National Bank (foreground) and the four-story, 1890 Katz Building (background).

With the redevelopment of Carousel Mall -- of which the Harris Co. building anchors its eastern end -- becoming much more probable, the immediate area is likely to change dramatically once again.

Flash: 'E' at Third: 1940s - 2007

Related


1930s
Harris Co.

1950s
3rd Street toward E Street
(where Carousel Mall
sits today)


1940s
E Street toward 3rd Street

2007
E Street toward 3rd Street



Sources: City of San Bernardino, San Bernardino Sun


Mixed-use projects picking up steam

|

Activity has picked up recently at 2 of 3 mixed-use projects under development in downtown Riverside, which will be the first combined residential/commercial projects within the city in several decades.


2007
Raincross Promenade


2007
m sole'


Fox Plaza
MetroPacific

At Raincross Promenade, bounded by First, Third, Main and Market streets, site clearing is well under way. Situated across from the city's convention center at Raincross Square, the site had been home to assorted auto repair shops, used car lots (1, 2), an aging "rental" motel as well as a few dilapidated homes and a couple of empty parcels.

Planned by Los Angeles-based developer Mark Rubin, whom has developed various projects in Riverside, Raincross Promenade will add upwards of 250 urban-style residential units on 2-blocks that will essentially anchor the north end of the Main Street pedestrian mall. Although we have yet to see precise plans, our hope is the development is such that it "draws in" the existing pedestrian mall, which currently fizzles out at the convention center.

Directly across Market Street, where developer Alan Mruvka is planning a similar mixed-use project, foundation work has begun on 10 live/work units as part of the first phase of m sole'. Mruvka plans upwards of 125 urban-style residential units in later phases, stretching along Market Street from Third to First streets (essentially mirroring Raincross Promenade).

Thus far, m sole' is the only one of the three to begin actual construction, let alone offer pre-sales (an information studio is currently housed within the historic Sante Fe depot located near Mission Inn Avenue and Vine Street).

Yet to break ground is the third mixed-use development planned for downtown, this one the eagerly anticipated Fox Plaza located at Mission Inn and Market. Included in the multi-phase plans are upwards of 500 urban-style residential units, 65,000 square feet of retail and a 130-room, full-service hotel. Currently, the site is occupied by the Stalder Building and various parking lots.

Situated near the heart of the pedestrian mall adjacent to restaurants, shops, museums and downtown offices -- not to mention some of the city's best historic architecture -- Fox Plaza will offer one of the few truly urban experiences within Inland Southern California. The one downside will be the loss of the historic Stalder, which once housed the city's first fire station.

Although all three projects are within a few blocks of one another and each will indeed strengthen the city's re-emerging urban core, we feel Fox Plaza has the greatest potential. Moreover, we're glad to see alternative options being added to the area's predominantly single-family residential landscape. And, we feel no place is better for such options than within a genuinely historic downtown setting, one which needn't be "manufactured" nor "created" as is the case with many similar mixed-use developments around Southern California.

Related

Previous


Peeling back time

|

After 35 years of being seemingly frozen in time, the mid-century facade of the old Imperial Hardware Co. store in downtown Riverside is soon to be no more.


2007
Work begins


2007
Peeling away


2007
Twisted metal


2007
Uncovered facade

The city, which recently finalized purchase of the long-shuttered building, began dismantling Imperial's modern false front early Monday. By midday, nearly three-fourths of the aluminum covering had been removed, revealing the 1930s Art Deco facade of the former Westbrook's Hardware, which looked to be in surprisingly good shape.

The building itself dates back to at least 1900 when Franzen Hardware opened within the current building located at 3750 Main Street. Owned by Henry and Chris Franzen, the hardware store was later sold in 1921 to R.H. Westbrook, whose family had become partners with the Franzen's in 1908.

Following a 1935 fire that wiped out most of the store's stock, the building was refurbished, restocked and renamed Westbrook's Hardware. Part of the post-fire remodeling included the now-uncovered Art Deco facade.

In 1959, the operation was again sold, this time to El Centro-based Imperial Hardware Co., a small chain of hardware & housewares stores in Southern California. Along with the sale soon came the now gone mid-century false front.

However, with the retail landscape in both downtown Riverside -- and America -- on the brink of change, Imperial's fate was soon sealed. By the mid-1960s, long-standing downtown stores, such as Sears, had mostly moved into larger buildings located in suburban settings, sending downtown's retail landscape into a tailspin. From what we've been able to gather, it appears Imperial succumbed sometime in the late 1960s, leaving the building to sit patiently for re-use that has yet to materialize. (Updates: According to a June 19th article in The Press-Enterprise, Imperial Hardware closed the downtown store in 1972. Later research found that Imperial closed and moved to the Tyler Mall.)

And yet, because the building's front remained unchanged for a number of years -- all the while other storefronts nearby had been refurbished -- the modern Imperial facade had become an iconic landmark of downtown in its own right. In essence, the facade stood as a relic harkening back to when downtown was still the epicenter for shopping. In recent years, the former store's front entrance has been adorned with colorful murals and art.

Though we admit to initially having mixed feelings about the loss of the modern Imperial facade, no doubt what lurked beneath is quite a blessing itself. And if refurbished, will indeed add historic character to Riverside's pedestrian mall. Our hope is that the city, which has been courting potential retail and dining uses, is able to retain the Art Deco facade into any re-working of the building.

Without a doubt, the spot near the center of the pedestrian mall offers a very unique opportunity, possibly for just the right national retailer -- such as a bookstore or mid-level restaurant -- which could help in drawing a larger presence to the resurgent pedestrian mall. We even feel a mixed-use development incorporating ground floor commercial topped with residential uses would work very well -- so long as much of the existing building's historic character could be worked into such a plan (which would greatly add to both nighttime and weekend activity along the pedestrian mall).

Related


2007
Old signage

2007
Rusted aluminum

2006
Mid-century facade

1966
Downtown Mall
(1967 RNB Calendar)

Mid-1930s
Westbrook's Hardware



Sources: City of Riverside, The Press-Enterprise, "Riverside in Postcards" (Steve Lech), "Riverside - 1870-1940 (Steve Lech)


Then & Now - Main at Mission Inn

|

Before there was a Main Street Pedestrian Mall in downtown Riverside there was, well, an actual Main Street, with actual cars -- and curbside parking.

Seen here in photos approximately 50 years apart is a view of Main Street looking north toward Mission Inn Avenue (formerly Seventh Street) from near University Avenue (formerly Eighth Street). On the far right is the historic Mission Inn and on the far left, with its pyramid-shaped, red-tiled roof (as seen in lower photo), is the Loring Building, which was built in 1890. Obviously, the scene has changed dramatically, but how and why? (To fully appreciate the change, check out the Flash overlay.)


Main Street at Mission Inn
looking north toward Mission Inn Ave. (Seventh St.)
Flash: View photo overlay

Following the 1956 opening of the nearby Riverside Plaza, downtown shopping began a slow but steady decline. In response, city leaders soon started working at remaking the city's civic center. Plans included a landscaped pedestrian mall with spruced-up storefronts. Eventually, it was envisioned the mall would be anchored by what officials hoped would be a new city hall, a convention center / hotel and a performing arts center. (Only city hall and the convention center / hotel would come to fruition.)

In late 1965, the city settled upon an initial plan and work began in May of 1966 at tearing out Main Street between Sixth and Tenth streets. On November 23, 1966, the mall was officially dedicated* and open for business. However, with its opening coinciding with America's growing appetite for suburban shopping centers, the pedestrian mall got off to a rocky start.

One major retailer (Sears*) had already relocated to a larger new store elsewhere in Riverside while two others (Montgomery Ward, JC Penney) would eventually follow suit. The flight of retail only got worse with the 1970 opening of Riverside's Tyler Mall** (now Galleria at Tyler), which was double the size of the earlier Riverside Plaza and -- more importantly at the time -- it was enclosed.

Although the loss of the major retailers was significant, the pedestrian mall's plight began stabilizing in the mid-1970s with the opening of the new city hall and convention center (anchoring opposite ends of the mall) as well as an 11-story Security Pacific National Bank building (seen here in 1976**: one | two), which replaced aging storefronts near the mall's center. But America's love affair with large enclosed shopping centers -- and free easy parking -- continued to erode the downtown retail market.

By the early 1980s, storefronts along the pedestrian mall consisted mostly of small local shops and empty spaces. The slow decline of the Mission Inn, which had transformed from an opulent hotel into rental/student apartments, certainly did not help. For a while, it appeared the mall's future was in doubt. One bright spot development-wise during this period was the 6-story Mission Square building, which in 1984 replaced another block of mostly empty and aging storefronts between Ninth and University.

In 1988, however, things began looking up as a refurbished Mission Inn hotel was set to reopen. Renovated over 3 years to the tune of $30 million (which would eventually approach $50 million), the newly christened Omni Mission Inn** was seen by civic officials as an important catalyst for reviving the floundering pedestrian mall. Yet just weeks before its official grand opening, the Inn's owner -- Carley Capital Group -- went bankrupt, forcing a takeover of the Inn by Chemical Bank of New York. The bankruptcy dealt a serious blow to both the mall and downtown in general. Moreover, it would be another 4 years before the Inn fully reopened.

Another significant event was the 1992 merger of Security Pacific National Bank into Bank of America, which saw the mall lose one of its primary anchors. Subsequent plans for re-using the bank's 11-story building included an option of reopening parts of the pedestrian mall to limited traffic. Fortunately, a second event later that year -- the purchase and reopening of the Mission Inn by local businessman Duane Roberts -- helped keep the pedestrian mall intact and free of cars.

Today, the downtown pedestrian mall stretches upwards of 7 blocks from Tenth to Third streets and remains one of Southern California's only true pedestrian plazas. Although it has taken 40 years to arrive at where it is today -- and indeed, a few rough spots remain -- thankfully, most residents simply could not imagine it reverting back to just another traffic-clogged street. In fact, the pedestrian mall is about to undergo a face-lift -- its first major rehab since being built in 1966.

Since the December 1992 reopening of the Mission Inn, the pedestrian mall has steadily picked up steam. The former Security Pacific Bank building has become a collection of offices mostly for the state of California while small independant shops throughout the mall coexist alongside a mixture of banks, eateries, service-related businesses and cultural arts establishments.

Recently, the mall has seen an influx of higher-end establishments such as Renuance Aesthetic Care and eateries Trilussa, Omakase and Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. The most surprising empty spot remains the long-shuttered Imperial Hardware building, which in a strange twist has actually added a bit of flavor to the mall on account of its colorful art and mid-century facade, both seemingly frozen in time.

The one item still missing is a national retailer or major bookstore, which is likely to change within the next few years as the city's plans for 500-plus condos and lofts begin taking shape (see: m' sole and Fox Plaza). Our hope is that any potential influx of national chains, which could greatly increase out-of-area foot traffic, does so not at the expense of too many of the unique local shops -- a few of which have survived a number of lean years.

Indeed, the recent surge in activity, the upcoming face-lift, the soon-to-be Culver Center for the Arts and the planned residential/office development nearby promises to solidify the mall as downtown's cultural and civic plaza. Without a doubt, the pedestrian mall is a unique gem that Riverside is fortunate to have.

Flash: Main at Mission Inn: 1950s - 2007

Photo Gallery: Main Street Pedestrian Mall

P.S. -- For those curious, the back of the 1950s postcard, which incidentally misidentifies the intersection as Seventh at Orange (as opposed to Main at Seventh) reads as follows:

RIVERSIDE, CALIFORNIA - Seventh Street near Orange. This is a city typical of California at its best. Its tree-lined streets, Mission architecture, groves of fragrant orange trees and its atmosphere of hospitality never fail to impress the visitor.

Update -- Though it has had some lean times, luckily Riverside's pedestrian mall did not suffer the fate of this one in St. Louis, which opened in 1977: Urban Review St. Louis: 14th Street Pedestrian Mall, Thirty Years Ago Today

Related

grcc-1985-dt-03ac-1-975.jpg
1920s**
Main Street
1940s-pc-riv-mainst-001-540.jpg
1940s
Main Street
1966-riv-dt-mall-001-125.jpg
1966*
Main Street


grcc-1976-misc-004ac1-500.jpg
1976**
Main Street
riv-2006-dt-mall-003a-600.jpg
2006
Main Street


* Courtesy of RPD Remembers
** Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce

Sources: City of Riverside, The Press-Enterprise, Riverside Public Library, "Colony for California" (Tom Patterson), "Riverside in Postcards" (Steve Lech), "Riverside - 1870-1940" (Steve Lech), Riverside Chambers of Commerce, New York Times, WikiPedia


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