Crabtree Valley Mall
|Location||Raleigh, North Carolina, USA|
|Opening date||August 8, 1972|
|Management||Plaza Associates, Inc.|
|No. of stores and services||Over 220|
|No. of anchor tenants||4|
|Total retail floor area||1,326,000 square feet (123,200 m2)
|No. of floors||2|
Crabtree Valley Mall is a regional mall located in Raleigh, North Carolina. At 1,326,000 square feet (123,200 m2), it is the largest enclosed mall in the Triangle. Crabtree Valley contains over 220 stores and is anchored by Belk, Sears, and Macy's. Higher-end restaurants located in the mall include The Cheesecake Factory, P. F. Chang's China Bistro, Kanki, Brio, Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, and McCormick & Schmick's. It is the site of the first H&M store in North Carolina, which opened in spring of 2010.
Crabtree Valley Mall opened in August 1972 at the intersection  of US 70/NC 50 (Glenwood Avenue) and the I-440 Beltline. Original anchors were Hudson Belk, Sears, Miller & Rhoads and Thalhimer's. The mall also included G.C. Murphy, Treasury Drug and Piccadilly Cafeteria.
From the start, the mall pulled shoppers from all over central and eastern North Carolina. Many of them came to the 251,000-square-foot (23,300 m2) Hudson Belk, which is still the largest store in the complex and serves as a Belk flagship. The mall was remodeled in the mid-1980s and added many upscale specialty stores and a food court. It faced remarkably little competition in its market until the 1990s, when Cary Towne Center in nearby Cary doubled in size and spawned a companion mall, Crossroads Plaza.
To combat the threat of an expanded Cary Towne Center stealing business, Crabtree embarked on a major expansion starting in 1993. G.C. Murphy, Miller & Rhoads, and Piccadilly all closed down during this period. Thalhimer's converted to Hecht's, and began planning for a new, larger location at the mall. In 1993 a 40 by 110-foot (34 m) section of the parking deck collapsed just three months after it had been completely rebuilt. Sears closed its Crabtree store in 1994 and opened a new location adjacent to it in August 1994. The old Sears became small shop space and connected to a new, larger Hecht's which opened in August 1995.
The final piece of Crabtree's 1990s renaissance was the opening of North Carolina's first and only Lord & Taylor in November 1995 in the former Thalhimers/Hecht's. However, the store was closed in February, 2006 as part of the reorganization of May Department Stores that began in 2003. A separate Hudson Belk Men's Store filled the upper level of the former Lord & Taylor, and the lower level has been converted to small store space and new entrance.
A new parking deck east of Hudson Belk was completed in 2008. Part of the deck supports three new sit down restaurants that opened in late 2008. These were McCormick and Schmick's Seafood, Fleming's Prime Steakhouse and Bar and Brio Tuscan Grille.
- Belk - 320,000 sq ft (30,000 m2).
- Women's,Children's and Home Store - 3 floors, 251,000 sq ft (23,300 m2), opened August 1972
- Men's Store - 1 floor, 69,000 sq ft (6,400 m2), on the upper level of the former Lord & Taylor, opened May 2007
- Sears - 2 floors, 130,000 sq ft (12,000 m2)., opened August 1994, replacing store built on adjacent site which opened in 1972.
- Macy's - 2 floors, 180,000 sq ft (17,000 m2)., opened August 1995 as Hecht's, changed to Macy's in September 2006
- Thalhimer's - Opened in August 1972, closed in January 1992, re-opened as Hecht's in February 1992, moved to new location in August 1995
- Lord & Taylor - Opened November 1995, closed in February 2006
Parking at the Crabtree Valley Mall is fairly unusual; there is very little at-grade parking. A multistory parking deck surrounds most of the mall, the sole exception being the northwestern side of the mall property, near Sears and Macy's. A surface parking lot serves these stores. The mall's protruding anchor tenants force drivers to take many turns in the parking deck to get to their desired destination. Valet parking is available at the mall's northeast entrance and outside the three restaurants atop the newest parking deck east of Hudson Belk.
The various sections of the deck have been known at times by color-coded names. These names are currently in use on the mall's website and on some signage:
- The Blue Deck is on the north side of the mall property, bounding the main Hudson Belk and Sears.
- The Red Deck is on the southeast side of the mall, bounding the main Hudson Belk store and the Hudson Belk Men's Store.
- The Gold Deck is on the southwest side, bounding the Hudson Belk Men's Store, the food court, and Macy's. The Gold Deck is the only section to have four levels, all the others having three.
- The Green Deck is the newest section of the deck, east of Hudson Belk.
When this color-coding system was first used in the mid-1990s, the current Blue Deck was then known as the Green Deck. This changed in the early 2000s, prior to construction of the current Green Deck.
For a time in the later 1990s, the sections of the parking deck were also known by the adjacent road. The then-Green Deck was known as the Glenwood Deck; the Red Deck, the Blue Ridge Deck; and the Gold Deck, the Creedmoor Deck.
Crabtree Valley Mall is situated next to Crabtree Creek, a tributary of the Neuse River that begins near Morrisville and winds through Umstead State Park as well as western and north central Raleigh. As the watershed around the mall become increasingly covered with impervious parking lots, the creek floods easily following major storms. Such floods occurred frequently in the mall's early years, but diminished with the construction of Lake Crabtree and large retaining basins upstream of the mall.
Heavy rains caused by the remnants of Tropical Storm Alberto flooded the lower level parking lots of the mall on June 14, 2006, as well as a great deal of the bottom level of anchor store Sears, forcing the mall to close for the day. A similar situation occurred with Hurricane Fran in 1996, when flood waters flowed through the first floor of the mall and caused a few stores to remain closed for nearly two months.
- Triangle Business Journal - Largest Shopping Centers 2011
- Triangle Business Journal - A shopaholic's joy! H&M in store at Crabtree Valley Mall
- Crabtree Valley Mall - Malls in Raleigh - Where to Shop in Raleigh - Macy's - Hudson Belk - Sears
- Concrete Company Connected With Collapses Has Triangle Ties :: WRAL.com
- "Lord & Taylor To Close Raleigh Store". WRAL-TV. 2006. Retrieved 2010-03-30.
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