La Palmera opened in 1970 as Padre Staples Mall and the largest retail shopping mall in the Corpus Christi, Texas area. The mall was proposed in the spring of 1968 and its construction was completed in 1969. The Mall was started by Roy M. Smith and Ennis Joslin. The W.M. Bevly family became part owners two years later. The mall would include a movie theater, food court, carousel, and 3 anchors. Another early tenant was Woolworth.