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Plaza Frontenac is an upscale, two-level, enclosed, regional shopping center in the Frontenac area of metropolitan St. Louis, Missouri. Opened in 1974 and anchored by Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus, it has been known for high-end tenants; many of which are unique to the region. Since 2011 Plaza Frontenac has been owned by a joint venture between Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and General Growth Properties.
Plaza Frontenac has a mix of specialty stores, beauty services, home goods, and apparel and is anchored by Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus, making it one of only nine malls in the country to have both department stores as anchors.
Other retailers include mostly national brands such as Williams-Sonoma, Omega SA, Talbots, Michael Kors, Pottery Barn, Madewell, Tiffany & Co., Louis Vuitton, BCBGMaxAzria, J. Crew, kate spade new york, Allen Edmonds, lululemon athletica, Sur la Table, L'Occitane en Provence, Eileen Fisher, Coach, and Cole Haan.
Restaurants at Plaza Frontenac include four out parcel lots and range from casual to fine dining, and include Canyon Cafe , Cardwell’s at the Plaza, BRIO! Tuscan Grille, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, Zodiac Room at Neiman Marcus, and St. Louis Bread Company.
The shopping center also features Landmark Plaza Frontenac Cinema, a six-screen theater that frequently features independent and limited-release films.
Plaza Frontenac is located in the affluent, first ring St. Louis suburb Frontenac off of Highway 64 and South Lindbergh Boulevard. It is roughly 12 miles from downtown St. Louis and only two and a half miles from the Saint Louis Country Club. It is considered part of "Mid County" neighborhood, but borders "West County" which is known for its wealthy, second ring suburbs and for attracting professional athletes and celebrities. These communities include Clarkson Valley, Creve Coeur, Missouri, Chesterfield, and Ladue. General Growth Properties reports the trade area as having a current population of 376,833 and a current average household income of approximately $110,000.
Plaza Frontenac, designed to resemble a colonial style building, opened in 1974. Developed by national property owner Macerich, its location and development was chosen in part because of the affluent surrounding areas. Saks Fifth Avenue, which had a store in Central West End St. Louis since the early 1950s, relocated its St. Louis store to the Plaza Frontenac location in 1973. Neiman Marcus, as part of a national expansion, signed on to anchor the project as well. In addition to the luxury retailers that could be found, it also became known for its opulent design. It featured fountains, wood floors, and prominent staircases at each end.
It was first extensively remodeled in 1994. Facing competition from St. Louis Galleria which opened in 1984 and expanded in 1992, Plaza Frontenac's new owners Hellmuth, Obata, & Kassabaum (which took over management from Macerich in May, 1994) relocated a prominent staircase, two escalators, replaced the wooden floors with terrazo, and added and improved seating areas with "expensive carpeting and furnishings" in an effort to achieve "'a heightened sense of hospitality.'"
By 2010 the property was owned by Davis Street Landing Company which added two out parcel restaurants to the center, despite the national economic conditions which was causing malls across the country to struggle. With the addition of the two out parcels the total square footage increaded to 482,843 and included roughly 40 tenants.
In September, 2011, Davis Street Properties sold Plaza Frontenac to a joint venture between General Growth Properties and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. At the time it was reported that average sales at the center were approximately $500 per square foot, well above the national average. It was also 96% leased beyond the anchors.
In 2012 anchor Saks Fifth Avenue underwent a $5 million renovation; its first since opening in 1974. New chandeliers and fixtures, as well as new designers were brought in and the shoe department was doubled in size.  In October, 2013 it was announced that following the renovations the Plaza Frontenac Saks had posted the largest percentage increase in sales companywide.
In June, 2013 a renovation on the entire center started. This included landscaping (inside and out) being improved, new hardwood floors and paint, as well as furniture and fixtures, and LED lighting. Frontenac now boasts "hand-made custom carpets and imported European furniture in soft seating areas" and a "grand piano with live music." The project was completed at the end of the year.
During this same time it was noted in the local media that many local tenants were leaving only to be replaced by national chains. Openings toward the end of the year included Madewell and Athleta.
In popular culture
Native St. Louis rappers Chingy and Nelly have both made references to Plaza Frontenac in their music. In Ride wit Me Nelly raps, "take you down to Frontenac, you don't know how to act." Amongst other references in his songs, Chingy's "Right Thurr" contains the phrase, "we be shoppin at Frontenac."
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