Southgate Mall (Elizabeth City)

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Southgate Mall
Southgate Mall sign.JPG
2011 Second-generation Southgate Mall sign, replacing original forty foot pylon.
Coordinates 36°17′44″N 76°13′30″W / 36.29556°N 76.22500°W / 36.29556; -76.22500Coordinates: 36°17′44″N 76°13′30″W / 36.29556°N 76.22500°W / 36.29556; -76.22500
Address 1409 West Ehringhaus Street, Elizabeth City, North Carolina 27909 USA
Opening date 1967
Management Thalhimer
No. of stores and services 33
No. of anchor tenants 2
Total retail floor area 250,000 square feet (23,226 m2)[1]
No. of floors 1
Parking 1,250 spaces[1]

Southgate Mall is the sole enclosed shopping center in the sixteen county Historic Albemarle region of northeastern North Carolina. Located on West Ehringhaus Street (US 17 Business) in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, the mall is currently anchored by Belk and JCPenney.

The mall opened in 1967 as Southgate Plaza Shopping Center with senior anchors Belk-Tyler and W.T. Grant. Junior anchors Winn-Dixie and People's Drug filled positions intermediate to anchors and smaller shops.[2]

Senior Anchors[edit]

  • Belk (67,000 sq ft (6,225 m2)), 1 floor.[3]
Elizabeth City Belk during repaving project in February 2012. One of three 1967 prototype stores designed for smaller-format enclosed malls, the other two are in Kinston, NC and Savannah, GA. Unlike the Southgate location, these locations have been heavily modified beyond their original appearances.
Elizabeth City Belk during renovation re-dedication in October 2013. The store's first extensive renovation since 1988 radically rearranged its interior configuration, but did not affect the exterior.

Belk remains the sole original anchor, anchoring the Eastern end of the mall since 1967. The Southgate location is notable as one of the first three mall-based prototypes Belk developed in the mid to late 1960s as the company prepared to transition from downtown and strip mall locations to enclosed malls. Boasting preformed concrete arches, these prototypes were among the first mall-based Belk stores to have a distinctive architectural design, one that paved the way for countless facade variations among all future Belk stores. Alas, the other two prototypes located in Vernon Park Mall, Kinston, NC and Oglethorpe Mall, Savannah, GA, have since had their exteriors heavily modified beyond original resemblance. The Elizabeth City store is the last prototype to retain its original arched architecture albeit as of October 2012 having beige paint obscure the once-bare concrete arches.[4]

  • JCPenney (41,421 sq ft (3,848 m2)), 1 floor.
    • (Formerly W.T. Grant 64,200 sq. ft. and Rose's 64,200 sq. ft., 1 floor.) [3]

The original West-end anchor W.T. Grant closed in 1974, immediately converting to a Rose's location which remained until corporate downsizing in 1994. The space was unoccupied for two years before JCPenney relocated in 1996 from the former Winn-Dixie space it had inhabited since the supermarket's departure in 1985 for an off-mall location. JCPenney declined the full volume of the Roses space, partitioning extra square footage into additional small shop spaces as well as a considerable extension of the mall corridor. Two of these spaces became home to an enlarged Hibbett Sports as well as an extension of the Goodys/Burke's Outlet store.

Junior Anchors[edit]

  • Burke's Outlet (19,988 sq ft (1,857 m2)), 1 floor.
    • (Formerly Winn-Dixie/JCPenney/Rose's Express 19,988 sq. ft. and Goody's 27,597 sq. ft., 1 floor.) [3]

Original junior anchor Winn-Dixie left the mall in 1985 for a new off-mall location, and was immediately replaced by JCPenney which relocated from downtown Elizabeth City. In 1996 JCPenney moved a second time to the 1993-vacated Rose's location, leaving the location vacant until 2002 when a short-lived Rose's Express store was established then vacated the following year in 2003. The space was again unoccupied for two years until 2005 when Goody's moved in, occupying the location until the chain's bankrupt demise in 2009. The space has since been occupied by Burke's Outlet since February 2011.

  • Dragon Buffet (12,760 sq ft (1,185 m2)), 1 floor.
    • (Formerly People's Drug/Revco/CVS 12,760 sq. ft., 1 floor.) [3]

The other original junior anchor, People's Drug was acquired by and converted to Revco in 1994. Acquisition of Revco by CVS in 1998 led to retention of the location until relocation in 2003 to a free-standing off-mall location, leaving the mall without a drug store for the first time since its opening. A locally-owned Chinese restaurant and existing mall tenant, Dragon Buffet, immediately relocated from the former Roses cafeteria location adjacent to JCPenney. Conversion of the former drug store to an operational restaurant was completed in late 2003.


External links[edit]

Media related to Southgate Mall (Elizabeth City) at Wikimedia Commons