Crabtree Valley Mall

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Crabtree Valley Mall
Crabtree Valley Mall.png
LocationRaleigh, North Carolina, USA
Opening dateAugust 8, 1972
ManagementPlaza Associates, Inc.
OwnerCVM Holdings
No. of stores and servicesOver 220
No. of anchor tenants4 (3 open, 1 vacant)
Total retail floor area1,326,000 square feet (123,200 m2)[1]
No. of floors2 (3 in Belk)

Coordinates: 35°50′N 78°41′W / 35.84°N 78.68°W / 35.84; -78.68

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 and Macy's.


Crabtree Valley Mall of Raleigh, NC

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.

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 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.[2] 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.

Hecht's was replaced by Macy's in September 2006 as part of Federated Department Stores, Inc. absorbing The May Department Stores Company brands which also includes Hecht's after acquiring the company in 2005.

On August 22, 2018, Sears announced that its store would be closing as part of a plan to close 46 stores nationwide. The store closed on November 25, 2018.[3] This left the mall with two remaining anchors Belk and Macy’s.

Flooding risk[edit]

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. Because the watershed around the mall have 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. However, the problem has returned and lower levels are still likely to flood during heavy rains in the summer months.

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.

The lower level of the parking structure along with small parts of the main building have also flooded in 2013, March 2016 and, on July 16, 2016[4] when during an intense storm Crabtree creek rose 8 feet, closing some roads that surround the mall and flooding parking lots.[5] The storm left dozens stranded and cars flooded.

Crabtree Special Police[edit]

Crabtree Valley Mall is the only mall in The Triangle that has its own private police force.[6] The force is sworn in under North Carolina General Statutes Chapter 74E,[7] more commonly known as the Company Police Act, which gives them the power of arrest, and requires them to be state certified officers as any municipal police agency. But due to the mall focusing on retail and customer service, Crabtree Police officers are not allowed to carry firearms while on duty.[1]

2016 Lockdown[edit]

At 2:45 p.m. on August 13, 2016, the Raleigh Police Department received multiple 911 calls, reporting that shots had been fired near Lush. The mall was placed into lockdown. Several roads around the mall, including Glenwood Avenue and parts of NC 50 known in the area as Creedmoor Road were closed. Eight people were sent to the hospital for injuries sustained while trying to flee the mall. GoRaleigh Buses were deployed to help evacuate people from the immediate area of the mall, while those who couldn't board buses were forced to wait in the parking lot of a nearby Marriott. Those who couldn't leave the inside of the mall were told to shelter in place in stores. After thorough investigation, it was determined that no shooter was ever present, no bullet casings, holes or any sort of damage was found and police believe the mass reaction was caused by a chain reaction of fear among patrons. There had been several public shootings in the US around this time which led to an uneasiness in largely unprotected, highly traveled places like a mall. The fact that the Malls Special Police Department is unarmed drastically limited the police response and rendered it from a minute to several minutes. [8]

Interesting Events[edit]

In November or 2011, six protesters with connections to the anti-Wall Street group "Occupy" were arrested for protesting in the mall's food court. Earlier in the day, Crabtree officials told the group that they could not demonstrate on mall property; The Raleigh Police offered to watch oversee a protest on public sidewalks next to the mall.[9]

In April 2012, Producers from Iron Man 3 held an open casting call for the movie. Thousands showed up to Crabtree to get their chance to be in the final chapter of the Iron Man trilogy.[10]

Starting in 2012 popular Fox shows The X Factor and American Idol held auditions at Crabtree. The practice stayed in place until the end of the shows in 2013 and 2015.[11][12]


  1. ^ Triangle Business Journal - Largest Shopping Centers 2011
  2. ^ WRAL. "Concrete Company Connected With Collapses Has Triangle Ties ::". Retrieved 2016-03-27.
  3. ^
  4. ^ "WRAL".
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Crabtree Valley Mall Security & Police | Security Jobs in Raleigh NC". Retrieved 2016-08-14.
  7. ^ "North Carolina General Assembly - General Statutes - Chapter 74E: Company Police Act". Retrieved 2016-08-14.
  8. ^ WRAL (2016-08-13). "Shots fired? Search continues but mall will reopen ::". Retrieved 2016-08-14.
  9. ^ WRAL (2011-11-25). "'Occupy Raleigh' protesters arrested at Crabtree Valley Mall ::". Retrieved 2016-08-14.
  10. ^ WRAL (2012-04-14). "Thousands turn out for 'Iron Man 3' casting call in Raleigh ::". Retrieved 2016-08-14.
  11. ^ WRAL (2012-04-16). "Win a guaranteed X Factor audition :: Out and About at". Retrieved 2016-08-14.
  12. ^ WRAL (2012-07-02). "Are you the next American Idol? :: Out and About at". Retrieved 2016-08-14.

External links[edit]