Plaza Mayor (Oklahoma)
Overhead satellite image of Plaza Mayor
|Location||Oklahoma City, Oklahoma|
|Opening date||February 17, 1974|
|No. of stores and services||36|
|No. of anchor tenants||1 (3 vacant)|
|Total retail floor area||1,268,000 sq ft (117,800 m2)|
|No. of floors||2|
Plaza Mayor at the Crossroads opened on February 17, 1974 as Crossroads Mall with anchor stores John A. Brown, Dillard's, Montgomery Ward, and JC Penney. The name Crossroads Mall was chosen because it lies at the major intersection of I-35 and I-240, a major crossroads of the city. At the time of its opening, it was one of the largest construction projects to have ever taken place in the state of Oklahoma, and also was among the ten largest shopping malls in the United States. A 1974 a Daily Oklahoman newspaper article heralded the shopping mall as "the most magnificent enclosed and air-conditioned shopping mall in the Southwest."  The mall contains approximately 36 stores and services. It also has a very large trade zone outside of the mall building itself with numerous retailers, and restaurants, including two hotels and a movie theater. Plaza Mayor had been one of the more popular shopping establishments in the city for well over twenty years. It is noted as one of the primary reasons for the suburban flight of retail shoppes from Downtown Oklahoma City, which is now beginning to show an increase of retail shoppes following the Metropolitan Area Projects Plan.
In 2001 Montgomery Ward closed its doors due to bankruptcy. Even with its popularity, in its over 30-year history Plaza Mayor lacks any substantial renovations or retail growth. The expansion of shopping centers in Moore and along I-240 west of the mall has also contributed to a dramatic decline in the number of shoppers. Plaza Mayor is situated in an area of increased gang activity, leading to an increase in crime and safety issues. Teen loitering had increasingly become a problem to the point that on October 26, 2006, the mall imposed a weekend curfew prohibiting teens younger than 18 years of age from shopping after 6 PM on Fridays and Saturdays unless they were accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. It was anticipated that by imposing the curfew, the mall would become more family friendly.
All four anchor stores eventually vacated the mall, as a result of the 2008 economic downturn and increased gang activity. With the closure of anchor stores Dillard's, JCPenney, Macy's and Steve & Barry's, vacancy throughout the rest of the mall became a serious problem as many smaller stores also closed at about the same time. The property was foreclosed upon in April 2009 and it fell under the ownership of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York due to the Bear Stearns bailout. The mall was part of a portfolio of Bear Stearns assets, including $5.5 billion in commercial loans, that the Fed used to secure $29 billion to lend to JPMorgan Chase to buy Bear Stearns. According to Price Edwards & Co.’s 2010 Oklahoma City Mid-Year Retail Market Summary report, Crossroads Mall was 75 percent vacant. On September 14, 2011, the mall was purchased by Raptor Properties, LLC for $3.5 million, far below the $24 million asking price. Although the sale only included 762,532 square feet (70,841.5 m2), as several other parts of the property were previously sold to other investors.
A young man opened fire on May 27, 2006, injuring a teen before the man was shot and killed by an off-duty sheriff’s deputy.
On November 26, 2008, following reports that individuals in a vehicle travelling on Interstate 240 had pulled a gun on the driver of another vehicle, a police helicopter followed the vehicle of the suspected gunmen as it drove into the mall parking lot where one suspect, or suspects, exited the vehicle and ran into the entrance of Dillard's. Police surrounded the mall's entrances and exits and were also able to surround the suspects' vehicle. Two suspects were subsequently arrested, including the alleged gunman Brandon Gunn. A third suspect was detained, but not arrested. The mall was not evacuated and there were no reports of injuries.
On March 24, 2009, Oklahoma City Police officer Daniel Dominguez was arrested after he allegedly struck his girlfriend during a domestic dispute a day before at a local hospital. At the time Dominguez was working security at the mall.
Re-branding & future renovations
In April 2013, Raptor Properties announced plans to re-brand Crossroads Mall in a similar fashion to the revitalized La Gran Plaza in Fort Worth, Texas by attracting businesses that serve the local Hispanic community. On April 24, 2013, Raptor announced that the new name of the mall would be Plaza Mayor at the Crossroads. They also announced future renovations that include space for a grocery store, a nightclub and a rodeo arena seating 3,500 spectators. The mall's entrances and bathrooms will also be remodeled and the carousel will be moved to make way for a new stage and entertainment area, complete with $100,000 worth of new sound and lighting equipment. As of January 2017, plans for the re-development are still in progress.
- "Crossroads Opening Set Wednesday", The Daily Oklahoman, p. 68, 1974-02-12
- Bull, Alister (October 21, 2009), Deserted shopping mall bleak symbol of Fed bailout, Reuters
- Currin, Darren (July 15, 2010). "Lot Lines: Hope is on the horizon". The Journal Record. Retrieved October 22, 2013.
- Mize, Richard (September 14, 2011). "Oklahoma City's Raptor Properties buy Crossroads Mall from Federal Reserve". Newsok.com. Retrieved October 22, 2013.
- "One Dead in Oklahoma Mall Shooting". Associated Press. May 28, 2006. Retrieved October 22, 2013.
- "Police Arrest Suspects at Crossroads Mall". News9.com. November 26, 2008. Retrieved October 22, 2013.
- Jordan, Jon (March 25, 2009). "Officer Arrested in Domestic Dispute". News9.com. Retrieved October 22, 2013.
- "Crossroads Mall developer has plans to revitalize, serve community". KOCO Television. Retrieved 25 April 2013.
- "Plaza Mayor at the Crossroads: new name, new direction for ailing Oklahoma City mall". The Daily Oklahoman / NewsOK. Retrieved 25 April 2013.