River Roads Mall

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River Roads Mall
River Roads Logo Crisp 1.png
Location Jennings, Missouri, United States
Coordinates 38°43′42″N 90°14′44″W / 38.72844°N 90.24557°W / 38.72844; -90.24557Coordinates: 38°43′42″N 90°14′44″W / 38.72844°N 90.24557°W / 38.72844; -90.24557
Opening date 1962
Closing date ca. 1995, demolished 2006
Developer Stix, Baer & Fuller
No. of anchor tenants 3
Total retail floor area 600,000 square feet (55,741.8 m2)
No. of floors 2

River Roads Mall was an enclosed shopping mall located in the city of Jennings, a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri, United States. Opened in 1962 as one of the nation's first shopping malls,[1] the mall declined in the 1990s, becoming a dead mall and eventually being shuttered in 1995. Demolition of the long-vacant mall began in 2006.

History[edit]

Opened in 1962, the mall originally featured St. Louis-based Stix, Baer & Fuller as its main anchor store, as well as a Kroger supermarket and a Woolworth dime store. Walgreens operated a store in the mall as well. A 1970s expansion brought JCPenney as a second anchor store. Dillard's bought the Stix, Baer & Fuller chain in 1984, converting all Stix, Baer & Fuller stores to the Dillard's name. However, the River Roads Mall store was closed not long afterward in 1986 at the end of the lease. JCPenney converted its store to a JCPenney outlet in 1984. Woolworth closed the River Roads location (along with locations at West County Mall and in South St. Louis City) in early 1991 during one of the chain's earliest rounds of store closures. By the early 1990s, the mall was briefly renamed St. Louis Consumer Center.[2]

Food For Less[edit]

River Roads Mall's Kroger was converted to an independent supermarket called Food For Less after Kroger pulled out of the St. Louis market in 1986. Food For Less was the last operating store at River Roads Mall because they owned the land under their store. Despite the mall's 1995 closure and 2006 demolition Food For Less stayed open for business through their external entrance, and access to the mall from the Food For Less store was blocked off. Food For Less finally closed in 2009 and their store, the final standing piece of River Roads Mall was demolished in 2011.

Closure and Demolition[edit]

By 1995, all of the stores in the mall had closed, leaving only Food For Less as an anchor and Walgreens, which relocated across the street to a freestanding location at the corner of Halls Ferry Road and Jennings Station Road in 1996. Benderson Development, which had acquired the mall shortly before its closure made the decision to shutter the dead mall in 1995. Benderson then sold the mall property in 1997.[3] River Roads served as a MetroBus transfer point until 2006. Demolition of the vacant structure began in 2006.[1] When the demolition of the mall was completed in September 2007 the only buildings that remained were the Food For Less grocery store which had once been a mall anchor and, at the time, was still in business, and the Firestone Auto and Tire (originally Penny's Auto Service) which is an outparcel near the intersection of Halls Ferry Road and Jennings Station Road. Food For Less was also demolished in 2011 leaving Firestone Auto and Tire as the last remnant of River Roads Mall.

Use of River Roads as a MetroBus Transfer Point[edit]

River Roads also served as a bus transfer point during its history. Seven bus routes converged at Halls Ferry and Jennings Station Road (the intersection where the mall was) until demolition began in August 2006, at which point Metro moved its transfer point to a transit center at Hall Street and Riverview Boulevard in Riverview.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "$4.1 Million in Tax Credits to Rehabilitate River Roads". STL News. 2005-12-25. Retrieved 2007-10-15. 
  2. ^ Directory of major malls. MJJTM Publications Corp. 1990. p. 370. 
  3. ^ Tucci, Linda (1997-12-01). "River Roads Mall owner shops for buyer". St. Louis Business Journal. Retrieved 2007-10-15.