Southwest Center Mall

Southwest Center Mall
Location Dallas in Dallas County, Texas,  United States
Coordinates 32°39′33″N 96°52′42″W / 32.65914°N 96.878407°W / 32.65914; -96.878407Coordinates: 32°39′33″N 96°52′42″W / 32.65914°N 96.878407°W / 32.65914; -96.878407
Opening date 1975
No. of anchor tenants 3
Total retail floor area 1,084,528 sq ft (100,755.9 m2)[1] (100,755 m²)

Southwest Center Mall (formerly Red Bird Mall) is a shopping mall located in Dallas, Texas. Originally owned by the DeBartolo family, it opened in 1975. It was, and remains, the only major one located in the southern half of Dallas. Its original name, Red Bird Mall, came from the Red Bird area of Dallas in which it is located.

Initially, it was anchored by four department stores:

Later, Montgomery Ward added a store near the Sears location, on the same side as Dillard's, but it was swiftly replaced by a Burlington Coat Factory. Many of the stores were either opening their first ones in the southern sector of Dallas, or relocated from older shopping centers in the area.

The decline

The mall did well in the beginning, despite its location in the relatively undeveloped southern portion of Dallas. It is located near the intersection of U.S. Route 67 and Interstate 20 at 3662 W. Camp Wisdom Road. As early as the mid-1980s, demographics began to change dramatically in the area surrounding it, and at the same time a perception of crime began to brand the area so shoppers began taking their business elsewhere. And, in 1988, another regional one, The Parks Mall in Arlington, opened just 15 miles west.

DeBartolo attempted to remodel the mall in 1996, in an attempt to rejuvenate the look. It was then sold to NAAMCO Financial, a California investment group. It was at this time that NAAMCO, in an attempt to attract new tenants, gave it a small refurbishment and new name – Southwest Center Mall. The name changed in 1997. A new food court was added under the reign of DeBartolo. The addition was finished and occupied in 1998 at the northwest entrance. With a price tag of $18 million, it took up the lion's share of updates; upon its change of hands and change of name. In addition, though, Dillard’s increased their store size from 100,000 to 150,000 square feet (14,000 m2), and Sears renovated their entire store in 1998. Montgomery Ward left the mall when it liquidated, and JCPenney closed its store in 2001. This marked the beginning of the end of the mall as stores such as Sam Goody and Old Navy (which had moved in in 2000) closed their locations in 2003 with other big name stores following suit including Dillards.

NAMCO attempted unsuccessfully to sell the mall to General Growth Properties in 2004.

The property eventually went into bankruptcy in 2008; then foreclosure, the lender Madison Capital picked it up, Cityview Commercial was formed as a partner with Madison. A dynamic General Manager formed a partnership with the City, Community, and Ownership to assist with the endeavor of turning it around. Much progress was made, the General Manager resigned, and Boxer was hired to manage the property. The former General Manager is slated to rejoin it in April 2011 and is tasked with the final 25% of development and lease up.

The future

Although the mall faced bankruptcy in 2008 and ultimately went through foreclosure, The Woodmont Company was hired by the Bankruptcy Trustee to manage it. In August 2008, Woodmont hired a dynamic general manager, which in turn created a team that truly revitalized it. The lender, Madison Capital, picked it up and Retail SWC Mall LLC was formed as a partner with Madison. The City of Dallas hired the ULI (Urban Land Institute) to assess the property and give their recommendations. The City of Dallas then paid to have the six-month option to purchase the former JCPenney building. They did not exercise their option. The former Dillard's building was being built out as a Fiesta Mundo and went into bankruptcy 2011. The general manager created a partnership with the City, Community, Lender, and Ownership to assist with the endeavor of turning it around. Much progress was made, then the general manager resigned; Boxer followed as the management company. The former general manager rejoined it in April 2011 and is charged with the final development and lease up (last 25%). Currently it is 80% occupied.


See also


  1. International Council of Shopping Centers Southwest Center Mall. Retrieved Feb 19, 2007.
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