The Parkdale Mall in Beaumont

Contributor: Cindy May

The Parkdale Mall in Beaumont, Texas is a shopping center that has been around for over 40 years.

It was built in 1974 with the intention of becoming one of Southeast Texas's most successful malls, but there have been many problems and setbacks along the way…

The mall opened as a two-story facility consisting mainly of anchor stores: JCPenney on the first floor, Foley's upstairs, and Sears at either end. The food court featured an Orange Julius stand near Sears' entrance.

In 1976, Montgomery Ward replaced Sears to become another major anchor store. Later additions included Mervyns (closed 2008) and Home Depot which became retail anchors when they were added in 1990 on former parking lot space next to Montgomery Ward (now Macy's). A federal courthouse, the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Texas, is located on a lower level.

In 1991-1992 renovations were undertaken to improve traffic flow and provide more parking spaces. The mall was then expanded with two new wings: one including an additional Foley's store while another included Mervyns (now Macy's) which opened in 1993.

Parkdale Mall has been plagued by many problems over the years such as slow or stagnant growth during economic downturns; construction competition from newer malls like Baybrook Mall about 20 miles away near Houston; serious crime at nearby apartment complexes that have become low income neighborhoods; poor management decisions leading to its foreclosure status after being taken over by General Growth Properties Inc.; Hurricane Ritana in 2005; and natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina.

This is the biggest mall in Beaumont, TX.

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