Gateway Fashion Mall
Gateway Fashion Mall is an enclosed regional shopping center anchored by Sears, Harbor Freight Tools, Jo-Ann Fabric, and the PrimeCare Medical Mall. AMC Theaters (formerly Carmike/Midco) also operates an eight-screen movie theater inside the mall, which was once the largest theater in the region.
For most of existence, Gateway Mall was a fully enclosed shopping center. However, recent renovations and store alterations have closed off interior mall access to many of the tenants, including Jo-Ann Fabric and Harbor Freight Tools.
In addition to the center itself, several prosperous outlots surround Gateway Mall.
Gateway Mall opened in September 1979 along the booming State Street Corridor, near the US Highway 83/Interstate 94 interchange. It was the region’s third fully enclosed shopping center, following Northbrook Mall and Kirkwood Mall. Three strong anchors initially supported the shopping center: national department store Sears, long-time local department store A.W. Lucas, and regional discount department chain White Mart.
Despite promising expectations, Gateway Mall has been plagued with tenant instability since inception, particularly with regard to its south anchor. Sears – an original anchor – is the only consistent tenant.
South/Center Anchor Changes
After 83 years in business, A.W. Lucas permanently shuttered in 1982 – less than three years after Gateway Mall’s opening. The space was soon taken over by Moorhead-based Eckstein Department Store, which was purchased by Herbergers the following year. Herbergers, too, departed in late 1993 upon expanding its Kirkwood Mall store, leaving the anchor space largely vacant for nearly two years.
After the departure of Herbergers in late 1993, the space witnessed ongoing turbulence for decades.
Jacobs Trading Company & Conlin’s Furniture
For a short time, the center anchor was occupied by regional deep-discount department store Jacobs Trading Company (later called World’s Greatest Deals). Upon its closure in 1999, Gateway was unable to attract a permanent replacement for the center anchor until Conlin’s Furniture occupied it in 2004. Despite shuttering its long-standing downtown store in favor of its new Gateway Mall location, Conlin’s tenure at the mall was short lived, relocating in December 2009 to its present location. This left the center anchor, again, vacant.
In March 2010, Gateway Mall announced that Famous Labels, an off-price retail chain, had signed a lease to occupy the south anchor space vacated by Conlin’s Furniture months earlier. Famous Labels opened in November 2010, only to close in February 2012.
Harbor Freight Tools
For the next three years, the south anchor again stood mostly vacant, until the opening of Harbor Freight Tools in 2015, which only occupied a small portion of the anchor.
Northeast Anchor Changes
White Mart closed in 1986 shortly after its parent company merged with Minnesota-based Thrity Drug.
The former White Mart space was soon after replaced by home improvement chain Menards, who has since vacated after building their own store just north of the mall.
In 2001, PrimeCare converted 30,000 square feet – roughly half – of the former Menards anchor space into a “Medical Mall.”
In 2003, Hancock Fabrics relocated into the remaining former Menards space from a location across the street from Kmart. Hancock shuttered all of its stores in 2016 and (as of March 2017) has yet to be replaced.
Reinventing Gateway Mall
Between 2003-2006, Gateway Mall was sold a total of three times. Upon purchasing Gateway Mall in 2006 for $13.25 million, Raymond Arjmand promised to pump new life into the dying shopping center. Major renovation and ambitious expansion plans were soon announced for the newly christened “Gateway Fashion Mall.” A multi-million dollar renovation was completed in 2009, which included a new exterior facade and interior cosmetic upgrades.
At the time of Ajmand’s renovation announcement, it was rumored that Macy’s would establish itself as a new anchor; however, this never materialized.
By the end of 2006, it was reported that Gateway Mall was 100% leased, for the first time in many years, and things appeared promising for the newly reinvented shopping center.
CVS/pharmacy, an original tenant (as Osco Drug), departed Gateway Mall in February 2009 upon relocating into a brand-new freestanding store. This would prove to be only the first blow to the shopping center in 2009.
On June 26, 2009, Conlin’s Furniture and Joy’s Hallmark both announced that they were departing. This marked the fourth time a major store had vacated the south anchor space, originally occupied by A.W. Lucas. Joy’s Hallmark, who also maintained a location at Kirkwood Mall at the time, had been a tenant at Gateway Mall for over 20 years.
In July 2009, the owner of Joy’s Hallmark filed a lawsuit against Gateway Fashion Mall’s owner, Raymond Arjmand, with allegations of fraud and misuse of money. Not longer after, it was revealed that Arjmand was facing similar lawsuits at two malls he owns in California. The Joy’s Hallmark lawsuit was dismissed in February 2013.
Hansen’s Menswear, another long-time tenant, departed in October 2009 upon relocating.
By the end of 2009, Gateway Mall’s position once again seemed grim, with vacancies approaching record levels that includes empty anchor and junior anchor spaces.
Recent History (2012-Present)
In March 2012, long-time tenant Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft relocated into into the former CVS/pharmacy space, left empty since CVS’s departure in February 2009. Surprisingly, the interior mall entrance to the store was closed off, allegedly due to a dispute with neighboring Hancock Fabrics.
In 2015, Longhorn Steakhouse was established in one of the mall’s outlots, while Harbor Freight Tools occupied part of the center anchor.
Gateway Mall does have a food court, however it has been unable to retain tenants. Past restaurants that have had locations within the food court have included Subway, Orange Julius, Papa D’s Pizza, Wild Willie’s, and Taco Tina’s.
There are, however, two sit-down restaurants located within the center, Shogun and the Rock’n 50’s Cafe, in addition to a coffee shop and BC Bagels.
Restaurants located on the outlots include Oahu Hawaiian BBQ & Sushi Bar, KFC, Perkins, Longhorn Steakhouse, and Paradiso. Burger King vacated its outlout in 2012.
>See also: Gateway Mall Directory Listings
Current Anchors & Major Tenants
- Sears (1979-Present)
- Shogun (2015-Present)
- Harbor Freight Tools (2015-Present)
- Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft
- PrimeCare Medical Mall (2001-Present)
- Rock-N 50s Cafe
- Heritage Pharmacy
- BC Bagels
- Prairie Creek
- Hobby Lobby
- Gate City Bank
- Oahu Hawaiian Barbeque and Asian Cuisine (2013-Present)
- Longhorn Steakhouse (2015-Present)
Former Anchors & Major Tenants
- A.W. Lucas Company [1979-1982]
- Eckstein Department Store [1982-1983]
- Conlin’s Furniture [2004-2009]
- CVS/pharmacy (Osco Drug) [1979-2009]
- Famous Labels [2010-2012]
- Gateway To Science Center [1994-?]
- Hancock Fabric [2003-2016]
- Hansen’s Menswear [1979-2009]
- Herbergers [1983-1993]
- House of Sund
- Jacob’s Trading Company / World’s Greatest Deals [1995-1999]
- Menards [1987-2001]
- White Mart [1979-1986]
- Burger King (Outlot) [1992-2012]
- Payless Shoes
- Orange Julius
- Bob’s Photo
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