Happy 50th to the ‘unbuildable’ Crossroads
|By Gena Hiemenz, St. Cloud Times, Minn.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
Area residents had their doubts when work began in the huge peat bog where slough grass and cattails thrived. The location between
Land developers had been eyeing the property since the mid-1950s. First, it was going to be a food store. But years passed, and nothing was done. Later, another developer looked at it for a possible retail complex. Again, nothing.
Rumors ramped up in the early 1960s. More developers came, but nothing would be built. All of that would change in spring 1964.
An investigation by a
Off-street parking would be provided for more than 3,000 cars and the enclosed mall would be "air-conditioned and heated for a uniform 72-degree year-round temperature."
However, once construction began, the viability of the center was questioned: Were the retail spaces too far apart? Was the shopping center too far from downtown? How would the developers ever fill the retail spaces? And who would shop there?
At the same time, then-
He issued a statement: "It should be clearly pointed out to
To Henry, it was obvious. Crossroads' developers were depending on the city's population for its revenue, but wanted to avoid municipal taxes. Henry and his staff would work behind the scenes to research the law and collect data, being careful not to tip off the city of
Festivities lasted four days and included special guest appearances by
"When it opened, I would label it a small-town shopping center," said
Sources: Times archives,
Stores open at the time of the grand opening in
--Cinema 70 Theater
--Hallmark Cards and Gifts
--Pako Film Shop
--Shirley's Maternity Fashions
Crossroads Center timeline
1976: The mall adds almost 200,000 square feet with the addition of
1985: A 108,000-square-foot Target store and 23 specialty stores open on the northeast end of the mall. Crossroads also adds 660 parking stalls on the northwest side. By the end of the year, there are 103 store spaces.
1986: An additional 18 shops open, bringing the store total to 125 and square footage to about 750,000.
1990: The mall is at full occupancy in January with a record 128 stores.
Fall 1995: A seven-month,
2003: Target finishes a 23,000-square-foot expansion in October.
2004: Construction is completed on a 128,000-square-foot
Source: Times archive
Current mall hours
Crossroads Center overview
Type of center: Single-level, enclosed, regional mall.
Anchor tenants: Macy's,
Number of stores: 119.
Total gross leasable area: 891,000.
Number of parking spaces: 4,300.
About the mall's owner
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