Saturday, April 25, 2009
Belle Promenade Mall ruins July 2007
Belle Prominade opened up in 1983 in the west bank New Orleans suburb of Marrero and featured JC Penney on the north side (Which still stands and has been nearly destroyed by vandals and Katrina.)And D.H. Holmes on the south side later bought out by Dillards in 1989. The D.H. Holmes opened up a few months before the mall did. This mall was the stereotypical 1980's modern look with lots of neon and dark interior colors.
The mall also had a pub style restaurant, large food court with center fun arcade, eckerds, waldenbooks, kay-bee toys, Spencer gifts, buster brown shoes and 80+ tenants. In 1985 the cinema opened on the east side attached to the food court entrance. This mall was the king of the west bank of New Orleans until Oakwood expanded and then in the mid 1980's the oil bust of New Orleans started to take its toll on the area. In 1989 the eckerds, pub restaurant, and several chain stores had closed D.H. Holmes also became Dillards this year as well. In 1993 the owners spent millions renovating the mall and took out the center arcade. Mall owners put in its place a carousel and changed the inside color to a light white and pink. This remodel added a few new stores but at this point most of the chains had closed and independent stores took some of the empty space. By 1998 kay-bee, waldenbooks, chick fil a, McDonalds, and even the mom and pop stores were leaving. JC Penney’s started a closing sale in Nov 1998 (They moved into a former Maison Blanche location at Oakwood the larger west bank mall after Belle Prominade closed.)Dillards announced that they refused to be the only anchor in the mall and started their closing sale a week later. Dillards already had an Oakwood location that was very successful less than 5 miles away. After the anchors closed up the 1980's style spencers that was hidden in a corner by the closed anchor JCPenney closed, then the Dollar Tree and then the Record shop, Champs sports, even the optometrist closed up. A carnival fair in the parking lot that year also was shut down abruptly when three people were shot in a suspected gang fight near the carnival. The last 17 stores on the inside faded to three within 6 months.
Belle prominade mall closed in 2000 and the last three remaining stores were foot locker, lady foot locker, GNC, and the united artists theaters. The inside of the mall closed in March 2000 and the theater boarded up access to the mall, ua theaters closed in June 2000 and the center went dark. The site sat empty until 2001 when partial demolition took place when the old Dillards and half of the mall were taken down. In 2003 the rest of the mall except the old JcPenney anchor was demolished and a road was built through the middle of the old malls floor (Still intact after the demolition) and a Wal-Mart super center opened. Now there is a strip center with the GNC almost directly on top of where the old store was inside the mall.
This is all that remained of the Belle Promenade Mall in July of 2007. This is the JCPenney anchor along with a piece of the old mall attached. The new road that these photos were taken on cuts right through the old mall. If you look the old mall floor is still in place on both sides of the road. Plans to demolish the anchor and replace the site with storage units had been postponed due to Katrina. I have not visited this site since 2008; if anyone has updates please comment.