Sunday, March 4, 2012

Esplanade Mall Kenner LA 2012

Update: This mall was featured in parts of the movie 21 Jumpstreet. The Macy's is shown in the movie with a generic sign reading "The Mall", and the Shoe Dept Encore is a part of a scene.
The Esplanade Mall at 1.3 million sq ft; officially opened October 9, 1985 at 10 am on the former Cincy Ranch Tract. The Esplanade was developed ahead of an older project called Loyola Square that was to have had five department stores (Lord and Taylor and Dillard's were the only two announced). The Esplanade broke ground in 1983 and Loyola Square was scheduled to open in 1984, but never got off of the ground. The two story Esplanade Mall opened with 80 stores; DH Holmes, Mervyn's, and Godchaux's as the anchors. In 1986 the Macy's opened along with more of the mall to increase the store count to over 100. The theme of the mall was "Just your style" and the mall was very popular for many years even during the oil bust years. 
(Logo from the grand opening ad)

Several stores from the grand opening store list.

5-7-9 Shop
9 West
Added Dimensions
Barney's Coffee and Tea Company
B Dalton Bookseller
Casual Corner
Chess King
Cuddly Friends
Cutlery World
Electronics Boutique
Fanfares Shoes
Foot Locker
J Todd Diamond Creations
JB Robinson Jewelers
Kay Bee Toys
Kinney The Great American Shoe Store
Leonard Krower
Little Sports
Mitchell's Formal Wear
Naturalizer Shoe Shoppes
Other Dimensions
Paul Harris
Pearle Vision Center
Petite Sophisticate
Record Bar
Sound Shop
Stride Rite
The Bombay Company
The Children's Place
The Picture Show
Thom Mc Ann
Ups and Downs
Wolf Camera and Video

Fast forward to 2005, the mall and Macy's sustained flood damage from Hurricane Katrina. The mall was closed for a few weeks but reopened minus Macy's. Mervyn's reopened only to begin their closing sale as the company exited Louisiana in late 2005. Macy's waited until 2008 to fix their store and reopened in November 2008 along with the new store at Lakeside. Macy's did not reopen the third level of their store leaving the anchor with less total sales space. With the mall down to only the two Dillard's stores as anchors for nearly three years, many inline tenants left. Target opened in July 2011 but as a single level store. Dillard's in the Summer of 2011 closed the Men's store anchor and they are converting the Dillard's Women's store into a clearance center. The second floor of the clearance center has been closed off as well as part of the first floor. Macy's is the only anchor to have a second floor mall entrance still open, but the mall has two second floor entrances and the food court on the second level. The mall has a few new stores in the works and still has many popular stores. With a newer Macy's and brand new Target, Simon is just beginning to reinvent the Esplanade Mall for the future.

Note to viewers; my camera was having troubles during this mall visit; sorry for the blurry photos.      
The Dillards/ DH Holmes anchor has been downgraded to a clearance center.  
The next two photos are the second floor that has been closed off.
Target took the place of the closed Mervyn's, but the store is only one story.  
This is the entrance to the former Dillard's Mens store/ Godchaux store. The anchor was being used for some kind of home goods weekend sale on my last visit.
This Champs store is one of the last stores left in the second floor wing towards the Dillards clearance center. 
"The Chefs at La Terrasse are busy whipping up your favorite repasts" (from the opening article). This is the fanciest advertising for a food court. The La Terrasse food court has several bright New Orleans style lights.
1985 Food court restaurants
Chik Fil A (Across the mall from the actual food court)
Crescent City Po-Boy
Fried Stuff
Gyro Wrap
J Brenners Cheesesteak and Subs
Taco Viva
The Original Italian Ice Cream

Today the food court has little to offer with half of the spaces closed up or converted to retail shops.
The entrance to Macy's the only anchor with two floors still in use.
A hallway to nowhere; this area is above the mall entrance in between Macy's and Target.

The entrance near the food court.
Target has taken over the former Mervyn's space as a one level anchor with a mall entrance. I am surprised that they did not make the Target store two stories to match the design of the mall. Clearview Mall in Metairie has a two story Target in a one level mall.
The Dillard's men's store was recently closed.


  1. Great post! The mall directory pictured above, is that what is still up?

  2. The mall directory pictured here was in place for my January 2012 visit. I used to live near this mall and I would like to see the mall rebound.

  3. Wow, that mall looks as depressing as they come. I was in Lakeside last June and it was vibrant.

  4. I hear that there is an auction site there now called World of Decor. It only opens from time to time Did it open in the Dillard's Men store?

  5. Yes, I have a picture of the mall entrance, but there was a gazeebo partially blocking the sign. That anchor is the perfect size for a Belk store and the mall owners should pursue them to bring a store to the southshore.

  6. Very good read.

  7. The Esplanade Mall is getting a new Grand 14 Cinema. It looks like the cinema is not going to be attached to the mall though unless I missed something in the article.