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.
Barney's Coffee and Tea Company
B Dalton Bookseller
J Todd Diamond Creations
JB Robinson Jewelers
Kay Bee Toys
Kinney The Great American Shoe Store
Mitchell's Formal Wear
Naturalizer Shoe Shoppes
Pearle Vision Center
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
J Brenners Cheesesteak and Subs
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.