Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The rebirth of the Riverwalk Mall New Orleans Louisiana Part 2

Now onto part 2, with more information about the former mall. For more photos of the mall see my original post at http://southernretail.blogspot.com/2010/07/riverwalk-marketplace-new-orleans.html

The Riverwalk Marketplace Mall opened on Thursday August 28 with a parade and several festivities.
A barge with a large screen (The floating cinema) showed movies at the Spanish Plaza near the entrance to the Riverwalk from the grand opening to October 1986.
The Levee Market was the China Pavilion at the 1984 World’s Fair.
There were also 2 cruise ships that docked behind the Riverwalk.
The Flamingo Casino later docked at the mall but closed in the late 1990's before the nearby Harrah's Casino opened. 

The Colonade Market was the first level
The Levee Market was the second level and part of the third level
The Bon Fete was the third level food court area

The average store size was 90 square feet, which is much smaller than most traditional malls. The size of the mall is listed at 180,000 square feet with space for over 140 shops and restaurants. The mall did not have any large anchor stores, but there were two junior anchors. 

Riverwalk Store List 1986

15th Street Bookbinders restaurant
Abercrombie and Fitch (Sporting goods and Sportswear)
Emerald Aisles (Irish gifts)
Foot Locker
J.B. Rivers restaurant
Kite Loft (Mentioned in the 1st post)
Magic Masters (Learn magic tricks)
Remington (Shavers and knives)
Rine Chapeaux (Hats)
River Garden (Florist)
S.S. Riverwalk (Gifts)
Sweet Pepper Grill
Swim and Sport
The Mole Hole (Gifts)
The Sport Shop
Totsy’s Steakburgers
Whole Food Co. (The same company  that was on Esplanade Ave. that is now a Whole Foods Market)
Wicks ‘N’ Sticks (Candles)
Yvonne La Fleur Boutique (Womens clothing)
Zasshi’s (Womens clothing)

The Spanish Plaza was also part of the development which is still open as an outdoor market with kiosks, restaurants, and a large fountain.

Here are some August 2013 photos of the exterior of the mall and signage. The mall closed at the end of June 2013.

 There are several directional signs in the area like this one. They will probably be gone too as part of the renovation.
This is what greets shoppers at the entrances to the mall. Click here to see the website which shows the plans for the mall when it reopens in 2014.

Ironically, the section of the mall that was hit by the Bright Field ship is the section of the river that is still open to the public. Behind the higher sections of the mall pylons are being driven to probably improve the size of the mall and bring the stores on the river side out towards the river more.

Here are some photos taken through the windows of the mall that show the progress of the renovation a little more than a month after the mall was closed. Thankfully they kept the riverfront open for people to walk and see into the mall. These photos are from the lower level near the Spanish Plaza. They are moving fast as there is little to see from the old mall. 
As you can see the old Riverwalk Marketplace is on the way to a rebirth as a brand new outlet mall. 


  1. I went to Riverwalk (now officially called The Outlet Collection at Riverwalk) the day after Memorial Day, and a few days after the grand reopening on May 22 and was really impressed! It was like a brand new mall and such a big improvement over the old Riverwalk that was dark and dreary, and frankly depressing on my last visit. There is a bright and soft color scheme that gave it a very energetic vibe, if somewhat a generic look, but definitely a much needed breath of life that was needed. With just a handful of the old stores, all others were brand new outlets stores (except for Forever 21) and include new stores to the New Orleans market like Neiman Marcus Last Call, Puma, Tommy Bahama and Lucky Brand. Gap Outlet is in the same location where the previous Gap “retail” store was. There will also be country singer Toby Keith's "I Love This Bar and Grill" opening soon. The food court has new choices, and 2 new Louisiana based eateries, Izzo’s Illegal Burrito and Raising Canes Chicken Fingers. Having all the latest stores and brands made it seem even more hip. The rebuilt Riverwalk outlet center should keep shoppers coming even after the initial "newness" wears off, and make an excellent companion to the upscale Shops at Canal Place.
    It would be great if Simon Property Group could do something similar to the dying Esplanade Mall in Kenner. Before this change at Riverwalk, it was just like Esplanade Mall is now, dreary and depressing, and worst of all, empty store fronts.


    1. I was about to mention something about the Esplanade before looking at the end of your comment. Has that mall really taken a nosedive recently? I read earlier today about how the government officials in Kenner are publicly trying to get people to shop at the mall along with the mall manager. It looks like the Riverwalk will hurt the Esplanade's chances of renewal unless major investments are made to change the mall. On my last visit to the Esplanade in 2012 it seemed like the mall was hurting especially near the Dillard's outlet store. I am planning on visiting New Orleans before the end of the year so I will make sure to check out the Riverwalk and Esplanade, thank you for the update.

    2. Jamie, I would like to add the Esplanade photos you have to a future Esplanade post. Email me with your new email address at southernmalls@gmail.com