Monday, June 10, 2019

Valle Vista Mall Harlingen Tx.

We continue the Rio Grande tour with the Valle Vista Mall. The mall opened in 1983, covers over 600,000 square feet, and sits at a very busy intersection of I-69E and Interstate 2. Sadly the freeways tower over the mall which will cause you to miss the mall if your are not paying attention to the exits. The mall currently has an anchor roster of JCPenney, Dillard's, and Big Lots. Sears closed on January 6, 2019. Forever 21 was also an anchor that closed in 2017.

The corridor between Dillard's and the former Sears which was in the final days on my visit was nearly empty.

Now we start to see more businesses as we pass the Dillard's mall entrance.

Now we take a brief pitstop to check out this FYE location. These are becoming rarer as they have been closing locations one by one over the years.

I guess you cannot have enough POP figures.

Now for the rest of the mall.

The mall curves going towards JCPenney. The former Forever 21 entrance was to the right.

Mr. Music, an old school sign for an old school type of mall business.

The plain JCPenney entrance contrasts with the detail on the ceiling. The mall has a lot of interesting design elements inside and outside. 

As you can see, this is not a large mall, but it is a good size for Harlingen. Harlingen has a population of around 65,000 people. The Rio Grande Valley has a population of over 1,200,000, but Brownsville and McAllen have much bigger and better malls. 

Part of the mini-food court.

More storefronts including an old school Bath and Body Works.

FYE again.

The Dillards store does not have the level of detail that the rest of the mall has.

As you can see, once you pass Dillard's there is not much left.

The level of detail at the mall entrance to Sears is awesome. This is not your typical Sears entrance.

This mall entrance has been updated with color changing LED lights and looks very modern. Sadly this is the mall entrance next to Sears.

Now for some exterior shots of the mall.

Former Forever 21 anchor, you can see the labelscars better in the day shots.

Obviously a former Circuit City. I wonder what ever happened to their brick and mortar retail comeback. The website is up and running for online orders, but no B&M locations for now.

There is more to come, stay tuned!


  1. It is great to see some malls from the Valley. It seems that the Valley is full of interesting retail stories. It's great that you were able to visit there.

    This mall looks like it is physically in pretty good shape even if the mall appears to be struggling somewhat. Sears is now gone from the mall and it looks like there are a fair number of vacancies. Many of the remaining stores are not major chain stores. The major chain stores left mostly appear to be the typical ones which hang around at dying malls: Bath & Body Works, Footaction, and GNC.

    Is the Dillard's at this mall just a clearance store? The signage on the outside of the store seems to indicate that it's a clearance store. The Dillard's looks very odd on the outside for a Dillard's. Was this previously a Joske's or some other chain?

    The JCPenney obviously has a somewhat older design on the outside, but yet the light colored paint on the outside of it makes it look a tad bit modern. Just a tad. The Gold's Gym most certainly looks like a Circuit City and the Big Lots is rather odd. I'm not sure if I've seen a Big Lots at a mall before other than the North Oaks Mall if you want to count that.

    The mall entrance to the Sears is very interesting. I'm glad Sears did not convert that to their typical white tile facade like they did at most other malls. I'll have more thoughts about the Sears here in the post specifically about this Sears.

    As I said earlier, this mall looks to be in pretty good condition. The flooring looks pretty modern. The ceiling design is very interesting. I wonder if the woodwork was painted/stained brown when the mall opened, but has subsequently been painted white during renovations.

    It's great seeing that Mr. Music store. Music stores like that are almost extinct in US malls. It's also great seeing the pictures inside the FYE, thanks. There aren't many FYEs in Texas. It's great to see inside one of them. This mall has a pretty interesting mix of stores even if it doesn't have many stores. It's great seeing those CDs at the FYE. It's hardly the selection that Sam Goody had in the 1990s, but it's certainly better than nothing even if some of those prices seem a bit high. Oh well, I've found FYE's online CD prices to be quite good. I've ordered from them before a couple of times.

    Hopefully the loss of Sears won't hurt this mall too much, but I don't know. At least this mall still seems like a pleasant place to spend some time especially if one likes music.

    1. You are right, there are not a lot of chain stores left. Most of them are clustered between Dillard's and the food court.

      The Dillard's was a regular store, it was not very big from what I could gather. It was rather strange that they had the word clearance on the mall entrance sign. Maybe they were in the process of converting it to a clearance store.

      There is a lot of big box retail on I-2 near the mall, and all the way to McAllen. I wasn't expecting the area to be as heavily retailed as it is so it was a pleasant surprise. The next time I go down there, I will have to check out the Brownsville area and the beaches. I probably picked the coldest day of the Winter season to go down there, so beaches were not happening. The cold air went right through my light jacket, lol.