Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Red Bird/Southwest Center Mall Dallas Texas May 2019 update

Here is an update to the everchanging former Southwest Center Mall. Here is my previous visit if you would like to check it out. By the time of my visit, construction had begun on new tenants, and the mall name changed back to Red Bird. Redevelopment started a couple of months before our visit, here is the site plan. Red Bird will be an awesome mixed use property when completed, and thankfully most of the mall structure will remain in place. The redevelopment here is in full swing, while the Valley View Center Mall redevelopment is still in limbo.  

Burlington was the last retail anchor left at the mall. It appeared that only one floor of the anchor was being used as well.

Macy's closed in March 2017. Urban Air Trampoline Park was under construction on the first level of the anchor building.

As you can see, the new Red Bird logo is prominently displayed on the former Macy's anchor.

So here is where we entered the mall. I was not prepared for how things had changed already at the mall.

The food court was completely empty! At the time of my visit, I did not know that this wing of the mall was about to be closed off.

Footaction was one of the few retail holdouts left at this point in the soon to be closed wing of the mall.

Just past Footaction, JCPenney used to operate here. The building was demolished about a decade ago, leaving a big hole that had not been redeveloped as planned.

These circular openings to view the lower level are a nice touch.

The openings also let in light from the skylight.

This is a look down into the still closed off first level of the mall near where JCPenney used to be. More of this corridor had been opened up so you could use the staircase to access the food court. 

An obvious Old Navy on the left.

A newly opened Redbird business development center.

Another look at the former Old Navy.

The center court of the mall. If you look closely, you will see the old Jimmy Jazz on the second floor with the new Jimmy Jazz on the first floor. 

The former Dillard's mall entrance.

I did not notice this old school signage on my last visit, here it is now for your enjoyment.

An up close look at the old Jimmy Jazz.

Inside of the former Macy's anchor.

I am sure that this center court was a bustling place at one time. On this Saturday morning, not so much.

Another closed store on the second floor across from the old Jimmy Jazz.

I finally found some neon lights that worked. These decorative lights throughout the mall are cool to see in person. The reflection from the mirrors really makes these stand out.

As we move towards Sears, I am beginning to realize that something is not right up here.

Or is it?  Foot Locker is still open up here.

But this store moved downstairs.

Here are a couple more stores open on the second floor. This brings the count to 5
 open businesses on the second floor of the mall.

Burlington to the right and the former Sears mall entrance straight ahead.

The Burlington second floor entrance closed was off. No merchandise was inside of the store, similar to the PlazAmericas Mall store in Houston.

Another business left in the corner next to the former Sears.

Here is what the second floor inside of Sears looked like.

Here is the view from the Sears entrance going towards the rest of the mall. This are designed similarly to the JCPenney wing.

The other side of the above area with the Sears entrance visible.

I am pretty sure this was an old Everything's a Dollar entrance.

The Summer Camp is well hidden in this area of the mall near Sears.

Last look before venturing downstairs.

As we make it downstairs, we finally find some good clusters of businesses.

The Burlington mall entrance just does not look good with the burned out neon.

The former Sears mall entrance on the first level had a leftover Everything Must Go sign. I like the tree and vegetation still in place here, it is an old school look.

More businesses near the former Sears mall entrance.

Here is how the inside of the former Sears on the first level looked.

Looking from the Sears into the mall.

The mall entrance near Sears and Burlington had this advertisement of how the property will look in the future.

In this part of the mall between the Burlington and center court, nearly every space was filled. Kiosks were also active.

As we get back to the center court, things quiet down again. 

The former Macy's mall entrance.

The inside of the former Macy's building had been gutted and permits were up for the upcoming Trampoline Park construction.

More views of the center court.

Looking back towards Burlington and the former Sears corridor.

Artwork on display in front of the former Dillard's entrance.

This is the last area of the mall open to visit. This corridor was mostly closed off during my last visit to the mall. Now the corridor was opened up all the way to the staircase to the food court. 

This was some kind of new play area for kids.

The community room to the right was open and being used. On my last visit the community room was on the left. There was a wall covering up this corridor about where the entrance to the new community room is located.

This part of the mall looks really good and they have new Red Bird pictures along some of the walls. 

The end of the mall with the staircase leading up to the food court. Looking at the plans, the mall will be demolished about where the staircase is located to make room for a park, Courtyard by Marriott Hotel, and Luxury apartments. This wall will probably become the new entrance to this part of the mall.

A couple of the stores from the second floor have also relocated to this part of the mall. 

Looking into the closed off portion of the mall where JCPenney was located.

I forgot to mention the Underground Journey's that was open on the second floor, so make it 7 businesses. 

It was at this point that we took a break so I could figure out what was going on at the mall. After a quick online search, we found our answer. The retailers were being moved to the first floor and the second floor was slated to be a business incubator with offices and more. A portion of the mall was going to be demolished which was going to eliminate the food court.

Some last views of the food court before we leave the mall.

I am pretty sure this was a Tilt Arcade at one time.

A view of the fence and ground work going on for the new buildings in front of the former Macy's.
In conclusion, Red Bird Mall is undergoing a huge redevelopment project. My visit was about 2 months after any major work had started, so the mall has probably changed a lot since then. As of my last visit to Dallas in August of 2020, there are now construction cranes on the site (not pictured) and more has changed since my visit. I did not have time to drive by for a quick update, but we could see a little bit as we drove past on I-20. Don't worry though, I was able to visit several new properties on that trip which will be featured here on the blog.