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Northpark Mall Against the Odds PDF Print E-mail
Written by Steve Lackmeyer   
Monday, 01 October 2007 00:00

OCTOBER, 2007: Northpark Mall shouldn’t exist. Spanning just 200,000 square feet, it’s tiny compared to nearby Quail Springs and Penn Square malls. It has no major anchors. It never really did. And when the local economy went into a virtual depression during the 1980s oil bust, owners shut off half the shopping center all together.  

But after all the odds were stacked against Northpark Mall, it not only survives but thrives today. Thirty years ago this week, developer Tom Morris Sr. announced plans for a $3 million expansion that would add 11 tenants, including Street's. The shopping center was a mix of new and old at the time, with the corner of May and NW 122 anchored by a gas station, and a Safeway grocery store at the north end.

The Safeway wouldn't last too much longer - a newer grocery was built across the street, allowing for the old grocery to be converted into more mall space. In its heyday, Northpark Mall was home to the Gas Light Dinner Theater, and the Northpark 4 Cinema drew hundreds when it debuted "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom." One of the first ATMs in Oklahoma City debuted next to the theater, and fake money was issued as a promotional gimmick to get visitors accustomed to the idea of automated banking.

Northpark never found an anchor bigger than Street's, and when the chain shut down, that space went empty for what seemed like an eternity. But today the mall, still owned by the Morris family, remains a popular destination for shoppers looking for upscale and boutique stores, or simply a good meal or cheap film at the revamped Northpark 8.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 02 September 2008 00:26