Face-lift for Edina's venerable Southdale mall

  • Article by: STEVE ALEXANDER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 24, 2012 - 10:41 PM

A $19.1 million renovation of Southdale that will make it fancier, although not larger, has drawn five new stores.

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markskiMay. 24, 12 4:00 PM

bummer, I'm not a loyal customer.

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gwbuddyMay. 24, 12 4:02 PM

After the terrible way in which Southdale pushed Ralph's Shoe Service out the door, my shopping days at that mall are history. That's what they get for poorly managing the property. I doubt that the planned improvements are going to do much to encourage disgruntled shoppers -- like me -- to even set foot in the Southdale mall.

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crock2May. 24, 12 4:10 PM

How about restoring it to it's former glory? When it was first built, it was the gold standard that other malls could only try to imitate. It could be an architectural landmark by now -- a tourist sight, so to speak -- if it had just been left alone instead of going through all these endless remodels....

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pipdipchipMay. 24, 12 5:01 PM

@crock2, can you really blame them for waiting to update their mall? There's nothing worse than walking into a mall and thinking "Wow, it looks like this place hasn't been touched since the 80s". You can't blame them for trying to get their mall up-to-date and get that "new mall" smell back.

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jessy09May. 24, 12 6:29 PM

It's about time - when I moved here in the 80s, Southdale was definitely the most upscale mall. Now it needs help. It was upgraded in about 1985 and most of it looks like 1985. The basic design is still good - hopefully it will get its former cache back.

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loudensmomMay. 24, 12 6:44 PM

Disapointing. Half these new tenants are already at other malls. Was hoping for some actually new/unique store concepts. These new tenants just help fill in all the existing vacant storefronts. And can we get rid of that annoying choo-choo train. What little revenue it generates cant be worth how irritating it is to those of us without toddlers

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pdxtranMay. 24, 12 8:36 PM

At this point, the original mall design would in itself be a tourist attraction. Maybe you couldn't have live goldfish and canaries anymore, but the original design, with its unusual floors, sidewalk cafe, unique stores, plants hanging from the third floor, the soaring bird cage, and the kiddieland in the basement, had something that the "updates" have lacked: character. It might even have been on the National Register of Historic Places by this point. But now, blaah. It looks just like every other mall.

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getacluemanMay. 24, 12 9:01 PM

I was in the Southdale area one evening this winter with some time to kill while waiting for one of my kid's activities to end. I hadn't been there since maybe the early 90s - shortly after they had remodeled it last in that now dated seafoam green color with the bright gold light fixtures. I walked in the place, and it was like I was walking into a time warp. Nothing had changed in 20 years. Many of the store fronts were boarded up and harldy anyone was shopping. Then these 3 gangster types come walking through the middle of the place with this big DOG ! No, it was NOT one of those helper dogs either. Not a single security guards any where in sight. I got out of there and vowed never to return again. When I got back out to my car, I noticed garbage spewed all over the parking lot. What happened to this neighborhood? Edina used to be a classy area.

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gsnellMay. 24, 1210:22 PM

In 1963 I was a 13 year old kid working at Pets Unlimited (remember Emmanual the parrot in the hall?) in the greatest mall in the US. I live in Kenya now but when in MN went to Southdale and almost cried. The place was empty and dark in the daylight. I was depressed just being there and lost all interest in shopping. I hope this remodel does the job...

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ddellwoMay. 25, 12 8:24 AM

The last time I went to Southdale, I thought I had mistakenly entered Eden Prairie Center in the era before Target moved in over there! Lots of vacant store fronts and the few people that were walking around looked like Zombies! If I had seen a "Musicland" or an "Alladin's Castle", I might have tried to pop into "Dayton's" and look for a pair of red parachute pants!

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