Between shops, stop at Chocolaterie Stam for a sweet pick-me-up. Looking for custom furniture or one-a-kind home goods? Travels in Small-Town America. With several options right off the interstate, shopping in Des Moines is convenient, affordable and sure to result in some amazing finds.
Shop outlet stores from some of the biggest names in fashion, all conveniently located at the Interstate 80 and US interchange in Altoona. Between shops, stop at Chocolaterie Stam for a sweet pick-me-up. This outdoor shopping center is perfect for a date night or an afternoon with the kids.
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Collegiate and High School. Auto and Horse Racing. Walk and Bike Tours. Opened in , it is the oldest regional shopping center in Iowa , and was the largest mall in Iowa in terms of gross leasable area before the opening of Jordan Creek Town Center in neighboring West Des Moines. It was also the site of the deadliest fire in Des Moines' history, which killed eleven people in Sears , Kohl's , and Target are the mall's anchor stores with one vacant anchor last occupied by Younkers , while Applebee's , IHOP , and Starbucks operate on the outparcels of the mall.
Most of the mall is in the northwest part of Des Moines, but the wing that contains the former Younkers, Kohl's, and the food court is inside the city limits of neighboring Urbandale. Merle Hay Mall is independently owned by the Merle Hay Mall Limited Partnership , and the family of one of its original developers continues to manage the mall. A Chicago -based company, Urban Retail Properties, handles the mall's leasing duties.
The site of Merle Hay Mall was originally home to St. Gabriel's Monastery from until its demolition in In , the Passionist monks who resided there sold the monastery site to Chicago-based developers Joseph Abbell and Bernard Greenbaum. Abbell, in a interview, stated that the developers chose Des Moines for their mall because of the city's "reputation as a model urban area in middle America. Merle Hay Plaza opened on August 17, It had 31 stores at the time of its opening, including its first anchor Younkers , as well as a bowling alley that is still in operation today.
Other early tenants included a Safeway supermarket whose space later became part of Sears , Kresge , Bishop's Buffet which closed in , and Walgreens which was replaced by an Old Navy in Two years later, as Valley West Mall and Southridge Mall were under construction, Merle Hay Mall completed a major westward expansion that doubled the size of the mall.
Two additional anchors, Montgomery Ward which also moved from downtown and Younkers Store for Homes, were added to the mall as part of that expansion. By , Merle Hay Mall attracted an average of 35, shoppers per day. In a interview with The Des Moines Register , Iowa State University economist Kenneth Stone stated that Merle Hay Mall successfully adapted to the changing lifestyles of the s and s by offering longer shopping hours during a time when downtown Des Moines merchants began restricting their hours.
Neither did most people. By the early s, people exchanged boasts about how long it had been since they had been downtown. They had found a new kind of happiness at the malls. The original Younkers store at Merle Hay Mall was destroyed by a fire that broke out on the morning of November 5, In early , Des Moines fire officials announced that a hydrogen buildup caused by alkaline water leaking from the store's heating and cooling system caused the fire.
Court documents filed by prosecuting attorneys in stated that an electrical malfunction caused wires that were covered in polyvinyl chloride to overheat, giving off hydrochloric acid. Most of those lawsuits were settled out of court in , while the last suit against B. Goodrich was dismissed by a Polk County district judge in April Merle Hay Mall lost its first anchor in when the Younkers Store for Homes closed after Younkers decided to stop selling furniture and appliances in order to focus on its more profitable fashion business.
In , during the chain's first round of Chapter 11 bankruptcy , Montgomery Ward faced eviction from the mall after an analysis by Kenneth Stone showed that Ward was operating a discount store instead of the "first class, full line department store" that its lease required.
Shopping in West Des Moines Jordan Creek Town Center offers you a retail experience new to the state. Explore a new way to shop in this giant lifestyle center that’s filled with a collection of upscale brand names in a park-like atmosphere complete with a lakefront boardwalk and a screen movie newbez.mlon: Jordan Creek Parkway, West Des Moines, , IA. Find your new favorite stores & more at Valley West Mall. Job Opportunities Check out what positions are available at Valley West Mall. Trends Valley West Drive West Des Moines, IA Stay up to date via email. Please note: Our goal for this site is to offer a place where style can be discussed and be shared as well as a source of news and information for Merle Hay Mall.