The SouthPark Mall in Charlotte, North Carolina, is a high-end retail destination located in the affluent SouthPark neighborhood. The shopping center may be found at the intersection of Sharon and Fairview Roads, about five miles south of Uptown Charlotte area. It is one of the most successful shopping centers in the country, with 1,688,480 square feet and over $700 in sales per square foot. It ranks as the East Coast’s tenth-largest and the USA’s twenty-eighth-largest. On Black Friday, SouthPark becomes the busiest shopping district in the entire country. More than 12 million people annually visit the mall.
When SouthPark first opened in February 1970, Belk, Ivey’s, and Sears served as anchor retailers. When SouthPark first opened, the neighborhood it occupied was on the outskirts of Charlotte. Many people were dubious about the wisdom of building a massive mall in the middle of a field. The Belk and Ivey families, proprietors of the namesake department stores, built and now jointly manage the mall, which features a Sears as a complement given the latter’s focus on home goods.
When it first opened, the shopping center’s floor space was estimated at 1 million square feet, and its architectural style was distinctly modernist, with an underground parking deck, a characteristic white brick front, and tinted windows. The NorthPark Center in Dallas is thought to have served as an inspiration for the mall’s original design. In June of 1970, the SouthPark Cinemas I & II and a grocery shop called Colonial Stores (later renamed Big Star) opened in a strip mall behind Sears.
The Eastland Mall, located about 6 miles to the northeast, was the first major competitor to the mall. The anchor stores at Eastland were the same as those at SouthPark, but the addition of a JCPenney and an ice skating rink gave that shopping center an edge.
Part of the Nordstrom/Neiman Marcus parking deck gave way in December 2007 at around 12:15 PM EST. A car crashed through a retaining wall on the deck’s uppermost level, causing it to collapse. According to reports, the accident was caused by an older woman, maybe due to a heart attack. There were no people in either of the two cars that were wrecked when the concrete slab gave way. This was the second American parking garage to collapse in as many weeks, casting doubt on the safety of similar structures.