SouthPark celebrates 40th anniversary

Posted Online: Feb. 27, 2014, 6:38 pm
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SouthPark Mall, 4500 16th St., Moline, will celebrate its 40th anniversary with a ribbon-cutting at 2 p.m. Thursday inside the mall at Younkers Court.

There will be cake and live entertainment, and renderings of proposed improvements to the mall will be on display. Construction is set to start in April, with a formal grand opening in November.

Macerich, owner of the mall, recently announced plans to remove the former Sears store and food court, making it more open to the outside. Plans also include a new access road off John Deere Road.

The mall opened on Feb. 27, 1974, with more than 65 retailers and restaurants, with Montgomery Ward, Petersen Harned Von Maur and Younkers as the anchor stores. JCPenney was added in 1978, and the Sears space and a food court were added in 1990, according to a mall news release.

The more than 1-million-square-foot mall now is anchored by Von Maur, Younkers, JCPenney and Dillard's.

For more information on SouthPark Mall, visit For more information on Macerich, visit


Local events heading

  Today is Friday, Aug. 22, the 234th day of 2014. There are 131 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: The ferry boat, Rock Island, having been put in good order at the boat yard is now making her regular trips, much to the gratification of those who have to cross the river.
1889 -- 125 years ago: W.J. Gamble, for many years superintendent of the Moline & Rock Island railway, leased the Fourth Avenue Hotel and renovated and refurnished it throughout.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Pending the building of new public schools or additions to the present ones to provide adequate room for all the children, the board of education decided that pupils younger than 6 years old would not be accepted in Rock Island schools.
1939 -- 75 years ago: The fifth annual New Windsor Fair and Horse show, which has been delayed for two days because of unfavorable weather, got off to a new start last night. The parade was held this morning.
1964 -- 50 years ago: The Rock Island County Fair and Rodeo will celebrate its silver anniversary this year. The fair opens Tuesday and will run through Saturday and offers entertainment and activity for young and old.
1989 -- 25 years ago: Earl Hanson School, Rock Island, joins the Program to Assist Latch Key Student, which aids working parents. PALS is a before and after school program for grades 1-6 in certain Rock Island public and private schools.

(More History)