View Full Version : Penn Square outparcels: Which restaurants are coming?

11-20-2004, 10:36 AM

Any news on which restaurants are coming? You had mentioned before that Penn Square was wanting some ideas for restaurants to build in their parking lot space.


11-21-2004, 01:26 AM
Looks like the restaurant locating on the far southeast corner of the Penn Square Mall Property (where Wards Automotive used to be) will be a Carabba's Italian restaurant. It's an upscale chain....probably in between Olive Garden and Bellini's in price. I wonder if they figured Olive Garden into the equation...50 Penn Place is building a brand new Olive Garden right across the street.

No news yet on the rest....they're still negotiating leases, but they seem to have lots to choose from. Also, they're wanting to develop some sort of upscale shopping strip on the far NW corner of the mall property....right now, there's an overflow lot over there. That's just north of the UMB Motor Bank....Anyways, they're not saying anything right now.

Also, as I've already mentioned, inside the mall, they're getting ready to add a White House/Black Market this will go at center court where OU/OSU House Divided us currently located (the old Express space).

11-22-2004, 07:03 PM
It's funny, I can remember going to that mall when I was really little -- maybe 7 or 8. Sometime in the early 80's. We went there just to go to Wards. I took off from my mom and wandered outside of the store and all I can remember is seeing a pet store and some offices and Rothschild's. It was quite the dead mall back then. It was very barren and ugly. That was my memory. The pets in the window of the pet store didn't look very happy to be there either. Now it's my favorite mall. I'm glad someone stepped in back in the 80's and made it what it is today and not a replica of Shepherd Mall. Anyway, my Penn Square memory... lol

11-22-2004, 11:13 PM
Right on! In 1986, Urban Retail (actually then it was known as was part of Federated Dept. stores, owner of Macy's, Bloomingdales, etc), an owner of retail property, mostly malls around the country, and a leader in re-developing retail complexes, purchased Penn Square, with great plans in mind. They decided to add on a second floor, and extend out two new wings of the mall, one stretching out east (which now leads to JC Penney- this included the addition of the theater, but JC Penney wasn't added until later), and a wing leading out north. They also added Foleys at the time. The mall re-opened in 1988 with over 1 million square feet (before it only had around 500,000), an 8 screen theater (two smaller screens were added later), a new Foleys Department Store (joining Dillards and Wards), a new upstairs food court, a new parking garage, etc.

Had Federated/Urban Retail not stepped in Penn Square might not be alive today. Sure, the additions to Penn Square killed Shepherd Mall, but that was only because Shepherd wouldn't adapt to the changes of the time. Had Shepherd added on a second story and expanded, things might be different today. But, one thing Penn Square has going for it over Shepherd, is its close proximity to high end areas like Nichols Hills, Wileman-Belle Isle, Crown Heights, Edgemere, Waterford, etc.

Moondog, I too remember Penn Square back in the 80's. I remember the old sign out on the corner of NW Expressway and Penn with the old lanterns on top of it (the lamp post/lantern was their symbol back then, as in the old open air mall, they had several gas lamps lining the walkways). I also remember the bland look of Penn Square. It was a dying shopping center. Fortunately, Federated/Urban Retail rescued it.

11-23-2004, 12:05 AM
By the way, here's a link from Urban Retail discussing the re-make of Penn Square, both in 1986-1988 and 2000:

12-02-2004, 12:49 PM
Does anyone know where I could find photos of the old Penn Square? I don't know why but this kind of thing fascinates me. I'm obsessed with remodels of old buildings. Before/After shots--that sort of thing. Can anyone help me out? Do such photos or original blueprints to the mall exist anywhere? Is there a website where I can find this sort of thing? Thanks!

12-02-2004, 12:54 PM
I would try the Oklahoma Historical Society for pictures. They had some of Capitol Hill once when I did a documentry on South Oklahoma City for a college project.

I would also call the city building code enforcement to see if they still have them. I do not know how long they are required to store them before they purge the records.

12-04-2004, 02:06 AM
Yeah, I know for a fact that the Oklahoma Historical Society has some pics of the old Penn Square. Last time I was in there, I looked at some. Unfortunately, I've never been able to find any online. The only pics I have been able to find online are from 1988 to present.

Contacting current management of the mall probably wouldn't help, as the company that owns it now really doesn't have any of that information.