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Park Plaza Through the YearsLock Icon

2 min read

1960

Park Plaza Shopping Center begins its life as an open-air property at Markham Street and University Avenue, the first major retail hub in what is then west Little Rock. It has stores, a supermarket, a bowling alley and a cafeteria.


1965

Downtown Little Rock’s Gus Blass department store opens a store at Park Plaza.

(Courtesy of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Center for Arkansas History & Culture)

1967

The Park Plaza Gus Blass is rebranded as Pfeifer-Blass.


1967

Park Plaza gets major competition from a new enclosed and air-conditioned center, University Mall, which opens a block south on University Avenue. Park Plaza struggles for the next 20 years.

(Courtesy of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Center for Arkansas History & Culture)

1974

Pfeifer-Blass becomes Dillard’s; it had been owned by Dillard’s Inc. since 1964.


1987

Park Plaza Shopping Center temporarily closes for a $20 million renovation.


1988

The center reopens as Park Plaza Mall, an enclosed three stories with 680,000 SF and a movie theater.


2004

First Union Real Estate Equity & Mortgage Investments sells Park Plaza to CBL Properties of Chattanooga, Tennessee, for $77.5 million.


2007

University Mall is demolished.


2021

Park Plaza goes into foreclosure when CBL Properties cannot continue paying on a $99 million loan from 2011. Deutsche Bank takes ownership of the mall after an $86.2 million judgment against CBL. Deutsche is the sole bidder of $100,000 at the mall’s foreclosure auction, and begins marketing Park Plaza as “the premier shopping center in Little Rock.”


March 2023

Second Horizon Capital announces its purchase of the property and says it will invest in renovations and work to make the mall a community hub.


May 2023

Arkansas Business reports that Second Horizon paid $25.2 million for Park Plaza.

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