One of the late bloomers in the era where a lot of enclosed shopping malls were popping up throughout the US, was Sunrise Mall in Corpus Christi. Though plans for the mall began in 1979, it wasn’t until two years later that the mall would official open their doors on February 4th, 1981. Originally, the mall had three primary anchors which included Jeske’s, Frost Bros., and Sears. Currently the mall has five anchor tenants as opposed to just three in the beginning.
Early Success for Sunrise Mall
In the early 1980s, there was a movie called The Legend of Billie Jean, which just happened to be filmed in the Sunrise Mall for a few select scenes. This helped boost the malls popularity tremendously, and was a major contributing factor the good success and prosperity the mall had in its earlier years.
Getting a boost was particularly important for Sunrise Mall compared to most other malls, since it had high competition with Padre Staples Mall not even a quarter mile away from itself. Of course Padre Staples saw how popular Sunrise Mall was becoming and the owners decided they needed to act in order to avoid closing down. In 1986 Padres Staples Mall was renovated and brought in a lot of new traffic, as well as stealing some regular shoppers at Sunrise Mall.
Renovation and Downfall of Sunrise Mall
Sunrise Mall had the right idea to combat the renovation of Padres Staples, they were going to do some renovation of their own and fight expansion with expansion. In theory, this was the perfect move, they would be able to win back their lost customers as well as take some more from Padre Staples and keep them since Sunrise would now be the most up to date location of the two malls.
Unfortunately, things did not go as planned after the Sunrise Mall renovations. Although, the renovations themselves did go very well, they included a new anchor store which would be Mervyn’s, as well as a new food court, two parking garages, and a movie theatre.
The problem came from things out of their control, specifically the purchase of the Joske’s chain by Dillard’s. There was already a Dillard’s location at Padre Staples so there was no need to convert Joske’s into another one, so they simply just closed Joske’s. On top of that, right around the same time of the renovations and the closure of Joske’s, the Frost Bros location announced they would also be closing their doors due to financial issues.
Over the next couple of decades businesses continued to gradually leave Sunrise Mall, and eventually the power was even cut off to the building after the owner didn’t pay the bill. Shortly after that incident which occurred in 2008, the mall was officially foreclosed upon. Despite the foreclosure, the mall remained open with just a few businesses. IBC Bank purchased the mall at an auction, and has since made plans to renovate the area, but nothing has happened yet and the mall is nearly