In the fall of 1988, the Puyallup area was treated to a new hub for shopping when South Hill Mall opened its doors. No longer was it necessary to make the trek to Tacoma to find department store favorites of the time, like Mervyn’s, Lamonts and Target, along with numerous smaller retailers and popular restaurants. Just a few years later, the second phase of the mall opened. In 2009 the entire mall underwent a multimillion-dollar renovation.
Today some of the names have changed, but South Hill Mall remains a community gathering place with more than 100 retail stores, restaurants, entertainment venues and other services. “South Hill Mall is a neighborhood shopping center and we want to make sure we’re serving the community well,” said Joe Bell, director of communications for Cafaro, the mall’s management company.
That philosophy guides which new businesses and services are brought in as tenants. An example, said Bell, is the mall’s newest restaurant, Golden Corral, opening soon. “We knew that there was demand for a buffet-style restaurant,” he said. “What we’ve seen on social media is unbelievable anticipation and excitement.” Serving the community also guides the mall’s special events, such as fashion shows, celebrity meetand-greets, and educational programs for families.
Community members can even get their regular exercise at the mall before stores open, which is convenient when the weather is unpredictable. Last summer, Puyal-LOOP, an indoor fitness trail, was launched. By following green leaves marked on the floor, walkers can complete quarter-mile laps around the mall. They can also stop at 10 strength-training exercise stations along the way.
Even after South Hill Mall commemorates its 30th anniversary in 2018, it will surely continue to evolve with new offerings and community partnerships to suit the needs of the surrounding area.
SOUTH HILL MALL
3500 South Meridian, Puyallup