Penney's Will Add to Chain Jamestown, Mid Rivers Stores to Open in '95

Article excerpt

J.C. Penney confirmed Monday that it will open two new stores in suburban St. Louis in spring 1995: one at Mid Rivers Mall in St. Peters and the other at Jamestown Mall in north St. Louis County.

The company said the stores will reflect its latest concept, with larger mall entrances, wider aisles and more open designs than found in older locations. They will have large catalog departments and home-decorating services.

The Mid Rivers store, with 125,300 feet, will replace the 35,600-square-foot facility at Mark Twain Mall in St. Charles. That store opened in 1978. Jamestown's store will be a relocation of a 64,000-square-foot store that opened in 1961 in Grandview Plaza in Florissant. The Jamestown Penney's will have 124,400 square feet.

While the stores replace very small ones, the typical new Penney's is not nearly so big as the megastores opened in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

"Department stores have become more efficient with their use of space," said Christi Parks, a spokeswoman for Northwest Plaza. The Penney's there has 166,000 square feet. The company has 154,000 square feet at St. Clair Square. Its largest store in this area is at West County Center in Des Peres - with 197,000 square feet.

Penney has eight stores in metropolitan St. Louis, plus several small catalog operations. The company is based in Dallas, and has 1,265 stores nationally.

The announcement about Mid Rivers vindicates the St. Peters board of aldermen. CenterMark Properties Inc., the owner of the mall, had requested a subsidy from the city in the form of tax-increment financing for demolition and grading to prepare the Penney's site. …