Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Great Mall of the Great Plains in Olathe, Kansas

photos by Mike Kalasnik
description by Nicholas Eckhart

     The Great Mall of the Great Plains is a massive outlet mall at 20700 West 151st Street in Olathe, Kansas. When this mall opened in 1997 it had many well know anchor stores and plans for further expansion. This mall was built similar to some Mills Malls.

Here is a list of the original anchor stores

  • Burlington Coat Factory
  • Dickinson Theatres
  • Dillard's Outlet
  • DSW (Designer Shoe Warehouse)
  • Eddie Bauer Outlet
  • Foozles Bookstore
  • Group USA
  • Jeepers! Amusement Center
  • Linens N Things
  • Marshalls
  • Old Navy
  • Oshman's Sports
  • Saks Fifth Avenue (opened 2000)

     In 2002 the mall lost its Dillard's Outlet, Linens N Things, Oshman's Sports, and Saks Fifth Avenue stores. Later in 2002 the former Dillard's Outlet became VF (Vanity Fair) Outlet. Cosmic mini golf later opened in the former Oshman's Sports store, then relocated to the former Saks Fifth Avenue store, and finally relocated again to its current site in the former DSW store. In 2005 Steve & Barry's opened in the former Oshman's store and Marshalls relocated to a shopping center on the north side of Olathe. The Old Navy store also moved to a shopping center on the north side of town, but I am unsure when. In 2007 Jeepers! closed and later became Zonkers amusement center. In 2007 Famous labels also opened in the former Saks Fifth Avenue store, only to close in 2009. Steve & Barry's was another 2009 fatality.

     Currently only three original anchors survive (Burlington Coat Factory, Dickinson Theatres, and Group USA). The former Dillard's Outlet is now Treasure Hunt since VF Outlet closed in 2008. The Foozles Bookstore is now Book Warehouse. The former Jeepers! is still Zonkers. The former Linens N Things is currently Monkey Bizness. The former Old Navy is now Hibbett Sports. The former Marshalls, Oshman's / Steve & Barry's, and the Saks Fifth Avenue remain vacant. The Marketplace Food Court and the rest of the mall seem very isolated.

I am working on creating an interactive map, but for now here is a photo of the mall directory.

Picture of the mall directory


The Group USA signage

The former Dillard's Outlet. This was later VF (Vanity Fair) Outlet and is now Treasure Hunt.

The Fashion entrance

The former Marshalls store

The Home & Hobby entrance

This was originally a Jeepers amusement center and is now Zonkers.

The Techtainment entrance. Somehow a Famous Labels sign managed to survive here.

Dickinson Theatres

Area of once planned expansion.

The former Oshman's and Steve & Barry's store.

The Sports & Adventure entrance

The former Saks Fifth Avenue and Famous Labels store

The Burlington Coat Factory


An anchor store was supposed to be built here, but one was never built.

Many abandoned stores in just this one hallway.

Looking towards the Home & Hobby entrance

The closed-up former Marshalls mall entrance

A hall without many shoppers

Another hall without many shoppers

The Marketplace Food Court

The Marketplace Food Court


Sorry, the gumball machine is out of order.

The Marketplace food court. Aeropostale is to the left.

The Dickinson Theatres mall entrance


A former Johnny Rocket's restaurant. The hallway that abruptly ends to the right  is where they planned to expand the mall.

The former Johnny Rocket's restaurant.

An odd pool with plastic fish floating in water

The Sports & Adventure entrance

The Steve & Barry's mall entrance

The interior of Steve & Barry's

A place where the paths cross (by the Sports & Adventure entrance)

The mall entrance for the former Saks Fifth Avenue and Famous Labels store.

For some reason I find the name "OK Fashions" funny.

The Burlington Coat Factory mall entrance

A empty inside corridor.

The Treasure Hunt Mall entrance. As mentioned above, this store was originally a Dillard's Outlet, then became a VF (Vanity Fair) Outlet.