Lexington, Kentucky’s second indoor mall, the aptly named Lexington Mall, opened in 1975 with McAlpin’s, Shoppers Choice Supermarket and a discount center as its anchors and 46 tenants. It’s completion was marred only by the bankruptcy of its original developers, which left much of the center concourse unfinished for several years.

Throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s, the center boasted 100% occupancy rates, only to begin unraveling when the Fayette Mall began its expansion in 1993 and again with the completion of the first phase of Hamburg Pavilion in 1998. By the end of the 20th century, most of the tenants in Lexington Mall had left, leaving Dillard’s (successor to McAlpin’s) as the only tenant until it too vacated in September 2005.

With the vacant mall deteriorating rapidly, Saul Centers sold the Lexington Mall to Southland Christian Church on September 27, 2010. The megachurch hired EOP Architects to begin designing its new campus building and Messer Construction as the construction management firm. Southland expected to spend about $30 million to redevelop the property, which involved the demolition of the one-story portion of the mall and the construction of a 51,000 square-foot, 2,000-seat worship center in its place with an unfinished balcony that would hold an extra 800. The old Dillard’s store would be reused for church offices and ancillary services.12

The first phase of construction began on May 13, 2011 with the demolition of a car wash and one story section of the mall, along with the gutting of the Dillard’s store and the project was completed and opened to worshippers on January 4, 2013.


Before and After

McAlpin’s/Dillard’s in 2008 and 2013

Before and After: Lexington Mall

Concourse in 2003

McAlpin’s/Dillard’s

Southland Christian Church.