Kennedy Mall
Kennedy Mall is a shopping mall located in Dubuque, Iowa. The mall is located just north of Dodge Street ( U.S. Highway 20) at the intersection of Dodge and Wacker Drive. The street address for the Mall is 555 John F. Kennedy Road. Cafaro Company owns the mall.

Kennedy Mall was the first climate controlled mall in the state of Iowa. In 1964, Montgomery Ward announced that it would move its store in Dubuque, which was located in the downtown area, out to the west end. In February 1966, rezoning of the land on which the mall was built was approved. William M. Cafaro and Associates (now Cafaro Company) of Youngstown, Ohio developed the site. Originally, the three main anchor stores were Younkers, Montgomery Ward, and Roshek's Department Store - which had also moved to the west end. In the fall of 1968, Younkers was opened. This was followed by Montgomery Ward in the spring of 1969, and Roshek's followed in the fall of 1970. The mall was formally opened on April 15, 1970, with F. W. Woolworth Company operating as a junior anchor.. At the time, it had sixty stores, which made it Iowa's largest enclosed mall. Soon afterwards, a tornado had damaged the Dubuque area, which included the mall. Today, Younkers is the only remaining original anchor store to still operate a store at the Mall. Roshek's closed its mall store in 1982, and Montgomery Ward followed suit in 1983. J.C. Penney then moved from its downtown location into the space that had been previously occupied by Wards. Armstrong Department Stores of Cedar Rapids, Iowa moved into the space previously occupied by Roshek's. In the late 1980s, Armstrong's ceased operations even though the Dubuque store was profitable. At that point, Sears decided to move their store from the south end of Dubuque to Kennedy Mall. They took over the southern half of the store. Younker's eventually decided to expand, and moved their men's and houseware departments into the northern half of the building. Today, Sears, Borders, J.C. Penney, and Younkers make up the anchor stores at Kennedy Mall. There are about 15 tenants in total who have been at Kennedy Mall since the mall opened. Bishop's Buffet was one of these original tenants. Even though the Bishop's Buffet has changed hands several times over the years, the restaurant has remained open. Another one of the mall's original tenants; Musicland; closed up shop by February 2006. In the late 1980s, a number of renovations were made to the mall, after another tornado struck in 1989. This included opening up a food court at the northeast corner of the mall. It also included a number of cosmetic improvements to the mall. Originally, there was a General Cinema movie theater with a single 795-seat auditorium located within the mall, near Roshek's. In 1972 it was remodeled into a two-screen theater with about 300 seats in each auditorium. In the 1980s General Cinema built a new six-screen theater named Kennedy Mall Cinema 6 in the parking lot just west of the mall to replace the theater inside the mall. The theater later changed hands; General Cinema, once the largest theater chain in the US, is no longer in business. The theater was taken over by Carmike Cinemas Inc. After a new Star Cinema was built in Dubuque in 2005, the existing theater changed its format - it began showing second run movies at a reduced rate instead of new films. In May 2007, Carmike Cinemas decided not to renew its lease, and closed the Kennedy Mall Cinema 6. Mindframe Theaters opened at the site of the Kennesy Mall Cinema. Recently, part of the northeast corner of the mall was torn down and rebuilt to accommodate a new Borders book store. This new book store took over most of what had previously been the food court area and the mall's Sam Goody store. Best Buy obtained part of the south east parking lot, which was originally overflow parking, and built their own store at that location. For many years Walgreens operated a store at Kennedy Mall. This store, with both interior and exterior entrances sat between the Bishop's Buffet and J.C. Penney store. In 2005 the company built a new, free standing store about 1/2 mile away at 55 JFK Road. When the new store was opened in late 2005 the company closed the existing store at the mall. Dick's Sporting Goods will open there in 2010.

In April 2007, the Cafaro Company announced that it was moving forward with plans to renovate Kennedy Mall. The project will be completed in 2 phases, with work beginning in 2007. Changes to the mall will include the replacement of floors, entrances, landscaping, and parking lots. Also, skylights will be installed, and the east front of the mall will be re-configured to enable more stores to face Wacker Drive. The first phase will cost an estimated $2.9 million. The interior renovation has been met warmly from local residents. As part of the plan, the mall's signature center water fountain will be removed to make room for retail space. The fountain had not be active in years and was more of an eyesore than anything else. Many of the 37-year old mall's parking lots, sidewalks, light posts, signage, landscaping, and exterior walls were in disrepair, and will be completely renovated by the fall of 2008. A new children's play area, sponsored by The Finley Hospital, will open by late June 2008. The renovation is a result of the positive business climate in the area as well as the addition of additional retailers in the area, proving that Dubuque was ready for redevolpment of the mall. The upcoming work will only be the second significant renovation in the 37 years the mall has been open.

  • Borders (25,000 sq ft.)
  • JCPenney (83,524 sq ft.)
  • Sears (86,008 sq ft.)
  • Younkers Women's store (66,839 sq ft.)
  • Younkers Children's, Men's, & Home store
  • Best Buy Electronics and appliances
  • Dick's Sporting Goods Sporting retail store. Opened in Fall 2010.


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