Answer Man: Mall isn't named for a guy named Apache
Oh Great Reservoir of Rochester realty remnants, what is Apache about Apache Mall? How did the mall get that name? Is there any connection to the former Apache Plaza in the Cities? -- Wayne, Rochester
I simply must insist that you read this column every single day of your life or you risk missing vital information, Wayne. I've answered this one at least twice during my public service career as the Answer Man, but I'll re-answer it, in light of current events.
The mall was built by a Minneapolis developer called Apache Corp. and it opened 45 years ago this month with 45 retail tenants, anchored by J.C. Penney and long-gone Montgomery Ward. The mall cost $10 million, and to put that in perspective, the new Hy-Vee project along West Circle Drive is estimated to cost upwards of $17 million.
Apache Corp. also built the Apache Plaza in St. Anthony, a Minneapolis suburb. It opened in 1961 and was reputedly the second enclosed shopping mall in the Twin Cities, after Southdale, which is often billed as the first in the nation. That one closed in 2004.
I'll link to a corporate history, which notes that the development company was a unit of Apache Oil Corp., which was founded in Minneapolis in 1954. None of the company founders were named Apache, so we'll just assume that the company was named for the famous Indian tribe in the American Southwest.
Regarding current events, in light of the debate over the Washington NFL team's name, which is a big Minnesota issue this weekend with the team in Minneapolis to play the Vikings, one wonders whether it's appropriate for a shopping mall to be named for a Native American tribe?
I'm not trying to make trouble here, I'm just asking.
The vice-president of Journal Communications, the Tennessee-based firm that owns Livability.com and related products, was not pleased with my commentary a few weeks ago regarding the marketing efforts associated with its "Top 100 Best Places to Live" rankings. I noted in that column that the Livability ratings, which put Rochester at No. 2 nationally, are related to a marketing program for visitors bureaus and chambers of commerce. A print magazine called Livability Rochester, sponsored by the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce, hit my mailbox not long after the ratings were announced.
I'll leave it at that and let Journal Communications' Matt Carmichaelhave the last word.
"I read your recent column about the Livability 100 and Rochester's ranking. Regrettably, your story does your readers and your city a disservice. The Top 100 Best Places to Live is an editorial feature of Livability.com. It is an entirely data-driven process produced in partnership with leading global think tanks, market researchers and an advisory board of the top thinkers and doers in the realm of urban theory and place making. Collectively, we know a lot about what makes a great place to live. Rochester deserves its second year near the top of our list."
One last bon motfrom a reader: Bruce Thompsonof Plymouth, one of my thousands of Twin Cities readers, says, "While you are absolutely correct -- not surprisingly -- that Hy-Vee will be opening a store in Oakdale, they have also announced that they will have a store in New Hope, on the other side of the Twin Cities. Since we are not from the New Hope site, we are anxiously awaiting that store. My wife is very familiar with Hy-Vee as she shopped there often when in Rochester taking care of her mother.
"It should also be noted that Hy-Vee proposed a store in Maple Grove but has since withdrawn that proposal after comments from the city council about the number of grocery stores in a small area.
"Thanks for keeping us up-to-date and very well informed."
I do, don't I?