The Galleria at Fort Lauderdale

The-Galleria-at-Fort-LauderdaleNestled in the heart of the bustling city of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, The Galleria stands as a testament to the region’s penchant for luxury and style. With a history dating back to its inception as the Sunrise Center in 1954, this upscale super regional shopping mall has gone through a lot of changes over the years. Let’s delve into the details of this premier shopping destination and the experiences it offers to shoppers and visitors.

From Humble Beginnings 

The Galleria’s story begins with its origins as the open-air shopping mall, The Sunrise Center. However, fate had bigger plans for this retail space. Undergoing a significant transformation, the mall was demolished, save for the iconic Jordan Marsh store, which was later converted into South Florida’s first Dillard’s. The mall’s rebirth saw it transition into an enclosed structure, marking the birth of The Galleria at Fort Lauderdale as we know it today.

Read Also: List of Malls in South Florida

Evolution of The Galleria

The Galleria’s journey to becoming a prominent shopping destination unfolded in three distinct phases. On November 11, 1980, the mall opened its doors for the first time, featuring anchor stores Burdines (now Macy’s) and Saks Fifth Avenue (now home to H&M and IWG).

The subsequent years witnessed the addition of Neiman Marcus (closed in 2020) in 1982 and Lord & Taylor (now partially Powerhouse Gym) in 1983. These additions played an important role in shaping the rich and upscale retail environment that characterizes The Galleria today.

Changes in Ownership 

The Galleria’s ownership has seen shifts over the years, with the Pennsylvania Public School Employees’ Retirement System pension fund acquiring the mall in 1993 for $125 million. Renovations have also played a pivotal role in maintaining the mall’s allure.

From 2001 to 2003, approximately $44 million was invested in renovations that introduced features like palm trees, inviting windows, and vibrant tri-color floor tiles, enhancing the overall shopping experience.

Unfulfilled Ambitions

The Galleria’s impact extends beyond its walls, as evidenced by proposed redevelopment plans. Back in 2014, there were hopes for a lively neighborhood to grow around the mall, complete with new condos and hotels. However, community opposition led to these plans never materializing.

In 2018, an ambitious proposal to introduce an aquarium featuring marine life was presented. Being able to see sea creatures up close while shopping sounded exciting at the time. But despite the best intentions, this project too remains unfulfilled.

Anchors Past and Present

The Galleria’s anchor stores have played a pivotal role in shaping its identity. Today, you’ll find Dillard’s, H&M, and Macy’s as the cornerstone anchors, offering a diverse selection of fashion, lifestyle, and more.

However, the mall’s history also includes former anchors like Burdines (converted to Macy’s), Jordan Marsh (transformed into Dillard’s), and Lord & Taylor (partially home to Powerhouse Gym). The closure of Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue marked significant transitions, echoing the mall’s evolution over the years.

Retailers and Culinary Delights

The Galleria’s retail prowess spans more than 100 fashion retailers, featuring prestigious names such as Neiman Marcus, Macy’s, and Dillard’s. Walk around, and you’ll find popular brands like American Eagle Outfitters, Apple, Ann Taylor and Michael Kors too.

And it’s not just shopping that The Galleria does well. When you’re hungry, there’s a range of places to eat, from fancy spots like The Capital Grille and Truluck’s to fun places like P.F. Chang’s and Blue Martini. So, whether you’re in the mood for a fancy dinner or a casual bite, the mall’s got you covered.

Local Landmark and Community Hub

The Galleria’s strategic location enhances its appeal, being just a stone’s throw away from Fort Lauderdale’s iconic beach. Seamlessly accessible from Sunrise Boulevard, U.S. 1 (Federal Highway), I-95, I-595, and A1A (Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard), the mall offers easy connectivity to the airport, port, downtown area and the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention Center. Its central location has cemented its status as a convenient and desirable destination for both locals and tourists in the area.

In summation, The Galleria in Fort Lauderdale encapsulates the essence of luxury, style, and fun. It transformed from the Sunrise Center into a top-notch shopping destination, proving its adaptability. Step in to explore lavish stores, dine at great restaurants and join a vibrant community hub celebrating the spirit of Fort Lauderdale. So, don’t hesitate – go visit The Galleria at Fort Lauderdale today!



Q : Are there dining options available at The Galleria?

A : Yes, The Galleria offers a diverse range of dining choices, from fine dining establishments like The Capital Grille to casual options like P.F. Chang’s.

Q : How do I get to The Galleria at Fort Lauderdale?

A : Easily accessible via Sunrise Boulevard, U.S. 1, I-95, I-595 and A1A, close to the airport, port and downtown.

Q : What are some popular stores at The Galleria?

A : The Galleria features a variety of well-known retailers including Neiman Marcus, Macy’s, H&M, Michael Kors, Sephora and more.

Chris is a Midwest Transplant that has lived in South Florida since 1999. While he likes to remain active and is an avid sports enthusiast, he's become our go-to provider of reviews of any establishment serving food and booze!