Broadmoor Mart in North Hills is celebrating fifty years as Mississippi's first strip mall.
The East Mississippi Business Development Corporation held its Business After Hours event there Thursday evening, as a way to honor its longevity.
Broadmoor Shopping Center's roots are embedded deep in Meridian's history.
Many locals remember that, first, there was Sputnik, then there was Broadmoor.
"There used to be a Pasquale's Pizza place, where Dobi's is now, that had the best pizza in town at the time," said Meridian resident Jean Willis. "I remember the Post Office was out here. I live on this side of town, so I would come to the shopping center for the post office. Naturally, you would go there and you would have to stop off somewhere else."
Back in the 1960s, Broadmoor had it all. Citizens National Bank and Winn Dixie, plus Mayor Cheri Barry's mother's shop, Bonnie Jean's. Then came Mayor Barry's own store, B.J.'s Alley. Out of all those, only Citizens National Bank remains.
People who have lived in Meridian for a long time can reflect on the businesses that have come and gone, in and out of Broadmoor. As soon as one store closes another opens, right where the other left off.
Anytime Fitness Gym is the newest member of the center. Even now, it says the location makes it easy to run a successful business.
"The Meridian club is thriving. We are happy with our location," said manager, Mary Catherine McGregor. "We get a lot of visibility from people driving by. It is just a good area for us to be in."
The shopping center helped to make North Hills the booming area for business that it has become.
"There was no intersection here until 1987," said Robert Ward of Broadmoor Development. "What is now the Chevron station and the new CVS was a dead end. That was forest land."
After 50 years the city has evolved, but Broadmoor's convenient location remains the same.
Broadmoor Mart opened in 1955. It became a strip mall in 1960. It's located on 12 acres of land and has 126,000 square feet of retail and office space.