West County Mall significantly predated that. It was rehabbed and expanded in the period you're describing, but it was already there. And it wasn't just Crestwood Plaza that disappeared. Sunset Plaza (since you mention that) has struggled, in spite of investment. It's holding on now, but the indoor portion of it is gone. The theatre is gone. The Borders is gone. The Marshall Field's is gone. It's . . . what, about half the size it once was? Maybe two thirds? It's still there, but there's less of it. Let's continue east. The next major shopping center is the pair of twin developments flanking the old Lindbergh Cadilac. The westernmost one is nearly half empty right now. (The former Office Max.) The next one east is more full (though still not completely), but largely with offices (insurance, real estate, banks, healthcare). What retail remains is increasingly discount retail. Not high rent stuff. Not high volume stuff. Across the street from the empty mall are a string of half empty strip malls. The Barnes and Noble closed to be replaced by a thrift store. The Best Buy is gone. Where there was once an auto repair shop there is now a temp staffing office and a camera shop and a string of vacant store fronts. There are fully a dozen shopping centers in the four miles separating Sunset Plaza from Yorkshire. It appears to me that all of them (the latter two included) are struggling. None of them has the kind of activity they had in the day. West County expanded. But not enough to account for all of that. Some of that is almost surely just loss. And look at all the struggle in older strip malls near and far, and even a few newer ones. Manchester was mentioned earlier. The outlet mall in Warrenton is . . . a ghost. The Mills is struggling. (And last sold for pennies on the dollar, didn't it?) Sure. The tax incentive two step has caused a lot of this, but all of it? There's an awful lot of empty. I wouldn't argue that online retail is the sole or even principal cause. It's more complicated than that. But I think it would be unwise to say it hasn't been a factor when entire sectors have largely evaporated. (Mm, let's see . . . Amazon vs. all the world's big bookstores! Tonight! Live, on pay per view! And the winner is?) Barnes and Noble is still clinging to the ropes, but I think it's fair to say that fight is over. So we've gone from a lot of large and busy regional shopping centers to a very few really large busy super-regional ones. We'll always have something. But will we ever see the kind of traffic on Watson, Manchester, Lindbergh, St. Charles Rock, New Halls Ferry, or Natural Bridge, that we used to? I just don't think these old retail strips are ever coming back in anything like the forms they once had. It's not just a few enclosed malls. It's whole streets. Sure, Kirkwood and Webster have built new retail . . . but they've also built small, almost walkable neighborhoods and the retail seems carefully geared to that. And who knows what will happen as we move forward? I can easily imagine that the big malls will survive a long time to come . . . but thirty years ago I'd have said the same thing about Crestwood and Northwest Plaza. Things change.