Customers had previously gotten a taste of the all-new College Park Mall experience when Wal-Mart opened its doors to the public a month before in October. But as Nov. 17, 1983 edged closer, Corsicana sat readier than ever for the opening of its second mall just in time for the holiday shopping season.
The Wednesday, Nov. 16, edition of the Corsicana Daily Sun ran an eight-page special feature titled: “We can’t keep it a secret any longer!” The supplemental piece ran profiles of the 15 stores set to open the next day, highlighted by the mall's distinctive original logo that spelled out “CP.”
The stores that opened for the second phase of College Park Mall were: Athlete’s Foot, Bealls, Cato, Circus World, Corn Dog 7, Don’s Humidor and Coffee Beans, Famous Chocolate Chip Cookie, Gordon’s Jewelers, Kinney Shoes, Peanut Shack, Regis Hair Stylists, Royal Optical, Summit Stationers, T-Shirts Etcetera, and Zales.
As part of the soft opening weekend, Gary Hogeboom, No. 14 of the Dallas Cowboys, made an appearance on Nov. 18 to sign fan autographs, while cheerleaders from Collins Middle School held a pep rally in the mall's center court for the weekend's football game between Corsicana and McKinney.
At the time, construction of the mall was still ongoing during the soft opening, with wiring, flooring, and moldings actively being installed as shoppers explored the new mall. Hints of the third phase of next year's stores were peeking through as signage for Waldenbooks was already installed, and the promise of new stores such as Aladdin's Castle, Revco Discount Drug, United Jewelers & Distributors, JC Penney, Hasting's Records and Tapes, and more got the community excited for the growth of Corsicana's new retail experience.
The final stores and the grand opening of College Park Mall would happen on March 7, 1984.