CHESTERFIELD, Mo. – Hundreds of Tesla vehicles are parked outside the Chesterfield Mall as the shopping center sets to close doors in August.

The Tesla vehicles cover more than 10 rows of parking spots outside of a building that it appears Sears once anchored. They’re parked just south of the V-Stock entrance, one of the few remaining access points to venture inside the mall.

The vehicles appear to be of a few distinct models in red, dark blue, gray, white and black colors. Among them are dozens of Tesla Cybertrucks, a 2023 model with a triangular look and flat stainless steel panels that the company compares to a full-sized pickup truck.

How Did They Get There?

The Staenberg Group, which owns the Chesterfield Mall, informed FOX 2 of plans earlier this year for all tenants to move out of the mall by August 31. After that, the group plans to move forward with demolition and redevelopment efforts.

Tim Lowe, senior vice president of leasing and development for The Staenberg Group, tells FOX 2 that the owners wanted to get as much use out of the mall as possible before it closes down. Businesses, incubator tenants and community groups all plan to use the mall for various reasons over its last few months.

According to Lowe, the Staenberg Group didn’t want to strictly limit the use of the mall to what’s inside.

“We put a plan together to try and create alternate uses that would kind be able to use some of the remaining life left in the mall before we tear it down,” said Lowe in a phone call with FOX 2. “One of those uses was allowing people to use the parking lot for different things.”

At some point this year, Tesla and the Staenberg Group collaborated and moved forward with a plan to place vehicles in the parking lot.

“One of our users happens to be Tesla, who does have a dealership in the [Chesterfield] Valley, but does not have enough capacity at the dealership to park all of the cars they are bringing in,” said Lowe. “So they are renting space within the parking lot to store their cars.”

Lowe estimates there’s anywhere from 300-400 Tesla vehicles in the mall’s parking lot.

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An agreement allows Tesla to park cars within the mall up until August 31, the final day before the mall closes for good.

“They’re just one of our many tenants who are using the mall [grounds] on a temporary basis while its awaiting demolition,” said Lowe.

He says there are at least 90 different groups or business owners using the mall for different purposes, including as sites for pickleball, insurance agencies and local law enforcement.

Lowe says there have not been any concerns regarding the security of the vehicles. Tesla’s closest dealership is roughly 2.5 miles away from the mall on Chesterfield Airport Road, just west of a shopping center with several retailers.

Tesla, Inc. is a brand that sells battery-powered electric vehicles. Elon Musk, the chairman of the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, has served as the Tesla CEO since 2008.

FOX 2 has reached out to a Tesla press communications line for comment, but we have yet to hear back as of time of this story’s publication.