One of the most significant losses witnessed Downriver was the 1984 closure and 1985 demolition of the first drive-in theater Downriver, the Michigan Drive-In Theater. As had been expected for such prime real estate, for it was located on Dix-Toledo Highway just off of the busy intersection with Eureka Road, the property soon became host of the first large-scale shopping complex to be constructed in Southgate since the 1960s, Southtowne Crossing.

Two of the center's original anchors brought Downriver into the scene for the ever-going competition between home improvement and toy retailers. Children's Palace had just expanded into Michigan in an attempt to dethrone Toys "R" Us as the predominate chain toy retailer in the state, while on the opposite end of the complex, Builder's Square would attempt to do the same for longtime Southgate (and Taylor) mainstay Forest City. Completing the anchor lineup was one of the first chain sporting goods retailers to operate Downriver, Herman's Sporting Goods.

The center became successful for a little over six years, but in 1992, Children's Palace announced that they would be closing all of their locations, partly due to ever-intensifying competition from Toys "R" Us. Only one year later though, in 1993, it was replaced by one of the state's very first Best Buy stores (the first opened earlier that year in Waterford), which itself was a major competitor to ABC Warehouse, Fretter and Radio Shack, that same year, Builder's Square would itself gain a new competitor when Home Quarters opened just over a mile to the northwest at Northline Road and Interstate 75. A couple years later, Kmart divested off it's non-Kmart-related subsidiaries, including Builder's Square. Around that time, national chain Home Depot had itself started to enter Michigan (Lowe's would not follow suit for about five more years and it took until 2012 for Menard's to enter the Metro Detroit market) and Builder's Square now found itself in some heated competition for it's market share, ultimately loosing by 1997. The Southtowne Crossing outpost became Southgate's second Home Quarters and for the remainder of HQ's existence (it itself went defunct in 2000) both stores operated simultaneously.

Following HQ's demise, Southtowne Crossing fell into a decline, intensified when Best Buy jumped ship for Southland late in 2006, rendering Southtowne as a Dead Mall and leaving the complex with only BoRicsDollar General and Lew Silver Diamond Broker to sustain it. However, those too left the complex, and after only 25 years in business, the complex was itself torn down in 2010, replaced by a Walmart Supercenter that opened in September 2011.