Palm Beach Mall; West Palm Beach, Florida

2004 photo of Burdine's at Palm Beach Mall in West Palm Beach, FL When the Palm Beach Mall opened in 1967, it was billed as the largest enclosed mall in the Southeast. Located in West Palm Beach, FL, the mall helped serve a community who didn’t necessarily need the opulence of Palm Beach’s Worth Avenue shopping area. It opened amidst spectacular gardens and fountains and was anchored by the Miami-based Jordan Marsh, JCPenney and the number three of the three Miami stores, Richards.

2004 photo of Burdine's at Palm Beach Mall in West Palm Beach, FL 2004 photo of Burdine's at Palm Beach Mall in West Palm Beach, FL

I don’t get many chances to travel by plane nowadays, so I’m thankful for people like Michael Lisicky, who have contributed a lot of great photos and information to Labelscar. This package of photos and history on the Palm Beach Mall in West Palm Beach, Florida, comes from Mr. Lisicky. I know I drove past this place in 2000 but I wasn’t able to stop (I had to catch a flight!) so I’m glad that some of the pieces have been put together–it seems it’s a fascinating case of a large, once-dominant mall losing its grip on the market in this South Florida city:

Palm Beach Mall in West Palm Beach, FL, 2007 (photo by Michael Lisicky)“When the Palm Beach Mall opened in 1967, it was billed as the largest enclosed mall in the Southeast. Located in West Palm Beach, FL, the mall helped serve a community who didn’t necessarily need the opulence of Palm Beach’s Worth Avenue shopping area. It opened amidst spectacular gardens and fountains and was anchored by the Miami-based Jordan Marsh, JCPenney and the number three of the three Miami stores, Richards. Palm Beach Mall thrived in the 1970s and beyond. So much so that the other Miami store, Burdines, left its downtown West Palm Beach location to join the Palm Beach Mall in 1980.

“But 1980 also meant more change to the mall. Richards, a unit of the troubled holding company City Stores, was forced to close all 8 Florida stores. This included not only the flagship in downtown Miami
but also the Palm Beach Mall location. Richards helped serve the more moderate end of the department store field in South Florida and therefore it found itself in less desirable shopping centers. However it was located in a couple of malls like Cutler Ridge and Palm Beach Mall where mall owners were threatening the company with eviction do to the lower quality of their merchandise. After Richards left, their anchor spot was quickly snatched up by Sears.

“The 1980s saw the infiltration of outside stores heading to Florida. Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, and Lord & Taylor joined Saks and Bonwit Teller to make the shopping environment more competitive. Burdines quickly defined itself as “The Florida Store” and solidified its place as the destination for loyal local and visiting shoppers. Jordan Marsh, which started Florida operations in 1956, was once the store for higher fashion. With newcomers heading into the state, the store lost focus and decided to downgrade in order to compete. It was a devastating decision for the company.

Lord & Taylor chose to come into the flourishing Palm Beach Mall during its massive invation into South Florida in the 1980s. Both Lord & Taylor and Jordan Marsh enjoyed high visibility from drivers on I-95. (Palm Beach Mall is actually the only mall visible from I-95 in all of South Florida.) But then things began to change. Jordan Marsh, floundering in bankruptcy, closed its stores in 1991. Lord & Taylor would end up retrenching years down the road eventually leaving Florida altogether. As the mall’s demographics changed the wonderful interior would be blandified over the years.

Jordan Marsh at Palm Beach Mall in West Palm Beach, FL, 7/91
“In the late 90s one of the biggest changes to happen to Palm Beach Mall was the razing of the Jordan Marsh store in order for Dillard’s to try to make its stand in South Florida. Shut out by Burdines and sister stores, Dillard’s had limited choices on where to locate. This dramatically changed the center court. Though the high ceiling remains to this day, gone is the exotic drama of its former interior self. And with a vacant and visible Lord & Taylor building, the mall decided to raze the store and leave the site ready for future development, development that has never materialized.

Palm Beach Mall in West Palm Beach, FL, 2007 (photo by Michael Lisicky)

“Burdines also suffered as the Macy influence gradually gained control. The store, even to this day, has a dramatic open feeling to its interior. This “Florida feeling” helped define to the public what
Burdines was all about. But in 2005 the store became a Macy’s. Up to the changeover, 2 of the 4 exterior entrances were sealed off. The parking garage leading into the upper floor of the store has even been closed off. Large portion of the store are walled off. Though the store has that great turquoise seashore feel, its merchandise no longer reflects the South Florida lifestyle. It has a true feeling of doom.

“Palm Beach Mall received a blow in 1999 when a young manager of the Chick-Fil-A store was murdered. Though it was deemed an inside job, few malls really can survive a high profile murder incident. (May I cite the Cloverleaf Mall in Richmond, VA?) More and more national merchants began to leave the mall in droves. The mall still is somewhat active but most stores seem to be on short term leases. Its current owner, Simon, seems to be in the mode to just fill the spaces, with anything. There is talk about the mall being ‘de-malled’. It’s fair to say its future is uncertain. There is too much competition in the immediate area to support this center. Time will tell.

“The pictures below were taken in late July, 2007. The interior store shots at the end are of the inside of the former Burdines, now Macy’s. The picture of the vacant lot next to the mall is where the Lord & Taylor was razed.”

The Burdine’s shots here are obviously not from 2007, they are 3 years older–from 2004. And the shot with the Jordan Marsh was from July of 1991; I know that it certainly takes me back, since Jordan Marsh’s New England stores (many of which are now being demolished, as they were abandoned by Macy’s) looked just like this. Michael also notes that the below Richards ad was from 1980, and was the last advertisement they ever ran in the Miami Herald. It also lists locations of their other stores at the time:

Richards Advertisement from the Miami Herald in 1980.

2004 photo of Burdine's at Palm Beach Mall in West Palm Beach, FL Palm Beach Mall in West Palm Beach, FL, 2007 (photo by Michael Lisicky) Palm Beach Mall in West Palm Beach, FL, 2007 (photo by Michael Lisicky)

Palm Beach Mall in West Palm Beach, FL, 2007 (photo by Michael Lisicky) Palm Beach Mall in West Palm Beach, FL, 2007 (photo by Michael Lisicky) Palm Beach Mall in West Palm Beach, FL, 2007 (photo by Michael Lisicky)

Palm Beach Mall in West Palm Beach, FL, 2007 (photo by Michael Lisicky) Palm Beach Mall in West Palm Beach, FL, 2007 (photo by Michael Lisicky) Palm Beach Mall in West Palm Beach, FL, 2007 (photo by Michael Lisicky)

Palm Beach Mall in West Palm Beach, FL, 2007 (photo by Michael Lisicky) Palm Beach Mall in West Palm Beach, FL, 2007 (photo by Michael Lisicky) Palm Beach Mall in West Palm Beach, FL, 2007 (photo by Michael Lisicky)

Palm Beach Mall in West Palm Beach, FL, 2007 (photo by Michael Lisicky) Palm Beach Mall in West Palm Beach, FL, 2007 (photo by Michael Lisicky) Palm Beach Mall in West Palm Beach, FL, 2007 (photo by Michael Lisicky)

Palm Beach Mall in West Palm Beach, FL, 2007 (photo by Michael Lisicky) Palm Beach Mall in West Palm Beach, FL, 2007 (photo by Michael Lisicky) Palm Beach Mall in West Palm Beach, FL, 2007 (photo by Michael Lisicky)

Palm Beach Mall in West Palm Beach, FL, 2007 (photo by Michael Lisicky) Palm Beach Mall in West Palm Beach, FL, 2007 (photo by Michael Lisicky) Palm Beach Mall in West Palm Beach, FL, 2007 (photo by Michael Lisicky)

Palm Beach Mall in West Palm Beach, FL, 2007 (photo by Michael Lisicky) Palm Beach Mall in West Palm Beach, FL, 2007 (photo by Michael Lisicky) Palm Beach Mall in West Palm Beach, FL, 2007 (photo by Michael Lisicky)

Palm Beach Mall in West Palm Beach, FL, 2007 (photo by Michael Lisicky)

Update: The Palm Beach Mall is nearing the end of its life and will likely be closing soon. Reader Evan from Florida sent us a few photos of the current state of the mall in fall of 2008:

2008 Photo of Palm Beach Mall 2008 Photo of Palm Beach Mall 2008 Photo of Palm Beach Mall

Author: Caldor

Jason Damas is a search engine marketing analyst and consultant, and a freelance journalist. Jason graduated magna cum laude from Northeastern University in 2003 with a Bachelor of Science in Journalism and a minor in Music Industry. He has regularly contributed to The Boston Globe,, Amplifier Magazine, All Music Guide, and 168 Magazine. In addition, he was a manager for a record store for over two years. Currently, he focuses on helping companies optimize their web sites to maximize search engine visibility, and is responsible for website conversion analysis, which aims to improve conversion rates by making e-commerce websites more user-friendly. He lives in suburban Boston.

373 thoughts on “Palm Beach Mall; West Palm Beach, Florida”

  1. Isn’t CityPlace over in Downtown WPB killing this mall too? It’s a so-called “Lifestyle Center” with Apartments, Shops (Macy’s is an anchor there), and restaurants. Although this mall may have to narrow it’s focus to a more “urban” clientele, since the nearest malls, Palm Beach Gardens and Mall at Wellington Green cater towards the upscale.

    I lived in FL for a couple of years, I miss those Burdines Stores, because they screamed “Florida” with the pastel colors and clothing catering to FL weather. Also, the newer stores had all these ceramic palm trees and palm tree designs incorporated into the walls. Really cool. And I love how the Burdines at this mall was designed.

    Macy’s taking over Burdines seems to have had just as bad of a reaction in FL as Macy’s taking over Rich’s up here in Atlanta (where I live now).

  2. Macy’s taking over [insert department store here] is just as bad of a reaction in [city/region] also. Truth said, everyone hates Macy’s.

  3. The JCPenney at this mall is the one featured on the Penney’s website representing a typical 1960s store.

  4. I just read a few days ago that city place is adding more stores & 700 more resedential units. Unless PBM gets its act together quickly i think this mall will go the way of most florida malls.

  5. I read with interest your comment regarding the murder incident at this mall and comparing it with the murders at Cloverleaf Mall in Richmond.

    It amazes me how often the murders at Cloverleaf are cited in that mall’s downturn and upcoming demise. Cloverleaf was already well on it’s way down when the murders occurred. I think that the murders only served to generate a lot of vows of “I’ll never go in there again” from people who had stopped going to the mall years before, if indeed they’d ever set foot in the mall in their lifetimes.

    That said, murder is not a good thing for a mall.

  6. For some strange reason richmond has a very high murder rate. I read that a few years ago and saw something about it on tv. Dave do you understand why that is the case? I just don’t get it,, but if you manage a mall it cant be good for business. Does anyone have an answer?

  7. I think a comment from Six Flags Mall summarized it nicely:
    “Crime is like poison to a mall, once it becomes common the mall is pretty much dead.

    Just look at the Mall of Memphis or Dixie Square Mall: two large malls whose size couldn’t prevent their demise.”

  8. Being a former resident of Richmond I can easily say that the murder rate in the city is due to the easy accessibility of guns in the state of Virginia. Being located along I-95 scores of gun purchasers from the Northeastern states would come to the Richmond area to easily purchase their supplies. The gun rules have been somewhat tightened in Virginia but that has still left many guns on the streets of Richmond. Yes, the murder rate has people battling for their turf but there is still an alarming amount of sporadic attacks in the city. I’m not here to debate the gun issue. I’m just stating that there are many guns on the streets of Richmond and they find themselves being used for horrific reasons. It was shocking to live there.

    Yes, Cloverleaf was on its way down. The people wishing to feel safer began doing their business farther away from the city limits towards the revamped Chesterfield Towne Center. But Cloverleaf was holding its own. It had downtraded some but was still a real mall. Then the murders happened. Two workers at the dollar store near JCPenney were shot execution style shortly after the mall closed one evening. That was all Richmond needed to hear. JCPenney fled to Chesterfield. Businesses fled almost overnight as the story would not leave the papers. It was almost as if the media needed to remind people not to go there. Sears closed its 2nd floor and then left entirely in 2002. That left Hecht’s in the back with no street frontage. You would have to drive around the remains of the mall to get to that Hecht’s branch. Once inside it was a dumping ground from other branches but it was a bargain hunters paradise. Midnight sales were a trip. You could have the place to your self as long as you ‘were willing to risk your life’. Hecht’s finally closed in 2003. The mall is still open with few tenants. (Yes, mostly footwear stores.) Its future, or lack thereof, is still trying to be worked out but sometimes in the case of murder and malls, which is horrible, the public says one strike and your out.

  9. The future of Cloverleaf Mall is clear. It will be demolished, probably within the next six to eight nmonths, if I have my guess. It will be replaced with a mixed-use development with about 300,000 sf of retail, including a very large Kroger. The proposed amount of retail is being debate right now, as the developer now wants to increase the amount of retail and there are a lot of details to be worked out. But the basic result is going to be the same.

    The reasons for Richmond’s high murder rate are many. The relative ease in which guns can be obtained is only one part of the puzzle. Drug wars that have flared up from time to time have had an amazing effect on the number of murders committed in the city. The murders tend to be concentrated in certain areas of the city and among certain elements of the population, so it’s not as if people are getting gunned down anywhere and at any time.

    One thing that many folks outside of Virginia don’t realize is that in Virginia, cities are separate from counties, which tends to skew statistics such as murder rates. Granted, Richmnond’s murder rate is still high even taking this difference into account, but those statistics only represent what occurs within the city limits among a population of a bit less than 200,000, as opposed to the entire metropolitan area, which is pushing 1,500,000 in population.

    Interestingly, since Cloverleaf is located in Chesterfield County, just over the city line, the dollar store murders aren’t even reflected in Richmond’s murder statistics. Personally, I think that if people were scared away from Cloverleaf because oif those murders, they weren’t paying attention to what was going on around them. There were plenty of bad things happening within walking distance of Cloverleaf that apparently had no effect until the murders at the mall.

    I think more than anything else, the westward progression of population in that part of the Richmond area did more than anything to kill Cloverleaf. Whether or not you want to term it a natural progression is up too you. Southside Plaza was the big shopping center when it opened in 1959, Cloverleaf’s opening in 1972 killed Southside. Chesterfield Mall (now Chesterfield Towne Center) opened in 1975, but wasn’t much of anything until it was expanded in the 1980’s. All of it shores up the theory that prime retail’s lifecycle is around 15 years.

  10. Dave-
    I agree with you on many of your points. I do also look forward to seeing an entry by someone on Regency Square Mall in the very near future. And within 5 years I’m sure Stony Point will make an interesting case study.

  11. WNBC TV last night had a story on gun running in New York. Guess were 1 out of every 9 came from… yes Richmond. Why? lack of law inforcement to make it simple.

    “The iron pipeline is alive and well” from WNBC TV
    If you are a mall manager this should open your eyes & make you more aware of safety issues.

    If you want to see the story go to

  12. my hometown mall (the maine mall in south portland, me) has a jordan marsh/macys that looks just like the one in that pic!!!! i miss going there when i was little and having lunch at garnishes resturant that was on the 2nd floor..i wonder if any other jordan marsh stores had them or just the south portland one…

  13. The Jordan Marsh pic doesn’t work.

  14. Is that a dead American Eagle in pic 17? If so, it looks like one of their more recent designs.

  15. Thanks for the info and pictures – this is awesome!

    Since you’re in the retail scene – be sure to leave your nomination for fave retail restroom in the nation on Retail Design Diva:

    We hope to hear from you!
    Heather 🙂

  16. I have a few questions…

    a) Does anyone have a picture of the Center Court pre-Dillard’s?
    b) Rumor is the mall will shut and be turned into an open-air center within the near future. What’s the truth value of this?
    c) What’s the basic layout of the mall? (Simon’s is kinda crappy)
    d) Do you think this mall has been affected by the mega Aventura Mall (7th largest in USA)?

  17. I grew up with this mall, and spent a decent amount of my childhood there. Watching it’s slow death over the years is disheartening to me. I used to walk only on the dark tiles across the mall as a game when I was little, and playing with He-Man toys on the racks in Burdines.

    The place is pretty hollowed out now, with most of the stores that I used to go to there just empty spaces. Compared to the other malls in the area, the Palm Beach Lakes mall is actually pretty squalid looking.

  18. Hey! The Richards ad lists Lauderhill Mall and 163rd St. Shopping Center (as it was open-air back then) as other locations. Whats the history of Richards anyway???

  19. Jonah, Although young, I remember when the Palm Beach Mall opened. Here is a different view of the Mall’s fountain that shows the Jordan Marsh entrance. There is also a partial list of original stores.

  20. I glad the question of ‘what was Richards came up”. Before Jordan Marsh came on the Miami scene to give Burdines a run for their money, there was Richards. Based in downtown Miami, Richards originally opened as the New York Department Store in 1913. Over the next several years the store experienced many financial difficulties. After a bankruptcy filing in 1936 in came a group of Miami businessmen and a group from City Stores. The store was purchased and their first job was to hire Richard Gimbel, a cousin of the famed Gimbel department store family. City Stores wanted to name the store Gimbels but after several legal threats they settled on just calling the store Richards. The downtown Miami store was extensively modernized in 1951.

    Richards, just like Burdines, began opening suburban stores in 1958 followed by 6 others over the next 13 years. Its final store opened at the Hollywood Fashion Center in 1971. (HFC needs to be on this site!) Richards was never a high end store (its main downtown store was known for a while for its white carpeting) but it wasn’t as low end as Jefferson, a Miami discounter. Over the 1970s City Stores seemed more interested in selling off its business rather than improving any retail sales improvement. In January 1980, City Stores put the axe to Richards. It was no surprise to the Miami business community but it did put over 1,200 employees out of work. At this point, the older, smaller South Florida malls that counted on Richards began their slow spiral downwards.

    There’s the history of Richards, almost a fifth division of the Gimbels name. I’m glad I was able to write this. There is so little information out there about this important Miami retailer.

  21. RE: Michael’s claim that “Jordan Marsh came on the Miami scene to give Burdines a run for their money.”

    That’s entirely false. Jordan Marsh wasn’t even in the same league of popularity as Burdines. While less disruptive than the Marshall Fields wars in Chicago, the closing of Burdines and the switch to Macys is not looked upon favorably in Florida (and may be a mistake, as Macys moved downscale in brand and is not defined locally.)

    The sad part of this mall is that it’s not a hole…there’s viability here. Many of the malls you report on look to have no recourse back from the dead: from size to decor to location. Palm Beach Mall is centrally located in a growin urban area, is bland but nice looking, and has enough space to succeed.

  22. Aaron-

    I must respond to your post saying that my comments about Florida’s Jordan Marsh division are “entirely false”. I will begin by saying that Burdines is, was, and will always be “Florida’s Store”. However I would like to cite the following statements taken from respected periodicals.

    In the book ‘It’s Better at Burdines’, author Roberta Morgan reports “The banner year of 1956 also saw the biggest challenge in Burdines’ history…(CEO George Corrigan states) When Allied first came to town with Jordan Marsh in 1956, we were rocked pretty hard. Allied had all the money in the world…We were being out-maneuvered and out-gunned in the newspapers and the marketplace. Although many prominent Miamians note that Jordan Marsh was never the Florida store…the competition was there and it was threatening.” Later in the book in an interview with former Burdines chief Howard Socol, Socol states “I would say that the Jacobs era (1960s) was the one where Burdines traded its quality up and traded itself up. In those days, I believe Jordan Marsh was perceived as the better store, and Burdines was seen as more moderate. Jacobs actually turned that around.”

    In an article from the Miami Herald from 3/16/87, the Herald states “At one time Jordan Marsh was the premier fashion store in the state, in the whole Southeast….If you wanted something of top fashion, you would go to Jordan Marsh. (These comments stem from the article’s title “Jordan Marsh price cuts proved costly.”) After Jordan Marsh ended its run, the Miami Herald’s Ena Naunton in 11/91 stated “What a store it was. There was a slightly intimidating hauteur about it…The store’s “we’re a big deal” attitude carried over to one of Miami’s leading social events each winter season: the Orange Bowl luncheon. This event (was) hosted alternately by Burdines…There I learned the rules laid down by the dictators of fashion, including Jordan Marsh.”

    As I said, Florida was Burdines but Jordan Marsh, through Allied’s buying power and clout, gave Burdines a run for their money. Its existence helped Burdines define itself with its Florida roots as New York intruders filled the Florida scene. Jordan Marsh may not have been as popular as Burdines but it was its true competition for many years. Is Publix more popular than Winn-Dixie? Probably. Especially as Publix took on the look as Florida’s grocer but Winn-Dixie is still a strong competitor, at least down in South Florida.

    To say my comments are “totally false” is unfair. I was there when Jordan Marsh lost direction and traded downmarket until, as Ena Naunton writes “Jordan Marsh first lost its identity, then, as though broken-hearted, it died.” Macy’s certainly hasn’t won the hearts of Floridians. Yes, I will enter the downtown Miami store for an occasional Popeye Salad in the Royal Palm Restaurant when I can stomach the sight of the red star but I base my comments and submissions on Labelscar on historical records. I try to keep emotions out of it and I will be happy to provide dozens of more documents to support my statements of Jordan Marsh Florida. As the slogan went “The Store with the Florida Flair.”

  23. I stand corrected. Of my generation of Floridians, we all thought that Jordan Marsh was clothing your grandmother bought to go to the Bar Mitzvah.

    Publix is most certainly more popular than Winn-Dixie, but W-D isn’t really worried about Publix, but rather Wal-Mart supercenters. Publix is actually a special case, where a big-box SuperStore has come into a region and NOT put the supermarkets out of business. And considering the drek that we have up in the Northeast, I entirely understand why. Giant, W-D, and the rest in the NE could use a little Publix pantina!

  24. b) Rumor is the mall will shut and be turned into an open-air center within the near future. What’s the truth value of this?

    Here’s some proof here from the local paper, with Borders closing this week:

    c) What’s the basic layout of the mall? (Simon’s is kinda crappy)

    Alot of stores have shut down in this mall the past few years, so it’s pretty transient. But the layout is pretty accurate, it’s only one floor for most stores though:

    d) Do you think this mall has been affected by the mega Aventura Mall (7th largest in USA)?

    I doubt it, since the mall is about an hour’s drive south of Palm Beach and many people in Palm Beach County tend to avoid the Miami area. I do think, however that The Gardens Mall, located 10 miles north in Palm Beach Gardens, attracted alot of the more affluent customers away from Palm Beach Mall when it opened in 1988. The shut down talk accelerated after Wellington Green opened up 10 miles west in Wellington, another affluent community in 2001, and CityPlace in downtown around the same time gave the rest of the area little need to visit Palm Beach mall. And of course, the high crime rate in and around Palm Beach Mall always helps to kill a mall.

  25. Wellington Green seemed to be the obvious end for Palm Beach Lakes. It had been going for years of course, but after Wellington Green opened it just seemed to lose what little it had left.

  26. Observing the mall today, I saw that about half of the mall’s spaces were either shuttered or holding a clearance sale, more so in the western half of the mall (from JCPenney to the Fountain which is not running anymore). From talking to a few mall employees (none of this is official), the mall is shutting down in April-ish; a couple said that the renovation is going in stages, going west to east, while a few other sources suggest the entire mall is going down. The mall is really in a need of a makeover, the JCPenney and the mall in general looked like a time warp into the 1970’s, unlike the two newer malls.

    Talking to someone that has been here for a long time at the mall, he said that the mall took a nosedive right after Wellington Green opened and all the stores moved over there. Boynton Beach Mall is still doing fine, but with that being the bottom mall after PBM closes, it could possibly the next to go into decline.

  27. I was wondering if anyone knows of the name of a cookie shop that use to be in the entrance of the mall, back in 1996 0r 1997. They had the best cookies in the world. I havent been to the Palm Beach Mall in 4 years. I live in California now.

    If you have any ideas please email at: sundayglam [AT] gmail [DOT] com

    Thank You

  28. The mall looks to be fairly recently remodeled. My mall (also simon owned ans managed) underwent an extensive renovation two years ago, starting with the interior, adding two “big box” stores (dick’s sporting goods..which had a mall entrance as well…and circuit city) at the front, and culminating this year in the addition of several restaurants in a former mall wing (and recently vacated office max), and new parking lots/ signage/ lighting. Simon can do it, but it depends on the mall manager. It sounds like this one has been poorly managed for years, and has had little effort made in coming up with new ideas. A facelift is only as good as the stores that the management can attract to fill the empty holes. Right now, I’d say tear it down (at least in part) and place all the stores in one area, and build condos on the rest of the property…making it like cityplace. Perhaps, maybe try for some more fun features to distinguish it as a middle market, family mall. Right now, its quite white and boring. The Gardens just renovated, so I think now is the time to try something new…or just let it die, like I have a feeling will end up happening.

  29. Matt R.,

    Trying to remodel the mall to attract the affluent or middle class markets probably won’t work in this case, as the local surroundings around the mall are known for being a bit shady, especially after dark. Most of the middle class and above have flocked away from the area as well and usually don’t like to drive up to the mall. Considering the circumstances of the mall and the area, the best thing probably is to let it die and let some big box retailer (yet another Super Wal-Mart) get the spot.

  30. The Palm Beach Mall is currently full of empty stores and off name places selling street wear. The Anchor stores are alive and well, the Food Court is basically empty with exception to a couple of places. Some woman was robbed there a few weeks ago while in the food court.

    Even if they revitalize it, I doubt it will lose it’s character because of the location.

  31. This mall is about to close sometime this summer. My mom use to work at Park Lane. Those stores were all over south FL, but disappeared around 1991.

  32. If only they put a police station in the mall. That will probably do something for it.

  33. here’s the simple answer just don’t come to richmond if you value your life , i mean it;s just not a safe place, i mean everyone else who does not live in that urban hellhole talks about just how bad it is.

  34. I grew up right around the corner from this mall starting in 1970. My favorite teacher, Hattie Bruce (Military Trail Elem) used to tell me how it was before the mall was built and how she and her husband used to go fishing there.It used to be exciting to go there as a kid and go to the Barefoot Mailman, Orange Bowl (Julius), getting my favorite ice cream (Butterscotch Twirl) at the ice cream shop or even having a lunch and milkshake at Woolworth’s, the pet shop that used to be there, as well as just going to the fountain and walking across the little bridge. I still have pictures of it to this day from that time period. I refuse to go back there anymore because it’s too upsetting for me to see it the way it is now versus then, when it was booming. Back then more older folks would go (Century Village) and you could enjoy the day there. Now it’s too dangerous to go. I have so many memories, even going there and getting ready to go to the auditorium to see Elvis’ last performance (in FL). The reason why it went downhill is because of the crap that kept moving in the area. Back then the so-called *bad area* was centered more around Tamarind Ave, but now it’s most of West Palm Beach, unfortunately. I also used to go to the Twin City Mall in North Palm and have their delicious caramel popcorn. Oh those were the days.

  35. Has anyone heard anything lately on when this mall is going to close? I was just there last week. As Janine said, most of the open stores are at the Dillard’s end of the mall. Saw Footlocker, Victoria’s Secret (!), and Journey’s, but little else in the way of chains.

    Two things I found especially sad:

    1) The food court only looked to be about 1/3 full. My visit took place around 8pm, and half the food outlets were closed for the night.

    2) The Charlotte Russe has been taken over by a discount furniture store–never mind labelscars, the logo in the store is still there and brightly painted! I was really bummed to see that, being as this was the first Charlotte Russe I had ever seen, being they hadn’t come to the Northeast yet when I was last in this mall (2004).

    To Michele: Most of West Palm Beach is not that bad, as long as you stay away from Tamarind and the Dixie Highway areas.

  36. I heard IKEA had it’s eyes on that area, but this could be defunct now since the FL economy is in the hole.

    I worked in the Palm Beach Mall for over 7 years, and quit around 2001. It was on an upswing when I left. The mall has been in trouble years before 2001…my take is that too many malls have been built, (such as the Gardens), and have left PB mall with too much competition.

    Also, the area shifted demographically, and not for the better. I remember that area when it was slightly upscale and filled with golf courses. Now there’s a BrandsMart over the old public golf course.

  37. Well, that was quick…I was at the mall this past Saturday and the discount furniture store in the Charlotte Russe space had already packed up and left. As Emily Litella once said, “Never mind.”

    P.S. The Charlotte Russe labelscars are still there.

  38. To add to Debbi,Tamarind and the Dixie Highway areas are actually ok… at day. But it’s improved ALOT you have to admit.

  39. It’s official. Dillard’s in the Palm Beach Mall is closing October 31, 2008. And the mall itself is “quietly” for sale.

    The article from the Palm Beach Post on Dillard’s closing:

    An outside picture of the PB Mall Dillard’s from their website:

    Article on selling the PB Mall:

  40. I have to ask, doesn anyone know if Dillard’s is experiencing a financial crunch? It seems to me that whatever city I travel to, there is a Dillard’s liquidating a store. I am in Dallas Texas this week, and I stopped by this beautiful mall called Valley View Mall run by Macerich. It had a lot of foot traffic, a decent selection of stores, a viable food court, a carousel in the spacious center court, and people seemed to be spending money there.

    It was such a nice alternative to the behemoth Galleria. Yet, Macy’s had already left the mall, and Dillard’s was closing. While there were plenty of national tenants, the upper level by the Penney’s wing had a few vacancies, and now the Dillard’s areas had about eitght store fronts that were dark. I asked an employee at Steve & Barry’s what was happening, and she said that “once Dillard’s decided to leave the mall, other stores got nervous and started closing”.

    This seems to be a pattern. Dillard’s leaves a mall and everyone gets all shaken up. Why? I have never found a damn thing I’d want at a Dillard’s.

  41. See my comment about Valley View Mall in the “Help Us” section. It provides some info about Dallas malls and some speculation regarding this closing.

  42. I have a feeling Target wants to supersize on this location…

  43. I was just there yesterday and it is depressing to see how far it has fallen from its glory days. The food court has only 4 open restaurants left open, which in itself is depressing enough. The mall is half empty, and who knows how much longer it will remain open. I have some great memories here, and wish they could find a way to save it and bring it back to life!

  44. This mall has the creepiest mall Santa I have ever seen. He made Billy Bob Thornton look positively clean-cut.

  45. hi,

    on the subject of crime at a mall….i know when i was there(in south florida) i was a resident of nearly 25 years and we had a rash of killings and muggings at the palm beach mall. always right around christmas. somehow, they managed to overcome that awful image and took measures to prevent it from happening again. that was about eight years ago for me. i live outside of indianapolis now and you hardly ever hear of shit like that hear. the area for the the p.b. mall isn’t the best either. palm beach lakes and are some of the worst areas in the palm beaches and right down the road from that is cracktown. i feel it is only a matter of time for the mall ….i hope i’m wrong, i spent a lot of great days in there.

  46. Executive Center Drive? Isn’t that all gated communities, Will? I think you mean Australian Avenue,

  47. Dillards is history, they have closed the store at the Palm Beach Mall location.

  48. With Dillards now gone, how long to the mall is history? It is quite sad indeed. I wish they could somehow find a way to revive the mall, but I doubt they can!

  49. went to the mall two weeks ago, the arcade next to the gamestop and the candy store (both near sears) shut down. even though the economy isn’t great and it was noon on a thursday, it felt DEAD, especially on the height of christmas season. simon doesn’t even recognize this mall as one of their own anymore, as their local radio ads mention only the boca town center and boyton beach mall when they are promoting gift cards. expect at least an announcement that the mall will shut down completely (minus the anchors) in january after the christmas shopping season is done.

  50. Is the Pretzel store and Villa Pizza still open lol?

  51. to bill:
    SOME of e.c.d. is gated….it really is the part that runs from p.b lakes to australian that has that sort of protection and even then you have the “upper crust” thugs that live in some of those gated communities. run down past the auditorium a couple of blocks and you’ll see exactly what i mean. i had a cab driver nearly get me killed over there once…the bastard tried to make a drug deal with me in the cab!!

  52. This Macy’s location is one of 11 that are scheduled to close in 2009. Macy’s just made the announcement today. It looks like this was a massive, neat and organized location. Too bad the local Macy’s in my area were as neat. They are just too messy and disorganized.

  53. That leaves the mall with only two anchors, how long to the remaining two decide to pull out?

  54. Dillards, now Macy’s. I hear Ikea will move in. They will probably make a huge parking garage like the one in Sunrise.

  55. jcpenney and sears both have stores not too far away from the palm beach mall, so they may bail as well in the next few weeks to months. only other big store left besides them is that music store that was next to borders (i wonder if they shut down yet). i’ll try to go to the mall one last time in the next couple of weeks to see exactly how many stores are left.

  56. Lol, Burdines started in West Palm Beach on Clematis Street, moved to the mall, reopened downtown at CityPlace, and now closing its mall store. Back to the old days, eh?

  57. The Ritz Camera is also gone, as well as Whitehall Jewelers and one of the cell phone kiosks. Hallmark has advertised their fixtures for sale; my guess is that they’ll be history at the end of the month. Claire’s is having a clearance sale, although that could be just a store thing.

    With Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works opening locations in CityPlace by the spring, I’m wondering if their days in PBM are numbered.

    Was the arcade an FYE at one point? The carpet has an old FYE design, and the facade also looks like what they would have.

    Evan: Both Villa Pizza and Auntie Anne’s are still around. On the food court, I counted 8 out of 14 that were open. Obviously not good, but still more than I thought. Only one was a chain (Subway).

    Bill: Target is building their Super location across from the mall, on the spot of their old store, which is now demolished. I believe ground has already been broken.

    It’s a shame about this mall. Many who live in this area don’t have their own transportation and can’t afford what’s at CityPlace (although they did recently open a few independent moderately-priced boutiques). On a personal note from a bookstore geek, I find it irritating that there’s no bookstores between downtown and Wellington Green. They could do so much with this property.

  58. debbi: i forgot, but there was an fye either where the arcade was or next to the arcade (think it was next to the arcade, because i remember them both running at the same time, i’m guessing the arcade was where the fye was before they moved to their final location).

    i see victoria’s secret and b&bw bailing shortly after their new cityplace stores open up (if the mall is still open by then). i would like to know how many stores are in fact left in the mall. my guess is less than 40, with the west wing already dead. on another note, i see gnc and gamestop staying until the mall shuts down, they (and a few other stores) are usually the last to leave a mall.

    bill: the framework for the super target is in place for at least the first two floors (as of last month), they may be finished with the exterior framework by now.

    but it’s too bad about the mall. even 5 years ago, while it was known it was in a bit of a decline, it was a decent mall, getting good business, and was a break from the boutique feeling of the gardens mall and less so wellington green. i still think this mall could have been thriving if the right steps were taken back around 2004 to clean up the area. but in the past 2-3 years, it slowly deteriorated into it’s current sad state when people started thinking the mall had only months left, along with repeated violence in and around the mall. when people think the mall is going to close in 3 months (they have been saying this for some time), tenants will leave, fearing they will have to shut down anyway.

    i think the other mall in palm beach county that could become dead in the near future is boynton beach mall, about 15 miles south. it’s not in bad shape and has a good chance to turn things around, but with the crime around the mall and a christmas eve gang shooting in 2006, it could possibly go into decline after palm beach mall closes and put the death knell on non boutique shopping in palm beach county.

  59. Squeeze Downtown at The Gardens in between. Oh wait, that’s already dead.

  60. Thanks for the update Debbi, good to know my two fav places are still around. I’ll have to go visit them before they decide to close.

    As for the questions surrounding the FYE, there was a huge FYE and the arcade was right next to the store, and was also run by by FYE until they closed their store and someone else took over the arcade.

    And also funny note, the owner of the Auntie Annie’s also owned the candy store.

    Janine, your right, this mall could have been saved if Simon had taken the proper steps, but they just gave up on it. And honestly I can’t see the Boynton Beach Mall closing, they just did some recent renovations their and it has a ton of stores, and traffic still!

  61. I also just remembered probably 10-15yrs ago their was an arcade in the middle part of the mall, in the main entrance wing. It was there for awhile, but it was a no name arcade!

  62. Janine: I have to agree with Evan. I don’t see the Boynton Beach Mall going anywhere. While I remember hearing about the shooting on the news–I didn’t actually move to WPB until six months ago–it sounds to me that while unfortunate, it could happen in any random mall. I have never felt unsafe in BBM. Also, BBM is too far south from CityPlace for it to be true competition. Wellington? Most likely would have put a dent in BBM a while back if they were going to do it.

    I did make one prior visit to PBM, in 2003. While my then-boyfriend told me the mall was dying, I didn’t see any more vacancies than in the mall than the one I did most of my shopping at that time (Freehold Raceway Mall in Freehold, NJ).

    I forgot about GNC–and of course Radio Shack, LOL. Curiously, Vitamin World is not amongst the survivors.

    Bill: I was actually thinking about submitting something about Downtown at the Gardens. I wouldn’t blame that one so much on any direct competition, but on the economy. Two more restaurants closed last week, in addition to the three that closed last fall. I believe that leaves The Yard House, Paul, and The Cheesecake Factory. I might be forgetting one. (I’m not counting Johnny Rockets) If anyone wants me to, I can give a more detailed report the next time I have a marketing report in this area.

    Evan: You’re welcome and thanks for the info on the arcade/FYE. Aren’t all arcades these days no-name arcades? Except for those restaurant combinations, I don’t think there’s been an arcade chain since the late 80s, LOL. Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong. 🙂 Apart from beach areas, arcades are scarce in the Northeast, where I’m originally from.

    A few details I forgot: The fountain, shut off, has signs warning not to play in it. Huh. Also, one of the cheap boutiques has announced a closing sale and for some strange reason, a perfume shop has actually *opened*.

  63. Gameworld/Funzone
    Alladin’s Castle/Namco Arcade/Time Out
    And the rest are one or two location no-names. Sadly.

  64. debbi: wellington green is 17 miles away from bbm and a 1/2 hour drive away from wellington itself, i doubt wellington green would have put a dent in bbm, since most people from the wellington area would usually shop at either the gardens or palm beach mall before their mall opened up.

    most of the major shopping centers in palm beach county (cityplace, the gardens, worth ave. and less so wellington green and boca town center) have a boutique feel to them (lots of expensive stores). boynton beach mall, on the other hand, mostly doesn’t cater to boutiques and has stores most people can afford. the only reason i said it could have been dead was probably because i went there one time and it was late on a sunday. i’ll try to go there again on a higher traffic day and check out the stores for myself. i’m not sure, but did bbm get more traffic as palm beach mall went into decline?

    i think downtown at the gardens was dead on arrival. location wasn’t great (you had to cross 95 to get there, nothing else really around the immediate area), area was already saturated with boutiques, it looked like a copycat cityplace without the established elements that cityplace had, and the not so great economy.

  65. Your welcome for the info Debbi. The arcade I was talking about I think was actually run by the mall, though it had a very dark feeling to it. As for the fountain I think it has been shut off for a few years hasn’t it?

    It’s maddening to see Simon give up on the mall when it could have been saved. BTW, are their any stores even left in the West side of the mall, near Penny’s. I would walk the entire mall and even take some pictures, though im afraid to take my good camera there and I am disabled and can’t even walk that much, maybe half the mall one day and the rest the next week!

  66. Evan: I believe there are a few stores left in that wing. I recall Radio Shack was located there, as well as a couple of the trashy clothing stores.

    Let me know if you can’t take the pics. No promises since I don’t know when my marketing projects or other errands take me into that mall (which isn’t very often), but perhaps I can help with the pics.

    Janine: While Wellington Green does have many upscale shops, I also see plenty of the mall staples that BBM has (Charlotte Russe, Hot Topic, Yankee Candle, Victoria’s Secret, Journey’s, Pac-Sun and so many others). I kind of see WG as the middle ground between BBM and Palm Beach Gardens Mall.

  67. P.S. to Janine: Odd that Downtown at the Gardens may be DOA, but Legacy Place, which is directly across the highway, appears to be doing very well, or at least has a much lower vacancy rate. And now that I’m truly starting to go OT, I’ll shut up now. 🙂

  68. Hey Debbi,
    Thanks for the offer, I will probably go this week and use my cell phone to take pics. Then if you also take pics we can get them added to this website. I am going to go sometime this week, possibly today.

    And you actually have work that might bring you into the mall, what in the world could that be lol?

  69. Freelance marketing projects…I have to test such things as who merchants are selling to, the level of service, if they’re pushing a certain project, etc. It’s obvious I don’t get too many assignments in PBM, usually it’s WG or PBGM, though once in a great while I will still get sent there. If I’m at PBM, it’s more likely for an errand. Last time I went was because I had to go to the Ritz Camera…which I found out gave up at the end of Dec., LOL.

    If you go, looking forward to the pics! Have fun.

  70. Just got home from the mall and I managed to walk the West Wing of the mall and then got in my car, drove to the other side and got a pretzel lol. There were only 8 stores I counted left open in the West wing of the mall. Very, very eerie feeling to see it so open. I had not been in that side of the mall in over 6yrs when Borders was still open.

    I talked to the very nice cashier at Auntie Annie’s found out this stuff:
    3 more stores are closing in the next 2weeks, forget which ones. She said in her 7hr shift she might and on a good day get 20 customers. The mall went downhill fast last year after a news reporter was in the mall talking about it closing. Stores left in droves after that.

    Asked her about when the mall might close, she said she has heard it will remain open until 2010, then also 2weeks ago a security guard told her they will be getting letters saying it is shutting down in a few months, so I don’t think anyone knows what is going on. Also found out the candy store owner moved his shop over on Lake Worth Road near Fun Depot, not sure where that is. Also interesting the cashier said alot of people from Wellington go there just to get pretzels. And they all want him to move to Wellington Green.

    I took 27pictures on my cell phone, so once I upload them later today, and resize them, ill post the link to them on here, and then send them to the owner of the site so they can post them on here!

  71. Oh and that’s interesting Debbi, thanks for sharing!

  72. Oh and one more thing I just remembered, the cashier told me that Sears owns their own building, so they are not going anywhere. She said they might build a new building closer to the road though, and as for Penny’s, no news yet.

    And for those who are interested, the frame for the re-built Target across the street is basically up, and it appears as if it will be two stories!

  73. Somebody please tell me club top isn’t one of those stores closing!!! that store has awesome pants 4 cheap! anyway,i’m going on wednesday 2 take some pics and see if it’s changed since i went there a few weeks ago.when i went a few weeks ago,i entered through jcpenney and when i got out of jcpenney this mall looked abandoned and seriously creepy with it’s bad lighting,long hallways that lead to nothing but a soda machine,and about 5 stores open (i had come that day for the borders that their website said was open,and it wasn’t) plus,i went like at 7 or 8 pm so that could’ve added to the creepiness.also,i’m a frequent shopper at wellington green which is the complete opposite of this yeah.on thursday i’ll give a link to the pics!

  74. Excellent photos, Evan. Thanks for taking those!

  75. Your welcome, for a cell phone, they came out surprisingly well!

  76. the west end of the mall is extremely eerie right now, only 10 stores open in the west wing (that side of the mall is planned to close first). i counted a total of 53 stores open (including the food court) and 13 kiosks (all but two of those are east of dillards). the stores that are shutting down soon aren’t in the count.

    about the bath and body works and victoria’s secret: they are both closing next weekend, prior to their cityplace stores opening up in february. macys will shut down in the middle of march, and already, the second floor looks empty.

  77. Where did you hear that that side is closing first, even though it is quite obvious!

  78. evan: various sources from mall employees, although the info is very jumbled, as with everything else regarding the mall’s future. all i know is that the west half of the mall is dead, and the east end of the mall is on it’s way to being dead. the stores left on the west end could take up some empty spaces on the east end once they shut the west end down as they turn the area into an outdoor shopping center.

    on the jcpenny store, i think the mall owns their space, but they can stay open after the mall closes, and they are more than likely staying put (or open their space near the mall). also, the shabbro’s shut down, what a shame too.

    i still wonder why borders has on their website that this store was open, they shut down the mall location nearly a year ago, and that’s when most people knew this mall was going to die.

  79. Man Sbarros closed, that is a shame. And Borders only shut down a year ago? I read somewhere it closed nearly 5yrs ago on another website.

  80. Borders was there a couple of years ago, I think it closed last year or maybe it was the year before, I was there a few times 5 years ago and it was still there.

    Dillards was only there since 2000, Lord and Taylor was there as well, between Dillards and JCPenney. They closed and tore down the building.

    Simon needs to update their site for the Palm Beach Mall lol!

    Before the Wellington Green Mall, people around here would go to the Gardens Mall, Boynton Beach Mall or the Boca Town Center.

    Gardens and Boca went upscale, Boca more so then the Gardens and Boynton Beach Mall went down the toilet.

  81. Debbi:

    Don’t forget there is a Toojay’s at Downtown which is always packed and I think RA Sushi is still there as well.

    Whole Foods is always busy and the Cobb Theater is doing fine. That’s what’s keeping Johnny Rockets in business.

  82. RA Sushi–that was the one I forgot! But wasn’t The Strip House doing just fine until they suddenly went belly up?

    I’m not going to enter the Borders debate, except to say that I do know when I moved to the area (June 2008) that it was already gone with the sign removed.

    Izzy: I forget which of the trashy boutiques it was, they’re all interchangeable to me anyway, LOL.

    I still don’t think that BBM is a terrible mall. A bit more leaning toward the “urban” clientele, true, but that’s kept to a minimum. Most of what they have can also easily be found at Wellington and every other mall in the state. I find it to be clean and well-run. Not every mall can be super-upscale and as much as I love PBGM, they don’t have half the stores I love to shop at.

  83. This mall served as great hang out spot for the more urban community and those who lived in those areas..Some people can’t afford to drive or ride the bus to Palm Beach Gardens and/or Wellington..Also, many can’t afford certain things in these store.If anybody who is bargain shopper realizes that the prices differ depending on what side of town your on. In my opinion the Palm Beach Mall had many grreat deals in some of their stores and also in their bigger brand-named stores. *sighs* Well just goes to show that the rich is always about themselves and never really for the people. But yeah they are replacing the mall with an IKEA furniture store. ((which i find ridiculous..but who am I to argue))

  84. Borders closed in January of 2008.

  85. Thanks for clarifying that Karen. And BBM is doing fine. I was there last year and it was crowed and most of the mall is full store wise. There is not another mall near there to provide to much competition, I don’t think. It is not an upscale mall, and it is very similar to what PBM used to be say 15yrs ago!

  86. Macy is leaving the mall!!!! 🙁 How sad!

  87. grrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!! they closed club top!!!!! luckily they’re relocating to wellington mall though,(i learned that by asking a cashier in a nearby store,and confirming it by emailing someone at the wellington mall,who told me that they would be open on or before january case you havn’t noticed yet,i am obsessed with this store,so i’m going to wellington on tuesday.) which seems kinda weird;it just doen’t seem like one of those overpriced wellington stores (like Hollister and blah blah blah)yeah sorry i’m like a week later than i said i would post a link to the pics but it doesn’t really matter cuz it turns out i forgot to replace my old (and almost full) memory card with my new one,so i didn’t have enough memory to take many pictures.i only got is the only remains of the closed down club top,a sign that says buy 1 get 1 half off.the 2nd pic is what the mall looks like outside of macy’s.the 3rd pic is a pic taken near the middle of the mall.i thought it was pathetic that not even their fountain worked.i was going to go take pictures of the dead section of the mall near Jcpenney,but it was getting late and the area isn’t that great (hey i rhymed!) and plus i’m really lazy.anyway sorry for rambling here’s the link:

    i thought it was weird how a mall can reflect on the area it’s in.
    Boynton=average area
    Wellington and Gardens=rich area
    Palm beach=Bleh Area (aka crime area)

  88. Hey Izzy, you need a password to see the pics, thanks for taking them. Anyways, I have a link up a few entries of the dead wing, but if you take more that would be cool!

  89. i’ll probably go back in a few weeks and take more pics.if you can’t find the pics from the link then search my username,randomweirdperson on photobucket.and by the way,i saw this one place in palm beach mall that appeared to be an old arcade,and there was an old half full coke bottle in it!! still had a sign hanging from the ceiling that said prizes,and the carpet was red and…arcade-ish.also,i read a comment on this page that said the arcade had a “dark feeling to it” what the heck??? that’s creepy!! what do you mean by that?

  90. izzy, you need a password to access your photos, or change your settings to make them public. The arcade you are talking about closed recently, and was run by FYE, and then someone else. The dark one I mentioned was circa 1991, a completely different one, and was in the main entrance hall wing, and was only there for a couple years. It was just not real well lit, kinda had florescent lighting on the ceiling, and was just a rundown looking arcade.

  91. i set it to public so it should work now

  92. Your welcome izzy, and great pics!

  93. I second the great pics, Izzy.

    While I will say the area PBM is in is not one I would want to be in late at night, there are still many office buildings within a 5 minute drive, or even a decent walk. There are plenty of restaurants, even a decent hotel or two.

    I’m glad Club Top is moving to Wellington; at least its owner(s) will still have a decent go of making money off his/her/their business. But I wonder how exactly it would fit into Wellington, with the competition of Charlotte Russe, Forever 21, and Wet Seal (which looks like they might be closing their BBM location, but I may be completely wrong on that)

  94. One more OT note on BBM: I was at this mall yesterday, and found it interesting how most of the “urban” clientele business was located on the Sears wing of the mall, including a nail salon, Foot Locker, and a couple of independent businesses (party store, cheap gift shop). The more upscale stores and mall staples were going toward the Macy’s wing. Just made me think.

  95. Yeah, it seems the Sears wing always gets the short end of the stick.

  96. It’s a shame this mall has gone downhill. Used to love going to Woolworth here back in the 80s-90s when the mall was still thriving.

  97. Debbie/AceJay,

    What is it about Sears that is causing this trend?

  98. Sean,

    It’s all about demographics and foot traffic. This is what I observe in my little corner of the world, anyway, with Sears not being as much of a draw. In retail, perception is reality and Sears is stodgy. As one of the oldest retailers, Sears started out as all things for all people. Clothing, home goods, tools, lawn equipment, appliances etc. But now retail is much more specialized due to the big boxes. The types that bought Craftman tools and lawnmowers, occasionally a new pair of jeans are going to Lowe’s or Home Depot where you don’t have to navigate through non hard goods. Appliance shoppers have many more choices, too. The clothing shoppers never did go to Sears much, save Mom buying some new Toughskins for the rambunctious rug rats. Apparel and other fashion oriented stores which make up the bulk of the mall would much rather locate near Macy’s or Penney’s which never did focus much on hard goods and were superior in terms of styles offered. Inline tenants scrutinize co-tenants and foot traffic very carefully before signing, extending or re-negotiating a lease. Spaces are either deemed desirable because they’re visible and/or amid better tenants, or sub par if they are in a dead or dying wing. Sears just can’t seem to generate the traffic anymore and their wings will keep losing storefronts. I think Footlocker’s customers treat it like a destination store, and they don’t necessarily need as many people walking by to be drawn in. Salons are very much repeat-business types that may not need as much foot traffic, either. I usually see Radio Shack and GNC in a Sears wing, too.

  99. And remember, Sears is just a little better than your average Target/Kmart/Walmart, and with (usuall) all three of those nearby, more and more people are not going to the mall for Sears, and going to the Bigboxes instead.

    Unrelated, I personally went into Nordstrom, Lord and Taylor, and Macy’s (no, really) for the first time ever recently and was not really that impressed by the Nordstrom, though it absolutely destroys your average JC Penney or Sears. I personally thought the L+T was basically the same as the Nordstrom, just cheaper. Even Macy’s, which I thought was not THAT much better than a JC Penney at first, impressed me.

  100. Ok thanks for that cool explanation Karen, but why in that case is the Penny’s wing dead and the Sears wing still semi active with stores. Plus a Radio Shack right near Penny’s, one of the only stores left in that wing!

  101. Could be that the mall forced some stores to move/stay in the Sears wing to attempt to drawtraffic over there.

  102. A Little history of the Sears in White Plains New York. It opened in 1964 on Main street next to city hall. It was always crowded no matter what time of year it was, quite often parking was a challenge. In 2001 the store relocated to a former JC Penny at the Galleria Mall. As a result of this move foot traffic has dropped to the point that rumors of it’s closure have floted around from time to time. As of now those rumors are just that.

    What use to feed Sears foot traffic was the Macy’s across the street. Now Macy’s is also in the Galleria as well, with the former Macy’s location being replaced with a mixed-used development called City Center & the former Sears occupide by a Walmart & Berlington Coat Factory.

    Times, they are a changing.

  103. wow…this is becoming more dead than the palm beach mall…for no apparent reason…

  104. I’ve got new news! 😀

    First, bad news for Evan: both Villa Pizza and Auntie Anne’s have given up. There is a new pizza place that opened up for whatever reason, though. Maybe a killer deal on rent? LOL

    With that in mind, the number of open places in the food court has been cut in half since my last visit. Besides the new pizza place, the survivors are All American Hero, Subway, the Chinese place, and Palm Beach Ice Cream. Mr. Coffee (which I don’t count as part of the food court) is also open.

    Janine heard correctly about Bath & Body Works and Victoria’s Secret; both are gone. Also among the newest victims;

    Most of the trashy clothing stores (Ladies Night, Back 2 Back, and one or two others are hanging in there)
    Perfume shop in the JC Penney wing (could be wrong here, but the gate was down with boxes behind it, so I’m assuming it’s done)

    Also, one of the indie shoe stores had a closing sale going. And of course, Macy’s has put up their closing signs.

    Hanging in there are Claire’s, the Hallmark continuing their fixture sale, and naturally, GNC and Radio Shack. The only stores I saw open in the JC Penney wing were Radio Shack, Andrew Bridal and a kiosk (forgot what it sold…gold jewelry, I think)

    Strangely, the mall looked fairly busy in the “populated” areas i.e. the Sears wing and the food court. George’s Music was hopping as well.

  105. Thank you Debbi. I am saddened that Villa finally gave up. My family used to eat there every single Friday when we first moved to Florida from NY in 1991. I am truly saddened now, though I knew it was coming. Is the new pizza place in the same space? And Auntie Annie’s, I really hope the owner has decided to move to Wellington. I think he was thinking about it as alot of people wanted him to since Wellington Green lacks a pretzel store. I guess I can tell you now since he closed, I was told he was suing the malls owner over a rent dispute. He was being screwed in rent charge. But yeah as for the new pizza place the cashier at Auntie Annie’s told me last month they are leasing spaces for like $500 a month as opposed to the traditional small space like Auntie Annie’s at $5000.

    Now I really have no reason to go back to the mall, it will just depress me even more then I already am. Is it pathetic to be depressed over a mall closing?

    I am surprised GNC and Radio Shack have not moved over to the Sears wing, wouldn’t that make more sense?

    Thanks for the update again Debbi, it is much appreciated. If you go again could you take some new pics?

  106. Evan, I don’t exactly remember where Villa Pizza’s space was. The new pizza place is located in the last spot on the left, if you’re facing the outer entrance.

    Wow, $500 is way lower than $5000. The owner sounds desperate to rent out the space if he’s willing to go that low. Hell, that’s cheaper than my apartment. Wonder if he’ll let me live in the mall, LOL.

    GNC is located in a high-traffic (well, relatively) part of the mall, the front entrance, so they could stay where they are. But Radio Shack…yeah, I wonder why they don’t just seal the entire JC Penney wing off, practically nothing is there and certainly little to no foot traffic. On the other hand, since JC Penney appears to be sticking around for now, that may just encourage them to take off.

    It’s never pathetic to be bummed over something you love dying a slow and painful death. I should have taken pics; forgot since this marketing project flew at me at practically the last minute. Next time I need to remember!

  107. Villa Pizza was next tot the Chinese restaurant near the parking lot entrance. I would have to think they would move in the same space. And as for the rent, I am pretty sure she said $500. The owners don’t care obviously because the mall is closing soon. I would LOVE to live in the mall, that would be so cool. Heck I read story in another state that a couple was fed up with a mall so they actually moved in it.

    They will probably eventually seal off the JC Penny’s wing when it ends up being completely emptied out. And I can’t imagine what marketing projects you could have in the mall, though im glad you do and get there. I wish I could go again, I’ll make it there one more time once the official closing is announced.

  108. I heard a rumor that the management of City Place is very interested in buying out Palm Beach Mall. It makes sense to me.

    The PB mall is in an excellent location near the Interstate. Just that fact alone keeps a steady flow of customers. Not a huge flow but a guaranteed income anyway. The PB mall has a huge parking area all around. Much more than is needed. The parking area looks run down at the moment but a new coat of asphalt and paint will make it like new for a relatively small investment.

    I would love to see PB Mall converted into a new bigger City Place. Use some of that wasted parking space and construct a new multi-story luxury condos with direct access to the mall. Yeah!! residential and business mixed. A mini city. Then change the mall’s interior and exterior to the same “european comunity” look and feel of City Place. Mix the tenants to include a post office, pharmacy, walk in clinic, lots of small restaurants/bars/clubs. Attract live shows like puppeteers, musicians, singers, painters, artists of all kinds. If it was up to me, I would dedicate an entire section of the mall just for quality-of-life businesses and activities.

    Stay away from the usual mall department stores chains. Yuk boring.

    City Place is totally cool. That is what makes it sucessful and attractive. But people can get wet in a rainstorm or suffer from heat and need to hunt endlessly for a paking spots. I estimage that the PB Mall is at least five times larger than all of the stores in City Place combined.

    If City Place takes over PB Mall, it would be a big success. The new “Palm Beach City Center”

    Anyone else has news about this?

  109. Half those stores are gone lol, and as for the rent, I have no idea!

  110. It’s outdated but not that outdated. Although I wonder why DSW is still listed, being long gone.

    I forgot to mention in my last update that Players of Palm Beach is also gone. Wasn’t that a PBM mainstay?

    Looking at the map again, I can confirm to Evan that Pizza Grill is indeed in Villa Pizza’s spot. Perhaps one just took over from the other.

  111. Fourteen years? Wow. Good luck to Ken Shenkman. I really wish Simon would get their acts together on what’s going on with this mall.

    OT: Now I want a 1-pound caramel sucker, LOL.

  112. I feel bad for Ken, I really want a Cinnamon Sugar pretzel, and I would have to drive to BBM to get one lol!

  113. On the news today:

    Palm Beach Mall to close earlier

    It’s really just as well. When I do go to PBM, I’ve felt nervous being here past early evening. Many stores, especially in the food court, were closed by 7pm anyway.

  114. Replying to Future Home Owner a few posts up:

    I would love to see PB Mall converted into a new bigger City Place. Use some of that wasted parking space and construct a new multi-story luxury condos with direct access to the mall. Yeah!! residential and business mixed. A mini city. Then change the mall’s interior and exterior to the same “european comunity” look and feel of City Place. Mix the tenants to include a post office, pharmacy, walk in clinic, lots of small restaurants/bars/clubs. Attract live shows like puppeteers, musicians, singers, painters, artists of all kinds. If it was up to me, I would dedicate an entire section of the mall just for quality-of-life businesses and activities.

    It’s a great idea on paper, but the thing is, WPB already has Cityplace. To have a carbon copy less than five miles from the original would spell a practical disaster. Besides, it would be a much better idea to cater to those who do live in the area, as well as those who work in offices nearby. Why not an outdoor area with moderately priced boutiques (of which I’m observing more opening in Cityplace..they’re smart enough to realize replicating Worth Ave. in this economy isn’t going to cut it). The live shows are a good idea, although they would be competing with not only Cityplace, but Clematis at Night. Still, IMO the more venues for local artists and musicians, the better. Do keep a small food court as well.

    But luxury condos in that area, I don’t know..then again, keeping in mind what was torn down for Cityplace (which I was told was a MAJOR crack-infested ghetto…mind you, I only know of this third-hand), that was likely considered a crazy idea on paper too.

  115. Debbie thanks for your ideas. Keep them coming. I would like to see the mall renovated.

    I am a type of person that refuses to think that all is lost. The economy will not keep spiraling down forever. Look at history. The great depression came, lasted for years, and America recovered stronger than ever. Back then too the stock market crashed and credit was literally suspended. Don’t loose hope. We are much better off now than the time of the great depression..

    I am convinced that the worst is here. We are living it. It is going to pass. It took years to ruin the economy. In the past few years all the non-government businesses and organizations have become very lean. A painful process indeed with tons of layoffs. Families have become ‘lean’ in their spending habits.

    I have a “mall queen” friend who opens up her purse ONLY when she sees a good bargain. I am proud!

    You are soo right to say that luxury condos or luxury shops or luxury anything is probably not a good idea. And a carbon copy of Cityplace is silly. But moderately-priced, good quality, innovative shops have a chance. I like the style and flavor of Cityplace. Don’t turn the PB mall into a Walmart either.

  116. If the turn the mall into a Walmart, I swear ill burn it down lol. I am also hoping they renovate it, and save it, but I have about given up hope of that happening!

  117. There’s a Walmart being built on the corner of Military and 45th, that would something like the third in less than a 10-mile radius–fourth if you count their supermarket on Okeechobee and Jog. I would like to say it would be ridiculous to build yet another one, but this *is* Walmart we’re talking about.

    If they bring in any kind of big box to replace it, I’m still rooting for an IKEA, lol.

    Seriously, I would like PBM to be renovated too, although I agree with Evan that’s just about hopeless to happen. I’ll say it again–it’s insane that Simon is just doing nothing with the property at all. My best guess is that they don’t want to let it go for some idiotic political real estate reason for some reason they think we don’t understand.

    Future Home Owner, I hope you’re right–we’ve reached the peak of this recession. I’ve gotten dribs and drabs of work since the beginning of the year so I’m crossing my fingers. Good on your friend–I’m also a major bargain shopper these days, my recent slip at the WG Sanrio store notwithstanding, LOL (but hey, $26 for a purse isn’t *that* bad *g*)

    Now for an OT but somewhat related question: Does anyone know the history of the Wellington Commons Mall? I was there on Friday as I had to find the post office. It was well out of the way of WG (where, yes, I had two marketing projects to do), but worth it. I was expecting a dead mall, but instead I saw a nice mix of professional offices, community services, and retail (jewelry, gift shop, bike shop, hair salon, coffee shop, plus a few others). Except for a Curves franchise and two fast food outposts, all businesses were local. Was this a hero-to-zero mall or did it always have a community center feel? Anything anyone knows would be appreciated.

  118. Well I’ll do my best to answer your question Debbi. I have lived in Wellington since 1991 and it has been there a couple years before that. It is now called the Original/Old Wellington Mall. It has always been the way it is now, a mix of professional and small businesses. There used to be a long time local book store in their I always bought my comic books at. There also used to be Parrots in the cages that were a hoot, they were loud and talked ALOT. It has never been your typical mall, it’s more of a business center, with some restaurants mixed in. And its that not that out of the way lol, only a 10min drive. The jewelry store has been there a long time also, as has the bike shop. It’s just a nice little center, hope that answers your questions.

    And back to the PBM, even if they renovate it, it will never be the same again now that Villa Pizza and Auntie Anne’s left. I don’t think Simon even knows what they want to do with it. Which is the most frustrating part, because they could have saved it, before it got to bad!

  119. Thanks, Evan. My hunch was that it always was a community-oriented place. I called it the Wellington Commons Mall, as that is what I saw it being referred to as on Google. Hopefully, next time I have the occasion to be there, the little coffee shop will be open. WCM looks to be a truly charming place and I wish everyone associated with it well. 🙂

  120. The more I think about it, the more I think it might be true. Is just like a movie plot. Could it be that Simon really wants the mall tenants out? Is there already a purchase deal behind doors?

  121. Future Home Owner, the way I have heard Simon treating their tenants at the mall, I would not be surprised if your right. The way they have neglected the mall, I wish more of them would sue Simon.

  122. What is that huge bldg getting constructed across from PBM? Is that a new Target?

  123. Yes, they are re-building the old small Target as a new 2story super sized Target.

    Hey Debbi, I don’t know how long you have lived here, but do you know what used to be where Best Buy is now? When I moved it, there were just two buildings crumbling. I think it was a movie theater and shops, just curious!

  124. I’ve only been here for about 10 months, although I’ve visited the area on and off for about two years before that. I only know the building as a Best Buy; sorry. :\ I do have friends who have been here much longer than me; I’ll try to slip it in conversation to see what I can get out of them.

  125. That sucks Debbi, so you never got to see the mall when it was actually in good shape then. I wish someone would invent a time machine so I could go back to when it first opened lol! And thanks, I was just curious.

  126. Debbi,

    Did you live in the Freehold NJ area before living in PB?

    Just wondering

  127. Sean: Yes, I’m the same Debbi that left comments on the Freehold Raceway Mall and Monmouth Mall threads. I miss both those places, nothing even comes close to MM’s funky architecture. 🙂

    Evan: I did get to see the mall in semi-living condition, back in October 2003. Even then, I was told the place was dying, but I didn’t see any more vacancies then that I saw in FRM (which I’m guessing is about 15%.)

  128. I thaught so. I had know idea where you went. Do you still think DD’s coffee is overrated? LOL

    More importently what have you sene at some of the other malls around PB such as City Place, Wellington Green & The gardens. I read that Wellington Green has been somewhat of a disapointment while City Place has been flying high Breathing life back into an area that was basicly a depressing neighborhood.

    The PBS show This Old House did a feature on CP a few years ago. A former mayor of WPB gave a walking tour of the center, I thaught how unique that project was compared to the blandness of PBM.

  129. Aw, I didn’t know anyone over there missed me. I’m flattered. 🙂 That thread got too overwhelming for me, LOL.

    I like WG. Of the malls around here, this is the one closest to the malls in NJ IMHO. It can be a tad confusing to walk around–I’ve felt like Alice in the rabbit hole there more than once–but like FRM, it slightly kicks it up a notch from the average mall. There’s some upscale chains there (Godiva, Swarovski, Dale & Thomas Popcorn to name a few), but also many of the mall staples we all know and love (or not).

    I enjoy PBGM (aka The Gardens Mall), but while I adore looking in Chanel and Tiffany’s, let’s be real here. Even if I were doing fairly well, I wouldn’t spend too much money in this mall. There is a “classier” feel, but it’s a still a mall, there’s still going to be groups of teenagers roaming around.

    Boynton Beach Mall is closer to MM in terms of crowd and store selection–without that funky architecture of course, LOL. Overall, there are less “urban” stores than MM has, but they are there, mostly by the main mall entrance and the Sears wing.

    I didn’t know This Old House did a show about CP. I’ve got to look for it on YouTube. If you come down here, it’s absolutely gorgeous, especially on the second level.

    And yes, I still think DD coffee is overrated. 😛

  130. Debbi,

    I guess I’m impart to blame for the FRM threds condition. LOL

    Sometimes when you are trying to learn the lay of the mall around here you end up going places you didn’t intend to.

    Do you have any news on the FLL Galleria & Aventura Mall? I have family that live in Plantation, but I haven’t been in that area in about 20 years. Aventura I know has gone upscale like Roosevelt Field, & is almost as large.


  131. I have not been to Aventura Mall in at least 10yrs, but it is a semi upscale mall from what I remember. It was big last time I was there, and I think it has since expanded. I used to go there with extended family, and eat at a great Italian restaurant. Memories lol. I’d love to go back there, but being an hour drive, doubt im going back anytime soon!

  132. Going a bit OT: I may have to rethink what I said upthread about BBM. I was there yesterday, and *four* food court stands were vacant (though I believe at least one has been that way for quite a while). Maybe it’s just me, but I find that to be a bit strange. The rest of the mall, one closed pretzel place aside, looked to be doing well. (Also, I was wrong about Wet Seal, it’s still there and doing fine)

    Oh yes, Ruby Tuesday’s there has also closed. There’s a sign in front encouraging customers to patronize Toojay’s.

  133. Last time I was there, four empty food court spaces sounds normal. Surprising to hear Ruby closed also. I have no reason to go that mall, I used to go there when my Grandma lived in Boynton, but she passed a a year ago so I have not been there since. I might have to go to get a pretzel, please tell me the closed Pretzel place is not Auntie Anne’s!

  134. It’s not–the closed place in question is Mr. Pretzel.

  135. Sean: No idea, I’ve never been there. There’s a chance I may be moving closer to Miami, if that happens, I’ll check it out.

  136. Thanks Debbi.

    I have a question, do you know of a Kathleen Gunn? She is the asistent city manager of FLL. I use to work for her before she moved down there. She is one of the nicest & most careing persons you will ever meet.

  137. Nope, never heard of her, sorry. She does sound cool though. 🙂

  138. >

    That site was formerly occupied by Village Green Movies, a six-srceen multiplex.

    I lived in WPB in the 70s and 80s and saw many movies there, AND at the movie theater that was once attached to Palm Beach Mall, too. I think that one had four screens. So, you had two multiplexes across from each other, and now … NONE. It’s so weird.

  139. News…sort of…

    Yesterday while out and about, I happened to chance upon someone who had a friend who runs one of the PBM stores (I wasn’t told which one.). He says that the friend was given notice of eviction because the mall was going to close in 2-3 months and be demolished.

    My response was basically I’ll believe it when I see it. The boy who cried wolf and all that.

  140. Awww man, if this is true, im truly saddened now. It will be a sad day once the mall is actually demolished, a day I thought would never come!

  141. just some questions and comments this time.

    1. has the macy’s shut down yet? i remember back when they started to put everything on clearance, mid-march was the target closing date.

    2. reducing mall hours is usually a sign that the mall is in trouble, and in dead mall like the pbm, it’s usually followed by an announcement that the mall is shutting down. see the nanuet mall article here for more details. but i need to see an announcement before i believe the pbm is shutting down, since the shut down talks have been going on for 3 years with little progress and a deader mall.

    3. talking about mall closings, the most likely time of the year for the mall to close would be may-sep due to the overall reduced population in south florida during that part of the year. if it’s still standing by labor day, expect it to stick around for another year.

  142. RE Janine:

    1- Yes, Macy’s is now closed.
    Ive been told the mall would close in 2-3 months, though a few stores still exist like JCPenny as well as other random stores.

  143. Downtown at the Gardens: I would agree to it being a DOA. The only places that seem to have consistent business are the Yard House, Whole Foods store, and the Cobb cinema, all which would do well w/o the assistance of a mall. Everything else in between seems dried up and dilapidated. To add to that, it really feels uncomfortable walking in the middle section of DatG due to you often being the only person there for a good 20-30 yards.

    Boynton Beach Mall: I’ve been there quite a few times recently and it seems to be doing just as well as it has always done. Part of this has to due to the increase of Boynton Beach’s population Id presume. The shooting does not seem to have affected the mall either. Though it does seem outdated compared to all the new shopping centers that have popped up around it in the last few years.

    Gardens Mall: This mall seemed really, really empty the last few times that I was there. I often found myself alone with nobody in sight only to come around to another deserted corner. it’s a shame because this mall was packed with people in the 90s up until 2004 or so. it’s a real quality mall too and a rather new one.

    Wellington Green Mall: This mall attracts an overwhelming teen crowd and caters to them as well, too well. It seems more like a teen hangout rather then a place you would go shopping. The first floor seems to be doing well but the second floor is often quiet and a step down from the first floor.

    Boca Town Center Mall: Probably the most crowded of malls in the Palm Beach County area. Mondays here seem like Saturdays at all the other malls mentioned above. You often have a hard time even finding a parking space! Though it’s the type of mall where $100 gets you nothing, which seems to cater well to the affluent neighborhood it resides in.

  144. Here are some pictures of the now demolished Target across the street from the Palm Beach Mall. It was the third Target store that has been razed in the last year, as well as the Boynton Beach and Wellington locations which were torn down due to new Super Targets that were built in the area, both of which seem to be struggling today. Though its great that Target has kept the same interior for over 2 decades now, with the neon signs on the walls and the red carpeting with scribbled characters in it. I don’t care much for the medditeranian exteriors that EVERY store is using these days around here, with over the top towers on the sides, which seem to decay in a few years anyway and look hideous. I wish they would build some stores with a more 60s and 70s, not just the same crap everywhere. And why are the new parking lots filled with so many plants and trees that it feels like you are driving through a jungle? I prefer the contemporary feel with open spaces and minimal obstractions. Anyway, enjoy!

  145. Does anyone have any pics of PBM before the 1999 renovation? I remember the mall having a brown tile floor and ‘islands’ with plants and benches centered throughout the mall. I recall it being very dangerous in the mid to late 90s and the renovation seemed to give it new life, though only for a few years. When Lord & Taylor was closing there was clutter scattered everyone in the store and everything was so dirty and run down that they just ending up tearing the store down. At least Macy’s made a very professional exit and closed as an well organized and positive store.

  146. Hey Alan:

    Thank you for your awesome pics.

    I have to disagree with you on The Gardens. Every time I’ve been there, the crowd level has been moderate-to-high. Most stores I go into always have a few customers at least browsing.

    On DatG, I haven’t had a reason to go there in a while, but yes, creepy. What really gets me is that Dale & Thomas popcorn store, which the last time I was there, had an eviction notice pasted on the door…yet had merchandise ready to go. Come to think of it, I’m hoping for another marketing project there really soon, just so I have another excuse to check it out.

    And on PBM closing, I still say I’ll believe it when I see it.

  147. The Wellington Target was not torn down, it was renovated into a church!

  148. Oh and thanks for the excellent pictures Alan!

  149. Thanks for the kind coments!

    Your right Evan, the Wellington Target was indeed turned into a church. I know the one on Military trail near Forest Hill blvd is now the Sunshine International Flea Market. Its the same exact building as the one that was demolished across the PBM. And its kind of strange that it sits directly behind the old K-Mart, which is now a Sears Essentials. So wierd that both places closed. I know K-Mart did in 2004-2005 but I cant remember when Target did. Perhaps you know?

    Debbi: Im actually glad that the Gardens mall is doing good. It really shocked me to see nobody there the last few times. Its a shame since its a really nice mall.

    DatG was meant to compete against Gardens mall but failed really. I guess its indeed the claustraphobic feel of the center walk way that is driving people away. I really dont believe the place will last long if they dont plan on a makeover soon.

    And would anyone happen to know what stores used to be in the strip mall on the corner of 10th ave and Congress in Lake Worth? I remember that place from 20 years ago and remember it being closed and really run down for about 10 years. Now I drove by and the place has been completly remodeled and I could not tell it apart at first. Though there are still many empty retail spaces there.

  150. Debbi: Is Dale & Thomas still open at DatG? When I was last over there that place seemed to have more customers then any other, allthough most were just browsing and sampling the goods. I dont understand who would want popcorn while shopping? But I guess its mostly intended for the people who go to the cinema over there.

  151. I really dont buy into them tearing the entire PBM down. Especially after the multi-million remodel in 2000. I bet Sears and Jcpenny, along with the renovated main sections of the mall will stay, and they will build and half outdoor/half indoor shopping center in the middle. The whole thing is just a rause to get rid of the junky stores in the mall!

  152. Hey Alan, let me try to answer your questions in one post. 🙂

    To the best of my knowledge–I haven’t been back there since the beginning of the year–Dale & Thomas at DatG is closed. There were eviction notices in the window, yet the store was fully stocked, looking like they could reopen in a snap. Very strange.

    It’s too bad about DatG. I actually did like the place. Then again, I’m one of the few people who like the architecture of Monmouth Mall, LOL. I doubt a makeover would do much, not with Legacy Place, with its big boxes and more moderately-priced chains, doing much better–and I find their layout to be just as, if not more, confusing.

    Don’t know anything about the 10th Ave/Congress strip mall, sorry.

    Back on topic: That was a multi-million remodel? I’ve seen what Simon can really do for a mall if they want–Brunswick Square Mall in East Brunswick, NJ comes to mind. That mall, while never dead, was not a pleasant place to shop either. It was dark and, quite frankly, smelled funny. Three years later, when I had occasion to go back, I was surprised to see the mall looked absolutely gorgeous. Point being: Simon could have chosen to revive PBM to compete with Cityplace. They didn’t. If they’re trying to get rid of the trashy stoers, it’s backfiring–they’re staying while all the decent ones (Victoria’s Secret, B&BW, and Journey’s being the most recent) are taking off.

  153. Hi Debbi,

    Yes the remodel of the Palm Beach Mall in 2000 was certainly a multi-million one. A few of the things they did were tear down the Lord & Taylor building, build a new grand entrance, reconstruct the main fountain, remodel the ceiling and tile floor quite lavishly (the old one was a typical dark brown tile and had that dingy look to it), and I believe that they also switched out all the lights in the outdoor parking areas (for reference, look at the 1991 picture in the article).
    Simon also fixed up the Town Center mall in Boca during the same time. I remember there being a few dead corners and corridors in that mall but the mall as a whole was lively. If they want they could certainly save the PBM from being torn down. A City-Place clone is too much of a gamble in that neighborhood and with this economy.

  154. If they wanted to save it, they would have done it before Dillards left I would think, and before most of the good stores left. I hate Simon for giving up on the mall, they just forgot about it and wrote it off. And I wish someone had pictures of it pre-remodel 2000. I do remember it was darker and dingy. The food court also had a raised wooden seating area. To spend that much money to remodel it and then basically give up on it 4yrs later, it makes no sense!

  155. I agree Evan about Simon themselves failing the mall. And I do wish to see more vintage pictures too. I did not think they would be so hard to find though. I remember the old Kay-Bee toys store as well 🙂

  156. one more question: where was the woolworth’s store before it closed in 1997?

    i think this mall is very close to getting it’s own entry, as the west wing of the mall is already dead, and the rest of the mall isn’t too far behind.

  157. Woolworth was the DSW/Borders/Mars Music space if I’m not mistaken.

  158. That is correct Bobby, Woolworth’s store and their restaurant was where Borders and most of DSW took over.There was a Spencers gifts on the end also.The restaurant closed a few years before the store did, though im not sure how long. And if anyone cares, there also used to be public restrooms in the west wing entrance wing before the 2000 remodel and DSW took over!

    And Janine, I already have emailed like 3x’s about this mall lol, and have yet to get a response!

  159. I cant believe there used to be a food fair in the mall! While on the subject of grocery stores, does anyone have pics of old Publix or Winn-Dixie stores in or around Palm Beach county from the 70s/80s? Im mostly looking for interior shots as I know the basic exterier store prototypes from around the time.

    And about the PBM, was it Dillards who destroyed the Jordan Marsh interior and the water fountain? They obviously did with the exterior lol.

  160. Im sorry, let me revise my question: Did Dillard’s tear down Jordan Marsh and build their own store on the spot thus razing the old fountain as well? I remember both stores but dont recall the Jordan Marsh being torn down. This must have been sometime between 91-93′.

  161. Never mind, I found a Google Earth aerial image from 1995. Let me answer my own question. The Jordan Marsh store was in fact razed between 1995-1998. Lord & Taylor was razed in 2000 during the remodel in which Dillards built their own building, about twice the size of the former Jorden Marsh. Well that did not last long did it?

  162. Dillards razed the building and built the bigger one. The Mall itself re-did the center court during the 2000 remodel and when Jordan Marsh’s building was demolished the mall added extra stores to the center court area as seen today.

  163. Thank you Evan. If I recall correctly, Jordan Marsh then was sort of like a Bloomingdales or Neiman Marcus store today, a more pricey and glamourous store. Though its hard to believe now but allmost every mall, shopping center and retailer store in south Florida in 1990’s had their original 1960s-1980s look intact. It was only untill 1998 or so when everyone started renovating and the “lifestyle centers” started popping up. Now you go out and its rare to see a store with its vintage look, really a shame. I wish they could have done the same with the PBM like they did with the mall in Texas on the front page, just clean it up and keep the original look and add something new as well on the outskirts. But no, it HAS to be razed…

  164. How about turning it into big-box anchors…with a grocery store, a hardware store, and a Wal-Mart…but keeping the interior?

  165. If they put a Walmart on that site, I will honestly throw up!

  166. Jordan Marsh was raised in 1998. Lord & Taylor continues to be an empty field.

    The old fountain was there until 2000 albeit turned off for a bit before 2000. The old fountain going I believe had nothing to do with Dillards, I believe that was a Simon Malls decision just like the idea of getting rid of the giant Monarch butterfly fountain in the Boynton Mall.

    I think it had to do mostly with power and energy consumption as well as maintenance.

    I am only 21 but from what i remember that fountain that was in the Palm Beach mall was quite scrungy looking in 2000 and a bit outdated. I think they could have done something with it rather than put a boring one in, but oh well! As for the Jordan Marsh, my mother was one of the last mangers in 1991.

  167. At the rate Poison-mart is going you will average 100 stores per state! That doesn’t account for there own stores that are no longer viable & now sit empty.

    I think before a new store is allowed to be constructed a chain must be able to have a new tennent of some kind occupy the location that is closing. That way the number of dead boxes drops to a manageable level. As of now that number is getting out of hand for local governments across the country.

  168. @ Sean: So true, I often wonder why cities allow stores to construct new buildings when there is a glut of empty boxes and pad sites. Some of the cities in my area are doing something about it, but not enough. I drive by so much empty retail space every day on the way to work, and it really makes me scratch my head. Cities just don’t seem to care until it’s out of hand.

  169. I know one Wal-Mart in Hearne, Texas (especially ironic since they pulled out after every business in town was crushed) that was converted into a high school…

  170. Problem is after a Big Box leaves an empty shell, they will continue to pay the lease so no one else can use that space. It is a way to make sure a competiter doesn’t move into the vacant space. It leaves a trail of greyfields and empty stores along the nation’s retail strips.

  171. @Chip,

    That is true with a CPK location at Menlo Park Mall in Eddison NJ. They have been paying rent for over 15 years now.

    Now this brings up an interesting question, with the rate of big box stores closing & companies shutting down, at what point will these chains finally do something about this growing problom.

    It has been a rare problem where I live but here is an article that illistrates the problem at hand.

    Fortunoff Becoming Just A Memory. Who’s Next? How Many Will We Let Leave? Posted on Friday, March 06 @ 09:00:00 EST by John F Bailey

    WPCNR PHOTOGRAPH OF THE DAY. By the WPCNR ROVING PHOTOGRAPHER. March 6, 2009: The professional liquidators taking care of the business of wiping Fortunoff in White Plains and the “Forties” at points West and East off the face of the earth, stepped up the advertising from last week’s lone Advertising Operative (man with sign in front of store) to this mobile billboard circulating about the streets of White Plains yesterday.

    A sad sight. Soon Fortunoff’s will be just a pleasant retail memory only old-time shopoholics remember. Photo by the WPCNR Roving Photographer

    Who remembers now Wallachs, Floorscheim Shoes, Knapps Shoes, Borders, B. Altman & Company, Robert Hall, Saks Fifth Avenue, JC Penney, Woolworths 5 and 10, and in more recent memories: Korvettes (pronounced Core Vetties), Caldor’s, Crazy Eddie (His Prices Are Insane), A & S, Pipe & Bowl? When every store you strolled by was interesting to go into? Well, most every store.

    Like old baseball fans,when serious shoppers like my mother get together, these are the experiences they swap, remember, and trade, talking about the great bargains they had, the certain feel of their favorite store, the great buys they got, the in-store cafes and snack bars. Where is that stimulus by way Washington? Have we stimulated the banks, the brokers, the investment banks, the insurance companies, the mortgage companies and taken care of our rich buddies enough already? Buddy can you just lower the principal of my loan just a tad? All I want is a few grand — not 40 Billion.

    Will we wait until the last store has left the malls?

    Who has White Plains lost this year? Fortunoff, Borders, The Corner Nook (which could still have been in business by the way if not for the Common Council), Circuit City, Filene’s Basement, Todai, the Japanese seafood place, not too mention the stores closed from construction projects not started, 10 shops along Mamaroneck Avenue and some shops in the Galleria, which continues to draw traffic, a bright spot. However, The Westchester is not drawing very well at all, except for The Apple Store which draws customers lots of them every hour of the day. The Westchester Pavilion has good draws at MacDonald’s and Sports Authority, but without Borders, they hurt.

    Malls have to think about knocking out their outrageous parking fees down to zero. The City has to declare a Sales Tax Free day or a cut in the sales tax for one day a week, as my colleague Jim Benerofe suggests. We still have the best shopping in Westchester, the safest city, a fine restaurant line up if a tad expensive, but the Iron Tomato, City Limits, Dorry’s Diner, Brooklyn’s Famous Pizza and Subs, the pizza stops, fill in the gaps for us deadbeat reporters, but the Malls need help.

    Shop White Plains Card Coming

    The BID (Business Improvement District) is about to launch a “Shop White Plains” Card for its BID Members, but it has to do a lot more than just offer discounts, and it needs to be out there soon. Or at least free-parking or a get-out-of-a-parking ticket free pass with purchase. Parades are not the only answer.

    Get some of those Street Ambassadors to explain the new parking machines that the White Plains Department of Parking Commissar of Coin has installed. Mr. Moroni is the most efficient of the city Commissioners, perhaps a little too efficient, since the reputation of the Parking Enforcement Officers has spread worldwide.

    No offense, Mr. Commissar, you are just doing your revenue raising mission, and that is a good thing within reason.) However, everytime I go out to park in White Plains, I end up having a person come up to me asking me “how do I use this machine?” like they used to ask how to play a jukebox in the 50s. I am not making this up. The machines are not “well-signed.” That has to be fixed.

    Young and old alike stop me for explanations of the machines. It happens to me too often to not mean that understanding the “Moroniolas” is not a problem. Despite the fast-moving “Black and White Scat Cars” of the Parking Enforcement Elite Strike Force

    (I am just having fun with a purpose, Parking Enforcement Officers. White Plainsians, who pay parking fines, appreciate your professionalism and quick-strike capability and respect it, and you have made us agonizingly sensitive to each tick of the clock, measuring out our lives in 15 minute, 25 cent segments, which perhaps kills off that last minuter impulse purcahse. It is fortunate White Plains Parking Violations does not have the death penalty, because we’d be targeted nationally.)

    But it is significant that parking fine collections were down $800,000 the first 7 months of the year. People are either getting the message all too well that parking is a nightmare in White Plains, or it’s the economy. Could it be a little of both?

    Where is the Under Assistant West Coast Sharp Promotion Man or Woman?

    We need serious promotion of this city, here. Coordinate sales in stores better with the gazillion parades. On the Juneteenth Parade every minority from miles around should be in this city this year. Make it an Obama Day!

    Or, not too late to do this: How about $5, $1, whatever off every purchase if wearing green on St. Pat’s Day? Come on BID, bail your merchants out, make a start. The Shop White Plains Card is a good idea…but let’s make it really valuable.

    Have a talent show downtown.

    Keep the Wheels in WP

    You also have to do something to make people buy cars in White Plains — not in Mamaroneck, Yonkers, or on Central Ave. Offer some sort of big sales tax reduction: Buy a car in White Plains, we pay a quarter of your sales tax, or something like that. Once the car dealers start pulling out of WP you are really hurting and they won’t be back. You have to help them survive

    Help Media Help

    Where are the radio station remote broadcasts of the past that used to draw traffic? Of course, you don’t have radio stations today that are part of the community or consider themselves a part of it -they are promotionally brain dead. I cannot remember when I last tuned in WFAS, WVOX or WHUD. No news, just sports, and the school closings. Bring back Bob E. Lloyd! Murray Bennett. There is no good reason to listen to FAS anymore. But, if they started serving the community, maybe we would. Radio station remotes would bring that back.

    I cannot remember when I saw the WFAS truck in White Plains. And how about News 12 giving a White Plains News Cast or segment in their regular programming? I know one guy who could do it — Peter Katz, but no matter who does it News 12 should do it. If worse comes to worse the BID could buy a simple promotion segment on News 12 and promo the city progress and News 12 could run it. A News 12-a-thon in White Plains during one of the parades. or even on a non-parade weekend — say July 4 — what a good thing.

    Department of Promotion, Please

    You have to make White Plains attractive to shoppers again. Is anyone thinking out there in the downtown? Has anyone noticed how empty our premier malls are?

    Though we are the place to drink and date in Westchester County, and the safest place to eat and drink, thanks to the White Plains Department of Public Safety (moving vio tickets with a smile, DUIs tenderly, understandingly handled, disorderly conducts smoothly conducted away), and despite issuing liquor licenses at the fastest pace in the free world, White Plains needs to tell our shopping story better as a community before all the stores leave.

    Remember once a big box store leaves, and you have to give them incentive to come in again and that usually costs us a lot more than it does to keep them here but running professional promotions — more of them — not that I am saying the city has not tried to promote itself well in the past — but the time to promote more is when things are going bad. Not pull back.

    I am sorry if I offended anyone, this was just supposed to be a dab of melancholy, but I hate what that picture says at the top of this column and we have to bring our goods to the people, provide good value and incentive to buy. Even if people are watching their dollars, what dollars they spend should be here. Especially if they live here.

  172. Hi guys,

    I did buy the house near PBM and I still haven’t gone to PBM. The parking lot screams ‘run-down-place’ so I don’t even venture inside. I still hope for something different than the status quo.

    PBM has potential. It has an excellent location. Right off the interstate. Has aaaaample parking space. It is large enough to be called a mall. However, PBM is not clearly visible from Palm Beach Lake blvd. It is visible from the Interstate but it is not well advertised on interstate billboards to give drivers a friendly reminder that PBM is x number of miles coming up.

    Brandsmart, Best Buy, and even a carpet store have signs that ARE clearly visible from the interstate and scream ‘welcome’.

    I say that putting a condo building annexed to the mall is the way to go to attract yuppies and have cool people on the hallways. Then change PBM to something that is a great place to hang out. The purchasing will happen indirectly.

  173. WPTV did a story on the mall about an hour ago, and I missed it, but my Dad said the mall owner owes $55million in past payments or something and he is desperate to sell it, or might just close it. I am trying to find the story!

  174. So it was Simon! Those jerks! They evicted all the tenants for their own greedy purposes!

  175. I’m smelling that it is all planned… Simon is not going to renovate the mall. But something else is happening. Looks like Simon wants the mall to fail. Is there a bigger reward in the end? Perhaps a secret buyer has already signed an agreement behind closed doors to buy the entire thing and they need the existing tenants to close their stores.

    Let me put it in another way. Let’s say you own an apartment building by the beach. Great location. Not so good a place. Then someone offers big $$$ to buy the entire thing. ONE condition — the buyer wants to radically modify the place and turn it into something else.

    How do you get the existing tenants out? Don’t clean the yard? Don’t make repairs? Circulate rumors that the building is getting foreclosed? Make their lives miserable? Ask them to leave? Don’t renovate the contract when it ends? Even if you have empty rooms, don’t look for new tenants? Sounds like PBM?

  176. Yeah it sure does, doesn’t it? It sure pisses me off, and it is true, I hope the former tenants file a class action lawsuit against Simon.

  177. FHO, that sounds exactly like what’s going on in Long Branch. They just refer to the area as “blighted” (even though it’s not) to throw out the not-rich tenants.

    I don’t understand if Simon wants everybody out (and “everybody” at this point is mostly trashy clothing stores, trashy shoe stores, Subway, GNC, and Radio Shack), why not just pull the damn plug and put them out of their misery already. Then again, perhaps this is why I’m not in the commerical real estate business.

  178. Selling PBM or Long Branch does not make sense to me. The property values are at an all time low. Maybe Simon is just mean. Trashy is as trashy does… FG

  179. Maybe Simon wants to sell but cant do to lower property values. Perhaps they’re just waiting it out &preparing to do something similar to what they wanted to do to Nanuet Mall on this site.

    Yes! I agree that the way Simon is handling this semes less than perfessional, but there maybe things going on behind the senes that we have no clue about. Sometimes I wonder if these situations are a corporate problem or just on a property level with bad mall management.

  180. “I say that putting a condo building annexed to the mall is the way to go to attract yuppies and have cool people on the hallways. Then change PBM to something that is a great place to hang out. The purchasing will happen indirectly.”

    doubt it, for two reasons. first, a place like that already exists in cityplace, which is 5 minutes away, plus factor in all the other places that exist like that not too far away. over-saturation will bite it fast unless it offers something new on the table (outlets, stage shows, etc.), another plain old upscale shopping center won’t cut it around here. second, and more importantly, the area is plagued with crime and has been for years, i doubt people with money to spend will go there unless the crime gets cleaned up.

    “Yes! I agree that the way Simon is handling this semes less than perfessional, but there maybe things going on behind the senes that we have no clue about. Sometimes I wonder if these situations are a corporate problem or just on a property level with bad mall management.”

    i think it’s a corporate level problem. other malls from different areas of the country have accused simon of doing the same thing to their malls. just browse this site and you’ll read some of the stories.

  181. update: gamestop has left the mall. same probably goes for mr. coffee and a few others near sears that was open 2 months earlier. i personally think the mall won’t last through the summer, especially if a store like gamestop is out.

  182. Wow, what is actually left now lol!

  183. Gamestop is gone? Well, we’re down to what usually are the last chains standing (Radio Shack, GNC, Claire’s). The Sears wing is also the most populated. Anyone want to start a pool? I’m calling it for the end of August.

  184. I have not been to the mall since Macy’s closed. Its quite incredible to hear that Gamestop closed, they actually had quite a few customers in there every time I stopped by and their location was good too considering Sears is still there.

    Debbi: I don’t think much anything will happen to the mall for quite some time. Finding out (not surprisingly) what Simon has done recently by ridding of all the tenants and not paying off loans seems to me that they will either be selling or abandoning the mall, hopefully leaving hope that it will be fixed one day. I believe both Sears and JCPenney own their stores so they wont be going anywhere, so why not leave one wing of the mall open for business?

    Graham: thanks for the info! I agree that they shoul of kept both fountains, or at least the same concept. Has Simon done anything good with the PBM?

  185. gamestop had a sign directing customers to a nearby store. i think radio shack will be sticking around until the mall is actually closed. but when gamestop is gone, it’s a sign that the mall won’t be open this time next year.

    claire’s, underground station and the dentist were still open of what little i saw. the two stores right next to sears looked like they were still operating, but they were closed around noon, and the same goes for the store that is where the candy shop used to be. i counted 53 stores (and 13 kiosks) open back in january, i wonder if that number is still over 40. i’ll try to take another trip to the mall this month to do another count and note of what major stores are left.

    my prediction for closure: mid-july.

  186. I’ll predict December, even if the mall is completely empty, I mean it was “supposed” to close 2yrs ago anyways. BTW, what store opened where the candy store was. And who in their right mind would open a new store in a nearly dead mall?

  187. Even if the rent is $100 a month, if you have no customers, and lets face it, 90% of the people left going to the mall, are just “mall walkers”, then how is it business smart to even open there? I mean I wish more people would though, bring in more traffic.

  188. i think it was a dollar store, but i was only there for all of 2 minutes, so i’m not completely sure. but that was closed too.

    i also doubt they would close the mall during the winter in this region, traffic usually is up during that part of the year due to snowbirds. i see them more likely to close during the summer when traffic is down. if it’s still open come october, i say 90% chance of it staying open until at least next spring.

    if the mall were to suffer structural damage in a hurricane (i hope it doesn’t come to that), don’t expect it to reopen (minus jcpenny and sears). simon would say that it’s too much of a hassle to repair the mall in it’s present ‘dead mall’ status and call it a day.

  189. A dollar store. Did the dollar store in the front next to the candy store space close or something?

  190. The dollar store is gone? Aw nuts, that place wasn’t too bad as dollar stores go.

    I’m trying to rack my brain of what went into the candy store space but for some reason coming up blank. Maybe another trashy clothing store?

  191. Wow ,Alan, where in the world did you find those old PBM pics? That Woolworths one is so cool, I don’t even remember it ,and it was still open when I moved here in 1991, memories!

  192. Did anybody notice that PBM is no longer listed on the Simon website? Also, the mall’s site is gone. Are they letting it go?

  193. This might be a little off topic but im not sure one of these new ‘lifestyle centers’ would do well in the current location of the PBM. I went to Wellington last night and stopped by quite a few of these centers and noticed the one on US 441 with Best Buy seems to be struggling quite a bit. And the center with Pei Wei and Fresh Market just past the Wellington Green Mall on Forest Hill BLVD had so many of its stores close since my last visit. It seems to be going downhill fast and if they dont take care of the problom then there will be only 2 or 3 places open in a few months. Then the new center on Southern BLVD with Dick’s Sporting Goods and Kohl’s did have many shoppers but the feel of that center is just way off to be honest. The space between the 2 stores does not look quite right with the huge walls and no exits to the stores. This goes to reference without even mentioning other lifestyle centers throughout WPB. Anyway, to get to my point, I just dont think this type of center would do well in a neigberhood such as where the PBM is located. With City Place a few miles away its just better for them to fix up the PBM and keep an interior shopping center then try to compete with CP. I dont know about you but these Lifestyle Centers dont attract me the list bit at all to go and shop there. The fake feeling of them drives me away.

  194. Any updates on the status of the mall? I have not been in awhile, would like to go one last time though before it closes for good!

  195. Oh and interesting thoughts Alan, and I live in Wellington. I see all this new construction, while so many currently built centers sit with many vacant spaces. Hell, there are two in front of the Wellington Mall where Circuit City And Linens and Things were. Those two will probably stay empty for a long, long time!

  196. I stopped in here today not knowing that I was heading into a dead mall. The Penney’s wing is totally dead, save two or three stores. Most activity is concentrated near Sears, including a dollar store.

    There are identical signs in a number of stores’ windows stating that the mall will be open through 2009.

  197. Its a shame isnt it? Its as if a 5-10 year old center is not good enough these days and it just goes to waste. They built that Sports Authority / Best Buy complex in not so good of a location so that may be one of the probloms for it struggling. And with Linen & Things now defunct, Im not sure anyone wants their obscure modeled stores. I remember the days when Grocery stores and Electronics stores used to swap buildings with ease and almost no remodels were done. Now when a Kohl’s wants to move into a new location, they tear down a perfect 15 year old Target (Boynton Beach) just to build the same type of store again!

  198. @Alan,

    I said this on the Queens Center thred, but it bears repeating here. It is cheaper to rebuild than remoddle.

  199. Interesting! What ever happened to the old ‘repaint the facade and problom solved’ days 😉

  200. Old buildings, old type of construction material. New technology is cheaper and safer I guess!

  201. Good article in today’s Palm Beach Post, there might still be hope for the old mall after all, a small glimmer of hope, but hope non the less!

  202. @Michael, I’m currently trying to do a write-up on Regency Square and submit it. 🙂 When I was growing up in Richmond in the early ’90s, that was “THE mall”, and was always my mall. (I now reside in FL, but visit my parents and friends from time to time). I have pictures from my short tenure working in the hobby store in the mall in ’04, when things were starting to look kinda gloomy.

    My best friend and I are debating which mall’s going to bite the dust in Richmond next — Fairfield Commons would be the logical answer, but that mall’s a zombie. It will never die. Our money’s on Virginia Center Commons, and one of your mentions — Stony Point. Every time I’ve gone there it’s been deader n’ dead. Odd for a new fancy-pants outdoors mall, huh?

  203. Great news. Although I was at Sears the other day and the Mall enterence was shut off. Maybe because I was there after 9:00pm? Either way, new tenants would certainly be welcome! I wonder when the new Target is due to open?

    The article aslo states how vacant the Downtown At The Gardens has become. Again, Im not shocked what so ever at this because anyone with a knowledge in retail such as us could see that coming the day it opened. Im quite glad the Gardnes Mall is kicking some arse!

  204. PBM will/should probably parallel Sunrise Mall and Southwest Center, and still keep and welcome tenants. It should also be a community-welcoming place and try to attract more tenants of different varieties (Costco, Publix?)

  205. @Evan, You need to go soon! I was there on Tuesday and it was a ghost town. just a hand full of stores (low end) left. It was earie hearing the mall music over the PA system but no other noise.

    vast space with no stores between JC Penney and Sears. I used to work there when the mall was in it’s prime 1984-1986. It was kind of sad seeing what’s become of it.

    I’ll post video. took some with my phone (not the best) but it’ll give you an idea that this mall is on it’s last breath.

  206. went to the mall again today…almost nothing on the west wing. claire’s is closing today, so that’s another store gone. curious thing was that i only saw the ‘this mall is staying open’ signs on the east end of the mall, i can see the west end of the mall shutting down in the near future and the remaining stores moving to the other side of the mall.

    here’s a store count. 5 stores and a kiosk on the west wing (this part of the mall is all but dead), 6 stores in the center part, 19 stores and 6 kiosks in the east wing and 3 food court stores. add in 5 more stores and that’s 38 stores and 7 kiosks open in the mall. that’s barley 1/3 occupancy, but the east end of the mall is doing okay.

    i think the mall should not become an outdoor living center, worst possible fate as cityplace is a 5-10 minute drive. turning it into a wal-mart isn’t too wise, since target is right across the street and there are two super wal-marts 10 minutes away.

  207. joseph: “vast space with no stores between JC Penney and Sears. I used to work there when the mall was in it’s prime 1984-1986. It was kind of sad seeing what’s become of it.”

    actually, there are quite a few stores between the center of the mall and sears (although it’s seen better times). you probably meant to say no stores between jc penney and dillards (or where it used to be anyway), which is true, as i only saw 4 open stores in that wing (it’s been dead since borders and dsw left). something tells me the west side of the mall will shut down soon.

    alan: “I wonder when the new Target is due to open?”

    this year.

  208. I live in West Palm Beach, just south of downtown. I work in the office buildings on Palm Beach Lakes next to the mall…. the area is a prime spot for a successful retail center, but it needs to offer something that can’t be found in Gardens, Wellington, or Cityplace.

    No more “lifestyle centers” for now. What I think would thrive at the space is an outlet center. There isn’t a good outlet mall between Sawgrass and Vero Beach. They were talking about building one in Tradition, in Port St. Lucie, but I think the PBL location is 100X better, and can draw from a much larger pool of potential shoppers.

  209. @WestPalm2009, i think an outlet mall would be nice, but i noticed that most outlet malls are built in what was the middle of nowhere. an outlet mall in an established area is a bit of a risk, but i think it’s a better idea than a cityplace clone in this area, as the immediate area caters to a lower income bracket. i would love to see if it can be pulled off and it would be something different in an area of endless upscale shopping centers.

  210. @Janine,

    hey, i just saw your comments here and they about knocked the air outta me. this is the first that i have heard of the sad state of this mall. i lived over off of pblakes and wabasso for a few years and in the general area for 25 years. i know it well. i haven’t lived there in the last eight years but it’s amazing how much the area has changed in that short perior of time. i have a lot of memories from the mall, the old cross county 8, richway, etc. it just breaks my heart that it’s all going away. if you could manage to take some pictures that are current, i’d be greatfull. thanks for reading the rant, will

  211. This mall is not going anywhere.

    The open air idea has been put to bed. Simon Malls and Madison Marquette Management both are trying to strategize an idea that would make the mall more attractive. The new Target across the street will likely be a big help.

    Both JC Penneys and Sears are very happy with their location there and have no intention of leaving it and are completely committed to helping the mall survive.

    The biggest issue this mall needs to overcome is safety. I do not think this mall appears any more unsafe than all malls throughout South Florida. I go there often and feel perfectly safe.

  212. This mall is not going anywhere.

    The open air idea has been put to rest. Simon Malls and Madison Marquette Management both are trying to strategize an idea that would make the mall more attractive. The new Target across the street will likely be a big help.

    Both JC Penneys and Sears are very happy with their location there and have no intention of leaving it and are completely committed to helping the mall survive.

    The biggest issue this mall needs to overcome is safety. I do not think this mall appears any more unsafe than all malls throughout South Florida. I go there often and feel perfectly safe.

  213. Graham, where have you heard this, as I was under the impression that Simon was no longer associated with this mall in any way, shape or form. I really hope everything you say is true, and that they can find a way to help the mall survive.

    You might be right about it not being any more unsafe, but it has a safety image problem. Safe or not, you have to overcome that image to bring people back. I suggest improve the lighting in the parking lot and in the mall. Brighten it up a little bit. Bring in more security once the mall starts to turn around, etc. Change the long term image of it being a “ghetto” mall!

  214. I agree! An off price mall would be ideal because Sawgrass Mills is pretty far away. I live in Palm Springs, Fl and drove to Sawgrass Mills just last week. While shopping at the Nordstrom Rack in Sawgrass Mills I spoke to ladies who drove all the way from Jupiter just to shop at Nordstrom Rack. A Nordstrom Rack, a Last Call by Neiman Marcus and an Ikea would be a great addition to the Palm Beach mall. Here’s hoping for an offprice future to the Palm Beach Mall.

  215. While the “off-price” idea certainly works for great malls like PBM, Westminster, and RAM (before it died), keep in mind The Mills malls are somewhat known for their crime that happens there.

  216. @Jonah Norason (Pseudo3D), while I don’t know about the rest of the Mills malls, I can say that the Pittsburgh Mills, one of the newest of the Mills centers before the company went under, always felt very safe to me. Perhaps because it’s located in a rural area, but it has a nice atmosphere to it.

  217. Pittsburgh Mills is the lone exception, because it although it was developed by The Mills, it was not included in Simon’s The Mills deals and is full-price.

  218. @Gary, Pittsburgh Mills is more of a mix of price points unlike other Mills properties wich are outlet style.

  219. @SEAN, that’s true, and that has to do with the land owners’ previous intentions of developing a regional shopping mall on that site. It was originally planned to be a two-level mall called the Frazer Heights Galleria, but for years it ran into financial problems. The Mills Corp. had been looking to build a Mills-style mall in the Pittsburgh area for a couple of years prior to selecting the Frazer site to build the mall.

  220. @Gary, I’m kind of surprised that Mills or anyone else wanted to build a mall there in the first place. Yes, the population density is there about 2.5 million, but the tipografy with the hills makes it a challenge to get around. The interstates 79, 279, 579, 76/70 & 376 don’t really connect the way most interstates should.

    This could lead to customer traffic numbers to not reach levels for viability. Since this mall is somewhat away from Pittsburgh city limits, this could be a concern especially if gas prices rebound like 2008.

  221. @SEAN, that was probably one of Mills’ biggest mistakes, overestimating the shopping habits of Pittsburghers and then creating a new concept which was unproven. At least the original Mills concept offered outlet shopping, but Pittsburgh Mills like you mentioned is more in line with a full-price shopping center, and these stores could be found 10-15 miles away in Monroeville and Ross Park. Ross Park may be a little more difficult to get to but Monroeville is just a straight shot on the turnpike and was serving the Tarentum/New Kensington area pretty well until the mall was built. If they had built the mall like its predecessors, I think it would be much more successful and offer a different experience.

  222. @Gary, and to add to the above, the land owners had planned to build a mall on that site since the early 80s, when places such as Ross Park and Westmoreland still didn’t exist.

  223. @Gary, I remember reading a few articals in the past year reguarding Pittsburgh. generally speaking the population is trending back toward Pittsburgh’s center city or they are leaving the state entirely. Either way the burbs are going to have a tough time of it & malls like PM are going to reflect that paradime shift.

  224. Anyone been to the mall lately? I have been sick and can’t drive to get there!

  225. I noticed google maps has removed the palm beach mall label from their maps. Not sue why they did this considering the mall has never closed.

    Evan, I went to the mall recently. Same old same old, good pizza place in the foodcourt now though.

  226. All the local news outlets are announcing the closure of the Sears in the Palm Beach Mall. The last day for the store is January 17; Liquidations begin November 19. I hope to visit the mall and take some more photos soon, who knows how many more blows it can take… Of course, the closure of the Sears leaves only one anchor, JCPenney. It’s a shame. I’ll definitely miss having that Sears location, I’ve bought a lot of special occasion dresses and favorite pairs of sneakers and glasses, etc…. over the years there. Now to go to Sears I’ll have to drive to the Boynton Beach Mall or the Gardens Mall, ugh.

    RIP Palm Beach Mall Sears!

  227. I’ve never seen so many anchors clear out of a mall so fast.

  228. with sears closing at the busier end of palm beach mall, it is unofficially toast, and i predict it will not be open a year from now. the jcpenny wing is all but empty, only two stores (radioshack and a dress store) next to jcpenny (as of june, they could have cleared out as well) and a whole lot of nothing. talking about that, when is jcpenny’s lease up? i personally think the mall could have made it if jcpenny were to close instead of sears, since little traffic goes by there anyway.

  229. @Janine,

    You are completely wrong. JCPenney’s has always been the strongest anchor in this mall. The company also claims to own its building in West Palm Beach and is not leaving. And as a gesture to do so, they have closed of their entrance to the mall. You can no longer walk between JCPenney and the Mall itself. But they have made it clear that regardless what happens, they will remain in their current spot, even when they were talking about making that area an outdoor mall.

    Besides I was in JCPenneys there this past week and it was absolutely packed…and it was like Wednesday!

    On other note, Simon says the mall is not going to close. They expect more will leave, but are developing a restructuring plan to keep the mall alive, like perhaps a discount mall similar to Sawgrass…but who knows?? If they do that, they need Neiman Marcus Last Call and OFF Saks 5th Ave…which would make sense since both companies have their wealthy counterparts just a few miles away.

  230. @Graham,

    i guess that means that radioshack and that other dress shop near jcpenny packed up as well. the reason why i said that the jcpenny wing closing would have been caused less closure to the mall overall than the sears wing was because basically the western end of the mall is a dead wing (no stores), plus, with no anchors in the ‘busy’ half of the mall, the little stores will get little to no exposure. i heard there were less than 20 stores in the mall now, and only a couple of national shops like foot locker left. are they still there, or is it just fly by night stores now?

    i expect that the mall will be torn down in the near future (minus jcpenny) and rebuilt into whatever.

  231. I grew up in Palm Beach county in the 80’s and 90’s. The PB mall was the only place to go at one time…and I remember back in the day when the Best Buy across the street was the Village Green moviehouse. In the mall itself, there was a movie theater by JCP (I think) Orange Julius and I am pretty sure there was a Taco Viva. Woolworth’s was there too, and I bought an INXS cassette tape from there :^) Spec’s was down by JCP.

    It’s really sad to see that area go in the toilet. Building that new Target with a parking garage invites criminals to hide and commit crimes. I was there in 2008 and a lady at Sears said that the mall was operating under shorter hours because of the slow business. It was DEAD with a couple of urban clothing stores scattered here and there.

    Now that Sears is pulling out, it is only a matter of time before the mall goes under totally. That will be a sad day, but also, I don’t go anywhere near that mall because of the crime.

  232. Hey everyone 🙂 I went to the Palm Beach Mall recently (11/13/09) on a friday evening to take some shots of the current state of the place. I made a flickr to upload some of them to, I hope that everything works out right since I’m new at using it, haha!

    That is the url of the set they are in, if you would like to see. Have a good day all fans of the Palm Beach Mall!

  233. I visited the mall this morning. Hadn’t been there for over a year, but wanted to get a look at the sad state of affairs for myself 🙁

    JCP had some steady business, as did Sears. They closed off the entrance to the mall from JCP. The mall’s inside was SCARY, and even had that old school musty building smell. A lone lady was sitting on a bench and all of the stores were closed and lights were off…it was scary indeed and I didn’t spend too much time there.

    Once Sears goes, that will most likely be the end. JCP can stay if it wants to, but they may as well knock down everything around it!

    I grew up in WPB in the 80’s and early 90’s. That mall was the only one to go to at the time. I remember when it was bustling and busy, but not anymore 🙁

  234. I’m with Janine–with Sears closing, they can pretty much stick a fork in PBM. Along with the food court, that was the busiest part of the mall. Once Sears is gone, that’s it. I haven’t been to this mall since the spring, nor do I truly have a reason to go.

    On the new Target, I like the airiness of it, but I agree with Dee; having that parking garage only invites criminal activity. However, being there this past week, I can report it is well-lit. I wouldn’t go there after dark though. (P.S. Their grocery selection absolutely blows.)

    A bit OT: Legacy Place, which I reported upthread as doing well, has had some major closures as of late. Many of the bigger properties are empty. For what it’s worth though, Five Guys was packed.

    DatG: Their Starbucks packed it in a while ago (there’s an independent cafe that’s taken its place since) and the Smith & Hawken had closing signs at my last visit (Sept, I think.) I would take the guess it’s about 60-70% vacant. However, an Italian restaurant is going to open or has opened where City Kitchen was. I had a really strange interview there, but that’s going really OT. 🙂

  235. I had a really strange interview there, but that’s going really OT.

    How! strange! was! it!

    Sorry, I was channeling Match Game for a moment. LOL

    Anyhow, How likely is it for J C Penny to jump ship? With the dynamics of what has been happening lately , I think they will leave sooner rather than later.

  236. @SEAN,

    JCPenney has said they will not leave the mall. If you go in there you would see that JCPenney is regularly packed…even like in the middle of the day in the middle of the week. They probably have the most business in the mall. Sears wasent like that, so i can see why they would opt to close.

    JCPenney has also begun to disassociate themselves with the mall. Their Mall entrance from the store is no longer active and is blocked up.

    So it’s safe to say they are going nowhere.

  237. @Dee,

    Oh please…I go there often, you are in no more danger there than you are anywhere else in South Florida……

    That is such an over rated stareotype. The mall has security all over it…

    As I said, Simon has said the mall will stay open…I dont know if the mall is potential-less it just needs a new strategy….

  238. Oh also,

    If you all come to the West Palm Beach Library, I can go into the Palm Beach Post archives and give you all a 1967 map of the mall as it appeared in the paper with all the stores plotted. Just ask for me, I work at the library.

    Might be of interest to some.

    I used it to make this video about a day i went to the palm beach mall

  239. @Graham, Wasn’t it said upthread from several people that the Sears wasn’t going anywhere, being that they owned their land?

    IMHO, smartest thing to do once Sears takes off is to close the whole place off, demolish the mall (save Penney’s) and start over as an outlet mall or something similar. IKEA would also be a good idea, shoddy furniture (have a 1-year-old dresser collapsing on itself) notwithstanding.

  240. Ok, this is it! The Malls court appointed receiver announced he is shutting the mall down in January. all but George’s Music and JCPenney will close. Since Simon is no neglecting to pay anything to do with the mall, they are going to seize the mall and sell it. What happens with the mall then will be up to the new owner.

  241. @Graham, here’s the link:,0,1713138.story

    can the blog author please update this page to reflect the mall officially closing please? i’ll try to go there one more time to take pictures before it shuts down.

    also, i said back in june there was ‘this mall is staying open throughout 2009’ signs at the east end trying to tell customers the mall wasn’t going anywhere? looks like it won’t see much of 2010.

  242. @Janine,

    Well it’s not necessarily the end of it. Maybe a great buyer with ideas will come along..But, for now it looks like we will have another Hollywood Fashion Center on our hands.

    Even if the mall does end up having to be demolished, hopefully JCPenney and its historic building will remain! It is one of the few 60s style JCPenneys left! Plus, I love going there, I think it is great they have been so committed to West Palm Beach…why should we have haul ourselves to Wellington or Palm Beach Gardens for shopping?

  243. @Graham, it will be the end of the mall in it’s current form. if the palm beach mall comes back as a flea market for example, it’s still there, but it’s not ‘palm beach mall’ anymore. it’s the end of an era for the palm beach mall, but is it the true end? probably not.

  244. @Janine,

    I think the mall itself will be there for awhile. Like the Orange Blossom up on the Treasure Coast and the Hollywood Fashion Center in Broward, they will probably make money from the mall in the mean time by using its open space inside for different temporary small events….

    A discount mall would be great! We need that in Palm Beach County…especially since the Palm Beach Square Mall is gone. I could still see them calling that the Palm Beach Mall.

    But it is sad…this mall really was one of the pioneers of the “shopping mall concept.” I mean for gods sake, Elvis even walked through here before doing concerts at the WPB Auditorium across the street.

    As for reasons why…I think the media killed this mall. I never felt unsafe at this place…even right now, I feel fine walking in there. The Wellington Mall had no influence on this malls closing…if that were the case the opening of the Gardens mall would have killed the mall a decade before…usually new mall flocking is temporary also.

  245. @Graham,

    I would say the reason The Gardens Mall had little to no effect would be the ultra-upscale market they cater to. Those that shopped at Palm Beach Mall have no reason to bother with Chanel, Tiffany, etc…and vice versa. On the other hand, Wellington Green has just about every mall staple in existence.

    While never feeling truly unsafe, I didn’t like the idea of being in that mall after dark. The more stores that left, the less desire I had to go there.

    Glad George’s Music has been spared. No matter how desolate the mall got, that place still has a good amount of traffic.

  246. A bit of an addendum to what I wrote about the restaurant where I had The Strangest Interview Ever: Went back to DatG earlier this evening. Not only has the place not opened yet (despite the fact that it’s been 2-3 months since i was last there), but the only sign of life there was a bunch of cook uniforms hanging on a rack near a front window….hmm….

    Otherwise, it’s good that the Smith & Hawken space is already occupied (Patio World) and the independent cafe that took the Starbucks space is open. Except for a couple of strategically placed pictures, it still looks like a Starbucks.

  247. @Debbi, i think wellington and cityplace did some damage to the mall. cityplace has boutiques, but also had some big mall staples, and had the outdoor lifestyle attraction downtown, something brand new to the area at the time. and it’s five minutes away from the palm beach mall.

    wellington had most of the things that an average mall would have. plus, it’s newer and took out many shoppers west of the turnpike for having to drive all the way to palm beach lakes for a mall. the gardens mall is too upscale for many folks.

    when i first saw the mall in 2003, it wasn’t the greatest mall in the world, but it was viable and a decent place to shop. however, it was next to the ‘bad’ part of town. i think they had a bunch of incidents in the parking lots in recent years, especially after dark. crime (and the perception of it) killed this mall, but the media didn’t help to save it though.

  248. @Janine,

    Cityplace, yes, Wellington, definitely. From my last apartment, Wellington was almost as convenient to get to as PBM. Even now, it’s more or less a straight shot down Southern Blvd.

    I doubt your average Gardens shopper would have been caught dead at PBM in the first place, hence my theory of why I don’t think they would affect PBM.

    When I went to this mall in 2004 (I think), my opinion was pretty much “meh”. Actually, I remember being annoyed at the absence of a Hot Topic.

    I drove by PBM on my way home from work today, thinking about it. IMHO, the worst thing they could possibly do is to turn it into a flea market. You want to keep the crime away, not attract it. Not that some flea markets aren’t run wonderfully, but we already have several throughout South Florida. I’m hoping for an outlet mall instead; that area could use some good affordable shopping. With many residents there not having their own transportation, I think it could work.

    I’m tempted to go in there one more time to see what’s left, but (a) my schedule is really busy these days and (b) now that almost everything is gone, I really am kind of nervous of being there.

  249. @Debbi, @Janine

    Well, this mall is closing now as a “Simon Mall” Doesn’t mean it wont return again when someone else purchases it…for whatever reason. They did just replace all the skylights, but that’s because some were shattered and dangerous.

    Both Georges Music and JCPenney are always packed. Georges will lease that space from the Court for the time being, Simon acquired that space when Woolworth vacated in 1997, and JCPenney owns its building and property. In fact both Macy’s and Dillard’s also own their respective lots and buildings. The DeBartolo Corp acquired the Richards building when they vacated in 1980 and DeBartolo leased it to Sears. That’s probably one reason Sears isnt staying, they were only there on a lease, lease is up, it’s easy to leave.

    Many other businesses, such as the barber shop in the main entrance to the mall, and the nail business are moving to fellow Simon Mall in Boynton Beach. So Simon was able to fill spaces there from mom and pop places leaving here…the Footlocker will relocate downtown…their business was also good.

    this is going to be one eerie scene come February. Make sure to check out the Palm Beach Post History Blog next tuesday we are doing a post, we found some neat old pictures int he post library of old photos of the mall when it was new and over time!

  250. @Debbi, “The day of the indoor mall is probably passe,” Mayor Lowis Frankel said. “We’re looking for a new venue more appealing to today’s shoppers.” WTF?

    What kind of quote is that! Is the Mayor clueless? Or are there more deals with Wal-Mart or Target behind the senes.

  251. @SEAN, Ah Sean, to say that is to never have been to WPB, LOL. Mayor Lois Frankel is probably, IMHO, the worst thing to have ever happened to WPB. This obviously isn’t a political forum, so from my observations alone, I’ll just say the woman does her best to keep WPB in what her vision is of it, and if you don’t like it, get out of her way. She nearly destroyed Clematis Street because she hates any kind of after dark entertainment. Fortunately in the last year or so, business owners there began giving her the bird, building the street back up by themselves. It’s nowhere near what it was in the 90s (I’ve heard), but little by little, people are coming back….despite, not because, of her.

    And now, to bring things somewhat back on topic, found this on the Palm Beach Post website just now. That Italian restaurant where I had that interview, still not mentioned. Hmmm. Wonder what Ms. Frankel would have to say about this:

    I’d like to see DatG saved; despite the confusing layout, it’s a good alternative to The Gardens Mall. I wish the Bermans all the best.

  252. @SEAN, P.S. There’s a Target right across the street. As for Wal-Mart, there’s already three within a 10 mile radius, four if you count a Wal-Mart market. (one’s actually in Royal Palm Beach, but close enough)

  253. @Debbi, It has been 20-years since I’ve been in Florida. I have visited Palm & West Palm Beach, however that was before PBM’s downfall. The quote in the Post was foolish because it reaks of a lack of vision & nothing of politics.

  254. @SEAN, Yep, that’s Mayor Frankel in a nutshell.

    I apologize if my last post sounded condescending, as I did not mean it as such.

  255. @Debbi, It’s all good.

    I’ll bet if City Place was up for consideration now mayor Frankel would say no way.

    I’ve got a joke for you:If Mel Brooks did a movie about a West Palm Beach monster, ;what would he title it?

  256. @SEAN, I’ll bite….what would it be called?

  257. @Debbi, Same to you!

    I tryed but, they cant all be winners. Besides I think that Young Frankelstein, ah! I ment Young Frankenstein is one of the funnyest films of all time.


  258. A shame Sears is shuttering their store, the mall looked awesome in the early years but now… hopefully they can tear down the whole place minus Penney’s and start-a-new 🙁

  259. I was at the mall on December 31,2009.
    There was only like 10 stores still open and in the food court subway is the last place to eat.
    JCpenny was still busy .
    I hope the mall does not get demolished and is open again one day as a mall again.
    The mall is still in good condition.
    It was sad to see it die like a ghost town.
    I will miss the Palm Beach Mall.

  260. At the mall again today. It felt good to see so many people in the parking lot and the sears store for the clearance sale. Lots of amazing deals to be had in there; I got a complete sheet set for $15 (nice high thread count ones, too) and 7 tops for around 40$. Anyways, my purchases aside (lol) I walked the mall a bit; there’s nothing left in the food court, some of the restaurants are taped off with warning tape and/or have tables pushed around their perimeter. The dollar store is vacated, and many other stores that were open just a month or two ago are almost bare of stock and fixtures (like the footlocker). The JC Penney wing of the mall, starting after the fountain, is now taped off with warning tape so you cannot go down there anymore. (However, as always, the actual JC Penney store is open from the outside and thriving). I guess the mall really is closing this time. I just pray that they immediately demolish the mall, or occupy it with *something* soon after its closing, because I know that if they let it sit boarded and empty for 6 months or more the vandals and unsavory types will get to it and destroy this classic Palm Beach County institution in a blink of an eye. Just want to see the pbm have as graceful a sunset as possible considering its present state.

  261. I’m curious–does anyone have a list of the last 10 or so survivors?

    I can’t see the mall being demolished immediately, not with George’s Music still there and doing good business. Of course, since they only lease their space, they only have to be given so much notice to vacate. If that happens, there are more than enough spaces along Okeechobee Blvd they could set up.

  262. I went to the mall today to get a last look before it closes (I visit the ‘rents once a month and won’t be back until next month after it is closed).

    Sears is closing tomorrow and I got a great 80% off deal on a pair of pants and top. After the salesperson tried to get me to open a Sears credit card (strange thing to do in a store that is closing, even if there are other Sears stores open), I walked the mall, full of memories.

    It was pretty sad. Someone asked for a list of the places that were open, and this is what I remember:

    Another Footlocker store
    Fashions 4 U (or something like that)
    Puppet Theatre
    Sears (until tomorrow)
    George’s Music
    Dental office (there was a sign saying they were moving to another location)

    And that’s about it, from what I can remember…there might have been a shoe repair shop that was open (visible from the outside of the mall), but I didn’t see.

    They have roped off the mall from past the fountain all the way down to JCP.

    Sad 🙁

  263. Where’s Foot Locker coming downtown? Historically, they have always taken up Woolworth’s but the one on Clematis is going to become a smokes bar.

  264. @Scott, I highly doubt Foot Locker is coming to Clematis. Retail does miserably there–Ann Taylor loft suddenly closed last month and Vendome is in the middle of a going-out-of-business sale (for the 2nd time, mind you). If Foot Locker comes anywhere, it would be CityPlace–and even then, with their upscale image, I highly doubt it.

  265. That would be retail suicide. The addition of Journeys and PacSun is bad enough.

  266. @Debbi, Well said. Although at one time the area that is now City Place was quite run down. Today things have changed for the better despite mayor Frankelstein’s actions.

    See if you can find the segment that This Old House did on CP a few years ago.

  267. @SEAN, I’ll look on YouTube when I get a moment. I’ve been told many stories on how CityPlace used to be. It’s fascinating.

    Frankelstein, hehehehe. I’ve gotta start using that. 😀

    It’s not just that article that has WPB hater comments, I’ve seen a few on other websites as well. I’m thinking of one in particular I saw on Cinema Treasures where a commenter posted about having a condo at CityPlace and feeling under siege the entire time. Absurd. I’ve walked on Clematis late at night (not in a turtleneck and slacks either, mind you) and nobody has ever bothered me. While there are a few neighborhoods one needs to stay far away from (the Tamarind area in particular), WPB is truly much better than it used to be.

    Back to the mall, no promises, but I may just duck in there for a few on Sunday. If I do, I will give a report on the last few remaining survivors.

  268. I drove around the PB Mall today sorta of a last look though it will remain for sometime I believe. Really a shame but I guess this is progress? I think if it was better managed and taken care of it never would have went downhill like it did. Everyone seems to make that part town sound scarier then it really is. Which is not the case, I also went into the new Target across Palm Beach Lakes and it was very nice and far from the South Bronx shithole everyone makes WPB to be. Too bad the mall could not be revitillized the same, victim of poor timing along with piss poor management.

  269. Tried to get into the mall today, but apparently management jumped the gun on closing, as it was already locked when I got there. Which is just as well, since (a) I forgot my camera and (b) both security and police were out in droves.

    So the best I could tell from looking inside locked doors, Payless looked to be one of the final holdouts, as was a nail salon. I’m guessing from the posts above, Foot Locker and all its spinoffs were there as well.

    The shoe repair shop was in the process of moving; there is a sign on their door saying the new address will be on the 500 block of Clematis. I chatted with the staff for a couple of minutes; they appear to be good people. Good luck to them. I know I posted just upthread that retail does horribly there, but little businesses do seem to perform ok. Besides, the 500 block is more low-key than the flash-and-glitter of a couple blocks down. An art gallery and cell phone store have just opened, a local restaurant just relocated, and last night I heard a tiki bar is in the process of being built into the old Ray’s Downtown Blues space. I think they’ll be just fine.

    On the mall, I agree 100% with Brian. Yeah, the neighborhood may not be too great, but there are lots of office buildings nearby, and it’s practically right next to I-95…no excuse for Simon to neglect the mall the way they did. And now it’s gone.

  270. @Debbi,

    But Debbi, you are forgetting, that Foot Locker is the kind of thing that a lot of West Palm Beachers like. Also, Foot Locker is not near as upscale as Ann Taylor Loft, and I think they could do well in downtown. you cant compare the two, Ann Taylor has an entirely different demographic. The reason the Clematis Street Store closed is because there is one SO close by, less than 1/4 a mile… in City place.

    I am more surprised that Sears has pulled out of West Palm Beach all together without a replacement (especially after all the hoopla in 1980 that they went through to get that spot). Like JCP, I always thought that Sears was pretty busy.

    JCP on the otherhand tho is always absolutely packed! Their demographics is very similar to that that would shop at Footlocker. Perhaps Foot Locker may get one of those out parcels across the street, like where Boaters World use to be.

  271. Its Very simple why the mall Is dieing, the whole area in general is dieing..No one wants to go to West Palm Beach! Between The “people” that live there, and having to deal with the police and expensive tickets, ppl just decide to go elsewhere..South Florida right now is contracting and with “Miami” as The Center, The further You Are Away from Miami, the less opportunity there will be, not saying that being directly in downtown is the most beneficial, but being 70 miles away has its downside, and it will only get worst,

  272. @Graham,

    Even if Foot Locker could do well downtown (which I disagree with), where would they go? The 200 block would be too upscale for them. On the 500 block, I suppose they could go into the Sewell Hardware space, but there’s no retail chains there, so I doubt they’d be welcome. Likewise Banyan and Datura–what little retail I observe there, Subway excepted, is of the mom-and-pop variety. On the 300 block, Off The Hookah is going into the Z Gallerie space. Maybe, just maybe, they could give it a go where Diablo Liquor Stand was, but again, I’m not seeing it. I’m thinking a more logical place for them to relocate would be on Okeechobee Blvd–certainly lots of retail space and their demographic lives much closer.

    OTOH, if/when George’s Music is forced to relocate, I see them easily going into the Sewell Hardware space. But then again, that’s just me. 🙂

  273. @keith watkins,

    What? You’re nuts

  274. @Graham,

    Yeah, I couldn’t figure out what he was talking about either. (Miami center of South Florida? Thanks for the bulletin.)

  275. @Debbi, I think he ment that as a suburb places like WPB are contracting. The days of living 70-miles out & commuting to Miami are over.

    Debbi, As a former resident of NJ, That would be like living down toward Bay Head & driving to work in Manhattan. Edge suburbs that grew like crazy over the last 20-years are contracting at an encredible rate. Not just in Florida but, throughout the country.

  276. @SEAN,

    Maybe they are, especially with high gas prices, but that’s not what I got from his post. I do commute to Miami every so often for semi-business purposes, but I know I’m the exception more than the rule. (BTW, I commuted to Mays Landing twice a week from Freehold when I lived in NJ, LOL)

    Although if is any indication, Miami has more than its share of defunct malls. Omni in particular sounds like a beaut.

    Contrary to what Keith wrote, WPB is not dying, if anything downtown is slowly coming back with all the new restaurants opening. Although on the down side, the theatre now has a For Sale sign on it. It made me sad. 🙁

  277. @Debbi, I gave it my best shot. The area around City Place & downtown WPB will continue to thrive unlike the sprawling suburbs that will struggle for several years unless the monster Lowis Frankelstein gets her claws involved. LOL Then all bets are off.

  278. Hey there,

    I’m a reporter for the Palm Beach Post, and I’m interested in writing about people who are interested in the history of retail and shopping malls.

    I’d love to speak with some of you that frequent this website about what you like about it.

    My e-mail is


  279. The place looks beautiful and positively usable. What is the plan for this if it is closing? It is good enough unless there is a better plan. This is a least an outsiders view of the place.

  280. While doing some research on Lands of the President Condos, I came across the following article.
    Update on The Palm Beach Mall
    May 26, 2010
    The Palm Beach Post had an article about The Palm Beach Mall that I wanted to share with you. The article discusses the multiple ownership situation the mall faces, and what kind of consequences it may have. I will also post the article below just in case that link becomes disabled any time soon.

    “The Palm Beach Mall in West Palm Beach has gone through a lot in recent years: Crime, neglect by its owner, a recession, a foreclosure lawsuit and finally, an auction.

    But just as new owner ORIX takes control of Palm Beach County’s first regional mall, a new snag has emerged. A Luxembourg-based firm quietly has engineered a deal to buy the building and land formerly occupied by Dillard’s department store.

    Since the Palm Beach Mall became the subject of a foreclosure action in April 2009, plenty of buyers have expressed interest in the property. The 90-acre site has some of the best interstate frontage in South Florida.

    But potential buyers soon learned of the site’s major shortcoming: Simon Property Group, which previously owned the Palm Beach Mall, did not own all the land.

    Both Dillard’s and Macy’s owned their own “pads,” meaning that anyone who wants to redo the mall site has to buy those properties from the department store companies. Those pads were not a part of the foreclosure sale and they remain the property of the department stores. Now an affiliate of Turbo Investments International Inc. has the 4-acre Dillard’s property under contract, real estate sources say.

    The affiliate group includes RG Developments of Jupiter. Randall Greene, an RG principal, declined comment. A Dillard’s spokeswoman at the company headquarters in Little Rock, Ark., did not return a phone call seeking comment.

    The Dillard’s deal was a shrewd move for Turbo. The parcel is in the center of the mall, with the best frontage along Interstate 95, at Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard. Word is Turbo is protecting its nearby investment, the Chase Bank Center office building, on the corner of Congress Avenue and Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard. Although only 2 acres, the property is at the gateway to the mall property.

    Sources say an affiliate of ORIX has the 11-acre Macy’s property under contract, but alas, not the better-situated Dillard’s site. (Macy’s spokesman Jim Sluzewski said the West Palm Beach site is for sale, but he said he could not comment until any sale closes.)

    West Palm Beach Mayor Lois Frankel indicated she was aware ORIX still was trying to gain control of the entire site.

    As to Turbo’s move to buy Dillard’s, “I hope they’re in it to be productive,” Frankel said. “I don’t know the motivation, but I want to assume the best.”

    It’s not clear what Turbo’s real motives are for seeking control of the Dillard’s land. Turbo could just want a seat at the table as part of the redevelopment, or it could squeeze ORIX for big money to be bought out of its two parcels, the Dillard’s site and the bank building.

    Jim Lingle, an attorney for ORIX in Dallas, referred questions to Madison Marquette’s Chuck Taylor, court-appointed receiver for the mall property. Taylor could not be reached for comment.

    Despite the recession, sources say numerous retail tenants want to take space in a mall redevelopment. Plans floated by ORIX would turn the property into a “lifestyle” center, along the lines of Legacy Place in Palm Beach Gardens.

    Bass Pro, a sporting goods retailer, and Ikea, the Swedish furniture store, remain keenly interested in the property because they like to be seen from major highways, real estate sources say. Retailers ranging from fast-casual restaurants to established chain stores also want to be in on the redo.

    And with good reason. ORIX, a Japanese financial group and formerly the servicer of the mall’s mortgage, has plenty of money to finance a redevelopment. These days, access to capital is the ticket to getting any deal off the ground.

    But Frankel acknowledged that other monied developers still are circling the mall and could snap up the property from ORIX at the right price, whatever that is.

    Frankel said she’d like to see the mall site become “a great economic generator” that will create plenty of jobs. At the same time, she wants the project to be compatible with the neighborhood and include amenities that would be of use to nearby residents. (Think grocery stores and restaurants, for example.)

    Whatever the mall becomes, Frankel knows it’s a unique redevelopment opportunity, an unusually large parcel along an interstate that is expected to become “one of the most important projects in the city. It’s a great spot with tremendous potential,” she said.

    Toward that end, she said the city would be willing to help finance the public elements of the project, such as lighting, roads or a garage, she said.

    The 1.2 million-square-foot mall, which opened in 1967, officially closed Jan. 31. JC Penney and George’s Music, which still have active leases, remain open and accessible through exterior doors. Firestone automotive service, on an out parcel, also is open.

    Alexandra Clough writes about the economy, real estate and the law. Contact her at”

    What’s Good About West Palm Beach?
    West Palm Beach is located on the southeast coast of Florida, about an hour’s drive north of Miami with easy access to beaches, Palm Beach International Airport, shopping centers and entertainment. It’s served by I95 and the Florida Turnpike.

    CityPlace and Clematis are its newest shopping areas. CityPlace is an enclave of shops, restaurants and theatre situated around an old style Mediterranean town center with a beautiful dancing fountain, live music and entertainment. It’s a destination attraction featuring a smaller style Macy’s indoor and outdoor dining, upscale shops and a two storey movie theatre. Nearby is Clematis, part of the old downtown of West Palm Beach featuring restaurants, shops, the library, a “dancing waters” fountain that children love and a Green Market every Saturday during season.

    There are theatres, such as the Kravis Centre featuring Broadway shows, concerts and children’s attractions. There’s the new Opera House which will open soon. The Norton Museum of Art is a fabulous venue for art shows and also features a café and unique gift shop. The Armory is another smaller attraction featuring up and coming artists, a teaching center for painting and sculpture and from time to time, shows featuring their students. Located nearby in Palm Beach is the Four Arts Center offering art shows, foreign films, concerts and interesting speakers.

    Additionally there’s a great zoo, a Fairgrounds with antique shows, concerts and the circus among their offerings.

    Within a 30 minute drive, there are more theatre and Palm Beach with its fascinating shops and million dollar homes. Arts and craft shows are regular happenings

  281. @Debbi, I just found this article in QSR magazine & I wanted to share it with you knowing your opinion of DD’s coffee.

    Dunkin’ Donuts Locales Brewing in Florida

    Dunkin’ Donuts announced the signing of a multi-unit store development agreement with Alex and Randy Fernandez and Gloria Lengyel for five restaurants in Polk County, Florida. The first restaurant will open in 2012, and the remaining four units will be developed by 2016.

    Dunkin’ Donuts’ development throughout Polk County and the surrounding areas is part of a steady and strategic growth strategy, which includes expanding in existing markets while entering new cities across the country to help drive the leading coffee and bakery chain’s growth.

    “We are excited to expand Dunkin’ Donuts’ presence in Polk County and play an important role in the daily lives of people who live, work, and visit here,” says Alex Fernandez. “We have a strong passion and loyalty for the brand and look forward to the opening of our restaurants in the years to come.”

    In addition to the development agreement, Dunkin’ Donuts is seeking new and existing franchisees to develop restaurants throughout Florida, specifically in Marion, Hernando, Northeast Hillsborough, North Pinellas, and Pasco Counties.

    To drive its expansion efforts, Dunkin’ Donuts has aligned its strategy to support the growth opportunities and consumer needs of individual markets. As a result, the company continues to expand with single and multi-unit opportunities with no minimum unit requirements.

    “Dunkin’ Donuts is excited to welcome Alex, Randy, and Gloria to the Polk County market,” says Grant Benson, CFE, vice president of franchising and market planning, Dunkin’ Brands.

    “Our secret to success is our passionate franchisees who provide a high level of customer service to our guests every day, and we’re confident Alex and his team will cultivate lasting relationships and become an integral part of the Polk County community,” Benson says.

    Building a solid network of stores within a market enables Dunkin’ Donuts to invest in a distribution model that provides a consistent, high-quality product guests expect “in the way and on the way” of their daily routines.

    In an effort to keep the brand fresh and competitive, Dunkin’ Donuts offers flexible concepts for any real estate format including free-standing restaurants, end caps, in-line sites, gas and convenience, travel plazas, universities, as well as other retail environments.

    LOL, give me a break.

  282. @Dave,

    It was not only the murder that was the downfall of the PB Mall. In 2000-2001, I worked at the Dillard’s that was there. The mall was still busy during the day, but at night time the place would empty out like someone pulled a drain plug.

    Once upon a time, the location of the mall was perfect! Right off 95, in basically what you would call the “nice” part of WPB. That is no longer the case, not by a LONG shot.

    The Gardens Mall was a much better (if pricier) alternative, but one that most would gladly drive for to avoid the gang fights, shootings and sprinting shoplifters that one encountered at the PB Mall nearly daily.

    Then, The Mall at Wellington Green opened up, and the PB Mall starting sinking faster than the Titanic.

  283. @WestPalm2009,

    Lexus of Palm Beach on Okeechobee used to be an Outlet Mall. It sucked out loud the whole time it was open.

  284. I’m not sure what will become of this mall, the mall itself does seem to be in pretty good shape although a major makeover is needed. The problem is the area around it. West Palm has huge crime and gang problems, that won’t change with a mall makeover.

  285. @Alan, the recently renovated strip mall on 10th and Congress used to possess palm springs pizza, a pet store, eckerd drugstore, and at one time, about 20 years ago, there was a bowling alley on the south side of that property.

  286. It’s a shame I only just stumbled upon this article and the subsequent comments. I would have loved to share on the downfall of the mall. Although I was not around during this mall’s heyday, I did get my first glimpse of it in 1999-2000 when it was somewhat of a bustling shopping mall. I then moved permanently to WPB at the end of 2000 and witnessed this mall’s decline first hand.

    I could say that for a few years (2001-2004), I got to go to the mall pretty much everyday since I worked for an auto parts supplier that delivered parts to the Firestone outparcel daily. My girlfriend at the time also worked at the Victoria’s Secret so whenever I picked her up I would go a little bit early to roam around the mall.

    At that time, Borders was still hopping, Old Navy was there and I do remember the demolition of the Lord & Taylor building. I used to catch a bite at the Sbarro’s a lot, and remember getting a pair of sunglasses fixed at the optical store located right next to it.

    The last time I was psychically in the mall was in 2007 when I picked up a pair of pants at Dillards and ended up getting a hat at the Lids store near the fountain. I wish I would have gone back there at least once more to take it all in before it shuttered, but the pictures and stories you guys have posted have helped me to relive some of the memories. I’ll be staying tuned to any news on the refurbishment or future development of the mall, as I know all of you will be doing too.

    Last thing I read after researching was the interest of both Ikea and Bass Pro Shops possibly moving into some sort of power center there, but at this point who knows?

  287. Miami is the largest city, but is not really the “center” city of the area. I don’t know many people who commute from West Palm to Miami for work. That would be way too far to commute and way too expensive in gas. So I do not agree with the person who said the area is contracting. Maybe economically, but not population wise.

    I also do not understand why people think this mall is “nice”. It does not compare with the Gardens Mall in any way shape or form. The architecture is basic and bland. The best part about the mall is the convenient and highly visible location right off I-95. But the neighborhood around it is dangerous. The biggest draw to the mall by far is the JC Penney’s men’s suit department which is known for having a large selection compared to other Penney’s in the area. There was talk that Penney’s would remain open should the mall go belly up. People having been talking about the mall’s demise for years and ironically it is still in business, although hanging on by a thread.

    The decline of the Palm Beach Mall is a direct result of newer, nicer malls that opened during the 80’s and 90’s. The Gardens Mall blocked off Northern PBC, the Boynton Mall blocked off Southern PBC, and the Wellington Mall blocked off Western PBC. That shrunk down the market for Palm Beach Mall to just the city of West Palm Beach which is predominantly poor and crime ridden. CityPlace opening in the late 90’s did not help matters and the new Downtown Gardens is a major draw for higher end tenants.

    The only hope left for the Palm Beach Mall is the recent expansion of the downtown areas with high end luxury condos. This urban expansion will draw in wealthier residents and could create a new demand for the Palm Beach Mall to remain open and attract new stores. Will it be too little too late?

  288. Does anyone know if American Hero located in the Food Court relocated

  289. @Jeff,

    Apparently Jeff doesn’t Read the Palm Beach Post. This mall is being converted to an outlet mall. Stores like SAks Off 5th Ave, Neiman Marcus Last Call, and even possibly H&M have already agreed to be apart.

    This mall has been saved and will reopen as the Palm Beach Outlet Center in 2013.

  290. As of 12/11/11 the mall has been sold and will be razed. The remaining anchor (I don’t remember which one it is) will remain as a free stand alone store. A new outdoor “lifestyle” center is planned with shops, apartments, eateries etc. Not sure when the bulldozers are going in but it will be soon. The mall is very close to the tri-rail system which runs north and south from Palm Beach County to Miami. I believe the development will have “affordable workforce housing” as it will be right on bus lines and next to the train. Many of these communities are now being built in S Florida. The rental market is very hot and there are several large rental complexes being built in areas next to major bus lines and the tri rail train. I guess time will tell how well this goes.

  291. Outdoor malls evolve to reach customers, stay relevant

    April 19, 2012|By Justine Griffin, Sun Sentinel

    Some were doomed before they opened. Others quickly rose to success, only to struggle later. And some have successfully changed with the times.

    Outdoor, multilevel shopping and entertainment centers such as Riverfront and Beach Place in Fort Lauderdale and CityPlace and Mizner Park in Palm Beach County have been part of South Florida’s retail landscape for years.

    What were exciting, busy retail centers when they opened in the late 1990s or early 2000s have evolved to stay afloat.

    “Each spot in South Florida has gone through its own issues, but most manage to figure them out,” said Dale Scott, senior executive vice president for Sikon Construction, Deerfield Beach.

    Some have fared better than others. Here’s a look at some of South Florida’s outdoor shopping and entertainment centers.

    The Gallery at Beach Place, a three-story 100,000-square-foot entertainment and retail complex on Fort Lauderdale beach bustles day and night. When the center opened in 1996, it attracted higher-end tenants such as Limited Express, the Gap, Banana Republic and a Max’s Grill restaurant.

    Those tenants have departed, making room for busy bars like Lulu’s Bait Shack and Hooters, an ice cream shop and several independent beach goods stores.

    “Beach Place is in a perpetual state of Spring Break,” said Lori Schnieder, senior vice president of investments for Marcus & Millichap in Fort Lauderdale. “But maybe that’s what it should be. That center knows its customer.”

    Riverfront opened in 1998 as a successful entertainment destination, but then faltered. It was sold to creditors at public auction in 2009 and purchased for more than $16 million last year by investors. The center’s trajectory doesn’t surprise Scott, whose company built it.

    “That was a stretch for it to be successful at best,” he said. “You can’t have 280,000 square feet and no parking.”

    One of the investors, developer Dev Motwani, plans to bring the center back. More than $1 million has been spent on renovations to the dated facade and new lighting. Motwani said he is talking to restaurants, shops, bars and fitness centers as possible tenants.

    Evan Rosenberg, an attorney from Plantation, visits Mizner Park in Boca Raton most often, even though he works in downtown Fort Lauderdale.

    “I would truly love it if Riverfront was revitalized,” he said. “The area surrounding it is a very young-professionals-type area who are looking for placed to relax for lunch, or enjoy happy hour after work. ”

    Motwani hopes to bring a new crowd to the business district between Las Olas Boulevard, where a number of restaurants and bars have closed, and the Himmarshee district, the hub for downtown nightlife.

    Said Scott: “This is how it works in retail. The constant change brings ups and downs, but keeps them in play.”

    The Villages at Gulfstream Park has struggled to develop a shopping and dining identity apart from the thoroughbred race track in Hallandale Beach. A monthly event called Wine Wednesdays encourages shopping at retailers that stay open late and offer wine to patrons.

    The retail area of Gulfstream Park opened in February 2010, after long delayed construction plans.

    “Gulfstream fills the gap for a shopping space between southern Broward and Miami,” Schnieder said. “It sits east enough to attract shoppers who live in the condos around there.”

    Different seasons show a shift in the kind of shoppers that come through Hallandale Beach, said Michael Keane, marketing manager for the Villages at Gulfstream Park.

    “When we lose our seasonal residents, we bring in tourists,” Keane said. “So we host events that cater toward that shift.”

    Mizner Park in Boca Raton historically has kept a variety of upscale tenants, and new additions are scheduled. An upscale movie theater and Yard House bar and restaurant will open soon. Lord & Taylor will return to South Florida later this year in the space left vacant when Robb & Stucky furniture retailers went bankrupt.

    Unique among its competitors, Mizner Park is adjacent to an open-air amphitheater and the Boca Raton Museum of Art. The center also has offices and residences.

    “I like to think that Mizner has its own niche,” said general manager Chris Molho.

    West Palm Beach’s CityPlace, a two-story, 600,000-square-foot multiuse shopping and dining mecca, has lost tenants in recent months but remains one of the city’s top shopping destinations. Women’s apparel retailer Ann Taylor closed in CityPlace to open a new store at the Gardens Mall in Palm Beach Gardens.

    McCormick & Schmick’s seafood restaurant, which opened in CityPlace in 2009, closed recently, as did the Kona Grille.

    “It will be interesting to see how CityPlace will change once the Palm Beach Mall reopens as an outlet center,” Scott said. The Palm Beach Mall is scheduled to be demolished and rebuilt as an open-air outlet mall. “They’re going to have some competition there.”, 954-356-4528 or Twitter: @SunBizGriffin

  292. Jones Lang LaSalle Becomes Agent for Florida Mall, Outlet Center
    May 11, 2012 1:32 PM, Staff Reports

    Jones Lang LaSalle was appointed as the leasing and management agent for the Galleria at Fort Lauderdale in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. and as management agent for Vero Beach Outlets in Vero Beach, Fla.

    “Jones Lang LaSalle is committed to helping owners and occupiers of retail real estate throughout Florida and we reinforced that commitment recently through the launch of our local market capabilities,” said John Lambert, Florida retail market lead with Jones Lang LaSalle Retail, in a statement. “Our on-the-ground leasing and management experts are second to none and look forward to making their expertise work for each of these centers.”

    The Galleria at Fort Lauderdale is a 964,423-sq.-ft. super-regional mall. Neiman Marcus, Macy’s and Dillard’s anchor the property. Susan Longley and Andrew Dieringer will handle this assignment on behalf of Jones Lang LaSalle.

    Vero Beach Outlets is a 328,254-sq.-ft. regional outlet center. Tenants at the property include Ann Taylor Factory Store, Banana Republic Factory Store, Brooks Brothers, Calvin Klein, J. Crew Factory and Chico’s Outlet, among others.


  294. The Palm Beach Post has 23 new photos of the inside/outside of the Palm Beach Mall. It’s likely these are the last professional photos that will be taken before the demolition.

    The first picture is a rendering of the incoming Palm Beach Outlets, scheduled for fall 2013. With 1.1 million sq. feet, it is estimated to cost 150 million.

    @G.C. The wealthy don’t flock in droves to Outlet Malls, so no, nobody expects that. Maybe you should turn your Caps Lock off, as well as your racism. Both are ugly.

  295. @G.C.,

    Well in order to revitalize an area, you have to start somewhere. I disagree with you. All this information you said could be the same said for Eastern Boca Raton when the Boca Mall was still there. Mizner Park, for example, has revitalized that entire area.

  296. @Graham, Well in order to revitalize an area, you have to start somewhere. So true, but some projects have a far reaching impact while others give a temperary boost & don’t have the seed of long lasting change. Part of that is due to location & part is mainly tied to political & ecconomic forces. This includes with the willingness to fund continuous reinvestment.

    As an example, look at City Place before it was built, vs when it opened, vs today. Some of the positives remain after opening, but there’s still a lot of work to do to keep moving foward & preventing any backward slide.

    Now will a new outlet mall have that big impact? The answer is still up in the air, but keep in mind that these outlets are popping up all over the place just like the lifestyle centers did a few years a go. They are the latest fad & they will run their course just like all trends before them. some will make it, some will not. That’s life in real estate circles.

  297. National chains target South Florida for expansion
    By Justine Griffin, Sun Sentinel

    3:07 PM EDT, June 23, 2012

    South Florida’s shopping scene is showing signs of stronger growth as national retailers and restaurant chains expand into the tri-county area.

    More chains are taking over big-box retail space left vacant by retailers that shuttered during the recession. Popular brand names like Circuit City, Borders, Blockbuster and Linens ‘N Things are no more, and are being replaced by a new wave of brick and mortar stores making their way into the South Florida market.

    “South Florida is the perfect storm of multi-unit concepts and brands because of our overall demographic,” said Brian Connors, a hospitality consultant with Connors & Davis Company. “There’s still a lot of population growth and diversity here.”

    In 2011, real estate vacancies were high and retail lease terms reached an all-time low, said Gary Broidis, president of Atlantic Commercial Group Inc. in Boca Raton. Many of these national retailers are coming to South Florida looking to land a good deal and expand ahead of the recovery, he said.

    “Landlords are becoming very aggressive to lease up vacant spaces,” Broidis said. “They’re looking for the security of having a national tenant, so they’re eager to offer better rates to lease a larger space.”

    Companies coming in

    Dick’s Sporting Goods opened new stores in Fort Lauderdale, Boynton Beach, Plantation and Pembroke Pines where the store took over a former Linens ‘N Things space off Pines Boulevard.

    “Big-box stores use the map of the U.S. as a chess board,” said Cinda Baxter, president of the 3/50 Project, a small business support group. “They start out with a standard store, then, as they begin to churn the profit they expect, they’ll upsize that store or start building new locations in the area.”

    Electronics retailer hhgregg expanded quickly into the tri-county area last summer by opening nine stores at once. Meanwhile, its competitor, Best Buy, announced it will close 50 stores nationally this year, although no stores in South Florida are expected to close. Miami-based competitor, BrandsMart USA, holds strong with seven South Florida locations and four in northwest Georgia.

    Chick-fil-A opened a new restaurant in Pembroke Pines last month and Dallas-based chain, Corner Bakery opened the first of 15 planned locations in Florida in Boca Raton in January. The high-end Asian fusion restaurant from New York City, Philippe, opened a Boca Raton location last summer and plans to open in Fort Lauderdale this year.

    Red Mango, a frozen yogurt and smoothie chain, opened its first in-mall location in Florida inside The Galleria Mall last month.

    The 7-Eleven chain has opened 57 new or remodeled stores in the tri-county area since 2010. There are 15 more stores set to open by the end of this year in South Florida, and 25 scheduled for 2013.

    Grocery stores in South Florida are expanding rapidly too.

    Upscale grocer The Fresh Market has nine stores in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties. The supermarket chain opened a new store in Fort Lauderdale in February, and another is set to open later this year in Miami.

    German discount grocer Aldi expanded into South Florida in 2010 and has opened six stores since then. The company is in the works to open a regional headquarters and warehouse in Royal Palm Beach.

    Another discount grocer brand, Save-A-Lot, opened a Fort Lauderdale store in June and will open another at the end of July. The company also recently announced its plan to build a distribution center in Pompano Beach.

    Local retailers find their niche

    Anthony’s Coal Fire Pizza, which started with just one restaurant in Fort Lauderdale, has expanded to 34 locations across the East Coast in 10 years, said owner Anthony Bruno.

    “I think people in South Florida like to support their own,” Bruno said. “There are a lot of options, but they’re not always good options.”

    Michael DeLemma, owner of Animal House, a pet supply and specialty food store in Fort Lauderdale, agrees.

    “The difference is the customer service. People want to come in and talk with us about their pets and our products,” said DeLemma, who competes with nearby Pet Supermarket and Petco chains. “You don’t get that at a chain competitor.”, 954-356-4528 or Twitter: @SunBizGriffin



  299. @SEAN,

    Some Interesting stuff happening. I have noticed chick Fil a opening more stand alone locations around Palm Beach County. Im surprised they didn’t mention Lord & Taylor’s return to South Florida. Should be opening up soon in Mizner Park in Boca Raton in Robb & Stuckey former location. I guess L&T sees the value of doing business here, hopefully this time they will take their time and study areas around here more. In the 80s they were all about expansion which nearly put them out of business.

  300. @Graham, True regarding Lord & Taylor. If they are successful, don’t be shocked to also find locations in other centers like Aventura Mall & Dadeland where there is a healthy upscale customer base.

  301. @SEAN,

    The problem in the 80s was the expanded to every mall opening in addition to those higher volume ones. They started at the Palm Beach Mall in the early 80s and eventually opened stores in the Boynton Beach Mall, Coral Square Mall, and the Fashion Center at Plantation, and they just kept going. I know in 2003 when they closed their Florida operations their employees in Boca, Aventura, and Dadeland in particular were shocked since those stores had always done so well and consistently exceeded their goals. So with this company financially stable for the time being, I guess they will give Florida another try. Their outlet store in Dolphin Mall has done well since it opened in 2010.

  302. @Graham, Yeah I know, however the dynamics have changed since then. Department stores are shrinking their store counts for the most part, as well as their footprints & inventories. You wont find them across the state, however you may find them in selected locations as I posted above like Aventura.

  303. @Graham, I don’t quite get why an outlet mall is nessessary in that location since there’s a giant outlet center in Sunrise that was expanded a few years ago & has nearly every brand out there.

    Surely the PBM site could have a far more productive use than duplicating what retailers already exist in the Miami West Palm region.

  304. @SEAN,

    Maybe if you lived here you would have a different perspective of that. It’s true that sawgrass is not that far, however I think because its so far people just simply dont shop outlet because it isnt a viable option without driving a slight distance, especially those north of West Palm Beach. Since I live very close to the Palm Beach Mall I can say there is definately a void in West Palm since I think most of us here really feel like we always need to go somewhere else when it comes to decent shopping.

    I know that New England Development is really looking to find retailers that may not exist in Palm Beach County already and might only be found at Sawgrass or the Dolphin Mall. With the influx of international travelers in this area i think it would allow people to come here, stay here, and want to be here.

    In all this wont be the mighty Palm Beach Mall, but i a smaller shopping mall with some big box retailers. Hopefully in addition to a state of the art JC Penneys, they are also luring things like Whole Foods, Aldi (or any grocery retailer since there isn’t one easily accessible in this area). I know things such as Bass Pro shops (which could compete with Gander a few miles north. Also a few larger name brands like Off Saks, Neiman Marcus Last Call, and even Lord & Taylor Outlet are interested in this project.

    Ultimately I think it will be a huge success and reawakening of this Palm Beach Lakes retail corridor. Just gotta keep in mind they are not targeting the same people The Gardens Mall or the Mall at Wellington Green are.

  305. @Graham, Actually I do have family that live in PBC at least part of the year, plus former coworkers who live in Miami Dade.

    I still wonder how another outlet mall being developed in an area that has been saturated with retail centers over the past four decades, will be able to compete successfully with what already exists. Also the thirty year cicle hasn’t been kind to retail developments in south Florida for the most part. There have been developments that have bit the dust in the tri-county area within a few years of opening, but of course there are well known exceptions like Aventura Mall & it’s companion centers along Biscayne Boulevard & Collins Avenue near the oceanfront.

    I may not live there, but I’m well aware of the retail landscape & over the years, customers are historically been fickle on what centers they visit. I’ve sene it with my own eyes. What was in last year maybe out the next unless the center is well known & astablished like the formention aventura area.

  306. @SEAN,

    I guess we will wait and see. I think Broward and Dade are over saturated with what they have, but Palm Beach County is not since loss of the Palm Beach Mall. In fact two of the malls here The Boca Town CEnter and The GArdens Mall are high end, leaving only The Boynton Beach Mall and Wellington for middle class. This would be a great addition since we are the masses. Broward has the opposite problem with The Galleria being the only luxury venue there, most flocking to Dade or Palm Beach for other high end malls.

    Contrary to what others may say, the Palm Beach Mall didn’t close because just decided it was time to move on. The Gardens Mall opened in 1988 and the PB Mall thrived another decade beyond it. The PB Mall was victim of abandonment. There was a lawsuit the Palm BEach Post reported on recently discussing the fact that Simon purposely let the mall fall into disrepair. One day in the mid 2000s Simon decided to simply stop making efforts to draw retailers and renew leases. They purposely let the mall fall into disrepair and one Simon official was quoted saying it was a cash drain and letting it go was best interest for the company.

    They could have made many efforts to save this shopping center but they opted to turn their backs, just like they recently did to fellow DeBartolo developed Crystal River Mall in Citrus County, FL. They almost began this process with the Boynton Beach Mall as they put it up for sale a couple of years ago, however they have suddenly started making vast improvements there as of late and have started to aggressively draw new retailers. As I understand it they have also decided to retain the Boynton Beach Mall as a property for now.

    This is the problem when a company gets as large as Simon.

  307. @Graham, I understand where you are comeing from. Let me try to give you a little insight on what’s been going on in the commercial real estate sector for a few years now. Real estate companies & the large ones in particular have been “prooning” there non-core assets while putting there funds in higher quality properties. Sometimes those assets are ones already owned or ones they aquire. Now on the ground you see the direct effect of what choices are made by these firms & at times it may not seme fare, but that’s the way it works in a nutshell.

    If you want to make the arguement that a property should be sold rather than left in disrepair, noone will bauk at that notion, but there are issues that we the public aren’t privy to what decisions are made & when they are made. I’m not justifying Simon’s actions by any means here, since a Simon owned mall near me The Galleria at White Plains in White Plains ny has been slowly failing in recent years. However this mall has had issues well before Simon baught it from Mills a few years ago.

  308. @SEAN,

    Yes and many of these malls Simon has were acquired from DeBartolo, something I wish would have never happened, as it isnt fair to those that live near these venues. As I said above, the Palm Beach Mall is an example, Crystal River Mall is an example, the Boynton Beach Mall came close to becoming an example of this. The Galleria in Fort Lauderdale also nearly died until Simon had sold it to its current owners which seem to have resurrected it.

    This leaves the Coral Square Mall and the Miami International Malls as the only ones that Simon hasent chosen to neglect yet. Dadeland, Aventura and Boca interestingly were not DeBartolo Malls so, and all three have grown to be destinations.

  309. @Graham, Contrast your last post with the following Simon malls…

    1. Roosevelt Field Garden City NY
    2. Phipps Plaza/ Lenox Square Atlanta
    3. The Westchester White Plains NY
    4. King of Prussia Plaza King of Prussia PA
    Circle Center & Keystone at the Crossing Indianapolis
    If you really want to talk about bad decisions by these real estate companies, remember when GGP baught Rouse in 2004? All the Wall Street watchers who were interviewed by CNBC & other media outlets all said it was a bad move that would end disasterously for GGP & we know the final result.

    One of the other issues I neglected in my prior post was the fact that there are hundreds of mid-tier malls like Boyton Beach across the country that have the same retailers & very little to seperate themselves in a crowded marketplace. Part of that is nameplate consolidation, but why should BBM be nearly the same as The Medows Mall in Las Vegas. It’s properties like these that mall opperators are trying to dump because they ALL see the writing on the bilboard.

  310. @SEAN,

    Yeah but most of them are doing okay. Westfield Broward, Westfield Westland, Southland Mall, Coral Square, Treasure Coast Square, Pembroke Lakes all continued to thrive in their communities. They arent destinations

    What i’ved noticed is even smaller malls that were popular in South Florida in the 60s and 70s were the ones that all died. Malls such as the Hollywood Mall, Twin City Mall, Cross County Mall, Delray Mall, Jupiter Mall, Boca Raton Mall, etc. The only one of this class to survive in its entirety was Coral Ridge in Fort Lauderdale.

    The mid level malls that died are Palm Beach Mall, Fashion Center at Plantation, Hollywood Fashion Center, Omni.

  311. @Graham, I remember as a preteen driving past Omni & noticing how flashy it was with all the glass, crome & steel. To me it looked so cool, but it didn’t last long despite the atached hotel of the same name & other hotels a block away. From what I was able to find out, it was poorly planned & at that time in greater Miami the mantra was build, build, build witch it was for decades without much forthaught.

    Fast foward to today, your seeing the same lack of planning by these mid-level malls that do serve their local communities as you say, but at some point they need to be able to offer something compelling such as a new cinema, new dining options, a standout anchor or something unique to get some atention. As of now for the most part that’s not happening & the sameness continues from mall to mall regardless who the owner is.

    My grandfather lived in North Miami Beach for years & he lived near one of those smallish malls that bit the dust in the 80s. It was known as Sky lake mall, same name as the neighborhood. It had an outdoor strip with Publix & Walgreens as well as an atached indoor section with small shops & restaurants.

  312. Different Worlds For Two Malls – Sun…/9704050208_1_aventura-mall-sixth-anch…Cached

    Wasn’t sure where to put this, but here is a link to a 1997 article relating to The Mall at 163rd Street wich was in transition at the time, & Aventura Mall that was expanding to the monster size that it is today.

  313. Been a while since I visited this site. Still no page on Boynton Beach Mall, so I’ll comment here.

    As Janine (I think) mentioned way upthread, now that PBM is gone, BBM is indeed the bottom level mall. Walking around a few days ago, I’ve noticed the Sears wing is about half vacant, with 2 or 3 closed spaces in a row at a stretch. Many of what is there are carbon copy urban boutiques. The vacancies lessen as one walks toward the Macy’s end, but there appears to be twice as many of those urban boutiques as before, including one where Build-A-Bear used to be (found that disturbing for some reason). The little cafe at the edge of the food court finally gave up and it’s now one of those tchotke shops. I still feel safe at this mall but it’s no longer anywhere I wish to be after dark. Thoughts? News?

    As for PBM, at least with JCPenney gone, whatever replaces it (assuming it doesn’t go bankrupt) can start fresh.

    @Sean: WPB is actually pretty large, I’ve had to be careful when accepting projects that I don’t end up far west of the turnpike. Cityplace itself is going thru a major transformation–lots of retail has been booted to make room for bars, restaurants, and “entertainment”. As of this writing, everything is in the process of being renovated, despite the bowling alley’s opening date being last fall. It’s still not close to completion. I’m not optimistic. Other long mainstays such as Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Cheeburger Cheeburger, and Barnes & Noble have either been given notice to get out or in CC’s case, abruptly closed overnight. We’ll see what happens, especially with Clematis in yet another state of flux, but again, I’m not optimistic.

  314. This is probably the same Carole who gave me a rasher of you know what about how and why the Palm Beach Mall died. Well, now it is my turn. This pic IS NOTTTT THE STRIP MALL LOCATED AT THE CORNER OF 10TH AVE QAND CONGRESS. IT IS A 1960’S PICTURE OF THE PALM COAST MALL, LOCATED ON SOUTH DIXIE HIGHWAY, JUST NORTH OF THE LAKE WORTH BORDER, AND THE PALM BEACH SPILLWAY. THERE USED TO BE A PUBLIX, CINEMA 70 THEATRE, S AND S CAFETERIA, WOOLCO, LICHFIELD’S FARM HOUSE, AND JACKSON BYRONS LOCATED IN THE COMPLEX. In the late 1980’s, an investor group sank many millions to “revamp” this dying strip mall, and now the result is, just like the palm beach mall, a place no one wants to be at after dark, due to the same element I discussed way back on a thread a year plus ago.GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT CAROLE NOT ONLY ABOUT PICS, BUT HOW CERTAIN GROUPS OF PEOPLE ACT WHEN THEY DEEM DYING MALLS TO BE THEIR TERRITORY.

  315. @Debbi,Glad to see a post from you, sorry I didn’t see it until now.

    I’m not totally surprised to here that City Place is in transition, although keeping Barns & Noble I think would be smart. A Yardhouse would do wonders there as hip bars/ restaurants draw in younger patrens.

    Something else regarding City Place caught my I not all that long ago. If you go to one of the real estate sites like & enter zip 33401 & search out condos & townhouses, what you’ll notice is The properties nearest CP are more afordable even if larger than average & better values per square foot than those further out. That is atipicle as compared to most places.

  316. @SEAN,

    I need to check that out further. The first place that turned up cost $8.9M, kind of out of my league, LOL. Still at least a year away from being able to afford a condo, alas. 🙁

    Keeping B&N would be smart but if the rumor I heard was true, Cityplace raised their rent and the bookstore told them to shove it. The first of the new bars, Tequila Joe’s, is supposed to have a soft opening this week. We’ll see. Still no word about the bowling alley.

    As for Yard House, there’s already Brewzzi, which is similar, no? They seem to do okay, though it’s been years since I’ve eaten there. Taverna Opa closed since my post; I’ve heard they’ve been having problems for a while. The Cityplace press release said they’re going to be replaced soon by “an exciting new concept”. Right.

    H&M is also supposed to open soon. Crossing my fingers on that one.

  317. @Debbi, $8.9 Million? Good grief, that is rediculous considering the location.

    What’s the latest with the outlet mall that was under construction at the PBM site. I haven’t come across any recent articles on the real estate sites I frequent.

    As for City Place it self, I’m a bit shocked they didn’t replace Publix with Whole Foods since the retail moves as of late are towards the trendy & not toward longterm stability. Ownership & management better be careful that the 30-year cycle in real estate doesn’t bight them early as is so common down there. I’ve sene the effects of that first hand when I visited as a child & teen & it wasn’t pritty.

  318. @SEAN,

    The outlet mall is progressing nicely. Here’s a recent article about their progress (Red Robin is coming! I’ve never eaten at one. 😀 )

    To update my last post, Tequila Cowboy (not Tequila Joe’s, my bad on that) has opened. Reaction I’ve been hearing is mixed. I’m not big on country music so no reason for me to go there. Revolutions is still “coming soon”, but in fairness, I have seen a good amount of progress on construction.

    Moe’s is supposed to be taking over where Field Of Greens (who moved to Clematis and doing very well) was. Nothing in the Cheeburger Cheeburger space yet. H&M will be opening where Pottery Barn/Williams-Sonoma was, this fall I believe. I think something did replace Taverna Opa but I’m not sure what.

    As for Whole Foods taking over from Publix…you’re not from Florida if you say that, are you? LOL Publix is king in Florida; they’ll never be booted for anyone unless Pubilx itself wants to move out, which is highly unlikely. Besides, Whole Foods is supposed to open in the PBO. (Side note: Never understood the hoopla about Whole Foods. Food costs twice as much as Publix and really not that much better.)

  319. @Debbi, No, not from Florida, but I do have family there. I figgure you aren’t originally from Florida either? LOL

    Thanks for the link to that article.

    BTW on the Publix front, they are truely king down there. It semes in the Miami area there’s a Publix every mile or so in spots especially around Bal Harbour/ Aventura on Collins Avenue or Biscayne Boulevard.

  320. @SEAN,

    LOL nope, born in Brooklyn, raised in Jersey. Touche. 🙂

    I should have added that particular Publix also does good business, despite being fairly cramped. There are properties nearby if Whole Foods really wants to set up (and WPB city brass will let them), but I don’t see it happening. Outside Cityplace, downtown WPB is really for the unique mom-and-pops.

    While Publix is indeed king, there is Winn-Dixie (usually in the poorer neighborhoods), Aldi (ditto), and Wal-Mart Supercenter. Oh, and a Foodtown on 45th Street for some reason.

    Don’t know if you’ve ever been in Publix, but if you have, there’s a reason they’re the #1 supermarket in Florida. Not as good as Wegman’s, but up there.

  321. I also wanted to give an update on Downtown At The Gardens, which we’ve discussed in the past.

    About a year ago, I went back there for the first time in over a year–and was absolutely shocked at what I found. The place has done a complete 180! Most of the abandoned restaurants have new tenants. No, the Italian restaurant I had the weird interview at never saw the light of day (something did finally go in there a couple months back but I can’t recall what), but everywhere else. Dirty Martini, which replaced The Strip House, in particular is constantly packed.

    A lot of this can be credited to the carousel in the middle of the area. A frozen yogurt shop and a small chain called A Latte Fun (think a Starbucks with childcare…yeah, I grab my coffee and leave ASAP) have bought in a lot of families. Management there also has many family-oriented events. I believe the vacancy rate is down to about 20-25% now, give or take.

    The independent cafe that replaced Starbucks didn’t last long and is now a Field Of Greens. They seem to do okay. You can’t tell it used to be a Starbucks.

    Johnny Rockets next to the movie theater is gone and been replaced by MJ’s Fresh.

    That’s about all I can recall offhand. There may be a chance I’ll have to go there next week. If I do. I’ll give a more detailed report.

  322. @Debbi, Yeah been to Publix, but it’s been over two decades. At that time I didn’t see them as anything special, but the grocery business has changed a lot since then. People are demanding more specialty products & this has allowed for growth in such chains as Wegmans, Whole Foods, Trader Joes & others. This plus Wal*mart has litterally put the squeeze on companies like Win Dixie.

  323. @Debbi, Nice update. Downtown at the Gardens is an example of a good idea that was poorly executed. I’ve sene places like that in the Miami area numerous times. Usually the cycle goes through the following steps, but at various speeds depending on the project…

    1. New center gets built with lots of fanfair.
    2. nearby centers lose tennents & customers & often fall flat.
    3. New center brings in trendy shops & restaurants.
    4. After a few years center falls into #2 as another center gets built & #3 open at the new property or just close do to lack of steady business.

    Rince & repeat.

    Give another update if you can on the Downtown at the Gardens.

  324. @Debbi, I just found this article on outlet malls, quite interesting since PBM is becoming one.

    Outlet malls booming in U.S.

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch

    As Amy Wittman sorted through merchandise in preparation for the opening of the St. Louis Premium Outlets, she noticed familiar stickers on some items.

    “It’s funny because as we’ve been putting stuff out, I recognize the labels we use for shoes,” said Wittman, the store director of the Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th store, who previously worked at the retailer’s full-line store at the upscale Plaza Frontenac in St. Louis. “Some of this stuff is from Frontenac.”

    She estimates that only about a quarter of her store’s merchandise, which is first sorted at a central warehouse for all outlet stores, comes from full-line department stores. Much of the rest comes directly from vendors who produce a line of goods specifically for outlet stores.

    As more outlet centers crop up across the country many shoppers have been wondering what exactly these stores sell. How much of it is clearance or slightly damaged goods from the full-price stores? How much of it is being made directly for outlets? And, of course, how good are the deals, really?

    Marshal Cohen, chief retail analyst for the NPD Group, said the outlet business started off decades ago as mostly a remnant business — selling leftovers and overruns in order to recoup costs and margins. But these days, more than 85 percent of the merchandise at outlet stores is designed and produced specifically for those stores.

    “It’s really now about building product just for this business,” he said.

    The made-for-outlet products are often similar to those at full-price stores, but they may have a lighter-weight fabric or may not have a lining, he said. In many cases, the lower-grade merchandise may be good enough for consumers who may not notice or care about the difference, he added.

    Carol Spieckerman, president of retail strategy firm Newmarketbuilders, said brands could sometimes make more profit from selling products dedicated to their outlet stores because they have discounts built into the quality of them and the stores are not as expensive to operate.

    She added that it’s no accident that it’s difficult to compare the prices between regular and outlet stores because they sell different merchandise. Brands have purposefully done so, especially as outlet centers have moved in near cities where they are closer to full-price stores.

    “Outlet stores aren’t necessarily wanting consumers to make direct comparisons,” she said. “Not only can that sully their brand, but they like the fact that it’s blurring the comparison.”

    To find the best deals in outlet stores, Cohen recommends going to the sales rack, keeping an eye out for clearance merchandise from full-line stores, and looking for higher-end products that might have a deeper discount. And a general rule of thumb, he said, is that the brands or retailers with fewer outlet stores tend to have the best deals.

    The savvy shopper can definitely find some great deals at outlet stores, he added. But he said shoppers should also be aware that some retailers might sell the exact same merchandise in both venues — and in some cases a 75 percent off sale at a full-price store can be a better deal than you can find at the outlet.

    “There are some stores that offer deals at outlets that aren’t any better than a regular store on any given day,” he said.

    No matter where the merchandise originates, there’s no denying outlet malls are popular.

    The two new centers in Chesterfield, Mo., are among nine new outlet malls going up in North America this year, according to Value Retail News, which tracks the outlet mall industry.

    We’re in the midst of the biggest boom in outlet mall development since the mid-1990s, and the trend is poised to continue, said Linda Humphers, editor of that publication. “There is a lot of pent-up demand,” she said. “I think next year we’ll have another eight to nine open.”

    Meanwhile, there’s been only one full-price traditional shopping mall built in the U.S. since 2006, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers.

    Much of the recent growth in the outlet sector stems from the recession, which sent many value-seeking and aspirational shoppers — those who can’t necessarily afford designer prices, but want to wear those brands — to outlet malls.

    Much of the recent growth in sales and profit among higher-end brands and department stores has been coming from the outlet segment, said Wendy Liebmann, chief executive of WSL Strategic Retail. Mall developers are also looking to outlet malls for growth as opportunities for new traditional malls have dried up amid a saturated market with too many stores and not enough traffic.

    “So I think we are going to see more outlet malls for the time being and will see more shrinkage of traditional malls,” she said.

    The rise of outlet malls, Spieckerman said, has led to a whole new breed of shopper: the outlet customer.

    “They are sport shoppers,” she said. “These customers are more loyal to outlet shopping than to the brands themselves.”

  325. @Debbi, I love Publix! Always find myself down there when I’m in Florida. The ones in Lake Buena Vista and Celebration can go head-to-head with Wegman’s! Friends and family from Florida showed me the Publix commericals – some of the best in the business!

  326. @SEAN,

    Good article. Thank you for posting! It reminds me I’m missing nothing by not going to outlet stores, LOL.

    Of course these things are unpredictable, but if marketed right and security keeps an eye on things (very important for that area), PBO can be a huge success.

  327. @Debbi, You’re welcome.

    Right now Outlet malls are on developers radar just like lifestyle centers were five or six years ago, it’s just cyclicle. Like all development cycles, the building of outlet centers will fizzle out once there’s oversaturation & developers cant make enough money to remain viable. Most of the national developers such as Simon, Macerich, GGP, Westfield & Taubman could withstand oversaturation, but smaller developers will have a tougher road ahead. I say most because GGP as big as they are, they are still on somewhat shaky finantial ground even after coming out of bankruptsy.

    I was aware of nearly everything this article mentioned thanks to my perrents who are astute shoppers & taught me all these tricks of the trade.

  328. @SEAN,

    I know around here outlet malls aren’t oversaturated yet. If there’s anything Palm Beach County would need retail-wise, it’s an outlet mall. The comments on those articles are correct that the nearest one is in Sawgrass, which is about an hour away plus tolls to consider.

    I wonder why all the new construction when I see practically whole strip malls with vacancies–I can think of at least two offhand in this condition–but so goes the way of retail, eh?

    When the new center opens, I hope they bring back George’s Music. I miss where it was.

  329. @Debbi,

    I wonder why all the new construction when I see practically whole strip malls with vacancies–I can think of at least two offhand in this condition–but so goes the way of retail, eh?

    That’s just the way it is down there Debbi, & there are a series of stages that retail goes through. I’ll repost them from a few comments above for your benefit.

    Usually the cycle goes through the following steps, but at various speeds depending on the project…

    1. New center gets built with lots of fanfair.
    2. nearby centers lose tennents & customers & often fall flat.
    3. New center brings in trendy shops & restaurants.
    4. After a few years center falls into #2 as another center gets built & #3 open at the new property or just close do to lack of steady business.

    Rince & repeat.

    I’ve sene this first hand in the 1980’s, it was amazing to see a center go from hot to dead so quickly since in the northeast events like that are quite rare.

  330. @SEAN,

    Yeah, I know it’s more common down here than in the northeast–though I am starting to see it happen with more frequency in the last decade. Freehold Raceway Mall could have been a possible victim of that if the planned community west on 33 would have come to fruition, but that’s another post for another forum. 🙂

  331. @Debbi, What community in Freehold are you refering to? FRM was an odity in that it nearly died out of the box even though malls were still being constructed through the 1990’s. If you look at it today, FRM has thrived for so long that the notion that it nearly failed just semes rediculous.

    There are a handfull of south Florida malls that come to mind that were built in the 70’s or 80’s that are thriving even today. Malls such as The Falls, Dadeland, Boca TC, Bal Harbour & Aventura have all continued to grow over the decades especially the latter three. There’s also been an aditional open air mixed use center built called The Village at Merrick Park in Coral Gables that includes retail, housing & office spaces that’s also done well despite being newer than the others. Anchors include Neiman Marcus & Nordstrom.

  332. @SEAN, Debbi is referring to the lifestyle/residential development that was supposed to be built on Route 33 in Manalapan.

    And in my usual area of Florida, Altamonte Mall has survoved and thrived, and so has Westshore Plaza in Tampa.

  333. @mallguy, Thanks Mallguy, I wasn’t aware of that.

    Amazing how Westshore Plaza can coexist with International Plaza being so close. I guess there were a few cues taken from Aventura Mall & Bal Harbour Shops. After all AM & BHS have coexisted for three decades & both malls are amung the highest grossing properties in the US on total sales as welll as sales per square foot.

  334. For the Walgreen’s closed in 2002 later a Candy store/Dollar store other Walgreens closest 2 of them was built in 1999 locally

  335. The Target across which was a former Richway was rebuilt in 2008/9 , there is also a Best Buy which opened in 1995

  336. @Jonah Norason, Aventura is in the Miami area, about 1.5 hours to the south of West Palm Beach. Many nice malls are in between, from Boynton Beach to Boca Raton to Fort Lauderdale and Sunrise.

    Crime and the perception of the type of shopper the Palm Beach Mall began receiving, plus the success of new malls in suburban Wellington (west), to the north in Palm Beach Gardens and Jensen Beach, and just to the south in Boynton Beach and Boca Raton, killed the Palm Beach Mall.

    JCPenny held on until the end, vowing to stay and become part of the completely new Palm Beach Outlets on that still great site, but it, too, closed.

    The Palm Beach Outlets is very large and by the looks of it, very successful with just about every major brand one can imagine.

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