The Green Acres Mall is a large, old shopping mall located just barely outside of New York city limits on Sunrise Highway in Valley Stream, a Long Island suburb. At 1,635,000 square feet, it’s one of the largest malls on Long Island, and also the second oldest, after Roosevelt Field.
Some of the most popular malls on this site have been in the tri-state area, so rather than keep you waiting, I’m offering up another:
Green acres is the place for me.
Farm livin’ is the life for me.
Land spreadin’ out so far and wide
Keep Manhattan, just give me that countryside.
The Green Acres Mall is a large, old shopping mall located just barely outside of New York city limits on Sunrise Highway in Valley Stream, a Long Island suburb. At 1,635,000 square feet, it’s one of the largest malls on Long Island, and also the second oldest, after Roosevelt Field.
The Green Acres Mall was developed by the New York-based Chanin corporation, and first opened in 1956 replacing Curtiss Airfield, and was one of the first suburban shopping centers in the New York metropolitan area. The mall’s name is somewhat indicative of the post-war optimism of the time; it was an era when this area’s population was rapidly exploding, and it was necessary to provide more out-of-town shopping options to the sprawling Levittowns of Long Island. A four-level, 266,000 square-foot Gimbel’s (the westernmost anchor) was the only initial anchor to the center, but a Lane’s opened at the mall’s east end four years later. JCPenney also opened a smaller inline store at the mall’s center court at some point, and they remain in this location to today. In 1967, a 320,000 square-foot Alexander’s department store opened in the front of (but apparently not connected to) the mall. Initially, the center was open air, but in 1968 the entire center was enclosed, as was the trend at the time.
The original center was a more basic dumbell design. but a 3 level expansion and renovation in 1983 added the wing closest to Sunrise Highway along with a new Sears store. A brand new food court was added to this wing at some point as well, though I have my doubts it was right in the original 1983 expansion. In 1986, the Gimbel’s store became an Abraham & Straus (and here’s a GREAT photo of it), which would remain until 1995 when the nameplate was retired in favor of Macy’s. The Lane’s store, at the mall’s east end, would be home to many different nameplates over the years. The store became a Love’s in the late 1960s, before becoming an S. Klein for ten years or so. EJ Korvette’s then replaced the S. Klein store, which in the 1980s became a location for Queens-based Gertz before being rebranded as a Stern’s. Stern’s lasted until 2001, before becoming half of the Macy’s location at the mall, which it remains until now. The Alexander’s store closed in 1992 and was completely demolished, and replaced somewhat nearby by a Caldor store, which, well, geez, that didn’t work out so well either. Gone by 1999. It’s a Target now.
In 2003, a Walmart opened in a strip center on the mall’s outlots, replacing an old Kmart store. Although this wouldn’t normally be big news, this particular Walmart was the site of a major news story in fall of 2008, when a Walmart employee was trampled to death by a mob obsessed with Black Friday bargains.
The mall was again renovated in 2006-2007 to remove a lot of the neon accoutrements left over from the 1983 re-do: our two sets of photos date from 2001 (I think) and 2007, so before and after this most recent remodel. I’ll let you guess which is which because let’s be honest, it’s not that hard.
Despite all of the changes to Green Acres Mall over years, it has remained successful. It’s still one of the largest/only malls serving the adjacent part of Queens, and it is a vital shopping destination for the older inner ring suburbs not far from JFK Airport. Even though it seems the demographics have evolved over the years–from the post-war GI Bill-driven veteran sprawl to a plethora of ethnic and racial groups that shop at the mall today–it seems to be largely similar, serving a large middle income audience in the older suburbs of this part of New York.
The mall’s anchors today are Macy’s (two stores), JCPenney, Sears, and Kohls.
We round out our Rochester features with the region’s newest mall, Irondequoit Mall. Opened in 1990, Irondequoit Mall was located in Rochester’s northeast suburb of the same name, Irondequoit, a town of 50,000 residents located immediately northeast of the city. When it opened, Irondequoit Mall had three anchors: Sears, JCPenney, and Pittsburgh-based Kaufmann’s. The Kaufmann’s was originally slated to be Rochester-based department store Sibley’s, but May Company decided to consolidate their nameplates and ousted Sibley’s in favor of regional brand Kaufmann’s. This switch took place during Irondequoit Mall’s construction. (Is this correct? A couple sources say that Sibley’s acutally opened here very briefly.)
We round out our Rochester features with the region’s newest mall, Irondequoit Mall. Opened in 1990, Irondequoit Mall was located in Rochester’s northeast suburb of the same name, Irondequoit, a town of 50,000 residents located immediately northeast of the city.
When it opened, Irondequoit Mall had three anchors: Sears, JCPenney, and Pittsburgh-based Kaufmann’s. The Kaufmann’s was originally slated to be Rochester-based department store Sibley’s, but May Company decided to consolidate their nameplates and ousted Sibley’s in favor of regional brand Kaufmann’s. This switch took place during Irondequoit Mall’s construction. (Is this correct? A couple sources say that Sibley’s acutally opened here very briefly.)
Irondequoit Mall’s design was a modified U shape, with Kaufmann’s as the west anchor, JCPenney in the middle, and Sears on the north end. The mall was two level, had two main courts, and contained space for 125 stores. The food court was located on the upper level of the mall, in a court formed by the intersection of 3 hallways. JCPenney had the best access of any of the anchor stores, having two exits into the mall: one at center court, and one to a hallway leading directly to the food court. A scanned directory of the mall is located here.
Irondequoit Mall was built by Rochester-based retail developer Wilmorite, the same firm that developed three other malls in the Rochester market: Greece Towne Mall in Greece (1967), Eastview Mall in Victor (1971), and Marketplace Mall in Henrietta (1982). Irondequoit Mall was built in 1990 to complete a geographic trapezoid of sorts consisting of malls around the perimiter of the Rochester area, with downtown stalwart Midtown Plaza at the apex.
While only 2 miles from downtown Rochester, Irondequoit Mall was built with the intention to draw shoppers from middle and upper-middle suburban areas north and east of the city, like Irondequoit, Webster, East Rochester, Pittsford and Fairport. Instead, Irondequoit Mall failed and ultimately succumbed to an unintended set of circumstances. However, its story is interesting and still in progress, and definitely worth sharing.
Irondequoit Mall enjoyed early success in its first years and even embarked on an expansion in 1993, adding Rochester-based McCurdy’s as a fourth anchor. This store didn’t last very long, however, and was replaced with Bon Ton in 1994. May Company, which already owned the Kaufmann’s anchor in the mall, purchased the McCurdy’s chain and didn’t want to operate two stores in the same mall, so they divested McCurdy’s to Bon Ton.
The biggest changes for Irondequoit Mall came after 1995, and didn’t even occur there at all. That year, two other Rochester-area malls expanded dramatically. Eastview Mall, located 15 miles away in Victor, added two anchors and upscaled to become the Rochester area’s best mall. Greece Ridge Mall, located 7 miles away in Greece, was a new mall created that year by sewing together 2 smaller adjacent malls, Long Ridge Mall and Greece Towne Center. Ironically, both of these projects were Wilmorite’s, the same company that built Irondequoit Mall only 5 years earlier. The competition from these two expansions, combined with a perception of crime and dab of racism, would soon slide Irondequoit Mall into obsolescence.
During the mid-90s, about the same time Eastview expanded and Greece Ridge opened, Rochester’s inner-city mall, Midtown Plaza, began to die. Shoppers who used to go downtown began to shift their preferences toward suburban malls, and Irondequoit Mall was the closest mall to most of the city of Rochester. Many residents of the city of Rochester, especially the area closest to Irondequoit Mall, are low income and minority. In typical ‘white flight’ fashion, the more affluent suburban shoppers Irondequoit Mall so desperately wished to court began to avoid the mall, citing a perception of crime that ironically wasn’t really there. A whisper campaign about the mall and its shoppers began among the sheltered, white suburbanites in eastern Monroe County, despite the fact that the perception of crime was mostly untrue, blown wildly out of proportion.
With the writing on the wall, Irondequoit Mall quickly began to lose retailers. After the Eastview expansion was complete, shoppers in Fairport, Pittsford, and East Rochester had no reason to go up to Irondequoit at all. Eastview was much better, and much closer to them. In fact, Eastview quickly became super-regional, drawing shoppers from not only its home trade area, but from beyond the region as well. Other Rochester malls retained shoppers for other reasons. Greece Ridge held on mostly due to largesse and a unique mix of big box and traditional anchors, and Marketplace Mall’s success hinged on its location near Rochester’s undergraduate population of over 50,000 students.
By 2000, Irondequoit Mall was only 10 years old and already in dire straits. The beautiful, modern, glassy two-level mall began to lose national chain stores, first at a trickle and then as a flood.
The first anchor to leave the mall was JCPenney in 2003, but by this time the mall’s staggering 20 percent occupancy rate made it already a lost cause.
Rumors even began to surface about a new mall to be constructed in Webster, the next town east of Irondequoit. This would have certainly been a terrible idea, but I guess the idea was to keep the minority riff-raff from the city of Rochester out of the mix in order to retain wealthy white shoppers. Not cool, but at least it never happened.
In 2005, Wilmorite finally threw in the towel on their dwindling investment and put Irondequoit Mall up for sale. Their divestiture of Irondequoit was tantamount to an admission of failure, as their own efforts expanding Eastview and building Greece Ridge were probably the biggest reasons Irondequoit failed, combined with changing shopper demographics and a misinformed perception of crime due to racism.
That same year, Adam Bersin, a Syracuse developer, purchased Irondequoit Mall for just $5 million and a wheelbarrow of tax incentives from the town of Irondequoit, whose coffers had been dry ever since the mall went downhill. Bersin re-christened the mall with a new name, Medley Centre, and new promises, along with a new logo indicating the mall was “New York’s Shopping Spree”.
One of Bersin’s first changes was to install an anchor to the former JCPenney space, which he did by attracting fast-expanding fly-by-night retailer Steve and Barrys, a warehouse of cut-rate, low-quality clothing, which opened in 2005.
In 2006, Bersin brought a large-scale Halloween event to Medley Centre, which attracted a healthy crowd and filled an entire wing of the mall, but who knows how many of them stayed to shop in the mostly empty mall. On October 8, 2006, Target opened outside in the mall’s parking lot, but it isn’t clear if Target helped the mall or just ciphoned from it, driving it even more into the ground. If Target had opened IN the mall where Steve and Barry’s was, using the former JCPenney anchor, it might have helped more. That fall, another anchor change occurred as Kaufmann’s became Macy’s when Macy’s parent, Federated, purchased Kaufmann’s parent, May, and consolidated all of the regional nameplates under the Macy’s banner.
Despite the small victories in landing Target and Steve and Barry’s, Bersin’s tenure as Medley Centre’s owner wasn’t very successful overall. Mall directories were woefully out of date, still displaying advertisements that were several years old and listing stores that had long departed; however, some progress occurred in the right direction, as the mall’s upkeep became visible through rebuilt entrances, healthy plants, cosmetic repairs, and general maintenance. Bersin also expanded the MedleyKids soft play area, so that it encompassed a huge space in the mall’s western court, underneath the food court.
Mall occupancy, however, remained woefully low. Most of the chain stores left, leaving a weird, eclectic mix of mom-and-pop stores and non-retail entities. Some of the parcels in the mall were given over to a dog obedience school, an english-as-a-second-language institute, a summer camp, and a town meeting space. One former store became home to a model train track, and another store was used as a combination travel agency and security guard training school. So, after you were done riding the HO-scale rails, you could be sure you were extremely safe while planning your trip to Cancun.
Along with the cosmetic updates at Medley Centre, Bersin made a controversial decision regarding the mall’s patrons, issuing a divisive edict regarding who was welcome there. Signs were posted throughout the mall, especially near the food court area, indicating that cards and chess games were prohibited, which was considered a low blow by many. I saw the signs when I visited the mall in December 2007, and was puzzled by them, especially considering there wasn’t anybody in the large food court area at all.
Here’s a photo of the rules. These were posted throughout the mall.
Ever since the mall opened, the food court had been a gathering place for local seniors, who regularly got breakfast and loitered in the mall, using it as a social gathering place to chat and play games. Bersin’s new rules removed them in order to establish a “family-friendly” atmosphere in the mall. They asserted the group of seniors, who played games and socialized, actively discouraged others from being there, which I find patently ridiculous. The new rules created deep-seated resentment from a large customer base, and was probably not the greatest decision. Who’s to say these seniors didn’t also shop at the mall? I’m sure many patronized at least Sears and Bon Ton? Seniors are a strange group to alienate, considering their loyalty and purchasing power, and the grapevine effect probably alienated more people than Bersin expected. Also, what if some of the food court vendors relied upon this group for breakfast or lunch revenues?
In addition to alienating seniors, mall security also became more vigilant against groups of kids in the mall, banning those who frequently loitered and were seen as a nuisance to regular shoppers. Mall walkers were still welcome, because they weren’t seen as intrusive to shoppers. What shoppers? Many saw these measures as extreme and unnecessary, and questioned whether they would further harm the mall rather than help it.
I agree with policing groups of minors who get out of hand, and this is a big problem at every mall, but ousting seniors from their regular breakfast gathering spot seems brutal and short-sighted. Seeing a completely empty food court and empty corridors is certainly less inviting than an active mall with people conversing and enjoying each other, even if they aren’t necessarily buying. To me, an active mall is a continuous feedback loop of success, and welcoming benign groups such as seniors promotes more activity. Rather than discouraging people from coming, management should have become more creative and proactive in seeking better marketing solutions to reach these people. At the very least, the presence of people in a mall makes it more welcoming and encourages visiting longer, while an empty mall is creepy and alarming. Malls should tread lightly on restricting access to benign social gathering, and realize that their role as a social place mostly helps, rather than harms.
Check out these ads in the mall that I photographed in December 2007. Keep in mind the mall had changed its name in 2005 from Irondequoit Mall to Medley Centre.
In 2007, Medley Centre met even more challenges, with the departure of both anchor Bon Ton and also Adam Bersin as the mall’s owner. Bersin tacitly gave up on Medley Centre, and sold it to Scott Congel, a former developer from Syracuse’s Pyramid Companies, in March 2007. Congel paid $4.7 million for the mall, slightly less than the $5.4 million Bersin paid just two years prior. Pyramid is the Syracuse counterpart to Rochester’s Wilmorite, and has also developed malls throughout the northeast. Bersin initially remained to manage the property during the transitional phase of changing ownership, but has since left the project completely.
At first, Congel remained tight-lipped about his plans, or lack thereof, for Medley Centre, until rumors surfaced in April 2008 of a deal between the mall and Regal Cinemas. A Memorandum of Lease was filed with Monroe County on April 22 of that year, citing a lease agreement between the mall and Regal to develop a 66,000 square-foot 16-auditorium theater complex on two levels, using the former Bon Ton space. The document also leaked Congel’s longer-term plans for the site, indicating a mixed-use project consisting of retail, residential, restaurant, entertainment, office space, and other venues.
Congel’s plans were initially vague, though, and the vaguery led to questions. Would Congel demolish the mall as part of his master plan? What was the scope of the project? How did he expect to succeed with a mixed-use development in a mall that was the newest in town and already failed? Meanwhile, Steve and Barry’s departed the mall in May 2008, likely a decision made following a March 2008 visit by Steve and Barry themselves, who must have said something like “WTF? Why do we have a store here?” They promptly moved to a “better” location at a nearby strip mall, West Gates Shopping Center. Shortly thereafter, though, the entire Steve and Barry’s chain went out of business, so in the end their early departure was moot concerning the mall’s success.
In November 2008, Congel finally released more information regarding his plans to redevelop Medley Centre. The aforementioned Regal Cinemas would go where the former Bon Ton store was, along with 194,000 square feet of office space, a 421-room, 30-story hotel as the centerpiece of the development (wow!), 330 residential units, and 1.2 million square feet of retail and restaurant space.
In her response to the plan, Irondequoit Town Supervisor Mary Ellen Heyman called it “sketchy”, which we couldn’t have said any better. Why would 1.2 million square feet of retail and restaurant space succeed here? The problem this development doesn’t address is that Rochester massively overbuilt its retail options. The region isn’t in the Sun Belt – it’s not growing that fast, and the problem wasn’t with the structure. Built in 1990, it’s a bright, glassy, modern looking mall and one of the newest in the state of New York. Also, I’m not sure a 30-story hotel is needed here either, as most of the area’s hotels are clustered elsewhere, logically clustered near major businesses and the universities. Residential might work, but I really think that the developer is a little wide-eyed at the possibilites for the site, and should consider down-scaling to a neighborhood center rather than constructing something super-regional, which will ultimately just ciphon from other businesses in the area. On the taxpayers’ dime, no less.
Nonetheless, in March 2009, Congel received approval for tax abatement from Monroe County, which included the consent of the Town of Irondequoit and the East Irondequoit School District. After clearing regulatory hurdles, including changing the zoning for the site, Congel kicked the remaining 20 or so tenants out of the mall in January 2009, and sealed the mall. This left only Macy’s and Sears as the remaining tenants, and they remain open as of December 2010. The name of the mall was also changed in 2009 to signify its rebirth, from Medley Centre to Lake Ridge Centre. Apparently third time’s a charm.
With the redevelopment project ready to begin, the only problem became obtaining financing. Unfortunately, with the economic slowdown of recent, this proved to be extremely difficult, especially as banks are still relatively new to financing mixed-use developments and don’t quite have the process or metrics down to a science like they had for traditional businesses, like enclosed shopping malls.
Meanwhile, in November 2009, the Rochester Broadway Theatre League (RBTL) chose the mall’s redevelopment as a possible site for a new, 3,000 seat Broadway-style theatre. The new theater would have some on-street parking and a two-level parking garage adjacent to it, and would also include 6,000 square feet of rehearsal or meeting space and a smaller event space for up to 200 guests. Shortly after being elected, Irondequoit’s Supervisor-Elect Mary Joyce D’Aurizio initially vocalized dissent for the theatre’s location, hoping that it went to downtown Rochester in order to help that area sustain its own renaissance rather than locating it in the suburbs. However, within a few months she changed her tune, recanted those thoughts and expressed support of it being located in Irondequoit. Flip flop.
In April 2010, nothing was going on at the site, which at this point was becoming an eyesore, and Congel met with D’Aurizio to chat with her about repositioning some of the tenants in order to reduce remodeling costs, which will in turn make it easier to acquire financing to begin the project. Congel also had to reapply for demolition and other permits that he already purchased but had lapsed. Oops, but fair enough.
Then, during Summer 2010, the only major development regarding Lake Ridge Centre was a blow for it: the RBTL theater was awarded to the former Midtown Plaza in downtown Rochester. This was a boon for that development, though, and for downtown Rochester.
As of December 2010, no work has yet begun on the redevelopment, and the mall sits empty except for Sears and Macy’s, who are still open for business as usual. If that wasn’t bad enough, the only other recent news is also ominous. A lawsuit filed in 2009 by the snow removal contract company the mall hired to remove its snow (and Rochester gets a ton of snow) was settled a few days ago for almost $50,000, because the mall refused to pay the company. Oops again.
Even if Congel succeeds, and the development is ultimately a success, it will only steal business from elsewhere in the region. The retail development will cause a dearth at other malls, the hotel will take business from a hotel somewhere else, and the other businesses will steal from businesses elsewhere in town. Greater Rochester doesn’t need more retail. There are plenty of underused and dead shopping plazas littered across town, and Midtown Plaza, a large mall downtown, closed in 2008 after over 40 years in business. Rochester isn’t growing by any significant measure, so any new business is just going to steal from existing development. So what gives? The only people to benefit from this development are those involved in the development itself, and possibly the Town of Irondequoit if it can improve their tax base and add some jobs there. From a big-picture regional planning standpoint, it is only going to harm Rochester as a whole.
We visited Medley Centre in December 2007. Steve and Barry’s was still in business there, and the mall had about 25/125 stores, feeling very empty. Some interesting highlights included the fully-intact signage on many dead stores, and the McCurdy’s labelscar that appeared after the Bon Ton sign was removed. Check it out, and feel free to leave your own comments and experiences.
With 1.4 million square feet of retail space, The Mall at Greece Ridge is the largest shopping center in metro Rochester. Located in the suburb of Greece, about 8 miles northwest of downtown Rochester, Greece Ridge is a sprawling, Z-shaped one level mall, with 140 stores and restaurants and space for 16 anchors. Greece Ridge’s trajectory from a single Sears store to two separate enclosed malls, and finally to the monster it is today, is an interesting and unique story worth sharing.
With 1.4 million square feet of retail space, The Mall at Greece Ridge is the largest shopping center in metro Rochester. Located in the suburb of Greece, about 8 miles northwest of downtown Rochester, Greece Ridge is a sprawling, Z-shaped one level mall, with 140 stores and restaurants and space for 16 anchors. Greece Ridge’s trajectory, from a two separate enclosed malls to the monster it is today, is an interesting and unique story worth sharing.
In 1966, Rochester-based developer Wilmorite began construction on the first of its four enclosed regional malls in the area. Called Greece Towne Mall, it opened May 1, 1967, and was the second enclosed mall in all of greater Rochester after Midtown Plaza, which opened downtown in 1962. It was located at the corner of NY 104 (Ridge Road) and Long Pond Road, in Greece, New ork, a growing post-war suburb of Rochester.
Greece Towne Mall was anchored by a 2-level, 150,000 square-foot Rochester-based Sibley’s department store, National Clothing Company, and a Loblaw’s supermarket. Complementing the main anchors were juniors David’s apparel and G.C. Murphy.
Here’s a vintage shot of the Sibley’s store and the east side of the mall, courtesy Malls of America:
Greece Towne Mall was a small mall, even by 1969 standards. It was designed with a T-shaped corridor, and center court featured a faux water feature called Wonderfall, which consisted of a statue-like thing surrounded by shimmering red fabric (or lights?) meant to mimic flowing water coming from the ceiling. To me, it looks like an elaborately hideous trophy being protected by lasers so it doesn’t get stolen, but you can use your imagination. It’s gone now, because it was apparently too cool to be there, but here’s a photo of it courtesy vintageviews.org:
Here’s what they have there now. The holiday decor is nice, but I imagine this is soulless and boring the rest of the year. At least it’s better than a blank tile floor.
And, just for fun, here’s a vintage shot of the north court at Greece Towne, from Malls of America:
And here’s a similar shot below in 2007 from a little ways down the same corridor, looking the same direction. The flowers-on-poles statement (is it a fountain? art?) that was there before is gone, and has been replaced by nothing. Just an empty tile floor. Whatever it was, it was pretty cool. Seriously. This is why people hate malls now. /endrant
Just as Wilmorite was busy dedicating Greece Towne Mall in 1969, McCurdy’s, another venerable Rochester-based department store, decided to also join the party in Greece by opening a 2-level, 116,000 square-foot free-standing store to the north of Sears, on October 2, 1969.
Next, McCurdy’s went a step further and decided to build an enclosed mall of its own, entirely separate from and directly adjacent to Greece Towne Mall. Right next to the already-open Greece Towne Mall, McCurdy’s built Long Ridge Mall, named after the adjacent intersection of Ridge Road (NY 104) and Long Pond Road, to connect their new McCurdy’s store to a Sears.
Some confusion here: I’ve now seen or heard four different dates the Sears supposedly opened. Wikipedia, mall-hall-of-fame, and others have said Sears opened as a stand-alone store predating both malls in 1959, while others have said Sears opened around the time Long Ridge Mall opened in 1971. I called the store myself and was told that it opened in 1967. What’s the right answer? See the thread in the comments for more details.
Long Ridge Mall opened in 1971, connecting Sears and McCurdy’s with a corridor of in-line stores between them. Long Ridge Mall also featured a 2-level, 123,000 square-foot J.B. Hunter discount store near the middle of the mall, along with Rochester-based B. Forman and Woolworth’s as junior anchors. Long Ridge was also significantly larger than its neighbor Greece Towne.
J.B. Hunter didn’t last long at Long Ridge Mall. In 1973, the retailer went out of business; however, it was swiftly replaced with Rochester’s first full-line JCPenney.
During the 1980s, the two adjacent Grecian malls competed with each other, and with metro Rochester’s other malls for shopper dollars and loyalty: Midtown Plaza, which opened in 1962 in downtown Rochester; Eastview Mall, which opened in 1971 in southeast-suburban Victor; and Marketplace Mall, which opened in 1982 in south-suburban Henrietta and became the area’s largest mall as soon as it debuted.
Greece Towne Mall also expanded in the 1980s, adding 10 more stores to the south end of the mall, giving it a cross shape. A 1-level 110,000 square-foot Gold Circle discount store, which was short-lived, was also added in the expansion. The Gold Circle chain was sold and dismantled in 1988, and the Greece Towne location became discounter Hills, and later on Caldor. In addition, a London Fog store (?) also operated as a mini-anchor at Greece Towne Mall, before closing and being split into Marshall’s and Michael’s in the late 1990s.
During the 1990s, both anchor changes and a major expansion would transform both Long Ridge Mall and Greece Towne Mall into the behemoth that exists today. In addition, Wilmorite brought a new mall, Irondequoit Mall, to Rochester’s retail scene in 1990, and expansion efforts transformed the average Eastview Mall across town into an upscale super-regional mega-mall seemingly overnight in 1995.
In 1990, the first of many anchor changes occurred at the two malls, when Sibley’s at Greece Towne Mall became Pittsburgh-based Kaufmann’s after May bought Sibley’s in 1986 and decided to consolidate nameplates 4 years later.
Sometime in the early 1990s, Wilmorite, which already owned Greece Towne Mall, acquired neighboring Long Ridge Mall with big plans in mind. In 1993, Wilmorite began constructing an enclosed corridor connecting the two malls, creating the largest mall in Rochester in the process. Opened in 1994, the new construction added over 50 stores and restaurants, including a 9-bay food court and a new 2-level, 164,000 square-foot JCPenney. The older malls were also extensively renovated to match, as best they could, the decor of the newer connection.
As part of the renovation, many works of public art in Long Ridge Mall were needlessly destroyed. For many years, Long Ridge Mall was home to over 40 works of public art on permanent display, designed by the mall’s architect, David William Bermant. These included a large kinetic ball sculpture and others, and most of these were thrown in the trash by Wilmorite when they gave the mall a uniform look. I’m not sure how this beats this? I would much rather shop, and linger, in the latter.
Many other changes came along with connecting Greece Towne Mall to Long Ridge Mall, the first of which being the mall’s name. Both of the old malls’ names were scrapped, and a new name was chosen: The Mall at Greece Ridge Center.
Second, many anchor changes took place around the time the malls were sewn together. The old JCPenney was subdivided between Burlington Coat Factory on the upper level, and Boston-based Lechmere on the lower level. Woolworth’s also closed around this time, and was replaced by Pittsburgh-based Dick’s Sporting Goods. B. Forman and Loblaw’s closed too, and McCurdy’s was rebranded as Pittsburgh-based Kaufmann’s. Kaufmann’s parent May bought McCurdy’s, and due to antitrust issues, Kaufmann’s was not allowed to rebrand both Sibley’s and McCurdy’s stores as May plates, so May chose to move Kaufmann’s from the old Sibley’s store in Greece Towne Mall to the better location in the former McCurdy’s. Bon Ton moved into the old Sibley’s store, and operates there to this day.
Other big box anchors opened at Greece Ridge in the mid- to late-1990s, while a couple closed. They included Michael’s (1999), Marshall’s (?), Bed Bath & Beyond (1998), and Circuit City (1998) in the former Greece Towne Mall wing, and Dick’s Sporting Goods (1994), Kaufmann’s Home Store (1998), Barnes & Noble (?), and Old Navy (1994) in the former Long Ridge Mall wing. About the same time all of these stores opened, Caldor closed, and was replaced by a new Hoyt’s 12-plex movie theater in 1999. Lechmere closed too, in 1997.
The presence of all these box stores as anchors is an innovative way to use up space in a mall that is probably too big to effectively and successfully use the same space for smaller in-line shops. However, the former Greece Towne Mall corridors feel a bit barren due to the facades of the box stores, and the overall tone of the mall changes quite a bit between the barren, darker former Greece Towne Mall section and the newer, vervier 1994-95 addition.
The 2000s have been tantamount to success at Greece Ridge. In late 2000, a stand-alone 124,000 square-foot Target was added in the parking lot near Sears, and is considered part of the mall complex. In 2005, Burlington Coat Factory swapped space with the former Lechmere store, which had been located beneath it and was vacant since its closure in 1997. Also in 2005, Macerich acquired Wilmorite and the mall dropped the word ‘Center’ from its name.
An anchor change took place in 2006, as both Kaufmann’s and Kaufmann’s Home Store got eaten by Macy’s after May Company was sold to Macy’s parent, Federated, who consolidated all of the former May banners to Macy’s. Finally, Circuit City, in the former Greece Towne wing of the mall, closed in 2009 when that chain flopped.
Today, Greece Ridge is a successful top-tier mall, and is both the largest and second best mall in the Rochester region, after Eastview. With three traditional anchors and many box store anchors, Greece Ridge is able to hold on to its size and still be successful. Without the box anchors, there would probably be too much space in the mall to fill, but having them both creates traffic and uses up space.
I visited Greece Ridge in December 2007 and took the pictures featured here, obviously sans the vintage ones that were taken before I was born. I really liked the franken-mall feel of this one, and even despite efforts to make the center uniform, there are definitely three separate tones the mall takes as you go through the long and winding corridors. The middle of the mall definitely feels (and is) newest, and is the vervey heart and soul of the mall. The design is very typical of modern Wilmorite, with the A-frame and skylight over the middle of the corridor, and the ancillary design accoutrements like the hidden mickeys and lighted archways. And, while the ancillary wings aren’t dead, the presence of many box stores leave some areas feeling a bit barren, especially in the old Greece Towne wing. As usual, feel free to leave your own comments, reactions, and experiences.
Metro Rochester’s fourth mall opened in 1971 near the intersection of Interstate 90 / NY Thruway and NY Route 96. Located 15 miles southeast of downtown in suburban Victor, Eastview Mall was developed by Rochester-based mall- maker Wilmorite, the same firm responsible for developing many of the region’s other centers. Eastview Mall was much smaller than the behemoth that stands today, and was originally anchored by Rochester-based Sibley’s department store and Sears, in a simple dumbbell configuration connecting the two anchors containing 80 in-line stores.
The first of several expansions at Eastview took place in 1973 as Rochester-based McCurdy’s department store was added as a third anchor, along with a 15-store expansion and a new west wing. With 95 stores, Eastview was the Rochester area’s largest mall until 1982, when The Marketplace Mall opened in south-suburban Henrietta. Eastview was also larger than Rochester’s other extant malls: Midtown Plaza, which opened in 1962, Greece Towne Mall, which opened in 1967, and Long Ridge Mall, which opened in 1972.
During the 1990s, anchor changes as well as major renovations and expansions changed the face of retailing in greater Rochester. In 1990, Wilmorite constructed a fifth mall in the region, Irondequoit Mall, located in northeast-suburban Irondequoit, about 2 miles from downtown Rochester. Irondequoit enjoyed a modicum of success during the 1990s, but quickly fell out of favor due to increased competition, an unfavorable location, and a perception of crime. By the year 2000, Irondequoit Mall was not a threat to the remaining retail centers, and the center closed in 2009.
Also in 1990, an anchor change took place at Eastview. Sibley’s became Pittsburgh-based Kaufmann’s after May Company, Kaufmann’s parent, purchased Sibley’s in 1986 and decided to consolidate nameplates.
In 1994, another anchor change took place at Eastview, as May Company also acquired McCurdy’s. However, due to an antitrust settlement, May could not convert the McCurdy’s stores to Kaufmann’s as they had done with Sibley’s, and instead divested them to Bon Ton. The store remains Bon Ton today.
Also in 1994, adjacent crosstown rival malls Greece Towne Mall and Long Ridge Mall combined, creating a massive mall called The Mall at Greece Ridge Center with 1.6 million square feet of retail space, and Eastview embarked upon a massive expansion and renovation of its own. Eastview added 62 additional stores and a food court, along with two new anchors: a 147,000 square-foot 2 story JCPenney, and Lord and Taylor. This expansion, which was complete in 1995, gave Eastview Mall over 1 million square feet of retail space, and, although Greece Ridge became the largest mall in Rochester following its expansion, Eastview cornered an upscale niche and became the area’s most popular mall.
The expansion also gave Eastview a unique and interesting layout, giving shoppers the option of completing an indoor square rather than traversing a linear route. Also, Bon Ton opened a second mall entrance right next to the first one, due to being located at the crux of two hallways after the expansion. In addition, ancillary strip began popping up near Eastview, with several plazas popping up nearby.
In 2003, Wilmorite expanded Eastview again, adding a 62,000-foot outdoor ‘lifestyle’ expansion to the mall’s main entrance along NY 96, containing 8-10 additional stores and restaurants. Like many ‘lifestyle’ expansions, this addition to the mall was stocked with upscale womens clothing retailers and ‘destinational’ restaurants, like PF Chang and Biaggi’s, as well as upscale home outfitter Pottery Barn.
After the most recent expansion, Eastview Mall has over 1.3 million square feet of retail space, 5 department stores, and over 180 specialty stores and restaurants. More than 30 stores at Eastview are unique to the Rochester market, such as Apple, giving Eastview the best and most upscale store selection of any mall in the Rochester area.
The current incarnation of Eastview Mall proves the Field of Dreams theory on retail development, which I just invented: If you build it, shoppers will come. Eastview is, by far, the most distant mall in the Rochester area to the center of population; yet in contrast, it is the most popular mall in terms of selection. Also, according to Eastview’s Wikipedia entry, people frequently go to Eastview when visiting the nearby Finger Lakes region, a tourist region of upstate New York located a short distance south of the mall. Because of its wide draw, Eastview is the Rochester area’s only true super-regional mall.
We visited Eastview Mall in December 2007 and took the pictures featured here. Leave comments regarding your own experiences and stories.
Marketplace Mall, located 3 miles south of downtown Rochester in the suburb of Henrietta, opened on October 7, 1982. Originally anchored by Rochester-based Sibley’s, McCurdy’s, and B. Forman, and complemented by national retailer Sears, Marketplace is home to 140 specialty stores and was, for many years, the largest mall in the Rochester area.
The Marketplace Mall, located 3 miles south of downtown Rochester in the suburb of Henrietta, opened on October 7, 1982. Originally anchored by Rochester-based Sibley’s, McCurdy’s, and B. Forman, and complemented by national retailer Sears, Marketplace is home to 140 specialty stores and was, for many years, the largest mall in the Rochester area.
The Marketplace Mall was developed by Wilmorite, a Rochester-based retail developer that developed all four of Rochester’s suburban malls. Wilmorite still owns and manages Marketplace, along with several other Rochester malls.
The Marketplace has expanded twice in its 28-year history. In 1983, JCPenney opened as the mall’s east anchor, and in 2001 a 2-story, 86,000 square-foot Galyan’s sporting goods store was added as the northwest anchor. The expansions brought the mall to 1.6 million square feet of retail space including the anchors, with 350,000 square feet of in-line retail.
The Marketplace Mall is located along one of the best and biggest retail corridors in metro Rochester. Nearly 5 million square feet of retail space is located within 2 miles of the mall, including many national big box chains and numerous strip malls.
Also, The Marketplace benefits from access to I-390, which is less than a quarter mile from the mall, while I-90 and the New York State Thruway are two miles away.
Several anchor changes have taken place at The Marketplace since it opened. Sibley’s was converted to Pittsburgh-based Kaufmann’s in 1990, and McCurdy’s became Bon Ton in the mid-1990s. B. Forman also closed before the chain folded, and in 2006, Kaufmann’s became Macy’s. Also, Galyan’s, which opened in 2001, was acquired by and converted to Dick’s in 2004.
Although The Marketplace opened as the largest mall in the Rochester region in the early 1980s, other malls have since given it competition through opening and expansion. In 1990, Irondequoit Mall opened as a brand new mall in Rochester’s northeast suburbs; however, its success was short-lived due to its location and perception of crime. It closed in 2009 pending future rejuvenation. In the mid-1990s, both Greece Ridge and Eastview Malls expanded dramatically, and Eastview expanded again in 2003, giving it market dominance and the best selection of stores in metro Rochester. In addition, a fifth metro Rochester mall located downtown, Midtown Plaza, closed in 2008 after years of struggles.
Today, The Marketplace Mall holds its own due its centralized location in Rochester, within reach of 50,000 college students, easy accessibility from freeways, and situation on one of the best retail strips around. However, despite a renovation of the center court in 2006, much of the mall appears somewhat dated in our 2007 photo set. Take a look at the JCPenney photo, featuring the fun angled wood facade, and also look at the flooring, which appears to have been put in sometime in the late 1980s or early 1990s.
We visited The Marketplace Mall in December 2007 and took the photos featured here, with the exception of the top photo above, which came from The Marketplace Mall’s own website. What do you think of the mall? Please leave your comments, experiences, and reactions on the comments page.
Sangertown Square, the only remaining enclosed shopping mall serving the Utica-Rome metropolitan area, opened in 1980 and today has around 70 stores and five anchor stores spread across 880,000 square feet, and it still sports a fair amount of its original late ’70s/early ’80s glory.
Utica, New York is a city along the historic Erie Canal corridor in upstate New York, between Albany and Syracuse. Utica’s population exploded during the Industrial Revolution and the first half of the 20th century as a manufacturing center for Textiles (and later radios) and a shipping center for coal. Like many rust belt cities, Utica went into steep decline in the latter half of the 20th century, seeing its population dwindle from a peak of just over 100,000 in 1960 to an estimated 58,000 today. In the last few decades, many locals have dubbed Utica “The City that God Forgot,” and for a time in the 1980s and early 1990s bumper stickers reading “Last One Out of Utica, Please Turn Out The Lights” became quite popular with local residents. Today Utica is one of the more forlorn of the cities in upstate or western New York, and suffers from a lack of industry, a harsh climate, and a poverty rate of nearly 25%.
In the meantime, many surrounding suburbs of Utica were experiencing population growth even as the population of the region was stagnant and the population of Utica was falling dramatically. During this time, there were two suburban shopping malls developed in the Utica area: On the north side was the now-demolished Riverside Mall (a smaller mall with about 400,000 square feet of space, anchored by Bradlees and Montgomery Ward), and the larger Sangertown Square in suburban New Hartford.
From the 70s through the 90s, the Pyramid Companies developed a string of malls in upstate New York, Massachusetts, and adjacent regions. Many of them bore strong similarities to one another in design and decor, depending on when they were opened. Sangertown Square was one of these malls. The center opened in 1980 and today has around 70 stores and five anchor stores spread across 880,000 square feet, but it still sports a fair amount of its original late ’70s/early ’80s glory.
Sangertown Square is primarily organized in a “+” shape, with anchors at the ends of each hallway. The mall’s center court is probably its most unique feature; designed to mirror the look and feel of a traditional “main street,” the large plaza is designed with fake two-level facades and upper floor windows. Since Pyramid tended to “re-use” their mall designs a few times before moving on, the closest cousin to this “Main Street” configuration is in the Hampshire Mall in Hadley, Massachusetts, which was given the same treatment (and is similarly still intact today).
Sears, JCPenney, Hess’s, and Bradlees were the mall’s original four tenants upon opening in 1980. Hess’s closed in 1994 and their store was demolished to make room for a Kaufmann’s store (which became Macy’s in 2006). Bradlees shut their store with the entire chain in 2001, and that store was also demolished to make room for a new Target store. These four anchors, along with more recent addition Dick’s Sporting Goods, make up the complete anchor roster today.
All the pictures here were taken October 2006. I’ve heard that since my visit, the great fountain and blocky lanterns in front of JCPenney were removed and replaced with significantly blander (though perhaps more contemporary) ornamentation.
The Smith Haven Mall is a 1.4 million square foot, hybrid indoor-outdoor enclosed shopping mall located on the north shore of Long Island, about halfway between New York and Orient Point.
It’s been a really long time since we featured a mall in the New York metropolitan area–probably a result of my moving out to the west cost, sorry guys–so let’s go back to Long Island’s Smith Haven Mall, with a set of pictures taken in May 2007.
The Smith Haven Mall is a 1.4 million square foot, hybrid indoor-outdoor enclosed shopping mall located on the north shore of Long Island, about halfway between New York and Orient Point. The mall originally opened in 1969 in a fairly mid-market-skewing portion of Long Island. I’m not 100% sure of the original anchors, but I am assuming that the original anchors were Stern’s, Sears, and A&S (though this could’ve always been a Macy’s).
Newsday actually has a pretty informative article about the growth of enclosed shopping malls on Long Island, which touches briefly on Smith Haven:
In 1968-69, Klotz supervised the building of Smith Haven Mall in Lake Grove. The project was made more difficult by Moriches Road, which ran through the proposed mall and had to be relocated.
Opening day also presented challenges. “It was a fiasco,” Klotz said. A water main break early in the morning cut off water to Smith Haven and led town officials to propose cancelling the grand opening because the sprinkler system and toilets wouldn’t work. “I told them, `We can’t cancel it. Thousands of people are going to show up and you don’t have enough police officers to turn them away,”‘ he recalled.
Town leaders agreed, allowing Klotz to invite volunteer fire departments to encircle Smith Haven with pumper trucks in return for allowing them to ask shoppers for donations, and to set up bucket brigades to keep the public toilets filled while a work crew fixed the broken water pipe by mid-afternoon.
But to Klotz what made Smith Haven unique were the works of art commissioned from sculpter Alexander Calder, painters Larry Rivers, Peter Max and others. Much later, sculptures were placed outside Roosevelt Field and The Source mall, both commemorating Charles A. Lindbergh’s solo air flight to France in 1927. (The Calder is still in Smith Haven’s food court, but the paintings are gone.)Placing fine art in shopping malls symbolized their growing importance in suburbia. They had become like cities to the surrounding housing developments, said William Severini Kowinski, who toured Long Island and other areas for his 1985 book, “The Malling of America.”
Ironically, the people who fled crowded neighborhoods in Queens and Brooklyn after World War II for their dream house with a yard in Levittown and other places found that they still needed a central place to meet neighbors, see a movie, shop or simply hang out. By default, he said, the mall became a new Main Street or corner store for these GIs and their families.
Smith Haven Mall was somewhat notable for its incorporation of legitimate public art in the mall’s food court, as mentioned above. The inclusion of artwork of Rivers and Max was a nod to the original Gruen-esque concept for American shopping malls–that they should be a place of civic gathering and multi-purpose spaces not intended purely for commerce.
I’ve personally visited Smith Haven twice–in 2000 and 2007–and much changed between the two visits. In 2000, the center was fairly dated, and still retained traces of its original 1960s glamour. Also, at the time, Sterns still anchored the west end of the mall. Nowadays, the west end of the mall has been turned into a fairly standard “lifestyle village,” anchored by Dick’s Sporting Goods, Cheesecake Factory, Barnes & Noble, and some others, and a 2000s era renovation added modern lighting and softened the interior color palette. When we visited in 2007, there wasn’t much out there, other than Coldwater Creek, which seems positively allergic to enclosed malls.
Architecturally, Smith Haven Mall is a fairly prime example of the types of suburban centers built during the golden age of shopping malls in the late ’60s and early ’70s, with grand, imposing department stores that recalled their urban cousins, and a sprawling, open layout inside that vaguely mimiced the feel of an urban streetscape. The dramatic feel of the malls interior and exterior spaces wasn’t lost in the various renovations, even if the center doesn’t boast the retro glamour of, say, the Bergen Mall.
I only visited the Nanuet Mall once–way back in 2000–and I remember being amazed at the time that it seemed to do fairly well given that it exists in the shadows of Nyack’s mammoth Palisades Center Mall, a far newer behemoth that’s one of the largest malls in the tri-state area. Nanuet seemed quieter and more civilized than its cousin down the street; clearly a case of a mall that had (successfully, then) positioned itself as a convenient option for residents living in the immediate area, much in the same way that Paramus Park manages to thrive in the shadows of Garden State Plaza. I guess that times have changed since then, however, and the center needs to dramatically reposition itself to remain viable.
The Nanuet Mall was the largest mall for affluent, suburban Rockland County in the lower Hudson region for 30 years. The mall opened in 1969, with Bamberger’s and Sears as anchor stores. Here’s a vintage photo of the Nanuet Mall from that era; the Bamberger’s signage is plainly visible in the shot. In 1986, Bamberger’s was converted to Macy’s. In the mid-1990s, a new wing was added (creating a “T” shaped layout) with an Abraham & Straus anchor store; this store would later become a Stern’s. When Stern’s and Macy’s merged in 2001, the store was shut and later replaced by a Boscov’s store; one of only four in New York State.
The redevelopment plans call for eliminating the entire center save the Macy’s and Sears stores; Boscov’s is leaving the complex for good. There were rumblings of something like this happening for awhile, with a scare around the holidays about the mall cutting its hours from 10-9 down to 11-6. Instead it looks like they’ll be cut back a whole lot more than that.
Prangeway took all of these photos in 2001, a much better time for the poor old Nanuet Mall.
Queens Center is a large suburban-style mall anchored by Macys and JCPenney in a very urban location, New York City. Located in the Elmhurst section of the borough of Queens, Queens Center is accessible by multi-modal forms of transportation: Subway, Bus, Car, foot, horse, turtle, whatever; it all converges at this mall. Despite its name, the mall is not located in the geographic center of the Borough of Queens and actually about 4 miles to the northwest. Queens Center is, however, located at one of the busiest intersections in the borough, Queens Boulevard and Woodhaven Boulevard, adjacent to the LIE (I-495) which is one of the main arteries carrying traffic from Midtown Manhattan out onto the vast expanse of suburban Long Island.
Queens Center is unique in that it is only one of a handful of large shopping malls within New York City, which has a population of 8 million. And in fact, it is the only large enclosed mall within the borough of Queens, with a population of 2.2 million. As such, the mall is often crowded and numerous sources cite Queens Center as having the highest profit per square foot in the United States for an enclosed mall. This is largely due to the fact that the millions of residents surrounding the mall would rather shop locally than either make the tedious journey into Manhattan or drive to the large suburban malls farther out on Long Island in the suburbs.
In 2002, Queens Center was about 25 years old. Not only did Queens Center look a bit worse for wear, it was definitely in need of expansion. So Macerich, the owner, embarked on a $275 expansion and renovation project which lasted over two years, changing the mall dramatically. The old small, dirty food court was removed from its circular area upstairs to new basement digs. A skybridge over 92nd Street connects the new part of the mall with the older, and glass atriums throughout provide ample light, a stark contrast to the dimly lit space of before. Also, the mall was repainted with brighter colors, light beiges and pastels, to further modernize and brighten the place up a bit. Gone too are interesting escalators which went down from the mall and literally into the middle of JCPenney a floor below, and all of the courts which were circular were squared off. But, with the expanded space and brighter look, I think Queens Center is wholly better. The mix of stores and restaurants has also been upscaled, with trendy features like California Pizza Kitchen and others. I think flashing girl from Flushing, the Nanny named Fran, would definitely shop here post-renovation. If only she hadn’t moved into the city…
We visited Queens Center twice, once in 2001 before renovation and once in 2007. Feel free to leave comments and enjoy the photo sets.
The Broadway Mall is one of the largest–and perhaps strangest–malls on Long Island. The mall opened in the 1956 on the site of a former boys’ orphanage as the open-air Mid-Island Plaza. The Hicksville area of Long Island was in the middle of a building and population boom at the time, as residents were flocking to the suburbs in great numbers. Some of the largest strictly suburban areas on the entire east coast are located in the vicinity of the center, including archetypal post-war suburbs like Levittown and Hempstead (which, with over 700,000 people, is the second most populous census-designated place in New York State).
The original Mid-Island Plaza consisted of 10 buildings and 8,000 parking spaces. The center’s main anchor, Gertz, was a local store from downtown Jamaica Queens who opened a major outpost in Hicksville to follow the population trends. Gertz’ 5-story, 300,000 square foot store dominated the center’s original design, and its rumored that this store is the tallest suburban department store ever built. At some point the mall also was home to an EJ Korvette’s store. The mall was even structured with an underground tunnel (still in use today) that allowed deliveries to be made directly to the stores underneath the mall. The Mid-Island Plaza was being enclosed in 1968 (and perhaps renamed at the same time?), then renovated again in 1989 and 1995. Gertz Department Stores parent company, Allied, united the Gertz stores under the Stern’s banner in the 1980s before becoming a Macy’s in 2001. The mall’s website offers a bit of its history.
The Broadway Mall is located only a few miles from Roosevelt Field Mall, the largest mall in all of New York state and one of the largest on the entire eastern seaboard. As a result, it has an interesting feel and has an unusual store roster. The center is shaped like an “H”, with Macy’s at one of the junctions. Its other two anchors are a Target (which had been a JCPenney very briefly from 1999 to 2001 or 2002) and an IKEA, making for one of the stranger rosters of anchor stores of any mall in the northeast. Broadway Mall also boasts Steve & Barry’s University Sportswear, H&M, Old Navy, and a movie theatre as junior anchors. I’m not entirely sure what the IKEA or Target stores were initially, but the mall did boast EJ Korvette’s as one of its original anchors. Korvette’s stores tended to have large footprints, so it’s possible that IKEA took this space after the mall’s major redevelopment in 1995.
MallsofAmerica has some really cool photos of the Broadway Mall during its Mid-Island Plaza days, and our photos were all taken in May of 2007. I’ve been to this mall many times since 1999 (until 2004, this IKEA was the closest one to Boston) and it hasn’t changed much in that time, beyond when Target replaced JCPenney at the rear anchor. The imposing, humungous Macy’s store is certainly a highlight here, as is the cavernous center court and the strange way the food court is cantilevered onto a second level. But really, Broadway Mall is most interesting as an example of how a second-tier mall that would normally be crowded out by larger siblings is able to hang on with some less-than-traditional anchor stores and make out just fine.