Solomon Pond Mall; Marlborough, Massachusetts

Solomon Pond Mall in Marlborough, MA
The Solomon Pond Mall opened in 1996, making it the newest (as of 2006) enclosed shopping mall in Massachusetts. It was one of a slew of malls to sprout along the I-495 corridor from the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s, but Solomon Pond was given perhaps the best location of all. When it was constructed in 1996, the mall’s location seemed remote–in fact, it was directly across the street from the then-current home of Spooky World, a Halloween attraction whose appeal traded on their creepy remoteness (unsurprisingly, they’ve since moved), and it was located far from other retail. But with its location near the junction of I-290 and I-495 in the city of Marlborough, about 40 miles northwest of Boston, the mall was able to strategically target both the affluent and booming western crescent of suburbs of Boston while simultaneously serving as the largest mall for the Worcester area, about 12 miles to the southwest. As already noted, it was one of the forces that basically killed off what was left of the Worcester Common Outlets, and it’s larger than both the Greendale Mall and Auburn Mall combined.

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For the most part, Solomon Pond is pretty much what you’d expect of a mall of its vintage and size: lots of natural light filtered through skylights, lots of fussy upper-crusty decorative trim (note how all the railings are wooden), and other relatively standard stuff in newer malls. Compared to some of the other 495 ring malls–most of which tended to be more mid-range, like the Silver City Galleria–the 900,000 square foot Solomon Pond did at least attempt to shoot for the upscale, by counting some higher end tenants (HMV instead of FYE, though they’re long since gone, replaced by a rare mall outpost of local indie record chain Newbury Comics). The anchor tenant roster is relatively average: JCPenney, Sears, Macy’s (which was a former Filene’s), and Regal Theatres.
Solomon Pond Mall in Marlborough, MA

This is pretty boring, I know, but Solomon Pond completes the Worcester story. Prangeway had cake here to celebrate the mall’s fifth birthday in 2001, and I once arrived in the movie theatre parking lot in 1998 to find it blanketed with thousands of tiny plastic flies, but that’s the true extent of Solomon Pond drama.

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Solomon Pond Mall in Marlborough, MA Solomon Pond Mall in Marlborough, MA Solomon Pond Mall in Marlborough, MA
Solomon Pond Mall in Marlborough, MA Solomon Pond Mall in Marlborough, MA Solomon Pond Mall in Marlborough, MA Solomon Pond Mall in Marlborough, MA

Solomon Pond Mall in Marlborough, MA Solomon Pond Mall in Marlborough, MA Solomon Pond Mall in Marlborough, MA Solomon Pond Mall in Marlborough, MA

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.

22 thoughts on “Solomon Pond Mall; Marlborough, Massachusetts”

  1. I love the roof on this mall. Looks like a city street they plopped a roof on!

  2. If I recall correctly, the Linen’s N’ Things was originally supposed to be a Jordan Marsh. The mall went up with the Jordan Marsh pad waiting… when it became clear that Jordan’s wasn’t going in, the LNT was built instead.

    Nice site!

  3. I went here yesterday for teh first time in years and it was the most bland mall I’ve ever been too. Not one non-chain store, dare I say going to the Natick mall if better than this place.

  4. If I remember correctly, the Linens & Things location was supposed to be a Nobody Beats the Wiz! store before they disappeared from the area right around ’96 or ’97. I seem to remember the space standing empty for a good year after the mall was completed.

  5. Something to spice up the story here at Solomon Pond Mall on the wikipedia entry…

    “Recently, the mall has fallen on hard times. At least eight stores closed in January 2007, bringing the total number of vacant stores into double digits. Recent closures include CVS (pharmacy), Eddie Bauer, and Cambridge Soundworks.[1]

    The quality of new stores has also fallen dramatically. For instance, two stores that sell swords moved in during 2006, although one of them is now out of business (a lack of demand for Japanese broadswords and kimono robes is a likely cause).[2]

    Additionally, criminal activity in and around the mall appears to be rising, and security presence within the mall is insufficient. Shoplifters have been witnessed being run down by police outside the mall (e.g., on the night of January 24, 2007), and homeless people have been witnessed within the mall”

    Crime? I didn’t feel the least bit of any crime in this mall but did notice a general lack of security. I visited the mall twice in the last few months; the first was my first time when I was in the area, the second time was the one I actually went inside. I was rather disappointed; this mall came off to me as something as a flashy, higher-end mall. Since it’s the only mall in the area, well, it’s kind of a clunker. Won’t be coming back here anyway…

  6. I wouldn’t buy that Wikipedia article. I stop by Solomon Pond periodically to go into Newbury Comics, and nothing strikes me as being any different than usual. And homeless people inside seems pretty ridiculous for a mall that only exists thanks to the interstate highway system. Check the endnotes on that article…pretty dodgy. The mall has zero interesting qualities, granted, but the Marlboro/Berlin area is hardly a hotbed for criminal activity. I don’t doubt they’ve got shoplifting issues, like every other retail area, but come on.

  7. I also don’t agree with the Wikipedia article. I recently went to the mall website and it listed many new stores coming soon, including Coldwater Creek and Belden Jewelers, among others. Banana Republic recently opened in the mall as well, and I’ve also heard that they are in talks with Coach. It seems to me like mall management is making a valiant attempt to compete with the nearby Natick Collection, which is nearly doubling in size and adding many high-end luxury stores. This mall should be marketed as a alternative to people that don’t want to face the traffic of the Framingham/Natick area, but still want higher-end stores (i.e, Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, etc.)

  8. I may be a little bias as I live close by near the former Spooky World, but I agree with Tricky Nicky about the location etc. Sure it doesn’t have all the high end stores as Natick, and is certainly much smaller, but it still has pretty much all you’ll ever need. Additionally, they are building new plaza next to Olive Garden that will include Old Navy and Sports Authority. As far as crime etc., I don’t think it’s any worse than any other mid size to large mall. As far as falling on hard times, I still see good crowds anytime that I shop there. I think that any mall experiences turnover depending on the type of store and nearby competition.

  9. I love this mall. It has everything you need in it without being huge. Their Food Court rocks!

  10. i love this mall. there needs to be a hollister at the
    whitney field mall 🙁

  11. i ♥ this mall it rocks!I agree with caliem whitney field in gardner has nothing good. :(. But this mall has EVERYTHING!

  12. whitney field isn’t that great… but it’s too bad it isn’t in gardner… it’s definitely in leominster so try knowing what ur talking about

  13. I go to this mall ALL the time, and I miss a lot of the old stores that used to be there. Like Spencer’s gifts, that store was awesome, especially around Halloween! I don’t agree with some of the newer stores, it seems like theyre putting in more stores with mostly expensive stuff. I hope that some of those old stores can come back.

  14. I went to this mall and i am from Orlnado, Florida i really liked the place and it really made me feel like i was chillin’ in a warm street in my home town.. ;).. This mall is not as big ad the DISNEY MALL in orlando but, i was actuaklly tierd of the people that come in Orlando.,. and go into the malls.. the malls ARE REALLY crowded,, 😉 and i was happy to get awayy and come to these malls where i can actually walk!! overall it was great and i will go back to Massachusetts again .. when i go back to see my mommie from college on summer vacation.. xoxoxoxo ORLANDO GET WAYY TO HOT.. ;)and i love the hot but great air up in Worcewster (qwhere my old lady lives) LOL loved the mall

  15. Are they ever gooing to put anything in the top or bottom floors of Linen’s N’ Things a big toy stores whould be nice since this mall lost there kb toys when it when backrupt.

  16. Another note, the planned Jordan Marsh location was to across the hall from Penny’s. When May and Federated merged, they canceled the location. Since its construction, several outlying parcels have been developed along the road leading to the mall itself with much of the local farmland being put up for sale as possible retail development.

    Again, my father’s company did the site work for the mall.

  17. It’s been almost 2 years now since Linens N Things closed. Has anyone heard any rumors of what might go in that space???

  18. Update: Shoe Dept Encore store opened up in the second floor Linens N Things space about a week ago. It doesn’t appear to be just a temp holiday store. They have 9 other stores in Massachusetts. The elevator within the former LNT has been closed off. Still nothing in the first floor LNT space.

  19. Update: Shortly after Christmas, Glow Golf (glow in the dark mini golf) went into the bottom of the former Linens N Things.

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