Monmouth Mall; Eatontown, New Jersey

Macy's (former Bamberger's) at Monmouth Mall in Eatontown, NJ

All of this Steinbach posting has put me in a New Jersey mood lately. Malls are as synonymous with New Jersey as Bruce Springsteen, so there’s plenty of neat ones to pick from, and the 1.5 million-square-foot Monmouth Mall on the Jersey Shore is one of the cooler ones that I visited for the first time in November of 2006.

The Monmouth Mall is visibly old, and originally began its life as an open air center built on the site of a former farm in 1960. A 1975 expansion brought it to its current, massive size, and renovations in 1987 and 1996 added a food court and movie theatre. Like many old malls, Monmouth Mall has had many anchor stores rotate in and out over the years:

  • Abraham & Straus became Stern’s, which in turn became Boscov’s. (You can even see a photo of this store during its Stern’s days here)
  • Bamberger’s became Macy’s.
  • Alexander’s became Caldor, which in turn became Nobody Beats the Wiz, which then became Burlington Coat Factory. While I have no firsthand experience, the mall directory makes it appear that the Loew’s Cinemas were carved out of this area as well.
  • Hahne & Company became Lord & Taylor.
  • There’s also a JCPenney. No idea what that might’ve been, if it was ever anything else.

The Vornado Realty Trust-owned center is one of the most successful malls on the Jersey shore today, despite a location that’s relatively close to the Freehold Raceway Mall, one of the state’s largest and newest enclosed shopping malls. I think Monmouth Mall is cool because of its bizarre floorplan and changing decor–if you look at the directory below, you can tell that there is one long wing that begins as a grand, one-level atrium in front of Macy’s before splintering into two levels (much like the Cherry Hill Mall) and continuing a long ways to the modern-day Boscov’s anchor store. In the other direction, at the Macy’s store, the mall takes a 90 degree turn and narrows substantially enroute to the large food court and Burlington Coat Factory store.

Mall directory at Monmouth Mall in Eatontown, NJ

And if the floorplan itself doesn’t excite you, then look at the facade of the Macy’s (which is, again, a former Bamberger’s store): check out the wood paneling! It’s pretty vintage and fun.

EDIT 4/29/2007 10:11AM EST: Silly me, I forgot to finish my research when I posted this article. Want to see a vintage advertisement of the Easter Bunny at Monmouth Mall? Because you can.

Macy's (former Bamberger's) at Monmouth Mall in Eatontown, NJ

Outdoor

Monmouth Mall sign in Eatontown, NJ Macy's (former Bamberger's) at Monmouth Mall in Eatontown, NJ Monmouth Mall in Eatontown, NJ

Macy’s > Food Court wing

Food court at Monmouth Mall in Eatontown, NJ Loew's Cinemas at Monmouth Mall in Eatontown, NJ Burlington Coat Factory (former Caldor/Nobody Beats the Wiz) wing at Monmouth Mall in Eatontown, NJ

Small Macy's entrance from narrower wing at Monmouth Mall in Eatontown, NJ Wing from Macy's to the food court at Monmouth Mall in Eatontown, NJ Macy's (former Bamberger's) at Monmouth Mall in Eatontown, NJ

Macy’s > Boscov’s wing (2 levels)

The Side entrance near the floor split at Monmouth Mall in Eatontown, NJ Macy's court from the second level at Monmouth Mall in Eatontown, NJ Lord & Taylor at Monmouth Mall in Eatontown, NJ

Two-level portion of Monmouth Mall in Eatontown, NJ JCPenney at Monmouth Mall in Eatontown, NJ Boscov's at Monmouth Mall in Eatontown, NJ Two level portion of Monmouth Mall in Eatontown, NJ

1,019 Responses to “Monmouth Mall; Eatontown, New Jersey”

  1. Another excellent post, Caldor! However, before I comment about the Monmouth Mall, I want to tell you about a problem with the board that I am having: earlier today, I tried to post a comment in your thread about the Steinbach stores. However, when I submitted my comment, it never appeared on the blog. And, when I tried to resubmit the comment I received an error message stating “a duplicate comment has been detected; it looks like you’ve already said that.” Unfortunately, this is not the first time that this has happened; instead, this is a somewhat common occurrence. It would be greatly appreciated if you or Prangeway could provide any insight as to why this is happening.

    Now, on to the Monmouth Mall:

    Even though the Freehold Raceway Mall is better looking and more luxurious, I actually prefer the Monmouth Mall simply because it has such a unique anchor in Boscov’s. The Boscov’s at this mall is particularly large (perhaps even the largest in the chain), and its third floor is a real highlight, with its great electronics and candy departments.

    Despite the neat wood paneling, the Macy’s in the Monmouth Mall is a dump. For instance, on the bottom floor (where housewares and domestics are located), there are numerous tears in both the carpeting and the flooring. Sadly, I have found such poor housekeeping to be especially common at Macy’s locations that were once Bamberger’s: witness the junky stores at the Livingston Mall and the Willowbrook Mall as well. (Although I do concede that some of the former Bamberger’s locations are quite nice looking, such as the store at the Garden State Plaza.) This is a real shame, because back when Bamberger’s–which was/is one of my all time favorite department stores–was in existence, they always did a great job at keeping their stores clean. Unfortunately, this cleanliness–along with the community involvement that Bamgerger’s was known for–all disappeared after the chain became Macy’s in 1986.

    Finally, as many of you know, the Monmouth Mall is one of three gigantic malls in Central New Jersey (with the others being the Freehold Raceway Mall and the Woodbridge Center); as a matter of fact, these three malls are among the top five largest in the state, as shown on wikipedia’s list of New Jersey’s 16 largest shopping malls:

    1. Garden State Plaza–2,000,000 sq. ft.
    2. Woodbridge Center–1,633,000 sq. ft.
    3. Freehold Raceway Mall–1,600,000 sq. ft.
    4. Monmouth Mall–1,500,000 sq. ft. (tie)
    4. Willowbrook Mall–1,500,000 sq. ft. (tie)
    6. The Mall at Short Hills–1,342,000 sq. ft.
    7. Deptford Mall–1,300,000 sq. ft.
    8. Jersey Gardens–1,292,611 sq. ft.
    9. Cherry Hill Mall–1,283,000 sq. ft.
    10. Rockaway Townsquare Mall–1,250,000 sq. ft.
    11. Menlo Park Mall–1,232,000 sq. ft.
    12. Newport Centre Mall–1,149,147 sq. ft.
    13. Echelon Mall–1,140,000 sq. ft.
    14. Quaker Bridge Mall–1,102,000 sq. ft.
    15. Moorestown Mall–1,046,100 sq. ft.
    16. Hamilton Mall–1,028,500 sq. ft.

    (Here, note that the above list includes every single New Jersey mall that has at least 1,000,000 sq. ft. Also, note that the Freehold Raceway Mall will become the second largest mall once its expansion is complete. Additionally, half of the Echelon Mall is in the process of demolition, while the Quaker Bridge and Cherry Hill Malls are being expanded.)

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  2. Max:

    Thanks for bringing the “missing comment” issue to my attention. It was a simple (but regrettable) problem: the comment was automatically flagged as spam by Akismet. You may not realize it because Akismet works great 99.9% of the time, but this site attracts between 2000-3000 spam comments a week, most of them outrageously filthy in nature. Unfortunately, because it is robust, it does occasionally pick out legitimate comments and move them to the spam folder. I used to go through this folder manually on a daily basis, but there’s *so much* nowadays that I don’t always find time to get to it. But either way, if it happens again let me know and I’ll make sure to go looking for the inappropriately flagged comment.

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  3. Caldor, I greatly appreciate the insight that you provided in your above post. I also want to thank you for all of the hard work and effort you put into running and maintaining this site.

    Despite the long nature of my initial post, there were actually some things about the Monmouth Mall that I forgot to comment about:

    *I remember reading on the internet (perhaps it was on wikipedia) that Montgomery Ward was an initial 1960 anchor of the mall (along with Bamberger’s, of course). Apparently, this was one of the few New Jersey locations that Montgomery Ward ever had. I was not given any idea as to when it closed; however the building was eventually torn down. I certainly wonder as to whether the former Montgomery Ward building was located where the 1975 extension now sits.

    *This mall has a separate Macy’s Kids store that is not adjacent to the mall’s main Macy’s location. Does anybody know when this store opened, as well as what store was previously located there?

    *Does any body know exactly when the mall was enclosed? Was it during the 1975 expansion that added A&S, Hahne’s, and JC Penney? Also, how did the 1987 and 1996 renovations differ from each other (in terms of new stores/wings being added, new flooring installed, etc.)?

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  4. The Monmouth Mall has always been a classic. As you had noted, Caldor, the Loews Theatre was carved out of the former Alexander’s/Caldor. Before the 1996 renovations, the top floor of Alexander’s/Caldor was quite bigger and they basically rebuilt the top floors as part of the new food court, an expanded mall area and Loews Theater…note the truck tunnel by route 35 that heads down to the former basement floor of Alexander’s. The basement was left behind and after the renovations, became The Wiz and then Burlington Coat Factory. And JCPenney was always JCPenney and was only recently freshened up.

    Even though Monmouth Mall is a classic, it is underutilized and is in dire need of a fix-up. First, the mall needs to be brightened up a lot. I remember Monmouth Mall before its 1987 renovations and the place was downright dark. Those renovations did a lot to brighten the place up and also give more room (lowered seating areas and permanent planters, as well as a stage in front of JCPenney were removed). If I were running things at Vorando, I would do a few things to fix up this retail gem: first I’d brighten the place up so more natural light filters in, change the flooring and maybe throw in a fountain or two for a little character…the 1996 renovation was less of a renovation and more of an expansion; second I would expand the 2nd floor to Macys and also rebuild the wing that heads out toward Wyckoff Road…there is enough room to build a small wing, as well as an additional anchor…and with communities like Rumson, Fair Haven and Colts Neck not too far off, there is no reason why that anchor can’t be affluent; third, I would re-merchandise the 1 level food court wing into an entertainment/lifestyle wing…keep the movie theatre but update the food court, bring in some new restaurants/bars and also a bookstore with cafe; lastly, I would add a parking deck between the ‘new Wyckoff Road Wing’ and Lord and Taylor, as well as between Loews and JCPenney to improve the parking situation.

    With its close location to GSP exit 105 and great spot near the beaches (and potential for major profit on rainy summer days), there is no reason that Monmouth Mall shouldn’t be one of the retail Powerhouses and Vorando should definitely do much more to this mall than add a Dick’s Sporting Goods in the Bosov’s Parking Lot.

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  5. first of off thanx for adding my page’s as links I have been to these stores so much I have been going to the monmouth mall snce I was a little boy and to this day I still go there even though I live 25 miles away in woodbridge I miss A&S that was one of my favorite stores at that mall

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  6. I have some exterior shots of Monmouth Mall, as well as some vitage ads at LiveMalls:

    http://livemalls.blogspot.com/search/label/Monmouth%20Mall

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  7. That “Easter Bunnicula” in the ad is supposed to invite people albeit children?! Man, us children of the 80s (who grew up in the 90s) had it eaaaasy.

    I like the Macy’s here; love the wood panels and oddly placed poles in the middle of the entry way. The rest of the mall, decor wise, seems kind of blah fooey.

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  8. Agreed. The Macy’s area of this mall is the interesting part. Even that sign looks vintage without the star fronting it like on today’s logo that I’ve seen installed on all stores that Federated bought out of the May Co. merger.

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  9. What I like about the design of this mall is how the food court level is split between the lower and upper levels. It would make it more difficult to expand the second level all the way to the Macy’s store like the one previous commented said, but it also is fine the way it is because this complex is essentially 2 malls put together, the dual-level section and the food court section. I agree that the latter could be converted into an entertainment/lifestyle wing. The food court looks almost like the ones that are located inside the Mills megamalls, so it already has an entertainment aspect to it with the themed decor. With the food court and the movie theater, it can be opened later than the rest of the mall, and with the addition of a few more places like a Cheesecake Factory, Lucky Strike Lanes and Dave & Busters, this can really kick this mall into high gear.

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  10. What did the Macy’s Kids used to be?

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  11. Gary,

    The food court is not exactly split between the 2 levels. The two levels meet about 50-75 yards in front of Macy’s, entering into a fairly grand area. If the floor in front of Macy’s were lowered, you definitely could have 2 levels continue to Macy’s, and have the 2 levels come together the same way heading down the corridor to the food court. It is definitely the oddest design for a mall I’ve experienced, and is much different from the 2 other ‘vanilla’ malls at the shore, Freehold and Ocean County.

    Mike

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  12. Stumbled upon this and it is making me nostalgic. I used to shop at Bambergers when I was a kid, and I remember when the mall was originally enclosed. Back then, Mom used to drop us eleven year olds off (you could do that then) with 5 bucks and we’d hang there all day “shopping.” I think there is still a very old elevator from that time in the ladies department of Macys. When I was a child the kids’ deptartments were upstairs. I don’t remember what the new kids’ store used to be–I moved away in 1979 and returned 20 years later. I do remember that there was a little oval pizza place (Lucas?) outside around that end. Also near there was an art supply store called Paint N Place, rumored to be owned by the parents of the pop singer Melanie (I’ve Got a Brand New Pair of Roller Skates). Don’t know if that’s true. On the other side of the mall (Alexanders end) there were a few stores set off by themselves: The Plum Tree that sold candles and insense, Parklane hosery (where we all got our danskins for ballet class) and a few others. I also remember a large sporting goods store that was freestanding. This area later became the movie theater, etc. My favorite store, however, was Kresges, which was located across the way from what is now the food court, if I remember correctly. You could get a lot for the 3 bucks you had left over after lunch. While I enjoy being nostalgic about the mall, I rarely shop there. The quality of the stores and merchandise is pretty lousy compared to other places in the area. I agree with mallguy–this place needs an overhaul, and I’ve heard many say the same thing. It has so much potential. Many people I know hate it and will travel to Menlo Park or Short HIlls. And you can’t even go to the movie theaters there on weekend evenings–there have been problems with teens.

    One note about Boscovs–It is unique in that it still has a toy department–you rarely see that anywhere in a dept. store these days.

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  13. Back in the 1980s, there used to be a video arcade near the Macy’s Kids Annex and it used to open to a mall entrance facing Wyckoff Road. The mall entrance in that wing that faces route 36 between Ruby Tuesday and the former American Cafe came as part of the 1996 expansion. This area of the mall is truly underutilized and could be rebuilt with a new anchor and 2 level wing…getting Bloomingdale’s to come down here would give Monmouth Mall a definite leg up as the closest Bloomingdales to Eatontown is at Bridgewater Commons.

    And if they ever expanded the 2nd floor to Macy’s, the current floor could be easily lowered and like what was done in Garden State Plaza, they could place mini-escaltors, a ramp and a short stairway between the lowered mall floor and the Macy’s entrance.

    As Gary had earlier stated, Cheesecake Factory, Dave and Busters and Lucky Strike would all be great additions to the older wing of the mall that would become the entertainment/lifestyle wing. A bookstore and some “demonstration stores” (e.g. Apple, Sharper Image, Brookstone, LL Bean) could make that wing a very popular place.

    There is definitely the room to build and with the upcoming closing of Fort Monmouth, it would be in Eatontown’s best economic interest to spruce up Monmouth Mall.

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  14. Mallguy, thanks for providing insight as to what the Macy’s Kids store might have been. Regarding your comment about Bloomingdale’s, I strongly doubt that they would locate here since they twice before refused that option (when A&S closed and then when Stern’s closed).

    I visited this mall yesterday, and had a great time. In fact this is probably my favorite mall in the state: largely because of Boscov’s gigantic store, but also because of the mall’s unique layout and interesting history. However, I honestly don’t know exactly where the former Caldor ‘s interior entrance to the mall was located; if Caldor’s entrance was located exactly where the food court begins (which would mean that it encompassed the entire area covered by the food court, the movie theater, Old Navy, and Burlington Coat Factory), then that would have had to have been one massive Caldor (even for a two-level Caldor store).

    According to Wikipedia, the size of each anchor is as follows:

    *Boscov’s: 264,601 sq. ft.
    *Macy’s: 262,422 sq. ft.
    *JCPenney: 202,669 sq. ft.
    *Lord & Taylor: 159,260 sq. ft.
    *AMC Theatres: 77,275 sq. ft.
    *Burlington Coat Factory: 44,209 sq. ft.
    *Macy’s Kids: 25,637 sq. ft.

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  15. Max, the former Caldor at Monmouth Mall began right about where Old Navy and American Eagle are today. Also, the Food Court was new construction and the wing that led to Caldor was very traditional. The building of Caldor was a lot smaller back in the day and the Loews Theater was new construction. Remember also that Caldor was previously Alexander’s, a fairly traditional department store. I vividly remember the York Steakhouse was in that wing (a cafeteria-styled steakhouse which was pretty good and themed to look like a castle), as was a large Burger King that had more skylights than the usual fast food establishment.

    Over the past 10 years, the wealth of the Monmouth County area has significantly grown and while this mall may not have been a good candidate for Bloomingdales then, it will be better for it now. Something else to consider is that while Freehold is expanding, this upscale addition along with the entertainment/lifestyle options I mentioned earlier will give an additional option to Freehold and battling the ever-growing route 9 traffic.

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  16. This week, I went to the Monmouth Mall for the first time since April/May and noticed a few interesting store changes. The following stores have just recently opened new branches or recently renovated: Express, Limited, NY & Co, Hollister. Coming soon to the mall are Charlotte Russe, Journey’s, Johnny Rockets and Modells (a two level Modell’s, next to Boscov’s…that will be interesting competition with the two level Dick’s planned to be built in the Boscov’s parking lot adjacent to Wyckoff Road). The former American Cafe is vacant, as is the former Express Men next to the secondary Macy’s mall entrance.

    No renovation news, but the mall definitely needs it, as we have all stated and described its tired appearance.

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  17. I was just reading this blog, and it is very interesting, as a New Jersey native, it has been fun to read about the malls I am so familiar with. I thought you might like to know that Boscov’s now has its very own blog. You can check it out if you want, as we are excited to get feedback about our store as well as have people interact and share their thoughts and ideas with us!

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  18. good job on history of monmouth mall. caldor got any reports on malls in norrth jersey like woodbridge center or garden state plaza

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  19. I’ve been there only twice but as soon i got off the bus i could tell it was a 70s flashback. WOW! Kind of reminds me of the former New Rochelle mall or Brunswick Square.

    The idea of turning the food court area into a lifestyle wing is a good one, just not sure about cheesecake factory. then again CF did go into willowbrook.

    I agree that it is time for a major overhall, just not sure at this point when they will, considering that they should have done one 15 years ago.

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  20. This mall is neat. A few questions:

    1) Anyone have pictures of the “downright dark” interior.
    2) The second level: does it just add an extra level, or is it split, a la Cherry Hill Mall.

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  21. It’s just like cherry hill mall, split levels & all

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  22. But Cherry Hill Mall has a lot more character to it…and better stores. I really, really hope Vorando gives Monmouth Mall its due and puts some money in it to renovate/expand. Now with Freehold expanding and renovating, most Monmouth Co people will be bypassing Monmouth Mall for Freehold and in the long run, Monmouth Mall and the Jersey Shore area will lose out.

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  23. I sort of take it back…at least Monmouth Mall has Lord & Taylor.

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  24. but L & T by it self is not enough to bring in the upscale clientel. You need something else to draw people in like good restaurants & a bookstore or electronic store.

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  25. I was quite surprised to see some of the recently opened stores choose Monmouth Mall and to an extent, I agree more needs to be brought in to attract better stores. Vorando really needs to put some money into Monmouth Mall, especially with the upcoming grand opening of its cross-county rival and a remerchandised Grove.

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  26. You think money will be spent on this mall? I don’t know if they will or not. Look ot the other malls that vornado owns, doesn’t enspire confidence.

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  27. I’m guessing nothing is going to come out of there in the immediate future and it’s flat out dumb for every party involved. As I said earlier, Monmouth Mall is going to suffer with the changes going on at the competition as most NJ malls are going through, are through, or are about to go through some sort of renovation or redevelopment (I could think of 12 off the top of my head). Plus, the 3 major interesections (35/36, 36/Wyckoff, 35/Wyckoff) need some fixing up and I don’t think Vorando will do anything until NJ does something with those roads. For Eatontown, a fix-up and expansion of Monmouth Mall would be in their best interests as Fort Monmouth is slated for closure.

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  28. If one of the department stores closes this mall is dead. Keep your eyes on L & T, they would be first to go do to Freehold.

    Enough said.

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  29. I don’t see any of those department stores closing anytime soon. Macy’s has a long history there, L&T’s is already in Freehold and has a base in the immediate area, JCPenney has also been there a while and is not going anytime soon and Boscov’s ran head over heels to get into Monmouth Mall. Vorando just needs to put some money into the mall, give it some more room to grow, remerchandise certain areas of it (as I had said earlier posts, make the one level area of the mall an entertainment/lifestyle wing), renovate it and it will do much better.

    Monmouth Mall is far from dead, but it does need to gain its edge.

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  30. Good points mallguy; i have 1 issue with L & t though, why would Lord & Taylor a some what more upscale retailer stay in a mall whose inline offerings are more middle of the road?

    Now if MM adds better stores & gives the place an extreme makeover not nessessarily by ABC then i can see them staying. Otherwise i see no point having 2 stores in the same area.

    Then again this is NJ we are talking about.

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  31. Sean, there are some very wealthy areas within a 10 mile radius of Monmouth Mall (Rumson, Spring Lake, Monmoth Beach, Deal, Ocean, MIddletown) and they are much closer than FRM. Monmouth Mall offers the convenience of not having to go 20-25 minutes inland and dealing with the local traffic (no direct interstate out there). If that mall grows, they will defintely attract more upscale retailers…and Monmouth Mall can also take advantage of its location as a rainy day shore destination.

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  32. Lets hope that VRT is as foward thinking as you are mallguy, i’m not sure they are or not.

    You are, that is a given.

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  33. monmouth mall has been on my favorite shopping centers I would go there so much when I was a little kid sometimes we even drove down to old seaview square as well.Im old enough to remeber monmouth mall when It had that restraunt BUnnNburger it was on the upper level right before the escalators going to the mid level and remeber authur treachers ??? on the same wing as alexanders and of course mccrory’s my mom alwys went there they didn’t have a darn thing in there lol ahh the memories

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    George Reply:

    @chris,

    Could it be that you were thinking about Kresges Store and not McCrory’s

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  34. While there are many wealthy areas in the radius of the Monmouth Mall, Eatontown (and the part of Long Branch that is closest) is not. Nevertheless, with Seaview Square out of the way, I can’t see this mall going anywhere soon, renovation or no. Also, as I’ve said in the FRM thread, MM has much of the same stores that FRM has. Unless one really has a hankering for a designer whatever, I can’t see them going out of their way to FRM with gas prices being high and all.

    P.S. I worked at that Bun ‘N Burger in the late 80s. Got into fights with management every day. Good times. :D I also worked at the Canadians, which was on the lower level, where my sometimes blunt opinions on current fashion were not appreciate much, LOL.

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  35. wow I remeber canadians I forgot where it was in the mall I think it was by A&S or on that wing I dont remeber at all. and also wow I actually heard from a former bun n burger employee I never had a burger there but I always ate fries there. that was the good days now goin to mallis so much diffrent now everyting is so bright and well lit back in the day’s everything was dark that was awesome Idk

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  36. Monmouth Mall is still pretty dark these days…needs a renovation.

    And I remember Bun N Burger, too, but I always was partial to the York Steakhouse (adjacent to the former Alexander’s) and they were also in Brunswick Square.

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  37. Chris: Canadians was on the lower level; I want to say it was in the wing where the food court is now, but my memory is foggy on that.

    Bun ‘N Burger was on the upper level–*that* much I remember. I kind of remember the York Steakhouse too, though I never ate there.

    Also, since I seem to be part of the female minority here (LOL), you guys may not appreciate the humor in this, but here goes…Up until about five years ago, this mall had a Wet Seal and a Contempo Casuals (same company until they consolidated) within 500 feet of each other. I don’t think there were more than 3 or 4 stores between them. I think they must have co-existed like this for about five years or so. Very strange.

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  38. Debbi: Bun N Burger was located upstairs exactly where The Gap is today. They were also in Brunswick Square (right next to York Steakhouse, actually) and Staten Island Mall.

    I remember Canadien’s was in all the malls as were two other chains of the 80s: Merry-Go-Round (young adults/teens) and Chess King (mens)…both were in Monmouth Mall.

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  39. Mallguy: I have to check out that Gap next time I hit MM. Thanks for that info!

    Bun N Burger was everywhere in the 70s and 80s. Not sure when they went belly-up; my best guess, since I worked there during the summer of 1988, was around 1990 or so? Google and Wikipedia have turned up nothing.

    I also remember Canadian’s in many malls, as well as Merry-Go-Round and Chess King. I so coveted the clothes at Merry-Go-Round. I remember FRM having one at the beginning. I believe they went under in the mid-90s.

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  40. This is probably going to turn into a nostalgia post, but as a child in the early 80s, I have a few memories of this mall before the the remodelling(s) that have occured. One of the most unique things about this mall that I could remember were the oval signs that adorned the outside of each store inside. Most of the signs simply had a picture that related to the nature of the store, and I can only remember 3 to be exact. One had a cookie on it which I assumed to be a cookie store. Another one had an odd picture of a man in overalls with a hammer drawn in a woodcut like style. To this day I can only assume it was for a hardware store, but I would like to know for sure what it really was (remember I was very young at the time so some of my memories are quite vague). The last one I could distinctly remember was the Orange Julius sign, which not surprisingly said Orange Julius on it. That particular sign actually survived the first initial remodelling and remained when they took the other signs down. If anyone has information about or pictures of these signs or pictures (particularly the man with the hammer one), I would really appreciate it. My brother remembers these signs too, so I know they weren’t figments of my young imagination :-)

    Other things I remember (and miss): the Bonsai tree store, the Nintendo kiosks where you could play a number of Nintendo games (albeit only for about a minute and a half before the game reset), Roy Rogers, and the Software Etc. which was accessed through the back of the B. Dalton (or was it a Waldenbooks?) bookstore.

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  41. Out of curiosity, was it this kind of Orange Julius:

    http://www.labelscar.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/09/crossroads-mall-okc-27.jpg

    Or was it neon?

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  42. Merry-Go-Round ceased to exist in 1996 to be exact. The entire chain had a GoB / Liquidation sale in the late Winter / early Spring of that year. It should be noted that Chess King wasn’t taken over by the chain until 1994, at which time they phased out the ‘Attivo’ banner and replaced all those stores with ‘Chess King’, only to shut them a year later.

    Chess King was a huge money loser for MGR (the reason Mellvile Corp dumped the chain in teh first place to MGR, who was desperate at the time for any means of a ‘quick fix’), and was one of the big factors in its demise.

    It’s sort of like the whole Ames buying out Zayre story all over again. Everyone knows that Zayre was a money losing chain and sent Ames into their first bout with Ch. 11 bankruptcy.

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  43. Wonder if Macy’s will be on the chopping block in about year. The merger is slowly poisoning them.

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  44. Jonah –

    I believe it was similar to that type of Orange Julius, but it also had an oval sign hanging off the facade of the shop with the “Orange Julius” logo on it.

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  45. wow I remeber york steakhouse and remeber there was a restraunt upstairs by A&S it was right by that upstairs mall entrance oh man u guys are taking me back I rember captron that nintendo kiosk I used to love playing nintendo games there they also had one in woodbridge center by fortunoff on the upper level but that was a actual store not a kiosk. keep bringing up these memories I love to remininsce also check out my department store tribute pages if you really want to go back lol

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  46. That restaurant you mentioned upstairs by was kind of French in style (can’t remember the name off the top of my head), but there was also one in Quakerbridge Mall. That restaurant in Monmouth Mall would later become Garcia’s, then Escondidos and now it’s no longer a restaurant but a Kirklands. There was also a Ground Round where Ruby Tuesday used to be, but it’s wasn’t connected to the mall.

    A shame about that wing being dead and useless. Monmouth Mall has great potential (as I mentioned above) and I hope someone does something about it.

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  47. The french restaurant upstairs was called La Crepe. This mall also used to have those castle phones in the middle of the mall that told kids stories and had yellow smile faces on them. There was a pet store called Puppy Love next to Macys Kids as well as a Jo Anns Nuthouse that was in the middle of the mall across from Orange Julius and you had to go down two or three steps to get there. The Children’s place store had a big round circle in the front of it that all the kids played in. Speaking about restaurants, Bamburgers had one on the third floor and JCPenney had one on the first floor.

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  48. Yes! I remember now…thanks Mike. I also remember the castle phones, which were all over the mall. Monmouth Mall is still pretty dark inside, but it was even darker prior to the 1980s renovation…I also remember the lowered seating areas in front of each department store..Rockaway Townsqaure used to have the same thing, as did Woodbridge Center (in the middle of the Sears wing).

    Department store restaurants are truly a thing of the past. Almost every dept store had them (A&S and Sterns in Woodbridge, Bamberger’s in Menlo, Willowbrook and GS Plaza)…even Nordstrom phased out The Pub and Garden Court, the two sit down restaurants, after its stock slide due to its horrible “Re-Invent Yourself” campaign…it seems that dept store restaurants only survive in Bloomingdale’s and Neiman Marcus.

    I don’t recall a restaurant in the Monmouth Mall A&S, but it the store itself had a more open feel than the one in Woodbridge or pre-renovation Paramus Park.

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    Fooman64 Reply:

    @mallguy, I remember way back before when Monmouth Mall was The Shopping Center and they had the outdoor phone booths that were opaque bluish in color and were curved…..wish I had photos of those from back in the day.

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    Rick Lincroft Reply:

    @Fooman64,
    Actually, those phone booths were part of the original remodeling, done when the Eatontown Circle Shopping Center was enclosed, to become the Monmouth Mall.
    They were not originally opaque, but perfectly clear blue plexiglass, formed into an “S” shape, with a phone in each curl. Weather and vandalism eventually turned them somewhat translucent.
    They did look very “Space Age”, at the time, and I’ve never seen any like them, anywhere else.

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  49. memories I remeber that round ciricle in childrens place that was the best part about the store.the A&S in monmouth did have a restraunt in it on the third floor by the rest rooms i dont rember those castle phones but I do remeber the rides right by rite aid where that jewlery store is now right by bambergers

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  50. Right! I remember that now…speaking of restaurants, the one in the Woodbridge A&S overlooked the 2nd floor of the mall. The rides were there as well and prior to the 1980s renovation, there used to be an arcade near the old mall entrance on the Wyckoff Road side of the Macy’s wing. The old Burger King also had a lot of skylights and natural light coming through, more so than any other Burger King in my memory.

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  51. Not more than the Princeton Burger King across from the churcch on Nassau St.) They had lots of shrubbery and skylights.

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  52. Wow…was trying to get the name of the pretzel place that was in this mall back in the 80′s and I came across this blog. Can anyone tell me what it was called??? It was right next to the movie theater and the arcade. I sure would appreciate it!

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  53. I do not think this mall had a movie theater in the 80′s. The movie theather opened in the mid 90′s where caldor used to be. The movie theater and the food court opened together. The arcade was outside by the Ground Round and Luca’s Pizza. It was called Supercade.

    Also speaking of “dark” atmosphere that Monmouth Mall used to have, the restaurant Sebastion’s Pub was exteremely dark inside.

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  54. I remeber sebastian.s pub wow keep taking me back guys.I just went to monmouth mall on saturday to do a little bit of shopping and browsing,more browsing than shopping lol . did anyone check out the new modell’s right next to Boscov’s where sam goody used to be.for some reason this modells has 2 floors you can take a escalator up to the second floor and exit there if you desire. they should have done this @ monmouth a long time ago.

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  55. I think that Modell’s used to be a Nobody Beats The Wiz, if I recall correctly. They too had a two-story store.

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  56. Actually, Nobody Beats the Wiz was the basement of the former Alexanders/Caldor. Burlington Coat Factory is there now. Modells is next to Boscov’s and is in the former location of Sam Goody (lower level) and a Dollar Store (upper level).

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  57. I was at the mall the other day and noticed that Friendly’s restuarant closed. I wonder how many other stores are going to be closing now that the Christmas season is over?

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  58. The last time i was there The Wiz was still open. What a creepy store that was.

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  59. wow that must have been a long time ago burlington is in its place now

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  60. On the comment about the movie theater in the 80′s- no. There was no movie theater on site. It was down Route 36 (very close) where the Vitamin Shoppe and a few select stores are in a strip mall. It was only a 2-screen theater. Back in the day (before the 90′s I believe) it was a drive-in-theater.

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  61. Also, I do want to add that the mall has added more “fancy” lighting throughout the mall in order to make it look more elegant and bring some more lighting in. However, it kind of looks tacky as the whole mall has a 90′s flair; so, these gold light fixtures don’t match very well. Good try though!

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  62. I heard that when the mall first opened, it had live mannequins in the department stores. Is this true? Like they would have women dress up in the store’s clothes and they’d just stand in the aisles.

    And I remember that the Nobody beats the Wiz always had a weird setup but i thought it was cool.

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  63. Hey! I go to this mall all the time. Nice to see it profiled.

    While I don’t think Monmouth Mall is really in much trouble as Freehold is quite a distance from a good portion of coastal Monmouth County (which is, I’d guess, where most of MM’s shoppers come from), it would be nice to see it renovated and expanded. First off, something needs to be done with the Macy’s Kids wing – it’s extremely dead and useless. A new department store would do that wing well and it could also be expanded. Making it an upscale department store is probably the best way to go, either Nordstrom or Bloomingdale’s (id go with Bloomingdale’s as Nordstrom is already in FRM). Or possibly even something unique like a Fortunoff.

    The entertainment/lifestyle wing idea is a good one – I say move Burlington Coat Factory across the highway and convert it to a Barnes & Noble. Then, the wing next to the food court could be expanded a bit (move Old Town Buffet and Thomasville across the highway, as well) and they could add either a Champs or a Dave & Busters, and also a Cheesecake Factory would do this mall well. This mall definitely needs a Sharper Image and maybe an apple store, as well. I think something like a Build-a-Bear Workshop could also fit in the lifestyle wing. The food court also needs to be updated.

    Still, I’d hope that if the mall is renovated, it’d keep some of it’s unique look. It needs to be brightened up a lot, though. I think they should give it a look similar to Woodbridge Center.

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  64. I think if Vornado renovate monmouth mall. i think they will do the same thing they did at Green Arces Mall and Kings Plaza Mall. New flooring, lights and maybe a new food court. Here is link to photos to Green Arces Mall renovation,
    http://www.greenacresmallonline.com/shop_rev.asp
    I do not think Vornado will not do your upscale entertainment/lifestyle wing idea. To me Vornado do not try to bring there malls to the next level. For example lets take King Plaza Mall. At Kings Plaza Vornado could have done what Macerich did at Queens Center Mall. Macerich created a new wing next to the old mall and then connected the two malls with a two level glass skywork ( with stores part of the skywalk). Next to Kings Plaza there is land that chould have been a new wing of shops/entertainment/ lifestyle. Maybe if a other mall developer owned Monmouth mall maybe your idea might happen.

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  65. Sadly I agree – Vorando won’t do all that much with this mall and won’t bring it to it’s full potential. It’d be nice to see the mall get taken over by another company, maybe General Growth.

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  66. Vornado isn’t just dead weight…they LOBOTOMIZED Bergen Mall! Those heartless monsters!

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  67. Vornado has to be one of worst run reits for retail i have ever known. 1. Green acers, 2. Monmouth Mall, 3. Kings Plaza, 4. Springfield Mall on this site. Any questions?

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  68. I also have some more points about Kings Plaza. King Plaza is also a marina. I will think other Malls will use their Waterfront/Marina as a advantage. I think Kings plaza used their waterfront so poorly. In some kind of entertainment/lifestyle/shopping wing idea. Kings plaza could have some restaurants overlooking the water/ boats/ million dollar houses in Mill basin. The new wing could have shops like Barnes & Noble (Waldenbooks just closed). I sure a other mall developer might have done that. Kings Plaza closed the outdoor parking lot for a Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse. There is a Home Depot a few feet away ! Vornado could have done better than that.
    Though King Plaza looks modern. The mall lost what made it special. That the problem with Kings Plaza. Kings Plaza used to have a brown 1970′s look with wood everywhere. A carousel with people loved. the Macy’s store still had there 1970′s all red capital logo. Like the one in this link,
    http://graphicslib.viator.com/graphicslib/2074/SITours/vip-shopper-macys-san-francisco-in-san-francisco-2.jpg
    I know some of you labelscarers will love to take pics of the before 2002 Kings plaza.
    Now there is nothing special about Kings Plaza. All the stores you can get in Manhattan ( larger at than Kings Plaza). A lot of people only go to Kings Plaza because, they do not want to go Manhattan or some other Malls.

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  69. I just don’t understand why Vorando won’t do anything with this mall since it’s probably their most successful mall (or at least one of them). A few new restaurants and a book store at the very least need to be added, and of course news flooring/lighting. Then again the fancy lighting does inspire SOME hope that at least Vorando is paying attention to it, even if it doesn’t look great.

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  70. What did Macy’s Kids used to be?

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  71. I was going to mention the castle story phones! I remember when i was about 8 and 9 My grandma and her sister used to take me my brother and cousin to White castle and then to monmouth mall. We only really went to Mcrory’s. I got one of them plastic charm necklaces that were sooo cool in the mid 80′s from there. And us kids were playing with our toys in the back seat on the way home…we had these plastic horses covered in fake velvet or felt or something and they were black so we called them black booty…because my cousins grandpas nick name was booty. I stopped going for a number of years because in 1990 my grandpa died and we had no way to get there no one drove. I started hanging out there alot when i got my license in 95.

    There is one original part of the mall still standing i think(at least it as when I was there in 07 sometime…the spiral stair case in front of penny’s.

    I agree that the yucky rt 35 entrance has to be spruced up…and the ghetto parking garage. Remember the red and yellow star shaped sign that was out front???? There was a zany brainy sort of on the outside of the mall at one point…and I DO remember the Childrens Place circle thing!!! The Sesame Street store closed before i started going to the mall again…it was where i think gap is now…I also remember Le Crepe…and there was a Barnes and Noble in the mall. Or was that Woodbridge?

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  72. Another thing, I think, that is holding back Vorando from doing any Monmouth Mall expansion/renovation is the area roadways. The 35/36/Wyckoff Road intersections need to be redone and two out of three of them need overpasses. I consider this intersection a “Gateway to the Northern Shore” since it leads to the Northern Jersey Shore Communties, Monmouth Park and Monmouth University…Monmouth Mall would get much better business with the updating of these highways in the same way that GS Plaza got an even bigger boost when 4 and 17 were redone. At the same time, the route 35 entrance where the traffic light is needs to be made into an overpass. As we have all said time and time over again, the place could use a lot of sprucing up.

    Mandy, the Barnes and Noble was in The Grove, where Talbots currently is. It was a smaller location (bigger than a mall bookstore, but much smaller than the superstores of today) when they first started opening in the area and was similar to the early ones in East Brunswick and West Orange.

    On the Green Acres Mall, renovation, I think those renovations are pretty darn ugly. They also, unfortunately, took out the fountain that used to be between the elevator and escalator in this picture .

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  73. What an ugly looking mall (Green Acres). Looks like an airport…

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  74. Hey,

    I just came across this site while browsing the net. I thought it was pretty interesting. I live less than 5 minutes away from this mall and it’s definitely my favorite. It could definitely use some renovations though, now that Freehold Mall is really nice and classy. Anyways, it looks like they are planning on expanding Monmouth Mall. The plans call for 2 attachments to the actual mall structure and 2 buildings on mall property. Here is the link:

    http://atlanticville.gmnews.com/news/2008/0103/Front_Page/006.html

    Enjoy!

    …and I agree, Green Acres Mall looks maadd ugly hah

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  75. Interesting article…good to see Barnes and Noble is coming…where is the “Site B” location in the mall?

    Somewhat surprised Dick’s pulled out, but they really need to address the Macy’s Kids/Ruby Tuesday wing, as well as make some cosmetic changes to the mall, as we have discussed in detail.

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  76. So I guess Barnes & Noble will move from their current location in Consumer Centre (West Long Branch) down the street. It is a pretty small location, considering the new two-floor cafe styles they use now. I hope this doesn’t take away business from the great Borders down the street. Yeah, the mall needs a good sprucing. From the floor to the ceiling. Freehold Mall looks awesome. Vornado- steal some ideas? Also, most of the department stores need makeovers as well. I agree: some more restaurants would be great- even some better food court places. The AMC Loews could also look better. I remember when they opened- it was AMAZING! But now, it is a little too 90′s for me. Those new HD theaters are looking pretty good now-a-days.

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  77. Looks like Vorando is finally giving Monmouth Mall what it needs.

    I’m sure a renovation will come with the expansion, and a Barnes & Noble is exactly what MM needs to attract the upscale crowd, especially since Freehold has a Borders and not a B&N.

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  78. Also, by “upgrading the types of commercial entities that will be purchasing and renting space in the mall”, I’m guess this means they’ll be going for more upscale stores, right?

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  79. Yuck! Monmouth wants to go upscale too! My three reasons for this are:

    Cherry Hill Mall got what was left of its unique personality and the mix of upscale to mid-scale tenants plus the large food court all ripped out for a snooty generic “upscale” feel.

    Freehold Raceway Mall is nearby. Do you really need another upscale mall?

    Bergen Mall also had horrible things done to it by Vornado. I don’t want Vornado to even TOUCH poor Monmouth after they butchered Bergen Mall!

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  80. I mean AGAINST upscaling, not for it. My bad.

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  81. I HATE VORNADO! AS A RETAIL LANDLORD!

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  82. Let’s face it, Monmouth Mall is tired and needs something done. The longer they wait, the more customers they lose to Freehold and other places in the area. We already had a “dead mall” a few miles down route 35 (Seaview Square) and ignoring Monmouth Mall could be detrimental to the area and it would be ashame as this mall has a very rich history. It’s also in Eatontown’s best interest as their tax base will skyrocket. I don’t think Vorando is going to do enough for the mall though. Barnes and Noble is a good start, but they need much, much more. For Monmouth Mall to go upscale, they need to do it full force as The Grove at Shrewsbury is nearby and also downtown Red Bank, where prospective tennants may rather go. It can definitely be done with towns like Colts Neck and Rumson nearby. My recommendation would be to extend the 2nd floor out to Macy’s and rebuild the Ruby Tuesday wing to 2 levels and anchor it with Bloomingdale’s. Then lifestyle the one level section and make the place aesthetically pleasing. Fix the 35/36/Wyckoff Road intersections and we have a nice super-regional mall at the eastern Jersey Shore.

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  83. Oh…

    The JC Penny store was built for the mid 70′s expansion and has always been JC Penny. And the Hahnes store that is now Lord and Taylor was built at the sme time.

    What became of the Ground Round? Is it gone? Or is it Chilis now or something?

    I remember thwe Ground Round (free standing building in the parking lot) having floors COVERED in peanut shells.

    Anyone remember the modern tree sculpture that was near the B. Dalton (or Waldens Books can’t remember wchich it was) leading toward the bambergers store? It was HUGE. Is it gone now too?

    Note to moderator: I had a typo in my email address in my 1st post. Please correct it. It is jettmiester@yahoo.com.

    Thanks again!

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  84. WOW!! So glad I stumbled across this blog/website! Sure brings back LOADS of Memories! AWESOME! Kudos to the webmaster!!!

    Born in 1965 and raised in Monmouth County (Neptune Township), I shopped regularly in Monmouth Mall since I can remember. I moved away from the area in 1984 and miss this mall and have such FOND memories of it!

    To answer what seems one unaswered question on here,:

    What is now Macy’s Kids was part of Bambergers from way back when. When I was a kid, my grandmother bought lots of stuff from that location. It was a Bambergers outlet/discount type store. Later I believe it turned into “Bambergers Kids” as well. Remember too that Bambergers (if I remember correctly) was always part/division of Macy’s since 1929! They just changed the name to Macy’s to simplify. Reason why I remember this, is even way back…shopping at Bambergers, our shopping bags from there ALSO had Macys on it as well. And it was Bambergers who in fact had the LIVE maniquins. It was not all the time, just special events/occasions.

    I was saddened to find Friendlys no longer exists in this mall. It was always one of our favorite places to eat. Hickory Farms had a store very close too where we’d “tour” to get free samples! Yum! Free food tastes best!

    Another place missing I was saddened to see gone was ITALIAN DELIGHT. It was on the lower level practically under Friendly’s. And near there,but upstairs was Video Concepts. One of teh VERY 1st places in teh 70′s to buy VHS/beta movies and new VCRs and camcorders! I got my Atari there!

    The wing that lead from Bambergers was your typilcal straight boring wing before the food court. On the Macy’s side it had Arthur Treachers, and great Record and Tape Store (don’t remember the name), to name a few. Across the mall was Kressgee’s which had a great lunch counter, which later turned into McCrory. This wing always seemed to have a dooming dark cloud over it. It was always changing, sometimes having many vacancies off and on through even the heydays of the 70′s

    Last time I was in this mall was 1984. I really missed the HUGE Sam Goody that used to be by the escelator/elevators on the lower level, relpaced by a smaller one upstairs near A&S. Rite Aid was cool too on the corner near the Discount Bambergers, for the fact It had adult magazines! :) A kid always thinks it’s special to peek at those! They werent shrink wrapped at all back then. LOL

    The upper level across from J.C. Penny was a great KB Toys. I bought and still have quite a few of the items from there. One of my main places to get My Car models and later my Star Wars Figures! This Toy store thrived being it was there before Toys R US was built across the highway.

    Alexanders was Montgomery Wards 1st, then Alexanders then Caldors. I got my Atari 5200 there! That wing was the older part of the mall (the wing with the dooming dark cloud).

    Near that wing, Hermans Sporting goods was the free standing sporting goods store that did not get enclosed in the 70′s remodel.

    One of my other favorite things was the outside free standing Pizza place. Octagon or round in shape, you stood in there to eat. There were no tables that I can remember. A ledge indoors that went all around the windows where you stood to eat. It was just outsdie from the Bambergers Discount store.

    At that Mall entrance was a fortune teller machine that was scary as hell. I remember it giving me nightmares as a small child! One just like it was later used in some late 1970′s/early 1980′s horror movie!

    This mall was also the 1st place I encountered that had the NEW digital touch tone payphones. We’d entertain ourselves by pushing the buttons and checking the change chutes. We’d actualy find lots of change! Sometimes we’d leave the mall with more $ than we started out with!

    Last thing, is the mall before the 70′s enclosure that I remember is the HUGE SNOWMEN they would put out by the roads by the entrances for Christmas. These things were so big, I would dream that Santa’s Workshops were inside of them! LOL

    Later I remember Santa Arriving at Monmouth Mall via sky diving!

    So..as you can see this mall holds LOTS of memories for me.

    And there are many more I haven’t even broke the ice on!

    Thanks again for resurrecting such fond memories. I appreciate it.

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  85. I remeber italian delight. I used to go there all the time for pizza. now you gotta eat that overpriced roman delight in the food court and the pizza aint to great believe me on that lol.and to answer monmouth malls question about the ground round it is closed and the chilis is a freestanding chilis. it was built in the early 2000′s ajacent to macy’s. you can see it from rt36 entering the mall coming off the parkway exit 105. the ground round is the american,mozzarellla whatever the heck that place is called. i forget correct me on the exact name. you guys are bringin up some great memories of oone of my favorite malls in jersey. someone should do a write up on seaview square but sadly the mall part was demolished =( I rember the kaybee by Jc penny as well i used to get my old atari 2600 games there and some nes games as well when toys r us and child world didn’t have them across the highway.

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  86. Yeah, I would love posts about Seaview Square since it is long gone. I would also love pictures of it, since I remember it vaguely.

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  87. Let me paste a copy of my Seaview Square post here that I had placed in a Steinbach blog to share here:

    I loved Seaview Square Mall. It was the closest to my house being I lived in Neptune. The Steinbachs was a gorgeous store, but lacked character and charm of the beautiful clasically styled grand one in Downtown Asbury Park that relocated here. But originally the new one had a sit down eating area as well.

    Seaview had a doomed fate from the beginning. My Mom’s Cousin went to the grand opening of the Mall, a man was stabbed in the Steinbach Parking lot. He staggered into the Stienbach store for help when he then colapsed, right at her feet near the escalator. I don’t recall if he passed away or was dead at the scene. But..what a beginning! Whew!

    This did not keep me away from this mall. I loved this Mall, loved it’s size. And had great anchors. Sears, Sterns and Steinbachs,

    I loved the Food court in this mall. All your places to eat located together. Monouth Mall was older, so it had not adapted this concept yet. Seaview was the 1st time I EVER heard of a Chick-fil-a. Monmouth Mall never had one (does now however in the New Food Court it built). My favorite Scicilian Pizza was served by a great lil pizzaria that I unfortunately can’t recall the name of. I would make trips into that mall many a day after school just to grab a slice from there!

    Seaview had a great McCrory’s and a great Aladin’s Castle arcade. And Seaview had a lot of stores that weren’t so frequent or common in other malls. It had an EXCELLENT Record Shop on the lower level called Record World (a TSS Record Shop), where I bought LOTS of my music at. And upstairs was a Listening Booth record shop as well! Next door to Record World was a great hobby type store where I got many art supplies for highschool.

    Seaview did have a few sit down type restaurants. Gizmos was a restaurant you could sit down and eat at, and it had an arcade too! Bonaza restaurant was also upstirs which was also a sit down and eat near Sears. Gizmo’s had a tie in with Warner Bros. Lots of Looney Tunes imagery and mascots.

    At Christmas they had the Talking Reindeer. I rememeber telling them I wanteed to find Loni Anderson (WKRP in Cincinati fame) under my tree christmas morning, and they did not respond! LOL

    Mom would always run in and get things for the house at a store called Karen’s Kurtains. It was upstairs not too far from McCrory and Aladin’s Castle in the Steinbach wing.

    There was a cool Rock N Roll/Musical Instrument shop downstairs in the Sears wing. It was near Rite Aid and across from Some bank near the bottom of the escalator that was on a corner with a walk through bee hive for the entrance. And it had one of the 1st MAC machines I remember.

    I loved the huge theatre that was out in front of the mall. It preceeeeded the mall by quite a few years. It was not built specifically to go with this mall. It was renamed to go along with the mall when it was built. Later it became a multi-plex, but before then, it had one HUGE screen! It was the best place to see Star Wars or any loud action movie! This is what I missa bout movie going. These new multi-plexes have smaller screens.

    There was another smaller mall built to the east of this mall. It contained Acme (a grocery store). and a drug store of some kind as well. I don’t think the few other retail spots were ever filled. It was built at the same time. I think that buliding survived the demolishing of Seaview and the properties redevelopement. But I have no idea what occupies it.

    I sure would love to see this mall honored on this site with some photos. I would love to see some then and now images to compare. I do look at it every now and then using Google earth and compare from my memory. But photos would be so appreciated!

    If Labelscar does create a section dedicated to this gone mall, I would love to have this blog moved to it’s page.

    I ask all of you to please share your Seaview Quare Mall Memories with us!

    Thanks!

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  88. The theatre was a General Cinema,, they had locations statewide. Like SeaView, many theatres closed do to compitition from Loews & National Amusements with better theatres.

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  89. The bank was Provident Bank, I remember walking through the Beehive entrance many times. The store by the ACME was Thrift Drugs, which eventually got swallowed by Eckerd. Pizza place was Rizzo’s Pizza.

    Here is the Seaview Square Mall food court, from what I can remember beginning counter clockwise. Fanny Farmer, Orange Julius, (food store, cannot remember), Something Fishy, (fire exit), something called Hot Potato, or Stuffed Potato, Rizzo’s Pizza, Oriental Delight, Mc Fraden’s Deli, (fire exit), Hot Dog Works, (another one I cannot remember), then Burger Stop. Across from the food court was Chick Fil-A, Freedman’s Bakery, and on the other side of the Stern’s wing was Hot Sam.

    Down the other end by McCrory’s was a sit-down Wendy’s with SuperBar, and a TCBY. Also, downstairs was a sit-down Sbarro near the Sears entrance. This mall had a lot of food choices, and Mc Donald’s made a brief appearance in the food court right before the mall closed. According to my map, memory, and tokens, the arcade from mid-1980′s on was Fun N Games, the same place that was in Ocean County Mall. Was it Aladdin’s Castle prior? I always loved this mall, and loved to see Snoopy on his doghouse from the glass elevator to the food court. I also remember the 2-level Jack La Lanne health club in the mall, with the pool and hot tub being connected via indoor walkway to a free-standing building behind the mall.

    Where was the Bonanza in the mall? My mall map of Seaview is from 1988, and has no record.

    I also have classic Mall Directories for Monmouth and Ocean. The Monmouth one still has the old buildings and Caldor wing in tact.

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    Jim Kalike Reply:

    @Dave Lansing,

    Can you take scan the seaview square map and post it?

    Thanks,
    Jim

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  90. I drove by Monmouth Mall today and noticed that the Old Town Buffet restuarant outside next to Thomsville has closed. The sign was down and it was all dark inside.

    Moving over to Seaview Square the music store was called Farrington’s Music. It was next to radio shack. Also upstais by Karins Kurtains and Fun And Games was a surf shop called Shore Image. It was operated by Feet First which was located downstairs between Lane Bryant and Fashion Bug. The Kay Bee toy store was much bigger in Seaview than in Monmouth Mall. Also there was a bedding store that sold only waterbeds called Suppier Sleep. It was located upstairs next to Sears.
    Another interesting fact was that Seaview Square had a Coles Bookstore which was owned by Waldenbooks. I knew so many people who had bunk beds that were purchased from Pine Factory from that mall.
    Seaview Square was a great mall because it always had baseball card shows many times each year.

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  91. On Seaview Square, it was very sad to see this place de-malled. I attribute it to the following:

    - its location-while at a busy traffic circle, it has very little visibility from route 35 and can be easily missed from route 18. It was visible, slightly, from route 66, but no traffic signs gave a good heads up on the turnoff (”Shopping Center” is very vague and I always thought if the visibility stinks, put the name of the shopping center on the sign)

    - Its REIT: They were unable to successfully market the mall as an alternative to Monmouth Mall and as a result, it could not attract big name leases. Because of this, people had little reason to come here. The mall could have easily been expanded and fully leased if the REIT put some time into the place.

    - Movie theater as an outparcel: There used to be a small movie theater along the route 66 entrance, near the current locations of Applebees and WJLK. When malls have movie theaters as outparcels and not attached to the malls, there will be little reason or want for customers to visit the mall…Monmouth Mall, GS Plaza, and basically every mall that has a movie theater attached to it has realized this potential.

    -Lack of dining options: A few fast food places and a food court with little access (only from the 2nd floor and they could have put a mall entrance in it to give it more visibility). To my memory, there were no sit down restaurants either….during this time Monmouth Mall had 4 or 5.

    I miss the old Seaview Square, before the 1990s renovation…even before the Center Court remodel of the late 1980s…at either end of the mall underneath and around the escalators, there were fairly large fountains. The one in center court was huge, but was taken out in the late 1980s. After the construction, they took the two remaining fountains out and replaced them with tiny waterfalls underneath the escalators. The pastels of the new construction were hideous. The mall was classic and had a character to it that Monmouth Mall in its current state is missing.

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  92. I remember those waterfalls! Thanks for the memories.

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  93. Bonanza restaurant was upstairs not too far from Sears. It was across the way from the Waterbed store. I left the area in 1984, I am sure the mall changed quite a bit after I had left and before it’s demise.

    When I frequented the Mall the Food Court was laid out a bit differently then.. Fanny Farmer and Orange Julius was there, but Blimpies Subs was also there, closer to where it came around near Chick Fil A.
    Wendy’s, Sbarro and TCBY had not existed yet either in the Mall before I left the area. Sbarros, being it was downstairs next to sears had to have been in the original Rite Aid spot or the Providence Bank location with the huge bee hive.

    I was in an older mall in Oklahoma recently and it had a DEB store in it that was an exact duplicate of the one in Seaview in the 70′s.

    I loved that Coles Book store. I always seemed to find more books to my interest than any other book store in any mall.

    I do remember the huge beautiful fountains. And I also remember the boardwalk type walkway around them as well. It fascinated me how they would drain all that and turn it into a winter wonderland for Christmas.

    There was another type arcade/store that was across form McCrory on the Upper level….
    …They had a few of the 1st sit down table top type arcade games I can remember. Plus that store focused on selling anything game related as well. Dart Boards, Board games, bumper pool tables… retail stuff like that. Was that called Fun and Games? Aladins Castle was a play type only arcade, not a retail store at all, and it was in an upper wing back on the top floor near the back upper level entrance. These two acrade type places co-existed when I was there.

    And i do remember the Pine Factory Store! Almost forgot about that.

    Wow, such memories. I am really enjoying this trip back in time!

    Dave Lansing,

    These old mall directories you have..can you take pics and post them? I would love to see these!

    Thanks again to all!

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  94. Hello all,

    Thanks for this forum and the chance to relive a lot of old memories that I have since forgotten.

    I worked at both Seaview Square and Monmouth malls, in both cases after the upgrades, but was going to those malls since I was a kid, back in the late 70′s and forward.

    I have a pretty vivid memory of both malls but there is so much I had forgotten that I have been reminded of by reading these posts. When I worked at Monmouth Mall there was this older guy who use to to matainence in the mall and was there for decades. He said he had old directories and I asked him a few times if I could have some or at least see them, but unfortunately I never got either. So yeah..if anyone has any directories from this time period, me and I’m sure everyone else would love to see them.

    I have maybe 3 photos of Seaview prior to the renovations. I will try to post them somewhere soon and share. The aren’t great and only show a bit of the mall. But one of them is of Fubar the robot. Anyone remember him? He was a remote controlled robot at least the size of an adult and very wide. He use to talk to shoppers, sing, dance, and so on. It was a real treat if you got to talk to him and see him. I was fortunate enough to get my picture with him and also have one of the maps he use to spit out of his chest. Not a mall map, but a map of his universe I guess. I will try and post both soon.

    In regards to Seaview Squre, does anyone remember before the renovation that there were I believe 2 staircases at either end of the mall with these huge white clocks? I remember a lot of red and orange tones and a wood floor. Some other stores I remember are Mr. Pipe, Tid-bit Alley, Care on the Square, Orange Julius (which later bacame Derby dog, I think Oriental express too. Sears, Sterns and Steinbachs rounded out the 3 anchor stores. There was a McCrory in the steinbach’s wing across from Karin’s Kurtains.

    In regards to Monmouth, I remember the Orange Julius there being more isolated from the rest of the mall. I remember there were also a lot of outside stores such as a Vaccuum cleaner store outside on the way to the outdoor arcade. The arcade was very dark and dingy, which was fitting for the mall, and had a warped pool table.

    I remember the golden castle phones well and vaguely remember the fairy tales they use to tell. The McCrory’s had a small grill on one side of it where I would have fries. That wing was dead and also had I think a hobby store by Burger King, Record Town (or world), New York Steakhouse, a long corridor that housed the restrooms, and a Chinese restaurant (maybe Jade Garden???). They always looked so bored in there.

    I’ll try to conjure up other memories that I have from both malls and post them. If I can dig up any other information about the malls I will as well. Thanks for the memories.

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  95. The Chinese restaurant was called Wok Express. When it closed it Monmouth mall it reopened in Seaview Square in the food court next to Derby Dog.
    Seaview Square also had a store downstairs between Rite Aid and Deb called We R Tops that made those T-Shirts with the ironed on decals. There was also a small fotomat in the middle of the mall where they would send out your film to be developed and it would take weeks to come in.

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  96. It would be cool to see some seaview square pics, both before AND after the renovations, as i cant find any anywhere. And pictures of the manalapan mall would be cool, too.

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  97. I would like to know why American Cafe closed down. They had such good food there including dessert. I miss the good ole days, but truthfully Monmouth Mall needs to have some things done.

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  98. American Cafe pulled out of NJ totally. They were also located in Quakerbridge…I think the former QB location is now a sports bar. It is a shame nothing has taken that Monmouth location…Houlihan’s actually opened south of the mall on route 35 (too bad it didn’t open in the mall, but they usually prefer stand alone locations). Hopefully the upcoming renovation/expansion will address the vacancy.

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  99. great memories of seaview square monmouth mall guy. I rember that waterbed store loved going there bouncing around on the waterbeds lol. do you all remeber a jack la lane fitness spa there as well it was on the upper level goin to sears. I remeber the mccroys on the upper level going towards steinbach’s and also there was a freedmans bakery on the upper level near sterns in the center court it was a good local bakery in the monmouth county area. but I don’t really remeber an arcade there I was too young for sure lol also a feet first what happened to that store did they go out of business?? I loved that store =(. I do commonly remeber the food court with the rizzo’s pizza i remeber that place had pictures of corvettes that were out at the time hahaha I remeber getting sick off of those pizza’s all of the time and of course the provident and the right aid right next to sears. also the acme and that movie theatre never saw a movie there but it had that funny structure when you saw it on rt66. I last visited the original Seaview in 1995 and it deminished in the worst way stores closing left and right.I actually droove by that mall 5 yrs later and saw the stern’s demolished and target replacing that store. man if would only go back in time

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  100. Come some of you be wrong about a Montgomery Wards in the Monmouth Mall? My post “there is no Santa Claus days” remember my father taking me out Chrismas shopping around “61-”63″ and going to a Wards probably located on Rt. 66 probably around where the Shop Rite is. Where exactly I don’t know. The Shop Rite might have been built on the site of a former Sears.
    I will show my age by remembering a Sears store in Red Bank on Monmouth St. in Red Bank. I guess they had demo models and you ordered from the catologue.

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  101. Has anybody learned where the new Barnes and Noble coming to Monmouth Mall will be built?

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  102. Hello everyone…lots of good reading and memories here….regarding the Bamberger’s discount store…the actual name was Bamberger’s Budget Store. I used to shop there in the late 70′s. Also, I worked at Hahne’s back in 1976 – 1978. I would love to find out where some of the people are that I used to work with. I was only 17 years old at the time. If anyone knows how to find old work friends, please email me at: uslifeguy@yahoo.com.

    I also used to work at Sterns at Seaview Square and later Monmouth Mall. Also in Seaview Square was Bavarian Pretzel (I worked there) and Karmelkorn (I worked there too). Does anyone remember the first female security guard at that mall back in the late 70′s?? She is a good friend of mine!! What a blast I had working at that mall!!!

    I certainly remember Bun N Burger, but it was located where Aeropostale is located now. I do remember the restaurant in A&S and also Bamberger’s had one too. I remember back in 1976, Hahne’s brought in a new machine in the Housewares department that made frozen yogurt!!! That was the first time I tasted it and have loved it ever since!!

    I love reading about the history of malls. And I remember shopping at Montmouth Mall before the mall was there, when it was called the Eatontown Shoppig Center, before Rotue 18 was ever built!

    man, do I feel old!!!!!

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  103. Ground Round is long, long gone. I went there all the time as a kid, they even held kids birthday parties; I believe it closed by 1990. The floor was indeed covered with peanut shells, which stood around in large barrels for any patrons to munch away at. I often ruined my appetite for dinner by the time we were seated. La Crepe was French-bistro looking restaurant upstairs near the tuxedo place and game store; they closed and became Garcia’s after 1995. The had the most amazing spinach and cheese crepes. Orange Julius was awesome; I was delighted to go to a DC area mall and find an Orange Julius in 2003. I don’t even know where to find one in Jersey.
    By the way, there is a Border’s Express (next to the old Lenscrafters, now soem nautically themed restaurant) near the foodcourt. There is a giant Border’s at the corner of 35 and Wykoff, in the EMS/ToysRUs/BK plaza. There was B. Dalton upstairs (near old Disney Store location, just down from Piercing Pagoda) but it was either bought out or just went out.
    I have childhood memories that make me pleasantly nostalgic for the Monmouth Mall. I am glad that some people enjoy them; the writer and readers of this blog write with intelligence and clarity on this subject that they clearly love. I admire that.
    However now that I live directly across the highway from the Monmouth Mall and have children of my own, my opinion has changed. My children beg to go there, and that is difficult, as you cannot eat or drink for less than 3$ at the Monmouth Mall. The mall traffic causes cars to crawl at mealtimes and stop dead during the holidays. The stars are blotted out by the ever present glow of the mall; when closed their lights stay on, blotting out the heavens. At night, I can look out of my door and see the mall parking lot lights. Fleeing shoplifters are tracked through my neighborhood by armed mall cops (Eatontown police specially assigned to the mall). Crimes commited in the Monmouth mall are listed on the police blotter as “Rt 35″, “Rt 36″ or “Eatontown area”. Some say this failure tolist the actual crime locations bought at a price. Either way, NEVER park in the parking garage if you are alone.
    But on the plus side, I already have good parking for Chrismas shopping…I’m in closer walking ditance than some of the overflow parking lots…unless the mall owners have my neighborhood bulldozed for the coming renovations and accompanying road expansion.
    Shop on.

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  104. They started construction on the free standing buildings. The outermost parking lots in front of Macy’s are being dug up. Does anyone know where the Barnes and Noble is going to be built. I also heard a rumor that Burlington was going to close and reopen up at Seaview Square where Lowes was. Did anyone else hear that?

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  105. I had the chance to stop by Monmouth Mall this weekend and it’s sad to see how downright depressing this place has gotten over the years. I was also amazed how desolate this place was on a Saturday afternoon (Pier Village and The Grove were more crowded and it wasn’t even that warm out). Maybe it’s because I’m making direct comparisons to FRM’s recent construction, but the bland nature of this place is apparent.

    I did notice the freestanding building construction as well and hope to see a mall renovation to brighten this place up very, very soon (Wikipedia says it’s going to happen). Not sure where B&N will go but hope they build a 2 level location.

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  106. I visited this mall for the first time in a few months recently (I live in Holmdel and I’ve been bypassing it for Freehold Mall, which really is much better) and I found out they are adding a new H&M store on the upper level. H&M isn’t in Freehold Mall yet is it? I wonder why they chose to go to Monmouth Mall over Freehold. Nevertheless it’s nice to see that Monmouth Mall is getting a new store, especially a major one like H&M. Maybe this is a good sign that a renovation is coming.

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  107. Getting an H & M today is no great achievement, almost every mid-level mall either has one or will get one soon. It’s just like getting Starbucks. When stores like H & M refuse to sign a lease, you know there’s a big problem.

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  108. Interesting additives to all the posts here.

    The Monmouth Mall JCPenney was originally built for themselves in 1976 I believe. A fact that most people dont know is when the store was still an open steel frame, during construction, two young boys were playing around on the second level after hours and one was killed when he fell into the escalator pit.

    The JCPenney Auto Center/Firestone building was located in the parking lot across from the front of the TGI fridays. When the mall was undergoing the vast remodeling project of 1996, the Auto Center was demolished. The area was paved over and is a parking lot. There are no traces of the building.

    Just as a previous writer added, the theatre was all new construction. That was part of the 1996 remodel. That was the area of the Caldor.

    What is now the Boscov’s was a Sterns, then prior to that an A & S.

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  109. Let us not forget about the Bambergers Auto center that was across from Lord and Taylor (Hane’s back then). That building was also demolished and is now part of the parking lot.

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  110. There is new construction going on now right in front of Route 36- near Macy’s. This was a former unused parking lot. I wonder what this will be?

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  111. That will be either Jared-Galleria of Jewelry, Fresh City or both. Those stores along with Barnes and Noble are the confirmed tennants of the expansion. Dicks was going to be built adjacent to Boscov’s, but they pulled out. I’m just curious to see where Barnes and Noble will go.

    And will there be a renovation to go along with the expansion? Wikipedia states there is one upcoming…we’ll see.

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  112. From newspaper:
    On March 10, the Eatontown Planning Board granted final site plan approval to the owner of Monmouth Mall (Vornado Trust Realty) for a four part expansion adding 113,824 square feet of retail and restaurant space to the already 1.5 million square-foot mall (the fifth largest in the state BTW).

    The interesting part for us foodists is that one of the intended tenants (to be located in Site C of the project which is planned to be a 14,202 square-foot structure on the outskirts of the mall’s parking lot and bordering Route 35) is one of the first of Bobby Flay’s new high-end burger concept known as “Bobby’s Burger Palace” (with another location planned for Smithville, NY). Other prospective restaurant tenants include a Chipotle and Fresh City.

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  113. What I was thinking that might run entirely contradictory with the current remodel…but why not have “themes”? This would involve getting rid of in-line space in front of Macy’s for a food court. The current food court wing, along with BCF becomes a real “entertainment wing”, replete with the existing theater, flight simulator, mini-golf, GameWorks, and waterpark.
    The southern end with Macy’s Kids is ripped out for a brand-new upscale wing (with Nordstrom), and so on.

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  114. Glad to see you agree with me, Jonah. As I mentioned in post #4, that format would definitely bring customers to Monmouth Mall and keep it relevant. A Bloomingdales in lieu of Nordstrom would further attract a customer base in central Jersey that would not have to deal with the drive to Bridgewater Commons or the Mall at Short Hills.

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  115. Dave & Busters is a must for what is being perposed here

    Ah Mallguy, right up your alley

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  116. anyone know any history about the brunswick square mall? my friend and i are trying to remember the stores and can’t find help.

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  117. There were some very interesting stores and eateries there (many of which were also in Monmouth Mall) such as: The York Steakhouse, Bun N Burger, Hot Dogs N More (which had a funky smell) and Farrell’s Ice Cream (which was not in Monmouth Mall also, but Paramus Park…seems like it would fit in right on Main Street USA)…same anchors, except Macy’s was called Bamberger’s. Movie theater was much smaller and Barnes and Noble didn’t come until 1999.

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  118. The theatre was called Movie City 5. I don’t know where it was, however there were 2 other locationsWoodbridge & 1655 Oak Tree Road in Edison. The Edison 8-plex changed hands not all that long ago, Clearview owned it & dumped it.

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  119. Hey Sean,

    If you were looking for the old Movie City 5, that was located in one of the first “strip malls” along Rt 18, just over the 18 bridge out of Old Bridge in East Brunswick. Its on your right side when you cross over the span. (I dont know if it has a real name). I dont know the exact date that strip mall was built but it was around in the 1960′s. Movie City 5 was located in the corner of the mall as it is a “L” shape structure. That was the movie hub of the 80′s, crowds would line the sidewalks to wait to see a movie. The sidewalks even had muti colored striping so you would know what line to stand in when you waited to get tickets for your movie.

    The large empty store that is at the end of the mall was

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  120. Oops, lost my way there….

    Just a correction to my previous post. The strip mall along RT18 was built in the 1950′s. The day of the grand opening was a blizzard. Some of the original stores were a Food Fair (foodtown) that was in the far corner off RT 18 (last known as a Pelican Pools). Dont know when Foodfair moved out, a L.H Martins (discount style store) and a Grants (retail), they eventually became the Movie City 5. The racquet club you see in the lot was built in the 1980s and has stayed the same. The Burger King which is also in the lot was built in the 1980′s.

    As far as I know, the businesses that remain the longest are Franks Barber Shop (1970?) and Brothers Pizza (1979). The two best places to get a cut and lunch in Middlesex, Monmouth County!!

    If I acquire anymore information, I will post. Hope this answers some questions.

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  121. Karin,

    Brunswick Square Mall, East Brunswick Township, NJ started off as farmland owned by “Branco’s Farms” in the 1960′s. The first original structure built was a Bambergers (now Macys). The rest of the mall followed, the covered mall sections and finally the JCPenney. I dont believe anything existed on the mall area prior to original construction. There was possibly a few farm structures, but of course they were demolished.

    There was talk of the mall adding a second level but those plans fell to the wayside. A large remodel was done to the mall interior and exterior. The old “trees in a mall” 1970/80′s look was removed to bring this place more up to date. It is funny though, the Macys and JCPenney still havent done much of anything to really spruce up their stores. The McCrory store which closed in 2001 was located to the rear of the mall near the high school rear ball fields and was closed to the JCPenney catalog/pick up area. The old McCrorys space was used for the theatre that is now there.

    As far as other stores inside the mall, do you remember the “York Steakhouse?”

    Give me time, Ill find out more. Hope this helps.

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  122. Speaking of East Brunswick Movie Theatres, there were 3 in the 1980s: The Brunswick Square Cinema: owned by General Ciemna…orginially a twin, then expanded to 5 screens and then reborn as MegaMovies.
    Movie City 5: Monmouth’s description is accurate and the theatre closed in the early 1990s…I always found the stip mall kind of creepy since overflow parking was in the back of the strip mall…area was not well lit and was blocked from view of Old Bridge Turnpike by many trees. There was a little alleyway that cut between the two buildings of the strip mall that allowed for easy access to Movie City 5.
    Loews Route 18: Used to be where the current discount men’s store (the name escapes me) is currently located in the shopping center where the Chinese Market and DMV are located. Crazy Eddie used to be in this mall. This movie theatre was also very popular and closed in the mid 1996 when AMC New Brunswick on the site of the old US1 Fleamarket opened.

    The Brunswick Square expansion plans fell through after complaints by EB residents about the traffic the expansion would generate. I still think there is a chance for an expansion, especially if Summerhill Square gives Brunswick Square a run for their money.

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  123. At one time General Cinema was one of the largest theatre circuits with locations up & down the east coast, the midwest, Dallas TX, LA & Seattle. Central NJ had a large number of them. Over time however there dominance declined do to compitission from Loews, Cineplex Odeon & AMC in different parts of the country, these circuits expanded with large theatres with stadium seating & GC wasn’t able to defend it self because most cinemas had less than 8-screens or were just becomeing less desirable. Locations were closed or sold in large numbers to pay off debts, finally in 2002 AMC baught out GC & IT’S 66 theatres. Only 33 OF THOSE LOCATIONS REMAIN TODAY.

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  124. Now there are signs saying coming soon to Monmouth Mall: Jared- The Galleria of Jewelry, Fresh City, and a Bobby Flay burger restaurant.

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  125. Check this out, Monmouth Mall fans:
    http://www.siteride.com/srpl/p_snapshot.pl?subNum=10215000846

    Apparently, there was a Braddock’s and a 15-screen Sony Theatres where AMC and BCF are now, while Nobody Beats The Wiz is in the BASEMENT. Neat!

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  126. What is going to happen to Boscov’s. Didn’t they fight to get into MM?

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  127. Well, if Boscov’s does close, it leaves a great opportunity for Bloomingdale’s to come to Monmouth Mall! The building (once an A&S) is perfect for it and with the growth of affluent areas near Eatontown, as well as the chance to compete against a continully upscale trending Freehold Raceway Mall. Plus, it is attached to a parking deck (which will probably need a little more work done to it).

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  128. Mallguy, while I always enjoy reading your posts and respect your opnions, I could not disagree with you more: it would be a crying shame if a store as unique as Boscov’s were to be replaced by an extremely overpriced department store. While I know that you’ve long wanted Bloomingdale’s to come to the Monmouth Mall, I just don’t see it happening: Bloomingdale’s is extremely selective when it comes to opening new stores (far more so than Nordstrom), and the chain has just recently passed up opportunites to locate at malls far more upscale than Monmouth (such as Danbury Fair Mall, Cherry Hill Mall, and Natick Collection). And, while you pointed out correctly that Monmouth Mall is near some affluent areas, the core shoppers at the mall itself consist of the working and middle classes.

    Before I conclude, I want to apologize to you–Mallguy–if I have offended you in any way. Also, I did not mean to knock your fantasy about Bloomingdale’s coming to the Monmouth Mall. In fact, everybody has their own mall fantasies, myself included: I have always wanted to see a Boscov’s come to Northern NJ. Of course, that fantasy sadly will never become a reality.

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  129. Max/Mallguy,

    I’m going to put in my two cents, if you want to put a Bloomingdale’s in central NJ the best places are either Menlo Park or Freehold. Malguy, I know what you are trying to atempt with Monmouth Mall, but Max has a point. I cant see Bloomies opening there. Maybe you can show us some data to prove that you are right.

    Max, don’t forget Mallguy is a teacher, keep your mind open.

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  130. Sure don’t know what it’s like today, but circa 2001, according to this site:
    http://www.focusworldinternational.com/capabilities_domestic.htm

    Demographics of Monmouth Mall:
    Latino: 22%
    African American: 15%
    Caucasian: 61%
    Other: 2%
    Average Income: $ 78,000.00

    If those demographics are anywhere near accurate, Bloomingdale’s is NOT meant for Monmouth Mall.

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  131. Sean,

    Out of curiousity, do you happen to know the trade area radius from MM they are using for that survey? If that is within 5 miles, it’s pretty accurate with Eatontown, Long Branch, Shrewsbury and Asbury Park, but the towns of Ocean, Rumson, Spring Lake, Ocean Grove, Holmdel, Colts Neck and Wall, which are all nearby, are pretty affluent. Plus, Long Branch is not the same place it was 7 years ago. And Max, no offense taken…a little respectable disagreement is good here and there and I’m glad you enjoy hearing what I have to say. I’ll further explain why I think this could work.

    I grew up in the shore area, went to grad school down there and also worked in the area so I know it well and Monmouth County itself is very, very interesting in NJ. Unlike Bergen, Somerset, Essex and Morris Counties, there are no clear socio-economic divisions. Whereas Bergen County’s unofficial socioeconomic dividing line is Route 4, Essex is Northwest vs southeast, Monmouth County has no socioeconomic dividing line. There are very wealthy communities next to blue collar communties and very wealthy communties next to poor communities (ex’s: Holmdel and Keyport, Deal/Allenhurst and Asbury Park). As a result wealth/poverty is pretty spread out. Many of my former students were willing to drive a little farther to FRM overlooking MM (and I do the same thing), but they all talk of the convenience of MM. Even though MM is doing OK and there is an upcoming expansion (the B&N will help), it’s not enough to compete with Freehold, especially with the possibility of Boscov’s closing. Monmouth County can easily support 2 upscale malls and I would further make the argument that Monmouth Mall has much better highway accessibility (2 mi from the GSP and on 35/36, 1 mi from 18, 7 mi from 195/138) than FRM (on 9 & 33, 4 mi from , 8 mi from 195 and about 10-12 mi from exit 8 of the NJT and exit 100 of the GSP). Bloomingdale’s however, is not the only solution to MM…also a MAJOR cosmetic renovation, an entertainment/lifestyle wing, and a renovation of the 35/36/Wyckoff Road intersections, as I had explained higher up in this thread. Getting Bloomingdale’s will make MM a “destination mall” in the same fashion taht Nordstrom does for Menlo and FRM, thereby attracting more stores that may want a 2nd MC location and eventhough The Grove is nearby, it’s hemmed in and can’t be built out. Remember, Eatontown is losing Fort Monmouth in a couple of years and improving Monmouth Mall will be in its best interests. If little to nothing is done, MM can very well go the way of Seaview Sqaure.

    Sean, I do agree that Menlo may be a better location, but MM should be considered. If Boscov’s does close and if not Bloomingdale’s, Sean/Max, what should take its place? Hope I was better able to explain my position.

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  132. Mallguy,

    I don’t know much about the data, but usually you are talking about a 5 to 10 mile radius from any given point in retail circles. Now how does that mesh with the data in the post above, plus your prire post. This will give us further insight in what needs to be done to keep MM going into the future.

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  133. Mallguy: Well, since I posted those demographics, not Sean, I will tell you that they do seem strange, considering the city of Eatontown fares a bit better. At 22% Latino and 15% African American, it would seem there would be trashier stores at Monmouth, but I’m not jumping to conclusions.

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  134. To answer your last question mallguy about MM, if boscov’s leaves the first place I would look is Bon Ton, the second idea would be Dillard’s. Truthfully neither one thrills me, but a store is better than no store at all.

    This downturn is going to have many more casualties than past ones.

    I’m going to go off topic for a brief moment, went to the casinos in Connecticut over the weekend & paied particular atention to the crowds, interestingly the table games were as busy as I sene in past years. However the slots had a major drop off in the number of players, dispite ever increasing numbers of games & dollar denomonations avaleable. I bring this up because what I saw is being reflected in retailers as well, people who cant or wont spend money the same way as they did in the past. I’m talking about as recently as a year ago. I found it a fasinating point to reflect on because the casino is a microcosm of the econemy that could be studied like you were in the labratory. The malls we post about here do the same thing but in a different way. It’s nice to compare the two.

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  135. Dillards sounds interesting as there is no NJ location (I think the farthest they come to NJ is VA) and The Bon Ton pulled out of NJ a couple of years ago (downtown Red Bank in the former Steinbach which is now Garmany-an upscale mens and womens store). I would think that Dillard’s would attempt a North Jersey location first but who knows.

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  136. Dillard’s does go as far north & east as Cleveland & Richmond. New Jersey maybe a strech, but let us all keep our eyes open.

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  137. Sean: Interestingly, the poor economy is like a trap, once you get in, you often make it worse. Because of the perception of a poor economy, people get stingy with cash. Less money trades hands, and the economy goes down even faster. But let’s not talk economies here. We’re talking Monmouth Mall.

    Although the Mills malls may take the prizes, why can’t Monmouth Mall become more of a “fun mall”? When/if Boscov’s bites the dust, replace it with something like a Bass Pro Shops or an IKEA. Add an indoor waterpark. Create “districts” (which the Cherry Hill Mall once did), like “snooty upscale” to “baggy pants faux-gangsta”/”family-oriented” sections. Monmouth Mall doesn’t have to get a Bloomingdale’s, a blinding white paint job, and upscale boutiques to be “successful”.

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  138. Jonah:

    You make a few good points in ideas for Monmouth Mall (Bass Pro Shops…heck, I’d even like to see an LLBean, but that won’t happen uless the building that currently houses Boscov’s is torn down and rebuilt, as it is too big), however, within NJ, malls need to stay as current as possible. Because there are so many (30 enclosed malls in the 46th largest state in area, to be exact), the competition is harsh…when one renovates, the others around it need to do something. As an example, look at Paramus: every mall there is either going through an expansion or redevelopment to compete with the upcoming opening of Xanadu. Same thing with Quaker Bridge…now that Freehold is upscale and is a destination mall, Quaker Bridge is doing the same thing with their upcoming expansion. Livingston Mall is also undergoing a renovation (and is only 4 mi from Short Hills) to improve its place in the market. In this climate, if you don’t keep current, not only in stores but in decor, you go under. A prime example of this is Seaview Square Mall, 4 miles south of Monmouth Mall. Albeit pushed a little back from the intersections of routes 35 & 66, it was at a good location, however, the mall was never able to attact stores and had non-destination, substandard anchors (Sears, Sterns, Steinbach)…even with the cosmetic renovation, it failed and is now an outdoor power center. The same thing could happen to MM if Vorando is not careful with two recently renovated malls located within a 20 mile radius of it…and it would be a shame as this mall has quite a lot of history to it. Jonah, I don’ t know the last time you’ve been here, but it’s quite a dark, depressing place and as I said, something needs to be done. And I will reiterate, not just a new dept store, but a combination of things. Also, Monmouth Mall is 6 miles from the beach and it should take advantage of its location as a rainy day alternative…in doing that, they can bring in some good restaurants/bars…some that we don’t normally see in malls such as a Dave and Busters or Lucky Strike Lanes. I’m really rooting for Monmouth Mall and I just hope that something gets done…Barnes and Noble will be a good start, but they need much, much more.

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  139. Mallguy,

    As I read your last post & Jonah takes a few shots at me LOL, I came up with a redevelopment idea for Monmouth Mall. Since MM is close to the shore, the mall should create a beach themed entertainment area that includes the existing theatre, bring in Dave & Busters where Berlington coat is now, add a few more night spots & give the mall a beach like color scheme. The darkness of the mall doesn’t do anything for me.

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  140. Mallguy, I’m actually in 100% agreement with you regarding the fact that a Bloomingdale’s would be a great addition to the Monmouth Mall. I just happen to disagree with you on two fronts: I don’t believe that Bloomingdale’s would ever choose to open a store at that mall (based on my earlier explanation), nor would I prefer a Bloomingdale’s over a Boscov’s. (Although I certainly concede that having Bloomingdale’s–instead of Boscov’s–would be in the mall’s best interest. Of course, I strongly feel that Boscov’s survival–and its continued presence at this mall–is in the best interest of the consumer.)

    I honestly don’t have any redevelopment ideas of my own for the Monmouth Mall; if Boscov’s closes, I think this mall is screwed. (Really, Boscov’s is the main store that makes this mall worth going to, as JCPenney, Lord & Taylor, and Macy’s all have locations at Freehold Raceway Mall.) The previously mentioned idea of Dillard’s sounds good; unfortunately, I doubt they will choose to open their first location in the Northeast during these bad economic times. Additionally, I don’t think that The Bon-Ton will open at Monmouth Mall since that chain’s stores are quite small; the mammoth Boscov’s building would be way too big for their tastes. Perhaps the best idea I can come up with is to have Target occupy a closed Boscov’s building, since I know that Target recently took over a former Robinsons-May location in California. (However, doesn’t Target already have a location at the site of the Seaview Square Mall?)

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  141. I did mention an indoor waterpark…that can go in the southern Macy’s Kids wing. The whole BCF/food court area could go toward a theater expansion and Dave & Buster’s (dividing the space). A wing can extend west from Macy’s (see map) that can include another anchor, possibly a discount store. I’ll see if I can make a map soon.

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  142. Max/Jonah:

    Prior to the Boscov’s news, my orginal idea was that Bloomingdales be a part of the expansion of a wing west of Macy’s leading out toward Wyckoff Road as the current state of that wing is sad. In that plan, I had also included Dave and Busters, an expansion of the 2nd level to Macy’s and the new Bloomingdale’s wing, new escalators, stairs and elevators, as well as Boscov’s staying where it is.

    In a wishful thinking situation, the only way that Bloomingdale’s would commit to Monmouth Mall is if everything falls into place: the cosmetic renovation, addition of entertainment options and a renovation of the area highway intersections surrounding the mall.

    Target is already at Seaview Square and it is a Target Greatland…I wholeheartedly agree with your assessment that Monmouth Mall is screwed if Boscov’s does close. Also, that building is close to 300,000 sf, a little too big for a Target.

    Btw, does anyone know where the new Barnes and Noble is going?

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  143. Is the Boscov’s store 2 or 3 floors? If it is a 2 level store you could place Target on one floor & subdivide the other. In a 3 level configuration Target would take 2 floors & subdivide the remaining level.

    If you wanted to, instead of subdividing spaces you could move Burlington to one section of the Boscov’s store wile Target takes the rest. The existing Burlington store could be turned into Dave & Busters or an expanded AMC theatre. Infact AMC is rolling out a new theatre consept called Fork & Screen, similar to National Amusements Directors Hall. The first one opened in Atlanta’s Buckhead neighborhood, the second is opening outside Kansas City later this year.

    All of the major circuits are trying to copy Muvico’s success with adult only areas with bars & higher quality food & service. I just thaught why not at Monmouth Mall?

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  144. My bad, I should have looked up the thred for the answer to my own question. Since Boscov’s is a 3 level store, if they close that location, have Target take 2 levels & berlington takes the remaining floor. Now AMC can remoddle & expand the theatre for it’s new Fork & Screen consept by adding a new wing of auditoriums& reconfigure the other 15. You could end up with at least 24-screens or perhaps even mor than that.

    By adding aditional restaurants like Dave & busters you could end up with a nice entertainment district. I could invision gutting the Macy*s Kids wing along with the food court, move the food court down that hall, reclaim the Berlington Coat location, add restaurants in the current food court area, add AMC’s new Fork & Screen consept as I already said & finally have it all done with a tropical theme AKA South Beach or San Diego.

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  145. On the subject of Dave and Buster’s, they recently opened up at Plymouth Meeting Mall outside of Philly…that is the 3rd D&B’s in the Philly metro area and the amazing thing is that they chose to open at Plymouth Meeting and not 5 miles west at King of Prussia. PMM was considered in the same category of MM as being a fairly large, somewhat slumping mall in the shadow of larger malls (KOP and Willow Grove whereas MM is in the shadow of FRM) also recently has completed a lifestyle expansion. If PMM can get a D&B’s, then why not MM!

    If AMC were to ever expand, they should consider an IMAX…there are only 2 IMAX theatres in NJ and one very close to NJ in Palisades (I’m actually very surprised that they didn’t try to get an IMAX in the new GSP AMC).

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  146. Mallguy,

    TXN makes an Imax projector that doesn’t require the 6-story screen, called DMR, it uses the SAME WIDE screen found in the latest megaplex theatres. AMC has a contract to install100 of these projectors over the next few years. http://www.amctheatres.com has a press release on there website with locations.

    Why not MM?

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  147. Mallguy,

    The date was 12-07-07 of the PR, MM is on the list of theatres scheduled to receive an Imax instalation.
    Go to the link above to read more.

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  148. I’m not sure where else to post this, but again regarding the subject of Bloomingdale’s, I feel they really missed the boat when it came to opening a store in central New Jersey. While I certainly still feel that Monmouth Mall is a bad fit for the chain, there were several other malls at which Bloomingdale’s could have located: First, they should have beaten either Nordstrom or Neiman Marcus to the punch when it came to being a part of the extension at Quaker Bridge Mall. Additionally, they should have fought to have been a part of Freehold Raceway Mall’s extension. (If I remember correctly, FRM actually considered two competiting proposals for its new addition: add another department store, or build an outdoor lifestyle center. Of course, the mall chose the latter option.)

    The fact that Bloomingdale’s turned down opportunites to locate at Quaker Bridge Mall & Freehold Raceway Mall shows that the chain is not interested in a central New Jersey location. If Bloomingdale’s later decides to locate here, they really have just one realistic option left: open a store at the current Macy’s location at Menlo Park Mall. However, despite the fact that Macy’s has a store very close by at Woodbridge Center, I strongly doubt it will ever want to give up its Menlo Park Mall location.

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  149. Max,

    If Bloomindale’s ever decided to open at Menlo Park, there is room in the back for a new store to be built…they would just need to expand the wing that goes between Macy’s and Rainforest Cafe to 2 levels and add a little more length to it…plus either build a new parking deck or expand the current deck. I agree with you that Macy’s will never close that location (especially since it’s the 3rd largest Macy’s in NJ). If they ever built at FRM, the only area where they would build would be to extend the food court wing…don’t think that’s going to happen though as it’s a litte tight back there with parking. The only expansion of FRM we would be looking at in a few years would be the lifestyle expansion.

    Sean,

    Very interesting link regarding the possibility of IMAX at the Loews Monmouth Mall…hopefully, they’ll convert to stadium seating too…maybe the refurbished movie theatre along with the new Barnes and Noble to come (still not sure where in the mall it will be) will help to attact new entertainment retailers to the single level wing of the mall.

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  150. Oh man, how interesting would that be, bloomingdales opening at MarketFair, hahahaha.

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  151. Now that we know Boscov’s is closing, time for Berlington Coat to move , bring in the store with the red bullseye logo & redew the food court wing in my earlier posts. A rehabilitated AMC THEATRE IS A MUST.

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  152. Here’s the article about the Boscov’s closing at Monmouth Mall.

    As I stated earlier, MM is at a crossroads and it is time to get something done. I agree, Sean, fix that movie theatre! Also give it a major cosmetic renovation (bring some light into the place), expand the second level to Macy’s, bring in some new dining and entertainment options to join the upcoming Barnes and Noble and if Target, put it in the “entertainment wing.” Throw in a road construction project to the interesections of 35, 36 and Wyckoff Road. Then and only then can that other B anchor be talked into coming on board and moving into the former A&S/Stern’s/Boscov’s.

    If all this happens, it makes the area shoppers happy, the town of Eatontown happy, as well as the eastern Monmouth region…MM can even advertise itself as a gateway to the shore or a rainy day alternative to the shore.

    Are you listening Vorando??!!

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  153. Burlington Coat Factory is expected to move either where Value City is going out or where they are demolishing Lowe’s at Seaview Square. I heard it from the management team themselves. Also, when Boscov’s does clear out, I think a store like Best Buy would be good there. Or, they could split the space somehow and have Best Buy and Barnes and Noble. I mean, it is a 3 floor space. Dave and Busters would be cool.

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  154. I just hope that Vornado doesn’t upscale/blandify it too much. I really hope they can do something creative to the former Boscov’s and keep a full upscale-to-downscale feel to the mall.

    Knowing Vornado however, I wouldn’t bet on it.

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  155. I think they should turn Boscov’s into Bloomingdale’s. There’s none in the area. Instead of people traveling to Bridgewater Commons, they can come here. Also in preparation, add a couple upscale shops. Get rid of Modell’s, it doesn’t fit well, also rid Burlington Coat Factory, renovate the entire mall, so it can be brighter, and more upscale looking sorta how Cherry Hill Mall is renovating.

    Stores for example….

    in the old Modell’s

    >Coach
    >Swarovski
    >A|X Armani Exchange
    >J. Crew
    >Lucky Brand Jeans
    >Kira Plastinina
    >Bare Escentuals

    spread through the mall.. includes locations

    >Ann Taylor
    >Gilly Hicks (no Ruehl here) {current Shoe Dept.}
    >Metropark (vacant spot between Zumiez & Champs)
    >bebe (current Borders Express) if they build B&N outside…
    >bebe sport (1/2 of vacant spot next to Nail Pro)
    >L’Occitane (current JB Robinson)
    >Sephora (vacant spot next to Finish Line)
    >Betsey Johnson (current Sweetness & Lace)
    >Bailey Banks & Biddle (1/2 of vacant spot next to Nail Pro)
    >Lacoste (1/2 of vacant spot next to Nail Pro)
    >Michael Kors (current Mid-Level GameStop)
    >True Religion Brand Jeans (1/2 of current Wet Seal)
    >TUMI (current Surray Luggage)
    >Tiffany & Co. (vacant spot, between Express & Limited Too)
    >Apple Computer (vacant spot, between Hot Topic & Things Remembered)
    >Anthropoligie (vacant spot next to Thomasville)

    in the old Burlington Coat Factory..

    >Urban Outfitters
    >Kiehl’s
    >Godiva
    >Guess?
    >Brooks Brothers
    >Tommy Bahama

    Renovate the AMC theater to look like the GSP one.

    And finally reconfigure the food court. Move Thomasville across the road fromn the mall. Also, we’ll move Zales. The eateries will be moved along the Zales/Macy’s side to the current Thomasville side. It colud fit about 11 eateries & restrooms. Where the current food court is and beyond will have expanded seating, an ATM, a fountain, and a new entrance in the farthest point of Thmoasville is, so it will be right next to one of the 11 eateries.

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  156. I think Simon should own the property after Vornado is done. It will be better.

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  157. Joey,

    Thanks for agreeing with me on the Bloomingdale’s issue! Your store ideas are good, however, a few of them you mentioned are already in The Grove and at least with Antropologie and Brooks Brothers, I wouldn’t see them opening another location 4 miles away. And I think they should put fountains throughout the mall, not just in the food court area…also in front of all the anchors and in the central area between Macy’s and Lord and Taylor. Don’t forget to add the new dining and entertainment options in the 1 level section (Dave and Busters, Lucky Strike Lanes, Barnes and Noble, The Cheesecake Factory, to name a few) …and extend the 2nd floor to Macy’s.

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  158. B&N is coming next year i heard. Lucky Strike and D&B are fine. There’s gonna be too many Cheesecake Factories! Bridgewater is getting one, and there should be room for ones in Newport Centre Mall and Deptford Mall. Save Grand Lux for Atlantic City. How about we put a Rock Sugar restaurant. It’s a new asian concept from Cheesecake Factory. They’re getting Bobby’s Burger Place and Fresh City soon, so that should complete the restaurant listing.

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  159. Joey and Mallguy:

    I know you all want upscaling of Monmouth Mall, but why? You act like everything is ripe for the taking and upscaling instantly means success. You want overpriced clothing shops in favor of lower-priced variety shops, which you’d never shop at anyways. Why would Bloomingdale’s et. al. locate in Monmouth when there are far better places? Bloomingdale’s passed up a lot of potential spots (Quaker Bridge Mall, Freehold Raceway Mall, and Cherry Hill Mall) in NJ as well as others in the nation (Natick Collection, The Galleria, etc.). There are only 40 Bloomingdale’s in the USA compared to the 850 Macy’s stores. Big difference.

    The demographics aren’t even very good. Guys, do you know how many upscale malls (and upscaling malls) were failures? Town & Country Mall, West Oaks Mall, The Shops at Willow Bend, Forest Fair Mall, Greenville Mall, Fashion Center (in NJ), and so many others. These malls ended up downscaling, sitting half-empty, or demolished altogether.

    I understand the filling of Boscov’s and an update of Monmouth Mall, but the upscale NJ mall list is getting saturated and one wrong move, even an “upscale” attempt might do Monmouth in, permanently.

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  160. I’m sorry but Monmouth Mall could do much better with these stores and renovations. If Bloomindale’s is such an exclusive store, why is it in Willowbrook Mall? Monmouth Mall is perfect for Bloomies. It would be fine if what I planned happened. It’s not super upscale! It’s like 1/2 upscale and 1/2 family-oriented. Monmouth Mall needs this.

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  161. Jonah,

    The malls you mentioned (with the exception of Fashion Center) are all not in NJ and NJ is quite unique in that eventhough we are a smaller state (in area) we don’t want to drive far for things we want. Fashion Center, Jonah, died because a) it was too small; b) there was not enough room for it to grow larger; c) upscale anchors were aleady opened at Riverside and GS Plaza. Also at that time GS Plaza was just starting to grow and had the room to do so. Look at Fashion Center from the air and you’ll see that its land is really, really small (there’s even parking ON TOP OF the mall).

    In NJ, malls must constantly stay current or they will lose business…the reason why we have so few large dead malls in this state is because the mall owners realize they must always be current and have destination retailers. A few examples: Livingston Mall (in the shadow of Short Hills) is completing a renovation/expansion that will give them a Barnes and Noble…something that Short Hills doesn’t have. All the Parmus area malls have completed or are starting renovations/expansions to get ready for Xanadu. Bridgewater Commons is updating its food offerings to prevent Somerset/Hunterdon shoppers from going beyond to Menlo or Short Hills. QB is starting their expansion to compete with Freehold and Oxford Valley Mall will soon start with their’s (assumed) to compete with Quaker Bridge.

    In Monmouth County now, Freehold is doing incredibly well as they have just completed their expansion/renovation. They have destination retailers (Nordstrom, Borders, Cheesecake Factory, Ruehl, etc), upscale retailers and family oriented retailers. Monmouth Mall should take notice that many people in their trade area will go to Freehold instead. Jonah, while you may have some poorer towns near MM, you also have some very wealthy towns (The Grove is 4 mi away and downtown Red Bank now has a Tiffany). Let’s face fact Jonah…malls in NJ must go quasi-upscale and contain destination retailers or they go under…it happened about 10 years ago just 4 miles south of Monmouth Mall in Seaview Square. Seaview was a nice sized mall, but their anchors were not impressive (Sears, Sterns, Steinbach), their movie theater was a dive and they could never attract or keep stores. The way Seaview was fits your description (and I liked the mall too), but it failed and the mall was eventually converted into a big box center,

    Bring Bloomingdale’s into Monmouth Mall and they will be successful and help the mall to be even more successful.

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  162. Sean,

    Target already has the store at Seaview Square, which is a Greatland location. Eatontown is not far enough away for another location.

    I think Bloomies is a good choice, though I’m not exactly sure how well it would work there. Monmouth Mall doesn’t attract enough of a desirable element for Bloomingdale’s, I’m afraid.

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  163. Mallguy:

    Thanks for your thoughtful answer. The problem with Xanadu is that it will probably sink many malls anyway, no matter how much they attempt to update.

    The reason I am vehemently opposed to upscaling is watching the butchering of Cherry Hill Mall. Was it really necessary to take a mall that had a successful upscale part and a well-populated downscale part and butcher it? The demolition of Cherry Court…the removal of many tenants (McDonald’s comes to mind)…the destruction of fountains, planters, and a calm environment, that bridges the gap between a dark mall and light mall, and turn it into Upscale Mall, USA?

    Was it really necessary to take Bergen Mall, a somewhat dead but somewhat niche mall, into an outdoor mall, forcing out every tenant, destroying perfectly good (but dated) decor, just to be shiny in the shadow of GSP?

    Monmouth Mall could use an upscale wing (and a new food court), I’ll concede to that. The decor must be creative and tasteful, however. The reason Festival Bay Mall failed was due to market oversaturation of those kinds of themed touristy malls and poor location. Read about it. It’s interesting.

    If Monmouth Mall takes elements of Festival Bay, and goes through, Monmouth can easily be a wildly successful mall in New Jersey and offer amenities that its upscale cousins wouldn’t dream of having.

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  164. Footnote: Click on Festival Bay Mall in the above post for a direct link. Another thing that Monmouth can use is an ice rink.

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  165. Mike,

    Thanks for the info, I thaught Seaview was more than 4 miles from MM. As a note Target has a store in Mount Vernon NY & will be opening a new store 2 miles away in New Rochelle at New Roc City in the not to distent future.

    Jonah,

    I got to go with Joey & mallguy on this, if the malls don’t keep pushing for the upscale customer, then it is game over for them.

    Case example, the Stamford Town Center opened in 1982, as the upscale mall for New York’s entire northern burbs. In 1995 The Westchester opened & almost overnight the top stores opened another location there or moved everything to White Plains. To this day, STC has not fully recovered from The impact. Even exclusivity clauses in leases haven’t stopped the bleading. Vacancy rates run about 14% in a mall with 130 stores. The only thing that keeps the mall alive are new restaurants that opened 18 months ago & the fact that people can walk from there offices nearby.

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  166. What it sounds like to me is that even upscale malls die too. Offices nearby? This wasn’t a downtown mall, was it?

    I’m still going for the touristy, rainy-day alternative mall. I think Boscov’s should be turned into new mall space…a new food court on the third level, then new retail space on the others. Then add a two-story IKEA or something on the end.

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  167. I’m creating a “rework” of Monmouth Mall, of how I would redesign it. Here is the main level…the orange parts are new in-line retail. Stay tuned for the exciting bi-level designs.

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  168. Oh yeah, here’s the URL:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/jnorason/2737145702/

    Please save your comments until Part Two is done!

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  169. Jonah,

    The mall is in the heart of downtown Stamford, with most office towers within 5 minutes walking distance. Infact 6buildings comprising the Landmark square complex are atattched to & behind the Macy*s store. This includes a 9-screen bowtie cinema, with another 2 & 6-plex 2 or 3 blocks away.

    A couple blocks south at Atlantic Street & Tresser Boulevard a 2 tower condo complex being built by Cappelli Enterprises & Ritz Carlton hotels is rising. I think that could help STC’s fortunes. Also across Tresser Boulevard from the Ritz Carlton sight is a enormus performing arts complex.

    The neighborhood has loads of restaurants plus stores of all types & formats, that is partly the reason why the mall has been suffering, not do to blight. The Westchester is another reason why, but the downtown area is very healthy otherwise with Target & Berlington Coat as anchors along with Sacks 5th avenue & Macy*s in the mall.

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  170. Living a town over from the mall, I feel that upscaling the mall is a bad idea. I live almost walking distance to the mall, and never go there. I rather go to Freehold Raceway mall. I like the layout better. Eatontown is a pretty crappy city for the most part, unfortunately. All of the more wealthy families in the area shop at Freehold or Woodbridge anyway.

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  171. I wonder if Sears would want to move from their current location (Seaview Square) to Monmouth? Seaview is looking pretty nice right now- they’re making it look so much better, and Sears is pretty old.

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  172. Speaking of Seaview, what happened to the Lowe’s?

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  173. Woodbridge? that’s not wealthy. I think you mean Menlo.

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  174. No, but it has better stores. That whole area was built on a landfill. They built a new Lowe’s a few years back, and they found cracking on the foundation and flooring, running along the whole store- so it had to close. Then they built the one in Eatontown instead of rebuilding it there. They just started demolishing it recently- it had just been sitting there.

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  175. (Asbury Park Press (NJ) (KRT) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Aug. 6–Empty for four years, a large retailer is moving into the former Lowe’s store at Seaview Square shopping center in Ocean Township.

    Burlington Coat Factory has signed a lease for about 80,000 square feet, Michael O’Brien, a principal in Investcorp’s real estate group, said Tuesday.

    Burlington Coat Factory expects to open at the end of February, said Audrey Shapiro, a spokeswoman for the retailer.

    It will relocate its store at the Monmouth Mall in Eatontown to Seaview Square, she added. “We are excited to go there,” she said.

    The announcement means that Monmouth Mall will lose another tenant. On Monday, Boscov’s, one of the mall’s anchors, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and said it will close its Eatontown store.

    The Burlington Coat Factory deal is a boon for Seaview Square, which is at the intersection of Route 35 and Route 66, down the road from Monmouth Mall.

    Lowe’s abandoned the 165,000-square-foot building in February 2004, 11 months after the home-improvement store opened, because cracks and depressions in the floor raised safety issues. Seaview Square’s owners decided to correct the problem, rebuild the floor and re-lease the space.

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  176. now there can be extra retail space for BTC in Monmouth! But watch it’ll be a big-box place.

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  177. What? Wow, that’s pretty unexpected.

    Any idea what’s going in the rest of the 165k sq ft.?

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  178. Not sure, but Lowe’s has a big garden center- so I wonder if that is part of the whole square footage?

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  179. Expand & remoddle the AMC theatre with the Fork & Screen consept, as I said twice already. Give this mall some night life by adding D&B, anew food court in the Macy*s wing & bring other dining options in to the current food court area.

    I still say bring Target in where Boscov’s is, on the upper 2 floors. that will be about 200,000 square feet, the remainder could be divided for 2 adissional retailers. Best Buy & Dicks come to mind.

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  180. Sean,

    Dick’s actually pulled out of Monmouth Mall a few months ago. In the upcoming (yet minor) expansion of the mall, they were supposed to move into a new 2 level building adjacent to Boscov’s.

    Now that BCF is moving to Seaview, maybe they now have the space for Barnes and Noble…that is unless they were building them a new building. And if they are, that location would be a very good spot for Dave and Busters!

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  181. Barnes & Noble is being built as an out/inskirt along with Fresh City, Jared, and Bobby’s Burger Place.

    http://atlanticville.gmnews.com/news/2008/0103/Front_Page/006.html

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  182. Thanks Mallguy, substitute Dicks for Bed Bath & Beyond. I’m going to continue to try until I get it right!

    You & I have similar ideas, it is just a matter of store placement.

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  183. Okay, since the old Lowe’s location was split over at Seaview Square, I found out today that in addition to Burlington Coat Factory (which we already knew was moving there) there will be Cost Cutters (which had to move from the Ocean Twp. location due to Kohl’s being built there).

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  184. Bed Bath and Beyond is currently located across the street from Monmouth Mall on Route 36 in the old Best and Co building in a power center. I could see a Best Buy in the Macy’s wing (The Wiz used to be where BCF was), but I would build it attached to the mall in the underused western wing. I agree with a revamped food court and AMC Theatres. True, Sean, we do, but I’m still convinced that Bloomingdale’s should go into the Boscov’s space. Not only will they (Bloomingdale’s) help themselves by moving closer to their Central Jersey customers, but they will also help Monmouth Mall to hold its own against Freehold.

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  185. I honestly do not know how feasible this idea is, but consider this: First, have Macy’s relocate to the Boscov’s building. (The two buildings are virtually the same size.) Then, demolish the current Macy’s and the rest of that wing.

    In this new space, an indoor food court would be built, which would be added to the Lord & Taylor/JCPenney/new Macy’s wing. Then, on both sides of the food court, surround it with either an outdoor lifestyle center or a string of outdoor big box stores.

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  186. Does anyone know the square footage of both Boscov’s & Macy*s?

    Max,

    Your idea about swopping Macy*s over to the Boscov’s spot has merrit, on the other hand Mallguy, I need some info on the area to support Bloomingdale’s because you know the area better than I do.

    My first order of business is redewing the food court area with the restaurants & entertainment options nessessary to bring in night life. & beach alternitives.

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  187. Sean, thank you for your compliment. In answer to your question, Wikipedia states that the size of each anchor is as follows:

    *Boscov’s: 264,601 sq. ft.
    *Macy’s: 262,422 sq. ft.
    *JCPenney: 202,669 sq. ft.
    *Lord & Taylor: 159,260 sq. ft.
    *AMC Theatres: 77,275 sq. ft.
    *Burlington Coat Factory: 44,209 sq. ft.
    *Macy’s Kids: 25,637 sq. ft.

    As you can see, the size of Boscov’s and Macy’s is virtually the same. (Of course, Macy’s is about 20,000 square feet bigger if you add the square footage of the Macy’s Kids store. However, the size of the Boscov’s building is still large enough for Macy’s needs, given the fact that many stores in that chain are less than 250,000 square feet.)

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  188. Also, I just thought of another idea: try to get Bass Pro Shops to take over the Boscov’s space. Note that this chain’s stores are often very large (as they have taken over empty department stores in other malls), and I believe that they currently have zero NJ locations. In the event that Bass Pro Shops only wants to take over part of the Boscov’s building, see if the mall can get either Dick’s Sporting Goods or Whole Foods to take over the remaining space.

    Stores such as Bass Pro Shops, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and Whole Foods are “destination” anchors, and would give this mall something that is not found at Freehold Raceway Mall. I also believe that Monmouth Mall would have a much easier time convincing one (or all) of these stores to locate there than it would Bloomingdale’s.

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  189. The Boscov’s building is also newer, built in 1976. There’s one little plus to the Boscov’s building: there is a parking deck attached (only to the Boscov’s building, that could use a rehabbing)

    Sean,

    I’ll give you a list of certain towns and recent developments in the area that would support a Bloomingdale’s. In Long Branch, 5 miles away, you have Pier Village , a multi-use facility that was built from the ground up on the former Long Branch Pier and Kids World. It is currently going through an expansion and will begin a second next year. Right next to it is a luxury hotel (had my prom there actually :) and the downtown area is going to go through a rehab, turning it onto a theatre district. The West End neighborhood of LB is also quite affluent. Four miles up route 35, you have The Grove at Shrewsbury , NJ’s (and arguably the US’s) 1st lifestyle center…and some very upscale stores. One mile from there, you have downtown Red Bank which just opened a Tiffany…many in the area consider it the Hoboken of the Jersey Shore. About 10 miles south on Route 35 in Sea Girt, you have a smaller and newer lifestyle center Brook 35 Plaza .

    The following affluent towns are within a 10 mile radius of Monmouth Mall: Holmdel, Middletown, Little Silver, Fair Haven, Rumson (one of the most affluent towns in NJ), Sea Bright, Monmouth Beach, Deal, Ocean Township, Loch Arbor, Allenhurst, Spring Lake, Wall (or at least parts of), Sea Girt, Manasquan, Marlboro, Freehold Township, Colts Neck. Assuming Bloomingdale’s doesn’t open any other Central Jersey locations, people WILL come, as the road network in the area is pretty good (MM is 1 mile from the GSP and the route 18 freeway…on 35 & 36 and 7 miles from I-195 terminus).

    Again, I support Bloomies in the Boscov’s Building, the 2nd level built out to Macy’s, a major cosmetic renovation and current one level area turned into a lifestyle wing. One additonal consideration to the Lifestyle Wing…maybe the west end assuming B&N doesn’t locate there: LL Bean! If they chose to open in Albany, then why not Central Jersey!

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  190. By the way, I happened to stop in the other day…the sattelite buildings (Jared, Bobby’s Burger Place, Fresh City) are coming along nicely. There was a crowd in the mall, but this place is still dark and depressing. The place def needs work!

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  191. Max,

    I never thaught about Bass Pro Shops or Hole Foods, not a bad idea. I just have a tough time swallowing Bloomingdale’s at this mall. Dicks semes to be opening everywhere but my area. The nearest store is In the former Stern’s at Roosevelt Field.

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  192. A lot of the 2 level Dick’s Sporting goods used to be Galyan’s…I think RF was also a Galyan’s…I know that Woodbridge and Freehold had Galyan’s that converted to Dick’s.

    Whole Foods wouldn’t be too bad, but they are 8 miles away in Middletown. They are opening a location at Plymouth Meeting and Bergen Town Center, so maybe. If not Bloomingdales, what about LL Bean?

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  193. Yes, you got something there Mallguy. The new Ridge hill project in Yonkers, will have LL Bean & Whole Foods,. I think that could work at MM as well.

    Ridge Hill will also have restaurants, a cinema Deluxe & residential units in a town center format. MM could benefit from a similar type of expantion plus the numerous ideas posted above.

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  194. And the revamped movie theatre would go along well with the lifestyle wing, LL Bean in the lifestyle wing, the renovation and Bloomingdale’s.

    As I said, the road network is pretty good, but to improve it, both Wyckoff Road and Route 35 should be built as overpasses and over and converted into interchanges with Route 36. Also the intersection of Route 35 and Wyckoff road needs to be redone, incorporating left turn singals into the light and traffic light entrance of Monmouth Mall with Route 35 should be converted into an overpass entrance.

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  195. I assume like GSP, right Mallguy?

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  196. If by GSP you mean the 4 &17 intersection, something like that, but it would have to be a little more compact as there isn’t as much available room. NJ is planning on reconfiguring the 35/36 intersection next year, but it doesn’t include an overpass. The 36/Wyckoff Road intersection also needs to be overpassed, but not as complicated. Route 36 is a major connection between the GS Parkway/18 and the beach towns/Monmouth Park/Monmouth University and can get pretty backed up during rush hour and on summer weekends.

    There is a flyover entrance on route 4 for GSP and I would propose relacing the route 35 traffic light entrance with the flyover.

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  197. Mallguy,

    That’s exactly what I was refering to. I somewhat recall the roads around MM being a bit narrower than GSP. This wouldn’t require the extensive set of flyovers that GSP had to install. This doesn’t mean that you let the roads get clogged with cars.

    Has anyone done a traffic study in the last 20 years around this area? It sounds like the answer is NO!

    Mallguy,,

    Based on that, are you going to give eatontown a failing grade for the MM road exam, being a teacher? LOL

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  198. Okay- it’s official! Pathmark will be closing (across from MM) next year. Best Buy is likely to move in there (not official though).

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  199. I don’t see anything wrong with the current food court. It is not a boring court, like Freehold, and I like the boardwalk/Atlantic City theme. The loss of Burlington & Boscov’s will be a huge blow, especially with the current economy and companies not expanding as much. Now they have the empty BCF, Boscov’s, Old Country Buffet, and American Cafe (opposite Ruby Tuesday). I would love the idea of a Dave & Busters in the old Burlington, it would be an amazing fit to the mall with a remodeled AMC theater. We could use an Pizzeria Uno in the old American Cafe, and maybe a Benihanna in the [old] Old Country Buffet? The Boscov’s will be a challenge, and I am not sure if they will be able to fill it. Not many department stores are looking to expand, or they have stores too close. A Steve & Barry’s would have been nice on one level, but they are in bankruptcy now too. I just don’t want to see a good chance go to waste here. Monmouth still has a draw, even from Northern Ocean County since people in Toms River, Point, & Brick do not want to battle Route 9 to Freehold, and we all know Ocean County sucks.

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  200. @Randy: Another one bites the dust, courtesy of Wegmans!

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  201. I really don’t think it is because of Wegmans though. I mean, Wegmans is a totally different kind of food store- more upscale. Pathmark is more of a bargain supermarket. The problem is that the huge ShopRite is down the street as well as the super cheap Aldi. And with the price of gas, more of the Long Branch shoppers would rather shop at Shop Rite where they don’t have to make any u-turns and waste more gas to get there.

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  202. Barnes & Noble signed the lease this morning to move to Monmouth Mall. The other location (down Route 36 by Home Depot) will close one day before the new location opens:

    http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/google/?ndmViewId=news_view&newsId=20080827005078&newsLang=en

    Does anyone know where it will be built?? I heard rumors that Braddock’s is closing as well… Anyone else hear this? Burlington’s closing, American Cafe has been closed, Braddock’s may be closing, the Buffet is closed. That whole side of the mall is pretty much closed. Perhaps they’re planning something big (maybe outdoor shops, like Freehold Raceway?)?

    As for Boscov’s… I’m hoping for a Century 21 department store. The closest one is another Vornado mall… Bergen. It draws a lot of people and requires little work to convert the Boscov’s.

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  203. For everyone commenting on traffic and the Routes 35/36 intersection, there are plans in place to improve traffic in the intersection and the surrounding areas. It is also part of the Liberty Corridor:

    http://www.state.nj.us/transportation/works/libertycorridor/route35.shtm

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  204. Thanks for the links, GM. The “Liberty Corridor” huh??? I had heard of prelim plans to fix the 35/36 intersection, and if it’s the same, they are going to keep it at grade, take the curves out of route 35 and frankly, I don’t think it’s enough. Both 35 and Wyckoff Road need to be built as overpasses over Route 36. Glad to see Barnes and Noble has made a commitment to the Monmouth Mall. I stand by my previous yearning for Bloomingdale’s to move in and the 1 level wing to be coverted into a “lifestyle wing.” There’s also a Century 21 in Morristown and it is pretty nice…if they don’t open in MM, mayble they’ll move to the former Steinbach/soon to be former Value City at Seaview Square.

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  205. Value City is gone, actually.

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  206. I remember seeing pictures of expansion plans in a local newspaper. I’m really interested in seeing where the new Barnes and Noble will be built. Anyone have any pics of the expansion plans or have any updates on future remodeling/expansion/changes?

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  207. I think that the new buildings being built (B&N, Bobby’s Burger Palace) would be cooler if actually embedded into the side of the mall with interior access instead of outparcels.

    Just my thought.

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  208. I agree Jonah. There are so many empty stores, why are they building more square footage? Also, the Macy’s/Theater end is always so busy and parking is limited, why would they continue to build on that side? The other side of the mall is dead–and now with Boscov’s leaving, it’s going to be a dead wing. I hope Vornado has a long-term plan. I’m seeing a lot of stores closing lately–perhaps the reason is because their leases aren’t being extended because there are bigger plans? I don’t know. I think some money has to be dumped into that mall otherwise it will continue to die at a faster rate.

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  209. I totally agree that the new additions should not be built as outparcels. I know some of you aren’t lifestyle center fans, but it could have worked, however, I still stand by my previous fantasy of a “lifestyle wing.” And on Barnes and Noble, it will be built attached to the mall, however, I don’t know where yet. By the way, GM, the single level wing due west of Macy’s where Ruby Tuesday is is underused and desolate…something there definitely needs to be done.

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  210. Btw… That’s not wood paneling on the front of Macy’s… It’s some sort of metal paneling in a gold/bronze color. I was on the second floor to get something gift wrapped. What a hodge-podge of areas and departments.

    It was raining so we parked at the Boscov’s parking deck. We were the only people in the deck. Boscov’s is pretty much cleared out; there are a few clothes left, cosmetics, and home goods. They’re selling the clothing racks and displays too. It’s sad to say, but I think Monmouth is spiriling downhill despite the two new buildings. They really should build the Barnes and Noble towards the Boscov wing before that whole side completely dies.

    If Vornado has any plans to update the mall, they should announce them soon, and here’s why: I, like many other people in the area, have been shopping at Freehold and the Grove, bypassing Monmouth all-together. The longer we shop elsewhere, the harder it will be for Monmouth to get those customers back. Announce something, anything! And not another restaurant or a new satellite building, no one cares. The mall is dark and old looking. That’s what people care about. Even if it’s a long term plan, let people know that their mall isn’t being ignored and neglected.

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  211. Yeah, that is true. I live less than 5 minutes from Monmouth and I never go there. I always go to Freehold.

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  212. I came across this story that describes the proposed intersection changes at Route 35 and Route 36: http://atlanticville.gmnews.com/news/2008/0207/front_page/013.html

    New traffic patterns planned at Rts. 35 & 36
    BY DANIEL HOWLEY, Staff Writer

    EATONTOWN – The N.J. Department of Transportation (DOT) is proposing to change traffic patterns at the Routes 35 and 36 intersection in the borough to clear up congestion for drivers.

    The proposed changes call for a complete renovation at the interchange, including the construction of additional turning lanes and jughandles, according to Erin Phalon, DOT spokeswoman.

    “[The project]will involve operational and safety improvements at the intersection of Route 35 andRoute 36 and straightenRoute 35′s horizontal alignment across the intersection,” Phalon said.

    “The big changes are the new turning maneuvers thatwill simplify getting through the Route 35 and Route 36 area,” she added.

    Plans call for a new jughandle to be constructed at the intersection to allow drivers traveling east onRoute 36 to accessRoute 35 north, according to Phalon.

    Construction of a new dual left-turn lane is included in the plans to allow vehicles traveling south on Route 35 to make a left turn onto Route 36, Phalon said.

    The current layout of the intersection requires drivers to take a jughandle from Route 35 to Route 36, which can cause “significant” traffic delays, Phalon said.

    “The project will also realign eastbound Route 36 to alleviate the lane drop in the left lane,” Phalon said, adding that a ramp will also be constructed to connect northbound Route 35 with eastbound Route 36.

    Plans include adding acceleration and deceleration lanes on both roads to allow vehicles to merge onto and off the ramp, according to Phalon.

    The plans also call for additional overhead and road-level signage, additional lighting, shoulders and upgraded traffic signals for vehicles entering and exiting the MonmouthMall, according to Phalon.

    “Pedestrian and bicycle traffic in the area will also see an upgrade with the addition of crosswalks and sidewalks in the area of the mall,” she said.

    Eatontown Borough Administrator George Jackson said, “We are looking forward to the work.”

    TheDOT is seeking to acquire land at the rear portion of theMacy’s Furniture and Fortunoff parking lots on Route 35 in order to construct a road to connect Route 35 with Wall Street and Parker Road, Jackson said.

    The proposed traffic-pattern changeswill not adversely affect any businesses in the area, according to Jackson, who said there may be some issues for people entering and exiting the Pathmark Shopping Center onto Route 36.

    The project is a part of a federally funded statewide transportation improvement program and the repairs in Eatontown are expected to cost $17 million, according to Phalon.

    The Eatontown project will extend east from Route 36 and Wyckoff Road to the Eatontown and Long Branch border, and north from the Route 35 light atMonmouth Mall toWyckoff Road, according to Phalon.

    Construction on the project is expected to begin sometime in 2009 and will take approximately two years to complete, according to Phalon, who said the new road patterns are planned to be completed in 2011.

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  213. Here’s an exerpt from another interesting article that may shed some light on the Macy’s Kids’ [Dead/Underutilized] wing:

    http://atlanticville.gmnews.com/news/2004/0213/Front_page/024.html

    Feb. 13, 2004

    “The mall owners also plan to bump out the exterior wall of the Macy’s Kids’ store and add 5,092 square feet of space to that store, which is located inside the enclosed, covered mall.”

    The article doesn’t say who the tenant will be, but the current store is 25.6K sq.ft. Add to that 5K sq.ft. and that makes 30K. Perhaps they will also swallow up the vacant restaurant. My assumption is that that will be the location of the new Barnes and Noble, and actually a pretty good place for it.

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  214. If the location of Macy’s Kids and the dead west wing is the location for Barnes and Noble, I agree…that is a good place for it. That wing is heavily underutilized.

    The construction plans for 35/36 are not good enough and during the summer, will not alleviate traffic. They need to get rid of the traffic lights and build grade-separated interchanges (Route 35/36, Route 36/Wyckoff Road, Route 35/Monmouth Mall entrance). Traffic will be heavily improved by this, especially during the summer months, as Route 36 heads right to Long Branch and Monmouth Beach.

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  215. I did some more research… It looks like the plans were to build a Champp’s restaurant by Macy’s kids, but that was a long time ago. I haven’t heard anything about it since. Perhaps the plan changed or the proposed tenant changed. Any insight to the expansion/remodel/replacement of Boscov’s is greatly appreciated.

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  216. GM: If you read above through the thread, I have been a strong proponent for having Bloomingdale’s come to Monmouth Mall. Now that Boscov’s will be vacated, it has a good spot. A renovation, the current additions, a Loews Theatre re-do, more lifestyle options and highway renovations put together will put Monmouth Mall back on the map.

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  217. Mallguy: LOL, yea I read your suggestion to bring Bloomingdale’s and the subsequent drama. Personally, a Nordstrom would be great too. It’s interesting that everyone thinks Bloomie’s is too upscale for MM, yet Lord and Taylor is positioning itself more upscale than Bloomie’s. We need a stores that will make MM a regional mall once again, rather than the local mall it has become. I’m getting flashbacks of the Seaview Square mall, only this time MM is Seaview and FRM is MM.

    I should add that I emailed representatives from the Monmouth Mall earlier this week with a link to this site. I think it would be in their best interests to listen to the voice of their customer and perhaps chime in.

    Back to Bloomie’s. The problem with mid/up-scale department stores are that they take years to develop and plan (although Boscov’s layout and size would make a gorgeous Nordstrom or Bloomingdale’s). The mall needs an injection of new people immediately. I still think a Century 21 store can do that with little investment, and it would bring a ton of new people from miles away.

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  218. Mallguy,

    I agree with you on what you have been saying all along, the real issue is one of ecconomics. Where is the money going to come from, with the Wall street meltdown that task is going to get harder & harder.

    A quick story, LCOR a real estate developer in Berwin PA has been trying to get a residential project under way in White Plains NY for months. Because of what has been going on in the credit markets, the $300,000,000 they needed could be only doled out in 3 parts of $100,000,000 each. This nearly killed the project, plus the money needed for the purchase of the land came from Leaman Brothers. Need I say more?

    This issue is going to hit properties & towns hard, no wonder people here on this thred & elseware are pushing for redevelopment of the Monmouth Mall. the question is, can Vornado do so. The answer right now is I don’t know.

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  219. There is an article in todays paper about Braddock’s closing. Apparently they filed for Chapter 11 and will be having a liquidation sale. The article said that Braddocks is the last original store at the mall besides the department stores.

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  220. Or maybe Barnes and Noble will be moving into what is the former Braddocks AND Burlington Coat Factory. If so, it will be a 2 level Barnes and Noble. Interesting.

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  221. Bankruptcy judge approves sale plan for Boscov’s

    By RANDALL CHASE (AP Business Writer)

    October 1, 2008

    WILMINGTON, Del. – A Delaware bankruptcy judge on Wednesday approved fast-tracked plans for an auction sale of Pennsylvania-based department store chain Boscov’s later this month.

    Judge Kevin Gross accepted Boscov’s proposed bid deadline of Oct. 15, followed by an auction on Oct. 20 and sale hearing the next day.

    Boscov’s attorney David Heiman told the court that investors interested in bidding for Boscov’s want assurances that they will be able to take advantage of sales during the upcoming holiday shopping season.

    “The survival of Boscov’s as a going concern is greatly at risk unless we are able to consummate a transaction prior to the Christmas season,” Heiman said.

    While acknowledging that certain aspects of the proposed sale procedure were unusual, Gross said Boscov’s has “a sterling reputation,” and that the company, along with its creditors, employees, customers and the communities in which it operates, warrants “some greater leeway from the court than what otherwise may be the case.”

    “The timing is appropriate,” the judge said. “The court is fully aware that the Christmas season is critical to the sale process…. If we allow delay, then we’re just going to be hurting the estate.”

    Philadelphia-based Versa Capital Management has emerged as the lead bidder for Reading, Pa.-based Boscov’s, which filed for Chapter 11 protection in August and announced that it would close 10 of its 49 stores. Versa has offered to pay $11 million in cash and assume Boscov’s debt in a deal valued at about $288 million.

    Anup Sathy, an attorney representing Versa, said that if the investment group doesn’t take control of Boscov’s by Halloween, “it’s a much different economic situation from our perspective.”

    “For this asset, we believe the holiday season has already started, because we believe there needs to be additional stocking (of goods) now,” Sathy added.

    But the proposed bidding process, particularly its tight timeline, led to objections from other interested parties.

    Dustin Branch, an attorney for a company that leases space to Boscov’s at shopping centers in Deptford, N.J., and Salisbury, Md., said his client needs more time to assess Versa and other potential bidders to ensure that the landlord’s interests are protected. Other landlords have expressed similar concerns.

    “We don’t want to stop the sale, we just want a process that’s fair to landlords,” Branch said.

    Brad Erens, an attorney for Boscov’s, said the company will work with Versa to give landlords the assurances they need before the auction.

    Joseph McMahon Jr., an attorney representing the U.S. trustee, raised several objections to the proposed bidding procedures, arguing that Boscov’s seems to be impermissibly favoring Versa over other bidders. McMahon noted that Versa was not required to post a good-faith deposit, and that it is getting information about competing bids while there is no provision for the other bidders to receive the same information.

    McMahon also has raised questions about expense reimbursements of up to $1.75 million for Versa, as well as a proposed $4 million breakup fee, which would be payable to Versa if Boscov’s accepts a higher bid, even if that bid doesn’t result in a completed deal. He told Gross that the breakup fee should be conditioned on an alternative transaction actually closing.

    Attorneys for Boscov’s noted that Versa would be reimbursed for only half of its documented expenses, up to $1.75 million, and that the breakup fee amounts to only about 1.5 percent of the value of the transaction, or roughly half of the 3 percent fee common in such transactions. Heiman also noted that any competing bid would have to be at least $4.25 million higher than Versa’s, in order to cover the breakup fee and the required $250,000 bid increment.

    Gross concluded that both the expense reimbursements and breakup fees were reasonable, adding that Versa’s entitlement to the breakup fee if a competing bid doesn’t pan out is an acceptable tradeoff for the lower fee percentage.

    Gross also declined to order Versa to submit a good-faith deposit, instead lowering the deposit required of competing bidders from $10 million to $7 million.

    “I hope it will at least encourage other parties to come forward and participate in the bidding process and show that they are serious,” said the judge, who also approved expense reimbursements of up to $100,000 for other bidders.

    “We’re seeking a very robust auction,” he said.

    Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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  222. Thanks for the Boscov’s update, but I don’t think it affects the Monmouth Mall store.

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  223. Your welcome GM, I wasn’t sure where to place the article until I saw a Boscov’s post.

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  224. Sorry Sean, I didn’t mean for my comment to come out confrontational, it was more of a question. I still think the MM Boscov’s is definitely closing, but it would be interesting to see if the sale affects future leases at the site. I welcome more Boscov’s talk, definitely.

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  225. Hay GM,

    TAKE THAT! LOL.

    Just kidding, GM, no problem. I thaught that this was the best spot to place this news article for discussion. Not having a Boscov’s store nearby puts me at somewhat at a disadvantage in knowing the full impact of this stores closure on the area. You may have more insight than I do on what happens next.

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  226. I was down in the DC area this week on business and I checked out some of the local malls including the Dulles Town Center and Tyson’s Corner Center. Tyson’s Corner (http://www.shoptysons.com) was especially interesting. If you pull up the interactive map: http://www.shoptysons.com/map.asp , you can see how the mall seems to terminate at one end with out an anchor store. I don’t know the history of the mall (I think it was an old JCPenny structure according to Wikipedia) but it felt like a store was turned into a large round open escalator area with a large Barnes and Noble and a few restaurants. It really worked. Maybe instead of finding another anchor to fill the huge Boscov’s, MM can open the whole store up and treat it as more mall space and a focal point for the mall. I should add that the mall is managed by The Macerich Company, the same company that manages Freehold Raceway Mall.

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  227. GM:

    I am very familiar with Tysons Corner Center and Dulles Town Center. WIth DTC, there is quite a lot of land and they do have the room to grow. Another NoVA mall, Fair Oaks, may soon be going through an expansion of their own. The Tysons expansion was built from the groud up. They tore down the old JCPenney (which used to be a Woodward and Lothrop) and built anew, along with the parking structures on each side. I wholeheartedly agree that the expansion works. Wish they would have included Champp’s in the restaurant lineup though :(

    It may be a little more of a challenge to replicate that at Monmouth Mall. They would have to move the theatre to that side and also put the new Barnes and Noble over there to make it truly work as an entertainment/lifestyle wing. It’s quite sad that Vorando owns MM for they do not put in the same investment in their malls as does Macerich. Whatever they do, be it Bloomingdale’s, mall space or a lifestyle wing, they had better act fast! Everyday they go without a plan that’s another Monmouth Mall regular that becomes a Freehold Raceway Mall regular.

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  228. King of Prussia plaza also took what was an old Strawbridge’s store in the Court building & turned it into more retail space. There are 2 home furnishing stores, Borders Books, Cheesecake Factory & a few others. Kravco-Simon does own most of the mall property, but not the Pavillion.

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  229. The Pavilion is also built in the structure of the original A&S/Strawbridges…they did not start from the ground up like in Tysons. For the most part, The Pavilion works.

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  230. I wonder if Kravco had to have there site plan signed off for the pavilion, although they were working within the footprint of the existing A & S/Strawbridge’s store.

    Since Maceerich was building new space & not renovating the J C Penny store at Tysons Corner Center, I’m shure Mclean had to look closely at the site plans & traffic impact studies *joke* on the expantion.

    Mallguy, you know more than I do on this.

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  231. Lol, Sean. Knowing the time I’ve spent in DC and NoVA, traffic in Fairfax County can make North Jersey blush. I do know this: they built an overpass between Galleria Drive and Tysons Corner Center (mostly for traffic coming off the Beltway and the westbound lanes of Chain Bridge Road), but it is only one lane in each direction and needs to be expanded to two lanes (I think they are actually going to do this). Apparently, the new Silver Line of the Metro is supposed to go right through this area and when that construction starts, traffic will really stink until 2013/14.

    Monmouth Mall traffic isn’t that bad, but if they don’t do something when/if the mall is expanded/renovated, there will be problems with attracting new stores.

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  232. Mallguy,

    How dou you know the Tysons area so well?

    Shouldn’t WMATA, GGP & Macerich have a master plan for what the Tysons area will be? I mean the Silver line will change how the area functions, we are going from retail oriented to mixed use. Everyone will need to focus on the future.

    Same can be said about Monmouth Mall, but Vornado is not visionary at all.

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  233. Tons of family and friends in the area, Sean, and I kind of have a professional obligation to like DC too.

    There is a Master Plan for Tysons. It’s very aggressive and many think it will make traffic worse. There’s also the debate about whether to build the Metro through Tysons above or below ground, but last I heard, they are going above ground.

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  234. And to follow up, the pessimist in me even doubts that Vorando can top with Monmouth what Macerich did with Freehold.

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  235. Vornado should get out of retail because they have no clue how the mall business opperates.

    I had no idea mallguy, you had strong family ties down there, that answers a lot of questions. Sorry if I got to personal.

    If I recall the WMATA is building the silver line overhead because the government refused to fund a tunnel, although the WMATA wanted to build one because it would have cost them less in the long run.

    Well that’s Washington.

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  236. There is no need to worry about aditional car traffic in the Tysons area because when the silver line opens many people will ride the trains instead of driving there.

    What percentage is unknown, but I am sure it will offset any traffic increase that would be expected. The surprise will be just how busy the silver line will be, projections are always lowballed so that polititions can cry about how unessessary a project is, however we all know how importent the silver line really is to the Tysons area.

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  237. The area residents also wanted the tunnel. Either way, the area will be a mess during the construction (which is what I meant when I said traffic would increase). Tysons Corner would definitely benefit from the Silver Line as the carless DC/Arlington Co residents have other options, other than Pentagon City, White Flint and Georgetown Park.

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  238. Mallguy,

    I maybe wrong on this, but the inner counties of Maryland near DC eccept Montgomery & Harford will be big losers when the Tysons area expands. Harford County has Columbia wich is a market on to it self & Montgomery has Rockville wich has great Metro access.

    I may relent on Wheaton Plaza a bit because there’s a metro stop as well. However the market isn’t as robust as Arlington & Alexandria Counties are. As the thred on Weaton Plaza does indicate by the comments there.

    It’s like Freehold Raceway Mall vs Monmouth Mall in many respects, a well managed property vs a poorly managed one& what results from both ways of conducting business. Nobody wants to see MM go down, but I must say if MM doesn’t change course it will die very fast. Who is the mall manager, doesn’t he or she see the condission of there own building? Or is Vornado just incompitent.

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  239. You see this a lot Sean. Companies, be it a manufacturing company, real estate company, or even government department, are just not investing in themselves (they use the stockholder as an excuse, but one can argue that good investment is much better to the stockholder in the long-run than a good dividend this month). They pull receipts in and push payments to their vendors out to the next quarter. It obvious that MM will not invest until they absolutely have to. My guess is that MM was planning on spending money soon, but were not anticipating two anchors (Burlington and Boscov’s) as well as many other stores (Braddock’s, Wilsons Leather, etc.) closing and leaving sq. ft. empty and losing rental income.

    As I mentioned before, I emailed some management leaders from Vornado Realty Trust and MM and invited them to chime in and read this blog. There are a lot of good ideas here. If I was them, I would pounce on the opportunity. Talk about a great ‘voice of the customer’ forum. I invite you all to email them. Demand answers and let them know how you feel.

    Regina Krause
    Specialty Leasing Coordinator
    RKrause@vno.com
    Phone:(732) 542-0333

    Patricia Zafferese
    Director of Specialty Leasing
    Tel: 516-612-0175
    Fax: 516-612-0179
    PZafferese@vno.com

    Michael Zucker
    mzucker@vno.com
    Phone:212-894-7973

    Mailing address:
    Vornado Realty Trust
    888 Seventh Avenue
    New York, NY 10019

    info@monmouthmallonline.com

    [Reply]

  240. Tyson’s future isn’t necessarily as a bigger retail hub. They want to do more housing and create more of a 24 hour environment. That’s not necessarily compatible with Tyson’s Corner Center becoming a bigger mall. It already has numerous exclusives and all the usual mall suspects. Unless the redevelopment of the area fosters small business, there won’t be much real retail growth beyond some businesses to serve the new office and residential populations. The Metro will augment the retail only insomuch as density increases at stops that are relatively close. A place like Pentagon City draws heavily from DC areas that are literally minutes away, rather than from far distant parts of Virginia. People further out will go to fairfax or Tyson’s instead and they’ll drive. Tyson’s will always be a mess, even with “smart growth”. there will never be enough parking and road capacity there. OTOH, there are oddly huge parcels on which new development can be perched.It will attract people who want to live close to work and either live there (and probably garage a car) or live within a few Metro stops.

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  241. If recent stats are any indication Rich, the plan for Tysons future is to make it as densly populated & as coheasive as possible. The inclusion of local retailers, supermarkets & all the nessessities for dailly living in a walkable neighborhood plus the Metro could turn this area into a 24 hour center of activity.

    The stats i’m refering to come from an article in the NY Times & the Texas Transportation institute UT Austin, the Times article stated that areas that have Metro access had a smaller decrease on there home vallues than comperable areas without Metro train service. Infact prices may have even risen or at least remain stable in some areas.

    The TTI stated in a study in 2007 that a home on average is 40% more valuable if it is within a half mile of some form of rapid transit, rail service inparticular because people do not want to continue to drive on congested roads if they had a choice. that is why the silver line will be routed the way it is to also serve Reston Town Center as well as the Tysons area on it’s way toward IAD airport.

    A good example of this is arlington VA, where almost the entire city of 100,000 plus has access to the Metro. Driving to the local stop isn’t nessessary because walking routes & busses are plentyful. Half of Arlington’s tax base is on only a third of there total acreage. In the future many communities will need to move in that direction to save on there minissiple budgets.

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  242. Here’s the article I was refering to in my last post.

    The Tri State Transportation Campaign published the piece & not the NY Times as I said erlier.

    Are Development Patterns the Foundation of the Housing Crisis?

    A fundamental belief at Tri-State is that land use planning and transportation planning are intrinsically linked, and that the failure to consider them in tandem has resulted in many of our current mobility problems. The current housing foreclosure crisis, and its reverberating impacts, may be another unexpected consequence of this failure.
    While sub-prime loans have taken the brunt of the blame for the housing crisis, some analysts are examining the role that skyrocketing gas prices have played in decreasing home values, particularly in automobile- dependent suburbs and exurbs.

    A recently released report by CEOs for Cities, a national network of elected officials, civic groups, corporate executives, and others, makes this argument. Driven to the Brink: How the Gas Price Spike Popped the Housing Bubble and Devalued the Suburbs, analyzes the housing bubble collapse and links it to a rise in energy costs and sprawling development that places homes further and further away from downtowns.

    The report finds that “the higher price of gas has most
    affected suburban housing values… distant suburbs have
    seen the largest declines, while values in ‘close-in’
    neighborhoods have held up better, and in some cases
    continued to increase.” (In the table below, “distant” neighborhoods are 13 miles from the central business district, while “close-in” neighborhoods are 3 miles away.) This is hardly surprising,
    considering that sprawling development patterns lack the density to efficiently support mass transit and
    are often hostile environments for pedestrians and cyclists. For many residents of these areas, the only
    viable option is the automobile, even as it becomes more expensive to drive.

    According to an April National Public Radio news report, housing prices have actually gone up in many areas with transit options. For example, home sales increased by 10 percent in the 20912 Zip Code of Tacoma Park, MD, over the last year. Tacoma Park, a “close-in” suburb of Washington, DC, is serviced by the DC Metro system and has reliable bus service. By comparison, Ashburn, VA, a more sprawling suburb located approximately 40 miles from the center of DC, saw home prices drop by up to 18 percent in the same time period.

    In the New York metropolitan area, the pattern of strong-performing cities and weaker exurbs seems to hold. Zillow.corn’s index of home values shows, for first quarter 2007 to first quarter 2008, large increases in home value for most of Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, and western Queens, as well as regional urban centers like Newark, White Plains, and Mount Vernon. Weaker performance was seen in eastern Queens, Staten Island, and Long Island. Home values fell most sharply in the exurbs of Rockland County, north Westchester County, and northwest New Jersey.

    As this trend occurs throughout the United States, at least one mainstream pundit, NY Times columnist Paul Krugman, is asserting that development around transit is the wave of the future and that the United States should be looking at mixed-use development patterns in Europe to help reduce its congestion, sprawl and housing problems.

    In order to get there, governments will have to de-emphasize road expansion projects that promote sprawling development, and focus on maintenance of existing road infrastructure and expansion of urban and commuter transit. NJDOT, for example, dedicates most of its road budget to repair instead of expansion, and runs a formal “transit village” program that incentivizes compact, transit-oriented development. New Jersey supports these goals through laws including the Urban Transit Hub Tax Credit Act passed in January. Connecticut and New York, though interested in TOD, are far behind in their efforts. By following New Jersey’s lead, they can promote sustainable solutions to congestion and reduce sprawl — and might end up bolstering the housing market as well.

    Now, Vornado could prevent Monmouth Mall from going over the edge if they truely understood what is happening around them. Sorry if this goes off topic, but this is another way to look at the issues that MM will face & what needs to be done to prevent this mall from becoming another Seaview Square.

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  243. Interesting article, Sean. Beside its geographical disadvantage (hidden from highway view…set way back from routes 66 and 35), Seaview Square had no unique stores which people would go out of their way to visit. Monmouth Mall is falling into this category now as well, as locals are driving to Freehold Raceway Mall, farther away from MM…there are stores there (Nordstrom, Cheesecake Factory, Ruehl, etc) that are unique to the area that people will go longer distances to visit. Monmouth Mall needs to break into this category. The Grove at Shrewsbury, a mere 4 miles north of MM, achieves this easily. Monmouth Mall has the highway visibility, it has the veteran status that malls like Cherry Hill and Garden State Plaza have, it should have the destination stores (or achors…you know what I think about that :) ) but Vorando is leaving MM there, as is, to rot.

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  244. Sean,

    Let me quickly touch on your DC comments made earlier. I semi-agree…the inner beltway areas do have the potential to falter, mostly White Flint (which already came back from the brink of Dead Mall status) and Montgomery Mall in Bethesda (which is currently expanding with a lifestyle section) may survive, but the smaller malls may falter. The Mall in Columbia in Howard County (Harford County is between miles 75-90 on I-95) is very, very stable and is a little closer to Baltimre than DC.

    Your Dead Malls/near-dead malls in the DC Metro are Ballston Common, Landmark Mall and Springfield Mall. Landover Mall in PG Co, near FedEx Field was bulldozed a couple of years ago.

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  245. Mallguy,

    Ballston Common is a near dead mall, your kidding me, right? Arlington would be one of the last places I would ever suspect of having a dead mall. Greenbelt perhaps, but not Arlington. Then again you do have Pentigon City with a Metro stop, while Ballston common doesn’t have Metro access & is 4 miles away from PC.

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  246. Ballston (they actually do have a Metro stop, but unlike Pentagon City, where all you have to do is go up an escalator, it’s 2 blocks away.) lost a JCPenney a few years ago and was never able to fill it. It is also losing a lot of ground to The Market Common at Clarendon, which is a mixed-use center with shopping, dining and apartments. Stores of note include a 2 level Barnes and Noble, The Cheesecake Factory, Apple and Whole Foods. It is two blocks from the Clarendon Metro. Very similar to Pier Village in Long Branch. If Pier Village had national chains, Monmouth Mall would be in more serious trouble than it already is.

    [Reply]

  247. Mallguy,

    You reminded me of an article I read some time ago, from the September 2006 issue of Shopping Centers Today. I’m posting it below.

    Maybe this could bring a different perspective on what should happen to not just Monmouth Mall, but many malls around the country.

    LOT’ OF OPTIONS
    Mall parking lots are too valuable for landlords to waste on cars
    By Joel Groover

    The mall parking lot has been likened to a “sea of asphalt.” But as suburbs fill up with office towers, luxury condos and high-rise hotels, mall owners have started seeing their parking lots in these markets not as seas, but as islands of underused flatland begging to go vertical.

    “If you look at the shopping centers that were built over the last 50 years, many of them were built in what would be called greenfields,” said Thomas J. D’Alesandro IV, senior vice president of development and redevelopment at General Growth Properties. “Now they are in-fill. And like any urban area, they are subject to higher and better uses than just a one- or two-story mall surrounded by surface parking.”

    After a frenzied “age of acquisitions” that has lasted for over a decade, mall REITs are waking up to the tantalizing value of the asphalt-covered acreage within their own portfolios, says David C. Scholl, senior vice president of development at Westcor (a subsidiary of The Macerich Co.). Many are drawing up plans to rip up their parking lots and replace them with office towers, apartment buildings, hotels, service retail and other moneymakers. “There is a lot of pent-up opportunity,” Scholl said.

    Surface parking and its attendant ring roads and landscaping consume about 75 percent of the overall site of a typical regional mall, says Stan Laegreid, a principal at Seattle-based Callison Architecture, which has drawn up higher-density solutions for Phoenix malls Arizona Center and Biltmore Fashion Park; Scottsdale (Ariz.) Fashion Square; and NorthPark Center, in Dallas, among others. “When you start to look at the full utilization of a parcel of 100 acres, what you’re saying is that you’ve got 75 acres there that you can really start to work with,” Laegreid said.

    Before they tell their architects that “the sky’s the limit,” however, mall owners must figure out what to do with all those cars in the lot. The only realistic solution, at least for large projects, is to spend tens of millions on parking decks. “The incremental increase in GLA [gross leasable area] that you’re able to produce by eliminating surface parking must offset that cost,” said Daniel M. Herman, senior vice president of development at Developers Diversified Realty Corp., which is adding structured parking as part of its mixed-use makeover of the 1970s-era Totem Lake Malls, Kirkland, Wash. “You can’t just say, ‘I want to build a garage,’ without increasing your revenue stream.”

    Traditionally, mall parking lots contain 4.5 spaces per 1,000 square feet of mall GLA, so a 1 million-square-foot mall would pack a whopping 4,500 parking spaces. In higher-density urban areas such as the Northeast, the cost of a stand-alone parking deck serving a mixed-use property is about $17,000 per space, says Timothy H. Haahs, owner of Timothy Haahs & Associates, a Blue Bell, Pa.-based engineering and architectural firm specializing in multilevel parking structures. A flat lot, by contrast, may cost about $4,000 per space. Not only has the price of concrete shot up in the past couple of years, but the more sophisticated look of today’s town center concept translates into greater expense, says Haahs. “It can’t just be an ugly garage anymore,” he said.

    And costs can become stratospheric if the site plan calls for underground parking, particularly when construction crews must dynamite bedrock or keep out subterranean water, says Charles E. Fancher Jr., principal of Fancher Partners, an Irvine, Calif., mixed-use and retail development firm. “There are urban sites that have huge demand for residential product, where [the residential] might command an exit sale price of $600 to $1,000 per square foot,” he said. “But those sites might not be able to withstand a parking cost of $35,000 per space.”

    Given such constraints, how many of the approximately 1,100 enclosed malls in the U.S. today are candidates, either now or in coming years, for densification? In the near term, architects and developers say, two kinds of properties seem best suited for going vertical: top-notch urban malls with high recognition among consumers, and certain lagging malls in markets that, though robust in themselves, lack a true town center.

    Westcor’s Biltmore Fashion Park, a 40-year-old dining and shopping destination anchored by Saks Fifth Avenue and Macy’s, with upscale in-line tenants the likes of Cartier and Williams-Sonoma, falls into the first category. Plans to add structured parking and midrise buildings are working their way through the entitlement process, Scholl says. Biltmore Fashion Park and its address are so well known that hotel operators and other users will pay a premium to be there, Laegreid says. “If you start talking about ‘The Ritz-Carlton at Biltmore Fashion Park’ or ‘The Offices’ or ‘The Commons at Biltmore Fashion Park,’ you add additional equity and are at a competitive advantage to something across the street or down the block,” Laegreid said.

    PREIT’s Echelon Mall, in Voorhees, N.J., is in the second category. The Philadelphia-based firm has renamed the mall Voorhees Town Center and has plans to demolish two anchor stores and add 425 multifamily units served by structured parking and Main Street-style amenities.

    “For a mall, the location isn’t as strong as it could be, and it was really sort of beaten out by the competition — there are three other malls in the area,” said Joseph F. Coradino, who directs retail operations for PREIT and is president of the PREIT Services and PREIT-Rubin management affiliates. “The more we thought about the possibilities, the more we kept coming back to creating a town center.”

    Such underperforming properties exist in nearly every healthy market, and developers are focusing harder than ever on creative ways to make them more competitive, says Jeffrey J. Gunning, vice president of North American operations at RTKL, a Baltimore-based architectural firm. “These aren’t as valuable from a retail standpoint as they once were,” Gunning said. “But rather than try to unload them on some other developer, these assets can be transformed into something that has value for a different reason. Done well, these can be the downtowns some of these suburban communities never had.”

    In the long term, mall owners are betting that densification will become more commonplace as growth drives up land values in markets that support only lower-density uses today. “That’s triggering us to design our brand-new malls with more of a block approach to the parking lots,” Scholl said. “That way we’ll have nice rectangular lots with a grid system of driveways, interior roads and utilities, so that in 15 years we’ll have these parcels in a shape that would support converting them right over to above- or below-grade parking structures, possibly as podiums with residential or office on top.”

    General Growth is taking a similar approach with its 22,500-acre Summerlin Centre master-planned community, near Las Vegas. The Chicago-based REIT plans to start construction on the massive project in the spring. It could take until 2020 to finish.

    For too long developers have built malls and then years later struggled to figure out how to add new uses and rework the parking, D’Alesandro says. “What we are now saying is, ‘After having done that for 50 years, what if we anticipate that? What would that be like?’ ” said D’Alesandro. “We’re designing Summerlin Centre so that as we add these uses they come together like pieces in a puzzle.”

    Other factors could work in favor of higher-density malls. Despite the daunting cost of parking decks, for example, tearing up asphalt could be less painful than one might think. Twenty or 30 years ago, cheap land enabled developers to err on the side of caution and build parking lots that were unnecessarily large, says Michael I. Lebovitz, senior vice president and chief development officer of CBL & Associates Properties. “Most malls are overparked,” he said. “There are 18 days a year when every space is occupied, but people still always find a place to park.”

    Knowing this, CBL has been able to replace redundant spaces at many of its malls with lifestyle components while avoiding the high cost of building parking decks. The same is true at Inlet Square, a 500,000-square-foot mall in Myrtle Beach, S.C., where Fancher is using the massive parking lot — 39 acres of asphalt, retention ponds and landscaping — as a launching pad for offices, a hotel and open-air retail space.

    Furthermore, the growing phenomenon of public-private partnerships means developers do not always have to pay the entire cost of a parking deck themselves. The national backlash against the abuse of eminent domain, meanwhile, is making it harder for cities to aggregate the multiple parcels of land they need for mixed-use redevelopments, Fancher says. Rather than give up on so-called smart growth, some municipalities might be more willing to form partnerships with mall REITs that happen to own huge islands of asphalt in the middle of town.

    At the risk of mixing metaphors, it all adds up to a sea of opportunity.

    Lets hope MM learns a few lessons from this, otherwise what they will learn is something even you, Mallguy cant teach them.

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  248. Thanks for providing the article Sean, and may I say, pretty accurate. That has been the pattern with the development of the shopping mall at least here in NJ. Malls such as Willowbrook, Monmouth, Freehold, Brunswick Square and Garden State Plaza were all built on what used to be farmland or forest. The expansive parking lot was built so as to provide an alternative to parallel parking…notice that the spaces are wider so as to accomodate the large 1950s style cars, as well as the new drivers.

    It does surprise me that malls don’t better utilize their parking area…at least here in NJ, parking decks are built, for the most part, when there is not much room for surface parking by itself (e.g. Short Hills, Riverside, Menlo Park (which still doesn’t have enough parking) and Garden State Plaza). As we have discussed before, a mall like Freehold can greatly expand its lifestyle offerings while constructing decks to make up for the lost surface parking…this can also be done at MM.

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  249. Mallguy,

    Things will change because economic demands will require a new way of thinking on how land will be utilized. that doesn’t mean that Monmouth Mall will become as dence as Newport Centre, but inovative practices will need to be employed to insure it’s viability as Pentagon City & Arlington have done.

    Then again this is Vornado we’re talking about.

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  250. One more piece from SCT September 2007, as a NJ resident Mallguy, this explains what you have been saying about Monmouth Mall’s road network all along.

    Sorry for all the heavy reading lately. LOL

    CLOGGED ARTERIES MAY CHOKE RETAIL
    CRITICS SAY TRANSPORT AND POWER DECAY HURTS DEVELOPMENT
    By Joel Groover

    What many are calling a U.S. infrastructure crisis is getting harder to ignore, not least by developers and retailers, who pay dearly when transportation is hindered or the lights go out. Two headline-grabbing incidents took place this summer alone. First, in New York City an 83-year-old steam pipe exploded just south of Grand Central Station in midtown Manhattan. That July 18 blast, which sent plumes of asbestos into the air and for a while sparked fears of a terrorist attack, killed one person and injured dozens.

    Then, two weeks later, an eight-lane, 1960s-era bridge in downtown Minneapolis collapsed during rush hour, plunging drivers into the Mississippi River. At press time news reports were saying a half dozen people had been killed and about 100 injured. In the aftermath, a number of states raced to double-check the safety of their own aging spans.

    Like the electrical crash that knocked out power for some 50 million people in parts of Canada and the U.S. in 2003, or the failure of the levees in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, these most recent events led to calls for more spending on America’s bridges, dams, roadways, railroads and utility networks. By some estimates, the U.S. must spend at least $1.6 trillion over the next five years to stave off further infrastructural decay.

    Whether the country gets a handle on the problem is no academic matter for shopping center developers. After all, the survival of any center hinges upon a smooth and reliable flow of consumers and goods. Clogged ports, chronically congested railways, gridlock and other projected infrastructure problems can choke off retail sales. Hard bargains driven by cash-strapped governments — We’ll need you to pay for a couple of interchanges before we can approve your lifestyle center — could force developers to nix otherwise-viable projects, sources say. “Infrastructure, for retail development more so probably than any other type of commercial development, is absolutely critical,” said Michael Dee, senior vice president and national retail director at Chicago-based Grubb & Ellis. “It has always been a hot topic, but it is even more so today, because of the amount of retail development that we have seen and also the population growth in some of the major centers.”

    Indeed, infrastructure shapes where and how retail development happens, says Jeff Zeigler, executive vice president of retail at Continental Retail Development, Columbus, Ohio. A highway bypass that skirts drivers around an urban core they once drove through, for example, can turn a formerly thriving downtown into a netherworld. “It’s truly incredible,” Zeigler said. “Instead of retail and urban development and restaurants happening downtown, they happen on the outskirts of town.” Likewise, smart infrastructure investments like mass transit can bring an urban mixed-use district to life, Zeigler says.

    The connection between shopping centers and infrastructure dates back to a federal initiative that literally paved the way for the modern American shopping center industry, says Dale Anne Reiss, global director of real estate, hospitality and construction services at Ernst & Young. “When the federal highway system was put in place in the 1950s, retail sprang up where the roads came together,” she said. “These were natural places for shopping centers.”

    Today, however, America’s once-gleaming infrastructure is in a sorry state, says Patrick J. Natale, executive director of the Washington-based American Society of Civil Engineers, which lobbies for increased infrastructure spending. In its most recent Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, the association gave U.S. infrastructure efforts a D. The report cited a litany of failures, such as the 120-ton concrete beam that collapsed onto Interstate 70 in Washington County, Pa., in December 2005, nearly flattening the passing cars. Or the dam that burst in Kauai, Hawaii, in March 2006, unleashing 300 million gallons of water that washed away homes and killed seven people. “There are 10,000 dams considered high-hazard in the United States,” Natale said.

    The report, which calls for that $1.6 trillion in spending over the next five years, details massive funding shortfalls in aviation, dams and levees, bridges, roads and transit, inland waterways, drinking water and wastewater. Because it fails to take population growth into account, however, even this 13-digit price tag could be a lowball estimate of what it will take to fix today’s problems.

    How did it come to this? The country has simply not spent enough to cover the cost of keeping these networks in good shape, even as the population has skyrocketed to over 300 million, says Paul Bingham, a principal in the trade and transportation practice of Global Insight, a Washington-based forecast firm. “There is maintenance and replacement required at a certain stage, and the cost of doing that today, as opposed to when [U.S. infrastructure projects] were originally built, 40 or 50 years ago, is substantial,” Bingham said. “If you start to think about doing this across the entire country, it is just an enormous, daunting amount of money.”

    Even as it strains the existing infrastructure, a robust population growth must be met with massive spending on new projects, says Bingham. Transportation officials in such growth hotspots as Contra Costa County, Calif., where Bay Area commuters clog the streets and highways, struggle to keep up. “The cost of building things has become astronomical,” said Robert McCleary, executive director of the Contra Costa Transportation Authority, a planning agency that handles sales taxes earmarked for transportation. “The numbers are just astounding.”

    The Caldecott Tunnel Improvement Project is a good example. The mile-long tunnel, which consists of two bores dating from 1937 and a third that was built in 1964, links Alameda and Contra Costa counties via state Route 24. To relieve congestion where the eight-lane Route 24 narrows to six, officials aim to add a two-lane bore through the East Bay Hills. “That fourth bore is estimated to cost between $385 million and $420 million,” McCleary said.

    In the more affordable eastern part of the county, where residential growth far outpaces existing infrastructure, officials plan to pour about $600 million in state, federal and local funds into the Route 4 East corridor alone, McCleary says. Parts of these projects, which include building a new bypass as well as adding two more lanes and a median wide enough for a commuter rail line, will be under construction until 2015. Helpful as such upgrades may seem, though, California’s infrastructure overall is in trouble, McCleary says.

    “These are all what I would call Band-Aids,” he said. “The core problem is, there simply is not enough money. Not only is there not enough money to build new projects, but local streets and roads in California are in bad shape. There are a lot of underlying problems, and many states are facing these same issues.”

    One way that officials have responded to such pressures is to try to pass off infrastructure costs to shopping center developers. “Cities and municipalities have gotten much more sophisticated over the years and therefore are requiring more of the cost to be associated with the developers,” Dee said. “When you’re talking about a large-scale development like a regional mall or even some of the lifestyle centers that substantially increase vehicular and pedestrian traffic, there is no way a retail developer can get around the burden of having to widen roads, create interchanges, make sewage improvements, those kinds of things.”

    This complicates the calculus of whether a project is viable and also translates into higher rent burdens for tenants, says Dee. But even when infrastructure costs are shifted to the private sector more generally, shopping center owners can wind up feeling the pain. What landlord would want a $4 toll road as the main route to his mall, for example? And yet, according to Infrastructure 2007: A Global Perspective, a 69-page report by Ernst & Young and The Urban Land Institute, most new U.S. highways in coming years will in fact be toll roads.

    When the demographics are good enough, of course, developers can and do take infrastructure hurdles in stride. The potential for gridlock was a concern when Atco Properties & Management was planning The Shops at Atlas Park, a 350,000-square-foot lifestyle center and office complex that opened in April 2006 on a 12-acre site in New York City’s Queens borough. About 5,000 people had once worked in the former industrial complex during its heyday in the 1950s, says Damon Hemmerdinger, development director for Atlas Park and a senior vice president at New York City-based Atco. This former high-capacity use made adapting the infrastructure in and around the site, once served by a steady stream of trains and trucks, conceivable. “The challenge we had was to work with the community to smooth the reabsorption of this site into the city’s infrastructure,” Hemmerdinger said. Toward that end, Atco built its own bus station and worked with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to reroute buses to Atlas Park, where tenants include Borders, Chico’s, Coldwater Creek and Stein Mart. The developer is still waiting for the city to make good on its promise to make off-site traffic improvements, however. “Those haven’t made it high enough in the city’s priority list,” Hemmerdinger said.

    However deft shopping center developers may be at finessing infrastructure challenges, the prospect of rapidly fraying roads, collapsing bridges and the like should give them pause, says Natale. Infrastructure failures can bring shopping to a standstill in a variety of ways. A blackout could translate into a day or two of empty cash registers. But a major infrastructure calamity could have devastating effects on retail lasting for months or years. “If you look at the loss of infrastructure as happened in New Orleans, all controls left and they had chaos,” Natale said.

    Moreover, harried shoppers faced with worsening gridlock and rising gas prices will have less time and money for shopping, says Bingham. “More congestion takes more time out of your day,” Bingham said. “That is less time to spend shopping. Shoppers might feel: ‘I got here later than I would have liked. I have to leave earlier now to allow more time for traffic.’ They might spend less time actually in-store.”

    Efficient transportation is also vital for keeping stores stocked as retailers strive to shorten the time it takes for fashions to go from drawing board to store shelf.

    Will federal, state and local governments spend roughly $2 trillion or more in coming years to arrest the infrastructure decline? Natale says he doubts it, even as he champions the cause. Bingham, for his part, says one of the clear solutions to the problem — a stiff increase in the gas tax that pays for the U.S. government’s Highway Trust Fund — seems politically impossible. (A few state and federal lawmakers, emboldened by the Minnesota bridge collapse, have started pushing for infrastructure-related tax increases.)

    A note of skepticism also runs through the chapter on U.S. infrastructure in an Ernst & Young and Urban Land Institute report titled Infrastructure 2007: A Global Perspective. “Looming Crisis,” “Deterioration, Congestion, Unreliability” and “Approaching Train Wreck” are among the report’s subheadings. “A broad consensus exists: the United States is on the cusp of a crisis,” writes report author Jonathan D. Miller. “If we don’t face up to our future infrastructure requirements, our economy and way of life could be affected, maybe severely.”

    GLOBAL GROWTH SPURT COULD SPUR INFRASTRUCTURE CRISIS
    Construction cranes may be tall enough to tower over the horizon, but finding one these days can be tough — unless you happen to be in China.

    “China has cornered the world market for high cranes,” said Patrick J. Natale, executive director of the Washington-based American Society of Civil Engineers. “Most of them are in China for the development of their infrastructure.”

    Indeed, the Chinese government is scrambling to make sure the infrastructure of this country of 1.3 billion grows at the same dizzying pace as its economy. The government aims to finish by 2020 a 53,000-mile National Expressway System, an infrastructure project comparable to the now-overburdened, 47,000-mile U.S. interstate network launched in 1956. The U.S. project all but created the modern American shopping center industry, and the same kinds of development opportunities are present today in China, says Dale Anne Reiss, Ernst & Young’s global director of real estate, hospitality and construction services.

    Just as Italian dictator Benito Mussolini made “the trains run on time,” as the saying went in the 1940s, the authoritarian Chinese government has a certain advantage when it comes to laying down expensive new infrastructure: Its politicians need not fear any anti-tax backlash. “China says, ‘We want it here and it is going to go there,’ ” Reiss said.

    India is poorer and moves at a slower pace than China, which has already put down some 25,000 miles of highway, but it is nonetheless making big strides — and creating major retail opportunities — of its own, says Reiss. The so-called Golden Quadrilateral, a $12 billion national ring road linking Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai, is nearing completion. But India clearly faces major infrastructure challenges, including spotty utility services and nightmarish, potholed roads that put it at a disadvantage in the competition for foreign development dollars.

    “China spends 9 percent of its gross domestic product on infrastructure and India budgets 3.5 percent ($25.5 billion) while aiming to increase its allocation to 8 percent,” wrote Jonathan D. Miller, author of Infrastructure 2007: A Global Perspective, a report by Ernst & Young and The Urban Land Institute. “By comparison, the United States budgets $112.9 billion, or just 0.93 percent of its GDP, and sidesteps the reality of a ballooning $1.6 trillion deficit for necessary upgrades over the next five years.” Not that big infrastructure projects are totally lacking in the U.S. Atlanta, Denver, Washington and several other American cities are in various stages of planning and construction for rail projects that are creating retail opportunities. The whir of construction equipment is loudest elsewhere in the world, though, as fast-developing nations build airports, bullet trains, highways and railroads. Globalization is so rapid, in fact, that some question whether the world’s infrastructure can keep up.

    In a May 2007 speech before European trade officials, Ron D. Widdows, CEO of APL, a giant in the international container shipping industry, warned of an impending global infrastructure crisis. A mushrooming trade volume that now stands at an estimated $117 trillion annually could overwhelm the world’s ports, roadways and railroads, he said. “The gist of the problem is this: The global economy is growing rapidly, fueled by unprecedented growth in containerized trade centered around Asia,” Widdows said. “But in most of the world’s key markets, and in some of its sourcing hotspots, transportation infrastructure can’t keep up with the pace of trade growth.”

    — JG

    HIGHWAY TRUST FUND IS A ROADBLOCK
    If U.S. transportation bureaucrats could travel backward in time, they would probably like to drop in on a 1956 session of Congress to pressure lawmakers to alter the wording of a critical funding mechanism then being written.

    When those lawmakers set up President Eisenhower’s federal highway system, they had the foresight to make sure the Highway Trust Fund could not be “raided” for other uses; revenues collected by the federal gas tax, which then stood at 2 cents per gallon (gas cost 23 cents a gallon), would go straight into the fund, where they could not be touched. The legislators could have gone a step further, however, and made sure the tax itself was collected as a fixed percentage of the total price of gasoline, rather than as a set number of cents per gallon. Much to the chagrin of future generations of transportation officials, they failed to do so.

    Thus the funding mechanism, as codified that year, kept revenues for the Highway Trust Fund, the biggest source of state and federal money for highway building and maintenance, from rising along with the price of gas. Historically, in fact, the tax itself has stayed flat for decades at a time — it went unchanged, for example, from 1959 to 1982. Today it stands at 18.4 cents per gallon, a level set back in 1993.

    In fact, a federal highway aid program within this massive fund could actually be $4 billion in the red by 2009, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. It all depends on whether Congress actually spends the $286.5 billion it approved for a raft of highway safety and other transportation programs in 2005. “The assumptions made by Congress during the last reauthorization — that revenues were just going to go up and up — turned out not to be true,” said Jennifer Gavin, deputy director of communications for the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.

    The situation is analogous to that faced by the Social Security Trust Fund. And politicians are about as eager to talk about that simplest solution — raising the national gas tax that feeds the fund (and perhaps changing it to a percentage of price per gallon) — as they are to stump for lower social security benefits. This same anti-tax sentiment is the reason the federal portion of the tax has stayed at 18.4 cents per gallon since 1993, Gavin says. States set their own contribution levels. “We suggested five years ago increasing the gas tax by 6 cents a gallon,” said Patrick J. Natale, executive director of the Washington-based American Society of Civil Engineers. “You would have thought we were trying to take people’s firstborn.”

    In the face of white-hot demand for infrastructure dollars, the fund’s overall revenues are inadequate, Gavin says. “There is a lot of driving out there,” she said. “But we have not been building roads to get out in front of it, because we don’t have the money to do it.”

    It is too early to tell whether the Minneapolis bridge collapse, in the end, will change this dynamic. If Congress does fail to deal with the shortfall in the federal-aid highway account, meanwhile, states will lose an estimated $16.5 billion in transportation aid in 2009.

    I realize that some of the information is somewhat dated, but is no less importent to understand where malls like Monmouth stand.

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  251. If anybody would like to purchase of lease all or part of the Boscov’s store, let me know.

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  252. ^What? Hahaha.

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  253. How much, Bwhahahaha!

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  254. I’ll just wait until the rest of the mall is vacant and lease the whole thing.

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  255. Check out this story from AP today.

    Retail sales plunge 1.2 percent in September

    By MARTIN CRUTSINGER (AP Economics Writer)

    October 15, 2008

    WASHINGTON – Government data show retail sales fell off a cliff in September, plunging by the largest amount in two years. Worried consumers shunned the malls and auto showrooms in the midst of the country’s financial meltdown.

    The Commerce Department reported retail sales decreased 1.2 percent last month, nearly double the 0.7 percent drop that had been expected. The surprise showing significantly increased the risks of a recession. Consumer spending is two-thirds of total economic activity.

    The weakness was led by a 3.8 percent drop in auto sales. Sales dropped below 1 million units as consumers struggled to find financing.

    Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

    Is AP for real? You mean they just figured out that there just might be a recession looming? What a lot of crap, does anyone else feal the same way?

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  256. While Monmouth Mall is faltering, at least one nearby shopping area is doing well.

    The Grove at Shrewsbury just opened Janie and Jack and Lucky Brand Jeans. This place does very, very well (1st lifestyle center in NJ) and it’s a shame that it can’t grow any larger (hemmed in by Route 35 and a Condo development).

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  257. The Grove has expanded to across the highway to what’s now called Grove West. It has the following stores:

    -Billabong
    -Five Seasons
    -CA Sunshine
    -Tula
    -Fidelity Investments
    -Elegant Lighting
    -Ann Taylor LOFT
    -Toys
    -Pottery Barn Kids
    -Harmon Cosmetics

    The grove is almost always packed and I love the stores there, but I’m still a sucker for enclosed malls.

    Braddock’s has signs up for their bankruptcy sale and it looks like they’re milling and repaving the movie theater parking lot. Maybe (hopefully) they’re planning for a new tennant at either Burlington or Braddock’s (or maybe both!) and want to spruce up the parking lot. But I have a hard time being optimistic.

    I was at Freehold Raceway Mall last night. It was packed right up until closing on a Sunday. The interior of the mall, as I’ve said before, is nothing special, but there’s a lot to be said for planning, layout, and encouragement of new stores (yes, even upscale stores).

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  258. It is a shame Boscov’s has closed. I always wanted a Nordstrom or Bloomies at MM. I am anxious for the new Premium Outlets to open in Tinton Falls in November though. It will draw people from the mall I am guessing though. It is supposed to have a Burberry, Michael Kors, Kate Spade, Guess, Nike store…etc

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  259. I think the outlets will draw people in from everywhere, not just Monmouth Mall. The outlets are really convenient though- they are immediately off the GSP and you can see them from the GSP. I think it may draw a tiny bit of business from Jackson Premium Outlets though. I live right near Monmouth Mall and used to trek to Jackson just to go to the outlets. This is much more convenient.

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  260. Thanks for reminding me about Jersey Shore Premium Outlets! I’ll check it out when it opens, but they do need a lot more dining options. This should be incentive enough for Vorando to do something about the deteriorating state of Monmouth Mall.

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  261. I also forgot about the outlets. Mallguy, give us a review after they open.

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  262. I probably will. From what I can tell by looking at the store directory, they will have a lot of good outlet stores, but NO sit down dining options (as mentioned earlier)…not even a Starbucks. It’s apparently supposed to be deisgned like Liberty Village in Flemington. I’ll tell you this, the route 66 and 33 intersections (along with exit 100 of the GSP) will have to be redone (if they haven’t already) because both roads are woefully inadequate to handle the traffic the new mall will produce.

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  263. You have a point Mallguy, but with the econemy right now who is going shopping if there employment is on shaky ground?

    Got back from a trip to Vegas a few days ago, & let me tell you things out there are much worse than the press & the convention authority are letting us believe. Some of the casinos are down right dead. Infact Harrah’s I just found out yesterday is on the verge of a total meltdown, oh where have I herd that statement before.

    Right now we’re in a better posission to absorb more retail space than most areas of the country, but you cant go overboard.

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  264. I’ve been a resident of Freehold all of my life and while I’m extremely impressed with the recent “Main Street” face lift to the front of the Raceway Mall, as well the minor renovations to the mall’s interior, i.e., a new fountain, better lighting, and modern seating throughout, I’ve always been partial to Monmouth Mall (oh, how I miss A&S). I had not visited Monmouth Mall in about a year but decided to go there today (10/27/08). What has happened to this mall, folks,?

    I was aware Boscov’s had closed it’s doors but didn’t realize how badly the mall had declined in terms of quality stores and appearance. Many of the reputable mall chains have been replaced with cluttered beauty supply shops, flea market ‘urban clothing’ merchants, and dingy pop-up bodegas (the kind that have make-shift partitions and backdrops behind the registers that hide empty store space). At every turn, there were these small booths manned by sales people — with pseudo French accents — attempting to stop people and coax them into applying some smelly, crappy moisturizer to there hands. They claim they are from Israel and hold the key to smooth skin; some are also at the Freehold Mall but not in droves like Monmouth Mall.

    I cannot believe how much this mall has come to resemble the late Seaview Square Mall the year and a half before that particular mall closed it’s doors for good (when it was a combination of flea market shops and only a few remaining reputable businesses). I spoke with a few retail sales people at a liquidating jewelry store near Macy*s and they claim the mall owner is a moron who wants to raise the rent. If that is indeed the case, this owner is driving out everyone from a once great mall.

    I know a few people suggested turning the old Boscov’s into a life center or creating separate shopping areas on the top two floors. I disagree. It is a beautiful structure with plenty of character, much more ample parking space, and three spacious floors that would make a great relocation for an overly crowded and drab Macy*s that is currently situated on the noisy and crammed Rt. 35 side of the mall. They could expand it’s designer selections and add a Nordstrom-style cafe…. And for pity’s sake, tear down that eye sore of a brutalist parking garage and create some type of outdoor shopping site and/or sitting area.

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  265. They have added a few more restaurants/cafes in the past month. Also, across the street there is an Arby’s, Ruby Tuesday and a McDonalds. The roads are actually pretty good. They added a great overpass and re-did those roads with nice u-turns. There’s also a couple of entrances/exits and it’s right off the parkway!

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  266. I was there last week, they’ve built a huge new overpass for entrance/exit to and from the outlets, from 33. and I THINK they’re planning on making a through road from 66 to that overpass, on the paved-over runway path of the old Schlossbach Field / Asbury Park Neptune Air Terminal (ARX)

    But the Weird circle/oval/intersection at 66 and 33 is still terrible.

    33 itself has been heavily improved, at least on the eastern side of the Parkway.

    However, getting to the Outlets coming from the north on the Parkway is pretty hard.

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  267. I agree with what clem said why not turn the abandonded boscovs into a macy’s just move the existing store into that I mean after all macy’s did cause all of the trouble by eliminating A&S and stern’s to save thier own butts from going bankrupt

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  268. Actually I think that would be a great idea. Move Macy’s and the Macy’s Kids to the Boscovs, and build a lifestyle addition type thing over on the old Macy’s and in the food court/etc

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  269. Move Macy’s and the Macy’s Kids to the Boscovs, and build a lifestyle addition type thing over on the old Macy’s and in the food court/etc

    AceJay,

    That idea is fantastic, take the old Macy*s & food court area & build a new AMC theatre with the fork & screen comsept. Then you have several choices what to do with the rest of the food court area.

    You could add:
    A. Target
    B. a lifestyle wing
    C. Dave & Busters plus other restaurants, or some combo of all of these options.

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  270. Here’s an article from AMC’s website that will explane what fork & screen is all about.

    AMC ENTERTAINMENT® TO LAUNCH ENHANCED ENTERTAINMENT AND DINING EXPERIENCE AT AMC STUDIO 30
    Bringing Movies. Menus. More.TM to One of Kansas City Metro’s Most Popular Theatres

    Kansas City, Mo. (July 14, 2008) – AMC Entertainment Inc. (AMC), a worldwide leader in theatrical exhibition and out-of-home entertainment, today announces it will launch the test of a new entertainment and dining concept at AMC Studio 30 in Olathe, Kan. One entire wing of the theatre will be transformed into Fork & ScreenTM, a casual, in-theatre dining and entertainment experience; Cinema SuitesTM, a premium, upscale in-theatre dining and entertainment option; and MacGuffinsTM, a bar and lounge area.

    “We are excited to be bringing a new entertainment experience to one of our most popular Kansas City area theatres,” said Peter C. Brown, chairman and chief executive officer, AMC. “Our concept builds off many of the differentiated food and beverage offerings that we have provided at several of our theatres over the years, and takes it to the next level.”

    Guests of Fork & Screen and Cinema Suites will be able to enjoy in-theatre dining combined with the most current movies and other types of entertainment, presented in the immersive, big-screen viewing environment of an AMC theatre. Eight auditoriums will feature Fork & Screen, where moviegoers will have the opportunity to order from a diverse menu of appetizers, sandwiches, entrees, desserts, beer, wine and cocktails, as well as traditional theatre concessions.

    For the ultimate in luxury moviegoing at an affordable price, AMC guests can upgrade to one of three Cinema Suites auditoriums featuring reserved seating, an expanded distinctive menu and plush reclining seats. Both Fork & Screen and Cinema Suites will feature in-theatre Seat-Side ServiceTM and are reserved for guests 18-years-old and over, and minors accompanied by a parent or guardian.

    Adult guests will also be able to order beer, wine, cocktails and food at MacGuffins. Named after a term coined by famed filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock, MacGuffins is a warm, relaxing and inviting bar with a spacious lounge where guests can relax before or after their entertainment at tables and soft-seating areas. MacGuffins will be conveniently located adjacent to the Fork & Screen and Cinema Suites auditoriums. Guests 18-years-old and over, and minors accompanied by a parent or guardian, are welcome to enjoy MacGuffins with or without a ticket to Fork & Screen or Cinema Suites.

    Fork & Screen, Cinema Suites and MacGuffins will feature fresh, quality ingredients that are locally grown or produced in addition to some seasonal items. Guests can look forward to classic favorites like fire-grilled gourmet burgers, hand-pulled flatbread pizzettas, wood-roasted chicken quesadillas, wedge salad wraps, and a wide variety of desserts. All menu items have been specifically prepared with the unique and exciting in-theatre dining experience in mind.

    Construction begins Monday, July 14, with the theatre’s left wing officially closing to the public the following Monday, July 21. AMC Studio 30 will remain open throughout the construction phase. The enhanced entertainment and dining experience is anticipated to debut in October 2008.

    MEDIA CONTACTS
    Justin Scott (816) 480-2548
    juscott@amctheatres.com

    The only question is if successful, why not give it a shot?

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  271. I wish they would put a dave and busters there just have a mega size one hahaha that would be awesome

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  272. If my idea/fantasy of replacing Boscov’s with Bloomingdale’s never goes through (as long as Vorando runs Monmouth Mall, that will probably be the case), I would fully support Macy’s moving into the old Boscov’s building…it’s a few thousand square feet bigger and would more fully suit Macy’s. There’s a parking deck attached to it too (which needs a facelift). Coverting that whole area into a lifestyle/entertainment area (with Dave and Busters, Barnes and Noble, etc) would definitely work. It would also give The Grove at Shrewsbury and Pier Village a run for their money. To best do so, MM in this lifestyle center, needs to go heavy on entertainment options: the fork and screen Loews, Dave and Busters, Lucky Strike, Champp’s, Barnes and Noble, Apple and move Fridays and Chili’s into the lifestyle center from their sattelite locations.

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  273. I’m sorry. I don’t think anything upscale is right for Monmouth Mall and Eatontown. You see where Braddock’s went (even though it was a small store). Bloomies is too high class- even Lord & Taylor is! Maybe Sears should move from Seaview to Monmouth? How about a Century 21 store or Ross Dress For Less? Big Lots would be kind of cool there too.

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  274. Boscov’s maybe next to bight the dust.

    Boscov: Chain needs miracle

    James Haggerty, The Times-Tribune, Scranton, Pa.

    November 6, 2008

    Nov. 6–Al Boscov admits his bid to regain control of the department store chain named after his family is the final hope for the bankrupt retailer’s survival.

    “We have to sort of pull off a little bit of a miracle,” Mr. Boscov said Wednesday. “If I can’t raise all the money, the only thing you would have is liquidation.”

    His comments came a day after the current operators of Boscov’s Inc. terminated a deal to sell the chain to a Philadelphia private equity firm and signed a purchase agreement with a family group headed by Mr. Boscov and his brother-in-law, Ed Lakin.

    The two men, former co-owners of the chain, need some $240 million in financing to assume control and operate the chain, and they are about $35 million short, Mr. Boscov said. The group is struggling to secure funds quickly in a severe credit environment, which apparently knocked their rival out of the competition.

    “Banks aren’t lending right now, especially for retail. The market is frozen,” Holly Guthrie, a retail analyst at Boenning & Scattergood Inc., a Philadelphia-area investment firm, said.

    “In this consumer environment, how are you going to get people to lend?” wondered Howard Davidowitz, a New York City retail consultant and investment banker. “At the end of the day, Boscov’s has to be a viable company and right now, the odds of that look remote.”

    The chain’s ownership might be settled at a U.S. Bankruptcy Court hearing Nov. 13, although Mr. Boscov said he may have until Nov. 26 to lock in the necessary financing. Boscov’s operates at 39 locations, with stores in Scranton, Wilkes-Barre and Hazleton.

    The chain, whose ownership was assumed in January 2006 by a group headed by Mr. Lakin’s son, Ken, filed for bankruptcy protection in August. Boscov’s, which listed assets of $538 million and liabilities of $479 million as of early May, closed 10 of its stores after the bankruptcy move. It had sales of $1.25 billion for the year ended Feb. 2.

    Versa Capital Management Inc., a Philadelphia private equity firm, offered $11 million for the chain before Mr. Boscov’s group filed an unspecified competing proposal.

    “Neither of us had the funding,” Mr. Boscov said. “Neither of us qualified for the requirements of the creditors’ committee. When the creditors looked at it, we were stronger than they were.”

    Mr. Boscov said his group has committed family finances to complete the acquisition.

    “That gives a lender a lot more confidence,” Mr. Davidowitz said.

    A spokeswoman for Versa declined to comment Wednesday.

    Mr. Boscov, 79, turned over the chairmanship of the company to his nephew in January 2006 and said he would have a hand in day-to-day management if the court approves his plan.

    “I’ll go back into work,” he said. “We have an obligation to the community.”

    Contact the writer: jhaggerty@timesshamrock.com

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  275. Well, I was at Monmouth Mall today and let me tell you how depressing that was! Boscov’s is now vacant and the mall (on a Sunday afternoon 1 1/2 months before Christmas) was DEAD QUIET! This is a very bad sign and I hope again, I hope that people at Vorando see this.

    Just to compare on the other side of the county, I was at Freehold yesterday and it took me 15 minutes to find a spot! Wall to wall and Garden State Plaza sized crowds.

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  276. Given how bad of shape this mall is now in, I fully expect (at least) one of the remaining anchors to be gone a year from now. After all, all three remaining anchors have locations at Freehold Raceway Mall.

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  277. Whoo wee, I really wish Al Boscov luck! Hopefully, Boscov’s doesn’t bite the dust, since I’ve seen enough retailers bite the dust and/or come close to doing so this year(i.e. Mervyn’s, Tweeter, Value City, and Circuit City for the latter). And especially since so few family-owned department stores are still left anymore, other than possibly Von Maur. (sorry, that’s the only one that comes to my mind this second, and wouldn’t be surprised if there were others besides Von Maur!)

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  278. Max/ Mallguy,

    I have a question for both of you. Wich department store do you think will leave first? If I were a betting man I would say Lord & Taylor because there customer is more reflective of Freehold Raceway’s base than JC Penny or Macy*s.

    What you say guys, you have more insight on this than I do.

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  279. Sean,

    I honestly do not believe that one of the remaining anchors will leave Monmouth Mall. Yes, the situation is not good there, but they all have a fairly loyal customer base and while the mall itself looks like it’s lagging by, the anchors look to be doing well. Lord and Taylor has been there since 1990 when it switched over from Hahne’s and JCPenney has been there since the expansion opened in 1976. However, if I were to accept your premace, I could see Lord and Taylor bailing first, but I would think that the Moorestown Mall Lord and Taylor has a greater chance of closing first.

    I’m starting to accept that my fantasy for Bloomingdale’s in the old Boscov’s won’t come true, but if Macy’s were to move into the Boscov’s building, that would be a pretty nice idea and redo the current Macy’s into lifestyle/entertainment space.

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  280. I agree with you Mallguy, but the question to me was an interesting one that was worthy of discussion. I wonder what others think.

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  281. Randy reported a while back that it was rumored that Pathmark on 36 will be replaced by a Best Buy. It seems like he was right: http://eatontownnj.com/images/boro/pandz/pdf/PB111008.pdf

    Best Buy is petitioning for permits to open a store. This would be interesting because Circuit City is in the same shopping center and according to the list referenced by labelscar.com, that store will not be closing.

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  282. I asked an employee at one of the stores near ex-Boscov’s what they’re replacing it with. Apparently she has heard that Dillard’s might be coming in sometime in the future.

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  283. Dillard’s? That would be good, but I heard they’re having financial troubles. I’m wondering how true that is. Then again, Dillard’s is pretty unknown around here, I’m wondering how she would come up with that unless it was true. That would mean that it would be the only Dillard’s in the Northeast.

    On a related note, here are a couple of pics of Boscov’s exterior and labelscar and a pic from inside the mall:

    http://picasaweb.google.com/lambrinos/BoscovS#

    Pretty sad, huh?

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  284. Boscov faces tighter deadline to raise $35 million

    James Haggerty, The Times-Tribune, Scranton, Pa.

    November 14, 2008

    Nov. 14–Al Boscov is looking at a shorter time frame than he expected to raise money to save the bankrupt company bearing his family’s name.

    Mr. Boscov said Thursday he needs to complete a financing package by Tuesday to meet a court-imposed deadline and save the embattled department store chain, which is based in Reading and operates in Scranton, Wilkes-Barre and Hazleton. Last week, he said he thought he had until Nov. 26 to lock in financing

    “We don’t have much time,” Mr. Boscov said.

    He is fighting to pull together enough cash to complete a purchase that would satisfy the store’s creditors. He needs about $240 million and said Thursday he’s struggling to assemble the final $35 million he needs.

    “We’re making some progress, but … it’s very hard to get bank financing right now,” Mr. Boscov said. “If we don’t get it, it’s liquidation.”

    In a related matter, a company that attempted to buy Boscov’s Inc. is trying to recover millions for its spurned effort.

    Versa Capital Management Inc. is seeking a $4 million “breakup fee” resulting from its unsuccessful effort to acquire Boscov’s, papers filed Wednesday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware show.

    The two issues evolve as the 39-store chain teeters on the brink of extinction.

    “The real drama is played out on the store floor every day and whether they will or will not be able to succeed in this economic climate,” said Howard Brownstein, a principal at Nachman Hays Brownstein Inc., a Philadelphia-area turnaround and crisis management firm.

    In its filing, Versa, a Philadelphia private equity firm, states it had secured financing to acquire Boscov’s before the deal was terminated. It alleges the chain’s executives used the firm as a “fire wall against liquidation” while negotiating with a group headed by Mr. Boscov, the company’s retired chairman.

    Versa reached an agreement with Boscov’s Inc. in mid-September to acquire the chain for $11 million, but Boscov’s terminated the deal last week and signed a sales agreement with a group headed by Mr. Boscov.

    The Versa purchase agreement said the firm would be entitled to the $4 million breakup fee if Boscov’s accepted a higher bid.

    Kristy DelMuto, a spokeswoman for Versa, declined to comment, but Mr. Boscov last week said the firm is not entitled to a payment.

    “There’s no breakup fee,” he said. “We both turned in bids but neither of us qualified for the requirements of the creditors’ committee.”

    Mr. Boscov appears to have a solid argument, said Mr. Brownstein, an attorney familiar with bankruptcy proceedings.

    “Versa is entitled to the breakup fee only if the sale to them was approved by the court,” he said. “If they don’t have a confirmed sale, then they’ve got an uphill battle.”

    Contact the writer: jhaggerty@timesshamrock.com

    [Reply]

  285. Simon’s Chelsea Division Opens Jersey Shore Premium Outlets(R)

    November 13, 2008

    TINTON FALLS, N.J., Nov 13, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Simon Property Group, Inc. (NYSE: SPG) announced today that its Chelsea outlet division opened Jersey Shore Premium Outlets(R). Located directly off the Garden State Parkway at exit 100A on Route 66 East in Tinton Falls, Jersey Shore Premium Outlets contains 435,000 square feet of gross leasable area and 120 designer and name-brand outlet stores.

    The Grand Opening celebration runs through Sunday, November 16 and features live entertainment by popular area musicians, giveaways, store promotions and more. Merchants include Ann Taylor, BCBG Max Azria, Banana Republic, Brooks Brothers, Burberry, Calvin Klein, Cole Haan, Elie Tahari, Geox, Guess, J.Crew, Juicy Couture, Kate Spade, Kenneth Cole, Lucky Brand Jeans, Michael Kors, Nike, Sony, Theory and Tommy Hilfiger.

    “Jersey Shore Premium Outlets will serve fashion and value conscious area residents and visitors and we look forward to the center providing an economic benefit to the region,” remarked John R. Klein, co–president of Chelsea. “We are very pleased that this project has created over 800 new jobs.”

    Jersey Shore Premium Outlets is the 49th Premium Outlet Center worldwide. Chelsea’s industry-leading properties also include Woodbury Common Premium Outlets (near New York City); Orlando Premium Outlets (Orlando, Florida); Desert Hills Premium Outlets (near Palm Springs, California); Las Vegas Premium Outlets (Las Vegas, Nevada); Wrentham Village Premium Outlets (near Boston, Massachusetts); Gotemba Premium Outlets (near Tokyo, Japan); and Yeoju Premium Outlets (near Seoul, Korea). Cincinnati Premium Outlets is under construction and scheduled to open August 2009 in Monroe, Ohio. See http://www.premiumoutlets

    [Reply]

  286. I was at MM last night and it was actually quite busy… Mostly by the food court and in front of Macys, however. I was trying to figure out where Barnes and Noble will go. I checked out a directory and it was right there! It said comming soon and it was in the location of the now vacant American Cafe (next to Macy’s Kids and Ruby Tuesday). I believe the structure will have to be expanded or a second floor added–any thoughts? I think this is actually a good idea because many have complained about that wing and this should bring new life to it, not to mention the Wyckoff Road side of the mall. I hope there are plans for the 2-story part of the mall, that’s starting to look pitiful. Bobby’s Burger Palace and Jared were also on the Directory but Fresh City and Chipotle were not. I have a feeling that restaurant (between BBP and Jared) will be vacant for now.

    [Reply]

  287. So, Jersey Shore Premium Outlets, what a great place!

    I went there on Saturday and holy hell it was packed. There was a line of traffic backed up all the way from the Turnpike Ramp to the center, over the new overpass and all. First off, the design could not be better. The pylon sign is beautiful and perfectly “Jersey Shore,” and the mini Pylons look great with the beach-theme.

    Now this was to be expected of a Grand Opening, but it was a MISERABLE day, and we are in the middle of an economic crisis. I can’t believe how many people showed up despite this.

    The mall itself is outdoor but with the exception of the courts, it’s covered by partial roofs. There are of course holes for light every 10 feet or so, but I also noticed that there are heaters/AC units in place for year-round shopping.

    The stores are all beautiful, and extremely varied. They even have a UGG Store! (There was a 15-minute wait to get into the store)

    There was also one other store which had a huge line that I can’t recall now.

    Anywho there don’t seem to be a huge amount of shoe stores. Reebok is unfortuntely not open yet, and The Gap Outlet is opening soon but wasn’t open for Grand Opening.

    I expect the center to be fully leased in 2009.

    The food court is nice and varied, if just a bit crowded, and there are food carts and vending machines in every other court.

    Also to be noted, Starbucks was planning on opening there, but they pulle dout at the last minute for some stupid reason. Thus, the only place with coffee was Auntie Anne’s, which was the other store with a 10 minute line.

    The service in just about every store I went to was great, everyone seemed happy to be working there, and it was a nice atmosphere overall.

    I will be honest, even though I’m a frequent poster here, I haven’t actually gone to a mall to shop (or shopped for clothes at all) in maybe 3 years with the exception of a pair of shoes. I honestly felt like buying something at JSPO, but I simply didn’t have the money.

    The corridors themselves have a nice atmophere, and the vacant storefronts had a pleasant feel despite being empty. You’ll know what I mean if you visit. There are many benches (not soft but still comfortable) throughout and lighting is nice.

    My favorite aspect though was the Lighthouses built around the mall. They were supposedly going to be rotating beacons but that would be illegal due to it being mistaken for something by the FAA or any pilots.

    But oh man, great place. I urge everyone that can to pay the place a visit, you won’t be dissappointed.

    Also they’re paved the old Neptune Air Terminal Runway and made it a connector road from 33, so you can go though there too.

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  288. Forgive my ignorance as I have not visited this site for some time and only read up on a few blogs, but as for the conversation on what will replace the Boscov’s in Monmouth Mall, has anyone given consideration to a Fortunoff? Wayne, Woodbridge and the “outdoor living” center across from Monmouth Mall are the only real three stores in our area. Why not another near the shore? Why not close the outdoor living Fortunoff across the highway and incorporate it into a new , 3 floored Fortunoff in the mall? I think there is plenty of square footage. Aside from an exterior remodel and some renovations inside, I think it would work…

    Just a thought

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  289. We MAY have good news on Boscov’s.

    Boscov hopes to have chain back by Black Friday

    Maria Panaritis

    November 19, 2008

    Nov. 19–WILMINGTON — There were no fewer than 55 men in dark suits seated before U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Gross here yesterday, and 79-year-old Albert R. Boscov would have blended into the monastic monochrome if not for this: He was the only one on the edge of his seat. Literally.

    Boscov — whose immigrant father founded the Boscov’s department store chain 97 years ago — gripped the wooden bench in front of him as bankruptcy attorneys, one after another, said how eager they were for the 39-store chain to be rescued by week’s end — and in time for Thanksgiving.

    “It’s through his tireless efforts that we’re here today,” attorney Claudia Springer told the judge before pointing to Boscov, her client.

    The family offer that Boscov assembled himself is worth nearly $300 million — an eye-popping $100 million of that being cash from friends and family, Boscov revealed yesterday.

    “That’s enough to convince the court that we’re for real,” the retail hound from Reading said with a smile. His spunk and legendary charm gushed as he fielded questions from a knot of reporters during a recess from the sale hearing — his first public remarks about a deal sure to leave the most savvy dealmakers in awe.

    If Judge Gross signs off on the asset-purchase agreement at a hearing Friday, Boscov’s Department Store L.L.C. and its 8,000 mostly regional employees will stay in business. It would be a stunning result during an economic crisis that has taken out bigger and bolder retail chains in recent months, and during a time when few investors are willing to let go of any of their cash.

    “We would like to be able to get the store back by Black Friday,” Boscov said.

    Black Friday marks the launch of the retail industry’s most profitable few weeks. Banking the cash from heavy sales during that lucrative few weeks would help show vendors and customers that “a new company can flourish,” Boscov said.

    Officials said there were “loose ends” to tie up in the coming days.

    “The contours of the deal are almost finalized,” one of the company’s lead bankruptcy attorneys, Brad Erens, told the judge.

    Lawyers for the banks that hold Boscov’s outstanding loans and who represent the vendors to whom the company owed about $90 million when it declared bankruptcy Aug. 4 told Gross they wanted the sale approved quickly. That means approval from the judge Friday so an agreement could be final next Wednesday.

    “The lenders are willing to go by what the asset-purchase agreement says, which is November 26th” as the date the sale becomes official, said attorney David S. Berman, representing Bank of America Corp. and various other banks that supply Boscov’s with credit lines to buy inventory, for example.

    In testimony read into evidence yesterday, Albert Boscov’s financial adviser, J. Scott Victor of NatCity Investments Inc., projected that the chain would turn a $12.7 million profit during its first year, compared with a loss of nearly $25 million logged about a year ago.

    “Boscov’s has always been a profitable company,” Boscov later said. But executives had made a misguided decision to buy 10 new stores after Boscov and his brother-in-law, Edwin Lakin, now 85, retired from the helm in 2006.

    It seemed like “the opportunity of a lifetime” to snap up a batch of stores once occupied by competitors such as Strawbridge’s, Boscov said.

    But it proved near-fatal. Those stores were unprofitable and became a drag.

    The expansion into markets such as Western Pennsylvania and Maryland was led by Boscov’s son-in-law Ken Lakin, 54, the company’s chairman and chief executive officer.

    “Baltimore, Maryland, thought Boscov’s was a chocolate drink,” Boscov told reporters, firing off zingers with flourish. “They didn’t know what the hell we are.

    “There was a mistake made,” he said. The company sold its 10 least-profitable stores after filing for bankruptcy.

    Ken Lakin and Boscov sat side-by-side in court. Lakin stood beside him as Boscov made jokes, told reporters wry anecdotes about his late father, and talked about how he wanted shoppers to be “excited” again about hunting through Boscov’s.

    “We’re basically embarrassed by the Chapter 11,” Boscov said. But the chain founded in 1911 by his father, Solomon Boscov, survived the Great Depression, a bunch of world wars and a batch of recessions. “We’ve always come out all right.”

    Contact staff writer Maria Panaritis at 215-854-2431 or mpanaritis@phillynews.com.

    [Reply]

  290. Monmouth, I really like your idea about turning the old Boscovs into a Fortunoff but I don’t think it’ll happen. Fortunoff and Lord and Taylor are now one company. They’re beginning to combine stores. Perhaps if they closed the smaller L and T and opened in Boscovs… Still, that would be cool and different from surrounding malls.

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  291. The Asbury Park Press had an article today about Monmouth Mall:
    http://www.app.com/article/20081122/NEWS/811220334/1282/LOCAL06

    “DOWN AN ANCHOR, MONMOUTH MALL HITS TOUGH TIMES”

    EATONTOWN — Enter Monmouth Mall via Wyckoff Road and you can’t miss it.

    A large anchor store, formerly Boscov’s, sits dark and empty. Cars don’t fill the parking lot out front. The store’s sign — Boscov’s in cursive letters — is not on the building anymore.

    “It’s got to be tough for them,” said Eatontown Councilman Carl Sohl, a Planning Board member. “But again, this isn’t the first time this kind of thing has happened. The economy goes up and it goes down, and right now we’re in a downturn.”

    At 1.5 million square feet, Monmouth Mall is New Jersey’s fifth-largest shopping center. The mall has seen many changes since it opened in 1960 as a much smaller, open-air center.

    It was enclosed and expanded to its current size in 1975. It was renovated in 1987 and again in 1996, adding a 15-screen movie theater and a 700-seat food court.

    According to the Directory of Major Malls Inc., sales at Monmouth Mall, excluding the anchor stores, amount to $450 per square foot.

    Sales at mall nonanchor tenants in the Northeast this year through August were $470 per square foot, said the International Council of Shopping Centers.

    Now Boscov’s, which filed for bankruptcy protection in August, is gone, leaving the Monmouth Mall with three other retail anchors– Macy’s, Lord & Taylor and JCPenney.

    Burlington Coat Factory, another major tenant, is set to leave next year for Seaview Square Mall in Ocean Township, a location that used to be a poor cousin to Monmouth before it was transformed from an enclosed mall to an open-air shopping center.

    And now the mall faces additional competition from Jersey Shore Premium Outlets, the discount center in Tinton Falls that opened to big crowds last week.

    Is there another transformation in the works?

    Neither Monmouth Mall nor its owner, Vornado Realty Trust, would comment for this story. But it’s clear the mall is not standing still:

    Jared the Galleria of Jewelry opened a newly built store along the mall’s ring road in October.

    Bobby’s Burger Palace, which features burgers by chef and restaurateur Bobby Flay, is expected to open near Jared in December.

    Chipotle Mexican Grill has plans for a restaurant next to Bobby’s, according to
    Planning Board Secretary Peggy Ciok.

    The mall has preliminary approval for a Barnes & Noble store near the former Macy’s Kids location, Sohl said. There has been no official word of what would happen to the existing Barnes & Noble located just down Route 36 in West Long Branch.

    The mall still has approval for a 50,000-square-foot freestanding store adjacent to
    the former Boscov’s. Dick’s Sporting Goods pulled out, so the project is awaiting a new tenant, Sohl said.

    While Sohl was concerned about the mall losing tenants, he said he was certain the mall will weather the worst.

    “I think (the mall) will survive,” he said. “”It’s a destination. You don’t need
    directions on how to get to the mall. Plus, it’s supported by a really good road
    structure.”

    Neptune resident Rod Wiggins isn’t much of a shopper, but he comes to Monmouth Mall once a month or so.

    “I used to shop at Boscov’s,” he said Friday. “Now that they are gone, I won’t be
    coming here as often.” His wife shops at other stores, such as Macy’s and Lord &
    Taylor.

    Generally, the loss of an anchor store such as Boscov’s has an impact on a shopping mall, experts say.

    Consider the role of an anchor store. Typically a large department store, anchor
    stores drive traffic to the mall. They have big promotions, and unlike specialty
    stores, they run extensive advertising campaigns that bring in customers, said Ed Streb, a Rowan University communication studies professor.

    From the anchor, customers spread out to other stores inside.

    “You can look at mall after mall. When an anchor tenant goes dark, retailers near
    that anchor suffer,” Streb said.

    Boscov’s brought in customers. The building also fills the borough’s coffers.

    The Boscov’s building– owned by the mall’s owner– is assessed at $26 million.
    Separately, it generates more than $400,000 in taxes each year, according to John
    Gillooly, borough tax assessor. As a whole, the mall– the borough’s largest taxpayer– generates between $4 million and $5 million annually.

    Boscov’s closure does not pose an immediate threat to borough tax rolls, Gillooly
    said. But in the long term, if the building were to remain vacant or be leased to
    someone else with a different assessment, the amount of tax money it generates could change.

    The troubled state of the economy and retailing, which helped to drive Boscov’s into
    bankruptcy, has made it difficult for malls to replace anchor stores.

    “The retail business is being hit very hard, harder than I have seen it in my 30-year career,” said Steven Greenberg, president of the Greenberg Group, a Hewlett,
    N.Y.-based real estate adviser to retailers. “We just can’t get any consumer confidence maintained to get people really out shopping. Everybody is worried more about their job than what they are going to buy mom for Christmas.”

    There was a time when a mall could turn to companies such as electronics retailer
    Circuit City or clothing store Steve & Barry’s to take over a department store space,
    Greenberg said. But no more.

    Circuit City filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier this month and said
    it was closing its Freehold Township store. Steve & Barry’s filed for bankruptcy this
    week.

    Few retailers are expanding, said Richard Weinberg, a researcher with the Purdue
    Retail Institute.

    “Retailers are saving their money for the next six months, so they are cutting back
    on merchandise,” Weinberg said. “They are cutting back on hiring. They are saving
    money where they can.”

    So what are the other possibilities?

    The Shops at Riverside in Hackensack added several restaurants, including The
    Cheesecake Factory, Houston’s and McCormick & Schmick’s, to attract customers, Greenberg said.

    “That really serves as an anchor,” Greenberg said. “You can literally show up and
    have your choice of eight different restaurants.”

    Voorhees Town Mall in Camden County, formerly Echelon Mall, is replacing an anchor, which had gone dark, with a so-called lifestyle center, featuring several high-end retailers, Streb said.

    Greenberg said other uses, such as an office building or medical facility, are
    possibilities to replace an anchor store because of the lack of available retailers.

    “The good part about medical is they see a lot of people every day and those people could be potential shoppers,” Greenberg said.

    [Reply]

  292. I hope Vorando is reading that Press article as it is pretty accurate with the feelings people have of Monmouth Mall and that article succintly stated what we have been stating on this thread. I now bypass Monmouth Mall for Freehold and frankly find MM depressing these days.

    Someone further up the thread commented on the possibility of Dillard’s and if that’s true, that’s a very interesting development and I think would be a welcome addition to NJ. It may make MM a destination mall again! (just hope an interior renovation accompanies it)

    It looks like Bobby’s Burger Palace will be the 1st location in NJ as they are planning to open next year at Bergen Town Center (the former Bergen Mall…also a Vorando property).

    [Reply]

  293. The APP article has some inaccurate information in it. It states, “The mall has preliminary approval for a Barnes & Noble store near the former Macy’s Kids location, Sohl said. There has been no official word of what would happen to the existing Barnes & Noble located just down Route 36 in West Long Branch.” There actually has been official word. The official word is: “The new Eatontown location is expected to open in September 2009 at Monmouth Mall on Route 35. One day before the new opening, the existing Barnes & Noble in West Long Branch’s Consumer Center on Route 36 will close, the company reports.”

    [Reply]

  294. Any body remember the Ground Round there.Remember Tony,Danny Billy and one beer John.Terry and George and Cliff the bartenders.That was a great hang out in the 70S and 80S.

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  295. Does anyone know if there were any Kresge’s or Jupiter Discount Stores (an SS Kresge subsidiary) in this mall or the downtown area????
    THX!

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  296. I finally made it to the Jersey Shore Premium Outlets today. It was fairly crowded, but not like the APP described it earlier this month.

    Aesthetically, the mall is very nice…outdoors and very similar in design to Woodbury Commons or Leesburg Outlets: stores on either side of an outdoor promenade. There are also a lot of well-known outlets here (JCrew, Gap, Banana Republic, to name a few). The UGG outlet had a wait today just to get in the door!

    On the downside, the mall heavily lacks on dining and entertainment options. Only one coffee place and not even a Starbucks. Just the food court and no sit-down/themed dining that you would see in Arundel Mills or Franklin Mills. I really also don’t like the overhang design that much…it still doesn’t block out the cold and I think during the summer, it will keep in the warmth, making those outdoor corridors a lot hotter than they need to be. And this is just a personal preference, but I’m not that big a fan of the outlet center to begin with. Go at the right time and you can find mighty deep discounts in regular retail…I’ve done tons better with Short Hills Mall sales than I have ever done on an outlet trip.

    That being said, I’d give Jersey Shore Premium Outlets a 7 out of 10…get more dining options and the rating goes up. By far, the best outlet center in NJ (beating out Liberty Corner), better than Monmouth Mall (which, by the way, was very crowded today), but not even close to Freehold, which is, by far, the best retail center in Monmouth County and at the Jersey Shore.

    [Reply]

  297. James Kresges in the Mall closed in the mid 80s.Jupiter stores all closed to.There gone but not forgotten.Kmart will be next to go. .

    [Reply]

  298. Has anyone heard anything about what will replace Boscovs or if they are even planning anything. I have a business interest in the mall and and have contacted management and the leasing rep for Vornado and can’t even get a return call. Apparently the rent we pay isn’t enough to get us some dialogue.

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  299. Benjamin,

    It’s a question we’re all asking ourselves. Truth is there are a lot of theories and ideas, but no one (apparently not even Vornado’s own lease holders) can get a straight answer. I’ve said it in the past and I’ll say it again, it is in Vornado’s best interest to spark some interest and excitement in the mall before it’s too late. Most of us assume that there are no plans or interest for the ex-Boscov’s space, and that’s why Vornado’s not talking. I hope we’re wrong. Good luck to your business. Hopefully it all works out.

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  300. GM,

    I wonder if Vornado is putting all of it’s eggs in the Springfield & Bergen Town Center baskets? That might explane why MM is being ignored.

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  301. Sean,

    As disappointed with Vornado as I am, I have to believe that they have good intentions for MM. Afterall, we’re not talking about a cheap property. You may be right about Springfield and BTC, however. Perhaps they’re stretched a little thin right now and do not have the resources to tackle another project. My assumption is that there are or were plans to update (perhaps not major construction) the mall, but with the economic downturn, stores pulling out, and their other two malls, Vornado put things on hold until profits justify the exense of an update. IMHO, Monmouth isn’t too bad. Yea the flooring and decorations are outdated, but all they need is one or two big stores to open to bring more people to the mall and make the future look better. If I was in charge of the mall, I would work with a company like Century 21 (department store), offer a low rent in exchange for an expedited move-in. Vornado already has a Century 21 (basically what’s keeping BTC alive) and it’s known for bringing regional customers. They can move into Boscov’s with very little changes to the existing store. And I’m sure that it would bring people back from Freehold RM, the Grove, not to mention people from Ocean and Middlesex counties.

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  302. gm,

    I suspect we are both correct on some level.

    The finantial situation we find our selves in right now is evolving in ways noone could have imagined, even as recently as 6 months ago.

    Bankrupt retailers, the Bernie Madeoff scandle, bad loans leading to forclosures, this story is mutating like a virus & spredding to areas that nobody had thaught were possible.

    If I had any idea where this ends up, I would be a billionare by now.

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  303. There’s some construction going on outside between Macy’s and Lord & Taylor. Is this the new Barnes & Noble?

    Also, there is a rumor circulating around the town that the movie theater will be closing. I can’t find any hard evidence on this, though.

    Braddocks is gone. No tenant in the buffet yet. Burlington will move later this year. This will become the next “dead” wing. To be honest, they should maybe knock down the Boscovs building and extend the parking garage from there. Then, re-configure the other wings.

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  304. If Macy’s moves into Boscov’s, they can tear down Macy’s and build some kind of small lifestle wing there, and revamp the Food court wing. That way, each end of the mall has a destinaion that people will want to go to, thus giving more walking traffic, more inline stores, business, and so on.

    Freehold is still better though :P

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  305. AceJay,

    Not only that, you could add a new AMC theatre consept wich braught up in earlier posts & squash any of the rumors of the theatre closing.

    FYI I checked AMC’s web site last night, & there’s no confermation on any closings. However, there is 1 theatre under construction in KC .

    AceJay, what is the source of this rumor.

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  306. What? You mean Randy? I haven’t heard of the theatres closing.

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  307. I really doubt the theater is closing, it’s busier than most theaters in the area. I think this rumor may step from a Christmas day brawl that started there:
    http://www.app.com/article/20081227/NEWS01/812270316/1004/NEWS01

    I like Randy’s idea a lot about moving Macy’s and turning Macy’s into something else. Frankly, Macy’s doesn’t really fit where it is now. That whole wing should be something different. It also brings the number of anchor stores down to 3–easier to fill since anchor stores seem to be going by the wayside. The news of construction is new to me though. I remember seeing Barnes and Noble on the directory map in that location, so I’m sure that’s what they’re building. I should stop by and check it out.

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  308. That theater is always crowded, it can’t close.

    I stopped by the new Premium Outlets recently, those are mad nice. I’m not surprised if Monmouth will die soon.

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  309. I was at the mall last night and saw the construction work. I took pictures with my phone but they didn’t come out clear, so I’ll try my best to describe it. The section of parking lot from the front of ex-American Cafe down to the road and all the way behind Macy’s Kids and an access road near Lord and Taylor is fenced off. There’s construction equipment and dirt. I looks like they were digging trenches and tanks, probably for storm drains. Inside the mall, the ex-American Cafe entrance has been drywalled over. Macy’s Kids and Ruby Tuesday are still open. On the mall directory, Barnes and Noble is listed as coming soon in the location of the ex-Amer. Cafe, but Macy’s Kids is still there. My guess is that they might expand the Amer. Cafe, perhaps add a 2nd floor, but keep Macys Kids. On another note, the 2-story section of mall is very despressing and quiet. There are a lot of vacant stores and generic mom/pop stores. Reminds me of Seaview Square Mall before it closed. The older part of the mall however is packed.

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  310. BTW, I’m surprised no one mentioned Circuit City. The whole chain is closing.

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  311. Yeah, Circuit City is pretty old news though. Once they close, I wonder what will go in there since Best Buy is slated to move in to the old PathMark? That whole area there is going down the drain it seems! I really wish they would have built the newer exterior restaurants (such as Chili’s, Bobby’s Burger Palace, etc.) closer to the mall like Freehold. Even if they aren’t connected inside, it would be nicer if you didn’t have to move your car. Also, B&N going out at Consumer Centre means another vacancy. I wonder what will go in there?

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  312. Oh, also! I forgot to add! I work at a local store (pretty close to the mall) and someone came in from Century 21 department stores ordering office things. [I really don't want to give away the specifics because of privacy.] However, they weren’t being delivered to an Eatontown location. But I thought it was weird that they would order them near the mall. Any speculation?

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  313. Interesting news. Are you sure it was C21 department stores and not Century 21 real estate? Is the store you work at a chain? Makes you wonder why they would come in person near Eatontown when they can pick up the phone, go online, or go to a store near them. This is interesting! Is the delivery location nearby (within 5 miles)? They may be opening a local office to handle merchandising, construction, etc. More details are appreciated.

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  314. I don’t really want to risk my job on here, but….

    -It was C21 Department Stores
    -The merch was sent to Secaucus
    -I work for a chain & there are plenty up there

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  315. We’ve lived in Eatontown since 1971 so know the Mall well. Monmouth Mall guy said it all very well and accurate. Remember Montgomery Wards (there till about 1972/1973) > Alexanders > Caldor > Movie Court. I can remember buying 8 tracks at Sam Goody. The other music store you were thinking of near the Caldor wing was called “Music Den”. Alexanders also had a good music section in their basement. I remember they used to have an underground section (stairway down in the middle of the mall with a sign about patrol dogs (they would let out after hours!). Other things: The lighted glass block tower water fountains they had in 2-3 of the Mall courtyards and the picture in the Press of a little boy peeing in one of them once! Older restaurants there: “The Flaming Pit”- a restaurant and cocktail lounge (till 1971) which became “The Ground Round” -throw peanuts on the floor. And of course Lucas Pizza – even since the shopping center days. Speaking of which, anyone remember “Goody’s (now the current Burger King on Wyckoff Rd)? They had “Aunt Vera’s fried chicken” and burgers. A rumour that they used horse meat literally put them out of business. Once they had an outdoor carnival when the mall was a shopping center (must have been about 1973). Remember a 3 level fun house with rotating floors, air jets up the legs, maze, giant slide; also had merry go round, Ferris wheel, So much has changed…

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  316. Hello all. I worked as a security supervisor at this mall from 1993-1996. (In fact, some of you may remember me, good-looking guy with red hair.) Reading this brings back fond memories. When I started there, Caldor was still there but had been abandoned as were the Ground Round and the pizza place that was near it. The arcade was still there though it wasn’t much of an attraction at that point. I remember Orange Julius and Hot Doggin were in the Macy Kids wing as well as a pet store and a candy kiosk in the middle. That pet store was pretty filthy towards the end from what I can remember. Back to where the food court is, I recall Burger King being there as well as a Steakhouse and McCrory’s, if I remember correctly.

    When they started the renovations, it was rather fun going through the basement area where the tunnel is. I remember we would help take down some of the walls in the basement that revealed rooms that had been blocked off for years…there was graffiti all over the place from the 60′s. I recall thinking how interesting it would’ve been to find out where those people were now.

    It was pretty amazing to watch the whole renovation from start to finish. It was also fun exploring the old Caldor building, going up to the second level and finding old bluprints of the mall from when it was first built in the early 60′s. At the other end, there was “LeCrepe” restaurant which was actually pretty decent.

    During this time, we had quite a few gang members from various towns congregate to the mall, making the nights and weekends rather busy. In July or August 1995, there was the riot in the movie theater parking lot in which one boy was stabbed to death with a screwdriver. I remember one Saturday night where we had 11 arrests for various offenses from fighting to shoplifting. Friday and Saturday nights were always filled with this type of activity. Again, the mall during this time of the 90′s had a lot of undesirables. I recall that when I left in Nov. 1996, it wasn’t as bad as when I started in March 1993.

    I still take a trip there from time to time and fondly recall my days there. I met my first girlfriend there, she worked at the G & G store on the lower level. Well, that’s all for now. Hope what I wrote brings back memories for you as well.

    MJJ

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  317. Ahhh, Mike Jacobs…

    How about those butt kickin’ aggressive Loss Prevention guys from Eatontown JCPenney? Remember those days in the 90′s Mike??
    It was so bad in the department stores with the fraudulent returns and shoplifting, Mall security along with Jacobs would most of the time be involved in the foot chases out into the lot (sometimes to Rt 35 or 36)and the fights. Ahhh, they were the days. Gang fights, remodels, shoplifters and a hot cup of coffee while working in plain clothes made Monmouth Mall all the more interesting!! We had a good run. I was there from 1994-2000 working LP in JCPenney. Was one of my most interesting and blood pumping jobs I ever had. At least back in my days working there, A&S/Sterns, Lord & Taylor and JCP had a pretty good working relationship along with the Police. We were pretty darn good at catching shoplifters and such. Usually in the morning after opening operations, L&T guys and me and my partners would grab our coffee and hang out for a bit. Im sure the stores got rocked when we were goofing around…lol Ahhhh, you win some and loose some!!

    Mike, you remember the demolition of the Firestone building in the JCP lot nearest TGI Fridays? Would be cool to see if anyone had photos of the old mall and the remodel.

    Monmouth/ex JCP LP

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  318. Yes, indeed. I do recall those days fondly and I agree with you in that it was one of the most intense, adrenaline pumping jobs I have ever had. We had so many instances of shopliftings, domestic disputes, fights, and other things of that nature. I was assualted a couple of times and those chases went out into the surrounding communities. It was a great experience for those wanting to get into law enforcement. We were essentially a mini-police department with all the arrests and investigations we worked on. I personally never got into law enforcement, though I did eventually join the military (Reserves). It was quite different from the typically mall secuity job and from what I understand, it is nothing like that now. We had a great team from 93-96…I think the reason for that is because we were in-house security and not contracted.

    Wow, I do remember A&S / Sterns as well as the old Firestone building. Forgot all about them. We did have a great relationship with the anchor stores, though Macy’s LP wasn’t too friendly. JCP was the best of the bunch and I always wondered whatever happened to most of you guys.

    Yeah, it was a great job and I’ll always remember the times there as well as most of the people. As I’m writing, I cannot help but think of those days and how it was a great experience. I met quite a few good people (and some bad ones as well.) The summers were especially nice, hanging outside at night, watching the fireworks from the rooftop with my girlfriend on July 4th. Wow…so many wonderful memories come flooding back. I’ll never forget the Monmouth Mall.

    MJJ

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  319. I wrote on here a while back. I still have nothing from mall management other than they are working to try to fill the Boscovs space. However, there are some “C21″ rumors circulating, and to be honest, it has to be on the top of the list for Vornado, because C21 is already on Vornado properties and is a perfect fit for this malls demographics..

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  320. Here’s some information regarding the new Best Buy (where Pathmark used to be): http://www.ripcony.com/Retailers/Listings/Detail/?id=5587

    If you click the “Package” link, there’s a lot of interesting information such as traffic data, new store layout, exterior renderings, etc. It looks like the whole store won’t be allocated to the Best Buy. A portion of it, nearest to Parker Avenue, will be leased out.

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  321. Monmouth mall should Demolish the food court. It should be more like the “Mall at short hills”, No cheesey food court, just some nice sit down restaurants and a few snack and coffee shops. A Cheesecake factory would really make this mall a “destination”. An outback steakhouse would round things out nicely. They need to aggressively recruit new businesses there. It would be a good idea to seal off the movies from the mall. The movie house should be completely seperate from the mall, no connection at all. macy’s needs a major overhaul, it’s the worst macy’s in the system. They need a curfew for teens. Nobody under 21 should be allowed to wonder the mall without their parents.

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  322. what is happening with the former boscov’s/stern’s/A&S store??? whats coming in there

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  323. The curfew sounds like a good idea. I think the age should be 19, however. By that age, many people are on their own and would not have a parent to shop with.

    I like the food in the food court, just not the setup.

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  324. Last piece placed in Boscov’s puzzle

    John Latimer, Lebanon Daily News, Pa.

    February 23, 2009

    Feb. 23–The Butler County commissioners have approved a deal clearing the way for the struggling Boscov’s department store to receive a $35 million federal loan.

    At a special meeting held Feb. 9, the commissioners reversed their earlier decision and approved putting up $5.83 million in future community development block grant money from the U.S. Housing and Urban Development as collateral for the loan. Butler joined Lebanon, Blair, Cambria, Lackawanna and Schuylkill counties in pledging that amount of money.

    Each county is home to at least one of the chain’s department stores. Snyder County was also asked to sign off on the deal but refused. That decision increased the amount of money the six remaining counties had to pledge from $5 to $5.83 million.

    The deal required no money from the counties, but HUD is requiring the local pledge as collateral before it will release the Section 108 loan. The deal was structured by the state Department of Community and Economic Development at the urging of Gov. Ed Rendell, who promised that the state would cover any loss if Boscov’s defaults on the loan. Liens have also been placed on Boscov’s properties and inventory as a way of securing the loan.

    The money is part of a $300 million finance package that includes $11 million in HUD funding from a handful of other Pennsylvania municipalities; nearly $60 million put up by the Boscov family and a small group of partners; and an operating line of credit of $205 million.

    All of the financing was needed to return ownership of the stores to Albert Boscov and his brother-in-law, Edwin Lakin, after its previous owners, headed by Lakin’s son, Kenneth, drove it into bankruptcy last summer.

    In return for the HUD money, Boscov’s has promised to create and/or retain 1,029 jobs, including at least 147 in Lebanon County. The company owns 39 stores and employs more than 9,000 people, including 5,000 in Pennsylvania, according to information Boscov’s supplied to the state. Nearly 200 people work for Boscov’s at the Lebanon Valley Mall.

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  325. “Monmouth mall should Demolish the food court. It should be more like the “Mall at short hills”, No cheesey food court, just some nice sit down restaurants and a few snack and coffee shops. A Cheesecake factory would really make this mall a “destination”. An outback steakhouse would round things out nicely.”

    I’m not sure that’s a good idea. A food court may not be the latest trend, but it certainly is used by a lot of people. Not only is it full of hungry shoppers, it’s a busy destination for lunch for the surrounding towns. I personally do not agree to the idea that more restaurants are a benefit to the mall. Most restaurants are out-parcels or have outdoor entrances and the vast majority of those customers never step foot into the mall. They eat and leave. I’m probably in the minority here, and that’s fine. However, if there were going to be more restaurants, I would put them where the current Old Navy and Amer. Eagle is. And I would put in a Dave and Busters. That would instantly make that wing a destination and an entertainment wing.

    “It would be a good idea to seal off the movies from the mall. The movie house should be completely seperate from the mall, no connection at all.”

    I’m really not sure what the gain is here. It’s already connected, what would sealing it off do?

    “macy’s needs a major overhaul, it’s the worst macy’s in the system.”

    Agreed. What a bad layout and it hasn’t been redone since Bamberger’s. Next time you’re in there, look at the carpet and the ceiling tiles. Totally re-do the Boscov’s building and parking garage, move Macy’s there and turn the old Macy’s building into outdoor shops (like the Grove or Freehold Raceway Mall). It seems to be a trend, even though I don’t care for outdoor shopping. That also gets rid of one of four (five if you count Burlington) anchor stores. Anchor stores are merging and becoming harder to fill.

    “They need a curfew for teens. Nobody under 21 should be allowed to wonder the mall without their parents. ”

    Maybe 18 is more appropriate. I have to admit that it’s gotten pretty bad. Where are the parents?? I was there on Saturday and we were pretty much the only adults there. I think the kids actually hurt business because it drives adults with money away. If it wasnt for the theater, I wouldn’t go at all.

    Also, there is definitely a lower-class air to the mall, and it’s getting worse. I remember the Seaview Square Mall feeling like that. A lot of fly by night shops, hair salons, dollar store, etc. I’m sorry, but you’re not going to get people with money to spend flocking to MM for the dollar store or to buy hair supplies and shampoo.

    Freehold Mall used to have that feeling too (and it actually still has a few of those stores). It’s funny how a fresh coat of paint, new floors, an advertising campaign, and some new stores completely change the feeling of a mall. A lot of people on this site dread the idea of MM going upscale, but the truth is an upscale mall brings in more people (& people with money to spend) and your budget friendly stores are still there. Freehold still has Sears, JCPenny, Old Navy, and a lot of other “non-upscale” stores.

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  326. The problem here is that the layout in the food court wing is not up to standerds with todays needs. The whole area including AMC needs to be completely redone with a new theatre, food court area, sit down restaurants & relocation of Berlington Coat Factory, & Old Navy.

    Malls today will not get rid of large theatres & food courts because they add to the bottom line as sit down restaurants do. It is foolish to Believe otherwise.

    As for curfews, it is usually under 16 after 6pm, although at MOA it is 4pm & the escort must be over 21 in most malls. I do see a gigantic pitfall with such a policy. You can end up pushing away the very shopper you are trying to atract. A better solution would be to BAN those persons that cause trouble & limit the size of groups clustered. otherwise you end up assuming that all teens do nothing but cause problems whitch is wrong. Yes, some do but that is a minority percentage.

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  327. >>Monmouth mall should Demolish the food court. It should be more like the “Mall at short hills”, No cheesey food court, just some nice sit down restaurants and a few snack and coffee shops. A Cheesecake factory would really make this mall a “destination”. An outback steakhouse would round things out nicely.

    The food courts are a double-sided coin. Yes, food courts can cause a “hangout” spot yet food courts are convenient, and yes, Monmouth Mall’s food court is kind of goofy-looking. It could get a few sit-down restaurants, but food courts do take less space than a cluster of fast food eateries with their own seating.

    >>They need to aggressively recruit new businesses there.

    True. But what? Upscale? No way. Natick Collection built a fancy new upscale wing, and the stores are struggling.

    >>It would be a good idea to seal off the movies from the mall. The movie house should be completely seperate from the mall, no connection at all.

    That’s a terrible idea! While theaters do attract certain types of people, it brings people into the movies. Monmouth Mall has made a good choice of putting the food court near the movies. I wish my mall was like that.

    >>macy’s needs a major overhaul, it’s the worst macy’s in the system.

    I’m sure there are worse Macy’s. Some of them they absorbed were bad to begin with. I mean, do you really think the Greenspoint Mall Macy’s is better? Never heard of it? Then don’t judge.

    >>They need a curfew for teens. Nobody under 21 should be allowed to wonder the mall without their parents.

    Again, total stereotyping. If all the teenage-oriented stores leave, that would be a huge loss to the mall. This is not a time to lose stores (or shoppers). A dress code, a patrolling security system to cut down on the suspicious people, etc. Severe restrictions can backfire…Cincinnati Mills banned groups over two people, and made other restrictions…is it odd that Cincinnati Mills has 40% occupancy, one of the worse times in the Mall’s history?

    I think Monmouth Mall could benefit with “neighborhoods”. There should be a place for neat gift shops, one for value, one for regular stores, one for upscale shoppers. Could a hypermarket work in MM?

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  328. Jonah,

    Here’s an idea to start with. Fred Meyer the Portland OR division of Kroger has most of it’s stores in the hiper-market format. I cut a portion of the Wiki article here. Some information is quite dated, but you’ll get the idea.

    Locations
    Fred Meyer currently operates 128 stores divided into seven merchandising zones as well as an online special order site for their postal prescription service, online photo ordering, online music/movie/video game sales through partner The Store 24/7, and an Alaska bush fulfillment center allowing those in remote areas of the state to shop Fred Meyer. The zones represent geographical areas of the Northwest, including: West Portland (Zone 1), SW Washington/East Portland (Zone 2), The Remaining Outskirts of Oregon (Outer Ring) (Zone 3), North Puget Sound (Zone 4), South Puget Sound (Zone 5), Idaho/Eastern Washington (Zone 6), and Alaska (Zone 7). Each “zone” is made up of about twenty stores and has its own administrative team of regional directors.

    [edit] Store design
    Fred Meyer stores are well known for their huge floor space. To compete, other supermarket chains operating in the northwest (like Safeway) often build stores that are much larger than their standard store format.

    A typical store is divided into four major departments:

    An apparel (ALE) and leisure division with shoe (some full service; most self-serve), women’s and men’s ready-to-wear, intimate, cosmetics (COS), accessories, and young men’s/junior’s department called “Elements”. In most stores, ALE has anywhere from three to six checkstands of its own; these checkstands (and their cashiers) belong to a section known as SG2 (an abbreviation of “Soft Goods”).
    A grocery (FOD/GRO) which includes a Nutrition/”Natural Choices” Center (NCR) , Health and Beauty Aids (HABA) department and Pet Center as well as full-service meat, seafood, deli, produce, and bakery areas. FOD also manages the Bottle Return found in most Fred Meyer parking lots.
    A home division (HOX) features toys (TOY), stationery (SCH), sports and auto (SPA), home improvement(HIC), garden(GCR), furniture, housewares (HSW), a bed & bath areas known as Domestics (DOM) and a special area for seasonal merchandise (SOD). Fuel centers (SPG) are part of the HOM department and managers are required to drive and record, twice daily, the prices of fuel stations within a five-mile radius, report such prices to Fuel Center HQ and await specific instructions on raising or lowering prices based on logged information. Many locations have checkstands in the HOM department; these checkstands belong to a section known as HG2 (an abbreviation of “Home & Garden”), some locations provide a HOM U-Scan as well.
    Additionally, most Fred Meyer stores possess an Operations (OPS) department, which is responsible for the main bank of checkstands or ‘Central Check Cashiers’ (CCK); the Customer Service Desk (CSD), also known as the Customer Information Desk, or CID, where services such as Western Union, Fish & Game licenses, bus passes, tobacco sales, and merchandise returns/exchanges are offered; U-Scan (a customer self checkout option) and the parking lot. In some stores these areas are a section (known as GR2 – an abbreviation of “Grocery”) of the grocery (FOD/GRO) department.
    Playland, a child-care center provided free of charge for shoppers at some locations is also a division of the Operations department.
    Additionally, most Fred Meyer stores offer free WiFi for the customers.
    Home Electronics (PEM) departments offer a high tech selection including computers, televisions, etc. as well as a photo station and a music market for CDs, movies, and video games. Most stores also include an outlet of Fred Meyer’s jewelery chain, Fred Meyer Jewelers, and a pharmacy.

    In some stores’ parking lots an FM Fuel Center is added, managed by the Home Department .

    Most Fred Meyer stores lease peripheral retail space to other businesses. For example, an average store in Oregon and Washington would have a Hollywood Video store and a Washington Mutual Bank branch, and a locksmith in the store’s parking lot. Many stores also house a Starbucks Coffee outlet, (some of which are) operated by Fred Meyer under contract. Other locations include a Starbucks operated outlet in an outside tenancy, while Fred Meyer operates a Tully’s Coffee, or Kivu Coffee bar inside as an extension of the Multi-Service-Deli.

    [edit] Department structure
    The store is managed by a store director (and one or two assistant directors if they are a management training store). Each department is run by a manager, an assistant manager, and often a third or a fourth manager, depending upon the size of the department. In addition to the management staff, persons-in-charge (PIC) are non-management supervisors who assume management duties and responsibilities for the duration of a shift, but are otherwise level with co-workers. In the major divisions (ALE, HOM, FOD) Sectionheads or Department managers are responsible for a given section of the department.

    [edit] Alternate store formats
    Not all Fred Meyer stores conform to the conventional hypermarket format that the majority of stores do. While still department-style stores, Fred Meyer has two additional formats for stores too small to fit the vast space requirements of those in more eclectic neighborhoods.

    [edit] Fred Meyer Marketplace
    Fred Meyer Marketplace is a comparatively compact Fred Meyer, centered on a full service grocery section, with many of the other departments missing or considerably smaller than a full size Fred Meyer store. These are usually older locations in more central locations in Portland, with limited, often unique parking arrangements (like the Burlingame location’s multistory parking garage, or the rooftop parking at the Hawthorne location). Most Marketplace stores in the Seattle area were once standard supermarkets that have been acquired from other grocers.

    Some marketplace locations are early examples of Fred Meyer in its typical mall format, being the anchor store in a small Fred Meyer shopping center. Locations from this early era are typified by having the lawn and garden department in a different building immediately across the street or parking lot.

    [edit] Fred Meyer Northwest Best
    Fred Meyer Northwest Best is the company’s “new concept” store in upscale Northwest Portland near PGE Park. It was converted from the Fred Meyer Stadium Marketplace in 2004 to compete against newly arrived retailers such as the Pearl District Whole Foods Market and Northwest Portland Trader Joe’s. Fred Meyer also has Northwest Best stores in Gig Harbor, Washington and Redmond, Washington.

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  329. A hypermarket is an interesting idea. Whenever I visit my family in Europe, I always loved driving over to the local Carrefour and just roaming around. The one I go to is two floors. The first floor has a large food market and liquor store, and the second floor has electronics, home goods and furniture, clothing, and shoes. I’m not sure if it would work at MM, only because of location. Not the location of the mall, but rather the locations available. Pretty much the only existing locations available now are Boscov’s and Burlington (in the near future). Burlington is in the basement (not good for shopping carts going in and out) and pretty small. Boscov’s may work, but a lot of work has to go into the building, possibly demolition and reconstruction. The neatest thing about the Carrefour I mentioned were the carts and escalator. The escalator didnt have stairs. It was more like a long ramp that wasn’t that steep. It has a special floor that actually grips the unique wheels on the carts and holds them. Its the first time I’ve seen something like that. The hypermarket is an interesting concept, but I don’t know. Early malls had markets and they ended up going out of business. Will history repeat itself?

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  330. They could always put a Wegmans there :P

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  331. Well, there was a Carrefour near Franklin Mills (they pulled out many years ago) so it could work.

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  332. If Macy*s moved into the former Boscov’s space as suggested up in the thred, you could redue the entire food court wing over & include the hiper market consept that Jonah braught up.

    It may not be the same as Fred Meyer as described above. However, it could be something moddled on that formula. Think of a molti-level store with grocery, home & garden on the first floor, clothing on the second & electronics & related on the third. Put another way, Stop & Shop/ Home Depot, J C Penny & Best Buy all under one roof with better customer service than all of them standing alone. There’s got to be something to compete with Target & Depressing-mart. Something between Target & Sears/ J C Penny, that is if Sears exists a year from now.

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  333. I wrote up a plan for Monmouth that involved three “neighborhoods”:
    >>ENTERTAINMENT
    This is the northern part of the mall where the food court is. Expand the movie theater, update the food court, add a few nightclubs, add an ice rink, and a paintball facility. Oh, and fill in the entire basement level with Dave & Buster’s.

    >>UPSCALE
    Upscale/renovate/expand Macy’s, close down Macy’s Kids, upscale Lord & Taylor, and raze the Macy’s Kids side for a new upscale department store and parking garage. Saks would be nice, but Saks isn’t in an expansion mode right now. Numerous restaurants are “embedded” into the exterior of the mall (like Cherry Hill Mall)

    >>VALUE
    With everything from “festival marketplace” unique stores to outlet stores, the Value Section encompasses JCPenney and the former Boscov’s. Marshalls and Last Call Neiman Marcus round off the mix, with a three-story Carrefour taking center stage at the end of the mall.

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  334. Nightclubs + mall = Not a good idea, lol.
    @Value: You meant Wegmans, right? Right.
    good plan, though.

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  335. @Acejay: Nightclubs have worked in malls before. Mall of America had a ton (before they all closed due to rent/smoking problems) and so did Forest Fair (before they all closed when the mall signed BCF). And Wegmans? Please! That’s just a supermarket. Why not have a European hypermarket with the European-ness of an IKEA?

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  336. The idea I braught up earlier with the Fred Meyer example could work if 2 conditions are met.

    1. Communities stop with single use perscriptive zoning regulations & move toward a more mixed use configuration. Two great examples of the latter are Portland OR & Arlington County VA.

    2. The willingness of the public & not just mall fanatics to embrace something that is new, eye catching & a pleasureable place to see & be sene.

    I’m thinking of something that is in effect the anti-Wallmart. A place that isn’t dark & depressing & a plesure to shop no matter if you need a big screen TV, clothes or every day nessessities like groceries. Most importently it shouldn’t be a place you have to pop Zoloft after you leave. No! I don’t mean Target. I Mean something beyond those tipical mass retailers. Something that includes the best of Wegmans, Best Buy, Gap, Bed Bath & Beyond & Nordstrom under a single roof, with top notch customer service way beyond what most americans are use to.

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  337. I just spent the past 2 hours reading all these posts. I appreciate what everyone here has contributed so far, but as for memories, I need more. I seem to recall a pet shop on the lower level, near an anchor, can’t remember what one though. Mind you, this was back in 84-95 for my memory…Also, Noname, my mother used to work there. I used to buy my shoes at Nine West. We’d have lunch in Orange Julius, but to get in was through a swinging glass door. Around there was an arcade for a while, not sure what ever happened with that. I remember those castle phones, NO food court…just Sbarros at one time, no movie theater, A&S, Bamburgers, JCPennys, I’m trying to jog my memory. I can almost see the floor map from the little kiosks…if anyone happens across a floor map from those years, 84-95, I’d greatly appreciate it. Oh, I also remember Children’s Place and the little circle thing, I would sit in it all the time. I do recall those creepy fortune teller machines, and getting conehead sundae’s from Friendly’s. To be a child and revisit all this would be a great treat for me, and I’m sure for others that remember this wonderous place from childhood of over 20 years ago. The last time I was in there, was back in 95, 14 years ago, before I moved to Florida. I was 19 and didn’t know at the time that it was to be my last for over a decade. I recalled from my youth of running up the down escalators with my sister and being yelled at by my mother to behave or no hot dog from Orange Julius. I remembered being scared to death of the creepy elevator that was next to the escalators that combined all 3 levels. I remembered running around KB Toys with twinkles in my eyes looking at all the toys my mother wouldn’t buy for me…And lord, those Nine West shoes I bought myself after I got my first job. I had the absolute coolest shoes…lol If you can find it in your hearts and your memories, and maybe in your old photo boxes, to shoot over some old floor maps, photos, anything from 84-95 so that I could recapture my youth, it would be so appreciated. Thank you kindly for listening (reading..?) to me ramble. Keep up the good work, and have a glorious day, week, month, year, life. Keep on truckin. email at gothicprincess76@yahoo.com leave in subject line, monmouth mall. thanks.

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  338. Update on the Barnes and Noble construction: The former American Cafe (on the corner of Wyckoff Road and 36, next to Ruby Tuesday and Macy’s Kids) has been completely demolished.

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  339. “And Wegmans? Please! That’s just a supermarket. Why not have a European hypermarket with the European-ness of an IKEA?”

    Sounds like someone hasn’t been to a Wegmans lately!

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  340. There’s a Wegmans about 2 miles down the road.
    An IKEA would be good.

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  341. Jonah: Dixie Square had a nightclub too. I kid, I kid! Alright, not really. :)

    Seriously though, knowing Monmouth County, you’d have to pull major teeth before a nightclub will ever be allowed in the vincinity of MM. I love the idea of a Dave & Buster’s, but with American Cafe demolished and Chilis (presumably) not going anywhere, I don’t see this happening anytime soon. Ditto IKEA. Where on Route 36 would they put it?

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  342. I have to agree with Debbi…I don’t see IKEA coming anywhere in the Monmouth Mall vicinity…no room on 35, or 36. The only place I could think of is in the former Lowes in Seaview Square, but apparently BCF and other stores are going there.

    Dave and Busters would be one of my little fantasy scenarios for Monmouth Mall (along with Bloomingdale’s, but I’m becoming a realist on that one) and I really think it could work there (it may be more quiet in the summer though). I think the best we could hope for is Macy’s moving into the former A&S/Sterns/Boscovs and converting its former store into lifestyle/entertainment space.

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  343. Hey guys, I was driving down 36 today two things to report. Looks like MM got a tennant for the resturant next to Bobby’s Place. They were putting up the name today, looked like Chipolte Grill. It looks like they got a new tennant for the Circut City store, PC Richard and Son has a now hiring sign on the highway. I wonder how that is going to play out with Best Buy openning in the same plaza.

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  344. This low class mall needs a big time upgrade. Has anyone ACTUALLY been there lately???? This place is filled with young teens just wandering around in large groups. They just hang around there causing trouble and never spend any money. The movie house just attracts more teens who show up early to the shows and just hang out in the mall before and after the show, again, never spending any money in the mall. The food court is awful, no need for it at all. This mall just needs some NICE sit down restaurants, not a cheesey, tray carrying food court. A neiman marcus and Nordstom would be great. There is plenty of “money” in the area, including “Deal” and colts neck. “Nice” stores and restaurants would bring this crowd to shop here. This mall is full of loud screaming teens, horseing around it’s amazing that these stores survive at all. Nice restaurants attract people to the mall and they either eat a nice meal then shop or they shop then enjoy a nice meal and a cocktail and wine with dinner. This mall is now full of cheap stores with cheap customers and loud, rude teens. The movie house should not be connected to the mall, put up a wall to close it off. This place can learn a lot from “The mall at short hills”. Short hills does not have a cheesey food court and it does not have a movie house and this mall is simply fabulous. The mall stays so nice, so clean. the mall is full of customers “SHOPPING”. This mall does not have large groups of teens just wandering around causing trouble and disturbing the shoppers like monmouth mall DOES. Monmouth has some fussy shoppers too, so they would support a NICE mall, but they will NOT support or shop at a place like monmouth. “Deal” and colts neck will not sop at monmouth mall in it’s present conditon, but they WILL shop there if it’s turned into a cleaner, nicer upscale mall like short hills. They need to start with a TOTAL RENOVATION and a curfew for the teens and the security needs to step up and not allow LARGE GROUPS of teens to wander the mall.

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  345. Oh, I’ve been in Business for many years and I can tell you that Nice sit down restaurants with good food and cocktails ATTRACT SHOPPERS. People with MONEY TO SPEND want NICE dining options, not a food court with plastic trays. if you have CHEAP stores and cheap food options, you will attract cheap people who do not have any money to spend, they just want a climate controlled place to hang around and eat fast food.

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  346. Circa 1960, a grocery store was housed in the building which now houses Macy’s Kids at then named Monmouth Shopping Center.

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  347. Just wanted to update everyone… Chipotle is now on the Mall directory and they have put up the store signs. If you don’t know, the space attached to the new Bobby’s Burger Palace will be a Chipotle. Also, the new Barnes and Noble construction is coming along.

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  348. The mall was a great place in the 70s and 80s.I remember when they started to enclose it in 73.What a mess it was.Back then we all hung out at the Ground Round.That place would be packed.Remember the peanuts all over the place? Remember the Rain Brothers,Meat and Potatoes we called them liver and onions.I had many a good time there.They would even let you run a tab if you were a regular and you could pay on Fridays.Back then you didnt see kids hanging out there.It was a better class of shoppers back then.Let wmccars@aol.com

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  349. I’d say move macy’s to where boscov’s used to be I mean they did eliminate A&S in the 1990′s and stern’s in the early 2000′s tear down the orignal macy’s store and put some nice decent stores in its place.i can’t see dillard’s coming to jersey.they got problems of there own from when i last reading

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  350. JCPENNEY was always there from the beginning with Bambegers.There was also a Franklin Simon and a Ground Round Restaurant.

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  351. so many vacant stores now and the mall has a very dreary 70′s decor, it really needs a MAJOR renovation. Monmouth mall has THE worst macy’s, Lord & Taylor and Burlington in the system.

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  352. I was looking through my closet today and found some old mall directories. I have some Monmouth Mall ones right after Caldor closed, but before the renovations. I also have a Freehold Mall one a few years after they opened, featuring A&S as coming soon. Finally, I got a Woodbridge Mall one from around 1995 I think. I have a scanner, but they will not fit on the glass, and I do not know how to upload them to this site. If someone wants to help me get them scanned in, I would love to share.

    [Reply]

    AceJay Reply:

    Just do multiple scans. After they’re finished, go to tinypic.com and upload the images there and simply post them here.

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  353. I happened to stop by Monmouth Mall today on the way back from the shore. It was considerably quiet today, but I attribute that more to a sunny Memorial Day weekend at the Jersey Shore than the state of the mall.

    A couple interesting observations:

    (a) Barnes and Noble’s building is now fully up…it’s exterior design is similar to that of the B&N in Livingston and it looks like it will be one very large floor. I think, however that they should have made the outside entrance face Wyckoff Road rather than Route 36. It would have better spread out parking. The Macy’s Kids Annex is still open and will be open.
    (b) The Boscov’s/A&S third of the 1975 expansion wing is dead except for Modell’s and Lane Bryant. Something needs to be done over there and fast!
    (c) I did notice more vacant stores in other areas of the mall.

    As we have all been saying, Vorando needs to focus on this mall: interior renovation, remerchandising, etc. Let’s hope that Barnes and Noble’s openings is a start to helping Monmouth Mall out of its funk.

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  354. If Century 21 ISN’T coming to Monmouth, I would move the Macy’s into the old Boscov’s, then demolish the old Macy’s for a new entrance, sealing off the smaller entrance on the cinema side. Then place Costco in the Macy’s Kids side.

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  355. I’ve pretty much come to the realization that Bloomingdale’s will not come to Monmouth Mall (even though I still think it should), but I do agree with you, Jonah, that Macy’s should move into the old Boscov’s/A&S space. Something tells me that Sears will stay in Seaview.

    Costco is actually down the road in Seaview Square (and BJ’s is 2 miles down route 35 in Ocean), but I could see the demolished Macy’s turned into dining, entertainment or lifestyle space (this would answer competition from The Grove at Shrewsbury) and a pathway to attach it to the new Chipotle, Bobby’s Burger Palace and Jared.

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  356. Last closings at the mall include Sweet factory and Against all Odds. I have also noticed that all the new stores opening are not really big national chain stores and are keeping the old storefronts from the previous stores. Very similiar to Seaview Square before they shut down. The new stores include Wolf’s Jewelers (old Lundstrom) Footloose (old underground station) some other jewelry store in the old whitehall jewelers, and a mens clothing store in the old G& G location. I can’t imagine that these stores will last. I also heard that Things Remembered will be leaving the mall soon.

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  357. I found an interesting article in the Atlanticville (a local newspaper): http://atlanticville.gmnews.com/news/2009/0709/front_page/014.html

    Basically, the mayor of Eatontown has stated that Wal-Mart has shown some interest in the old Boscov’s building. I should warn you that the Atlanticville is not very reliable. At any rate, I think a Wal-Mart at Monmouth Mall would not be a good thing–although it may actually bring people to the mall in the short-term, in the long-term it would cheapen what is already a pretty lousy mall. With a ton of great ideas in this blog, it would especially suck if Vornado took the easy way out.

    [Reply]

    AP Reply:

    @GM, why would this be a bad thing? WMT could only attract other high profile tenants to the mall/area. Usually, they’re a long-term player, so we shouldn’t see the revolving door of tenants we’re used to, which is a great thing!

    [Reply]

    GM Reply:

    @AP, I think it would good in the short term but bad for the long term. I understand that malls are evolving and some now include supermarkets, big box stores, etc, but ulimately they take over the mall (e.g. Seaview Square). Yea, a lot of people would go to WalMart, but ultimately it would be competing with nearly every small store in the mall–from clothing to entertainment to home goods. And in my opinion, Wal-Mart shoppers are like supermarket shoppers: they go to the store to buy something and go home. I don’t believe they would venture out to the more expensive smaller stores in the mall.

    As I’ve mentioned before, filling department stores is getting harder to do. I believe the best thing to do (as many others have mentioned) is to move Macys to Boscov’s and turn the awkward Macys building into a life-style wing, outdoor shops, whatever. Or lease Boscov’s to Century 21.

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    AP Reply:

    @GM, Good points, but you’re assuming C21 is interested in coming to Eatontown and Macy’s/Vornado is willing to spend the money to move with little upside (Macy’s will still be in similar location). Unfortunately, in today’s economy, there aren’t many tenants willing to move into such a big space.

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    SEAN Reply:

    @GM,

    WMT is a parasite. Where ever they go they suck the life out of the community. Oh sure some areas have benefited with a store in the neighborhood, but most parasites end up killing the host they inhabit.

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    mallguy Reply:

    @GM,

    I agree with others that Walmart would be a great idea. Not a good mall anchor (better for a strip mall or stand alone). I’d rather see Sears move up from Seaview Square if I had to choose between the two.

    At least they are getting Barnes and Noble soon.

    Not looking good at the other end of the mall though.

    [Reply]

  358. Found a site plan of Monmouth: what exactly is that two level proposed place near Boscov’s??

    http://retail.vno.com/SitemapZoom.aspx?id=monmouth

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @Jonah Norason (Pseudo3D),

    That was supposed to be a Dick’s Sporting Goods, but they pulled out of the lease.

    [Reply]

  359. Probably an LL Bean or Crate and Barrel? I don’t really know too many other stores that would take up a freestanding two story space.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @Gary, LL Bean could work in the dicks space. As for Crate & Berrel, that would be most suted for Freehold Raceway. FR has better demegraphics for that store. Reread what I said about Wal-Mart a few posts back.

    A question for the mall experts on the thred… Is it a stretch that this area can no longer support both Monmouth Mall & Freehold Raceway? A year ago I would have said there’s no reason why both malls cant exist. Fast foward to today, I’m beginning to reevaluate that conclusion.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN, I believe that both balls can co-exist. Monmouth County is pretty big and there are some affluent areas closer to Monmouth Mall that would go there if it was worth it (“If you build it they will come”). Those same affluent areas are at least a half hour away from Freehold.

    If MM actually attempts to compete with Freehold, they will be as successful. The mall is at a great location, closer to affluent towns like Rumson, Deal, Ocean, and Holmdel, close to the beach and has a very visible highway location 2 miles from the Garden State Parkway and Route 18.

    A renovation, additional dining and lifestyle options, a rebuild or renovation of the movie theater and some direction with the vacant anchor (that includes rebuilding the parking deck) will bring the shoppers back to Monmouth Mall and both can co-exist.

    Btw, Sean, LL Bean would be a great option and would allow it to be a destination for many, LLBean has done the same for Tysons Corner (VA) and Columbia (MD) Malls (not that those malls needed any help, to begin with).

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, True, but you are assuming that vornado can or will spend the money to make such renovations. I’m not totally convinced that this is the case. Macerich on the other hand would have done the nessessary upgrades already if they owned MM.

    I like the LL Bean polo shirts& sweaters. Be careful sometimes they will shrink a little after washing.

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  360. As for Walmart, it could be successful at Monmouth if they open the store into the mall, kind of like the Walmart at Country Club Mall in Cumberland, Maryland. It may be a small mall, but it still has most of the major chains and very few vacancies.

    [Reply]

    Pat Reply:

    @Gary,

    WalMart has a store (less than 5 years old) about 10 minutes south of the MM (on Route 66). Don’t see how it would make financial sense for them to open in Eatontown.

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  361. Macerich are the forward thinkers when it comes to mall developers, they are years ahead of companies like Vornado and even Simon, which allows some of their older properties to stagnate.

    As for Monmouth and Freehold co-existing, I think they can but Monmouth could succeed as a compliment of Freehold rather than compete with it. Considering that both malls are only 12 miles apart and most of the stores at both malls are duplicates, Monmouth needs to find its niche. An entertainment/lifestyle wing would set the mall apart from Freehold and offer patrons an incentive to come to Monmouth. Monmouth also has an advantage over Freehold in that it has a movie theater. Someone has suggested that a Bass Pro Shops could be added, and I agree. Bass Pro’s nearest stores to Monmouth are in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Auburn, New York and Richmond Virginia, which is several hours each way. This store could especially serve the New York metropolitan area and bring new businesses into Monmouth Mall.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @Gary, Freehold has an AMC 14-screen theatre in the parking lot, 101 Trotters Way. This theatre along with the MM location both need upgrading. I’ve already described in great detail what AMc is doing at the MM theatre, & what needs to be done to keep it & the area around it viable.

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  362. Anyone know why Dick’s pulled out of the planned 2-story expansion?

    [Reply]

    GM Reply:

    @AP,

    Hehe… Dick’s…pulled out….

    But seriously… Could it have something to do with their location in Freehold? I know it was originally built as a Galyan’s store but turned into a Dick’s just before or just after opening..? Frankly, with so much of the mall unleased, I don’t understand the expansion effort.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @GM, The expansion was in planning mode before the brunt of the economy hit (Boscov’s if I remember correctly didn’t announce their closing until only a couple of months prior to the day they closed). I really don’t think their pullout had much to do with the Freehold store since that store is 12 miles away! I think it had more to do with the economy and the state of opening a location to a mall on life support in a bad economy.

    Frankly, the expansion effort is fairly weak and everyone on this comment board has been coming up with better ideas than what Vorando is really doing.

    [Reply]

    GM Reply:

    @mallguy,

    Out of curiousity, is the Boscov’s building owned by Boscov’s? I do not believe it is owned by Vornado (I remember reading that somewhere).

    If it is owned by Vornado, I would offer the store to Century 21 for a very discounted lease for the first year just to get it occupied and that side of the mall back to life ASAP. I know I sound like a broken record, but C21 can fill that space, fill it quickly with little renovations, draw a lot of customers from the outlets, from the Grove, Freehold Mall, and from Burlington/TJ Maxx/Marshalls. I would prefer a Nordstrom, but C21 makes the most sense economically and transforms MM into a shopping destination again.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @GM,

    I do not believe that Boscov’s owned the building. If they did, I do not believe they would have closed it. I’m still surprised they chose to close this one rather than the one in Ocean County Mall.

    I really don’t think C21 is the best store for this space. I’ve been in the Morristown store before and the space seems a lot smaller than the space in that building, which I believe is 267,000 sq ft. I could see them in the mall, but in a smaller space. I’m sure you read up about my fantasy for Bloomingdale’s further up the thread, but I am convinced that won’t happen.

    The next best solution for that space would be for Macy’s to move in, the deck to be renovated and the former Macy’s to be torn down and converted into lifestyle/entertainment options (or even C21).

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    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, I cant for the life of me figure out what the hell Vornado is trying to do with this mall! Are they giving up like the Washington Nationals? Financing aside, it is amazing how a group of people with mall interests as a hobby comeing from different backrounds can bounce around several conseptual frameworks on a blog, that have real world aplications & Vornado just sits on there hands doing nothing with one of there largest properties.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN,

    I’m with you Sean and I’m sensing a little “Natinals”(if you remember the jersey incident) in Vorando as well.

    I am totally surprised that Eatontown isn’t pressing them on it considering the town will take a big hit when Fort Monmouth closes.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, Can you bring me up to speed on this insident from your last post? Unfortunitely I don’t know what your talking about.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN,

    Here are a couple of links to catch you up (I’ll give you both topics I mentioned to fully keep you in the loop):

    http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/thelife/news/story?id=4081675
    And a pic of them taking the field w/ the typo: http://www.totalprosports.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/the-washington-natinals-jersey-fail.jpg.

    Fort Monmouth closing: http://www.app.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070617/NEWS/706170457/1004/NEWS03

    [Reply]

    Gary Reply:

    @SEAN, it’s almost like how some developers hold on to their dead malls even though they’ve been closed for a while. Sounds like a tax write-off to me.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @Gary, In White Plains NY, The Galleria received a $7000,000 tax refund going back over the last three years. Don’t be shocked if MM tries to do the same thing to Eatontown & Monmouth County while Vornado lets the property rot. I wonder what would happen if these malls were told no tax refunds & perhaps had taxes raised. Oh My Bad, I forgot this is the land of the crooked politition. LOL

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN,

    MM is the 2nd largest taxpayer in Eatontown (behind Fort Monmouth…and once they close, MM will be the first). Too bad Vorando won’t unload MM and sell it so someone who could actually do some good with the property.

    Nothing shocks me in NJ anymore!

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, Thanks for those links. I now remember The Nationals blunder.

    As for the Fort Monmouth closure, It relates to the rediculousness of moving thousands of jobs out of Crystal City. Arlington has been & is continueing to reinvent the neighborhood following TOD principles. BTW, it turns out that the owners of most of Crystal City happens to be a devision of Vornado, Charles E. Smith. What a small world, but as a frequent visitor to DC you new most of this already.

    [Reply]

    Gary Reply:

    @SEAN, yeah, that is the sad part, unfortunately. The Century III Mall outside of Pittsburgh has been facing the same problem with dwindling occupancy, yet Simon continues to collect its tax refunds because they are simply allowing the place to go downhill. It’s like they want to suck out every penny out of the mall before they finally move on and the mall sits empty.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @Gary, I think when malls were first constructed the goal was to add something that didn’t exist before in many communities, a central gathering place for commerce & other activities. Now the question is since we know that companies such as Goldman Sacks & other banks finance large projects like malls, are we seeing more or less something out of the movie “Wall Street?” This makes Gorden Gekko look like an alterboy.

    If you saw the movie “Good Fellas” you will remember the senes with the restaurant & how the mob sucked the money right out of it. “What do you do when you cant buy another case of booze or borrow another dollar from the bank? You light a match”.

    Is this what we are witnessing, the lighting of the finantial match? If so Eatontown & other communities are going to get burned on a scale that even Burnie Madeoff couldn’t dream up.

    [Reply]

  363. do you know why Dick’s pulled out of the lease?

    [Reply]

  364. [...] Monmouth Mall; Eatontown, New Jersey | Labelscar: The Retail … [...]

  365. I don’t think tearing down or redesigning the food court would be a good idea. Like many have said before, the food court is convenient and brings people in, which sit-down restaurants don’t.

    I think the current design is cool and fits in with the whole Jersey Shore theme. However, they can make a few updates, such as replacing the flooring (the tile used on the food court is becoming dated), with marble or a nicer tile like in Freehold, but in lots of colors to make it nicer.

    The movie theater can use a revamp, I think it should ditch the “Loews” name and use AMC, and make it more modern.

    Is there really a basement level near the food court? If so, like someone said before, a Dave & Busters or entertainment zone would be nice.

    And I think the rest of the mall should be refreshed a bit.

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  366. I grew up in the 60s/early 70s in Eatontown and remember the “Monmouth Shopping Center” before it was enclosed. The day after Thanksgiving, Santa would parachute from an airplane into the parking lot near Bambergers and immediately after he landed he was always be “escorted” in an ambulance to somewhere. Around the holidays, the fake 8ft Christmas trees around the unenclosed mall had those large 60s outdoor lights on them which were slightly greased so no one could steal them. The shopping center would always have attractions. I remember seeing Henri Lamothe Dive from 40 feet into 12 inches of water. I remember the Beatty-Cole circus and later on, the Carnival in the back near Kresge’s. It’s hard to remember some of the small stores when it was an outdoor mall, but I remember the Flaming Pit with it’s large red letters after dusk. Lucas of course, Bamburgers Budget store, MWards.

    I also remember Goodys Restaurant. We used to get two cheeseburgers, fries and a coke for 98 cents.We’re talking mid/late 60′s. And we went bowling at Elm lanes -Saturday special 3 games for a dollar. Going up the highway, Bendix, Bilows, Van Winkles Marina, the A&P, Philips 66, F&H Imports. I can’t remember the early 60′s restaurant on the NW corner of Clinton Av and 35. It had a moving neon sign of a kid drinking a tall glass of something with a straw and the level would go down and fill up again! Eatontown TV, Lou’s Subs. Where the McDonald’s is now, was that Chicken Patio? Who can’t remember Superette. and the Sub Station. The Breyers sign is still there! Wow, I can go on. ..Enough for Now.
    John

    [Reply]

    Bill C Reply:

    @JohnS, I really miss the Ground Round , Kresges and Braddocks.I was a regulat there in the 70S. The GR had a good crowd of employees from the malll stores,Bradlees and Kmart.Remember the Pine tree bar by the old trailor park?

    [Reply]

  367. I have posted before… A while back… I think that a major renovation that involves tearing down parts and rebuilding others is probably out of the question. Vornado may have a billion dollar portfolio, but they would probably still finance any renovations and that is difficult to do. Finding tenants is the first thing then a “significant” cosmetic upgrade can follow. They also need to stay away from “high end,” you have that in the new outlets and in Freehold. This mall needs good “designer label discounters” (Century 21 etc.) Places where people can afford to actually spend money, not just look around and browse.

    Based on some conversations I have had with “very ” reliable sources, I think we will see some real changes and progress at this mall before the end of 2010.

    [Reply]

    Lancer Reply:

    @Ben, What kind of changes?

    [Reply]

  368. Ben’s earlier post sounds pretty interesting. I was in MM today after a beach day and found nothing new…just a quiet sad looking mall on a sunny afternoon. On the bright side, Barnes and Noble seems to be coming along nicely and the store looks to be pretty big (wish they decided to do a 2 level B&N though). I haven’t heard any new news regarding MM, but I’ll look forward to hearing anything.

    And with the traffic levels on 35 and 36 today, as we all have stated in past posts, there is no excuse this mall should be approaching dead-mall status.

    [Reply]

  369. lancer…

    Things like 2 maybe 3 new large footprint tenants, and cosmetic upgrades to the interior of the mall. You have to remember that Vornado isn’t going to announce anything in regards to tenants until they have signed contracts and terms in hand. A mall closer to where I am, switched a Value City department store to a Burlington Coat Factory, even after they announced it and BCF had taken control of the space it took about 7 mos to renovate and and open, and the space wasn’t in bad shape. Anyway the point is that these things are “VERY” slow moving. Another complication is that, as far as I know, Vornado does not actually own the Boscovs space so there are several parties involved in filling that. Regardless of all that…. I feel confident that Monmouth will improve, and be a solid mall again.

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  370. HMM. I know of two small franchise operations in the Monmouth Mall which I was considering looking into buying. I wonder if it would be wiser to stand aside and not proceed any further with negotiations.

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  371. I think this mall will be back as it’s in a good location and still has major anchor tenants.

    [Reply]

  372. monmouthmallonline.com has been updated. It looks like the logo has changed too. Looks like a step in the right direction. Some input from mall management on the future of the mall would be great.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @GM,

    Just caught that…hopefully we’ll hear more when they open Barnes and Noble. I was at the mall the other day and noticed the exterior is all done and they are now getting started on the interior. It looks like it will have a similar setup to Livingston B&N.

    [Reply]

    AceJay Reply:

    Wow, props to Vornado for getting a good website up finally. It’s pretty comprehensive, unlike many other mall sites (Simon, GGP somewhat)

    lol “Play Arcade Games!” Hell yeah: http://www.monmouthmallonline.com/kids_rainy.aspx

    Are there really more than 3 games there or what? My guess is Stacker, Crazy Taxi, NFS/F&F, Nicktoons Racing, and F&F SuperBikes. Hardly an arcade, but hopefully I’m wrong and it’s awesome.

    Also there’s a really cool rendering of the B&N store here: http://www.monmouthmallonline.com/leasing_info.aspx

    [Reply]

  373. Barnes and Noble has announced their opening date: Wednesday, November 4, 2009! Its store hours were announced and the latest it will be open is 10PM…even on Friday and Saturday.

    Hope this opening can help the mall.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, Have you been to Bobby’s Burger Pallace yet? The location at Bergen Town Center was a madhouse, while the one at MS Casino in CT was fine. I reccomend the Napa Valley burger witch comes with goat cheese & mustard. I know that sounds strange, but trust me the tangyness will keep you wanting more.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN,

    Haven’t been yet, but one of these days, I’ll get there, especially snce they’re @ MM.

    No new news on any construction or renovation projects to the mall.

    NJ is finally taking steps to redesign the 35/36 intersection adjacent to the mall, but their plans stink. It needs a grade-separated intersection and doing that would also be beneficial to MM…if they ever renovate/expand it.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, NJ is finally taking steps to redesign the 35/36 intersection adjacent to the mall, but their plans stink.

    What is actually happening there vs what you think should be done.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN,

    Well, nothing yet is happening because of court challenges with the state attempting to take land. They are basically going to keep it an at-grade intersection, they are going to straighten out the curve in route 35 from the former Eatontown Circle, make a left turn lane to 36 east from 35 south and add a reverse jughandle from 36 east to 35 north, as well as add a lane into the intersection.

    Considerating what is located radiating out from this intersection (route 18, the GS Parkway, the beaches, Monmouth Park, Fort Monmouth, Monmouth Mall), I would think they would do a lot more as what’s currently there cannot handle the summer traffic, which I observed to be worse than ever this summer.

    Also considerating how the convergence of these roadways could be thought of as a gateway to the shore, the 35/36 intersection should be grade separated with on-off ramps for the movements. But also 36/Wyckoff Road should be a grade separated intersection; on the other side of MM. The biggest challenge is land availability, but doing something about the traffic will help MM, the other businesses on 36, the shore communties and Eatontown in general, considering the fact that Fort Monmouth will close by 2011 and the town will need all the help it can get.

    [Reply]

  374. Based on some things I have heard I am about 99.9% we will see a new “mall style” Walmart super store in at least part of the old Boscovs location. I am 75-80 percent sure that Dicks will be taking the other portion. Also, some significant cosmetic investment is in the plans as well as some proposed new tenants… All of this is going to take a lot of time though

    [Reply]

    GM Reply:

    @Ben,

    No offense, but I really hope you’re wrong…

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @GM,

    I heard about this too (it even made the local paper ) and I’m not happy about it. I have nothing against Walmart, but it’s not an appropriate store for Monmouth Mall.

    [Reply]

    Jonah Norason (Pseudo3D) Reply:

    @mallguy, so what if Walmart takes over part of Boscov’s? Lots of malls have a Target and haven’t become “downscale”.

    [Reply]

    AceJay Reply:

    Well, but Monmouth is already kinda downscale. Minus the L&T.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, I agree Wal-Mart is the wrong store for Monmouth Mall. However two points-first there is a WalMart at Sunrise Mall in Massapiqua wich was a Macy’s location & second Target has a completely different immage & feel to there stores & atract different customer bases.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN,

    Also, Walmart currently has a store in Neptune, about 7 miles away from Monmouth Mall.

    [Reply]

    Gary Reply:

    @SEAN, Target has a different image because it is considered an upscale discount store. That’s what certain sources have called it, whereas Walmart is trying to push on Target’s demographic with more private clothing labels and improved experience at their stores. While an upscale discount version of Walmart is unlikely, it would be nice if they can move up to the next level.

    [Reply]

    Caldor Reply:

    @mallguy, we’ve already established, however, that Monmouth is not as upscale as, say, Freehold. A store like Walmart is great to have in a mall because it drives way more repeat visits than a standard department store; people go much more frequently if they need to buy toilet paper or something. This is part of why malls with Target or Walmart seem to be thriving. Plus, I think having stores serving multiple tiers of incomes in one place is healthy, especially given the state of the economy. All luxury, all the time is a dying fad for the time being.

    [Reply]

  375. The article mentions about Walmart taking up the bottom floor and expanding into the mall. While Walmart may be a good anchor tenant, I don’t think they should be taking away more mall space even though they are only planning to use one of the levels. Why can’t Walmart operate a two-level store? Target has done it before.

    [Reply]

    Jonah Norason (Pseudo3D) Reply:

    And Wal-Mart did open a three-level store (Broadway-Crenshaw Plaza).

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @Gary, I agree and that would be tough for them to do, considering there is a 2 level Modell’s right next door.

    [Reply]

    Gary Reply:

    @mallguy, it would be interesting to see how it plays out. They could simply demolish the parking garage and expand on that spot, but knowing Walmart they will probably build right into the mall.

    [Reply]

  376. We started a new blog to collect the history and memories of Monmouth Mall. Please add some comments of your experiences in Monmouth Mall, and share this blog with friends and family!!!

    [Reply]

  377. And also, how does the presence of Walmart affect the more upscale tenants (eg Abercrombie and Fitch, H&M, Lord and Taylor) at the mall? It would be interesting to note if their leasing contracts allow for such a store at the mall.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @Gary, On that point, what happens if Wal-Mart’s signing does cause a lease violation. What recaurse would A & F, Macy’s & other retailers have knowing that Wal-Mart usually gets what it wants when it wants it.

    [Reply]

  378. I would doubt that there is a provision in anyones lease that determines the “class” if you will, of another tenant or their potential clientel. Anyone ever dealt with a mall landlord? You don’t exactly get to pick and choose options for your lease, even when backed by a national brand. Having a business interest in this mall, I am not overly concerned about the walmart coming. 1) its an improvement over dead space. 2) Not that many Large space tenants are expanding. 3) as mentioned above Freehold is upscale. Let people browse at Freehold and the outlets, let them come to Monmouth to spend. In this economy, I would much rather be in a mall with both low-end and high end. 4) Walmart is in the midst of a re-branding (more in line with Target) and they have the money to be successful with it.

    I’m confused as to why so many people are so convinced that a successful mall has to be “Up-scale”

    [Reply]

    GM Reply:

    @Ben,

    As much as I wish that that space went to Century 21 or Nordstrom, you’re absolutely right: it’s better than dead space. It certainly would bring people to the mall. I think a concern remains though that a WalMart, whose success it based on undercutting the competition, may harm the already fragile small businesses in the mall. Anyway, I’m really excited to see more interest in the mall, rumors of remodeling, the new branding, new B&N structure, and yes even interest in the old Boscov’s structure.

    [Reply]

    Ben Reply:

    @GM,

    I have heard rumors of another tenant taking up a large “footprint” in the mall (potentially). I heard that Vornado was “aggressively” going after Century 21. Maybe they could still be coming. It would just be nice for this stuff to get finalized and some announcements to be made. However, even the updated Web-site and the new signage not to mention the cost of the B&N, are all good signs, and it is kind of fun to speculate.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @Ben, Monmouth Mall is losing out to Freehold big time and smaller shopping areas such as The Grove and downtown Red Bank are continually improving to take a piece of Monmouth Mall’s pie. As earlier posts have stated, stores like A&F, H&M, Hollister and Lord and Taylor have made some to believe that the mall wants to make an upscale trend. Right now, the economy is preventing that. An upscale anchor would attract more stores and attention to the mall. Bringing in a Walmart will cause MM to lack an identity, detrimental to a mall that is currently struggling. I have nothing against Walmart, but I don’t feel that it’s an appropriate store for a mall…it works much better as a stand alone or a part of a power center. I’ve given my fantasy about MM above in this thread (Bloomingdale’s), but with the state of the economy, it may not work right now. Then, Macy’s should move into the old Boscovs, the parking deck be expanded and renovated and the old Macy’s be torn down and turned into lifestyle/entertainment/dining space that can be better than Freehold’s and can best compement the new B&N and the movie theatre. A cosmetic renovation and the addition of fast casual restaurants at the mall entrances (e.g. Qdoba, Panera, etc) would be further nice touches.

    In response to your question, if you look at most malls in NJ, those that do not make an attempt to go upscale will struggle…I see this with at least 3-4 malls in the state…and as I said, MM has a lot of competition.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, With the state of MM , what is there to prevent Macy’s, JC Penny or Lord & Taylor from jumping ship? I’m sure the Freehold locations perform far better. If one goes the rest will follow.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN, I hope that Vorando has that in the back of their minds because that is a scary situation, although I doubt it will happen…Freehold is still another 15 miles away and for some in the MM market, farther away. There is some growth @ MM, albeit small. I’ll be interested in seeing how B&N does over there.

    Monmouth Mall is still a few steps ahead of Seaview Square when it was at its best: better mix of anchors, more stores, better visibility.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, If Macerich owned MM this wouldn’t be an issue. I have to ask, what the hell is management doing or not doing down there. do they even have a clue in how to run a mall?

    What is the vacancy rate not including carts & kiosks right now. Are the national retailers staying put or jumping ship. Bare in mind I’m factoring in Barns & Noble’s success & AMC upgrading the theatre as well.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, How far is the exit from the GSP from MM? I do recall that exit has a toll & drops you on RT 36. If it isn’t a great distence could a flyover ramp be constructed between the parkway & the mall diverting traffic away from the 35/ 36 intersection. Something similar recently opened near Foxwoods Casino & is as confusing as anything.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN,

    The mall is 1 1/2 miles from Exit 105 (and 1 mile from Route 18, which is a freeway down there). What I would like to see is a flyover ramp for the main route 35 entrance which is currently a light and a jughandle…it could be done.

    And if the state would radically fix the 35/36 intersection as I mentioned earlier, they can funnel mall traffic off 36 east into an entrance on Wyckoff Road.

    For the record, I believe the new B&N will be successful…it beats the current location at Consumer Square in West Long Branch. The current is way too small and is very inconvenient, especially during summer traffic.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, Amile & ahalf. hmmm, I thaught it was closer. Well back to the old drawingboard.

    Is Berlington Coat still there? If not, what a spot for Dave & Busters & move the Food court into the side hallway including Macy’s Kids. Then turn the existing area into restaurant row.

    There should be a way to close off that area at night.

    [Reply]

    Ben Reply:

    @mallguy, Your right about the competition, but most of the competition is “high end” when you are in competition you need “differentiation”.. “Branded” discounters and affordable destinations with some high-end options, like Micheal Kors and Polo etc at macys, A&F etc. Is different. Brands like TJ Maxx and Marshals etc are doing well right, because the offer discount options.. People are more money concious. If the mall provides these as well as a more welcoming atmosphere from a cosmetic standpoint it will be fine.

    Also everyone needs to rememember this is over a million square feet of leasible space on valuable real estate.. Vornado may not have the most malls in the portfolio, but they are smart enough to know that there are much better options then letting this die.

    Also, everyone remember a building the size of the B&N isn’t cheap, somebody had to be confident that the rest of the mall wasnt going to fall apart in order to justify that investment.

    [Reply]

  379. A couple of updates: A new sign went up by the Route 36 entrance between Chili’s and Jared. It’s actually very nice. It uses the new font and it’s a nice gray, almost blue gray. I believe it may have slots on either side for neon lighting (maybe). The mall also has a new paper directory with the new branding. Interestingly, BCF is still on it (unless its only new to me) and where Boscov’s was, it says “PARKING.” That’s interesting because it doesn’t include the existing building and the parking garage has been closed. Lastly, the brochure includes an interesting typo; the mall apparently now has “PUBIC transportation.” Good to know!

    Also, Burlington is now up in Ocean Township near Costco. I went, and I must say, it’s a huge store and it looks great. It now has a pretty nice home department as well.

    [Reply]

    Gary Reply:

    @GM, you should send that brochure to Jay Leno, I’m sure his audience would crack up at at, and give Monmouth Mall an added publicity boost.

    [Reply]

  380. Why can’t Walmart take all three stories and make a Supercenter? That would be kind of cool.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @Jonah Norason (Pseudo3D), It may not be zoned for a Wal-Mart super center.

    [Reply]

    Jonah Norason (Pseudo3D) Reply:

    Why not? Its still a commercial retail entity, and I’m almost certain the original Monmouth Mall (open-air) had a grocery store.

    [Reply]

  381. I have to say, even though the new B&N seems like a good location, it is a very small store considering most of the new stores built are those two-floor mega stores, which do great business. I have a feeling that they are not expecting the traffic of their other more successful stores. Either that or they think that Eatontown residents are illiterate! Haha.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @Randy,

    It would have been nice to make it 2 levels, but there are only four in NJ that are (Menlo Park, Clifton, Riverside/Hackensack, Paramus). I was really surprised that the new Livingston Mall B&N is only one level. Anything beats the Barnes and Noble in Consumer Square that, thank goodness, will close when the one opens in Monmouth Mall.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, The Stamford TC store is a 2-level location & is quite large.

    The Grove @ Farmers Market in Los Angeles is an enormous 3-level store with unique features including outdoor decks on the top level.

    [Reply]

  382. And to respond to Mallguy, I received an inside tip that a Qdoba will be placed in Shrewsbury very soon (somewhere on Route35 before Red Bank). Chances are that one will not come to Monmouth Mall.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @Randy,

    I’m not surprised, but I am surprised that Qdoba isn’t opening in downtown Red Bank.

    [Reply]

  383. There will not be a Walmart placed at Monmouth Mall. Eatontown is trying to get away from its “trailer park” persona. I love Walmart and live 5 minutes from Monmouth Mall, and the one in Neptune is expanding to a supercenter. Also, there will be no upscale department stores, such as Nordstrom or Bloomingdales coming to Monmouth either. If people want upscale clothing, they will venture to an upscale mall, which Monmouth is not.

    [Reply]

    Ben Reply:

    @Randy, I hate to break it to you.. but I would almost bet my house on walmart coming..

    as far as geography…Where I live we have a Walmart and a walmart superstore within 5 miles of each other and I live in VERY un crowded area in south jersey…..wait…. there is also another superstore within 10-15 miles.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @Ben, That means one of those Wal-Mart stores will be closing at some point. They will close a new store if a super center is nearby or that location cant be expanded into one.

    [Reply]

    Ben Reply:

    @SEAN, I know this is the reputation, and I wouldnt be surprises. They did however, just spend some time and money refurbishing the “regular” walmart, they really overhauled it.. who knows with them… they do what they want because they can.. I know all three of them are always busy..

    [Reply]

  384. Hey everyone! I was in the Monmouth Mall yesterday and I saw that they are putting in a Cinnabun and a new Bar and Grill in the former Braddock’s. I don’t know if this is the beginning of things to come. But I for one am very excited!

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @mmguy, Gertrude Hawk is now in MM as well!

    We just need something to come in to take over the Boscov’s building

    [Reply]

  385. Went to Monmouth Mall and noticed a few things…mmguy earlier noted that the changes could be a precursor for things to come and I do agree. The new Barnes and Noble is quite large on the inside (didn’t notice a music dept though) and was pretty crowded…definitely a good thing and better store than the old West Long Branch store in Consumer Square. As I said earlier, I would have designed it a little differently, putting the outside entrance on the Wyckoff Road side of the building (it faces Route 36). To my surprise, parking on the side of the new B&N was pretty filled. The new restaurant in the old Braddock’s will be Buffalo Wild Wings, new to the area (they are opening a location in the former Bennigan’s in North Brunswick). There is also a new monument sign on Route 36 with a new logo.

    This year, they moved Santa to the dead side of the mall, near the former Boscov’s…kind of ingenous what they did trying to block out the vacant anchor and place Santa over there to bring traffic.

    Hopefully these changes will lead to the announcement of an interior renovation…looking at it again, I will reiterate: this place needs a cosmetic facelift!!!

    [Reply]

  386. Walked through the mall today and noticed going out of business signs at Borders Express. Kind of figured with the new big Barnes and Noble opening.

    [Reply]

  387. Pretty reliable sources indicate, that it is only a matter of time, before Walmart is announced as one new tenant in the old Boscovs space… Looks like Dicks will be the other tenant in the space..

    [Reply]

  388. I highly doubt that they are going to put a Wallmart in the Monmouth Mall. They already have a superstore in Feehold and a store in Neptune. I also wonder if Dick’s is going to put a store in the mall when Modells is already there.

    [Reply]

    Ben Reply:

    @mmguy, until its announced, its not a done deal, and even then it could collapse…. but apparently there are leases in attorney review..

    [Reply]

  389. Any updates? Was in the mall recently it was like a ghost town.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @mmguy,

    At this time of year, the only times you’ll see people in there is when it rains…and at the movies on Saturday night. Haven’t been to Monmouth Mall since March and I havent yet heard anything new about new stores, renovations, etc. Even with the new B&N, it is sad to see how Vorondo is letting Monmouth Mall fade away into obscurity and dead mall status…

    [Reply]

  390. I think he was involved in a bizarre shooting incident

    [Reply]

  391. The mall is doing very badly, the costomer service doesn’t care about any renovations: i’m sure the abercrombies and Lord and Taylor are goin to close soon

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @Jorge Grainer,

    If Lord and Taylor closes, Monmouth Mall is as good as dead.

    [Reply]

  392. this mall is terrible, the entire jersey shore is falling apart, the mall is so empty, there is NO hope for it anymore, u don’t see any signs of renovation at all, even Red Bank considered closing Tiffany and there are lot of vacant stores there, wake up because bloomingdales or any other upscale store is NEVER coming , this mall will remain downscale

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @Gran, I blame Monmouth Mall’s poor performance on Vorondo. Monmouth Mall is at an excellent location that should do very well, but when the company that runs the place doesn’t care, you get what you have curently. If you look 12 miles away, Freehold Raceway Mall is doing incredibly well and you can attribute that to Macerich as they put a lot of capital into their malls.

    If Vorondo sold to a company that actually cared about retail, then I believe you would see a renaissance for Monmouth Mall.

    I did not hear that Tiffany may close, but Urban Outfitters did open and Lulemon Athletica is coming to The Grove. I attribute Red Bank’s problems to the economy, mostly.

    [Reply]

  393. even freehold is NOT as upscale as everyone thinks, also i don’t understand how christiana mall (Newark,Delaware) came back to life with all of the redeveloment and 2 NEW department stores; with that company being in bankrupcy and Monmouth keeps opening these small stores, they need to start renovating more stores or do something because that mall is horrible, i admit it is in a good location but it seems like evey store is closing

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @Gran, FRM is not as upscale as Short Hills or Bridgewater Commons perhaps, but FRM does atract wealthier shoppers than Monmouth Mall. Mallguy has been trying to drive that point home post after post on this thred & the Freehold Raceway Mall thred as well.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN, Thank you for the plug!

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, You got it!

    Have L & T, JC Penny or Macy’s dropped any hints on if they will be making moves at MM? I guess it’s like waiting for king James, If he will stay in Cleveland or not. LOL

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN, I haven’t heard anything…if any of them do decide, Lord and Taylor is 1st on the chopping block. A new Barnes and Noble recently opened, so maybe there’s still a chance for Monmouth Mall.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, I hope so, MM has so much potential that it would be a shame to see it go away.

    What was that saying, a mall is a tarable thing to waste. *applause*

    Happy 4th to you!

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN, With all the sunny days we’ve been having, MM is likely to be losing even more business!

    Happy 4th to you as well!

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @Gran,

    True, General Growth is in bankruptcy, but they are still a better PREIT than Vorondo. The rebirth of Christiana Mall does not surprise me because (1) it is the most significant mall in DE; (2) it is at an excellent location, at the busiest intersection in DE and on the 95 corridor; (3) DE has no sales tax.

    Vorando is going to kill Monmouth Mall :( and there is no reason it should die.

    With Freehold, Macerich is trying to do with them with they did for Tysons Corner. I am very interested in if the new large stores opening in the mall have any effect to attract more upscale tenants. When the economy improves, I’d love to see an expansion of the lifestyle center. In terms of upscale, I would put Freehold on par with Menlo Park.

    [Reply]

  394. Menlo is wayyyyyyy more upscale than Freehold, they have Kenneth Cole, Sony Style, Everything but water, and Club Monaco .Freehold still has Charlotte Russe, Sears, JCPenny, and other downscale stores; why can’t Tysons switch places with Freehold

    [Reply]

    Gran Reply:

    Still at Freehold MORE shoppers go the downscale stores than the upscale stores

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @Gran, Freehold tries to get everyone in the door and they do a good job of it. That’s the case at Menlo at times. I remember days when Nordstrom was dead but Macy’s and the rest of the mall were hopping. Menlo has trended upscale over the years and since the expansion/renovation at Freehold, they have been adding more upscale stores. I do believe they should add more.

    Tysons does very well and don’t forget, The Galleria is right across the street. (and will be connected via the Metro station once the Silver Line is complete)

    [Reply]

  395. Vornado*, like tornado. Also, Monmouth is kinda gross. A serious huge renovation would help it so much but I don’t see that happening due to Freehold. If I lived halfway between the two, and Monmouth had the same stores as Freehold, and was renovated to not feel so creepy and old, I would probably go to Monmouth. I like the layout – it’s like an anti-Cherry Hill Mall layout, haha.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @AceJay,

    Freehold is about 15 miles away from Monmouth Mall (feels a lot farther away during the summer months) . If that is the case, it’s a copout by Vorondo. With Monmouth Mall’s location near the beach, ability to attract customers on rainy summer days, as well as its location near some of the wealthier Two Rivers area towns, and wealthier southern Monmouth towns, there is no reason this mall shouldn’t be successful. I blame it all on the REIT. A renovation would do this place wonders!

    And I have observed their layout to be similar to Cherry Hill’s. And speaking of renovations, look what that did to Cherry Hill!

    [Reply]

    Gran Reply:

    @mallguy,
    Still at Freehold more people shop the downscale stores instead of upscale

    [Reply]

    Pseudo3D Reply:

    Yeah. Look what renovations did to Cherry Hill: it destroyed the last remnants of Gruen’s masterpiece. Way to go.

    Look what renovations did to Bergen: it destroyed a perfectly good 70′s mall for a bland (and somewhat broken, if you know what I mean) indoor shopping center.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @Pseudo3D,

    While I do miss the old Cherry Hill, the new Cherry Hill is doing pretty well and is attracting huge crowds! Bergen Mall has an identity crisis and if Monmouth Mall were renovated, I believe the same thing that happened to Cherry Hill will happen to Monmouth. Even though some of the architectural elements are cool, like the really high skylights in the anchor courts, the mall is hideously ugly and dark! There hasn’t been a full facelift in this mall since about 1986 and outside of the food court expansion and some slight color changes, the place looks tired and depressing!

    [Reply]

    Gran Reply:

    @mallguy,
    I don’t think this mall is ever going to be renovated, It is already becoming more empty everyday. They should just close the 1st and 3rd levels anymore. Except for JCPenny, H&M, Modells, and a few other stores MOST shoppers never use these levels

    [Reply]

  396. This mall is opening the wierdest stores
    They aren’t trying at all

    [Reply]

    Pseudo3D Reply:

    Like what?

    [Reply]

  397. Monmouth Mall should just be de-malled. It should return to the way it started. I went in recently- there are a lot of empty stores. Route 36 and 35 were packed, and nobody was in the mall at all!

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @Randy, If Vorando holds on to it, I’d agree. That costs money, lol, and it doesn’t look like they’re putting any money into the mall. Again, they’re just letting it die.

    I wish they would just unload it to Simon or Macerich and hopefully they’ll do something with Monmouth Mall.

    Let us not forget that Vorando was the company that let the majority of the former NJ Bradlee’s stay vacant for so many years…they still haven’t found an occupant for the former Bradlee’s on Route 36 in Hazlet!

    [Reply]

  398. I don’t understand why people from North Jersey or New York would even want to go to this mall in the summer

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @Gran, If Monmouth Mall were actually fixed up, people would visit while visiting the shore…and not just on the rainy days.

    [Reply]

  399. No, a de-malling would never work. All the things that still make Monmouth Mall kind of neat would be destroyed, and you’d end up with some high-end bland stucco place that would be miserable to visit.

    What Vornado should do is aggressively pick a retailer for Boscov’s and Burlington Coat Factory. My picks would be Walmart and Forever 21, respectively.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @Pseudo3D,

    I could see Forever 21, considering Freehold is building a 2 level location, but I don’t see Walmart. They are currently in Neptune. Assuming my fantasy anchor (mentioned higher up in the thread) will not come to Monmouth Mall (and for the record, I do not believe they will in these economic conditions), I’d love to see Macy’s move into the former Boscov’s/Sterns/A&S, fix up the parking deck (maybe expand it) and convert the old Macy’s into lifestyle space and add more restaurants/bars to the area between Barnes and Noble and the Loews….I’d also fix up the Loews Theatre, considering the closest large stadium seating theatres are in Brick and New Brunswick (there is a small 8 screen stadium seating theatre in Marlboro)

    And remember, with Fort Monmouth closing, Eatontown NEEDS Monmouth Mall to be successful.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, Right on! AMC recently added an Imax to this theatre as I posted way up in the thred. If AMC is willing to spend money on a theatre that is in a dieing mall, then why cant Macy*s, Lord & Taylor & JCPenny put pressure on vornado to do something with this property?

    Just for the reccord the Regal 8-plex refered here is in Morganville. All of the others are AMC Loews theatres.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN, Despite the “youth problems” there, that theatre has always done well. I wish somebody would do something about Monmouth Mall.

    Oh and to clarify, Morganville is a section of Marlboro that has its own zip code.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, I wasn’t aware of that. Zip is 07751.

    Off topic

    Here is an interesting web site for you to visit; http://www.walkscore.com by entering any adress, you can find how walkable the neighborhood is. This includes distence from supermarkets, transit if avaleable & several other catagories. The closer to 100 the score is the more walkable the area is..

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN, Very cool site!

    Yeah, we here in New Jersey are strange when it comes to assigning zip codes to our municipalities. Some of the larger municipalities (eg South Brunswick, Manalapan) do not have their own zip code, but are divided by neighborhood. Hillsborough and Marlboro only recently were given their own zip code.

    [Reply]

    Gran Reply:

    @mallguy,

    Nothing is ever going to go in to the boscov’s space. It is in the middle of no where. It’s goin to remain empty for a long time, the mall doesn’t even own this space any more. It is under FORECLOSURE, which means nothingg will go in there, that is why they don’t show it on the map

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @Gran, Where did you find the forclosure info on the Boscov’s building? Not doubting you, just gathering the facts.

    [Reply]

    Gran Reply:

    @SEAN,
    I saw it in an article, a few months after the store closed

    [Reply]

    Pseudo3D Reply:

    Walmart could easily go into Monmouth. In Houston, two Wal-Mart Supercenters coexist, even though there’s less than 3 miles between them (and that’s ROAD distance, mind you…actual distance is about 2.5).

    Even in College Station-Bryan, my hometown, where population is not super-dense at all, two Supercenters exist about six miles apart (also by “road distance”).

    I guess that Walmart just isn’t as prominent in NJ than it is in the south, which is why a seven-mile distance sounds like heresy. Figures: the Freehold location opened in 2006 while the Neptune City location opened in 2004. Conversely, the small towns surrounding College Station got their Wal-Mart stores in the early 1980s (or late 1970s).

    However, the more pressing reason why we’re not seeing the former Boscov’s emblazoned with “Walmart” signs is stated in the same article the rumor started (http://atlanticville.gmnews.com/news/2009-07-09/front_page/014.html)

    Reason #1: Wal-Mart’s current plan would have destroyed the mall layout.

    “‘We’ve had discussions with the potential tenant — for your information, it’s the Wal- Mart company that is interested in coming into that space,” Tarantolo said, “and they intend to take the entire first floor and some adjoining space that currently is available in the mall.’” So they’d take the first floor, and rather than taking the other two levels, they’d take up store space. Brilliant.

    Reason #2: New Jersey has screwy zoning rules and harder anti-big box rules.

    “In anticipation of the project, Tarantolo said he had the borough’s zoning officer look at a preliminary request for use of the Boscov’s building that Wal-Mart officials provided to the borough, to see if such a project would require the company to obtain permits from the borough’s Zoning or Planning Board.

    ‘I had our current zoning officer take a look at the request and what they were proposing, and it’s his opinion that they can’t just do it by permits,’
    Tarantolo explained. ‘They will probably have to come before the Planning Board and get site plan approval.’”

    If Walmart was really ready to come in, they’d have to go through a lot of red tape.

    Most importantly, Reason 3.

    “However, a representative of Wal-Mart said last week that the company is not looking at the Boscov’s site. When reached for comment, a representative of the Monmouth Mall said the mall operator, Vornado Realty Trust, does not own the Boscov’s building.”

    So Wal-Mart did not want it, and Vornado doesn’t even own it.

    So then, WHO DOES?

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @Pseudo3D,

    With the Freehold Walmart (on 537, just southwest of the 33 bypass), there is also a Sams Club right next door, which used to be on the ring road of Freehold Raceway Mall. I’m not surprised they’re open right next to each other.

    I honestly don’t see Walmart as a good fit for Monmouth Mall and since Bloomingdale’s won’t open there, Macy’s would be wise to move into that space, if they or Vornado could purchase the space. That space is much nicer than the current Macy’s and the square footage is higher!

    [Reply]

    Gran Reply:

    @mallguy,
    Macy’s will never move down there and they will always keep their original location because it is centered more (They won’t even fix their cieling tiles which look like they are about to fall)

    Boscov’s does not have a prime location

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @Gran, I really don’t like the current Macy’s and you’re right, they don’t keep it up.

    The Boscov’s space has more space, they wouldn’t have to have the childrens annex anymore and the parking deck could be renovated. Maybe that wing could again be populated if Macy’s moved over there. The lifestyle space along Route 36 in place of the old Macy’s would make the mall more ‘inviting’ to passersby.

    Or Monmouth Mall could attract Sears to move up to the former Boscovs…

    [Reply]

    Gran Reply:

    @mallguy,
    i like your plan but the entire Sears/K-Mart Company is not doing well
    I perfer Dillards

    [Reply]

  400. Ok….Who can help me? I am trying to remember the name of a self service discount shoe store that was in Monmouth Mall. It was there probably in the very late 70′s and early 80′s. It has been out of business now for at least 15-20 years. It was located on the Macy’s level, across the hall from the main entrance to Macy’s on the left hand side. I beleive it was only women’s shoes…but it could have carried men’s too.
    Search your memories……….

    [Reply]

  401. I don’t understand why the two levels of the mall by Lord & Taylor, JCPenny, and the former boscov’s are basically empty

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @Gran,

    Well, since Boscov’s has closed, stores don’t want to locate in that area because they think with a vacant anchor, there will be a lack of foot traffic.

    [Reply]

  402. Does anyone remember ALL of the old stores that used to be by the old boscov’s wing?
    I only remember KB Toys, Gap Kids, Ann Taylor Loft, Mrs. Fields Cookies, Kay Jewlars, Sam Goody, Kirklands, and some Mexican Resturant

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @Gran, there was a card store, Le Crepe (or whatever that french style restaurant was called before Escondido’s), Babbage’s, a women’s store, the Jewelry Exchange, the Athlete’s Foot, Payless, Lane Bryant (I still think the last two are there), American Eagle Outfitters

    [Reply]

    mike Reply:

    @Gran, Some very vintage stores from the late 70′s and early 80′s in that wing included Stuarts, Just Shirts/Just Pants, B. Dalton, Yarn Crafters, Sense Appeal Jewelers, Red Cross Shoes, Stearling Optical, California Smoothie, The Cupboard, Naturalizer Shoes, The Avenue, The Desk Set, Thom McAn Casual Corner, Friendly’s Ice Cream Perkins Tobacco, Shear Honesty Hair salon, Sports Corner, Wicks N Sticks, Aca Joe, Us General Tools, Barclay Jewelers, Benetton, Wallachs menswear, Quails, Chess King, Copper Rivet, Deb, Gordans Jewelers, Kinney Shoes, No Name, Sebastians Pub, and Bermans Leather. If I can remember any more I will add to the list. Hope this helps!!

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @mike,

    G&G, a pizza place (cant remember the name) and a restaurant (can’t remember the name either) but they had barrels as their storefront.

    Also CVS, Wilson’s, the Disney Store (before it moved by Macy’s)

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @mallguy, And let us not forget Merry-Go-Round, the place where kids those days could get the coveted Z Cavaricci pants…

    [Reply]

    Gran Reply:

    @mike,
    are u suree they had Benneton?????

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @Gran,

    In the late 80s, it could have been very possible. Woodbridge Center had it back then (upstairs center court)

    [Reply]

  403. So what IS the tenant mix like nowadays?

    A “weird mix of stores” could either mean just urban stores or off-the-wall stores that, say, sell deliberately 1980s clothing, an emporium dedicated to toilet paper, or some “NSFW” shops (if you know what I mean)

    I’m not really worried for the mall’s well being unless another anchor pulls out. For instance, once Rolling Acres lost Macy’s, I knew it was beyond hope.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @Pseudo3D,

    I do not believe that Monmouth Mall is “dead” yet. It’s at a crossroads. They haven’t been able to fill a large anchor coming on nearly 2 years, they haven’t yet filled the basement secondary anchor formerly occupied by The Wiz/Burlington Coat factory and the mall hasn’t been renovated. Also there really isn’t a “destination” store; a store that is not nearby to which customers will be willing to come to MM for. On the plus side, they just opened Barnes and Noble, one of the first Bobby’s Burger Palaces opened here, Buffalo Wild Wings made its first foray in Monmouth County here. Monmouth Mall also has some strong tennants (e.g. Abercrombie and Fitch, American Eagle, Hollister), as well as recently renovated tennants. There are still three good anchors and a strong movie theater. The mall is at an excellent location, within 1 mile of the Garden State Parkway and the 18 Freeway, and doesn’t suffer from the visiblity problem that Freehold Raceway Mall did before Nordstrom opened. The 35/36 intersection will be undergoing renovation soon, which slightly worries me as people will avoid that area (there are plenty of alternate routes to the beach)

    There is still a chance for MM to rebound, nearby affluent areas (closer to Monmouth than to Freehold) can support an upscale anchor/tennant, but with the state of the economy, the REIT needs to take a direct hand in this and give prospective tennants a reason WHY they should open at Monmouth Mall, which is why I advocate for a cosmetic renovation, lifestyle space, and a new or renovated anchor.

    [Reply]

    Pseudo3D Reply:

    Freehold Raceway Mall isn’t too far away, so why not instead of sinking a bunch of money into being a Freehold knock-off, try going for the entertainment spin. And now, I’m not just talking about a theater expansion and a Dave & Buster’s. I’m talking about other things, like ice rinks, a carousel, and every other entertainment-type fixing there is.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @Pseudo3D,

    That could work. When I had originally proposed “entertainment” higher up in the thread, the ice rink, carousel (which Freehold also has), etc, would definitely work!

    In a trip out to CA last year, I encountered the Irvine Spectrum Center. They had it all: Macy’s Nordstrom, Target, upscale stores, midrange stores, bars, a carousel and ferris wheel….and it was outdoors!

    I question how well the “all outdoors” would work in NJ, but heck yeah, I could see a carousel and even a ferris wheel…I mean they did it in Palisades.

    The big question is would Vornado sign on to this? Time to sell to Simon or Macerich!

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, I like the entertainment center idea, just as long as Vornado isn’t the one putting it together.

    I can see an ice rink, mini golf, bowling lanes & restaurant, a renovated cinema, aditional restaurants like Dave & Busters & the like.

    On the retail side of things, I would buy back the Boscov’s building & as I said up in the thred bring in a hypermarket that would atract all walks of life from miles around. Stew Lennard’s an enormous set of grocery stores in the New York area does this with great success as does Fairway Market. So why cant a hypermarket do the same?

    What would you do with Macy’s, L & t & the JC Penny stores if you turned MM into an entertainment center?

    One word of caution, there needs to be enough security to keep yuthss from rioting as they did at New Roc City a few years ago.

    [Reply]

    Pseudo3D Reply:

    No, the anchors would remain, as well as the stores. I like the idea of Irvine Spectrum…

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN, I agree…keep the anchors. Make the one level section of the mall entertainment oriented and the 2 level section “fashion oriented”

    I could see Monmouth Mall as an indoor Irvine Spectrum Center. Irvine Spectrum Center is a well designed mall and its location, at the intersection of 5/405, helps it even more.

    The one advantage Monmouth Mall has going for it is location…better than Freehold in my opinion. With the news of a renovation, I hope to see Vornado building on it.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @Pseudo3D,

    Dave and Busters is definitely needed! We don’t even have one in NJ. Would be a great tennant to fill the former Wiz/Burlington Coat Factory spot!

    [Reply]

    Gran Reply:

    @mallguy,
    Planet Fitness is going in that spot

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @Gran, That’s a good idea. Work Out World is in Menlo Park, so I see nothing wrong with health clubs opening in malls.

    [Reply]

    Gran Reply:

    @mallguy,
    no i mean it really is there is a sign on the store

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @Gran, That’s a good sign!

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, I agree. Roosevelt Field has a gym in part of the basement of Bloomingdale’s Home.

    Hay Mallguy! There’s your fantisy, a Bloomingdale’s. Well at least the home store anyway. LOL

    Good news reguardless of my snarky comment above.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN, If Bloomindales moved into that spot, Monmouth Mall would so benefit…as would Bloomindales Central Jersey/Jersey Shore clientele considering they don’t have to drive up to Short Hills or Bridgewater. A Bloomingdale’s would truly make MM a destination. However, I am a realist as in these economic conditions, I don’t see it happening.

    [Reply]

    Gran Reply:

    @mallguy,
    I hope something fills that Boscov’s Spot
    I don’t understand while the mall is so hesitent to remodel any stores like Aeropostale, Gap, JCPenney, Macy’s, or the foodcourt

    mallguy Reply:

    @Gran,

    The remodel of the mall common area that was just announced includes the food court. Let’s hope the renovation gives enough incentive for the stores to remodel. Some malls, like Bridgewater Commons, as per their lease contracts, require stores to renovate over a period of time (I want to say every 10 years)

    Macy’s needs a renovation and let’s hope it happens soon. JCPenney had an interior renovation in 2006/7, but is still ugly on the outside. Boscov’s NEEDS to be occupied. As I said, I want Bloomingdales, but it won’t happen.

    I’m willing to see where they go with this renovation. I hope it won’t be minimal, but with Vornado’s reputation, something tells me it will.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, Is there enough room for Ikea if the Boscov’s store is removed?

    Broadway Mall has one & you are a good 30-miles from Jersey gardens. Besides, don’t you want to avoid the area around Newark Airport if you can help it?

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN,

    Interesting. Don’t see it happening though, as there’s really not the room for it. There’s more room at the former Seaview Square, but with the issues that site has had, they won’t open there.

    If IKEA goes anywhere, I would have expected them to open up on Route 1 near Woodbridge/Menlo, south of Menlo in Edison. True, the Elizabeth store isn’t that far off, but I think it would be a bigger trade area than at the Jersey Shore.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, Is there a site located somewhere between the Woodbridge area & MM large enough for an Ikea? also what makes the Jersey shore wrong for that type of retailer? Perhaps greater Freehold along either 9 or 33 could be better suited.

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN, The large site of the former Ford plant (Edison Towne Square) will have a section of larger retailers and would be a good spot, but I don’t think they’ll be wanting an IKEA there. There are also some vacant areas of Raritan Center in Edison, but I don’t think they’ll rezone it for retail anytime soon. Putting an IKEA in this area will also help attract shoppers from Somerset, Southern Middlesex and Mercer Counties.

    I could see it on the Route 9 corridor and there are some open spaces as I think those from western NJ would be more willing to come than to Route 35/36. In terms of the Route 35/6 cooridor I sadly don’t see any room for it (not even enough room for a Wegmans, as I’d love to see them open in Holmdel or Middletown)

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, No room for even a Wegmans? What is this world comeing to! LOL

    No matter what, this mall & the general area needs help in the worst way. I have no confidence in Vornado in getting the job done based on the job done at Bergen TC. Bergen TC beyond Bobby’s Burger Pallace & Whole Foods is totally depressing & the Target doesn’t mesure up to the Palisades location.

    Please let Macerich do the renovations at MM because the mall you save could be your very own.

    Gran Reply:

    @mallguy,
    That’s not possible because some of the long lasting stores at bridgewater : Aeropostale, American Eagle are still OLD prototypes
    They are finally building cheesecake factory at Bridgewater

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @Gran,

    American Eagle at Bridgewater is now where the Gap used to be and is designed similar to the one in Freehold (they used to be next to Lord and Taylor where Puma is.) During the life of Bridgewater Commons, they have renovated 3 or 4 times. Aeropostale is in a new store on the top floor near Lord and Taylor (used to be on the middle level on the Macy’s wing)

    So glad they are getting a Cheesecake Factory..,.apparently, they are also getting California Pizza Kitchen.

    [Reply]

    Gran Reply:

    @mallguy,
    No i mean that the Aeropostale here does not look like the one at Willowbrook or Garden State Plaza and this prototype of American Eagle is older than the others, the American Eagle in Freehold actually renovated again. When does Cheesecake Factory open (it’s not on their website) and where is California Pizza Kitchen going(It’s not even on the mall’s website)

    mallguy Reply:

    @Gran,

    Silly me…totally forgot AEO is now upstairs by Sears in Freehold. CPK is apparently going to open near the first floor mall entrance in center court, in the former LensCrafters. I wouldn’t be surprised if they pulled out knowing the economic state we’re in.

    [Reply]

    Gran Reply:

    @mallguy,
    they used to have GAP at bridgewater????????????????????

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, Thanks. You could say that, the Gap was filled. LOL

    I am wondering how that mall is doing. Haven’t been back there in over a decade. There were a few things that stood out, such as the Triangular layout, the Bloomingdale’s was not a full line department store & the lack of non food court dining options at that time.

    Are Cheesecake Factory & CPK opening soon? I ask because I recall that CF was in the works for sometime prior to the Wall Street meltdown, then nothing was anounced for any new openings.

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, Bridgewater Commons is definitely a good example of how a mall can be kept current…are you listening Vornado?

    If Vornado was paying atention like your best students Mallguy, you think Monmouth Mall would be in the sorry state it currently finds it selfin?

    Ironic isn’t it that the most interesting Vornado retail property other than MM is Arlington’s Crystal City. It may not be the most atractive center, but it is functional. It’s almost a reflection of Vornado’s management style. You know, stick your head underground! LOL

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, To the Green Acres theme song, “Green acres is not the mall for me. Roosevelt Field is where I rather be. Monmouth Mall is getting kind of old, & that’s why we shop in Freehold.”

    “Big snore, great stores, nothing to see, so much more for me.”

    “Lets go shop, until we drop, Green Acres we don’t care.”

    Not trying to dump on Green Acres or Monmouth Mall, but as it is, there are better options out there. With some TLC & foward thinking both malls could be great. Lets hope Vornado puts a great deal of money behind this & does it right the first time.

    mallguy Reply:

    @mallguy,

    Believe it or not, I like Green Acres Mall better the old way…they had a really cool fountain in there. But yes, Roosevelt Field is the best mall on Long Island…and I hope the Shops at Oyster Bay (or whatever it’s going to be called) gets built.

    Almost anything Vorando can do can be an improvement on Monmouth Mall. And yes, they NEED to do it right the first time!

    SEAN Reply:

    @Gran, Although I haven’t been back to Bridgewater Commons in several years, I do recall seeing a Gap store there. It must have left under the first round of store closings.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN,

    Gap closed about 2003/04…3rd floor near the food court (a really retro Banana Republic used to be next door overlooking center court)

    American Eagle opened where Gap was. Forever 21 opened where Banana Republic was.

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN, Good one :)

    Bridgewater Commons is doing just fine. The mall has been trending upscale in recent years and the food court renovation is complete. Forgot to mention, Banana Republic opened in the Village at Bridgewater Commons, the adjacent lifestyle center expansion that was built nearly 5 years ago. Cheesecake Factory should be opening by the end of the summer, but not sure about CPK.

    With the openings of Cheesecake Factory and CPK, dining options will be much improved. The mall currently has McCormick’s and Schmicks and the adjacent lifestyle center has Maggiano’s and Chipotle. Also two Starbucks between the mall and the lifestyle center.

    Bridgewater Commons is definitely a good example of how a mall can be kept current…are you listening Vornado?

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN,

    Vornado also owns Green Acres Mall in Valley Stream. Having seen the renovation, I’m not overly impressed and I hope they’ll do a better job with Monmouth Mall.

    Trying to stay positive I guess. Maybe MM will release a prospective design of the finished renovation…

  404. Monmouth Mall RENOVATION

    http://www.app.com/article/20100707/BUSINESS/7070347/Monmouth-Mall-to-begin-renovation-project

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @Gran,

    This is a good start! Sounds like the renovation will make the mall lighter…unfortunately, I didn’t see anything about new skylights…would definitely help the mall to become lighter and more airy.

    Again, a very good start…now they just need to figure out what’s going on with the vacant anchor.

    [Reply]

    Gran Reply:

    @mallguy,
    some of anchors here are really old liike JCPenny and Macys

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @Gran,

    JCPenney had an interior renovation a couple of years ago and I think Sephora opened up inside. Macys could use a facelift…even the Ocean County Mall Macys was renovated.

    [Reply]

    Gran Reply:

    @mallguy,
    the JCPenny still looks really old

    [Reply]

  405. I wonder if the mall is goin to add more stores

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @Gran, It would be nice. Another one of my “fantasy scenarios for Monmouth Mall would be to extend the 2nd floor to Macy’s. Don’t see that happening any time soon though.

    [Reply]

    Gran Reply:

    @mallguy,
    That would be pretty cool

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @Gran,

    I agree. If that ever happened, no way Macy’s would move into the old Boscov’s. And that would ONLY happen if Vornado wasn’t the REIT and if Bloomingdale’s or Nordstrom (a much bigger “yeah right” than Bloomies) was planning on moving into the old Boscov’s.

    [Reply]

  406. Why are half the stores empty? I mean I haven’t really been there since 2001 or 2002 and now in 2010 I come back and everything’s closed but NOTHING has changed. I mean replace the abandoned Wilsons Leather i mean didn’t they close back in 02? It’s an eyesore. The friendly’s is now a salon; they didn’t even try to fix the exterior of it. And the Sterns, don’t EVEN GET ME STARTED. The mall DEAD ENDS at Modell’s. I mean it has the likeness of Manalapan Mall back in the Nineties. Some other notable stores are……. A Toys R US EXPRESS like they Demoed the T.R.U across 35 so they moved it into the mall. Are they THAT desperate? AND A MALL STOOPS TO ITS LOWEST LEVEL WEN U SEE……. GASP …..a STAPLES BACK TO SCHOOL SUPPLY STORE. I felt very lonely there. Friday night and the Mall is EMPTY.

    Have you ever stopped to think HOW Modell’s got SO MUCH STORE SPACE? I wondered how many stores had to close besides how long the first store to close remained vacant. there was nobody there….just a creepy Modells mural at the end of an empty hallway.

    Happy to see Macy’s Kids still around. I got clothes there back in the day.

    Otherwise is it a good idea for Monmouth Mall to copy Freehold Raceway mall? Yes and no. Yes because it will bring more people in and no because it will not give the mall its’ own unique character.

    RIP Sweet Factory, Pennsylvania Pretzel, and Haagen Dazs.

    A WARM HELLO to Cinnabon (we need one in Monmouth County) Johnny Rockets, and Cold Stone Creamery (I.L.U.)

    Braddocks (one of the last original stores) is gone theres a Jos. A bank though.

    Stepping into the food court brought me back, it’s virtually unchanged, those faces still staring down onto me.

    The movies are there and so is Old Navy.

    A Planet Fitness is coming soon.

    Scaffolding is in the Macy’s Wing, and the ceiling tiles are removed. Welcome change, Monmouth Center!

    [Reply]

    Gran Reply:

    @mallie,
    Next summer the food court is Supposed to look COMPLETELY DIFFERENT

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @Gran, Do they have architectural drawing of what it’s supposed to look like?

    [Reply]

    Gran Reply:

    @mallguy,
    yeah

    [Reply]

  407. FYI there are pictures of the future of the mall in the mall now

    [Reply]

    AceJay Reply:

    Someone take some pics or get the name of the architect group doing this! :D

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @AceJay, beware of homeland security. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @Gran, I’ll have to check this out next time I get over there. Do describe

    [Reply]

  408. I heard some rumor that Century 21 or Nordstrom is suppose to come to this mall

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @Gran,
    Don’t you meen the Rack? I would give better ods on the Detroit Lions winning the Super Bowl then Nordstrom opening a full line department store at Monmouth Mall.

    [Reply]

    Gran Reply:

    @SEAN,
    is Rack coming to Seaview???

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @Gran,

    According to Nordstrom’s website, the only one announced is coming to Cherry Hill in the Plaza at Garden State Park (Route 70 and Haddonfield Rd area)

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @Gran, Better chance of Bloomingdale’s coming to Monmouth Mall than Nordstrom (and I wouldn’t ber on either)…although I’d love to see one of them come one board.

    [Reply]

  409. This mall needs more stores like: Urban Outfitters, XXI Forever,Garage, Michael Kors, Banana Republic, Crate and Barrel, Container Store, Cheesecake Factory, 77 Kids by American Eagle, Quicksilver, Louis Vuitton, and More modern ones

    Stores need to be fillled

    [Reply]

    Gran Reply:

    @Gran,
    i know aome are in Grove or Red Bank but they should come to Monmouth

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @Gran,

    The only way Monmouth Mall would get those stores is if they can attract an upscale anchor, which returns us to my earlier argument of why Bloomingdale’s should open in the old Boscovs.

    [Reply]

    Gary Reply:

    @mallguy, Monmouth has always been a moderately-priced mall with a few upscale stores thrown in. Likewise, Bloomingdales and Nordstrom are very selective when it comes to locating new stores, therefore I don’t see either likely to open within the Monmouth Mall, although the tenant mix could be improved with some of the stores that Gran mentioned, although I wouldn’t count on seeing stores such as Louis Vuitton or Michael Kors, those shops are just too upscale for Monmouth’s tastes. I could still see stores such as XXI Forever open up, however.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @Gary, I agree with that. Lets take a quick look at Bergen TC. Outside of Whole Foods Market Is there a single destination store beyond Target or Bobby’s Burger Pallace? Plus haven’t you sene the vacancy rate there? It is a bit higher than it should be. Especially when you figger in an ageing center that had money throne at it to keep it from dieing.

    Oh wait a minute! We’re talking about Vornado here, the el cheapo mall operator. Never mind. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    [Reply]

  410. I happened to stop by Monmouth Mall for a few minutes today. Construction as commenced and it is currently focused between the main mall entrance of Macy’s and the 2 level split. All ceiling tiles have been stripped, all trees uprooted (throughout the mall, actually…except the one in front of Macys) and some of the flooring has been stripped. Sadly, I did not see any “coming soon” pics. If I missed it, someone please let me know where they are and also describe if you’ve seen them. Except for Barnes and Noble, the mall was very quiet and the only store I noticed many vacancies.

    I’m going to be optimistic and hope this renovation helps save Monmouth Mall. I’ll be looking forward to seeing the finished product.

    [Reply]

    Gran Reply:

    @mallguy,
    U didn’t miss any coming soon signs, they’re gettin rid of the broadwalk theme

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @Gran, Thank Goodness! That is one tired looking food court. But isn’t that in phase 2?

    I’m really curious to see what this renovation will look like when complete…

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @mallguy, I’ll give renovation updates from time to time

    [Reply]

  411. My feeling is they shuld tear down that eyesore of a parking garage, and the old Boscov’s building. That building is too big to be easily leased. They can make that whole section a lifestyle area with smaller shops, a few resturants and bring people to the back half of the mall. I’ve spent most of my 51 years in that mall (and before it was a mall) and have seen a lot fo changes, like mallguy. It is time for a change.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @USLifeguy, Monmouth Mall definitely needs a lifestyle cetner, but I think it would work better on the Route 36 side of the mall as it has excellent visibility and can draw people in. My alternative to my original suggestion for the Boscov’s anchor would be to move Macy’s in there…bigger and better building. Once that’s done, tear down the current Macy’s building and convert it to lifestyle space. Also renovate the theater and add more restaurants and bars. That will definitely draw people in!

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, I’ll second that. It will be much easier to reconfigure the food court wing into a lifestyle center since it is only a single level with a fare percentage of non-load bearing walls. this makes doing a complete gut job a much simpler process.

    AMC has plenty of cash on hand based on the recent purchase of Keresotes a Chicago, based theatre circuit. Some of that cash came from Regal believe it or not, along with three theatres.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN,

    Appparently AMC is attempting the fork and screen concept in New Jersey, but not yet at Monmouth Mall. Two out of the three where they are testing the concept are pretty good choices. Maybe this will come to MM if it works.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, Thanks for the link.

    I just happend to visit the AMC web site yesterday to look at the most recent press releases & found out about the Essex Green conversion to fork & screen.

    The Essex Green is the only one of the three to currently have stadium seating. I guess Bridgewater & Menlo Park will get stadium seating & larger screens as part of the remoddling process.

    I don’t think Monmouth is high on the list for F & S conversions, however I would put GSP, Freehold, Rockaway, New Brunswick & the Empire 25 in Manhattan high on that list.

    As a footnote: Menlo Park will have the most screens deticated to Fork & Screen at a single location. AMC’s largest Fork & Screen location to date is inside there Studio 30 flagship near Kansas City.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN,

    Having been to the Essex Green theatre a few years ago, I totally forgot they’re stadium seating. I now take back my 2 out of 3 isn’t bad statement from earlier, as they’re all good choices. Menlo Park’s movie theatre NEEDS a renovation big time, so I’m glad it will get it. And interesting thing about the Bridgewater Movie theatre…it nearly closed in 2005 as Rouse (then) was trying to get Bloomingdale’s to open a Bloomingdale’s home store there. That fell through and the movie theatre survived.

    If it is expanded, I agree with all the other places you mentioned, having seen movies at all of them, but the one in NYC. I would also add AMC Hamilton 24 (just south of Quakerbridge) to the list.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @mallguy, And if the renovation is successful at creating a Monmouth Mall renaissance, then add AMC Monmouth Mall to the list.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, I would put Hammilton over Monmouth at this point, but the theatres profile can be raised if the mall renovation is successful.

    As another footnote, AMC has been in a Buying frenzy in the past few years. I wouldn’t be shocked if they buy out the remaining National Amusements & Muvico theatres. Both circuits are broken toys & ripe for a takeover.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN,

    Same here. They already sold Hazlet, to my knowledge, and I’m pretty sure Muvico isn’t in NJ. Regal is the other big one and they’re doing fine here in NJ; or at least they seem to be. The Marlboro theatre was recenlty closed and will be demolished in favor of a Costco…I remember when they built it and I’m kind of sad to see it go.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, I also remember when that Regal 8-plex opened. I think it was around 1998 or so. It was one of the first Regal theatres to open in the NY area. Did you say Cosco was going to replace it? Bummer!

    You are correct regarding the Hazlet theatre, Rave Motion Pictures opperates it now. I wonder if Rave is going to put some money into renovations & bring it up to the same standerds as there own built theatres.

    Some of the NAI theatres that were aquired are good assets with stadium seating including locations with “Director’s Halls.” Afew are like Hazlet that are not too old, but lack stadium seating. However there are quite a few locations that should be dropped entirely do to age & lack of current techknology.

    I realized in my last post I forgot to add both AMC’s Tysons Corner & metro Miami’s Aventura Mall to my Fork & Screen list above. Both properties reach a far wealthyer demographic than your average mall & movie theatre combo.

    Tysons speeks for it self, but take a look at Aventura mall & tell me if you think if they are on par with one another. Aventura is the only mall to have both Cheesecake Factory & Grand Lux Cafe under the same roof.

    [Reply]

    Joey Reply:

    @SEAN, i really wish they would demolish the Cineplex Odeon at Newport Centre and build a new AMC with Fork & Screen that visually looks like the GSP location. Newport’s theater is old and needs to be revamped. Newport does not have any type of restaurant. California Pizza Kitchen and The Cheesecake Factory would really work at Newport. There will be more shoppers due to people wanting to go to TCF.

    SEAN Reply:

    @Joey, Hey! Haven’t herd from you in what semes like forever.

    I agree with you on all points. As I posted with you & Mallguy in the FRM thred, the wealth in that area of Jersey City is not reflected in Newport’s store lineup. Although Newport Centre has been adding Coach & other stores at that price point as of late.

    The theatre complexes at Menlo Park & Newport are of similar construction & were built about six years apart. If the current configuration of Newport’s theatre doesn’t lend it self to Fork & Screen do to the smallish auditoriums, then there are three solutions. 1. You can either cut the number of screens making each auditorium larger for such elements as stadium seating. 2. Build a new theatre on or near Washington Boulevard. 3. Build a new food court & expand the theatre into the existing food court space along with raising of the roof to accomidate auditoriums with screens that are both taller & wider & allow for stadium seating.

    Also don’t forget there needs to be enough room for back end opperations like food prep.

    Sorry to ramble, just wanted to cover all bases.

    mallguy Reply:

    @Joey,

    I agree with you on Newport Centre and its lack of dining options. Remember, when the mall was built in the late 1980s, there was nothing in in that area but abandoned factories, so they built from the outside-in, like Stamford Town Center. The Pavonia/Newport neighborhood came a few years later and driving through there today, you see more people walking the streets, more dining options and more storefronts on street level, but not in the mall. They should think “Providence Place,” where there is street level dining, and do something of that nature.

    I do think the economy has played into Newport Centre and there is much potential there to take the mall on more of an upscale trend, considering its closeness to Hoboken and accessiblity to Manhattan via PATH.

    It is kind of sad to see malls in NJ, like Monmouth and Newport Centre specifically, that aren’t meeting their potential.

    SEAN Reply:

    @Joey, Did a little research since my last post. There is precedent to turn the Newport Center AMC into a Fork & Screen theatre. All current & future locations are in wealthyer areas or are in theatres that are being rehabilatated.

    The Studio 30 outside KC is an example of the former, while the theatres in NJ plus Atlanta’s Buckhead & KC’s historic Main Street theatre fall into the latter group.

    I’m not sure where the Monmouth Mall theatre fits in the grand scheme of things, making it difficult to put it high on the F & S priority list as I stated before. Now a total top to bottom mall renovation MAY change that perspective. All we can do is wait & see how things play out.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, What’s old is new again. We discussed the redevelopment of Newport Centre at length on the FRM page well before Fork & Screen was created. After a few years, the same issues are still there but more pressing.

    As the newport area continues to play a criticle roll in Jersey City & it’s waterfront, the mall must stay current at all levels.

    Despite the ecconomic & housing crises that continue unabated, transit rich areas like the Newport area will remain in high demand as housing trends move away from suburban sprawl & move toward more compacked walkable neighborhoods.

    I saw an article today from I think it was YahHoo News stating the era of the “mcmantion” is over. If true that is great. Now does that excel the trend I mentioned above? Maybe not, but it is a move in the right direction

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, here’s the article I sited above.

    Death of the ‘McMansion’: Era of Huge Homes Is Over.
    Thursday August 19, 2010, 2:15 pm EDT
    They’ve been called McMansions, Starter Castles, Garage Mahals and Faux Chateaus but here’s the latest thing you can call them – History.

    In the past few years, there have been an increasing number of references made to the “McMansion glut” and the “McMansion backlash,” as more towns pass ordinances against garishly large homes, which are generally over 3,000 square feet and built very close together.

    What sets a McMansion apart from a regular mansion, according to Wikipedia, are a few characteristics: They’re tacky, they lack a definitive style and they have a “displeasingly jumbled appearance.”

    Well, count 2010 as the year the last nail was hammered into the McCoffin: In its latest report on home-buying trends, real-estate site Trulia declares: “The McMansion Era Is Over.”

    Just 9 percent of the people surveyed by Trulia said their ideal home size was over 3,200 square feet. Meanwhile, more than one-third said their ideal size was under 2,000 feet.

    “That’s something that would’ve been unbelievable just a few years back,” said Pete Flint, CEO and co-founder of Trulia. “Americans are moving away from McMansions.”

    The comments echoed those made in June by Kermit Baker, the chief economist at the American Institute of Architects.

    “We continue to move away from the McMansion chapter of residential design, with more demand for practicality throughout the home,” Baker said. “There has been a drop off in the popularity of upscale property enhancements such as formal landscaping, decorative water features, tennis courts, and gazebos.”

    “McMansions just look and feel out of place today, given the more cautious environment everyone’s living in,” said Paul Bishop, vice president of research for the National Association of Realtors.

    And homebuilders are heeding the call: In a survey of builders last year, nine out of 10 said they planned to build smaller or lower-priced homes.

    Even in Texas, the land of go big or go home, they’re downsizing.

    Diane Cheatham, owner of Urban Edge Developers in Dallas, said today, the average size of home they’re building is 2,200 square feet, down from 2,500 in 2005 – which was considered small for Dallas back then.

    She said the trend there is more toward building green homes instead of big homes. Right now, they’re building a 1,200-square-foot uber-green home for a couple that’s downsizing from 3,000-square feet, Cheatham explained.

    1,200? Some of the hair in Texas is bigger than that!

    “We’ve never built one that small,” Cheatham confessed, but added: “I think that’s just a good example of the trend right now.”

    For a little historical context, 1,200 square feet was the average home size in America in the 1960s. That grew to 1,710 square feet in the 1980s and 2,330 square feet in the 2000s.

    What’s more, many in the real-estate business say they think this trend of downsizing, or “right-sizing,” as Flint likes to call it, is here to stay.

    “This is absolutely a long-term effect,” he said. “Think of families with small children who’ve been foreclosed upon … When these teenagers are in a position to buy a home, they won’t want to go through these experiences they saw their parents go through.”

    Of course, the question becomes, what do we do with all these McMansions that have already been built?

    It’s tempting to make jokes about what you might do with a former McMansion but with crime on the rise in neighborhoods littered with abandoned McMansions, Christopher Leinberger, in an article for the Atlantic, asked a sobering question: Is this the next slum?

    Luckily, people are starting to get creative: A film collective in Seattle has taken over a 10,000-square foot McMansion there, using it for both living and work space. They turned a wine closet into an editing room and tossed a green screen in the garage. And in a suburb of San Diego, one couple turned a former McMansion into a home for autistic adults.

    The demise of the McMansion has stirred a growing chorus of murmurs in the real-estate community about the possibility that it may force a dramatic redesign of the suburban McMansion tracts into mini-towns of their own, turning these icons of excess into more practical spaces like offices, banks, grocery stores and movie theaters.

    Though, given some of the poor quality of materials and craftsmanship, it begs the question, would it be better to just tear them all down and start from scratch?

    Have some thoughts on what to do with former McMansions? Drop a comment in the box below. Or, email ponyblog@cnbc.com.

    More from the Pony Blog at ponyblog

  412. At last, we now have an after image of part of the Monmouth Mall renovation on the website.

    After looking at the before/after, I’m hopeful this renovation will help the mall’s position. I see many similarties to Freehold Racway Mall’s renovation in terms of the brighter colors (looks to be more white, as opposed to FRM’s off white), soft seating areas and lighting. Can’t tell by that pic if they’re going to do marble flooring or otherwise. Overall, the architectural drawing looks as if they’re going for a “chic” look. In the areas where there are no skylights, they have either install new skylights or add some kind of lighting effect so as to not make it seem drab. That funky chandelier thing we see might do the trick. I hope the actual renovation come close to what we see in the pic.

    Look forward to seeing more renderings.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, Hmmm, interesting. Is the after rendering representing the same location as the before photo? I’m not sure if they are or not.

    BTW, yes AMC could bring in Fork & Screen if the mall is anything close to that rendering. Keepem comeing Mallguy.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN,

    More or less, yes. The before shot is a closer view of Macy’s, after the big skylight ends and the after is a pullout; about midway between Macy’s and the beginning of the 2 level section.

    It won’t only be aesthetics that will prove the renovation successful as they can do something with the former A&S/Sterns/Boscov’s. Maybe the renovation can provide further incentive to attract something in there. I’m really interested in seeing more Monmouth Mall renderings and I will keep a lookout.

    Would be nice for them to try Fork and Screen in the Loews there.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, Would be nice for them to try Fork and Screen in the Loews there. That is if the mall can atract better retailers & restaurants. A complete top to bottom remoddle including new elevators, escalators & macanical systems might do the trick.

    As for restaurants a D & B’s as you said over & over on this page would be a good fit & I agree. What other eateries would you like to see open there. Here is a short list I came up with…
    1. Champs Americana
    2. P F Changs?
    3. Stir Crazy
    4. Anthany’s Cold Fired Pizza if successful in Ramsey & Edison first\
    5. Mitchell’s or Legal
    6. Dave & Busters
    7. Ramano’s Macaroni Grill
    8. Buffalo Wild Wings
    9. Starbucks just kidding
    10. CPK?

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN,

    Buffalo Wild Wings just opened in the former Braddock’s, near the food court. I would definitely like to see the locations you mentioned and yes, even Starbucks (which technically, is already served in the Barnes and Noble Cafe). Of that list, I would most love to see Champp’s, Legal Sea Foods, Dave and Busters and CPK. Doubt Macaroni Grill will open considering an Olive Garden is on the Route 35 entrance road of Monmouth Mall, as well as the fact the recently closed their Holmdel location, 10 miles north (which I found really surprising) I will have to try Anthony’s when it opens in NJ.

    After stopping by the mall today on the way to the beach, I observed more progress in the renovation. The steel skeleton structure of the new ceiling has been built in the center court area between Macys and the 2 level split. I am seeing in that skeleton, the formation of what was shown in the “after” pic, as well as the electrical connections they are going to connect to the modern looking chandelier and circular lights (which look similar to Freehold’s, in the after pic). They have also stripped the lighting and much of the flooring. That lone tree has also been. They now have construction lighting. This part of the mall was busy, the rest, especially the area between JCPenney and the vacant Boscov’s anchor seemed eerily quiet.

    I wish they were adding skylights in the small one level wing between Macys and Barnes and Noble.

    In the area of Monmouth Mall, NJDOT is also in the midst of renovating the 35/36 intersection. They are adding a cloverleaf ramp for a missing movement (36E to 35N) and are getting rid of a cloverleaf ramp from 35S-36E in favor of a 2 lane left turn signal. They are also continuing a suddenly dropped left lane of 36E after 35, to the 71 intersection’s left turn signal, 2 lights away. Hopefully, this renovation will be enough and be of assistance to Monmouth Mall as this portion of Route 36 is the most heavily traveled of that highway and this is a key intersection in the area. West of MM is GS Parkway Exit 105 and a major intersection with Route 18. East of MM on 36 are the Long Branch beaches, Monmouth Park (horse track) and Monmouth University. If I were running things, I would have pushed for a grade separated interchange both here and on 36/Wyckoff Road, as well as into Monmouth Mall from 35N.

    [Reply]

  413. Hey guys. Anybody have any more memories about A&S or Sterns? I went there once when it was Sterns and never got back. I kinda liked that store design a lot. The store would be perfect for a new Macys, better than using it for a Wal-Mart or demolishing it completely. They could probably put furniture and a restaurant in that store, like old times. One last thing, where were the elevators located in the A&S, Sterns, and Boscovs building? Near Wyckoff Road, the parking deck, or the second level entrance?

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @Michael S, The elevator is right next to the parking deck entrance. There used to be a restaurant on the 3rd floor a very long time ago. I always liked the design of the Monmouth Mall A&S and it was built quite similar to the one in Short Hills. The escalator bank was more of an atrium style (you could see down to the first floor from the 3rd floor). My biggest complaint about the store is that the design of the floors were “compartmentalized” and the floors were not open like in a Nordstrom. Even though, this A&S has the best setup and organization, much better than the one in Woodbridge! Furniture was on the 3rd floor as well. I very much miss A&S and thought the one in Manhattan was the nicest, but really liked the one in Paramus Park after they renovated it to open it up and turn the escalator bank into a wide open atrium (still there today as Macy’s).

    As I had stated many times, this former location would be PERFECT for Bloomingdale’s to move in, but I do not think they are confident in the performance of Monmouth Mall, even though the renovation plans seem to suppot a Bloomingdales. And in the area of Monmouth Mall, there are communities and areas of wealth that can readily support a Bloomingdale’s. If not a Bloomingdale’s, I would also support Macy’s moving into this building and convert the old Macy’s into lifestyle space.

    I’m very interested in seeing how phase one of the renovation will look when it’s done! Hoping for better times for Monmouth Mall!

    [Reply]

    Michael S Reply:

    @mallguy, Perhaps Macys should move into that space and add furniture and a restaurant to the store. The current monmouth mall store is very outdated. Then, we can knock down the old store and wing and add Bloomies.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @Michael S, Believe it or not, I have no problem with the structure and setup of Macys at Monmouth Mall. I do believe, however, that it is in need of an interior renovation, similar to what was done at Macy’s in Menlo Park, Brunswick Square and Rockaway Townsquare.

    I think Bloomingdale’s would work much better in the former A&S/Sterns/Boscovs. Set the store up like Bloomingdales (eg white marble, more open spaces, etc), rebuild (and maybe expand) the parking deck and it should be fine.

    [Reply]

    Michael S Reply:

    @mallguy, P.S. Love to hear more about A&S Monmouth Mall

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @Michael S,

    The A&S in Monmouth Mall also used to have a restaurant on the 3rd floor. They also had an electronics deptartment on the 3rd floor where they had Nintendo and SNES out so the kids can take some time out to play while their parents shop.

    As I said above, the store itself was not “wide open” and compartmentalized. The store had a rather “wooden” decor, except on the escalator bank, which had some sort of white what looked like marble and1st floor, where they pulled up the wooden floors and put down marble flooring. I really, really miss this store.

    The best A&S in NJ was in Paramus, but the Mahattan flagship (the former Gimbel’s) was beautiful!

    [Reply]

    Michael S Reply:

    @mallguy, Maybe we can look at the Paramus macys and build a new monmouth mall store in the A&S based on that.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @Michael S, Also A&S used to be at The Mall at Short Hills. Except for the shape of the store, this A&S was a near twin to the Monmouth Mall A&S. Since 1995, Macys has been at the Short Hills location and they have renovated the space (which slightly reminds me of the Macy’s in Freehold Raceway Mall. If Macy’s in Monmouth Mall were to ever move into that space, I see the Paramus Park Macy’s as well as the Short Hills Macy’s, as models of what it may look like. On the Paramus Park Macy’s, it’s one of the only 2 in the state that have a furniture department in store (Rockaway being the other)

    If Macy’s stays in the same location, which I think it will, regardless of whether or not my dream of Bloomindale’s opening in the old A&S occurs, it NEEDS to be renovated. Menlo Park’s Macy’s is set up almost the same way and I’d hope they’d rehab it enough to look like the Menlo Park location.

    [Reply]

    Michael S Reply:

    @mallguy, Ditto, have been to A&S Short Hills once or twice. Also need to know if any Macy’s stores in NJ had a “Marketplace” and restaurants and if its possible to bring it back, not to all the stores, but maybe to the ones that have been and always shall be a Macys. No stores that have been converted after 2001. Also, hear rumors of Macys expanding in Bridgewater Commons and adding furniture. Would be nice. Wondering if Macy’s in the late 70s, 1980s, and early 90s was like? Was it different from what we have in stores now? Maybe we can bring that feeling back gradually.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @Michael S, I remember the “Marketplace” really, really well! (They had great cannoli!!!) It was phased out in the 90s. The following Macy’s I remember with Marketplaces: Menlo Park, Willowbrook, Garden State Plaza, Rockaway and Cherry Hill. The following Macy’s I remember with restaurants: Menlo (3rd floor), Brunswick Square (2nd floor), Livingston (3rd floor), Monmouth (3rd floor), Quakerbridge (1st floor), Rockaway (1st floor…and still there!) I also remember A&S in Woodbridge and Monmouth had restaurants (both on the 3rd floor), as well as Stern’s in Woodbridge, Willowbrook and Bergen Mall. Only until recently, Nordstrom had 2 full service restaurants in addition to the cafe and e-bar: The Pub and The Garden Court. Nordstrom in Menlo had both as did GS Plaza and Short Hills had Garden Court. Also remember Nordstrom in King of Prussia, Pentagon City and Tysons Corner having both. The older Nordstrom locations have all been renovated, albeit subtle (except Menlo, which closed off the 3rd floor and consolidated their selling space on the 1st two floors)
    If you’ve ever been to the Livingston Mall Macy’s, look at the flooring and that’s what Menlo Park’s Macy’s used to look like. And that was their 2nd renovation. When Macy’s in Menlo renovated the 3rd time in the early 2000s, they opened up the main floor as it used to be compartmentalized. With a few of the Macy’s (Rockaway, Brunswick Square, Ocean County Mall) they were recently renovated for the 1st time in their existence and in some Macy’s, you can see remnants of how they looked as the non-mall floors haven’t been touched, namely Monmouth, Brunswick and Menlo.
    I did hear about the possible expansion of the Bridgewater Macy’s. Interesting note, the Bridgewater Macy’s is a carbon copy of the Macy’s in Hamilton Mall (near Atlantic City)

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, Macy’s in Stamford TC had a restaurant & food area like the Manhattan flagship through the 1980s. White Plains never had that feature in either store.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN, I was always saddened to see the Marketplace leave the NJ Macys.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, Me too. I always enjoyed getting one of there interesting sandwiches.

    The best food I ever had in a department store was a bread salad that was served at Nordstrom’s garden court. MMM there was nothing like it.

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN, I was so young when the majority of deptment store restaurants closed (sans Nordstrom), but as I mentioned earlier, the cannoli at Macy’s Marketplace were excellent and authentic. Oh, how I miss The Pub at Nordstrom (been to the ones formerly in Menlo and Garden State Plaza. Nice atmosphere and great burgers!

    Speaking of Nordstrom, in the late 90s, the top 3 highest grossing Nordstrom in the northeast region were the following: 1) Garden State Plaza; 2) The Westchester; 3) Menlo Park

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, I figgured the Nordstrom stores GSP & The Westchester were at the top of the sales ranks , but Menlo Park? If I were a betting man I would have said Roosevelt Field instead. Just goes to show sometimes that size of the store & it’s market doesn’t produce sales numbers you might expect. I’ll bet it’s #4 or 5 right behind MP.

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN, If I remember correctly, Roosevelt Field was 4; 5 might have been Short Hills…truthfully, I don’t remember. I’ve been to that Roosevelt Field Nordstrom…very nice and I like how they have a “1/2 floor,” where the mens clothing department is. I still think Paramus is 1, but Menlo Park is likely not in the top 3 anymore.

    Back in the day, King of Prussia was considered part of the “Capital Region.”

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, If anyone knows the answer to this it’s you.

    If Nordstrom wasn’t already in Freehold, it could have been just the spark to return MM to “glory days.” A little Springstein, LOL.

    I know I’m repeating myself, but if Macy’s were to move to the former Boscov’s the whole middle level could be a restaurant row/ entertainment area with regular inline retailers clustered in the 2-level section.

    What about installing security doors that could be closed (not locked)after triditional mall hours for crowd control.

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN, I think Nordstrom locating to Freehold has little effect on Monmouth Mall’s problems. Nordstrom opened in 1992, when A&S was still at Monmouth Mall, allowing the mall to be somewhat of a destination. Once Boscov’s announced their closing was when I observed Monmouth Mall to start to have visible problems. I fully blame MM’s problems on Vornado. They should have renovated a long time ago…when Stern’s closed in 2001 (Boscov’s did not open until the following year and that anchor was vacant for a year). This situation could have been avoidable. Considering MM’s location close to many highways, I believe it’s at a better location than Freehold is.

    You know my true hope is for Bloomingdale’s to open in that spot, but with the economic conditions we’re in, I don’t see it happening, even though Bloomingdale’s would revive that mall and make it a true destination. I could support Macy’s moving over there and converting the Macys and 1 level area to restaurant row/entertainment. Most of the restaurants are over there already and that area could do a good job of “drawing in” shoppers from Route 36.

    [Reply]

    Michael S Reply:

    @mallguy, True. The Marketplace can return!! It will return! And I’m surprised Nordstrom in Menlo Park closed off their 3rd floor. Any restaurants up there? Or was it just a cafe on 2 and a pub on 1.

    [Reply]

    Michael S Reply:

    @Michael S, Will reintroduce Marketplace at previous mentioned locations, plus Bridgewater and Monmouth Mall. Then expand to rest of jersey stores, excluding conversions from Strawbridges. I remember Stern’s restaurant on the 3rd floor at Willowbrook when I was young and I ate at the one in Bergen Mall one time. Remembered a Marketplace Cafe on the gf at Livingston. Like the wood paneling they have there. Shame that might go away when they begin to rennovate it, though wont be for sometime since they just rennovated the exterior of Short Hills and added that damned red star!!!!!!!

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @Michael S, Oh, another interesting note about the restaurant in the Woodbridge A&S. The restaurant was on the 3rd floor and it overlooked the mall, having an open viewing into the mall. When the restaurant closed, it was simply walled off and looked out of place for the longest time until A&S was renovated in 1990-91.

    I would love to see the Marketplace at Macy’s come back, and yes, I don’t like the new exterior to the Short Hills Macys…at least the mall and the parking deck block 2/3 of it!

    mallguy Reply:

    @Michael S, I’m not a fan of the red star either….glad it’s not in the mall. Just hope they don’t do that in more of the NJ locations. I’d love to see The Marketplace again, but in these economic conditions, it’s highly doubtful.

    Michael S Reply:

    @Michael S, Can you please tell me more about The Marketplace at Macy’s? What was it like? And I remember the Macy’s in Livingston Mall had a cafe on the first floor. And the housewares department there has a similar look to the one in Menlo Park. I like that look.

    mallguy Reply:

    @Michael S, Nordstrom in Menlo Park had the Cafe on 3 (with outdoor seating), Garden Court on 2 and The Pub and E-Bar on 1. They also had a concierge desk. Since the renovation, The Pub has been merged into store space, the Garden Court is now the face. The ebar on 1 is still there. With the 3rd floor, the customer service area was moved near the elevator and the rest of the selling floor is walled off, except for the path leading to the escalator bank.

    [Reply]

    Michael S Reply:

    @mallguy, We should start a forum about on this site about The Marketplace at macys. Now with its culinary council, perhaps guys like todd english (Who developed a food hall at the plaza, can help out). Would we go for something like that if we were to relaunch the marketplace, or something more like Cucina & Co. in Macys 34th St? Its not the new facade at short hills that bothers me, its more of the red star logo. Other than that, its tolerable.

    Michael S Reply:

    @mallguy, Where was The Pub located on the first floor? Near the elevators? Near the parsonage road entrance? Where was it exactly? And was there a Pub and Garden Court at the Nordstorm in Montgomery Mall, Pentagon City, Tysons Corner, The Westchester, and Towson Town Center? I know there was a pub at King of Prussia and Roosevelt Field.

    mallguy Reply:

    @mallguy, The Nordstrom Pub at Menlo Park was located between the Mens Furnishings and Mens Suits on the 1st Floor (if you walk in from the mall, go straight back) There was a Pub at Garden State Plaza, but not Freehold or Short Hills. I would think Westchester had one, but the others, I’m not too sure.

    Michael S Reply:

    @mallguy, In a straight line from the mall entrance? Like that. Short Hills had a Garden Court on 3. We should start a forum to talk about Nordstrom Restaurants.

    mallguy Reply:

    @Michael S, Ate at the Menlo Park Nordstrom Pub many times…one of the best burgers around! Yes, Short Hills had the Garden Court and Cafe right next to each other. The Cafe is still there and last time I went on the 3rd floor, I think the Garden Court restaurant went by another name…I’ll check next time I go.

    Michael S Reply:

    @mallguy, Google Maps now show the ground floor plans of department stores in some mall and Nordstrom is one of them. Here’s the link to Nordstrom at Menlo Park: https://maps.google.com/maps?client=safari&oe=UTF-8&ie=UTF-8&q=nordstrom,+menlo+park&fb=1&gl=us&hq=nordstrom,&hnear=0x89c3d37f68bea199:0xf22bc5a66f83d4ea,Edison,+NJ&cid=0,0,7823598032253241172&ei=f7C-UKPLMPCw0QGpnoGQBg&ved=0CI4BEPwSMAA

    Just switch to regular view, center over Nordstrom, and zoom to the max level. You’ll have an actual floorplan of the first floor of menlo park Nordstrom. Now, was The Pub located where The Rail is now, or was it located right next to the restrooms? And what used to be on the third floor and why was it closed off? It should be reopened.

    Michael S Reply:

    @mallguy, Would the former A&S, now Macy’s at White Plains Galleria be a good example of what Monmouth Mall looked liked? And did Boscov’s Monmouth Mall keep the decor that was there before it moved in?

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @Michael S, I’ve never been, so I couldn’t tell you.

    If you’ve ever been to the A&S in the Mall at Short Hills, it was very similar to the one in Monmouth Mall. The one in Paramus Park used to be really dingy until it was renovated and the open escalator bank was rebuilt. The Woodbridge A&S was always a little digny, and even though the renovation helped, there was little logic to the placement of the departments. The A&S in Manhattan and Roosevelt Field were rather striking.

    Boscov’s kept much of the deisgn of Stern’s (which only changed the tile on the first floor), only adding chandeliers (not the garish, gaudy ones they’re known for). In Short Hills, the Macy’s that took over A&S looks like a Macy’s (resembles the one in Freehold) and has since they opened.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy & Michael S, I dont think so. The A & S/ Macy’s at the Galleria opened in 1980ish & had a style that you don’t see in department stores now. This store is a flagship with 328599 square feet with a double racetrack layout i,e inner & outer loops with open escalators in the middle . You will also find parquette floors throughout that mostly have not been updated as well asdark lighting & paint colors making some department areas clostriphobic.

    This store along withh the mall are built on a hill with the Martine Avenue entrence on the middle level & the Main Street access on the lower level. To access the mall from Main Street, you either go up 1 level in Macy’s or walk 1 block west by crossing M L King Boulevard.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN, That does sound like the A&S in Monmouth Mall. That was a very confining design and you wouldn’t expect to have open escalators in a store designed in that manner. The design of Short Hills was similar, but the shape different, as the Short Hills store is slighly oval/kindey shaped due to its location on the property.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, That A & S/ Macy’s in Short Hills as you know is in a location where the mall bends & contours to the middle part of the slope of the property. Even Menlo Park’s sloaping design is nothing like that of Short Hills.

    Menlo Parks’s drop is gental as you walk from Macy’s to Nordstrom, while Short Hills is rather jagged from Nordstrom to Bloomingdale’s. I have first hand knowledge on just how jagged the walk can be. On one visit the sun reflected off the handrails at such an angle it blinded me causing me to fall down the stairs near Macy’s. Nothing happend thankfully.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN, That is true, hence the awkward shape of Macy’s/A&S. At Short Hills, they are currently rebuilding the ramp area on the upper and lower levels in the expanded area of the mall. And sadly, they have taken out the fountain by Saks.

    Garden State Plaza is also on a slope, between the old section and the 1996 section, as is Rockaway Townsquare.

    Glad you weren’t injured.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, Thanks!

    The difference in elevation at GSP between the old & new sections cant be more than 5 or 6 feet, just look at the escalator that goes into J C Penny’s lower level in the older section, did you ever see one that short?

    I’m guessing that Menlo Park’s elevation change is about 10 feet & Short Hills is closer to 25 feet.

    As for MM & Cherry Hill, you rarely see a mall with a split configuration like that. Are they also on hilly land parcels?

    I do find it interesting how these malls conform to the contours of there atipical settings, especially Short Hills with it’s criscross pattern that prevents you from walking in a streight line as you move throughout the mall.

    SEAN Reply:

    @Michael S, The A & S/ Stern’s/ Macy’s in White Plains looks similar to the MM Boscov’s. This store has three floors & is 328,599 square feet & is somewhat dark with parque flooring.

    [Reply]

  414. hey, this is a different mall, but i wanted to give an update on Newport Centre. the entire Forever 21/FYE side of the JCPenney wing has been taken over by a giant XXI Forever, who hopes to open this holiday season. This store will include men’s, plus size, and kids clothing and beauty products as well as the traditional women’s clothing and accessories. FYE has moved to a smaller but nicer location on the second floor in center court near Swarovski and Frederick’s of Hollywood. I wish FYE relocated to the Carlton Cards spot. Forever 21 has temporarily relocated to the former Lane Bryant space downstairs by Sears. I really wish Abercrombie & Fitch took over this spot and the spot next door. Crazy 8 has opened next to Hollister. Francesca’s Collections has opened in the former Bandolino. Wet Seal has gotten a makeover, it is like the Willowbrook store now. The former bebe sport/PH8 spot is going to be a new Arden B. The current Arden B. is becoming a P.S. by Aeropostale. Aeropostale is being renovated to the Willowbrook/GSP standards. Jamba Juice is now open, and the Natural Salad Bar & Deli closed.

    A lot is going on at Newport.

    also, Abercrombie & Fitch is supposed to close over 100+ stores throughout three of its brands. Most of these closings will be underperforming and random kids stores, underperforming and expired leases A&F’s, and some hollisters. The two i know for sure to close will be Monmouth’s A&F and kids and Paramus Park A&F. I highly doubt the others like Bridgewater and Freehold will close. deptford maybe, even though it’s only 2 years old, it’s a low volume store and it was a mistake due to it being not far from Cherry Hill. They should have put it in Newport instead of deptford. Abercrombie kids in Short Hills closed in July, since Louis Vuitton bought the space to put a larger store.

    [Reply]

  415. Bridgewater is expanding to Fork & Screen and other things. Finally! It looked dreary and outdated. But how is this going to work, there’s only 7 screens.

    http://www.bridgewatercommons.com/dining-entertainment/amc-theatres-closed-due-to-renovations

    Cheesecake Factory is open too! I saw them building it in late June when I was there. It’s gonna be rediculously packed for a while. Honestly, since I go to CF in Freehold, Willowbrook, and Menlo. I’ll just go to Maggiano’s next time cause i love their food and i don’t wanna get sick of CF’s food.

    now it’s time to totally upgrade Newport Centre. New AMC theatre similar to GSP, Cheesecake Factory, California Pizza Kitchen in the old restaurant space, H&M and Borders in the Pay/Half space, both with underground levels, Abercrombie & Fitch in the old Lane Bryant/ Active Wearhouse spot, Zara in the CVS space like Bridgewater, Williams-Sonoma in the Disney store space, etc.

    Mind you these spaces are not closed yet but this is my thinking.

    CF can go in the McDonald’s, extra space behind Sephora & Bath & Body Works, the police station, and expand outwards with an outside entrance facing newly-renovasted parking garages. McD’s can move to the food court, and the police station can moveto a hub outside in a small building across from CF. This gives CF about 9,700 square feet of space and more.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @Joey, Menlo Park has closed the Cineplex to update and renovate for Fork and Screen. It was in The Star-Ledger today. The 3rd theatre to get the Fork and Screen upgrade, Essex Green, about 10 screens; also smaller than Menlo.

    Maybe if it’s sucessful, and if the Monmouth Mall renovation is successful, Loews in Monmouth may get it, and especially after this broke, it is needed!

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, Can you post a link to that article? I did find the article on Bridgewater Commons though.

    Bridgewater Commons mall to offer dinner-and-a-movie at AMC Theatres cinema
    Published: Tuesday, August 03, 2010, 2:14 PM Updated: Tuesday, August 03, 2010, 2:35 PM
    Frank Mustac / Messenger-Gazette

    AMC Entertainment artist rendering of a Fork & Screen marquee
    BRIDGEWATER — By the start of the holiday movie season in November, cinema-goers at the Bridgewater Commons mall will more than likely have the option to have dinner with drinks while watching a film.

    The Township Council on August 2 approved a liquor license for AMC Entertainment International, Inc., which owns and operates the AMC Theatres cinema at the mall.

    The move paves the way for AMC to convert all of its theaters at Bridgewater Commons into what the company calls “Fork & Screen” auditoriums that will offer casual dining at restaurant-style tables, including appetizers, sandwiches, entrees, desserts, alcoholic drinks and traditional theater concessions.

    AMC currently offers the Fork & Screen dining experience in Kansas City. Mo., and in the Buckhead section of Atlanta, Ga. Bridgewater will be one of the first Fork & Screen restaurants in the Northeast.

    “It’s more than just a movie theater,” AMC Entertainment attorney Richard Nasca told the council. “It’s a full-service restaurant with in-theater dining.”

    At least half the seating will be removed from auditoriums to accommodate table seating, said Jim Lyons, a Marketing Trainer with AMC Entertainment.

    Typically, food and drinks are served prior to the film screenings. During screenings, lighting in the restaurant is about 15% brighter than typical movie theaters, Lyons said. A small bar and lounge called MacGuffins where guests can wait and have a drink before or after movies will also be part of the restaurant.

    AMC’s Kansas City installation offers another concept called “Cinema Suites” auditoriums, which is upscale dining with reserved seating, an expanded menu and plush recliners. Food and drinks are served at small tables placed next to the recliners.

    The AMC representatives only described the Fork & Screen restaurants as the only type of installation being considered at the mall. Both concepts, however, are for guests 18 or older and minors accompanied by a guardian.

    Council members Christine Henderson Rose and Dan Hayes, along with Council Prresident Matthew Moench expressed concerns about the policing of guests 18-20 years of age to make sure they would not be receiving alcoholic beverages passed to them by other guests 21 years of age and older.

    Nasca said that all guests are checked for ID upon entering the restaurant and again when seated. Staff, he said, are trained to spot and remove minors consuming or attempting to consume alcohol.

    Only about 20% of the revenue generated at Fork & Screen restaurants is from the sale of alcohol, while the rest is from food sales, Nasca said.

    Rose said she lamented the loss of traditional movie theaters at the mall where teenagers could watch a movie with their friends and peers without being accompanied by an adult.

    Council members approved the liquor license by a vote of 3-1 with the condition that AMC Entertainment, Inc., provide the council with an incident report every six months of any and all alcohol-related infractions.

    Councilman Hayes cast the lone vote against granting the license, while Council members Rose, Moench and Howard Norgalis voted in favor. Councilman Allen Kurdyla was not present.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN, This was the orginal article in the Star-Ledger, but today’s mention was more of a pic and caption, noting that Cineplex Menlo closed down to begin renovations. I was in Bridgewater last week and noticed the theater walled off, totally forgetting about their Fork and Screen renovation.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, I saw that article. Did you read the comments at the bottom? Some of them are completely antisocial. It’s like reading the Journal news.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @ mallguy, Here is the press release I sited earlier.

    AMC Theatres® Announces Conversion Of AMC Essex Green 9 To Fork & Screen®
    In-Theatre Dining Will Take Center Stage in West Orange, N.J. After Temporary Closure

    Kansas City, Mo. (Aug. 6, 2010) – AMC Theatres® (AMC), a leading theatrical exhibition and entertainment company, announces that guests will be able to enjoy an enhanced dining and entertainment experience after the AMC Essex Green 9 is converted into a Fork & Screen theatre.

    Fork & Screen is the name of AMC’s in-theatre dining concept, featuring Fork & Screen, a casual, in-theatre dining and entertainment experience; Cinema SuitesTM, a premium, upscale in-theatre dining and entertainment option; and MacGuffinsTM, a bar and lounge area.

    In order to convert the entire theatre to the Fork & Screen model, the theatre will close after the last showtime on Sunday, Aug. 8 and reopen in the winter. Guests are encouraged to visit AMC East Hanover 12 in East Hanover, N.J. while the theatre is temporarily closed for construction.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN, nj.com gets like that sometimes.

    There are visible signs, especially at Menlo Park that the renovation process is going on. I will have to give it a shot once it opens early next year.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, A lot of sites are like that, but the JN is particularly bad.

    [Reply]

  416. Stopped by Monmouth Mall today and noticved a few interesting things.

    First, with the 35/36 construction, an exit ramp out of Monmouth Mall is being built directly on to 36 east. For years, this was never there…you either had to go 35 North or Wyckoff Road North to access 36 east. The 35 mall entrance is also being re-worked with a new traffic light and a 2 lane left out. Would have loved to see an overpass in/out.

    In the mall, the renovation continues. More flooring has been pulled up and the interesting thing is that they never pulled up the pre-1987 flooring during the first renovation and it’s still there! Kind of reminds me of what was in Brunswick Square and Ocean County Mall between their respective renovations. They’re also starting to cover the steel skeleton by the big skylight and have stripped the ceiling tiles in the side wing leading to Barnes and Noble. This phase is supposed to be finished by the holidays.

    Speaking of Barnes and Noble, it was open until 2AM last night to accomodate the 600+ fans who came to get their books signed by Real Housewife of New Jersey, Teresa Giudice!

    [Reply]

  417. In the area of Monmouth Mall is Pier Village, a shopping, dining, residential and entertainment complex that has pretty much brought Long Branch back as a destination! They have also been more successful in recent years, in attracting people here during the cooler months. The final expansion, Phase III, has been approved by the Long Branch council and it won’t be too soon before construction begins!

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @mallguy,

    Pier Village, along with The Grove at Shrewsbury (and Freehold Raceway Mall) are three very good reasons why Monmouth Mall needed a renovation. So glad their on the way with it!

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @mallguy,

    As alternate forms of retail, they have the potential to take foot traffic away from Monmouth Mall. It took them long enough, but I’m glad Vornado finally discovered that!

    [Reply]

  418. i don’t have the time to scan this entire forum, so i’ll just ask this question straight up:

    does anybody remember there being a sort of geometric flower-shaped sign across the highway from monmouth mall in the 1980s? i’m pretty sure the center was white and the 5 or 6 sides were yellow.. with some colorful geometric design in the middle. and i think it was in the child world plaza. but the sign wasn’t a store sign and it didn’t have any writing on it… it was sort of just a huge 1970s-esque graphic design thing. it’s a visual i remember from my childhood and i would love to see a picture of it if anybody has any idea what i’m talking about or where i could further pursue this memory of mine!

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @vintageart, Kind of sounds like you’re describing the old Monmouth Mall monument sign along Route 36. That sign has been gone since the mid 1990s. The mall has since replaced that sign this year.

    [Reply]

  419. Little by little, I’m seeing progress in the Monmouth Mall renovation as I observed today. I guess they’re going from the top down as ceiling panels where the new lighting will go have been installed between Barnes and Noble and Macy’s. Tile is stripped all the way up to the food court and ceiling has been stripped in the same area and all the way up to Lord and Taylor.

    I’m guessing they’re going to step on the gas very soon, otherwise I don’t see phase 1 finishing up before the holidays.

    [Reply]

  420. More Monmouth Mall construction progress today…the area between the ceiling and skylights we see near Macys and along the 1 level Macy’s wing has been repainted to white/off white from that ugly peach and purple combination we see above. Also the lighting near the skylights was changed. Ceiling tiles have been replaced and they still need to put in the new lighting. Looks as if they are working from the top down. I predict flooring will start to be put in around November.

    [Reply]

  421. Just a quick construction update at Monmouth Mall. They are now starting to lay the flooring and are going from the mall entrance by the customer service toward Macy’s and the 2 level split. I took a picture of it, but don’t know how to post the pic, so I’ll describe the tile. Most of the tile bears a close resemblance to Freehold Raceway Mall and the pattern is as follows: there are three rows of that tile and one row of a deeper beige marble tile. Along the border of the stores are two rows of black tile. It looks like an intersting color scheme and much better than what was previously there! They have finished the new ceiling panels and still need to install the rest of the new lighting.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, At the current pace, how long do you think it will take to complete the entire mall?

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN, Phase I (the one level section with the exception of the food court) was supposed to be done before the holiday shopping season. It could happen, but they need to get the flooring and new lighting in for that goal to be met. So far, the new flooring looks good.

    Phase II (the 2 level section and the food court) is supposed to get done by late spring. They did get started on that with ceiling panels and putting in the new steel frames where the new lighting will go.

    The 35/36 renovation is coming along nicely as well. Let’s hope they get more of it done by May of 2011 or traffic in that area will be awful!

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    [@mallguy, The 35/36 renovation is coming along nicely as well. Let’s hope they get more of it done by May of 2011 or traffic in that area will be awful!

    As if that is even possible.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN, It’s going to be an absolute mess in the summer! Remember, route 36 provides the connection between the Garden State Parkway, Route 18 and the Long Branch Beaches, as well as Monmouth Park. It’s already bad enough after Monmouth Park as 36 turns into a 2 lane road, but this constrcution will cause more. As I said further up, I question if this current construction project is enough!

    At least this construction is addressing improving access to Monmouth Mall.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, Ask Gov. Christie he’s got $3,000,000,000 to spend on road construction since he killed the ARC tunnel. I think that is enough to widen 36 from here to Fort Lee.

    [Reply]

  422. i passed by monmouth mall 2 weeks ago suprised to see a buffalo wild wings there and no anchor in the former A&S store macys SHOULD move into that spot and demolish the old store

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @chris o neal, It definitely is a better spot than their current Macy’s. Furthermore, the former A&S/Boscov’s has a greater square footage. If Bloomingdale’s won’t move there, I’d support Macy’s going in there, with a cosmetic rehab to the setup, of course. Also, that parking deck needs to be rebuilt, maybe even expanded.

    The lifestyle space fronting 36 would do a good job of drawing drivers in.

    After seeing some of the early flooring go down, this cosmetic renovation will do wonders for Monmouth Mall!

    The renovation is a good start, but there’s so much more I’d do, if I had the power.

    [Reply]

    chris o neal Reply:

    @mallguy, i agree but that current macy’s spot is classic but they caused all of this I think A&S and stern’s would still stick around i guess i miss those stores

    [Reply]

  423. JC Penny was always JC Penny. Wish I had pictures of it from the 80′s and late 70′s a all I have are memories of hanging there as a teen etc. I miss the supercade, outside pizza place, music den (best vinyl record store ever) chess king lol and Jo annes nut house and pet store to name a few oh yeah orange Julius hahhaha. If anyone has pics from them feel free to send them over !

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @Geno T, What I have found interesting is that in the renovation when they ripped up the 1987 tiles, the 1976 tiles were still underneath. Don’t have any pics of the pre-1987, but I distinctly remember it.

    The last time I was at Monmouth Mall last month, new tiles were starting to be laid down and the paintjob was almost complete in the 1 level wing.

    [Reply]

  424. Just something interesting I found: http://www.madisonmarquette.com/files/fact_sheets/Marketfair.pdf

    Bobby Flay’s is apparently opening soon at MarketFair in Princeotn.

    [Reply]

  425. bobby fly’s burger joint is pretty good has anyone eaten there???

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @chris o neal, I have gone several times, but not this particular location. Gone to the ones at Bergen TC & Moheghan Sun Casino. OMG! THERE BURGERS ARE FANTASTIC! Sorry for screaming, but they are so good.

    My personal favorite is the Napa Valley Burger with goat cheese, watercrests & mustard. My girlfriend likes the L. A. Burger wich is similar to NV, but you swap goat cheese for ovacado.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN, I have been to Bobby’s Burger Palace in Monmouth Mall. Burgers are OK…it’s pricey for a fast casual establishment.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, Yeah BBP can be a bit on the pricey side, but BLT Burger in Manhattan is twice the price & not as good as BBP. Besides from what I have read recently, Five Guys is also on the pricier side as well & like BBP, both have a serious folowing.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN, Five Guys (a little cheaper than BBP, but still somewhat pricey) is so amazingly good, but so amazingly bad, if you know what I mean.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you as well!

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, Oh yeah, I know exactly what you mean.

    Recently went to Five Guys website to read a few articles from there media/ press page & came across that they opened a pair of locations in greater Vancouver Canada. One is at Park Royal Mall in West Vancouver & the other is in South Surrey at a mixed use development called Morgan Crossing.

    I braught this up because Morgan Crossing has the greatest marketing canpaign I’ve ever sene for a housing development. It simply asks the question, “do you want to live in borringville?” How menny Borringvilles could we name in the New York suburbs alone. The site is verry flashy but is quite effective in getting there point across.

    http://www.morgancrossing.ca

    Now if Monmouth & other malls were as effective in atracting that level of atention for there properties. Some are, but most are not.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN, That is effective. One such development that has been grabbing attention and is smartly marketed is Pier Village in Long Branch. Shops, restaurants, bars and hotels all close together…on the beach and in walking distance from the Long Branch train station. They do not focus on national chains and if they did, Monmouth Mall should be scared. Pier Village is now starting to become a year-round destination!

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, At least PV is not “Borringville”. LOL

    Did you ever see such a site for a housing development in your life? I showed it to a coworker of mine who has a backround in graphic arts & has worked for an advertising furm.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN, That is quite a site.

    And PV is defintiely not “boringville” They still have one more phase and construction could start in the next year!!!

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, What else is PV adding. The site is not exactly what I call disabled friendly.

    FYI the AMC Bridgewater Commons theatre just reopened leaving Menlo Park under construction.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN, At PV, they are going to add another hotel, some condos, ground floor shops and an outdoor performance space. LB gave it the OK, now it’s in the planning board, I think. It will be on the next block south of PV between Ocean Blvd, Ocean Ave and Morris Ave. Construction may start next year.

  426. Almost a month after my update of the Phase I Renovation of Monmouth Mall, they are much farther along, but not done, which they were supposed to be. All the new flooring has been put down, which by the way is a big improvement on what was previously there. Some of the lighting has been installed and in use, but more (and most) still need to be installed. Also they need to finish the re-painting of the colums. I assume they will also put in soft seating areas once the major renovations in this area are complete.

    The difference between before and after is quite noticeable when standing on the 2nd floor and looking toward the one level section and Macys as the newly renovated area is much brighter…and this is before all the lighting has been installed!

    The 2 floor section (which has slightly been started) and the food court renovation will fully commence after the holidays.

    [Reply]

  427. Do you think Boscov’s will reopen the space?

    The store page is still online at Boscov’s website…
    http://www.boscovs.com/static/about_boscov/stores_locations/monmouth.html

    …but no deals have been signed. I’m guessing Walmart fell through?

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @Pseudo3D, That’s interesting, however, I do not see Monmouth Mall listed on their location list. I do not want Walmart to open in that space…don’t think it’s a good fit for Monmouth Mall.

    You probably know what my preference is, and yes, I probably know I’m living in a fantasy world on this one. That is a great anchor space and I hope they can find something appropriate to fill it.

    [Reply]

  428. A lot of the 2 level Dick’s Sporting goods used to be Galyan’s…I think RF was also a Galyan’s…I know that Woodbridge and Freehold had Galyan’s that converted to Dick’s.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @Boris Mikler, RF?

    The two Galyan’s locations you mentioned in NJ were the only New Jersey locations.

    Monmouth Mall was supposed to get a 2 level DIck’s near the vacant A&S/Sterns/Boscov’s anchor but that fell through after Dick’s pulled out and Modell’s opened a two level location next to the vacant anchor in the mall.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, RF? Roosevelt Field.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN, That’s right! Dick’s (former Galyans) is one of the two tennants in the old Sterns. Considering I haven’t been to Roosevelt Field in the longest time, it didn’t come to mind right away.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, Oops!

    When I go to Roosevelt Field my girlfriend always parks on that side of the property. So I better know where Dick’s is located. Besides I like hanging in Bloomingdale’s Home there, it’s a great place to hide from the madness of that mall. The food court is like terminal C at Newark airport at rush hour. Oh wait! Every hour is rush hour at Newark, what the hell am I talking about!

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN, That Bloomingdale’s there is INCREDIBLE! The times I’ve been there, I also park on the other side, by Nordstrom (RF happens to have one of my favorite Nordstrom locations) or Bloomingdale’s.

    And the whole place will be a mobscene on Black Friday!

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, That’s for sure. I went there on a Wednesday several years a go & you wouldn’t believe just how busy it was, you would sware it was the weekend. Who says that Wednesday is the slowest retail day of the week.

    I new one of the customer service reps there, a biology student at Hofstra Jennifer Marallas who use to help me when Simon had the Mallpurks program. I did enough transactions that my friends & I got to know her on a first name basis.

    I will never forget standing on line there on one particular Saturday & watching the woman ahead of me berating Jennifer because she didn’t escort her mother who was in a wheelchair back to the car. What this person didn’t care to know was that’s the job of security & not cs staff. She wennt so far as to question her on what kind of cathlic Jennifer was in ignoring the demands of a customer. I never saw anything like that in my life & i wanted to tell this woman off so badly, but instead I tolled Jennifer that this customers attitude was unexceptable. As a matter of fact,I read the job requirements the week prior & it is extremely clear. Staff cant leave the post unless they are on break or told to do so.

    Now I’m sure as a teacher you have delt with an angry perrent now & then, but they havent gone to that extreme level I described above.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN, Definitely is outrageous! Those types of people are definitely out on Black Friday…just glad I didn’t encounter any of them today.

    [Reply]

  429. Sadly, I missed this…there was a flash mob dance at the Monmouth Mall the week before Christmas which was done as a fundraiser for Mary’s Place. (a cancer organization that gives women recovering from treatment a place tor rest and relax…no connection to the Bruce Springsteen song)

    Phase I of the renovation looks great and they’re off to a start on Phase II.

    [Reply]

  430. Curious…. There is an Abercrombie & Fitch across from Lord N Taylor now. Does anybody know what was there before? Would be appreciative to hear :D

    [Reply]

    Gran Reply:

    @jen,
    the old surray luggage, before they relocated to another space and closed, and another store which I forget

    [Reply]

    mike Reply:

    @jen,
    Abercrombie and Fitch used to be B. Dalton and Surray Luggage which took the place of two stores (Yarn Crafters and GNC). The original Surray Luggage was were the Disney Store used to be which is now a sports store called Team Spirit

    [Reply]

  431. Back in the early 70′s I can remember passing the mall and there was a sign at the edge of the parking lot on the Hwy#35 side that read ” the worlds largest mall…Was Monmouth Mall the worlds largest mall at one time?

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @Tommy Earl, Not sure about the “World’s Largest,” but it was once the largest mall in NJ (now the 4th largest, in area)

    [Reply]

  432. Love how this mall still stinks, so if your coming go to one of the other malls in the area

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @Gran, While the first phase of the renovations have brightened up the mall, the vacant anchor and their inability to fill it is doing damage to the long term health of Monmouth Mall.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, What is MM Management waiting for, Money from Chris Christie?

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN,

    According to the MM website, it’s owned by “local investors.” Really sad they can’t (or won’t) fill that space.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, I have a crazy idea, why don’t we & a few other lablescar readers raise some money & buy the emty Boscov’s as “Property Vergins.” Quick! get Sandra Rinomato from HG-TV on the phone. LOL

    On a more realistic note, I hope they do something soon with that space, as you said keeping it empty does dammage to the malls value.

    Have you gone to Bobby’s Burger Palace recently? I love it & my family & friends do as well.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN, On a recent trip, outside of Payless and Modell’s, there are very few stores left past JCPenney. It’s quite eerie, upsetting and depressing.

    I have been to Bobby’s Burger Palace. It’s OK, but I’ve had better. Had they built it INSIDE the mall, as opposed to the ring road, that would have been a bigger benefit to Monmouth Mall.

    Buffalo Wild Wings has also recently opened @ MM.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, I have no doubt that it is depressing seeing a once vibrent mall just wither away do to poor management by Vornado. Look at there sister property in the DC burbs Springfield on this site & yet Vornado is spending a boatload of cash through it’s Charles E. Smith division to rehab the buildings & road network around Crystal City with a contribution from Arlington County of course.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN, I’m defintely aware of Springfield Mall…and the amazing thing is that it’s right at the 95/495 intersection and near the end of the Blue/Yellow Line (Franconia-Springfield); you’d think it would get more traffic because of it’s location, but considering it’s been under construction throughout the 2000s, I shouldn’t be surprised. I have very litte faith in Vornado.

    Have they killed Green Acres Mall yet?

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, No Green acres still lives, but Roosevelt Field rules.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN, The only LI mall that even comes close to Roosevelt Field is Walt Whitman Mall.

    Have they started building the Taubman/Oyster Point mall yet?

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, No not yet, I think there are still law suits whith that mall in Oyster Bay. How many changes did Taubman make to that project since being anounced a few years ago?

    Gran Reply:

    @mallguy,
    a brighter cieling, new flooring, and jwow doesn’t really help this mall at all since it desperatly needs more stores. Once Nordstrom or Bloomingdales comes then only the mall will be better, but then they would have to remodel the enitre upper and lower levels. They need to kick modells and every store past JCPenney and rip the entire wing down, since its hopeless. Instead of having emptyness the mall has potential but fails to seek it, so it will always remain the same it will be.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @Gran, For aesthetic purposes it works, but yes, I agree, it’s really just patchworking a bad situation. If you read up in the thread, I have consistently called for a Bloomingdale’s the mall and that spot would be the perfect location for it. Focus the 2 level portion on fashion and the 1 level portion on entertainment. Although I am glad they are doing something, renovation-wise, I personally would have done a lot more…we’re talking radical change there.

    And speaking of patchwork, I don’t think NJDOT is doing enough to rehab that 35/36/Wyckoff Road intersection. It’s a key crossroads and needs a lot more.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, And speaking of patchwork, I don’t think NJDOT is doing enough to rehab that 35/36/Wyckoff Road intersection. It’s a key crossroads and needs a lot more.

    Perhaps, but remember Gov. Christie doesn’t have the money or so he says.

    Tried Buffalo Wild Wings at Palisades a few weeks ago & wasn’t impressed at all with the food.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN, It is pretty legit, but NJDOT has done under-renovated a few intersections recently, such as Route 1 & Woodbridge Center Drive and Route 1 & Parsonage Road. Both are still heavily bottlenecked and 35/36 will be the same.

    Tried Buffalo Wild Wings not too long ago and wasn’t impressed either. They’re popping up all over NJ. At least it’s new.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, I posted an article on the FRM thread for you & others to read. It reguards the new trend towards cinemas adding full dining options. The article comes from Quick Service Restaurant QSR Magazine. At the bottom I posted a quick observation as well.

    Enjoy, and as always comments & other observations are welcome.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN, Read it. And here in NJ, the new Dine-In theatres in Menlo, Bridgewater and West Orange/Essex Green are turning out to be very popular. Already have friends who swear by them. I haven’t been yet, but once a worthwhile movie comes out, I’ll probably go.

    If these 3 are successful, I would not be surprised to see AMC add more in NJ, and I hope Freehold, Monmouth and GS Plaza will be on deck.

    Considering NJ laws regarding liquor licenses, they may have to wait for a restaurant/bar in town to close before snatching up their liquor license. I think AMC aquired the former CPK’s liquor license when they ended their Menlo lease (remember, CPK in Menlo was closed and vacant for many years before the lease expired.. This was part of the delay as to why the Cheesecake Factory is finally opening in Short Hills…they were able to get the liquor license of the former Short Hills Caterers.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, Of course I remember CPK’s location @ Menlo Park, it was closed for 15-years before Chipitle moved in there. Thanks for the info on the liquor licence rules.

    I cant see AMC putting there Cinema sweets & Fork & Screen at MM unless Vornado does a complete 180 with that property. GSP & FRM on the other hand,are the perfect malls to showcase those concepts.

    I did a little research on wich locations could work for AMC & in adition to the ones posted above, here are a few others for your opinion.

    1. Empire 25 New York
    2. Hammilton 24 Hammilton Trenton NJ
    3. Cherry Hill 24 NJ
    4. Wayne 14 NJ if moved to Willowbrook Mall
    5. Tysons Corner 16 Mclean VA (is there a better location?)
    6. Roosevelt Field 8 Garden City NY if redone & expanded

    All together I figgured about 40 locations total nationwide could be added to what already exists. It was based on a few factors such as a high traffic location/ highend mall, a city with more than 1 AMC location or as a way to seperate AMC from other circuits with locations in the same area.

    What do you think.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN,

    Definitely makes sense. The long term successes are up in the air, as long as that Boscov’s stays vacant.

    Don’t know who got Lone Star Steakhouse’s liquor license in Cherry Hill, so it could work there. Yes, the AMC Willowbrook theater needs to be attached to the mall. However, with Freehold, it would work better if the theaters somehow are either rebuilt to be built adjacent to the lifestyle center or if B&N passes on the soon to be former Borders, they can take that building over and retrofit/expand it for the theatres.

    Another prime location for Fork and Screen is the AMC in Downtown Disney! Talk about prime locations!

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, Oh yeah, don’t forget about the Universal studios locations in L. A. & Orlando as well.

    As far as RFRM goes, moving the theatre closer to the mall helps the Cheesecake factory & atracts new retailers to the empty storefronts in the lifestyle center area.

    One thing that these cinema concepts do that I didn’t mention being obvious is it allows adults to go to the movies & NOT be disturb by unaccompanied teens who are not likely to pay the higher ticket prices.

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN, It is very nice the number of teens in the dine in movie theaters are less…and from what I’ve had friends who have been to the new Menlo Park theater tell me, that is the case.

    Cheesecake Factory at FRM does very well, but yes, a dine-in theater at the lifestyle center will help it, maybe even attract more stores there that will have Macerich expand it. There are two very small spaces attached to the center court mall entrance that have not yet been filled. Borders will soon be the biggest vacany at the lifestyle center.

    [Reply]

    rob Reply:

    @mallguy, I wouldnt worry about Menlo Monmouth and Freehold Malls, the malls in New Jersey are better equipped malls than here in Rockland county N.Y. The Nanuet Mall is falling apart day by day and Palisades Center has alot of empty stores because of their high rents and their owner pyramid cos is a terrible mall owner. This is why Palisades cannot attract good stores as Garden State Plaza in Paramus has.

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, You think tattoo Nation would want to set up shop in Monmouth Mall? LOL Seriously though You would think that MM’s management would be trying to copy Freehold’s formula for success. To drive the point home, the new Shoprite stores in New Rochele, Scarsdale & White Plains have taken a few cues from Fairway & Whole Foods in terms of presentation & layout. Hint hint MM. If Shoprite can figure it out in the grocery business, then you should be able to do the same.

    @ Rob,

    The same could be said reguarding Spring Valley Marketplace, a once thriving strip center that nearly died & was revived with Target. Now you & I are watching in discussed how Palisades is falling into the same trap Nanuet did while the malls in Paramus succeed in every fasset of management.

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN, I know…they really have to get busy on figuring out what will become of Boscov’s. The part of MM between JCPenney and Boscov’s is rather depressing.

    Speaking of supermarkets, we’ve seen a rash of closings of Pathmark and A&P here in NJ. In the long run, I’m hoping Wegman’s decides to open in these closed locations, as some of these will be prime locations for that chain!

    [Reply]

    rob Reply:

    @mallguy, Look at Danbury Fair Mall, in Danbury Ct, former Filenes store sat empty for four years after macys bought may co, until Dicks Sporting Goods and Forever 21 took that building over. There arent many department stores left with all these mergers macys did.

    mallguy Reply:

    @rob, That was pretty sad the Danbury Fair Filene’s was empty and I was very surprised Nordstrom didn’t end up opening there. It would be nice if Monmouth Mall could get Bloomingdale’s, but even though it’s my fantasy anchor for the mall, I don’t see it happening as long as Vornado is the REIT.

    Dick’s was supposed to open in Monmouth Mall, but they pulled out.

    rob Reply:

    @mallguy, My fantasy anchor for when Nanuet Mall gets remnovated was Belk department store from the Carolinas. They remind me of Abrham and Straus and Sterns, I try to get there every time i visit my family in Raleigh N.C. i LIKE THEM BETTER THAN macys. I dont think its vornado its this stalled economy we ARE IN.THAT THEY WONT PUT bLOOMINGDALES IN Willowbrook mall has both macys and bloomingdales there and so does roosevelt field on Long Island.

    mallguy Reply:

    @rob, I’ve been to Belk in VA in the past. Not too sure if they would have made it up here. It is sad to see the death of so many local department stores and even though I say that, I do not define myself as “anti-Macys.”

    The economic issues to play into the Monmouth Mall problems, yet I do also blame Vornado. Yes, they renovated Bergen Town Center, but with 2 malls within 2 miles of it, it was imperative for it to be renovated, and to have something unique to it to make it distinctive from GSP and Riverside. We see so few “Dead Malls” in NJ because of the extreme competition. The REITs know this and do try to keep up their centers…if you look in North Jersey alone, every center did some sort of expansion or renovation to prepare for the opening of Xanadu (which still hasn’t yet opened)

    Vornado needs to use the model of Freehold Raceway Mall to revitalize MM. Unfortunately, they do not own the space of Boscov’s. They also need to sit on the local investors who own the former Boscov’s for them to make a move with it.

    As I’ve said many times before:

    Option 1: Bloomingdale’s in the Boscov’s, renovated/reconfigured space to support a Bloomingdale’s, expanded parking deck. (this parking deck is underutilized) downright scary) The addition of Bloomingdale’s will attract higher quality stores and restaurants to MM. AMC may even want to convert their theatre to stadium seating fork and screen. There are local, affluent communities in the area that will support it.

    Option 2: Move Macy’s into the Boscov’s and renovate/reconfigure the space. It is a much better (and bigger space) than Macy’s. Also expand the parking deck. Tear down the Macy’s and build a lifestyle center, on the scale of the Vistas at Park Meadows. (CO…very impressive what they did with a former Lord & Taylor) This space will front Route 36, drawing shoppers in off the highway, and be anchored by a Fork and Screen AMC, B&N, and any additional restaurants they can attract to help make this mall a destination space.

    A renovation that Monmouth Mall deserves will give a boost to Eatontown, which will lose Fort Monmouth this year, as well as draw shore visitors in, especially on rainy days.

    rob Reply:

    @mallguy, oH i KNOW I have written to Belk they would love to come this way but faxes rents are much higher up here than down south. They would do well in mm. They compete with Macys down there along with Dillards, Kohls , Nordstrom, J.C Penney. In Raleigh N.C they have two big major malls and both have Belks and Macys. Mallguy go on utube and go on that says Nnauet Mall Ghostown and you will still appreciate mm after you see what Nnauet Mall looks like in Nnauet N.Y.

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, I like option 2 because it’s easier to remoddle an entire section .

    mallguy Reply:

    @rob, I have seen the YouTube video of Nanuet Mall today and yes, that place is in bad shape.

    As you can see by the pic of the MM directory, it’s in the shape of a backwards L with the old Boscov’s being at the top end of the L. Since Boscov’s has left, there have been a lot of stores to leave both levels of the mall between Boscov’s and JCPenney. Last time I was there, there were only about 6 stores still open in that stetch of the mall. Since Boscov’s has closed, they have been putting Santa at that end to give people a reason to come down to that end of the mall. It’s really rather sad all parties involved have let that building sit and rot the mall.

    mallguy Reply:

    @rob, In terms of the Southern department stores, I’ve always liked Dillard’s better than Belk for some reason.

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN, In this economic situation, Option 2 may be the most workable. Even though the area can support Bloomingdale’s, I don’t believe Federated will take the chance and locate there.

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, By remoddling the entire middle level you could devote the space to all things entertainment including an updated AMC theatre & themed restaurants including your favorite Dave & Busters.

    Afew things I would do include…
    1. Moving the food court down into the Macy’s kids space.
    2. Reconfigure the current food court into restaurants including Old Navy’s storefront.
    3. Expand the AMC theatre into the former Burlington Coat store allowing for a future conversion to Fork & Screen. Theatres could be enlarged, add stadium seating & have enough space for management & food prep.
    4. Most importently add doors that can close off the entertainment area from the retailers for crowd control & as a means of seperation during late night hours when the rest of the mall maybe closed. This configuration would be a bit easier on security, but the doors would NOT be locked unless nessessary such as out of control groups.

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, I know that you want Bloomingdale’s so badly, but I don’t see how that is even possible especially now with the ecconomic situation we find our selves in.

    Please tell me how retail sales keep rising & yet work weeks keep shrinking, oil prices have been soaring since the crisis in Egypt & now libia breaking $104 per barrel as of Friday & most people who were recieving unenployment aid are now off the rolls with little chance of finding real work anytime soon. *notice the word libia*

    Talk about cooking the books, in this case it’s the books on ecconomic growth. That’s going to hert struggling malls like Monmouth in any redevelopment efforts.

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN, Let’s not forget, in a 10 mile radius, you do have some affluent towns that can support an upscale anchor in Monmouth Mall: Monmouth Beach, Rumson, Fair Haven, Red Bank (parts), Ocean Township, Deal, Loch Arbor, Allenhurst, Long Branch (parts) Elberon, Colts Neck. Within 15 miles: Holmdel, Middletown, Lincroft, Spring Lake, Marlboro, Manalapan, Freehold.

    The 2 things stopping that from happening are the economy and Vornado.

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN, Speaking of the economy, it also put a halt on the very aggressive expansion Quakerbridge Mall was supposed to get. I haven’t been down that way in a while, but I haven’t heard any news on it getting started.

    rob Reply:

    @SEAN, I agree Bloomingdales is such an over priced store. How about Steinmart,Bontons, Kohls they would fit in or even Nordstrom Rack. Kohls are mostlly in shopping centers but there is one in Newporte Centere Mall.Even Bloomingdales outlet they have one at Bergen Town Center.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @rob, A Kohl’s along with either Nordstrom Rack or Bloomingdale’s outlet may work, but for simplisity I like mallguy’s idea above. Devoting the 2-level section to retail including consolidating the Macy’s & Macy’s kids into the Boscov’s space. The middle level will be all things entertainment & dining. This way doors could be installed if nessessary, seperating the entertainment wing durring late night hours for crowd control.

    As part of the remoddle the food court would be moved down the side hallway, Old Navy moves to near the relocated Macy’s, AMC expands into the Burlington Coat store & is transformed into Fork & Screen. No new screens are added, but the existing theatres are expanded with stadium seating & plenty of space is devoted to food preparation.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN, I envison something like thEATERY at Palisades in that one level wing, if Macy’s were to move into the old Boscov’s. Planet Fitness recently opened in the Burlington Coat Factory space, which is the lower level of the former Alexanders/Caldor. The space has escalators leading to/from the mall and an outside entrance to access it. The theatre is already above it.

    If Macy’s did move into Boscov’s, I also envision some outdoor lifestyle space in the area between B&N and the movie theatre, including on the footprint of Macy’s

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, Wasn’t aware of Planet fitness being there, but it could be part of the lifestyle center concept for the middle level. Besides Dave & Busters & Buffalo Wild Wings, what other eateries/ entertainment venues would you have on your fanticy list.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN, It definitely could! Some other places I’d like to see there: Jose Tejas/Border Cafe (2 locations in NJ), Uno’s, Champp’s, Cheesecake Factory and Maggiano’s come to mind. Movie theater, fitness club and B&N are already there, which is good. I’d also like to see connector paths from the lifestyle area to the stores/restaurants already on the ring road (Friday’s, Chili’s Bobby’s Burger Palace, Jared)

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, Sounds good to me. Something I just realized, in adition to seperation doors the remoddling of the entertainment areas would need to include sound prooffing pannels to prevent the migration of noise from the rest of the mall. It’s an enormous expence, but it is worth it in the end.

    Look at GSP, Palisades & Roosevelt Field, at times it feals like you are walking inside of a drum with the crowds & the hard surfaces all around you. By putting pannels on walls & the cealing could lower the desable levels & make it much more pleasant.

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN, Except in front of Macy’s, the ceiling to MM is rather low, but yes, I see what you mean.

    Monmouth Mall building a considerable lifestyle space will allow them to 1-up Freehold Raceway Mall in that area, and even give The Grove at Shrewsbury some stiff competition. The Grove is a great lifestyle center (NJ’s, if not the US’s first), but they lack on dining options.

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, Have you been to Queens Center in the past few years? Another successful Macerich property with hardly an empty retail space to be had. The crowds just jam the mall day in & day out.
    I think it’s Macerich’s top performer if not Tysons Corner.

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN, I have not been to Queens Center in a very long time, yet I have seen the pics of how it has been expanded and changed for the better. Do they have a movie theatre as well?

    I would think Tysons Corner, Freehold, Danbury Fair, Queens Center and Scottsdale Fashion Square are Macerich’s top performers.

    Vornado should be taking notes, especially since a Macerich mall is 12 miles from Monmouth Mall!

    rob Reply:

    @mallguy, I made a mistake i hit reply under rob read the last comment i sent today sunday march6

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, Queens Center doesn’t have a theatre, but there are a pair of Regal UA theatres in Forest Hills. A twin on Austin Street & a 9-plex with statium seating on Queens Boulevard. Both are near 71st Contenental Avenue just a short subway ride away. E, F, M & R lines serve the area As well as the Q60 bus along Queens Boulevard, so no car required.

    At one time I think there was a CPK restaurant there, but it moved to the now failing Atlas Park lifestyle center in Glendale.

    As you correctly point out again & again what MM needs to do to remain on the island, it makes me wonder why you weren’t a comercial real estate developer since you seme so knowledgeable.

    BUT WE NEED AS MANY GOOD TEACHERS AS WE CAN GET despite what Chris Blah Blah Christie says.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @rob, Kohl’s and Steinmart already have locations on Route 35 close to Monmouth Mall. Bon Ton used to be in the old Steinbach space in Red Bank (that space is now Garmany, a local Red Bank Store)

    Upscale can work in the area of MM, as proven by The Grove, some Red Bank stores and Pier Village, but any REIT, especially Vornado, may not want to take a chance on it in this economic climate.

    [Reply]

    rob Reply:

    @mallguy, I dont think Macys wants to add any more of their stores or Bloomingdales because of the economy and they have over 800 stores after they bought may department stores.They have closed 19 unprofitable stores due to the economy and maybe afraid of over extending themselves. Remeber years ago when Macys was private they almost landed in bankruptcy until Federated Dept. Stores bought them.

    [Reply]

    rob Reply:

    @rob, I also think the way layoffs and cuts going on in New Jersey Vornado and the stores are on a holding pattern until they see better imprvements. The layoffs of teachers firemen and police have that on their minds.I am starting to believe this with simon property is keeping the resiidents of Nanuet N.Y ON A HOLDING PATTERN OF WHATS GOING TO BE WITH Nanuet Mall.For the past 2-3 YEARS we have been waiting and we are still waiting an announcement was supposed to be in January or February.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @rob, I think most REITs are in a holding pattern. The only ones doing anything are those that have projects underway. Quaker Bridge Mall’s expansion is on hold, as is a renovation to Moorestown Mall.

    MM is dealing with a dead anchor, as is Woodbridge Center and Burlington Center (which is in really bad shape). I would agree that’s the same reason with Nanuet Mall.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, If only Macerich was involved. We wouldn’t be anoyed of the dead Boscov’s even if it was still dark.

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN, Macerich is probably the most effective REIT these days. Freehold and Tysons Corner can be cited as primary examples to that statement!

  433. Happened to stop in MM this evening and the 2nd phase of the renovation is fully underway. Tiles in the 2 level section have been stripped, new ceiling panels are beginning to be installed and repainting is beginning. The food court renovation is also underway with the stripping of old lighting and installation of new lighting/ceiling panels.

    Phase I looks pretty good, yet if I were in charge, I would have done a little more. In the end, MM will be nicer looking, but it’s still lacking an anchor at the far end and bleeding stores in that area.

    [Reply]

    rob Reply:

    @mallguy, See I told you Vornado wouldnt leave the mall half done. Also they are probably having a tough time finding an anchor because there arent many dept stores left and the economy. Its like I said what happened at Danbury Fair Mall the former Filenes store sat empty for four years until Dicks and Forever21 took it over. It will take time im sure mall management or Vornado will find one eventually.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @rob, To my knowledge, it was always intended to be a 2 phase process, but I’m glad to see the 2nd phase underway. I don’t doubt there are issues with filling that anchor, as other malls in NJ are having problems filling a vacant anchor.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, Move Macy’s into Boscov’s & you can consolidate all the retail stores in that section. Now you know what to do with the middle level.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN, If no Bloomingdale’s there, Macy’s in the Boscov’s building is the second best solution. But if Macy’s gets in there, they need to rehab the selling space and open it up a little, something I don’t doubt they will do, as it’s been done when they opened in the old A&S at Short Hills.

    As I said earlier, I would do a lot more with the renovation, such as bringing in more natural light through the addition of skylights, more openings to the first floor, a glass elevator in front of Lord and Taylor, a new stairwell in front of JCPenney, as well as adding a fountain or two to bring in more ambiance. If Bloomingdale’s were to open and Macy’s wouls stay where it is, I would have also expanded the 2nd floor to Macy’s.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, Were you a mall developer in a past life or something? LOL Anyway I like your ideas, they seme practical & could turn this property around.

    Scroll back up the thred a few posts, I answered your Queens Center question. I don’t know if you saw it, but I added a little of my own brand of snarkyness to the bottom.

    Now as a teacher you might enjoy this, lets see if you or others can solve this mall type annalogy. At first it may seme impossible, but if you can figgure out the clue within you should get the right answer.

    FASHON VALLEY is to TYSONS CORNER CENTER as THE WESTCHESTER is to:
    1. THE MALL @ SHORT HILLS
    2. AVENTURA MALL
    3. FLATIRON CROSSING
    4. EASTON TOWN CENTER

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN, Yes, I did see that and refrained from commenting, as a response to that would be more relevant for another site and I’d probably have a lot of people in my field end up hating me since I don’t to their line to the T, LOL.

    Thank you for answering…I haven’t been to Queens Center since prior to the expansion. From what I’ve seen, it’s very impressive what’s been done over there. Too bad Macerich can’t own Monmouth Mall.

    Monmouth Mall has so much potential, with a great location and clear visibility, and to see it waste away is rather sad. The competition is fierce here in NJ and I don’t think Vornado gets it.

    And it’s nice to know that someone thinks I have a place if retail development if education ever burns me out…

    Oh, and assuming you mean Fashion Valley in San Diego, I’d have to guess Easton Town Center (which I have not yet been to) as that’s the only outdoor one in the list…Flatiron has an outdoor section, but a much larger indoor section (and a vacant former Lord & Taylor). But if you’re looking for an indoor mall that has it all, Aventura would probably be what you’re thinking.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN, Slight correction…L&T’s in Flatiron Crossing is now subdivided with 3 tennants, according to the website: XXI Forever upstairs, Ultimate Electronics and The Container Store downstairs. Went there when I was in CO in 2005…very nice mall and surprisingly, they’ve had a few problems since I’ve visited, yet not to the level of Monmouth Mall.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, You know something, I forgot Fashon Valley was outdoors at the time I posted that making you correct. However what I intended was Flatiron Crossing Because the first ones were Simon owned & the second were Macerich owned.

    Good job. I suck. LOL

    [Reply]

    Michael S Reply:

    @SEAN, THE MALL AT SHORT HILLS is to SOUTH COAST PLAZA as GARDEN STATE PLAZA is to AVENTURA MALL.

    [Reply]

    rob Reply:

    @mallguy, I am not saying any mall owner are great but in comparison to Simon Property who is still holding up on revealing plans on whats going to happen at Nanuet Mall. Vornado at least keeps to what they plan to do mm rennovation phase 2 is in place, what holds it all up is money. My favorite mall operator is Westfield they take care of their malls especially Garden State Plaza.How about Century 21 dept. store to replace Boscovs they are somewhat what Boscovs is. They are in Morristown and Paramus.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @rob, I’m with Taubman and Macerich, although I could be disappointed in Macerich if they don’t talk B&N into moving across the street into the soon to be former Borders. But yes, Westfield is a very good owner.

    In NJ, Simon has done some recent work on their malls (some of the renovations were not needed, as in Livingston and Rockaway), yet they are holding up the Quaker Bridge Mall expanison.

    Don’t think Vornado is doing what they should for MM and Century 21 would be too small for that space.

    [Reply]

    rob Reply:

    @mallguy, Century 21 is a full line store they have two floors in Paramus AND 4 FLOORS ON CORTLANDT STREET IN LOWER MANHATTAN. tHEY CARRY ALOT OF DESIGNERS AT DISCOUNT PRICES HOUSEWARES, LINENS, TOYS, ETC.There is no way they are small they somewhat like Boscovs.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @rob, I have been to the Century 21 in Morristown, which is in the former Macy’s and even though that one is 4 floors, the selling space is not that large. Maybe they could fit in Boscov’s, but if they ever did come to MM, I’d rather see them move into what I think should be the lifestyle area, while Macy’s moves into Boscov’s.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, Same here.

    Was at Menlo Park Yesterday & found out that that Forever XXI will be opening a massive single story store on the lower level in the Macy’s wing starting at center court. Saw the new theatre & it must of been a total gut job, even the original backlit display outside the building was replaced with a giant AMC dine in theatre sign. AMC must have spent a small fortune on the remoddle, but in the end it will be worth it. There was no vestage of Cineplex Odeon anywhere.

    Cheesecake Factory was busy as usual & Lovsac was quite busy as well. Oh speeking of Lovsac, turns out that I found out the manager of the Paramus store is transfering to White Plains when it opens this month at The Westchester.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN, In the former Foot Locker, I take it? Prior to Foot Locker, that was a Woolworth. And before Menlo was rebuilt in 1990-1, Woolwoth had a 2 level location next to the former Alexander’s.

    Still haven’t been to the new AMC Theater. I’m sure they renovated the lobby as that interior during the Cineplex Odeon era was hideous!

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, That may have been Woolworth, but I cant remember exactly where that store was. I do know that most stores at Menlo Park tend to be rather deep for inline space, making Forever XXI huge for a single level store.

    At AMC everything down to the studs must have been ripped out & replaced. As you walk in the old ticket booths were removed & ATM style ticket venders are on the left. Once past the second sets of doors the bar is on the left & the ticket/ info counter is on the right. Take notice of the carpeting inside the lobby & on the stairs, it looks as if someone took a few cues from the casino industry when they chose that design. However I must say just on estetics alone it’s an enormus improvement.

    If the crowds I saw were any indication, Fork & Screen is going to be a successful venture & will grow across the circuit. If I remember correctly they are adding another 35 locations over the next 3-years.

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN, If this is the big storefront on the west side of the lower level Macy’s wing just before center court, that’s the one! Not one bit surprised XXI Forever is opening there. American Eagle Outfitters is also being renovated. In the Macy’s wing, the store space is rather large; more so than in the Nordstrom wing.

    I seriously have to check Fork and Screen out…just wish Hollywood would put a better product out there.

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, that is the space I was talking about reguarding Forever XXI. As for Fork & Screen once you go there, we need a complete review. I sware you won’t recognize it, the only thing that wasn’t replaced were the front doors.

    Max Reply:

    @mallguy,

    As you stated, the Century 21 in Morristown is quite small; I read in the newspaper that it is only 132,000 square feet. Desptie the store’s small size, however, it was always one of my favorite Bamberger’s/Macy’s locations. One very unique feature of this store is that about dozen plaques line up on the top of the building’s exterior, with each plaque commerating an important figure in the American Revolution. (The city of Morristown played an important role in the Revolutionary War.)

    Unfortunately, downtown Morristown is pretty much dead when it comes to retail aside from Century 21. (The closure of the beloved Epstein’s Department Store in 2004 was a huge loss to the town.) Seriously, the best retail experience currently in Morristown is the A&P on Washington Street, since it is one of the very few Centennial prototype stores that are still operated by the chain. It is a must-visit if you are ever in the area.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @Max, I know that A&P, actually. Morristown is currently better for restaurants and bars than retail. Glad that Century 21 did keep the plaques along Speedwell. Century 21 seems to fit the Green well.

    Actually, with 40 Park opening (the Epstein’s residential and retail replacement), they are going to put in a small retail/dining/entertainment section along the plaza from the Dehart Garage to Market Street and fronting the Green. Roots Steakhouse has already opened and more are to follow…hopefully this will help aid the return to retail in Morristown.

  434. http://www.reiit.com

    Simon Property Group Voted “Most Admired Real Estate Company”
    3/10/2011 | By Carisa Chappell
    Simon Property Group (NYE: SPG) regained the title of “Most Admired Real Estate Company” in Fortune magazine’s annual “World’s Most Admired Companies” survey.

    Simon Property earned the same title in 2009. Other REITs listed among the most admired real estate companies included second-place Vornado Realty Trust (NYSE: VNO), fifth-place Equity Residential (NYSE: EQR) and seventh-place General Growth Properties (NYSE: GGP).

    The annual “Most Admired Companies” survey, which is conducted by Fortune and the Hay Group, a global management consulting firm, seeks to identify companies that have strong corporate reputations within their industries. More than 15,000 top executives, directors and financial analysts were surveyed to help determine the award-winning companies.

    The largest U.S. REIT, Simon Property owns or has interests in close to 400 real estate properties in North America, Europe and Asia.

    “It’s nice to be the largest real estate company, but to be the most admired on a consistent basis is very gratifying,” said David Simon, Simon Property’s chairman and chief executive officer. “This is a tremendous honor, and it is the direct result of our employees operating at an extremely high level, regardless of the economic environment.”

    To determine the awards, reputation and performance are measured against nine key attributes to rank the companies. The companies are assessed in terms of:
    innovation
    people management
    use of corporate assets
    social responsibility
    quality of management
    financial soundness
    long-term investment
    quality of products and services
    global competitiveness

    Weyerhaeuser Company (NYSE: WY), which converted to a REIT in 2010, also made Fortune’s list as the top forest and paper products company. In addition, Weyerhaeuser tied for 10th place among all companies in the social responsibility category.

    “This distinction among our peers testifies to our commitment to responsible governance, reliable systems and a focus on long-term prosperity,” said Dan Fulton, Weyerhaeuser president and CEO.

    REITs Among FORTUNE Magazine’s World’s Most Admired Real Estate Companies

    Rank Company

    1 Simon Property Group (NYSE: SPG)
    2 Vornado Reatly Trust (NYSE: VNO)
    5 Equity Residential (NYSE: EQR)
    7 General Growth Properties (NYSE: GGP)

    [Reply]

    rob Reply:

    @SEAN, I almost choked, fortune magazine should have seen what they almost did to the old Bergen Mall in Paramus until Vornado brought it back to life and whats happening to Nanuet mall which should be called the pothole mall. Sean I was on the bus saturday going to and from Palisades Mall the lots are ruinnig cars and buses. Someone should send pictures of what Nanuet Mall looks like to Fortune Magazine and maybe should step down to number3. Westfield should be number 1 Vornado number 2 and Simon Property number 3. Simon Property is not perfect at all especially letting a mall go down hill and keeping the residents of Rockland County wondering whats going to be its been a complete eye sore now for a few years.

    [Reply]

    rob Reply:

    @SEAN, Also Sean all Simon Property wants to concentrate on are their crown jewel malls The Westchester , Roosevelt Field Etc. I f Vornado didnt buy the old Bergen Mall thAT mall would be looking like Nanuet Mall. Thats why in my opinion they simply dont care about Nanuet they should sell it and maybe some action will take place for Clarkstown.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @rob, Each of the large REITs have there share of duds.
    1. Vornado MM
    2. Simon Nanuet
    3. Westfield Northwest Plaza til they dumped it
    4. Taubman Fairlane Town Center
    5. Macerich Valley View Center
    6. DDR Crestwood Plaza
    7. GGP Laurel Mall

    That doesn’t mean there dead, but they are weaker properties.

    Corection;

    http://www.reit.com

    [Reply]

    rob Reply:

    @SEAN, In comparison mm at least still has stores a food court and three major anchors J.c Penney, Lord and Taylor and Macys. Nanuet Mall is a dump.You cannot say mm is bad I take that mall anyday over NM.gO OVER TO Nanuet Mall and see ho w bad it is in person and u saw it on utube.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @rob, Every company has it’s strengths & weaknesses.

    Nanuet was NEVER the great mall that you imagined it to be. If it wasn’t for blue laws in Bergen County, Nanuet would have died well before Palisades was ever built & I think you know that Rob.

    Monmouth has it’s own issues & mallguy has gone over them time & again with the simplist way to reverse the decline, even if he has Bloomingdale’s stuck on the brain. LOL

    Even I tried to find sencible solutions to a problematic property & yet it’s more challenging than posting to a retail blog. If it were so easy we would all be presenting design plans to Clarkstown, Eatontown or what ever & getting finantial backing from Goldman Sacks to complete the project.

    [Reply]

    rob Reply:

    @SEAN, I agree with you I never went to Nanuet I hated it but seeing this mall like this is a complete eyesore here ,before Palisades was built I always went to Paramus and I still do. All I am saying i WENT on Monmouth Mall website it s tens times better than what we have. At christmas it was busy and having concerts also. I saw the directory CHILIS bOBBYS bURGER PALACE, ETC SO THATS NO DUD JUST because its one anchor less. Look at Danbury Fair Mall four years with an empty former Filenes store.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @rob, Danbury Fair’s empty Filine’s was in the center of the mall, so there was always traffic, unlike Monmouth Mall’s eyesore, which is at one end of the mall, thereby, decreasing traffic to that end and forcing the closure of many stores on that end.

    Vornado redid Bergen Town Center because they had to. One mile west is Garden State Plaza and 2 miles east is the Shops at Riverside. In Paramus/Bergen County, when you don’t update retail holding, you go under because of the extreme competition. Remember, Riverside was nearly dead in the mid-1990s.

    [Reply]

    rob Reply:

    @mallguy, It maybe because of the rents or leases expiring. Usually the anchor stores draw the traffic there are still three major anchors. The economy does it also. Palisades Center has gone through a dozen or more stores since it opened 13 years ago and this a 4 floor mall.I have seen Monmouth Mall on utube it does not look as bad shape as Nanuet mall is. MM looked very much alive at christmas as i can see on utube and the amount of stores and restaurants on the directory. Simon owned Bergen Mall they almost ran it down after Macys and Value City closed there at least Vornado brought it back to life if simon didnt sell it it would be looking what Nanuet looks like now.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @rob, An argument could also be made that Simon’s holding on to Nanuet Mall is “protecting” the White Plains malls, in the same fashion PREIT not only purchased Cherry Hill Mall, but Moorestown Mall to “protect” CHM.

    Simon pulled out of Bergen because Westfield, Mills and General Growth pushed them out with renovations, expansions and remechandising of their respective Paramus properties. It’s slightly ironic that Simon is back in the Paramus region, as they took over Mills’s properties, including The Shops at Riverside.

    [Reply]

    rob Reply:

    @mallguy, Why I am so angry with Simon Property is that the Nanuet Mall has has been going down hill since 2002 and has gotten worse since Boscovs closed. Why are they taking so darn long that is why if another mall owner had nought it it would be back up and running even before the economy went into recession. At least Vornado is keeping their promise with MM they are in second stage of the rennovarion as you said. Simon is leading the town of Nanuet astray three times they have said they have plans and still nothing.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, The last time I was at S@R I noticed a high percentage of stores were walled off, at least they did have comeing soon signs withnames.

    [Reply]

    rob Reply:

    @mallguy, It really dosent matter if bergen mall is near Garden State, Simon doent care that Nanuet Mall is a mile and a ,half away from Palisades Center, it was by luck that Vornado was interested in Bergen I wish they take Nanuet off Simons hands. Riverside rennovted because Bloomingdales did. This mall is too out of they way of the major shopping coriddor of Paramus.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @rob, The renovation I was referring to at Riverside was in 1995, the first renovation, which more or less, made Riverside look the way it does with the marble and brass. Prior to 1995, Riverside had very tall trees and the brick/terra cotta tile that most malls of the 70s and 80s had. They also had a lot of natural light in there. Right before this renovation, Riverside was approaching “Dead Mall” status. That renovation saved it and the 2006-08 expansion further cemented Riverside as an smaller and more upscale alternative to Garden State Plaza. It’s only about 3 miles from GSP, but with the route 4 traffic and a lack of knowledge of side streets, I understand how it could feel like an eternity.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @rob, So you actually never shopped at Nanuet, but by your posts all you did was bash it. Doesn’t that present a credibility problem?

    [Reply]

    rob Reply:

    @SEAN, I shopped Nanuet when Abraham and Straus and Sterns was there but before mostly Paramus because macys Nanuet is terrible.Nanuet isnt one of my favorite malls but looking at the condition its in and the empty Boscovs its a real eyesore. It is making the town on Nanuet look terrible.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN, If it weren’t for this economy, Bloomingdale’s would work there, but even with a relocated Macy’s and a lifestyle/entertainment area would suit MM just fine.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, Oh I know I was trying to make a funny. Basicly my point was you have a viable plan to prevent this mall from dieing & you repeated it over & over. All someone needs to do is scan through the comments to understand it. And of course you wished for Bloomies, but as you said at this time it’s just not relistic.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @rob, Being a realist, Simon will put money into the malls that they think will bring it in. Competition in NJ is fierce and that’s why all are kept current. If it wasn’t for the economy, the Quakerbridge expansion would have started long ago.

    Nanuet Mall isn’t the only dead Simon mall, as just north of Tampa, there is a mall in New Port Richey called Gulf View Square. Before International Plaza and all the others were built, this was the place to be if you’re north of Tampa. They did renovate, but the place is a former shell of itself. There must be some strategic reason they hold on to their weaker malls.

    [Reply]

  435. By any chance, is the Macy’s we have today any different from the Macy’s we had in the 80s, in terms of merchandising, brands, and presentation. And if it is, what can we do to make the current Macy’s like the one from the 80s or better than what we have now? Bring back the Marketplace and Cellar? Postion itself between Dillard’s and Nordstrom in terms of fashion?

    [Reply]

    rob Reply:

    @Michael S, In the 80s Bambergers was at all the New Jersey Malls they were better than macys back then but in general IN COMPARISON TO TODAY MACYS AS DEFINATELY BETTER BACK IN THE 80S. Ever since federated bought macys in the 80s things started to change in the 90s. When macys was private the quality of merchandise was very good today its not. Especially after buying May Company Macys got to big for their britches and took away many chices of other stores to shop at Sterns Filenes etc. I find Dillards better quality wise i have been to their stores in Florida and North Carolina. Nordstrom is good but over priced I go to their rack store in Bergen town center in Paramus.

    [Reply]

    Michael S Reply:

    @rob, What can we do to bring the quality of merchandise that Macy’s sells back up to that of the 80s?

    [Reply]

    rob Reply:

    @Michael S, Macys needs to use better vendors for their private labels. Their buyers are buying crazy looking styles and also for the slim fit. They dont cater too much for the mature customer ages late 40s and up. They cater to the age grouo 18- 40. I think their buyers are all young and dont think of the older age brackett. Abraham and STRAUS STERNS, AND FILENES DID CATER TO ALL AGE GROUPS and had better quality than Macys. Belk and Dillards do and i shop their webs or when i visit their stores in North Carolina.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @rob, Keep in mind that the venders are buying plenty of stuff that comes from China, the middle east & other places where labor is cheap. As a result quality is suspect & this is not a Macy’s specific issue, rather it is a over all retailing problem. You’ll see this in GAP & other inline retailers as well where the unspoken rule is buy cheap & sell high. Buy a T shirt for $5 & sell it for $100 as an example.

    [Reply]

    rob Reply:

    @SEAN, oH i KNOW Sean when i try on a club room shirt in macys the cut is terrible but when i try on Lord and Taylors label Black and Brown the cuts and quality is so much better even Kohls Croft and Barrow label fit me. I remember when clothes were made in Brazil they were made better the people in china do not make or cut clothing well not everyone is slim and trim as they are. I find the Gap over priced i just saw the other day on cnbc their sales are down.People go to their outlets.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @rob, A word of caution; some times the items at the outlets are NOT the same as the regular store, rather they are specific lines made just for the outlets so watch out.

    [Reply]

  436. The Kid City store at Seaview Square is moving to Monmouth Mall this summer. They will be opening downstairs across from Planet Fitness where Burlington Coat Factory was

    [Reply]

  437. Hmmm, interesting

    Is Vornado Realty Trust Playing The Waiting Game at Downtown Crossing?
    May 10, 2011 9:17 AM, By Elaine Misonzhnik, Retail Traffic Associate Editor

    New construction projects ranked high on the list of casualties during the recent downturn. Some developers postponed building new centers because they were fearful that returns on investment would fall short of expectations. Others found they couldn’t get financing, or had the misfortune of seeing previous commitments scrapped because of lender bankruptcies.

    Now, with conditions in the commercial real estate sector on the upswing, some of those projects have started to break ground. In one high-profile case, however, a developer may be stalling on a planned project to maximize its returns and using the still challenging financing environment to its advantage.

    When Vornado Realty Trust, a New York City-based diversified REIT, stopped work in 2008 on One Franklin Street, its $700 million, 1.2-million-square-foot mixed-use project in downtown Boston, it cited the grim economic outlook and difficulty in securing financing as reasons. Three years later, with no date set for construction to resume, Vornado claims it wants to sell out.

    Yet given the economics of the deal, selling the property doesn’t quite make sense. Vornado would have trouble recouping its losses on the land today, but if it builds the project at a later date it will likely reap hefty returns, according to Dan Fasulo, managing director with Real Capital Analytics (RCA), a New York City-based research firm that tracks commercial real estate investment.

    “I don’t think they are going to sell it,” says Fasulo. “I think they’ll wind up sitting with this, or maybe they can find a cheaper source of capital to partner up with — maybe an institutional or foreign investor. Basically, what Vornado is saying is they don’t want to build now. They are going to wait until a new development on that site is a home run.”

    Hindsight is 20/20

    When Vornado bought the 656,000-square-foot Filene’s Basement building in downtown Boston from Federated Department Stores for $100 million in the summer of 2006, the commercial real estate market was booming.

    Vornado formed a 50/50 joint venture with Gale International, a New York-based privately held development and investment firm, and quickly drew up plans to redevelop the property into a 1.2-million-square-foot mixed-use project combining retail, office, luxury condos and a hotel. JP Morgan and Mack-Cali Realty Corp. also invested in the development.

    Renamed One Franklin Street, it was to contain 297,000 square feet of retail, 500,000 square feet of office space and 136 condos, in addition to a 225,000-square-foot hotel component and a below-grade parking garage.

    Located in the midst of Boston’s Downtown Crossing shopping district, within easy access to public transportation, the site fit all the requirements for a successful mixed-use development, says Richard K. Green, director of the Lusk Center for Real Estate at the University of Southern California and professor in the School of Policy, Planning and Development at the Marshall School of Business.

    Vornado and partners began demolishing existing structures on the site in February 2008. One Franklin Street was due to be completed in 2011. Vornado initially planned to finance construction with a $546 million CMBS loan leveraged at about 70 percent, but could not find lenders willing to commit to such a large sum.

    Yet it eventually secured a $360 million deal for a four-year construction loan financed primarily by the Bank of Ireland and Bank of America, with Helaba Bank, HBOS and Capital One taking smaller positions. The loan was scheduled to close on Nov. 15, 2008, but the deal never went through.

    After Vornado halted demolition work on the site, media reports said the project’s financing fell through, but stories from Commercial Mortgage Alert, an industry newsletter tracking the CMBS market, show that wasn’t the case.

    The banks were still willing to fund the project. Vornado, however, worried there was no longer enough demand from retailers, office tenants and condo buyers to justify building the complex — at least not in the near term.

    Controversial decision

    The hitch was that while Vornado and its partners felt it was prudent to halt construction and wait for market conditions to improve, One Franklin Street was no ordinary project.

    The 89,000-square-foot site happens to be part of the Downtown Crossing revitalization effort, a pet project of Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino, according to Jonathan Lapat, principal with Framingham, Mass.-based brokerage firm Strategic Retail Advisors and partner with Boston X Team International, an international alliance of retail real estate brokers.

    One Franklin Street is located within the Downtown Crossing Business Improvement District (BID). In order to build it, Vornado and Gale had to receive permission from the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) and other city agencies.

    As long as the Mayor and BRA officials believed the project was halted due to financing issues and low demand, they seemed to be willing to wait for better times for construction to resume. And then Steven Roth, Vornado chairman, committed a costly faux pas.

    Speaking before an audience at Columbia University in March 2010, Roth implied that he let the former Alexander’s site in midtown Manhattan sit unused for years in order to get development incentives from the City of New York.

    Vornado eventually built the Bloomberg Tower, a 1.3-million-square-foot mixed-use complex, on the land. The site remained empty for nine years after Alexander’s Department Store closed its doors, before Vornado started construction in 2001.

    The speech gave rise to suspicion among Boston city officials that Vornado was deliberately stalling on One Franklin Street as well. On March 8, 2010, Mayor Menino sent Roth an angry letter, chastising him for his cavalier attitude toward creating urban blight. He also directed the BRA to look into the possibility of using eminent domain to take back the land from Vornado.

    Vornado officials insisted the project was postponed because of the credit crunch and the recession. By November, with no construction date set, the BRA revoked Vornado’s authority to redevelop the site.

    Officials with Vornado declined to comment, referring all questions to its annual report. The BRA and Mayor Menino’s office did not return calls for comment.

    Truth or dare

    Vornado claims that it wants to sell One Franklin Tower to another developer or find a new joint venture partner to finance it. In his letter to shareholders this April, Roth indicated that the firm already wrote off $36 million in development costs on the project, with $46 million remaining on its books. Vornado has secured the services of commercial brokerage firm Cushman & Wakefield to help it find a buyer.

    In his letter, Roth also pointed out that the firm has received significant interest in the site. Still, the chances of Vornado recouping its $100 million investment under current market conditions are low given scarce demand for undeveloped land, according to Fasulo.

    Instead, both he and Green suspect that Vornado is biding time until there is strong enough demand for new space in Boston for it to build and hit its original return targets. If the firm wanted to secure new financing for the project, it could probably find a willing foreign investor, Fasulo says.

    After all, it’s a publicly traded REIT with an excellent development record and a high-profile site in a major U.S. city. It could also build a project that features primarily retail and rental apartments — the two sectors that have come back the strongest in Boston in recent months.

    This year, the retail vacancy rate in Boston is expected to drop 40 basis points to 6.4 percent, according to Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services, an Encino, Calif.-based real estate firm. The vacancy rate for apartments across the Boston metro area will likely drop 90 basis points to 4.2 percent — lower than pre-recession levels.

    The vacancy rate for office properties in Boston, however, will still average approximately 13.3 percent in 2011, Marcus & Millichap projects.

    Vornado might need the profits from the condo and office components to make its numbers work. “Developers are in business to make money. It’s not particularly shocking that Vornado wants to get the best return it can on its investment,” says Green.

    “I think it’s a great mixed-use site,” continues Green, “but it probably is not yet time to build on it. If I were a developer, would I start breaking ground right now? Probably not.”

    Green also believes that it would be a mistake for Boston city officials to take the project back through eminent domain in order to redevelop it themselves. Cities have a history of spending too much money on construction compared with private developers, and they often get things wrong, he points out.

    Vornado, on the other hand, has decades of development experience behind it, so it may make sense for the city to wait until it’s ready to start work on One Franklin Street once again.

    “I think it has a great chance of getting built,” says Lapat. “It’s a phenomenal location and a neighborhood that has been going through a slow, but consistent, revitalization over the years. It would surprise me greatly if it doesn’t get built once the market corrects itself.”

    The price of Vornado stock (NYSE: VNO) closed at $94.79 per share on Monday, May 9, up from $81.88 a year ago.

    Thaughts

    Based on Vornados history, this shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone. Look how long it took them to commit any money to Monmouth Mall & some of there other retail assets.

    [Reply]

  438. While Mallguy is one of the most knowledgeable people on this website, I strongly disagree with his reasoning that Bloomingdale’s would be a good fit for Monmouth Mall. Of course, this disagreement is nothing new, as we have discussed this issue many times previously. There is one new thing that I want to add to this debate, however.

    To support his point of view in the past, Mallguy has pointed out that those who live near the mall tend to have very high income levels. While this is 100% correct, the problem is that (despite this fact) Monmouth Mall has a reputation for being a middle-class mall; Monthmouth County has room for only one upper-class mall, Freehold Raceway Mall. To look at it another way, consider this: the area surrounding the Livingston Mall also has very desirable demographics, yet nobody would advocate placing a Bloomingdale’s there, because Livingston is also a middle-class mall; the Mall at Short Hills is the only upscale mall that Essex County can support.

    (As a side note, Bloomingdale’s had an opportunity to join FRM four years ago during that mall’s expansion; if one recalls correctly, FRM considered adding a sixth department store but instead opted to go with the lifestyle component. The fact that Bloomingdale’s surprisingly passed at the opportunity to join FRM indicates that the chain has no desire whatsoever to enter Monmouth County.)

    Switching the subject, I really wish Boscov’s would consider re-opening at the Monmouth Mall. (While I realize that there is zero chance of this happening, I do want to point out that something like this has happened in the past: Hecht’s re-joined the Harrisburg Mall after leaving it.) When I look at the locations that Boscov’s decided to close back in 2008, some of these really made no sense: why would the chain discard the Monmouth Mall store while keeping locations in downtown Binghampton (which has long had a reputation as being one of the worst performers in the chain) or at the Frederick Town Mall (a completely dead mall that recently lost its only other anchor, Bon-Ton)? It is not like central NJ is so far away from Boscov’s core market (the way upstate NY is). The closure of the Monmouth Mall store surprises me to this day.

    [Reply]

    rob Reply:

    @Max, I think its the still shakey economy that macys dosent want to open a Bloomingdales they are concentrating on opening Bloomingdale outlets as they did at Bergen Town Center in Paramus. Right now here in Rockland County ny they are planning to tear down the Nanuet Mall and turn it into an upscale mall so I am wondering if they will turn our macys into Bloomingdales.The macys here is so old and run down. I read though that macys is opening a new store in Chicago . I think we are too saturated with macys after they bought may co.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @rob, Outlets are tricky. As I said a few posts back, sometimes the product lines at the outlet stores are made specificly for them & don’t match what is sold in the regular retail store. As an example check Nordstrom vs Nordstrom Rack.

    As the old saying goes, let the buyer be whare.

    [Reply]

    rob Reply:

    @SEAN, Oh you are right, I will give you an example I like chrome by azzaro cologne its 50.00 in Macys. In BTC Nordstrom rack wants 29.50 for it but saks off fith wanted the same price as Macys charges and they are supposed to be outlet.In any outlets you have to know your prices in BTC, WOODBURY OR TANGER. tHATS WHY NINE TIMES OUT OF TEN I DO BETTER AT THE DEPT STORES. i FIND CENTURY 21 TRUE BEING LOWER THAN THE OTHER STORES.ON CERTAIN ITEMS.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @rob, I know you are aware that Century 21 is not technicly an outlet store, but it functions as one in terms of design & layout. The product lines are similar to an H& M or XXI Forever.

    [Reply]

    rob Reply:

    @SEAN, I have shopped Century 21 for years even when i worked on Wall Street. They carry ties by designers for 12,97 Perry Ellis belts that are30.00 in Macys for 10.97. They carry Nautica, Van Husen,Columbia,Chaps all brands you find in the ept stores, The Manhattan store gets alot of clothing from europe for the tourists at discount prices. Now in comparison with Nordstrom and bloomingdales outlets i like century21 better because they do offer savings on their merchandise, check them out sometime at BTC.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @rob, I wonder if Century 21 would work at Monmouth Mall. If so, do you think it should go into the former Boscov’s or move Macy’s into the Boscov’s space & put C 21 in the current Macy’s location. Either way having a dead anchor that size is destroying that malls viability.

    don’t know about you, but it sounds similar to what Nanuet Mall has been going through. Granted MM still has three other anchors, but all of them are located at Freehold Raceway as well.

    [Reply]

    rob Reply:

    @SEAN, Well C21 IS somewhat similar in price like Boscovs they would do good there. Look what happened to Danbury Mall they had they HAD THE empty Filenes for a few years until finally FOREVER21 AND DICKS TOO K OVER THAT STORE. iAM SURPRISED FOR A MALL LIKE MONMOUTH WHICH STILL HAS DECENT ANCHORS MACYS SEARS AND LORD AND TAYLOR THAT THEY CANNOT GET ANOTHER ANCHOR HOW ABOUT KOHLS, THE BONTON, I GUESS JCPENNEY IS AT FREEHOLD. I TELL YOU THERENARENT MANY DEPT STORES LEFT,AND THE TWO FROM THE SOUTH WONT COME UP HERE.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @rob, I wonder how Sears, Macy’s & Lord & Taylor are performing at Monmouth vs Freehold. The anchor spaces at MM are rather large, Macy’s & Boscov’s in particular.

    [Reply]

    rob Reply:

    @SEAN, Well, if Lord and Taylor wasnt doing well at MM they would have moved to Freehold. It also depends on volume of customers they get each week like GSP DOES OR PALISADES, DANBURY MALL HAD THE SAME ANCHORS AFTER FILENES WAS FORCED OUT BY MACYS.i FORGOT THEY HAVE JCPENNEY MACYS,SEARS AND LORD AND TAYLOR. THEY HAD TO WAIT A FEW YEARS AS WELL UNTIL DANBURY FOUND STORES TO REPLACE FILENES, tHEY MAY HAVE TO DO THE SAME AT MM TO THE EMPTY BOSCOVS.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @rob, The issue with MM as Mallguy has pointed out is, you have a mall that is failing & the best way to revive is to add entertainment components.

    1. Move Macy’s to Boscov’s & consolidate all the retailers in that part of the center.
    2. The middle level becomes the entertainment area with restaurants, bars & a remoddled AMC theatre. I would go one step further & add security doors that could be closed if nessessary for crowd control, but never locked. This would create a distinct seperation between the retail & entertainment sections.

    The next question would be what entertainment venues to add? I like Mallguy’s idea of Dave & Busters, but of course a great mesuring stick is what Palisades Center’s 4th level offers & work off that concept. Perhaps there are other venues out there that could also work.

    Thaughts?

    rob Reply:

    @SEAN, I agree about Dave AND Busters and as I suggested DICKS AND FOREVER21 OR C21.There arent many stores anymore.Or maybe whole foods as BTC HAS.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @rob, JCPenney is also at MM, Sears is at the former Seaview Square, as well as Freehold.

    [Reply]

    rob Reply:

    @mallguy, The Danbury Fair Mall had an empty Filenes store for four years until Dicks and Forever 21 went into that space maybe they can do that with the former Boscovs. I tell you Macys ruined the retail market with all of formers S terns and Filenes stores sitting empty because of mergers and buying may co.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @rob, Dick’s was supposed to come to MM in their recent expansion, but apparently, they pulled out. It’s just the economic sign of the times with Federated buying up the regional chains/May and making them Macy’s…they couldn’t make it on their own. Honestly was never a big fan of Sterns, but I do miss A&S. XXI Forever will probably make it to MM soon. They’ve got the big 2 level store in Freeholod and they’re about to open in Menlo Park in the former Foot Locker (since condensed)/Woolworth.

    And in terms of other regional stores, I liked Burdine’s, but I’m glad Dillard’s is still around when I make my way down to FL.

    mallguy Reply:

    @Max, Thank you for the compliment. Putting aside the current economic challenges, I do believe that Monmouth County can handle a second upscale mall, especially since some of those more affluent towns are closer to Monmouth Mall than Freehold Raceway Mall. If you look at the Grove at Shrewsbury and Pier Village, they are doing very, very well and have gone for a more upscale clientele. The fact that Vornado has faltered with MM has allowed them to succeed. A Bloomingdale’s in Monmouth Mall would attract many new stores to the mall and give it the lifeline it so desperately needs!

    If Bloomingdale’s never opens in the old Boscov’s, I would support Macy’s moving into the old Boscov’s and having lifestyle/entertainment space in the one level wing.

    Century 21 may work in MM, but not in the Boscov’s space…I would put it in the lifestyle area, eventhough it really isn’t a type of store one would see in a lifestyle center.

    [Reply]

    rob Reply:

    @mallguy, I agree with you i like Dillards as well when i get to family in Raleigh N.C Even Belk .I like them more so than Macys.Belk reminds me of ABRAHAM AND STRAUS.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, +1. Just imagine how far you can go with a little innovative thinking in terms of remerchindising a failing center like MM. There’s so much that needs to be done & Vornado hasn’t done much of anything in that department yet.

    [Reply]

  439. Hey Max. Just wanted to mention to you that Hecht’s never left the Harrisburg Mall. Not sure why you think that. As for Boscov’s, I’d love to see them return to Monmouth Mall, but the fact is the building might just be too big for them.

    [Reply]

    APZ Reply:

    @Mike P, I heard that Boscov’s in fact, is heading back to MM. Anyone else hear this? Will they be occupying the same space in totality?

    [Reply]

  440. I’ll try this again, I tried posting a link to a Asbury Park Press article about Boscov’s returning to Momnouth Mall but the APP.com link was mangled, so then I posted a shortened link with no real context. Can’t seem to edit comments either.

    So, here is a link to an APP.com article about Boscov’s coming back to Monmouth Mal:

    http://bit.ly/jNnGeH

    Hopeully it makes sense now.

    [Reply]

  441. Hi all,

    Looks like Boscov’s will be returning to Monmouth Mall, per today’s Asbury Park Press.

    [Reply]

  442. There is an article on the front page of todays Asbury Park Press that states Boscoves will be reopening in Monmouth mall. The information is provided by the mayor of Eatontown and no where in the article do representatives from Boscovs or Monmouth Mall comment. The mayor states that a deal either has been signed or will be signed very soon. It says that Boscovs will reopen in the same location as it used to be. It also does not say when it will reopen.

    [Reply]

  443. And now it looks like Boscov’s will be returning to its former location in the Monmouth Mall.

    The mayor of Eatontown was quoted in the Courier-News/Home News Tribune as saying that a contract between Boscov’s and Vornado is “either just signed or about to be signed.”

    http://www.mycentraljersey.com/article/20110531/NJNEWS/305310038/Boscov-s-Monmouth-Mall-reopen-Eatontown-mayor-says

    [Reply]

  444. looks like Boscovs is comming back to the mall/ here is the article.

    http://www.mycentraljersey.com/article/20110531/NJNEWS/305310038/Boscov-s-at-Monmouth-Mall-to-reopen-Eatontown-mayor-says

    [Reply]

  445. looks like boscovs will open up again, here is the article

    http://www.app.com/article/20110531/NJBIZ/305310115/1003/business&source=rss

    [Reply]

  446. I spoke to someone from Boscov’s customer service. The store is planning on reopening at the Monmouth Mall in October.

    There is a lot of work being done inside the store. I peeked in the other day and it looks like they’re doing a complete remodel. I think this is great news. Just moving back into the old store (which was itself a remnant of the old Stern’s store) would have been a no-go. People unfamiliar with Boscov’s would assume the worst, that it’s a no-name store.

    I still believe that that building is the best department store building at the mall. A full remodel will really showcase that store.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @GM, And except for the 1st floor, when Stern’s was there, it was a remnant of the old A&S and did little renovation, unlike Short Hills in the A&S to Macy’s switch.

    I agree, it is the best department store space in the mall…personally, I would love to see them open up the space and kill the double racetrack format.

    All in all, I hope the Monmouth Mall Boscov’s is made to look a little better than some of their older stores!

    The parking deck also needs to be rehabbed!

    [Reply]

    GM Reply:

    @mallguy,

    Yea, I’m pretty excited. I was never a huge fan of Boscov’s, but they were always very friendly and had a lot of good deals. I’m more excited about the impact it will have on the rest of that wing of the mall. It’s been going downhill. Add to that a full interior renovation of the mall and of Boscov’s, and you have a winning combination. The store was always good, it just felt old and cheap, this is exactly what it needed.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @GM, Boscov’s is a great store, just can’t stand the design of the stores, eg: the neon, the garish chandiliers, etc. It’s a little too over the top for me and I hope with this renovation, they mute the previsoulsy over the top elements.

    This reopening of Boscov’s will help Monmouth Mall in the long run.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, What’s the matter with a little garishness when you are shopping? LOL Actually I agree with you. The best thing is that this mall could have a serious comeback & be able to atract the destenational retailers & restaurants that MM so desperitly need. What a way to atract Dave & Busters & the like.

    [Reply]

    GM Reply:

    @mallguy,

    Forgot to mention the parking deck. My wife keeps saying that, but I don’t think it’s too bad. I liked parking there because it would always be empty and provided cover from the sun or rain. If they can update it, that would be great. It’s not actually attached to the building, so who knows if they (Boscov’s or MM) would go through the expense rather than just tear it down.

    [Reply]

    Michael S Reply:

    @mallguy, They’re opening up the space.

    [Reply]

    Michael S Reply:

    @mallguy, Out of curiosity, does anybody have interior photos of that building b4 it closed?

    [Reply]

    Michael S Reply:

    @GM, Can you give me the name of the person you talked to at Boscovs? I want to see if I can go into the store.

    [Reply]

    GM Reply:

    @Michael S,

    I emailed customer service. I got the address from boscovs.com

    [Reply]

    Mike Reply:

    The reason for the half-assed interior design of the Monmouth Mall store was that they rushed to get the store ready for Christmas. IIRC, they opened it within 90 days of taking over the lease from Stern’s. They took their time instead with the store at Ocean County, opening it well after the holiday season, and that store has definitely fared better than Monmouth.

    [Reply]

  447. CELABRATION TIME!

    [Reply]

    rob Reply:

    @SEAN, Boscovs should come back here but come to palisades . They would be a big asset for the mall and maybe the knuckleheads in this county who hate palisades maybe would apprecitate it being that many missed Boscovs here as well.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @rob, I agree. Now the $64,000,000,000 question , where do you put Boscov’s or better yet how do you reconfigure current spaces to make it fit. Easier said then done, right?

    [Reply]

    rob Reply:

    @SEAN, I agree but either above Lord and Taylor 3and 4th floors or the whole space where kiddy city was. Move Bed bath get rid of burlington and put them into burlingtons. Take bed bath and next two floors above .There is so much unused space they can fit Boscovs in somewhere.Maybe if we lose Sears next year maybe Boscovs can go in Sears Paramus Park.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @rob, Am I to assume the loss of Sears at Paramus Park is a hypothetical? I really doubt they’d give up that space.

    [Reply]

    rob Reply:

    @mallguy, They are saying rhat they may get rid of sears next year 2012 and keep kmarts but i dont think kmart will go into malls. I said if Sears is phased out Boscovs would be a good fit for Paramus Park if they cannot find a space in Palisades Mall and Nanuet is being demolished and going upscale.

    [Reply]

  448. Wondering if I can get a look at the current inside of the Boscovs b4 they change the former layout. How hard would that be?

    [Reply]

    GM Reply:

    @Michael S,

    Depends, do you want to do it officially or sneak in? The doors are wide open during the week when they’re performing construction, you could easily take photos from the doorway or walk in.

    [Reply]

    Michael S Reply:

    @GM, Walked inside Boscov’s today. They’ve ripped out some of the walls on the first floor, and maybe the second. Couldn’t see the third. Wouldn’t let me explore further. Appears they’re keeping the layout the same though.

    [Reply]

    Pseudo3D Reply:

    So what ARE they doing in the old Boscov’s, reopening it as a Boscov’s?

    [Reply]

    Mike Reply:

    @Pseudo3D, yes. The town gave them a break on taxes to get them to open back up.

    [Reply]

    Pseudo3D Reply:

    @Mike, nice to know, glad its not Walmart.

    [Reply]

  449. Anyone have any idea what happened to the time capsle that was buried at MM in 1960? It was cleary marked and there are pictures of the event. The probelm is that nobdy seems to know what ever became of it.

    [Reply]

  450. Stopped by the mall today and it was fairly quiet. No surprise as it’s a 90 degree day and 5 miles from the beach.

    It looks as if the interior renovation is just about done. Noticed significant changes in the 2 level section, as it’s much brighter. They still have a little more do do. Food Court area is also still being worked on.

    While there are no large signs present about the Boscov’s return, there is an employment center set up in one of the vacant stores in the mall.

    The 35/36 construction is underway and causing massive traffic jams on just about all the roads leading up to it.

    [Reply]

  451. Does anybody know who designed the A&S at monmouth mall, and where I can find information regarding it?

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @Michael S, I would start with Eatontown reccords. Most of that information is usually documented. If that doesn’t give you the info you need, ask the planning board or what ever they call it there, since some reccord must exist on that property.

    [Reply]

    Michael S Reply:

    @SEAN, K. Perhaps Boscov’s still has records of that store in its archives!

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @Michael S,

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @Michael S, Perhaps they do, but in case they don’t Eatontown maybe an alturnitive resource for you.

    [Reply]

    rob Reply:

    @SEAN, Maybe Macys Inc which was Federated dept stores because federated owned that building before macys merged with Abraham and Straus.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @rob, Good point, every little bit helps.

    The thing that really bothers me is the size of the vertual carrot that was required to get Boscov’s to return. It gives the impression that they chose to return solly based on the size of the tax break they received & not on growing there market share.

    [Reply]

    rob Reply:

    @SEAN, WOW Willowbrook Mall is under water Bloomingdales , Macys and Sports authority they have been closed since Saturday the way it looks tommorrow too. Menlo park was still closed yesterday as well. Flooding wasnt too bad by palisades. By Monday most of the remaining stores in Nanuet Mall are out.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @rob, Interesting to note how Willowbrook Mall didn’t flood that often & when it did, it wasn’t all that bad. Now it semes every time the Pasaic River goes above flood stage, Willowbrook gets hit & it’s getting worse each time. If that area was being developed today, building codes would require flood nitagation before anything gets constructed.

    Menlo’s low spot is somewhere between Nordstrom, the nearby surface lots & Parsonage Road. I cant see Menlo Park fludding too badly since the property sloaps away from the mall itself.

    I just thaught about something, I wonder about American Dream Medowlands being a flood risk since it is in the swamp & close to the Hackensack River wich has a tendency to flood, but not as harshly as the Pasaic does.

    As for Nanuet, *plays taps*.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN, The hurricane Irene flooding for Menlo Park took place in the outlying areas of the Parking lot near Macy’s. Also, the intersection of Parsonage Road and Lafayette Avenue flooded. Pictures of this are on the Star-Ledger website. This flooding lasted until Tuesday and the mall reopened Wednesday.

    I have never seen this area become flooded, but then again, it rained for a ridiculously long time during the storm.

    [Reply]

  452. We’re a little closer to the end of the Monmotuh mall renovation! Happened to stop by the mall the other day…new lighting in the one level section is being installed, there are carpeted seating areas in front of the department stores on the two level section and soft seating areas are coming to the mall! The food court wing is now being worked on…lighting has been changed and they now need to repaint the ceiling to lighten it up. New ceiling panels are being installed and outside, they are finishing up the food court mall entrance.

    Routes 35 and 36 are a little messy with the road construction project and roadway improvements. (one more year to go on that) Now that the summer season has ended, traffic will be a little better.

    Overall, the mall looks good! Once Boscov’s reopens, it is my hope that some better stores will open up in the two level section!

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, ~You think Tattoo Nation will open a second location at MM? LOL

    Seriously I hope the renovations at the very least atract some high quality dining & entertainment options to the mall. As for Fork & Screen, cinema management at both Palisades & GSP told me the AMC theatres there won’t be converted because both of them are too busy as it is. Based on that, I think it is doubtful that this theatre will be converted, but I could be wrong.

    I was in your neck of the woods on Sunday. I cant believe the number of restaurants in downtown Morristown. From the train station on Morris Street to Speedwell Avenue around the green on Park Place, you could go crazy choosing a place to dine.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN,

    Morristown is absolutely amazing! Have you seen the new 40 Park? (building that replaced Epstein’s) The building is almost fully sold out and businesses and restaurants are moving into the street level spaces. Urban Table and Roots Steak House are at least two new restaurants that opened up in there. Morristown now, again, has Starbucks.

    On Monmouth Mall, I’m willing to try anything. I definitely notice the difference with the renovation. It’ll be interesting to see what transpires once Boscov’s reopens, but yes, I do hope MM is more successful. It is such a great location and it’s sad to see Vornado has let this one stay stagnant for so long.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, The post below goes to you.

    [Reply]

  453. Oh yeah I checked out 40 Park & WOW what a building. Not just the building it self, but what a location! Everything is within walking distance including Kings, A & P & the train station. Is the red brick building on Park Place East across from Headquarters Plaza Century 21?

    It is so easy to get yourself lost in downtown since so many of the streets cut on strange angles forsing you to cross & recross in order to get where you want to go.

    Some how I managed to climb a steep hill on one of the side streets off Morris Street & landed at the foot of HQ Plaza. Don’t ask how I got there, but I did.

    Lets see what Vornado does with MM now that Boscov’s is returning. If they cant do the job, sell it to Macerich.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN, You are correct, that is Century 21, the former Macy’s. That building was vacant for years before Century 21 moved in. Morristown’s terrain is rather interesting…there is a steep hill leading down from the Green toward the train station, another steep hill going down on the backside of Headquarters Plaza and yet another steep hill one block from the front side of Headquarters Plaza, which is a good cut through route to get back to the Green from the HQ Plaza parking deck. The condos in 40 Park are mighty expensive! The Green around Christmas is one of the most beautiful displays in New Jersey!

    I really think Vornado should sell….something tells me they’re not that serious about the potential of Monmouth Mall.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, Vornado is more an office building owner & you can see it in their track reccord on the retail side. Not just MM, but Springfield Mall, Kings Plaza & Green Acres as well. The one that bucks the trend is Crystal City in Arlington since it is both transit oriented & also has dozens of owned office buildings attached via the purchase of Charles E. Smith a few years back.

    You have no idea just how expensive 40 Park is. A 2-bed 2.5-bath aprox 1700 sq ft unit is at least $1.2 million with maint over $1000 per month & property taxes over $18,000. I pulled numbers from various units still for sale on http://www.weichert.com. They are exclusive listings. There’s one that is a 2/ 2.5 2700 sq ft unit that’s over $1.9 million. I cant imagine what the property taxes are on that since Weichert didn’t post it. I’m sure with your sallary you could swing it with no problem. LOL

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @Mallguy, Here are the current listings @ 40 Park from http://www.weichert.com. Sorry no photos. Doubt that buyers here will shop at MM, but would go to Willowbrook & Short Hills perhaps.

    40 W. Park Place
    Morristown, NJ
    $1,995,000
    MLS #/Web ID 2882371Condo
    2 Beds | 3 Baths

    Sqft: 2,710
    Year: 2010 | Fees: $1,116

    Penthouse 601, 40 W Park Place
    Morristown, NJ 07960
    Morristown, NJ
    $1,330,000
    MLS #/Web ID 670050508-15Condo
    2 Beds | 2 Baths, 1 Half Bath
    Sqft: 1,960
    Year: 2010 | Fees: $813

    40 W PARK PL
    Morristown, NJ
    $1,330,000
    MLS #/Web ID 2849333Condo
    2 Beds | 2 Baths, 1 Half Bath
    Sqft: 1,960
    Year: 2010 | Fees: $813View Details

    Unit 209, 40 W Park Place
    Morristown, NJ 07960
    Morristown, NJ
    $1,299,000MLS #/Web ID 670050508-5Condo
    2 Beds | 2 Baths, 1 Half Bath
    Sqft: 2,492
    Year: 2010 | Fees: $1,001

    Penthouse 603, 40 W Park Place
    Morristown, NJ 07960
    Morristown, NJ
    $1,275,000
    MLS #/Web ID 670050508-14Condo
    2 Beds | 2 Baths
    Sqft: 1,950
    Year: 2010 | Fees: $786

    Unit 410, 40 W Park Place
    Morristown, NJ 07960
    Morristown, NJ
    $1,199,000
    MLS #/Web ID 670050508-18Condo
    2 Beds | 3 Baths
    Sqft: 2,192
    Year: 2010 | Fees: $881

    40 W. Park Place
    Morristown, NJ
    $1,189,000
    MLS #/Web ID 2882349Condo
    2 Beds | 3 Baths
    Sqft: 2,192
    Year: 2010 | Fees: $905View Details

    40 W. Park Place
    Morristown, NJ
    $1,175,000
    MLS #/Web ID 2882361Condo
    2 Beds | 2 Baths
    Sqft: 1,730
    Year: 2010 | Fees: $720

    Unit 414, 40 W Park Place
    Morristown, NJ 07960
    Morristown, NJ
    $889,000
    MLS #/Web ID 670050508-17Condo
    2 Beds | 2 Baths, 1 Half Bath
    Sqft: 1,871
    Year: 2010 | Fees: $776

    40 W PARK PL
    Morristown, NJ
    $889,000
    MLS #/Web ID 2849325Condo
    2 Beds | 2 Baths, 1 Half Bath
    Sqft: 1,871
    Year: 2010 | Fees: $776

    Unit 313, 40 W Park Place
    Morristown, NJ 07960
    Morristown, NJ
    $879,000
    MLS #/Web ID 670050508-11Condo
    2 Beds | 2 Baths, 1 Half Bath
    Sqft: 1,680
    Year: 2010 | Fees: $676

    Unit 511, 40 W Park Place
    Morristown, NJ 07960
    Morristown, NJ
    $765,000
    MLS #/Web ID 670050508-10Condo
    2 Beds | 2 Baths
    Sqft: 1,389
    Year: 2010 | Fees: $558

    40 W PARK PL
    Morristown, NJ
    $750,000
    MLS #/Web ID 2833822Condo
    2 Beds | 2 Baths
    Sqft: 1,380
    Year: 2010 | Fees: $559

    Unit 411, 40 W Park Place
    Morristown, NJ 07960
    Morristown, NJ
    $750,000
    MLS #/Web ID 670050508-16Condo
    2 Beds | 2 Baths
    Sqft: 1,380
    Year: 2010 | Fees: $559

    [Reply]

  454. Boscovs is now reopened! Anybody been there yet? Does it still look the same? Or have they kept the arrangement of the floorpaths the same, but redid everything esle?

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @Michael S,

    Haven’t been yet, but according the the Asbury Park Press, the store has been extensively renovated. It will be interesting to see what has been done, and looking at the bigger picture, I hope this will help rebound the mall, especially that portion.

    [Reply]

    Michael S Reply:

    @mallguy, If I go and the chairman of Boscovs is still there, I’ll ask if he has photos from the store when it opened in ’01. That and a layout!

    [Reply]

    Michael S Reply:

    @Michael S, Do u guys have any interior photos of the store pre-renovation?

    [Reply]

  455. Went today. Third floor hasn’t been changed. Parquet floors still there. Walls have been knocked down on the 1st and 2nd floors. In fact, in the escalator atrium, they still have the numbers indicating the floors on the columns that were there when A&S/Sterns were. I know this because they were there years ago when I went there when it was Sterns. And the Macy’s in White Plains has those same signs in the same text.

    [Reply]

    Michael S Reply:

    Will post floorplan of store shortly!

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @Michael S, I went there today and noticed some changes on the 1st and second floor, especially with the walls down that helped form the “double racetrack format” of the store. Interesting thing with the first floor, it seems as if half was left the same while half was changed. I like the more open feel of the store and noticed the most changes on the 2nd floor. Noticed that very little changed on the 3rd floor…it seems like there’s even less space up there.

    Good to see Boscov’s back and hopefully it can reinvigorate the rest of the mall.

    Joe’s Crab Shack is now being built at the traffic light entrance (where the gas station used to be) along Route 35.

    [Reply]

    Michael S Reply:

    @mallguy, At least I finally saw the third floor and it hasn’t changed a bit since it was A&S. Atrium is still the same as it was. Gonna make a call and see if I can have plans of the store b4 the walls were taken down.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @Michael S,

    Other than the placement of the various departments between A&S, Sterns and Boscov’s (the community room was a restaurant in the A&S days, prior to 1988), the decor of the 3rd floor has not changed, except for Boscov’s dedication to the hideous neon displays of department locations.

    [Reply]

    Michael S Reply:

    @mallguy, What was the placement of the departments exactly?

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @Michael S, It’s still quite similar to the way it was; almost mirror image. The only difference is that the “racetrack format” is now only half-the walls on the 1st and second floor toward the mall side were torn down and that portion of the store opened up. They also re-tiled this portion of the store.

    Was at Monmouth Mall today and the place was hopping! Renovation is complete and looks pretty good. It’s 10 times better than what it was before. The 35/36 construction is going to slow things down in the area for the next 6 months

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, Was Bobbys Burger Palace really cooking like Bergen TC? Knowing that place, I’ll bet it was. What new stores have opened or will be opening soon at MM?

    As a footnote, Starbucks has closed at GSP & Lovesac is closing there in Febuary. Current employees will be shifting to other stores. They tried to renogociate for a lease elsewhere in the mall, but it’s not working out.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN, Starbucks closing at GSP? That’s surprising. Isn’t there a Starbucks in Macy’s there too? Well, safe to say they won’t suffer from a lack of places to get coffee there…

    Bobby’s Burger Palace is on the ring road, as opposed to in the mall. Didn’t go past it today, but it looks as though it’s doing fine when I’ve gone past it before. Joe’s Crab Shack is opening soon @ MM, but they do need more stores in the mall…many there are temporary. Hopefully, we will see a resurgence now that Boscov’s is back.

    [Reply]

  456. Perhaps Bloomies can still come. It is possible!

    [Reply]

    Michael S Reply:

    Just reconstruct the east end of the mall, where Macy’s and the theatres are. It can work!

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @Michael S, Before Barnes and Noble was built and Boscov’s closed in 2008, my hope was that the B&N wing would be reconstructed and anchored by Bloomie’s, which is pretty much where B&N stands. With that reconstruction, I would have also liked to see the 2nd floor expanded to Macy’s and include the Bloomingdale’s wing.

    It’s less likely now and I think the only way you’ll see a Bloomingdale’s there is if Vornado sells (please sell!!!!) to Macerich and we have an economic rebound.

    Monmouth Mall still has life and the renovation makes the place look a lot nicer. Let’s hope Boscov’s return helps to further reinvigorate this mall!

    [Reply]

  457. Bobbys Burger Pallace will be opening another location at Roosevelt Field in early 2012.
    I wonder how well they are doing at MM. If it is anything like Bergen TC, the crowds must be enormous. As a side order, Seasons 52 will also be opening at RF in early 2012. Construction is under way.

    [Reply]

    rob Reply:

    @SEAN, They will do great in Roosevelt Field. Its a very high volume mall anytime ii have been to the one in Bergen Town Center i was never disappointed. A benni hanna type restaurant is replacing Fire and Ice in Palisades Mall.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @rob, Good to know. Personally I would would like to see BBP open at… the NEW Nanuet Mall, Ridge Hill Village & in Downtown White Plains. There are several locations in the tri-state area as well as up & down the east coast where BBP would work despite the presence of 5 guys.

    [Reply]

    Michael S Reply:

    @SEAN, Heard Fairway Market is opening a store in Rockland County. Think it’ll open at the new Nanuet? I also think opening a Wegmans there could do wonders. BTW, they should’ve knocked down Bergen Mall entirely and built a mixed use town center development anchored by Wegmans. That would’ve reduced sprawl a lot. And the outlet stores could go there still! And BBP!

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @Michael S, I wouldn’t be shocked to see Fairway at Nanuet at all considering that they are in rapid growth mode right now. They are quite different from Stop & Shop & ShopRite in the store layout & there food offerings that go beyond the basics. Infact the Newest ShopRights in Scarsdale, White Plains & New Rochelle take some design cues including color pallats from Fairway. It would be interesting to see if Fairway would take space at Monmouth Mall, but I doubt it.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN, Still haven’t been in Fairway. I bet they are very similar to Wegman’s, which is in Ocean Township, about 4 miles south of MM on Route 35.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, I haven’t been to Wegmans yet, but they seme to be similar to the Fresh Market that has been growing recently in the northeast. A store in Scarsdale is opening soon in what was an Old Navy.

    [Reply]

    Michael S Reply:

    @SEAN, I expect Fairway to open in Middletown, in the old Pathmark. That seems like a good location.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @Michael S, Wish it would be Wegman’s

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, Middletown NJ, maybe a great location for Fairway. The question is are there sites between 50,000 & 85,000sq ft with land for upwards of 400 parking spaces in that area? If not, then Trader Joes, Wegmans or the Fresh Market might be a good option since they could fit into an existing space. All four companies share a similar demographic – high quality food without paying whole Foods prices & items you wont find at the large supermarket chains.

    I wonder if one of those stores would be interested in setting up shop at Monmouth Mall since malls like this will need to deversify there store rosters for future survival since being dependent on fashon retailers for the most part is turning out to be a disaster based on current ecconomic trends.

    Happy thanksgiving to you & Michael S as well.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN, Any one of those stores can fit in Middletown. That Pathmark may be a little small for Wegman’s, but either one can move in. Middletown already has a whole foods, about 1 mile down 35 from there.

    Happy Thanksgiving as well!

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, The Fresh Market recently opened in Montvale & as I already said, Scarsdale is opening soon. There several communities where TFM could go. Morristown/ Short Hills area, Wayne, Paramus & along 35 in the shore towns. You could say the same for Fairway if the developable land is avaleable & if the community wants it. Trader Joes is looking for larger spaces to open stores, somewhere in the neighborhood of 15,000 sq ft or larger. Retail traffic had a story on this last week.

    [Reply]

    AN Reply:

    @Mallguy,

    Retail Real Estate Pros Laud Trader Joe’s Upsized Aspirations
    Nov 3, 2011 9:15 AM, By Elaine Misonzhnik, Senior Associate Editor

    Trader Joe’s reported efforts to expand its store size are getting kudos from industry insiders.

    Officials from the offbeat grocery chain won’t comment on the record about its current expansion strategy, but brokers on the ground say Trader Joe’s has been looking at a lot of real estate recently, particularly in smaller big-box formats. This would be a departure from its smaller stores, which have historically ranged between 8,000 sq. ft. and 12,000 sq. ft.

    In Houston, for example, Trader Joe’s considered as many as six new sites in the past few months, according to Jason Baker, cofounder and principal of Houston-based retail brokerage firm Baker Katz and a partner with X Team International, a retail real estate brokerage alliance.

    Most of those sites have been between 15,000 sq. ft. and 20,000 sq. ft. and were located in highly affluent areas with high levels of education.

    (Trader Joe’s ended up signing leases for two stores in the metro, Baker says, including a ground-up unit in Woodlands, Texas and a conversion of a former movie theater at the River Oaks Shopping Center in River Oaks, Texas.)

    This will be Trader Joe’s first entry into the Texas market. The retailer’s website also lists upcoming store openings in Arlington, Va., Naples, Fla., Pittsburgh and Rochester, N.Y.

    In fact, the chain has been diligently looking at almost every mid-size big-box opportunity that has hit the market over the past year, says Andy Graiser, co-president of real estate consulting and advisory firm DJM Realty, including vacant Borders and Linens ’n Things stores. Last year, for instance, Trader Joe’s moved into a 40,000-sq.-ft.-plus space in a former Barnes & Noble store in New York City.

    “Even though their footprint is under 15,000 square feet, they are still looking at all the sites,” Graiser says. “Because they are such a good credit tenant, some of the landlords are willing to redevelop the stores for them.”

    Good move?

    There’s been some debate in the media about whether going bigger might take Trader Joe’s too far away from its roots as a quirky, smaller operator. And the smaller stores have served it well in urban markets, where finding locations over a certain size is often not an option, says Baker.

    But given how productive Trader Joe’s stores are, increasing the size of new buildings makes sense in certain cases, notes David J. Livingston, a Waukesha, Wis.-based supermarket consultant.

    In visiting the chain’s stores and speaking to store staff, Livingston has been able to estimate that 12,000-sq.-ft. Trader Joe’s stores average roughly $1,300-per-sq.-ft. in sales annually.

    “I found Trader Joe’s to be the highest sales-per-square-foot grocer in the market,” Livingston says. “They are going a little larger, but they are not going extremely larger and I think it makes sense.”

    Going a little bigger might give the chain the opportunity to expand its merchandise selection to include more consumables and non-food grocery items, adds Craig Johnson, president of Customer Growth Partners, a New Canaan, Conn.-based consulting firm.

    “In many ways, Trader Joe’s is like a Wegman’s writ small,” Johnson says. “It’s a nice spot in the market.”

    In Livingston’s view, the best locations for Trader Joe’s stores are in areas with high income levels and high education levels, in close proximity to bigger, upscale supermarkets like Wegman’s and Whole Foods, where Trader Joe’s can feed off the existing shopper traffic.

    Michael S Reply:

    @mallguy, I wasn’t thinking of putting a Wegmans in middletown. Fairway seems like a good choice for the old Pathmark site.

    [Reply]

    AN Reply:

    @Michael S, How large is that Pathmark. A Fairway Just opened at Douglaston Plaza in Queens & is around 58,000 sq ft.

    SEAN Reply:

    @Michael S, How large is the closed Pathmark. The new Fairway that opened at Douglaston Plaza in Queens is over 58,000 sq ft.

  458. Why would any of these grocery retailers go to Monmouth Mall? Wegmans is 3 miles south, TJ’s 1 mile north, Fairway is not a known name in Monmouth County, and and for north of Red Bank, no better grocery retailer will touch that corridor since that Whole Foods does VERY poorly.

    [Reply]

    Michael S Reply:

    @james, It would take a while. Don’t expect Fairway to come to Monmouth county in the next 2 years. But do expect them there in the future. They say that the New York Metropolitan Area can accommodate 35 Fairway Stores. They have 9 now, with 2 planned for 2012 and 1 planned for 2013 (So Far). BTW, does anybody know about this Point at Sayreville Development? What will this mean for Woodbridge Center, Menlo Park, and Brunswick Mall. And Monmouth Mall? Personally, I don’t know what to say about it. I do think Woodbridge Center can undergo a sprawl repair and be transformed into a town center for Woodbridge. Not that there’s anything wrong with the mall.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @Michael S, The Point at Sayreville is an aggressive plan (not saying it’s bad, it’s aggressive) in this economy and in the socio-economic area where it will be located (Sayreville/South Amboy are very middle class towns)

    The land on which it will be built is former industrial land (the Dutch Boy factory) that has been cleaned and is very underdeveloped. This would do wonders for Sayreville’s tax base, but until this economy improves, it’s all just a plan. Remember the aggressive expansion Quakerbridge was supposed to undertake? The economy pushed that aside for a few years.

    Once shovels do enter the ground, you will see an aggressive expansion and update at Menlo Park and Woodbridge Center! Brunswick Square may also have to be expanded to stay relevant, but it’s got easy highway access to do just fine, yet I’m sure Simon will address some things there.

    [Reply]

  459. In regards to the Point at Sayreville, I think they should develop a new town on it. Like what they’re doing at the Wood-Ridge NJ Transit Station. We can hire DPZ to transform it into a livable, sustainable, mixed-use community, and we can put a Fairway Market there.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @Michael S, When you go to Woodbridge Center, take notice of all of the undeveloped & underused acreage around the mall property & on Woodbridge Center Drive between routes 1 & 9 including the shopping center on Green Street where Circuit City & The Great Indoors once opperated. There’s enough land to create a complete town center including housing, parks, small shop space & a large fairway if they so choose.

    The mall is centered between the WoodBridge & Metropark NJT rail stations in such a way that the existing Metropark loop bus routes 801 – 805 could easily be intagrated into the project as a continuous transit feader.

    As for Fairway it self, one store could go there while a few others could be added in the Short Hills/ Morristown area, Wayne & perhaps along the Jersey shore near Middletown/ Long Branch if not near Monmouth Mall.

    [Reply]

    Michael S Reply:

    @SEAN, I did take notice! I think Fairway should open a store in Newark, in the old Hahne’s building, which would gentrify the area like the Fairway Market in Red Hook did! It would also attract people from Montclair, Jersey City, Hoboken, other surrounding communities, maybe even people from Lower Manhattan who might not want to go to Brooklyn. Also think a good location for a Fairway would be the old Pathmark in Livingston. They can expand the building a bit and acquire the CVS next door for space, and CVS can relocate to the old blockbuster. Though, I don’t know the effect it’ll have on the Kings and Shop Rite that are individually located on Livingston Avenue!

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @Michael S, I see where you are comeing from, but Newark isn’t anything close to Brooklyn or Stamford in terms of genterfication yet. The crime & poverty rates are to high to atract the yuppy population despite being a short train ride from Midtown Manhattan. I do understand the logic though.

    Heere’s why I think Woodbridge is a better fit than Newark at this point…

    1. that is where I-95 crosses the Garden State Parkway.

    2. That interchange includes access to 1/9, 440 & is only 1 exit from I-287 giving easy access from Middlesex, Monmouth, Somerset & essex Counties as well as Staten Island.

    3. Easy access from the shore towns as well as New Brunswick by car & or train if built near Woodbridge Center as already stated.

    4. Newark, Jersey City & Bayone Residents need only shoot down 440 & 1 & 9 to reach Woodbridge.

    If I missed something let me know.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN, There is, flat out, no way Fairway will open up in Newark! It’s not ready yet. There are maybe only 2 desirable neighborhoods in Newark (Ironbound & Forest HIlls) The former is a predominant Portuguese neighborhood and shop in the local stores and the latter is filled with the older mansions. These people can easily drive to area towns. I could see it in Hoboken, maybe.

    I could see a Fairway opening in Woodbridge (Wegman’s is there), but a better chance in Edison. A Fairway would revitalize the Oak Tree Center, off route 27, (where Shop Rite and Pathmark used to be) in North Edison.

    A Town Center near Woodbridge Center may be a tough sell. Between Woodbridge Crossing and the mall, there is an industrial rail line and space would be more limited than you may think. Also, along Route 1, three rows of high tension wires run alonside the road (from North Brunswick to Route 9; a 12 mile length), also limiting anything near/under them.

    [Reply]

    Michael S Reply:

    @mallguy, I think Edison works for a Fairway. I love Wegmans a lot and I don’t want them to be negatively affected by Fairway, or vice versa. You also forgot that there’s a World Class Shop Rite located in Woodbridge as well.

    [Reply]

    Michael S Reply:

    @mallguy, In regards to the industrial railway, that could be rerouted, if possible.

    [Reply]

  460. I forgot about those high tention wires & the ugly towers they rest on along route 1.

    If the space is avaleable, Oak Tree Center could be a great space for Fairway. As A & P shrinks, there will be some great opertunities.

    [Reply]

    Michael S Reply:

    @SEAN, I didn’t forget about those wires! Newark is coming back, gradually! I believe that Fairway can open in Newark, combined with new residential developments in the Military Park area. Let’s also hope they redevelop the parking lots surrounding the area. Be patient!!

    [Reply]

    Michael S Reply:

    @SEAN, And another thing. Fairway Market opened in Harlem, in the early 1990s, and contributed to the improvements in the area!

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @Michael S, Fairway maybe in Harlem, but it is located ajacent to the Westside Highway & not central to most of the Harlem community. That is unless you travel back & forth on 125th Street wich is congested like Fordham Road & Queens Boulevard.

    I agree with Mallguy, Fairway will NOT open in Newark. Morristown, Jersey shore area & Woodbridge area are better locations for a store that size, however I could see one in Hoboken if the right size land parcel becomes avaleable. That is if management knows who to bribe to get the plans past in both the city & Hudson County.

    [Reply]

    Michael S Reply:

    @SEAN, So for now, I think Fairway should go after the old Pathmark/Grand Union (Which is in Livingston, expand the space and acquire the adjacent CVS (Which can be relocated). I think you can get a total of 55-65,000 there. Or better yet, the vacant power center where Borders, Linens and Things, Old Navy, and Circuit City used to be until 2009, when things when south. Do some work on those buildings and you can get a larger Fairway there. Maybe even a Wegmans!! That could work too.

    [Reply]

    Michael S Reply:

    @SEAN, Maybe a Fairway can fit in the old Pathmark in Morris Plains. Is that big enough??

    [Reply]

  461. Wait, scratch the Pathmark in White Plains. It’s too small!

    [Reply]

    Michael S Reply:

    I meant Morris Plains! My bad!

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @Michael S, Come on, you cant mistake Morris Plains for White Plains. LOL

    Fairway could fit in the Livingston area rather easily, or better yet Summit since it borders on Morris, Essex & Union Counties where Summit is Located. Not only that, some of the communities close by are some of the whelthiest in the nation including Milburn, Morristown, Chatham & Bedminster.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN, Absoutely could work over there…there are 3 Whole Foods in the immediate area. Wegman’s actually tried to move to East Hanover a few years ago, but East Hanover didn’t want them and the traffic near Route 10 that it may cause.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, Wegmans cause “more” traffic on route 10? What kind of lame excuse is that! Sounds like Wegmans didn’t bribe East Hanover officials enough to allow the store to be built. That’s just the way things work in the Garden State. Want further proof? Look at the enormus tax break the mall in the Medowlands may get to insure it’s completion. $400,000,000 in tax breaks for a mall that maybe declared DOA before a single customer even opens their wallet.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN, Yes, it is interesting to see how things work in the state of New Jersey. And in terms of East Hanover, there is not even a supermarket within their borders. Residents have to go to Livingston, Florham Park or Parsippany. The site was on Mt. Pleasant Avenue (parallel to route 10) across the street from Hanover Park High School. Apparently, I’ve heard they wanted to open up in Mahwah in a center to be built on the undeveloped area of the Crossroads complex.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, Are you refering to the proposed center on 17 in Mahwah that has Rockland County up in arms? If it is ever built it would span over 600,000 square feet near where 17 & I-87/ I-287 meet.

    There are some Rockland County officials who don’t want this center built because it will drain sales taxes away from the county. Uh reality check, you already lost that fight a long time ago.

    [Reply]

    Michael S Reply:

    @SEAN, Do you have any more info about that center?

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @Michael S, I haven’t read anything recently, but I’m keeping my eyes on it. Maybe the Bergen Reccord has some news.

    More importently, the Giants are in the super bowl!

    [Reply]

    rob Reply:

    @SEAN, GO GIANTS, I WAS AT GSP THE OTHER DAY NOTHING POSTED FOR ANYONE REPLACING NAPA VALLEY GRILLE. I AM GLAD IT WASNT MY FAVORITE JOES AMERICAN. COLDWATER CREEK WAS CLOSING AS OF THIS PAST SATURDAY. WS IS GONE FROM GSP. I JUST HOPE PALISADES REPLACES THE TWO STORES WITH DECENT STORES. LOCALS ARE THINKING ITS BECAUSE OF PALISADES IT WAS A COMPANY THING.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN, http://www.mahwahcrossroads.com/the-future.html

    And yes, GO BIG BLUE!!! Looking forward to another defeat of the Pats!

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, Interesting, but I would take that sites information with a grain of salt since developers are challenging their tax assessments & are successful at it.

    Go G MEN! Is it 2008 redux? Las Vegas thinks so.

    rob Reply:

    @SEAN, DEMOLITION CREW SEEM TO BE GETTING READY OUTSIDE OIF NANUET MALL. I SAW THE PROPOSAL FOR THE MALL IN MAHWAH. DO YOU THINK IT WILL PASS IT WILL AFFECT NANUET AND PARAMUS SOMEWHAT AND MAYBE A BIT OF PALISADES MALL. I SAW THE PRINT OUT IT LOOKS LIKE THE BIG ANCHOR WOULD BE BOSCOVS, THAT WOULD REALLY DETOUR LOCALS HERE IN ROCKLAND TO MAHWAH MANY HERE STILL MISS THAT STORE. WE WILL SEE OR IT MIGHT BE A DRAWN OUT FIGHT LIKE PALISADES THEY WILL FIND A WAY YOU CANT STOP PROGRESS.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @rob, No matterhow it plays out, Rockland will end up on the short end. That’s part of the squeeze factor I keep talking about.

    rob Reply:

    @SEAN, Theres a whole ARTICLE on yahoo that JC PENNEY IS REVAMPING THE COMPANY THEIR PRICING AND REDUCING THE AMOUNT OF SALES THEY HAVE AND PUT MERCHANDISE ON AN EVERYDAY VALUE. I GIVE THEM ALOT OF CREDIT AT LEAST THEY ARE TRYING TO IMPROVE THEMSELVES SEARS DIDNT. MACYS IS ALL ABOUT MONEY NOT IMPROVING THEIR SUBURBAN STORES OR MERCHANDISE ALL GREED WITH MACYS. I JUST HOPE THIS IDEA JC PENNEY HAS WILL WORK FOR THEM.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @rob, Saw the story on ABC World news, Penny’s figgures suck to put it mildly. OK Sears are even worse, but Penny’s are nothing to crow about.

    When both national mid-level department stores are having finantial issues, it’s time to take notice. Then there’s Dillard’s who seme to have serious problems of their own.

    Michael Schaeffer Reply:

    @SEAN, I think Livingston works best. Summit doesn’t have enough space and has the King’s Flagship in Short Hills nearby, plus 2 Shop Rites and a Trader Joe’s

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @Michael Schaeffer, I see what you mean. Livingston is centrally located & is far enough away from Paramus that there is no danger of canablisation by another Fairway.

    [Reply]

    Michael S Reply:

    @SEAN, What about in Woodland Park. Fairway will be opening their next New Jersey Location there in 2012, in the old Pathmark. I always thought a Stew Leonards would go there, but I also thought Fairway could work well there too.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @Michael S, Have you ever sene the size of a Stew Leonards? It’s the size of a Costco if not larger. As a result, the land parcels required will limit the number of stores that can be built. Fairway can size there stores to fit variousneeds & demands. Also there was an article from http://www.boston.com talking about supermarket chains are following in the Whole Foods mold & adding dining areas with chefs who prepared food that could be eatten in store or carried out, it’s called “Having your cake, & eating it too.” Sounds a lot like Fairway to me.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @Michael S,

    Where you can buy your cake and eat it, too
    Looking to boost in-store traffic, supermarkets are winning fans with affordable, high-quality restaurants
    December 14, 2011|By Ike DeLorenzo, Globe Correspondent.

    [Reply]

    Michael S Reply:

    @SEAN, Didn’t know they were that big!! Oh well, what do you think of the news about Woodland Park??

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @Michael S, Where is Woodland Park? I’ve never herd of it.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN, Woodland Park is the new name of West Paterson…they thought it sounds better than West Paterson. Same reason Lake Como changed their name from South Belmar.

    SEAN Reply:

    @Mallguy, OK now I understand. It’s kind of weird considering you have Highland Park, Midland Park, now Woodland Park & of course the always unforgetable Metropark!

    ‘s an interesting article on the changing food court from QSR Magazine.

    The New Food Court
    With mall vacancies at a high, the food court is becoming more important.

    Ever since the first farmers packed up their produce to sell in the town square, food has been an important part of the shopping experience. But lately, it seems the food is better than ever.

    At the Macy’s in Chicago, celebrity chefs like Rick Bayless have set up shop with their own quick-service or fast-casual restaurants. In London, luxury department store Harrods boasts 30 restaurants ranging from casual to opulent. And these aren’t the only places beefing up their food offerings.

    Shopping centers across the country are investing, turning to food as a way to lure guests back.

    Les Morris, spokesman for major mall owner Simon Property Group, says that the best way to a customer’s heart is through his stomach.

    “The role of food in a mall is important and will continue to be,” Morris says. “Mall food-hall offerings will only continue to evolve.”

    Evolution is a matter of survival of the fittest, and the food court business is no exception. While mall industry representatives insist their industry is booming, those closer to the business tell a different story.

    California-based Hot Dog on a Stick has 102 mall locations out of a 104-store system, and executive vice president Laurie Sonia is keenly aware that traffic is down.

    “Malls in the last few years have changed dramatically because of the economy, and also because online shopping has become so easy,” Sonia says. “I honestly don’t think the demographics have changed, I just think there’s less people going to malls.”

    Those changes have had real impact on mall tenants. Dippin’ Dots, a longtime mall favorite, recently filed for bankruptcy, and Hot Dog on a Stick saw its sales fall in 2009 and 2010. Sonia says the percentage her sales fell was more or less the same percentage total mall traffic fell.

    “The last two years before this one our sales had decreased, anywhere between 5 and 10 percent [a year],” Sonia says. “I think that’s why you’ve seen so many retailers go out of business—it’s hard to sustain those kind of losses.”

    While the newspapers have backed off from the doom-and-gloom predictions they made in 2009 (the Wall Street Journal talked about “ghost towns” then), the mall situation is still far from rosy.

    An October 23 article in USA Today quotes a study by Commercial real estate research firm Reis that shows mall vacancies at an 11-year high in the third quarter of 2011.

    With big retailers like Borders, Blockbuster, and Linens N’ Things shut down and hundreds of other stores closing, mall owners are turning to other things to attract traffic.

    “Coming out of the recession, there’s been an increase in importance in dining and entertainment,” International Council of Shopping Centers spokesman Jesse Tron says. “Basically right now the focus is redevelopment.”

    Tron says the general plan is to give customers more reasons to come into the mall. Since eating at a restaurant is a fundamentally social activity, bringing in more eating options encourages people to come and bring their friends.

    Suzyn Cragin, manager of Superior, Wisconsin’s Mariner Mall, says her mall’s two restaurants have been helpful in boosting traffic.

    “Both of them draw people,” Cragin says. “When people are shopping they need places to dine. [It] makes people stay a little bit longer and shop a little bit longer.”

    Tron says as businesses emerge from the recession, the emphasis has been on more traditional restaurants, which have a larger footprint and provide more of a destination feel to a mall.

    “Outside of the food court is where you’re seeing those changes,” Tron says. “Those larger chain-style restaurants are pretty popular, as well as coffeeshop/cafes.”

    This increased emphasis on sit-down dining means more competition for quick serves.

    Tron says, however, that food courts are changing as well. An attractive central eating space serves as a gathering point, and malls have been quick to jump in and make them as comfortable and eye-catching as possible.

    Part of the spirit of providing more options means developing and expanding quick serves along with sit-down restaurants.

    “You have certain consumers who want to come in and grab a quick bite,” Tron says. “[The] food court’s still certainly integral.”

    Even when the tenant mix doesn’t change, the ambiance does.

    Fixtures, carpeting, and lighting can freshen up a food court, especially when more expensive materials are used.

    Sonia notices this trend in some of the malls where Hot Dog on a Stick has a presence.

    “They are getting more upscale,” Sonia says. “I think in general they’re trying to take it in a more upscale direction.”

    One mall that has invested significant money into its food court is San Diego’s Fashion Valley. As part of the first phase of the multimillion-dollar renovation project, the mall updated and modernized the food court space. It added contemporary tables and chairs, along with banquette and bar seating that increased the total seating by about 10 percent. Vertical landscaping, large ceramic potted plants, skylights streaming natural light, and freshly repainted surfaces made the food court inviting. Morris says it’s all about getting guests to linger.

    “The more uses people can get from coming to our malls, the more touches they have with the property, the better it is,” Morris says. “Our trade group said the average visit to a shopping center was 82 minutes. If we can extend that somehow, that’s great.”

    Another planned development is in Indianapolis’s Fashion Mall at Keystone. It’ll have a newly renovated food hall by the 2012 holidays, complete with an impressive mix of tenants.

    Morris says that while it’s too early in the game to say exactly who’s coming on board, the new food hall will be worth waiting for.

    “We’re looking to bring in unique local and national concepts to the food hall, some of which will be new to Indianapolis,” Morris says. “We’re looking to create a destination.”

    Some concepts aren’t waiting for the mall to do the legwork, choosing instead to become a destination on their own.

    Several high-end chefs have played off of their celebrity appeal to stand out in a crowded marketplace.

    Frontera Fresco, which is owned by celebrity chef Rick Bayless, provides a fast-casual spin on Mexican favorites. With hot Mexican sandwiches and tacos, homemade salsa, and Mexican craft beer, the restaurant has become a popular stop at the Macy’s in Chicago.

    Wolfgang Puck Express is even more widespread, with locations in airports and malls around the country. With smoked salmon pizza, Chinois chicken salad, and other modern California dishes, the restaurant appeals to people looking to get a fine-dining experience when they’re pressed for time.

    These concepts are gaining fans beyond the mall crowd—in fact, Travel and Leisure Magazine named both of them among the World’s Top Fast Food Restaurants.

    While more upscale brands draw their fair share of guests, Sonia says she hasn’t noticed a trend.

    “I haven’t noticed a big difference except for a little bit of a local feel,” Sonia says. “I think the same national brands are in those food courts.”

    There are several approaches the national brands take to stay relevant.

    Sarku Japan, an Asian chain focusing on teriyaki and sushi, has 200 locations predominately located in food courts. Its able to stand out in a crowd by offering food that is both healthy and exotic.

    But Cinnabon, another mall court favorite, is nearly the opposite, positioning itself as both indulgent and familiar. The trick lies in understanding what makes mall shoppers tick. Cinnabon has had great success by leveraging the sense of smell. In an enclosed environment, the smell of warm cinnamon can draw diners who might not have thought twice about stopping if they had simply seen a sign.

    Another popular mall technique? Free samples, a la Baskin-Robbins. David Kincheloe, the President of National Restaurant Consultants, says this is a time-tested mall strategy.

    “You walk through a food court and the Japanese place always has chicken teriyaki on a toothpick,” Kincheloe says. “You can do the same thing. Someone’s trying to make a decision, you stick a piece of food in their mouth they like, you help them make their decision.”

    Doc Popcorn is one chain that’s been able to tap into mall shopper psychology. The company uses enticing smells to draw diners in, a clear view of the popping process to get them interested, and free samples to get them hooked. By letting kids have samples and offering mom the option of sharing a bag, operators practically guarantee a sale.
    “We make sure mom gets exactly what she wants,” founder Rob Israel says. “We get the kids cups if she only wants to buy one bag. We didn’t just give away a little bit of popcorn—we saved mom’s day.”

    “The average visit to a shopping center is 82 minutes. If we can extend that somehow, that’s great.”Another strategic concern is presentation. Kincheloe says he’s been able to get clients a 3-5% check boost simply by subtly emphasizing freshness. The trick is to use props, like prominently displayed produce, strung-up sausages, or wheels of cheese. This display gives a “deli” feel to a food court location and has a way of catching the eye.

    “If you have some kind of a bread product, you could make yourself look fresh by having bread for props,” Kincheloe says. “If you’re offering chips, make sure you overstuff it. We did a test out and popped the check average just by giving them that fresh look.”

    Of course, as any realtor could tell you, location is key. Since Doc Popcorn is a snack instead of a meal, franchises try to find places away from the main food court. Israel has given significant thought to other elements of placement as well.

    “People want to be in natural light,” Israel says. “I think it lends nicely to the way the product is presented. But if you’re in direct sunlight all day, your staff will blow up. We like open ceilings as opposed to overhangs, because you can be viewed from above. Ideally you’re near some draws for families. A decision point is nice, when folks have to pause that’s good for an impulse purchase as well.”

    At some malls, location can mean the difference between success and failure. At others, there are so many customers flowing through that a slightly less popular corridor isn’t a make-or-break situation. Israel says the best option is to scout the mall ahead of time and be willing to negotiate.

    “It’s not a disadvantage to be in a mall at all,” Israel says. “The challenge is finding good locations and paying the right rent. Those are negotiations that just take place. We’ve built quite a reputation now in the mall, and we’re able to get reasonable rents and good locations.”

    While recent years have seen a shift in spending patterns, the mall isn’t going away any time soon. And as long as there are malls, there will be food courts. Dining helps make a mall what it is—a community gathering place, rather than simply a collection of stores.

    “The regional mall is still the best option for the delivery of goods and services,” Morris says. “[And] it’s really important to have good food.”

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN, Doesn’t surprise me. They’ve been doing it for a while now, and it reminds me: I miss the Macy’s Marketplace and the Nordstrom Pub!

    SEAN Reply:

    @Mallguy, Happy new Year!

    I miss the original restaurant at Nordstrom. My mom wood take me there for lunch when I needed to go to Westwood to get my specialized electronics repared.

    They had a Bread salad that was out of this world. It was worth going to Nordstrom just for that.

    As for food court eateries,it’s about time that malls realize that reliance on KFC, Burger King, Subway & the like just wont cut it anymore.

    rob Reply:

    @SEAN, Well i NOTICED THIS PAST YEAR JC PENNEY PRIVAYE LABELS ARE NOT AS GOOD AS THEY WERE ESPECIALLY THEIR ST. JOHNS BAY BRAND. LIKE I SAID AT LEAST THEY SEE WHAT THEY ARE DOING WRONG ITS TOO LATE FOR SEARS. AS FOR DILLARDS THEIR STOCK AS BEEN UP AND THEIR SALES INCREASED 4 PERCENT AT CHRISTMAS, BETTER THAN KOHLS AND JCPENNEY WITH ONLY 0.1 PERCENT INCREASE.

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  462. Just found out that the next Fairway in New Jersey will be opening at the old Pathmark, in Woodland Park. Looks like I won’t have to go all the way to Paramus anymore.

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  463. I use to work at a restaurant in the mall in the days before the Loews theater. If you went downstairs to retrieve supplies or stock you had to go down a ridiculous long flight of stairs to get to the basement and when you reached it you would be in awe of the height of the room and the ceiling. I would literally have to climb a ladder to get things down. There were all kinds of corridors down there also. Someone was telling me once , that it all had something to do with the Cold War–civil defence and all that part of the preplanning of the mall when it was built. There was something of an urban legend about it all too, supposedly there was a tunnel that went to Brookdale college. Wondering if anybody else worked there back then and saw this .

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  464. Vornado is in the news again.

    Downtown Crossing Project Gets New Developer in Millennium Partners
    Feb 9, 2012 12:03 PM, By Elaine Misonzhnik, Senior Associate Editor

    The Downtown Crossing project in Boston is about to get a new start with Millennium Partners taking over development reigns from Vornado Realty Trust.

    On Feb. 3, Boston Mayor’s Thomas A. Menino’s office revealed New York-based Millennium would be stepping in as the lead partner on the development at One Franklin Street, with plans to build retail, office and residential space on the site.

    Vornado, which has retained a 50 percent stake in Downtown Crossing, will become a passive partner. Vornado declined to comment on the transaction.

    Though Millennium has yet to submit a new development plan to the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA), the firm has an excellent track record in the city, according to Bill Motley, managing director in the Boston office of real estate services firm Jones Lang LaSalle. It built the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Boston Commons, and recently started construction on Hayward Place, a $220 million, 15-story residential tower.

    The firm’s website also lists the Boston Music Building and 179 Lincoln Street as future development sites in the city.

    “We have long dreamed of what Downtown Crossing could become, and we will soon realize that potential with Millennium stepping up to the plate and making this deal happen,” said Mayor Menino in a statement. “This took a lot of hard work and difficult negotiations, but we are very proud to be moving forward with a company like Millennium, which has a history of good work in our city.”

    New plans

    Officials with Millennium declined to comment on their plans for Downtown Crossing, citing the fact that they have yet to go through the design and permitting process with the BRA. But people familiar with the site say they expect the firm to slightly alter Vornado’s project.

    When Downtown Crossing was first conceived, Vornado planned to include 297,000 sq. ft. of retail, 500,000 sq. ft. of office space, 136 residential condos and a 225,000-sq.-ft. hotel in the approximately 1.2-million-sq.-ft. development.

    According to the BRA, that plan will be used as a starting point by Millennium. But given current market dynamics, the new developer might put in more residential space and cut down on office space, according to Mark Weld, managing director and head of the New England headquarters with Clarion Partners, a real estate investment management firm. Clarion owns 101 Arch Street, a building adjacent to One Franklin Street.

    By the fourth quarter of 2011, the vacancy rate for office properties in Boston stood at 13.5 percent, according to Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services. Effective office rents averaged approximately $30.12 per sq. ft.

    On the other hand, Marcus & Millichap expects that the average vacancy rate for Boston apartments will reach a 10-year low of 3.5 percent in 2012. Effective rents will likely go up 5.8 percent, to $1,802 per sq. ft.

    As a result, the new tower will likely be devoted primarily to rental units, with the option to convert to condominiums, according to Motley. “To a lot of renters that would be a very appealing element of the project,” he says.

    Last year, Boston also saw a record low level of new retail construction, at 500,000 sq. ft. That helped bring retail vacancy down to about 6.1 percent and rents up to approximately $19.26 per sq. ft. In recent months, Target has considered opening a small format store at the Downtown Crossing site.

    “It’s a potentially fabulous site for retail, [though] the retail gets compromised to some degree by the mixed-use nature of the site,” says William J. Beckeman, president and CEO of Burlington, Mass.-based Linear Retail, which owns some properties near One Franklin Street. “But the site offers some of the largest floor plates in the city of Boston, and that should be very attractive to a number of retailers who haven’t been able to penetrate the Boston marketplace.”

    Now, Beckeman adds, “having some clarity on what’s going to happen is just huge” in terms of being able to attract new retail tenants to the site.

    The most problematic component of Downtown Crossing is likely to be the Burnham Building, according to Weld. Vornado planned to use the upper floors of the historic building for office space and “that is a very soft part of the market in Boston,” Weld says.

    Given that office rents in Downtown Boston tend to be on the low end of the spectrum, in Millennium’s new plan office space might be limited to about 150,000 sq. ft., according to Motley.

    The money issue

    Millennium Partners has already secured Handel Architects to redesign the project and hopes to start construction by February of 2013. Whether the firm will be able to make that date will depend on how fast it can get financing for the various components of the new Downtown Crossing, according to Weld.

    Vornado has claimed that the challenge of securing financing was the reason it had to postpone construction on the site for several years, angering Mayor Menino. Menino, as well as some real estate industry insiders, suspected the firm was stalling to sell the project to another party at a premium. But the truth, according to Weld, is that Vornado did try numerous strategies to recapitalize Downtown Crossing and couldn’t make the numbers work until now.

    “As far as the people from Vornado trying to seek pretty much every avenue they could to recapitalize and re-energize the project, I could tell you first-hand that we had been involved in trying to find solutions for this site,” Weld says. “I think they are trying to make the best financial deal they can, but I don’t think it’s a situation where ‘premium’ would be an appropriate descriptor” for the money they are getting.

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  465. The link below is for an aritlce I wrote in the Eatontown Patch called “Help Solve The Mystery of the Missing Monmouth Mall Time Capsule” (actually was called the Monmouth Shopping Center when it was buried in 1960.)

    There are also links included to the Red Bank Registers coverage of the Monmouth Shopping Centers didication and opening in 1960 and the shopping center becoming the Mall in 1975.

    http://eatontown.patch.com/blog_posts/help-solve-the-mystery-of-the-missing-monmouth-mall-time-capsule

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  466. Big News!

    Vornado’s Retail Dispositions Should Help the REIT Regain Lost Luster
    Apr 19, 2012 12:45 PM, By Elaine Misonzhnik, Senior Associate Editor

    Vornado Realty Trust’s declaration that it plans to shed non-core retail holdings in the coming year met with enthusiasm from both analysts and stockholders this week. A variety of potential dispositions, including sales of Vornado’s enclosed malls and shopping centers and the sale of its stake in Toys ‘R’ Us, would allow the firm to focus on what it does best—developing and managing office and retail properties in New York City and Washington, D.C. —according to analysts who cover the company.

    In Vornado’s annual report to shareholders, Chairman Steven Roth addressed the fact that the company’s shares have been trading at a discount to net asset value (NAV), primarily because investors see Vornado’s asset portfolio as too complex. To deal with that perception, Vornado executives plan to start selling the company’s enclosed malls, non-strategic strip centers and strip centers located outside its core geographic areas and dispose of its 32.7 percent stake in Toys ‘R’ Us.

    “They are accustomed to being the superstar, they are very smart people with large egos, and so when they’ve underperformed, they’ve really taken it to heart,” says Michael Knott, managing director with Green Street Advisors, a Newport Beach, Calif.-based independent research and consulting firm.

    “There is a fair bit of an identity question with Vornado: What are they? Typically, investors prefer very tightly focused companies, either by property type or by geographic focus. And Vornado is a very large company with a lot of moving parts. By making promises to divest some of their business parts and divest their mall business, they could help improve investor perception and get themselves to a place where they are accustomed to being.”

    Right time to get fit

    Today, Vornado, a diversified REIT, owns more than 137 retail centers nationwide, totaling 24.5 million sq. ft. of space, in addition to its retail holdings in New York City. But without developing the scale necessary to compete for tenants with larger owners who specialize exclusively in malls and shopping centers it doesn’t make sense for the company to hold on to retail assets outside its two biggest markets, according to Todd Lukasik, an analyst with Chicago-based research firm Morningstar.

    In New York City, Vornado still carries significant clout as a landlord because the availability of street retail space here is so tight, Lukasik notes.

    Meanwhile, with high-quality regional malls currently selling at premiums, Vornado can take advantage of favorable market conditions to raise capital to invest in the core parts of its business, says Alexander Goldfarb, managing director with Sandler O’Neill + Partners, a New York City-based investment banking firm. Earlier this week, Australian REIT the Westfield Group sold a majority stake in seven of its U.S. malls to Starwood Capital Group for $1 billion. Retail REITs as a sector have been focusing on shedding non-core assets recently.

    Vornado’s enclosed regional mall portfolio contains about 14 assets, including 1.5-million-sq.-ft. Monmouth Mall in Eatontown, N.J., 1-million-sq.-ft. Kings Plaza in Brooklyn, N.Y., 824,893-sq.-ft. Manassas Mall in Manassas, Va. and 330,000-sq.-ft. Beverly Connection in Los Angeles.

    “Right now there is a very strong bid for malls and mall pricing has definitely become much more attractive,” says Goldfarb. “The mall business is also one of size and scale, so if you own the dominant mall in the region, you can survive with a small portfolio. But if you just have a small portfolio of malls, you don’t get the size and scale that a company like Simon or Taubman would get.”

    Toys aside

    Vornado also reiterated its desire to dispose of its stake in big-box toy retailer Toys ‘R’ Us, which it bought in partnership with Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Bain Capital in 2005. The partners have been planning to take the chain public for longer than two years now, with no IPO date in sight.

    Shedding Toys ‘R’ Us would make Vornado easier to value, since given the ownership structure, it’s currently difficult to gauge how much the chain is worth, notes Lukasik.

    Plus, while the Toys ‘R’ Us acquisition ultimately paid off for Vornado because the REIT and its partners were able to improve its retail operations, Vornado hasn’t been able to capitalize on Toys ‘R’ Us’ real estate, which was the main reason it made the investment, according to Goldfarb.

    “When they originally did that deal, they thought real estate would serve as a backstop and there would also be value to be extracted from it,” he says. “In hindsight, it made money because the operations improved, not because of real estate.”

    As of noon on Thursday, Vornado shares were trading at $83.44 apiece, up from $80.97 a share at the beginning of the week.

    [Reply]

    rob Reply:

    @SEAN, HI SEAN VORNADO ALSO QWNS MANHATTAN MALL ON 33RD AND 6TH AVE AND BERGEN TOWN CENTER IN PARAMUS. I HEAR NANUET MALL IS BEHIND SCHEDULE WITH THE DEMOLTION OF THE MALL. I HAVE A FEELING IT WONT GET DONE UNTIL SPPRING 2014 AT THE RATE THEY ARE GOING. THIS WHOLE PLAN TOOK SO LONG TO BEGIN WITH. I AM STILL HOPING FOR FAIRWAY OR STEW LEONARDS.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply: