Paramus Park Mall; Paramus, New Jersey

Macy's at Paramus Park Mall in Paramus, New Jersey

Paramus, New Jersey is one of the nation’s biggest retail towns, boasting over six million square feet of retail space racking up some of the largest sales of any town in America. The area around routes 4 and 17 has been home (at one point or another) to no less than six enclosed shopping malls, including the legendary (and previously-blogged-about) Bergen Mall.

Paramus Park Mall is one of the newer of the area’s enclosed malls, opening in 1974. Strangely, this large, twisty, mostly one-level mall with two anchors (Sears and Macy’s) seems largely redundant given the large malls nearby, in particular the Garden State Shopping Center, since it has an almost total tenant overlap with that mall. While in most markets, Paramus Park would probably be long dead, Paramus isn’t like most markets. Perhaps the size of the the GS Shopping Center makes it a pain for residents to deal with for every mall trip, so they have Paramus Park as an alternative.

Either way, Paramus Park is really an unexpectedly cool mall, due to its sloping glass ceilings (which best nearly every other skylight-based ceiling configuration that I’ve seen) and great court areas, especially in front of the anchor stores. The Macy’s court especially made me want to sit down and spend the entire day (though it was much cooler when it had a fountain, as opposed to that massage table)… but that’s just me, and I’ve established that I’m weird. A 2001 renovation sapped Paramus Park of a little bit of its character, but the basic idea is preserved. What’s cool is that we have two photo sets for this mall, one taken by Prangeway in 2001 and another by me in 2006, and the older set was taken while the renovations were still underway. You’ll also notice that the exterior of the mall was made over sometime after the interior, and the 2001 set has some intact shots of that rather ugly old exterior. Note the difference, in (I think) the same place:

paramus-park-mall-02.jpg Paramus Park Mall in Paramus, New Jersey

Sorry there, innocent bystander. You’ve been Labelscarred. (Oh, he knows, he knows. We think.)

2001:

paramus-park-mall-01.jpg paramus-park-mall-03.jpg paramus-park-mall-04.jpg

paramus-park-mall-05.jpg paramus-park-mall-06.jpg paramus-park-mall-07.jpg

paramus-park-mall-08.jpg paramus-park-mall-09.jpg paramus-park-mall-10.jpg

paramus-park-mall-11.jpg paramus-park-mall-12.jpg paramus-park-mall-14.jpg

paramus-park-mall-13.jpg paramus-park-mall-16.jpg paramus-park-mall-17.jpg

2006:

Paramus Park Mall in Paramus, New Jersey Paramus Park Mall in Paramus, New Jersey Paramus Park Mall in Paramus, New Jersey Paramus Park Mall in Paramus, New Jersey

Paramus Park Mall in Paramus, New Jersey Paramus Park Mall in Paramus, New Jersey Sears at Paramus Park Mall in Paramus, New Jersey Paramus Park Mall in Paramus, New Jersey

Paramus Park Mall in Paramus, New Jersey Paramus Park Mall in Paramus, New Jersey Paramus Park Mall in Paramus, New Jersey

207 Responses to “Paramus Park Mall; Paramus, New Jersey”

  1. Thank you for posting this. I believe this is the second mall in Northern NJ that you posted about.

    Prior to 1995, the Macy’ s in this mall was an A&S. Also, according to wikipedia (which is not always correct), the A&S opened in 1974; therefore, we can assume that the entire mall opened around this time.

    Unfortunately, while I live in New Jersey, Paramus is located too far from my house for me to visit regularly. However, if you would ever like to profile any other New Jersey Malls, here is a list of malls (that I’m very familiar with) that are close to my home:

    Bridgewater Commons (Bridgewater, NJ)
    Livingston Mall (Livingston, NJ)
    The Mall at Short Hills (Millburn, NJ)
    Rockaway Townsquare (Rockaway, NJ)
    Willowbrook Mall (Wayne, NJ)

    Also, there are some dead/dying malls that are nearby:
    Headquarters Plaza Mall (Morristown, NJ)
    Morris County Mall (Cedar Knolls, NJ)
    Wayne Town Center (Wayne, NJ)

    Please note that I am really not all that familiar with the Wayne Town Center. Also, the Morris County Mall is actually thriving today as an outdoor shopping center.

    [Reply]

  2. In my above post, I said that I thought the mall opened in 1974. When I said that, I had forgotten that you had already mentioned that. I am sorry about this.

    [Reply]

  3. […] Paramus Park Mall; Paramus, New Jersey […]

  4. What a sleek looking little mall. Skylight mania definitely are the mall’s high point (pardon the pun). I find that malls with more natural light give it a good atmosphere and twilight of just enough outdoor and indoor (too much outdoor feels disintegrated, strip mallish and too indoor feels too old-style and bunkered).

    I notice a Record Town in Prangeway’s photos, which the gallery as a whole, are a splendid contrast of the mall then and now. Decidedly, the mall has improved but kept a lot of the charm it originally had using a simple and effective revitalization plan. I also like that inverted “L” shaped pilon – nice and artsy fartsy and truly 1970s in nature. Too bad about the fountain; I felt the hurt when they got rid of the Westfarms Mall one (and I’ll be even more disheartened if they ever do away with Danbury Fair Mall’s).

    [Reply]

  5. I visited this mall in the early 1980s. I don’t remember it having as many skylights back then. I do remember the skylights over the central court with the fountan and escalators to the upper level food court. Nice to see that Nathan’s is still in the food court! As to tenants, I do remember the A&S being there. I’m pretty sure that I remember a Harmony Hut record store being there as well. I bought a Sasson winter coat at one of the stores at Paramus Park. That brand was known mainly for jeans.

    [Reply]

    Joe Blo Reply:

    @Steven Wilson, Harmony Hut was never in the Paramus Park Mall during the 1980s. They had a Sam Goody at one end, and a Record Town at the other. So a third would never have worked anyway. I just thought I’d reply. I love nostalgia. And to this website itself and the people that run it… Somehow if you can more pictures of the way Paramus Park USED TO LOOK that would be great. Not just in 2000+. That was already after the mall’s major renovation. We need pics of the way this mall looked in the 1980s.

    [Reply]

    chris d Reply:

    Actually, Harmony Hut was there until 1982-83 when it changed into a Sam Goodys. I worked there at the time.

    [Reply]

  6. All in all, a really good mix of design. The exterior used to be tragic, but it’s a little bit better than it used to be.

    [Reply]

  7. I swear, it’s almost like macy*s is embarrassed to have their name show on any signs, exterior or interior. Here we have black on……black.

    (Sorry, guys…I just had to rant again on that. I think I only have one or two more in me, though, so soon it should go away.)

    I’m not a huge fan of the yellows and blues left over inside, but overall, I’d say the renovations look pretty good. And yes, that exterior was horrid before.

    [Reply]

  8. Yes, Paramus Park opened in 1974. It was the talk of the town… or rather, of all of Bergen County. The skylights are all original from ’74. The interior was a grand mix of ultramodern and earthy. The giant fieldstone waterfalls and gardens, with the elevator that rose through the center was truly the showpiece. When nighttime fell, the mall’s atmosphere became very cool and classy, and the illumnated fountains etc were really beautiful. The Merry-Go-Round was always extremely popular too. The mall was really gorgeous and had a cohesive decor and overall feel that has sadly been greatly diminshed in the past few years, especially with the demolition of the distinctive waterfalls, and replacement with a nondescript pool of water. There was also a giant turkey sculpture donated to the mall for its opening, representing New Jersey heritage that was moved from its prominent location to a dismal spot on the second level. The eateries of the 70’s were much more fun and eclectic too: Farrel’s was an 1890’s style ice-cream parlor/eatery with mechanical bells and drums that would go off for special occasions. The Magic Pan was the higer end restaurant. This was a French Creperie, with a giant revolving range of pans with crepes being cooked in them while in motion. The only store that is still in its original 1974 decor is Fortunoff’s. This snazzy store’s decor has aged well and it still looks great to the modern eye. In many ways, Paramus Park’s arrival in ’74 could be attributed to the beginning of the demise of the Fashion Center, and the point where the Bergen Mall’s fate lay sealed like a fly in amber.

    [Reply]

  9. There are a couple of more points that I would like to make:

    *While having three malls in Paramus seems redundant, especially due to the fact that (until recently) each mall had a Macy’s in it, this was not at all the case decades ago: before the dreadful Macy’s juggernaut, the Garden State Plaza had a Bamberger’s, Paramus Park had an A&S, and the Bergen Mall had a Stern’s. Even today, the fact that only Paramus Park has a Sears makes it somewhat unique; similarly, the Century 21 discount department store is unique to the Bergen Mall, as it maintains that mall’s image as the most discount oriented of the three.

    *Fortunoff is a unique store, and one of the unique things about it is that some of its branches are full-sized department stores, while other stores are smaller jewelry boutiques. (The one in Paramus Park is just a jewelry store.) Another thing unique about Fortunoff is that–in those stores that are actually department stores–no clothing is sold; instead the entire store is filled with jewelry, china, furniture, electronics, and housewares.

    *I am pretty certain that–at least on its exterior–the mall’s A&S never had that store’s last logo on it; while A&S had several logos, the one on this store was probably the logo right before the last. Also, this mall’s A&S was one of four stores that chain had in New Jersey; the three others were at Millburn’s The Mall at Short Hills (which is now a Macy’s), Woodbridge’s Woodbridge Center (which closed in 1995 and was sold to Sears), and Eatontown’s Monmouth Mall (which became a Stern’s in 1995, then closed once Stern’s went defunct in 2001, and is now a Boscov’s). (Note that while the vast majority of A&S stores were renamed Macy’s, there were some others that were renamed either Bloomingdale’s or Stern’s.)

    [Reply]

  10. The roof on this center is amazing! Say, does it get unusually hot or cold inside? With that much sun, I’d think summer would be baking everyone like little Tollhouse cookies.
    Nevertheless, you almost feel like you are outside here, which is a big plus.
    Scott

    [Reply]

  11. […] Paramus Park Mall; Paramus, New Jersey […]

  12. I cannot really remember what exterior signage there was for A&S, but I am pretty sure there was one. I definately remember the interior entry (see top photo showing black area with Macy’s signage) used to read “Abraham and Strauss”. Incidentally, that black paneling with the “rivet” details is original to the mall, circa 1974 and I believe if you look closely you can see where the original Abraham and Strauss sign mounts were fixed. The stone crescent shaped waterfall in foreground is also 1974 original There used to be an ornate old-fashioned “town center” clock on a tall pedestal in this area that may still be there. It too would be from 1974.

    [Reply]

  13. The A&S at Paramus Park never had the store’s final logo, which was a bold, block AS with the ampersand located in white in the right leg of the A. Instead, the outside of the store had the large, serifed and italicized A & S that the store used until the 1980s. Inside the mall, Abraham & Straus was spelled out in the same font on the wall where the Macy’s name currently is, and A & S was located on a half-wall that dropped down from the ceiling at the entrance to “A&S Court” (the space around the planters at A&S’ mall entrance). I think, by the way, that one of the roads leading to Paramus Park is still called A&S Drive (the other being Sears Drive).

    [Reply]

  14. I visited this mall for the first time back in 2002 never been to the paramus area before pretty nice mall I miss A&S. I hate that macy’s took over everything they are garbage. when I was walking out of the macy’s store into the mall area,I noticed I could still see the abraham and straus name on it was never painted over after macy’s took over it looked like the logo that they used at the woodbridge store and they never used the final logo but at woodbridge they had it going to the mall entrance only

    [Reply]

  15. I have a new page its not complete but its about the A&S store’s a tribute page of sorts its called the abraham and straus its terrific page!!!!!!!!!!
    enjoy

    [Reply]

  16. This is in response to “Max”, above.

    Do you have any more information on Headquarters Plaza Mall or Morris County Mall? I can’t find anything about either one on the Internet.

    [Reply]

  17. http://occulude06.tripod.com
    http://occulude06.tripod.com/sternstributepage
    http://occulude06.tripod.com/bambergerstributepage

    I have three tribute sites for A&S,bambergers and stern’s check them out there is a lot of interesting facts pics its pretty cool

    [Reply]

  18. http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/abrahambamster/
    new group i started I need new members so add on

    [Reply]

  19. While I do miss the waterfalls in center court and the garden style ambiance to go along with the mall’s name, the renovations give the mall a very fresh look…the greens and tans used in the mall, along with the variety of seating areas allow the mall to continually associate itself with its name. They still need to light the new fountain at night.

    Paramus Park also heavily markets itself toward the stay-at-home moms who live in the northern Bergen County/17 towns by making the mall quite family oriented. One of the gem malls of North Jersey and a very nice and more intimate alternative to the traffic of Garden State Plaza.

    [Reply]

  20. I want to go here just to see the legendary Turkey statue. Judging by Malls of America’s photo, I seems they couldn’t have disrespected it anymore by throwing up upstairs in the food court in some corner area. I’m surprised you guys didn’t get a complete shot if it (seen in #11)!

    [Reply]

  21. The Turkey Statue in Paramus Park Mall used to be prominently displayed in the Macy’s (formerly A&S) midcourt surrounded by a lowered seating area. That lowered seating area has now been leveled and is now a Lego Play Area. The statue has now been moved upstairs to the food court and is actually displayed overlooking the atrium at the Route 17 Center Court entrance of the malll; a less prominent place but still noticeable.

    By the way, if anyone has pictures of the old waterfalls in center court, do post.

    [Reply]

  22. pp had 2 problems 1 the mall was hemed in to the point that expandtion was next to imposible, but it still draws many people. 2 gsp this mega mall gets the lions share of paramus’s mall business. when you add the new amc theatre & borders plus cheesecake factory new grand lux cafe consept exept gsp to keep growing.

    [Reply]

  23. Hung out and worked there as a rougue teen in early and mid 80’s. Waterfalls were awesome as well as the maze stairs leading down from food court and glass elevator. Scarlattos was the pricey pizza. Acropolis has Greek food. Nathan’s and Chick Fil A still original. Ah take me back to the Magic Pan (hop over back area and get your own seat on a busy Saturday), Buffalo Bobs, and Philly Cheese steak. Truly a right of passage for teens at that time. And the place screamed 70/80’s decor.

    Mall still close to my heart and is managable to shop at as compared to Garden State Plaza. For those who know what they need, you can get in and out in a reasonable amt of time. What ever happend to the huge Santa they’d hang o/s at Garden State Plaza?

    Long live the Mongoose (old secuirty guard).

    [Reply]

  24. Following up, Matt, on your description of the ‘uniqueness’ of Paramus Park, the Wikipedia entry on Paramus Park describes McDonald’s unique design. Reading about it, I always remembered that Mickey D’s being one of the nicer ones in a mall.

    Something else I’ve noticed is that along with the Rockaway Townsquare Macy’s, the Paramus Park Macy’s is the only other one that still has a furniture department under the same roof.

    [Reply]

  25. I have a bit of a random question;
    Does anyone have a photo of the old McDonald’s? I remember it looking so cool when I was little.

    [Reply]

  26. Oh and by the way, I think the exterior before and after photos are in two different places. One is the entrance that leads to stores like New York and Co., Bath and Body Works, and Mandee’s, and the other is the entrance that leads to the center of the mall, where the escalators to the food court are. It doesn’t really matter, just thought I’d point it out. Great pictures.

    [Reply]

  27. Growing up in Paramus…..I can definetly remember the Grand Opening Day of Paramus Park……I still have the red shoehorn I got from Kinney shoes and also remember Harmony Hut, the record store…..giving out kazoos. I don’t think Sears was open yet on that first day. the parking lot was so big and not yet numberes that we spent quite a while trying to find our car when it was time to go home. I also remember going there with all the rest of the kids on the block when Henry Winkler and Donny Most from Happy Days made a personal appearance…the food court was packed that day with screaming fans

    [Reply]

  28. I found this site about the Turkey Statue.
    http://mallsofamerica.blogspot.com/2007/05/paramus-park-mall-turkey-statue.html

    Paramus Park as a kid…
    *Thinking I would love to ride that turkey
    *Do turkeys really come that big?
    *(Not sure if true) I was told once by mall employee that when they first filled up the main waterfall in food court they took water from every town in Bergen County as a symbol of the mall being part of the community
    *Trying to hit the mannequins on display at the water fall (I know, messed up :) )
    *The maze-like stairs that went behind the water fountain to get to food court….reminded me of jungle.
    *The fountain on the Macy’s side – putting my hand in the water and feeling how cold it was
    *”Picnic in the Park” side on the outside of the elevator shaft in food court
    *About the random birds flying in the food court – thinking if they birds are there on purpose of they flew in and got trapped
    *McD’s – how you could have a private party there and also there was a mirror at the end of the McD’s hallway that made the hall look like it went on forever

    Think that is all for now…

    Random pick of the “new” pool –what were they thinking trying to replace a wonderful waterfall with a kiddie pool.
    http://i193.photobucket.com/albums/z90/williamb_bucket/2002%20USA%20First%20Travel%20-%20WPB%20Family/518a.jpg

    [Reply]

  29. I had my 7th birthday party at the Farrell’s in ’82!

    [Reply]

  30. Farrell’s was in Brunswick Square also and that place seemed like it would totally fit in on Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom. I was saddened when it closed.

    I do miss some of the old features of Paramus Park, especially the big waterfall, but the mall’s renovations overall were positive and it still holds its own against Garden State Plaza. At least the fountain in front of Macy’s is still there.

    [Reply]

  31. I miss the waterfalls in the center of the mall. Me and my friends would throw pennies into it from above on the 2nd floor food court. It was unique if you ask me. Also, the McDonalds decor from the late 80’s/early 90’s in there was truely one of a kind. Any pics of the McDonalds back then or the waterfalls would greatly be appreciated.

    [Reply]

  32. Not only does the insanity that is going to Garden Stae Plaza help this mall but it’s location as well. Well away from the RT 17/4 crossover you can actually still here (going from 17 South) with no trouble most times.
    A nice little place, the crowrds aren’t bad and I second the Chick-Fi-A being an original feature for this mall.

    [Reply]

  33. I wonder if anyone noticed, when you go to Paramus Park the 2 entrances off 17 are Sears Drive & A & S Drive. Even though A & S was macy-aided in 1995.

    At least Macy*s kept something from being rebranded.

    [Reply]

  34. I also noticed that! That was one nice A&S and it is still one nice Macy’s…one of only 2 in NJ that have furniture depts in the main store.

    A couple of months ago, the Bergen Record alluded to an expanison of Paramus Park…anyone hear anything?

    [Reply]

  35. Well, it looks today that my question has been answered . Paramus Park is getting a lifestyle center attached to the Route 17 Center Court Entrance. We’ll see who they get to fill it.

    [Reply]

  36. Please forgive me for my rudeness, but I’d really like to see the Garden State Plaza profiled on this site, because it will complete the Paramus story. (A profile of The Shops at Riverside would also add to the Paramus story, even though that mall is located in nearby Hackensack.) As most folks at Labelscar already know, Garden State Plaza has a rich history: it was an outdoor mall from 1957 until the early-80’s, and underwent a massive expansion that was completed in 1996. The mall has an extremely impressive anchor selection–consisting of JC Penney, Lord & Taylor, Macy’s, Neiman Marcus, and Nordstrom–and also has a very elegant interior.

    Mallguy has previously pointed out that the only Macy’s locations in northern NJ that have furniture departments are the ones at Paramus Park Mall and Rockaway Townsquare. I must say that I am very surprised that the Macy’s at Garden State Plaza does not sell furniture, given that this store is absolutely huge (at 435,000 sq. ft., it is actually one of the largest mall-based locations of the entire chain).

    [Reply]

  37. Max,

    The town of Paramus is the story, & how it became the retail capitol that it is today. Yes, Hackensack is part of this whole epic.

    [Reply]

  38. Max/Sean:

    True…the town of Paramus really influenced retail across the US. Combining the growth with suburbanization, the growth of the highway, proliferation of the automobile and fall of influence of the cities, you have a recipe for success. This topic has established quite a prominent place in my USII classes over the years. Both GSP and Bergen Mall provided the early influence of what would become the shopping center as we know it today. Paramus Park was the 1st large scale indoor mall in Paramus and continues to stay relevant today with its upcoming lifestyle addition. It is also helped by its location as giving the Northern Bergen County suburbs easier access and a less congested place to shop. The Shops at Riverside was built around a freestanding Bloomingdales in 1976-77 (downtown Hackensack was already hurting at this time as a shopping destination) and its remerchandising as ultra-upscale saved it. Prior to the GSP expansion in 89-90 (when Nordstrom opened), each mall in the Paramus area served a specific group as the major anchors were scattered between the centers. When GSP exanded, the rest had to fight to survive.

    And all the Paramus/Hackensack centers are trying to stay at the top of the game with the upcoming opening of Xanadu.

    [Reply]

  39. Mallguy, I had no idea that you are a teacher (who teaches U.S. History II at the high school level). That’s very impressive!

    [Reply]

  40. Mallguy,

    I have 2 questions to ask you & i don’t mean to get personal,
    1. How long have you been teaching US history?
    2. I would like to know where you got your knowledge about malls, because you keep amazing me time & time again.

    [Reply]

  41. Glad I could amaze, Sean :) Almost 5 years into it, I still hope I amaze my students. There’s an interesting book I read a few years ago titled A Comsumer’s Republic (Lizabeth Cohen) and she makes many of the arguments I mentioned in my previous post, however her tone strikes me as against the whole mall proliferation and 1950s suburbanization. I’ve lived in NJ my whole life, I’ve enjoyed visiting malls all over the state and am totally into how the mall is a cultural, social and economic phenomenon. It’s been an interest for a very, very long time. I vividly remember being excited for the openings of Bridgewater Commons in 1989, Freehold in 1990, Menlo’s reopening in 1991. I also remember when Short Hills was on life support from 1991-94 with the closing of B Altman’s, Bonwit Teller and many of the smaller stores in the mall (I think I still have the Star-Ledger’s article and coverage when the expansion opened in 1995…and it can probably be found on Lexis-Nexis).

    [Reply]

  42. Mallguy,

    As a history teacher you should read “The Long Emergency” by James Howard Kunstler. http://www.kunstler.com is his site. The book goes in to detail about the discovery of oil in the US, THE CAR DEPENDENT SUBURBS after WWII & what impacts we are now seeing with climate change & peak oil.

    His historical information is right on, but you may question some of his conclusions. Reguardless if you agree with him or not the book is a good read & very sobering.

    On a personal note i agreed with the book, but i still question the conclusions he draws, although he may be closer to the truth than we know. Only time will tell.

    You may ask yourself why is bringing this up on a mall weblog rellivent? The answer i think you already know. If gas prices keep rising noone is going to have money to spend at the mall, let alone buy enough food to live.

    [Reply]

  43. Growing up in Rockland Cnty NY we always went to this mall growing up. I LOVED the maze of rock staircases by the waterfall — my brother and I would try and get lost in the maze and try to beat our parents downstairs…ah loved it.

    [Reply]

  44. Oh and PS — I TOTALLY agree about the amazing McDonalds decor. The McDonalds is now just a front with no seating but I remember from the 90’s a lot of brass and two “floors” of sorts in McDonalds itself…Plus the seats with the characters on it. Never seen anything like that before.

    [Reply]

  45. Nice call Kelly. I forgot about the maze of stairs going to the foodcourt. That was definitely original.

    [Reply]

  46. The staircase as I recall sort of wownd around the waterfalls & plantings to the left of the escalators & elevator. every few steps you had to turn to continue, wich made it challenging when you were carrying a drink & people wern’t nessessarily looking where they were going. Squeeze plays were commonplace making the use of the elevator a nessessity at times.

    Many Rouse malls used pre-fab construction, making the fonyness of the artificial surroundings even more glaring than it otherwise would have been. Paramus Park is an excelent example of this.

    [Reply]

  47. what was the name of the restraurant that was next to the Lofts candy store, at the garden state plaza, when it was an outside mall. The restraurant use to have the garlic pickles in a bowl on the tables and i can’t remember the name of it , can you help.. thanks

    [Reply]

  48. Sean,

    I remember the setup of center court before the renovation and while I do miss the waterfall, that staircase and elevator needed to go. You had very, very long lines waiting to use that elevator, making the food court unecessarily crowded…and that elevator was as small as the center court elevator currently located in Freehold Raceway Mall. The twin elevators just off center court alleaviated a lot of those crowds. General Growth markets Paramus Park as the “family oriented mall” that is smaller and less crowded than Garden State Plaza (and closer for the Northern/Northwestern Bergen County/Route 17 towns) and the renovation was effective in pursuing this strategy. It will be interesting to see how the upcoming lifestyle center affects the mall.

    And a quick note on Xanadu…it’s opening has been delayed until mid/late 2009.

    [Reply]

  49. Does anyone happen to have a picture of that cool waterfall with the maze staircase? I was trying to explain what it looked like to my husband but words can’t describe it : (

    [Reply]

  50. What are the other malls in Paramus? OK, we’ve blogged about Bergen, Paramus Park, and Fashion Center, the ones left include GSP, Mall at IV, and one other…

    [Reply]

  51. Jonah: The last one is The Shops at Riverside (known as Riverside Square until 2005). Technically, it’s in Hackensack, but it’s only 4 miles east of Garden State Plaza on Route 4.

    [Reply]

  52. Yeah the pet store in the mall got shut down because of just one sick dog,so :(
    And anyone notice that the Calender Kiosk has come to town early?

    [Reply]

  53. The Calendar stores are open up all over NJ about now. At least we’re not seeing Christmas Departments up in all the malls (just the Willowbrook Macy’s as of late August). Any more news on the upcoming lifestyle expansion at Paramus Park?

    [Reply]

  54. GSP’s Macy*s has a huge Christmas section already.

    [Reply]

  55. I cant understand why Macy’s insists on Christmas displays in September. The White plains store has it’s displays up just after Labor day. It’s nuts.

    [Reply]

  56. Of interesting historical note on Paramus Park. It was originally envisioned by the Rouse Company as a office/retail hybrid, NOT a traditional mall. Tiffany and Co was going to take the space now occupied by Sears (which was going to close it’s Hackensack location). The concept of the food court was to serve the needs of the imagined hundreds of office workers. The location of the mall – virtually invisible from Route 17 and almost inaccessable from the Garden State Parkway was not a problem given the original intent as office/retail. The Mack Centers on Midland Ave and E. Ridgewood Ave (bookending the mall) are close to the original intent. Rouse had no visions of grandeur building Paramus Park – they figured they could write-off the anticipated high vacancy in the retail portion of the mall as a loss. Tiffany’s backed out of the deal and A&S went in. Sears decided to keep Hackensack open as well as opening in PP. What happened after the mall opened is almost legendary. The mall was wildly successful. Most of the “6 day” stores in the mall dramatically outperformed “7 day” stores in their chains. There are many reasons for it’s success. The rule of thumb around here is you browse in the Garden State (putting up with the denizens that stream out Rt 4 from the Bronx) but do serious buying at Paramus Park. I rue the day the “gardens of Babylon” waterfall area was removed – it was part of the “soul” of that place that made it so different. Most locals will not go to the Garden State – besides the unruly kids – the traffic flow is awful. Locals all go to PP since it is a breeze to get in and out…

    [Reply]

  57. I visited this mall for the first time yesterday, and I must say that I was pretty underwhelmed. What surprised me the most was just how small it was: the mall’s size was considerably smaller than Livingston Mall (which I consider to be relatively little in size). Also, there did not seem to be any really unique stores at this mall. Honestly, the only real plus this mall has going for it is that it has a Sears (which GSP does not have). (I liked the second floor food court as well.)

    On the discussion forums for Nanuet Mall, somebody pointed out that Paramus Park Mall has always been far more preferred than the Nanuet Mall when it came for locals to decide which non-mammouth shopping mall was best to visit. This is somewhat perplexing to me, as Nanuet (prior to it becoming a dead mall) seemed superior to Paramus Park: Nanuet had one more department store than Paramus Park, had a prettier interior, was open on Sundays, and was considerably bigger as well (which meant a lot more little stores to choose from). Aside from the facts that Paramus Park was much closer to GSP and that NY has higher sales taxes than NJ, I honestly don’t know why anyone would prefer Paramus Park.

    Before I close, I’d like to add that according to Wikipedia, the Paramus Park Macy’s is 289,000 sq. ft. in size, and that this mall’s Sears is 170,000 sq. ft.

    [Reply]

  58. Max,

    Paramus Park, over the years, has benefitted from two things:

    1) The mall is more manageable in size compared to Garden State Plaza and is closer to the Northern Bergen County communities, as well as the fact that it is more easily accessible by side streets than is Garden State Plaza.

    2) Paramus Park is in NJ, as opposed to Nauet Mall which is in NY. Despite Nanuet’s larger size than Paramus Park, sales tax on clothing exists at Nanuet Mall due to the fact that it’s in NY.

    Those two items are big draws to Paramus Park and the management realized this when they renovated back in 2001, making the food court more accessible and modernizing it’s “park-like atmosphere” (yes, I miss the waterfalls, but the renovation was a good one and center court is more open) Now Paramus Park will be embarking in a lifestyle addition and can further cyphon off the Northern Bergen population from Garden State Plaza.

    And Max, that Macy’s is definitely on par with Macy’s in Garden State Plaza…and Fortunoff is there too.

    [Reply]

  59. Bill,

    It was Hahne & Company, not Tiffany, that was supposed to be at Paramus Park before Sears came in.

    I also miss Paramus Park’s iconic waterfall, I worked there in college. does anyone remember ‘The Design Store’, sort of a small Crate & Barrel-concept store between A&S and the center court?

    [Reply]

  60. It looks as if Pacific Grill has closed. That now opens up that space as part of the new lifestyle expansion. I would hope that the lifestyle expansion includes a bookstore. Barnes and Noble has a quite large store across route 17 and the mall lifestyle center would be a better more easily accessible location. Also Borders could give another shot to having a 2nd store in Paramus, locate it at the mall and go head to head with the large B&N across 17.

    I was at Paramus Park this week and it was quite busy. Happened to notice they have opened a few high end tenants and this is good for the long term health of the mall. Sad that they still have the same old tired and inispid Christmas decorations they’ve had since the renovation.

    [Reply]

  61. I live very close to Paramus Park and have been to it several times. I would like to give you some updates about this mall
    1.) A LOT of stores have closed, and are vacant
    2.) The Mall might undergo an expasnion in the next few years, which would add some restaurants(it currently has 2), a movie theater(probably Regal, since there are several AMC theatres in the area), and possibly a major renovation to the mall. Also, when they took the glass elevator out in 2001, they replaced it with 2 new elevators by the new Main Entrance(west). Also, from the mid-1980’s to 2001, the mall featured a sit-down wait staff McDonalds, which I remember very well. it had a lot of tables, and if I remember correctly, it didn’t serve just typical McDonalds food. For more info, wikipedia has a few words about it on there Paramus Park article

    [Reply]

    Jonah Norason Reply:

    I thought it still served regular McD’s food. Do you know what they might have served?

    [Reply]

  62. Max,

    In the 70’s and 80’s, Nanuet mall only had two anchor stores and was considerably smaller than PP before the mid-1990’s expansion. There was no food court at Nanuet and the quality of stores in the mall was lower.

    More importantly, Bergan County did not have sales tax on clothing and shoes, which made everything at PP about 8% cheaper.

    [Reply]

  63. Dan,

    Where the hell are they going to fit this stuff?

    [Reply]

  64. Seriously!? Paramus Park might think of getting a movie theater!? Woot!! Finally! I don’t want to go to a crowded theater in Garden State Plaza on a Saturday or a Friday! As much as AMC is “nice”, a new Regal or any other movie chain would be nice too. Plus, it would be closer. Yesssh!

    Hmm.. Maybe, they should expand the Borders Express? But then, that would really compete with Garden State Plaza on a new level…

    I still have fond memories of those old waterfalls. It was my favorite area to go to when I was little because that’s where the video game store was. I like PP’s new look though. It’s a much more warmer inviting area to be in.

    I can sadly update that KB Toys is closing leaving only ten KBs in the entire state. =_= So sad. That was like, one of my first toys stores as a kid. It was my local alternative to the two Toys R’ Uses that dominate the town. But I wonder, why would they choose the Paramus KB to lay-off/hack from their list? Paramus makes more than the national average so I thought, it would be one of their more profitable locations. but perhaps, because it’s an old location or it really isn’t making much due to PP being dwarfed by GSP?

    [Reply]

  65. I feel PP lost its character when they got rid of the waterfall and the elevator. The generic change pit in the middle, along with escalators that aren’t side-by-side is pathetic. I can remember when the food court upstairs had virtually no franchises. With the exception of McDonalds, which by the way was the best with its dine-in facilities, the restaurants were unique. Farrell’s, Uncle Miltie’s–this was in the mid ’80s. Other stores I remember being there were Plymouth!, B. Dalton, Pants Place Plus, The Crackerjack Kid, 5-7-9, This End Up, Keepsake Jewelry and Just Shirts. I still go to PP when I get a chance but I think malls overall are definitely not what they used to be.

    [Reply]

  66. I wish we had pictures of the food court/waterfall/elevator before the renovation. Been trying to explain it to my wife who doesn’t remember what it looked like.

    [Reply]

    Cindy Reply:

    @James, I still have a mental picture of the waterfalls in Paramus Park mall. It was calming and serene. When I was a little girl, every time I went, I used to drop a penny in the bottom part and make a wish- I remember sitting on the white pillars that were around the base. I also remember a restaurant in the upstairs food court that you could here a fire engine type siren every once in a while too, at least if my memory serves me right. I sure wish I could see a picture of those falls though!

    [Reply]

  67. Stopped over at PP on my way home on Saturday. The customer service booth has been closed acording to a security officer. Seriously I asked? It has been that way for several months he said.

    I guess when you are in bankruptcy this is what happens.

    The good news is there were only five empty stores in the entire mall wich is about 4%. However those empty spaces were smaller retail locations, making the square footage factor less of an issue.

    [Reply]

  68. Yeah, it seems that malls around the country have been eliminating those services, consolidating them with mall management.

    [Reply]

  69. I’ve been to this mall a few times, and always have found it very slick-looking, with all the indoor plants and glass ceilings and dark colors, as well as the waterfalls. The darker color scheme and small size also rid it of those shabby areas that haunt larger malls.

    I find it interesting that this mall seems to cater more towards the northern Bergen County population as opposed to the southern Bergen County population. As most North Jersey people know, Bergen County is perceived as having fairly clear cut socioeconomic lines along geography. Those towns south of Paramus, and in particular Route 4, are mostly middle and working class. Those north of it are mostly upper middle class and wealthy, including extremely affluent places like Alpine, Woodcliff Lake, and Upper Saddle River. This is more marked in the western than the eastern part of the county. Part of this seems to be that the western part of the county (Hackensack and west) hasn’t received as much immigration as the eastern half, where wealth is clustered along the Hudson River. For example, there’s a very pronounced difference between the middle and working class areas of Elmwood Park and Fairlawn along Route 4 and south, and the ritzier areas of Glen Rock and Ridgewood to the north. In the eastern half, middle-income areas (Bergenfield, Dumont, New Milford, River Edge) run north of Route 4, north of very wealthy areas like Englewood Cliffs and upper middle class places like Tenafly. So, it’s more complex than it’s perceived…but there is a very real difference between the southern areas, which are mostly working and middle class Italian, Polish, and German-Irish with a fairly strong Hispanic and Jewish component in southwest Bergen County (these are tied also more to Passaic and Essex counties) and heavily Asian, Russian, and Hispanic in southeastern Bergen County near the bridge, and the posh northern areas, which tend to become wealthier the further north you go. Part of this is an extension of the “Gold Coast”, and is tied more to Hudson County development trends. The northern part of Bergen County is one of North Jersey’s biggest uninterrupted affluent areas, and one of it’s biggest uninterrupted purely suburban, and overwhelmingly residential, areas. The southern and central portions are more commercial and industrial. On either side, the household income of towns rises with each one as you go further north (say, middle and working-class Elmwood Park, to middle-income Fairlawn, to upper middle-class Glen Rock, to upper middle-class and rich Ridgewood in the west, or working-class western Englewood, to middle-class Bergenfield, to more firmly middle-class Dumont, to upper middle-class Haworth and Harrington Park in the east.) So, it’s both a perceived and real difference. As this relates to Paramus Park Mall, I think that both Paramus Park Mall and Riverside Square cater more to the northern crowd…which is why I always found it bizarre that Riverside Square is located in Hackensack. They both also cater to the older crowd and seem less diverse, whereas Garden State Plaza is really New Jersey’s preeminent “teen mall”, seems to get a HUGE chunk of people from southern and central Bergen County, as well as Essex, Hudson, and Passaic counties, and so gets a very diverse and younger population.

    Bergen County is bizarre in North Jersey in lacking any older cities of the same size as Elizabeth, Paterson, Newark, or Jersey City. It’s also almost entirely and very densely developed, and is more tied to the economy of New York City, together with Hudson County, than areas further west. This makes it an ideal environment to study nearly “pure suburbia” on a grand scale. So, I’m wondering how the financial industry downturn will affect places like Paramus Park Mall, which cater to a northern Bergen County crowd that HEAVILY works in New York City’s financial industry. These areas were heavily affected, for example, by deaths from 9/11. It’s alot of tiny towns reliant on affluent homeowners. Bergen County, while growing slowly, isn’t growing quickly, and its retail faces increasingly stiff competition from developments further west, south (Xanadu), and north (the Palisades Center in Rockland County.) So, will Paramus be in trouble?

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @James,

    Your Palisades vs Paramus arguement is backwards. The better stores are beginning to leave Palisades. I maybe comparing apples to oranges here, I noticed as soon as Burlington coat factory opened places like Legal Sea Foods & other stores at that price point closed. Also As a result the demographics in the mall changed from upper middle income people who drove from Westchester & points east of the Tappan Zee Bridge to a more local middle class population.

    Those upper income shoppers transissioned to Stamford, White Plains or Garden state plaza/ Paramus Park/ Shops @ Riverside.

    Once Xanadu openeds the Palisades will need to transform it self because they wont survive in that nitch that worked a decade ago.

    I can guarantee If Restoration Hardware & Cheesecake Factory close, this mall would be dead quickly because there’s nothing that seperates it self from other local malls Beyond BJ’s & Home Depot.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN,

    Palisades will definitely need a cosmetic renovation. The factory look is tiring and the carpeting on the 1st floor conflicts with the rest of the decor. All the Paramus malls had cosmetic renovations or expansions and as a result, it has contributed to attracting more stores and getting more people to the mall.

    I agree, Palisades could be struggling after Xanadu opens and they would be wise to prepare for it.

    [Reply]

  70. As long as there’s a Garden State Plaza in the world, there’s no way Paramus economy will severely slip. I’m not surprised when some site noted that if all the other malls died off, GSP would be the last one standing (sadly). And that’s the mall, I try to avoid at all times. =.= At least, on Friday and Saturday.

    It’s harder to find parking in GSP than Palisades on a Saturday, even though, Palisades is the bigger mall. You get sales tax on clothing in Palisades. NJ has no clothing sales tax.

    [Reply]

  71. Another thing. This was the first food court that I had ever seen. Pic-nic in the park was the name (I don’t think that they still use this name though). McDonalds opened in the mid eighties after the departure of Farrells. I can remember a few of the original restaurants.. Uncle Milt’s deli. Chick-Fil-A. Baskin Robbins. Sgarlato’s pizza. Magic Pan. Farrell’s. I think that Swiss colony might have had a store there as well..

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @Rob,

    Farrell’s was a great restaurant and they have been making a comeback on the west coast.

    Paramus Park had an excellent food court and their food court led to Garden State Plaza’s lower level food court getting built. I still miss the waterfall to this day!

    I haven’t been to PP in a while and I assume the expansion project has been put on hold?

    [Reply]

  72. I live near palisades center macys, was the culprit of this mall. The palisades mall had a Filenes before macys bought them.macys took away abraham and straus and sterns.We need stores from the south such as dillards and Belk they are better than macys these stores are in north Carolina.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @RICHARD,

    I would love to see Dillard’s enter the NYC/North Jersey market, but I just don’t see it happening until the economic situation improves.

    It would be of a big assistance to some malls in filling up their vacant anchors, as well as sprucing up those respective malls. Once the economy improves, we can hope.

    And like many in this area, I miss A&S!!! :(

    [Reply]

    Rich Reply:

    @mallguy, Dillard operates horrible, neglected stores with non-existent service. They are heavily weighted toward house brand stuff that isn’t particularly stylish or high quality. The national brands are the same stuff you already can buy elsewhere, often at better prices. Dillard pioneered central ordering for mainline department stores and there’s a depressing uniformity about what they sell. Belk is a strictly second string, small market operation that sells cheaper lines–it’s a duller version of what Macy’s was 30 years ago. Those chains survive in the sunbelt because of the general uniformity of everything else with which they compete. Dillard has not done well in their few relatively northern markets like Cleveland and St Louis and would be absolutely outclassed in bigger markets like NY/NJ. Dillard’s sales have been sinking for the past several years and they are beginning to show up on “watch lists” of companies headed for trouble.

    [Reply]

    Pseudo3D Reply:

    @Rich, weren’t you the same person who blasted Foley’s a while back?

    [Reply]

    rob Reply:

    @Pseudo3D, no i wasnt may company owned foleys and may was better than federated macys stinks. filenes foleys etc were better stores.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @Rich, The Dillards I last visited was at Boulevard Mall, Las Vegas. It reminded me quite a lot of the former Filene’s at Danbury Fair Mall in terms of store design, finishes & layout.

    This store is closed & the rest of the mall is struggling & soon maybe dead.

    [Reply]

    Rich Reply:

    @SEAN, I had/have no comment on Foley’s. Only went to one once in downtown Houston.

    As for Dillard, their remodels look a lot like May’s later remodels, so the store could easily have looked like a Filene’s. If they can’t survive in a homogenized place like Vegas, they’re definitely on their way out.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @Rich, Dillard’s has three other locations besides Boulevard Mall, but the neighborhood along Maryland Parkway South including the mall has been going downhill for several years. FYI, this trend predates the housing crisis there by five years or so.
    You’ll find more info on the various Las Vegas pages on this site including “The Strip”, Galleria At Sunset, Medows Mall & the already mentioned Boulevard Mall.

    [Reply]

    rob Reply:

    @mallguy i have been to dillards and belks in raleigh nc and i find dillards quality better than..macys. i still hav clothes i bought in dillards three years ago and still in good condition and i say the same for things i have bought at belk and i even shop their website because to me macys quality is going down and out and its gotten worse since they bought may company.we are over saturated with macys we need some new stores in the bergen .rockland counties areas.niemans nordstrom saks and bloomingdales are too over priced even though they have nice merchandise.macys took away too many stores away that people were able to afford a and s sterns and filenes.to me these stores were even better than macys.

    [Reply]

    rob Reply:

    @mall guy one more thing i see dillards and belk pay much more than macys does only 8.00 an hour compare to dillards and belk 9.50 – 15.00 an hour macys is busy buying other stores and paying their big shot executives in herald square.thats why they cant keep sales help

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @rob,

    I’ve been to Dillard’s in Florida (near Tampa) in the past, but it’s been a while since I’ve been in a Dillard’s. If the economy didn’t stink, their investment in the NY/NJ market would solve a lot of the vacancy problems many of the malls up here are seeing…plus, it if they market themselves properly, they would be a “destination” anchor for their respective mall.

    [Reply]

    Rich Reply:

    @rob: Clearly a fanboy. You don’t have much company–their sales have been sinking for years. Macy has been doing okay except for Chicago and a few former May markets. Macy’s also seems to be pulling out of small towns, where some of their Federated predecessors had been able to do okay. Dillard now seem to be among the first to leave malls, so I wonder if they’d really be a solution to malls with vacancies.

    @mallguy: Dillard’s store selections are much more “edited” than they were a few years ago. Narrower selections with fewer name brand lines and much more emphasis on dowdy store brand stuff. My guess is that shrinking the number of lines is one response to shrinking profits, along with more higher margin store brand stuff.

    [Reply]

  73. mallguy many retailers are narrowing their inventories because of the economy its not just dillards.macys selections in their suburban stores have narrowed especially in menswear.macys is doing ok because consumers have no other store choices since they bought filenes marshall fields etc and merges abraham and straus and sterns.

    [Reply]

    Rich Reply:

    @rob, You are a tiresome fanboy, aren’t you. In the markets with which I’m familar, Macy’s men’s stores are pretty much the same as a few years ago.If you want Dillard’s, you can have them, but you clearly don’t follow the big picture.

    [Reply]

  74. A&F and its brands are closing 100+ stores, many due to underperformance and expired leases. i am 90% sure Paramus Park’s A&F is closing, mostly due to GSP’s proximity. also, i’m very sure the A&F and kids will close at Monmouth since Monmouth isn’t doing so hot, even though they’re renovating, i think A&F just wants Hollister there now. Also, it’s not far from Freehold.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @Joey, I think Abercrombie Kids at Monmouth Mall already closed. I know it closed at Short Hills.

    Sadly, I’d agree the Monmouth Mall A&F will close…don’t think they will wait out the renovation. Paramus Park also seems like a likely candidate. If not Paramus Park, maybe Palisades.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, Please don’t get me started on palisades Center again. There’s an article on the Nanuet Mall thred I pasted from the Bergen Reccord on retail vacancy rates in northern & central NJ. I was trying to illistrate what maybe in store for Palisades if management & Clarkstown don’t wake up & smell the Starbucks.

    Paramus Park & Garden State Plaza maybe the ones who end up cleaning up Clarkstown’s economic mess.

    [Reply]

    Gran Reply:

    @mallguy,
    abercrombie kids at monmouth is still open, I passed it two days ago, why the Short Hills kids close if they are in a upscale mall.
    So then the list of closings goes so far:
    1.Short Hills(Kids)
    2.Warwick, R.I.,(Fitch), closed from flooding not reopening
    3.Monmouth(Fitch and Kids)
    4.Paramus Park(Fitch)
    5.Deptford?????(Fitch)
    Do you think any others are going to close, I don’t know how well the ones in Freehold, Edison, or Rockaway are doing. Are the Palisades Abercrombies closing too?????

    [Reply]

    Joey Reply:

    @Gran, Louis Vuitton bought the space to expand their store. i was shocked when i saw the windows covered last month when i saw it cause i didn’t know what was going on. Freehold does pretty good, i was there last sunday and even though the rain made the mall packed, when i went last month it was packed too. Idk about Menlo, their A&F always seems dead. Same with Hollister. I love both stores there. The last time I was at Menlo was in April.

    Also, 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.

    [Reply]

    Gran Reply:

    @Joey,
    I know the Jersey Shore is not exactly that close to Freehold but no one in Monmouth County really doesn’t wear Abercrombie or Hollister anymore

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @Joey, What AMC plans on doing is reconstruct the theatre with stadium seating along with the elements that are part of Fork & Screen. Two current locations are 6-screens & 1 is 10-screens. Menlo Park’s 12-plex will be converted as well to Fork & Screen along with the Essex Green 9 wich will start construction soon.

    As a footnote, the 10-plex is part of an existing 30-screen theatre in suburban Kansas City.

    If successful, you will see other theatres have complete or parcial Fork & Screen conversions such as Garden State Plaza.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN, I could see the Garden State Plaza theatre switching to Fork and Screen, as I could see Freehold’s (or Monmouth’s, if the renovation is successful.

    With Freehold, maybe this will give them the incentive to rebuild the movie theater adjacent to the lifestyle center.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, Or build a new theatre closer to the lifestyle center. Isn’t that theatre in an outlot away from the mall?

    GSP is the best location in the state for Fork & Screen. Is that theatre 2 or 3 wings. The answer may decide the number of screens that get remoddled.

    The Studio 30 theatre outside KC , converted one wing of 10-screens to Fork & Screen as well as Cinema Sweets. Cinema Sweets are not comeing to the renovated AMC’s in Menlo Park, Bridgewater or West Orange, yet they could work in Paramus because the conversion would be simple & less costly do to new construction.

    Current admition prices at Garden State 16 plus Studio 30’s Fork & screen as well as Cinema Sweets…

    Regular $11.50
    Fork & Screen $15 plus a $10 food credit.
    Cinema Sweets $20 plus a $15 food credit.

    There’s absolutely a market for a theatre like that in Paramus.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN, I definitely agree there is a market for it in Paramus and think it’s on their radar. I think the theatre at Garden State Plaza is 2 wings.

    The theatre is Freehold Raceway Mall is on the entrance road to the mall. Even though Freehold Raceway Mall is one of the more successful malls, I doubt that theater will be converted to Fork and Screen. The only way we’ll see Fork and Screen at Freehold is if they rebuild the theater closer to the mall in the lifestyle center.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, I think we’re on the same page with both theatres. By contrast the AMC at Palisades Center is 3 wings, however the auditorium arangement is quite odd. As you walk in auditoriums 1-7 are streight ahead, 8-12 are to the left & 13-21 are to your right. This configuration allows for at most 8-screans to be devoted to the Fork & Screen concept. That is if AMC really wants to take a gamble there, while Gardenstate is a sure bet.

    Speaking of AMC, they just had a WTF moment this past week with a new theatre openning& as a teacher you may find this quite funny or pathetic. There is a new lifestyle center calledATLANTIC TIMES SQUARE that features a health club, mall type inline stores & restaurants, with housing above them & a 14-screen theatre.

    Based on it’s name one might assume this development might be somewhere in the New York Area, if not along the east coast. However you’ll find it in…wait for it… the Los Angeles suburb of Monterey Park. Canyou believe such nonsence? This proves once & for all, we know nothing about geography as a nation & why I called it a WTF moment.

    I wonder what your reactions are.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN, A lot of the large AMC theaters around NJ…at least with New Brunswick, East Hanover, and Monmouth Mall (and I think Rockaway and Paramus), the theatres are split between two wings, so a conversion would be easy. Menlo Park also has a two wing configuration, but there are a few bends in the setup, so I’ll be interested in seeing how they do it when it reopens. Another interesting item about the Menlo Park movie theater is that there’s no bottom floor to it and it’s held up by support structures.

    A definite WTF moment for sure! Before I read that it was in CA, I was thinking where there was a grand opening in the area that I missed!

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, I cant think of another mall other than Menlo Park that contain those support structures in effect creating a double canterleever. They achieve two functions, creating the alusion that the theatre is atached to both the mall & the parking structure wich you pointed out way up in the FRM thred & it creates aditional covered parking.

    The theatre at GSP is the prototype design AMC has been going with the last few years. This allows for aditional parking undernieth or some other function.

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN, The food court is designed the same way at Menlo!

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, I totally forgot about the Menlo food court was designed that way! The unique feature is where Chipitle & Champs are located. it is in effect an enlarged alcove with angled walls & supports.

    Gran Reply:

    @mallguy,
    The Freehold Movie Theater Stinks!!!!!!!!!!!

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @Gran, I wholeheartedly agree! I suggest moving it over to the lifestyle center….maybe across from Dick’s and the lifestyle center could be expanded to there. Parking decks could be added to make up for any lost parking.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, Totally agree with you reguarding moving the theatre to the lifestyle center.

    I’m going to play devils advocate for a moment, what is wrong with the current theatre?

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN, It may be 14 screens, but it’s non-stadium seating and it’s far away from the mall…on the 537 entrance road. (Freehold Raceway Mall, as you may know, is quite set back from 9, 33 and 537)

    They would definitely get more business if they moved to the lifestyle center…best scenario: extend the lifestyle center to Dick’s and place the new movie theater across the street from Dick’s…possibly do underground parking like in Paramus or build a deck somewhere in another area of the mall.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, Thanks for the info reguarding the theatre. I was somewhat aware of it’s location, but not if it had stadium seating wich I suspected it lacked. Relocating the theatre makes total sence.

    mallguy Reply:

    @Gran, No inside knowledge, but in speculation, I’d think that Freehold and Menlo Park’s A&F are safe. Also, Rockaway’s is likely safe, as is Willowbrook’s.

    [Reply]

    rob Reply:

    @Joey, a nd f wont be far from closing at palisades the way stores are leaving the mall.i saw on business news they may be closing all their us operations.

    [Reply]

  75. hey if u go to to a fork and screen theater like Menlo or Bridgewater do u have to purchase the fancier food or can u just buy an old fashioned pop corn and soda and just watch a movie??

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @Gran,

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @Gran, Fork & Screen sells regular theatre consessions along with the newer food & beverage offerings. If you go to National Amusements directors hall concept or Muvico & what that circuit created in terms of both theatre design & food options, you’ll understand what Fork & Screen is all about.

    This keeps older theatres in high profile locations in opperation. also most new circuits like Rave Motion Pictures & Muvico are based around dinner & a movie.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @Gran, The Fork and Screen theatres will also have liquor licenses.

    [Reply]

  76. As I haven’t been to Paramus Park in a while, maybe others know…did something ever replace California Grille (lower level center court) or whatever it was called?

    [Reply]

    Gran Reply:

    @mallguy,
    no, it’s called paciftic something

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @Gran,

    Pacific Grill…you’re right.

    [Reply]

  77. Just realized that an old episode of the Cosby Show featured Paramus Park and they show the old waterfall in this clip at 6:43.

    [Reply]

    Mr.D Reply:

    @mallguy, So that’s what it looked like.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @Mr.D, While the front side had the different terraces and steps, the opposite side of the waterfall was a straight drop down. Very impressive feature of Paramus Park and I’m still sad it’s gone.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, I found it interesting how the steps incircled the fountain, however getting up & down the stairs was a bit of a challenge do to the crowds that refused to move to one side& the fact the stairs had such a tight radius, it prevented anyone from getting a nice run.

    [Reply]

  78. Do Not Buy from The Pet Co store located near Sears. I went in there with my son and noticed a fawn colored pug in the last cage on the bottom. His bones were showing, his breathing was erratic and he was shaking like a leaf. When I brought this to the attention of the only employee in there she told me that all pug puppies look like that when they sleep. I told her that wasn’t true because I raise pugs and the pug in her store was sick. She gave me an attitude and walked away from me. The other dogs that they had many looked under nourished and not too healthy.
    If they can’t take better care of their animals then maybe they shouldn’t be in business. Ghandi once said “the greatness of a country can be determined by the treatment of their animals”. If this is true, then we should hang our heads in shame!

    [Reply]

  79. I loved this mall growing up. (I worked at the CVS there in the early 90s for a bit as well) The waterfall was awesome…and so was the McDonald’s.

    Does anyone remember what the Banana Republic store there looked like? (Not sure if they are still even in the mall…haven’t been there in years since I live in another state now) There was an old safari jeep in there…which I don’t recall seeing in other BR stores.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @Marilyn, The Banana Republic was pretty unique there…actually reminded me of the old one in Bridgewater Commons. Despite its renovations and its heavy competition from Garden State Plaza, Paramus Park is still successful and has its niche!

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, Despite its renovations and its heavy competition from Garden State Plaza, Paramus Park is still successful and has its niche!

    I don’t know of that many areas that have at least two successful malls in a small geographic area in the US like Paramus has .

    1. The Las Vegas Strip
    2. Los Angeles’s West Side
    3. Coasta Mesa/ Santa anna/ Irvine
    4. The mission Valley area of Sandiego
    5. Downtown White Plains, but in that case you can walk from one mall to another instead of driving it.
    6. Phipps Plaza/ Lenox Square?

    I’m not sure what else I missed.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN, I find it interesting that all the georgraphic areas/malls you mentioned complemented each other in that each mall in an area has different anchors and different stores. (White Plains, Phipps/Lenox and the Mission Valley Malls come to mind) That’s exactly how the Paramus malls used to be before the GSP expansions, and now that they overlap, they can each survive because they’ve built a niche for themselves. Garden State Plaza is thought of the large mall that has everything, Paramus Park is thoguht of as the more family friendly, less congested closer alternate to GSP, Bergen Town Center is the less expensive mall and the Shops at Riverside is the extreme upscale mall. The only one that didn’t survive in mall form was Fashion Center.

    [Reply]

  80. Off topic, but take a look at this Westfield wright up.

    Westfield Acts Globally
    With properties on three continents, Westfield readily transfers knowledge around the globe to improve developments, property management and operations.
    Randall Shearin

    Everyone has heard the expression, “Think Globally, Act Locally,” but Westfield is a company who thinks locally and acts globally. The company, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2010, is active across three continents and readily transfers knowledge and senior management across the world. Ideas at the company generally start at the property level, spread to the region and then around the globe. From its original projects in Australia to its newest properties in the United Kingdom, the company has taken its best practices and incorporated them worldwide. And by practices, Westfield doesn’t just mean its operations; the company incorporates its best practices in design, customer service, leasing, marketing, management and operations on a global scale.

    Westfield has been an active developer in the U.S. over the last 5 years, despite the recession. In 2008, the company completed the $270 million redevelopment and expansion of Westfield Galleria at Roseville along with the $115 million revitalization of Westfield Plaza Bonita, both in California. In 2009 and 2010, the company had three major expansion and renovations open in Southern California, including Westfield Culver City. More recently, the company has announced that it is undertaking pre-development activity on approximately $10 billion of future strategic development opportunities globally including Westfield Montgomery in Maryland, Westfield Garden State Plaza in New Jersey and Westfield University Town Center in San Diego. Beyond the U.S., it has been even more active; by the end of 2011 it will have opened the two top centers in Europe in a 3-year time span.

    Reinvestment, expansion and revitalization are constant thoughts at Westfield. It’s the company’s philosophy and practice to program regular renovations of its centers as it believes that mall retailing changes with the times.

    Shopping Center Business recently met with Westfield executives around the world — in Sydney, London and Los Angeles — to see how the company has incorporated its forward-thinking into new properties in all parts of the world.

    In Sydney, Shopping Center Business met with Robert Jordan, managing director of Australia and New Zealand and Michael Gutman, managing director of the United Kingdom and Europe; in London, SCB met with Peter Miller, chief operating officer of the United Kingdom, Bill Giouroukos, director of operations for the United Kingdom and John Burton, project director for Westfield Stratford City; and in Los Angeles, Shopping Center Business spoke with Peter Lowy, group managing director.

    Transferring Ideas Across Borders

    Westfield shares its operational and design ideas in all areas of the world. That includes its holdings in the United States, where many of its innovations have been created or tested. The company also shares its ideas at all levels of the company. Even at the top level, the heads of its U.S., Australia, New Zealand and United Kingdom portfolios share ideas on operations and management regularly.

    “When we go to do development, we can tap the knowledge of each of the skill sets in each of our markets,” says Lowy. “Once you know the idea, you need to adapt it to the market that you are in.”

    One of the ideas that has been incorporated and enhanced across the Westfield portfolio is the food terrace concept. Originally introduced at Westfield Bondi Junction in Sydney in 2004, the food terrace is a selection of restaurants in a quick service format. Instead of having uniform spaces for food court tenants, Westfield individually designed spaces and storefronts for restaurants, creating a ‘theater’ of food preparation and presentation, many with their own seating as well as common area seating vignettes. The food terrace also offered glassware, flatware and scullery instead of plastic cutlery and paper plates.

    “We changed the nature of the food court by turning food court tenants into food terrace merchants,” says Lowy. “We knew this would work in certain markets in the U.S. that had all the same hallmarks.”

    The idea was incorporated into Westfield’s U.S. portfolio when the company renovated Westfield Century City in 2005. The concept was also added to San Francisco Centre as part of its addition, and has since been brought to the U.K. at Westfield London. It has been further expanded at Westfield Sydney, by adding elements of the food terrace throughout the center.

    Westfield has long transferred its senior executives to its different regions around the world to incorporate new concepts and ideas. This system has been in place so long that many top executives have lived in all four market regions at multiple points in their careers.

    “You have executives throughout our system who have grown up in the regional marketplace, then moved to other countries and adapted other countries’ ideas to the original marketplace,” says Lowy. “Once employees understand the culture of the country, all of these ideas just flow back and forth between the regions.”

    Australia/New Zealand

    After developing one of the most forward-thinking retail projects in the world in Sydney — Westfield Bondi Junction — in 2004, Westfield had a hard act to follow with its next major redevelopment in its Australia/New Zealand region. For many years, the company had controlled the retail space around downtown Sydney’s iconic Sydney Tower. In 2000, the company began investigating a new plan for its holdings in downtown Sydney, which included an older center at the base of the tower called Centrepoint, an adjacent retail area known as Imperial Arcade, and another center called Skygarden, as well as an office tower at 100 Market Street. In 2005, it launched an ambitious plan to unite the retail space, and turn what was a tourist destination into Australia’s leading retail destination. The first phase of the project — with more than 540,000 square feet of retail — opened in October 2010. Westfield Sydney is a multi-level, multi-use project that showcases retailers from all over the world in their flagship Australian stores. For Westfield, the project has been a 10-year odyssey from start to completion to develop the 1.1 hectares (2.7 acres) of contiguous inner city area it owns around Sydney Tower.

    “In Australia, it is a rare thing to own that much land and retail space in that small of a downtown area,” says Jordan.

    To amalgamate all the space needed to redevelop the project, the company had to demolish a few areas and work around operating buildings. As well, any new construction had to be designed to accommodate space for the cables that provide support for Sydney Tower. Westfield completely demolished the Imperial Arcade; a retail project built in the 1960s, and started its retail plan for Westfield Sydney from scratch. Plans also called for the renovation of the office tower, the base of which would be incorporated into Westfield Sydney. Westfield commissioned John Wardle Architects, an Australian firm, to create the design for the exterior of the center, while Westfield’s internal designers handled the interior of the center. The futuristic look of the exterior of the center is derived mainly from concrete, glass and steel — over 110,000 square feet of glass covers the first several floors of the structure’s facade.

    “We had Centrepoint, which we gutted and made many modifications,” says Jordan. “Bondi was a breakthrough for us because it was the first really up-market mall that we developed from scratch in a high density area. We had to reinvent ourselves on how we went about those particular developments. We took that and we’ve pushed ourselves even further with Westfield Sydney. It’s another generation on from Bondi Junction.”

    For the retail offering, Westfield looked to capture two markets: the local trade area and the tourist traffic drawn to Sydney Tower. While the center is anchored by Myer and borders another large leading Australian department store, David Jones, a key anchor at Westfield Sydney is food. The food offerings at Westfield Sydney are where the company’s global transfer of ideas is evident, and prevalent. Westfield took the idea of the food terrace, which was launched at Westfield Bondi Junction in 2004, transplanted to the U.S. in 2005 at Westfield Century City, where it was further refined in San Francisco, introduced it in the U.K. at Westfield London in 2008, and brought it all back to Westfield Sydney City for its most current adaptation. A large percentage of Westfield Sydney’s retail space is dedicated to food offerings to serve the local and tourist market. The retail mix is also a magnet for consumers, ranging from high end international retailers like Salvatore Ferragamo, Gucci, Diane von Furstenberg, Hugo Boss, Ted Baker, Wolford and Swarovski, to mid-range retailers like Gap, Guess, Esprit and Zara, (with its first store in Australia at Westfield Sydney). Many retailers have chosen to have unique and high market stores at Westfield Sydney. Nespresso, the coffee machine and coffee retailer popular in Europe, has opened a two-story location there to educate and promote its products to the Australian market, for example.

    Since Westfield Sydney opened at the end of October 2010, it has seen huge traffic numbers. Westfield did not have to do a lot of advertising for the opening since many people in Sydney saw the construction and the local newspapers were constantly reporting on the center’s progress. Opening day was packed; according to Jordan, the food halls ran out of food at 7:30 pm.

    “The crowds haven’t stopped,” says Jordan.

    The center makes good use of its common areas, spreading coffee houses, bakeries, sandwich shops and other food uses across the center with non-walled units that are built into the common area. A traditional food court is located below the Myer department store with about 20 offerings. Instead of having a single food terrace, Westfield Sydney spreads the food terrace out over levels five through seven of the center, and many other food tenants are dotted throughout the center. In all, there are more than 40 food retailers at the center, from food terrace stands to full-service restaurants.

    A planned second phase, to be added over the next few years, will add a 27-story office tower, the base of which will also contain several floors of retail to be seamlessly connected to Westfield Sydney. At full build-out, the project will have nearly 1 million square feet of retail space.

    With retail at Westfield Sydney filling in this spring, Westfield is moving on to its next projects in the region. The company has an ambitious plan to renovate 10 of its centers in Australia and New Zealand over the next 5 years, incorporating elements that it placed in Westfield Sydney and Westfield Bondi Junction. Already, the company is underway with renovations at Carindale in Queensland.

    United Kingdom

    Westfield celebrated 10 years as a property owner in the United Kingdom in 2010. The company entered the country in 2000. To gain a foothold, Westfield initially acquired a 75 percent stake from Hermes in Westfield Broadmarsh, a center in Nottingham. Later, that was followed by a 50 percent stake in six centers across the country from MEPC. In 2004, the company acquired an interest in several projects from Chelsfield, a U.K.-based commercial property owner. That acquisition included a strong portfolio of assets and interests in new developments, including the projects that are now Westfield London and Westfield Stratford City. Over time, Westfield gained control of those interests.

    The first property Westfield redeveloped in the U.K. was Westfield Derby, which it had acquired in the MEPC transaction, located about 90 minutes north of London. Westfield invested about US$500 million to redevelop the center, adding new retailers, a new food court and a cinema to the center, which was completely redeveloped from the ground up. Westfield Derby opened in October 2007.

    In October 2008, Westfield London opened in the city’s West End. The 1.6 million-square-foot project is the largest enclosed center near London and is positioned to be the highest grossing mall (per square foot) in the United Kingdom. While the worldwide recession has affected the United Kingdom, the British — especially Londoners — have not curbed their appetite for retail. This is, according to Westfield, because parts of suburban London are under-retailed. The mall is a relatively new concept to this old city, and retailers have jumped at the chance to serve this new market.

    “We looked at it with our U.S. and Australian eyes and realized there was a low supply of quality regional malls,” says Gutman. “Of course, the West End is one of the most amazing retail precincts in the world. Yet, the supply of malls within the city was low. You can count them on one hand.”

    Westfield London was developed close to four underground stations, making its location central for West London. The center also was marketed to retailers as a showcase, with the two-story storefronts that are hallmark in Westfield’s U.K. centers. Built with a racetrack design, Westfield London has four anchors, Marks & Spencer, Debenham’s, Next and House of Fraser. An area called The Village is populated with high-end retailers, including Tiffany & Co., Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Church’s, Burberry, Versace, Montblanc, Prada and many others. The center has attracted prominent international retailers like Gap, Hollister, H&M, French Connection, Esprit, Desigual, Oakley, All Saints, Armani Exchange, Tommy Hilfiger, The North Face, Swarovski, Pandora, Tous, HMV and Camper. More than 50 eateries are located throughout the center. A district known as the Southern Terrace contains tablecloth restaurants like Jamie’s Italian, by native chef Jamie Oliver; LPDJ; The Meat & Wine Co.; The Bull; and Busaba Eathai.

    Originally, Viacom/Redstone was to operate the movie theater at Westfield London. The operator decided not to go through with its theater during construction, and, as a result, the theater opened in 2009 with Vue as its operator. Today, that theater is the chain’s best performing unit, and one of the top performing theaters in the United Kingdom.

    About one-third of the traffic at Westfield London is coming from outside the center’s trade area. Westfield has a full-time tourism marketing person whose job it is to market the property to tour operators, hotel concierges and visitors bureaus.

    Westfield has creatively leased remnant, non-retail space at Westfield London to a fitness club, Gym Box, and a large space above part of the center to online women’s fashion retailer Net-A-Porter for its headquarters. The center is 100 percent leased and performing ahead of expectations, says Gutman, with annual traffic in excess of 26 million and annual sales of more than £870 million (US$1.39 billion).

    “The performance of the center is accelerating against the economic recession that the U.K. was in,” says Gutman. “Westfield London has outperformed the anticipated increase in sales in the London market as a whole.”

    Across Town

    When Westfield made its takeover bid for Chelsfield’s portfolio, included in the assets along with Westfield London was a site known as Stratford City. Since completing Westfield London in 2008, Westfield’s development focus in the U.K. has turned to Westfield Stratford City, which will open this fall. It is Westfield’s most ambitious site in the United Kingdom, and the results will be on display for the world to see when London hosts the 2012 Summer Olympics — London’s Olympic Park is adjacent to the site. As such, it is estimated that 70 percent of the 10 million people visiting the Olympic games will pass through Westfield Stratford City. When complete, Westfield Stratford City will be the largest urban entertainment project in Europe.

    Located in London’s growing East End, the site on which Westfield Stratford City will sit has been in play since the 1980s. For 150 years in the 1800s, the site was a carriage factory. In the 1980s, the idea for high speed rail connecting the United Kingdom to Europe began to gain traction. Today, rail runs near the site from St. Pancras Station through Kent and to the Channel Tunnel. By the time Westfield acquired the Stratford site, the route had been in operation for a few years. After the railway was built, a 180-acre site was left undeveloped. Ultimately, Chelsfield and Stanhope were chosen by the railway to develop the site in the late 1990s. The original plan called for 30 million square feet of development on the site.

    When London won the host city spot for the 2012 Olympics, Westfield had the impetus to get the development underway. Westfield declared it would take control of the project and bought out the other shareholders in a long battle. Westfield ended up with the rights to a triangular-shaped site of 40 acres, and within that it has the entitlement to build a 1.9 million-square-foot shopping center, 1.1 million square feet of office space, 1 million square feet of residential space and 350,000 square feet of hotel space. About 75 percent of the project’s power needs will be met by an on-site cooling, heating and power plant. In all, the project represents a £1.45 billion (US$2.34 billion) investment.

    Westfield Stratford City is on schedule to open in September. The center will have 9 months of operation before the 2012 Olympics, allowing time to iron out any bugs in operations before the games begin. The opening of the center is expected to be so large that it will, in some ways, be a test for the opening ceremonies of the Olympics.

    While the 2012 Olympic games are the impetus to get the project completed, Westfield knows that Stratford will live well beyond.

    “You wouldn’t build this project if it were only for the Olympics,” says Burton. “The size of the market warrants a center of this size, as do the demographics of the immediate market and the accessibility of the site to the extended market.”

    London has a population of 8 million, defined by the M25 ring road. In the northeast quarter of London, there is no significant regional mall. Westfield has defined its market area as 4.1 million people inside and outside the M25, but in the general vicinity. That population spends £25 billion (US$40 billion) per year on necessities and disposable income items. The weighted spend, or disposable income, is about £3.2 billion (US$5.2 billion) per year. In trade markets in the U.K., the 25 to 44 age group averages about 27 percent of the population. In the trade area of Westfield Stratford City, 33 percent of the population is aged 25 to 44.

    “This is the heart of young London,” says Burton. “It is where people are moving to live and work. It is the new metropolitan capital of East London.”

    The two largest lines on the Underground are the Jubilee line and the Central line. Both cross paths at Stratford. As well, the Docklands Light Rail (DLR) trains will service the area. The Crossrail network will also stop by the site.

    “The Olympics is 4-week party,” says Burton. “The Olympics was the catalyst to get the property started, it accelerates the overall development of the land, but to us, it is part of the marketing plan of the center for the next few years. It will generate national and international exposure that we could never buy.”

    When SCB visited, the project was taking shape. Westfield Stratford will be anchored by John Lewis, Marks & Spencer, Waitrose and a 14-screen all-digital Vue cinema. More than 300 shops, bars and restaurants will line halls at the project. Westfield Stratford City is greater than 80 percent leased, to retailers like Forever 21, Primark, Next, Topshop, Esprit, River Island and H&M. There will also be three hotels and a casino at the venue. There will be four precincts concentrating on food. They include an area called The Loft, which will contain the U.K.’s leading casual dining restaurants like Wagamama, Las Iguanas, Gourmet Burger Kitchen and Giraffe. As well, an 1,100-seat area called The Balcony will operate as the food terrace at Westfield Stratford City.

    “Everything that we’ve learned at Westfield London, we’re now applying at Stratford City,” says Gutman.

    Within a 3-year period (from October 2008 to October 2011), Westfield will open the two largest centers in Europe. Westfield London is already performing at such a level that it is the Number 1 mall in the United Kingdom. Stratford City is forecast to perform at a similar level.

    “The expectation is that we will have the Number 1 and 2 centers in the United Kingdom,” says Gutman.

    Performance continues to improve across Westfield’s U.K. portfolio, and Stratford City should add to that.

    “Occupancy in our U.K. portfolio has improved significantly since the beginning of the downturn,” says Gutman. “It never went anywhere near as low as the U.S. We are about 98 percent occupied across our portfolio.”

    After the opening of Stratford City, Westfield will focus on smaller renovation projects in its current U.K. portfolio to keep it in good shape.

    “We will keep an eye on the economic environment before we press the button on larger projects that we have planned,” says Gutman.

    United States

    In the United States, Westfield has been a believer in the mall format since it purchased its first U.S. center in Connecticut in 1977. The company has constantly been evolving the mall since, often breaking down long-held barriers with leasing and design. For example, the company became the first developer to place Target and Neiman Marcus at the same center with Westfield Topanga near Los Angeles.

    “We believe that the mall as an asset class has a strong cash flow, very strong returns and a well located, well managed, well built mall will trade well throughout its life,” says Lowy. “If you spend capital on the mall, you extend its life and get a good return on that capital and have a good long-term rate of return on your investment. It is a very secure cash flow business.”

    Lowy cites that for all the large mall owners — Westfield, Simon Property Group, General Growth, Macerich — even at the height of the recession, net operating incomes only dropped 2 to 4 percent.

    “Rents did not go zero and the malls’ cash flows did not drop off a cliff,” he says. “They fell a few percentage points. That shows you the strength of the assets themselves.”

    Westfield has a long-term goal of changing the way the mall operates. In Australia, the mall has long incorporated a lot of basic needs services as part of its tenant mix. Westfield began incorporating features different from most regional malls in the U.S. in the early 2000s. It has nearly 10 Target stores in its malls. It has also added grocery offerings into many of its centers in the U.S. At Westfield Southcenter in suburban Seattle for example, Westfield has opened Seafood City — a big box ethnic grocery and goods emporium — in a former department store space. It has high-end supermarkets in both San Francisco Centre and Century City. Westfield is also adding Aldi next month at a center it owns in Chicago. At Westfield Old Orchard in suburban Chicago, Westfield is replacing an aging traditional food court with an open kitchen gourmet market and grocery.

    Westfield has been a pioneer in adding big box uses to the mall. In 2002, the company began adding Target as an anchor. At Westfield Culver City, Best Buy joined the center as part of a 2009 renovation. And the company has signed a multi-unit agreement with Costco that will put warehouse stores at several centers on both coasts.

    “We are signing deals with more non-traditional anchors,” says Lowy. “We are incorporating them in the mall. The recession brought a change in the U.S. in that non-traditional mall retailers are looking more and more at the malls. As a developer, we have space or we can build space to put them in.”

    The impetus for this in Westfield’s United States portfolio, says Lowy, was the merger between Macy’s and May Company. As the largest mall owner in California, the merger gave Westfield an opportunity in that both companies had stores at most of its centers. Westfield bought $200 million worth of real estate at its centers from Macy’s. The merger also gave Westfield the opportunity to get away from something that Lowy says was potentially harmful to the mall as an asset class.

    “There was a period in America where mall developers allowed other retail formats to be built outside their centers which incorporated uses that should have been in the mall,” says Lowy. “At the end of the day, the mall’s focus on fashion, and only fashion, was detrimental to the industry.”

    At Westfield Culver City, Westfield added Target and Best Buy to the center. Target does over $100 million at the center and other stores have seen sales increase dramatically.

    “We don’t buy into the idea that non-traditional anchors hurt the shopping center,” says Lowy. “The Costco deals that we have signed will be spectacular for those assets.”

    One of the Costco locations will open in 2012 at Westfield Wheaton in Maryland. When Costco opens its mall-integrated store there, it will boost other tenants’ sales. The store will be built on the site of a former Hecht’s, which averaged $25 million in sales per year. Westfield is predicting the Costco location will average at least $120 million in annual sales.

    “The math works,” says Lowy. “The job of a developer is to develop an asset that brings large volumes of people and does large volumes of sales. We want retailers who bring daily, weekly and monthly traffic. Mall owners have an incredible opportunity right now. A whole range of developers — mostly in the strip center side — do not have capital. Because they don’t have access to that and we in the mall business do, as the supermarkets and big boxes are expanding, we can bring them to the mall and give them the market penetration they want and make our properties stronger.”

    Lowy believes the big box deals are pivotal not only for Westfield, but for the mall format as a whole.

    Among Westfield’s first new development projects in the U.S. post recession will be University Town Center in San Diego. Westfield purchased the former TrizecHahn Center as part of a portfolio acquisition. The company plans to completely transform the center, which serves the northern side of San Diego. The company will reinvest nearly $500 million in redeveloping the center. While specifics haven’t been announced, Lowy says that the overall plan allows for the department stores to be right-sized and the retail mix will be enhanced to incorporate new uses. Its part of a larger evolution that’s happening not only at Westfield, but across the regional mall format as a whole.

    “There is an evolutionary revolution happening in the mall industry right now,” says Lowy. “The anchors are changing.”

    [Reply]

    rob Reply:

    @SEAN, WOW, huge article I told you a few weeks back i heard that Garden State Plaza is doing another addition. I havent heard yet what they are planning, thats why I like Westfield they take care of all their malls. Simon picks and chooses what to take care of like their crown jewel malls such as The Westchester , Roosevelt Field etc.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @rob, I’m not sure what Westfield is doing with Garden State either. Realisticly the only places they could expand are behind Lord & Taylor & Neiman Marcus or around where Best Buy sits out towards Midland Avenue do to the enormous surface lots that exist in those areas.

    The malls that Westfield owned in metro Saint Louis under performed so they were sold to DDR. Also read the page on Northwest Plaza. Westfield owned that one as well. So even the mity Westfield had a few duds under management that even they couldn’t make profitable.

    [Reply]

    rob Reply:

    @SEAN, I just heard on ch7 news the owners of Mall of America bought the Meadow Lands Retail sight and going to make it somewhat like Mall of America with amusement park pools hotels shopping,Oh boy that is going to keep the Paramus malls on their toes and the blue laws. The construction is starting in the Fall.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @rob, Let the border war begin! Labelscar contributors in the NYC area & elsewhere are going to have a front row seat. This is going to be better than aGiants Cowboys or Jets Patriots playoff game next door.

    Playoffs?

    [Reply]

    Gary Reply:

    @SEAN, I’ve also noticed that the underperforming malls under Westfield ownership are usually sold off as you put it rather than them leaving the centers to stagnate and possibly decline. Maybe Simon and GGP can take some notes from how Westfield does business.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @Gary, I think you have a point there. I think Simon & GGP focus as much on the underlieing real estate as they do on the malls them selves. That maybe why they hold on to dieing centers for far to long. If they were as quick to drop a dieing property as Westfield, a huge number of malls would be on the market at once & that maybe a double edge sward. Having mall owners dump there weakest centers maybe a smart move for each company, but could hert the industry as a whole by bringing lower valuations& prices for those malls that would be up for sale.

    Having said all that, there are some places that should be let go as retail locations since the ecconomics & demos are just not there anymore. I’m thinking of where there have been enormus population shifts or the cancer that was the housing bubble just took an enormus toll on an area like Phoenix, Las Vegas or Miami. Oh yeah there are areas that remained strong & those places will continue to thrive, but there were others that just never should have been built because the criticle mass nessessary to support such developments just isn’t there & may never arive especially if oil prices keep rising the way they have been as of late.

    Two critisisms of Westfield mentioned on this blog are the fact that most of the centers have no identity with there names such as Westfield Garden State Plaza instead of simply just Garden State Plaza. The other relates to the uniform look of all of there malls with black/ grey granite wals with off white paint above. The floors are an off white as well with accents of black & an orengie red in the middle of the mallway. If you visit Any enclosed Westfield property that has been remoddled in the past few years you will see right away what I’m describing, because it’s a look that’s unique to them.

    [Reply]

  81. Triple Five Looks to Find American Dream in Xanadu
    May 4, 2011 8:01 AM, By Elaine Misonzhnik, Retail Traffic Associate Editor

    Governor Chris Christie, NJSEA Advisory Chairman Jon Hanson and Triple Five Chairman Nader Ghermezian announced plans to operate the retail and entertainment complex called American Dream Meadowlands in East Rutherford, N.J. on Tuesday.
    The odds may seem against it, but Triple Five Group, the developer that has reached a definitive agreement to take over what was formerly known as the Xanadu Meadowlands project in Northern New Jersey, is taking its best shot to rehabilitate the troubled development with a new name, a new look and a new financing package.

    On Tuesday, Triple Five and the New Jersey Governor’s Office announced Triple Five’s agreement with the lenders of the stalled 2.4-million-square-foot retail/entertainment venue. News of the deal originally broke late last week.

    Triple Five will rebrand the project as American Dream Meadowlands and redesign its exterior skin, which many people in the state consider an eyesore, according to Joseph French, national director of retail with Sperry Van Ness, a commercial real estate brokerage.

    Triple Five also plans to expand the center’s entertainment component, with a glass-domed amusement park, an indoor water park and aquarium and a skating rink. The expansion will take the project to 3 million square feet. The center already cost its previous developers and the state approximately $1.9 billion.

    Triple Five wants to expand the entertainment portion of the development because “it really helps to drive traffic,” says Dan Jasper, director of public relations with the firm. “It’s the same thinking that Triple Five used at both the Mall of America and West Edmonton Mall, which is really to make it an entertainment attraction/retail destination.”

    To help Triple Five achieve its vision, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has reportedly committed approximately $400 million in state funds for the American Dream Meadowlands, including up to $200 million in low-interest financing and another $200 million that will come from forfeited sales tax revenue from the project. Triple Five will reportedly have until the end of 2011 to come up with the remaining $600 million it will need for the project’s completion.

    The first phase of the development is scheduled to open in the fall of 2013.

    A spokesperson with the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, however, told Retail Traffic that while incentives have been discussed, no deal has been finalized. A spokesperson for Triple Five adds that details about any financing package with the state will be revealed in the near future.

    Troubled history

    The project was first proposed by the Mills Corp., which was absorbed by Simon Property Group in 2007. As part of that deal, the development was spun off and came under the control of Colony Capital.

    But when the credit crunch hit before the project opened, Colony ran into financing problems. Jones Lang LaSalle to manage the development. Seven months later, Triple Five has now entered the fray.

    Commercial real estate professionals who live and work in New Jersey, including Chuck Lanyard, president and founder of The Goldstein Group, a Paramus, N.J.-based retail real estate brokerage firm, hope the rebranding efforts, along with Triple Five’s reputation for operating successful retail/entertainment projects, will help lure retailers to the center.

    Because of the project’s constantly moving completion date, some of the tenants that had initially agreed to open stores at the facility terminated their lease agreements in the wake of the downturn.

    Among these was Cabela’s, a seller of camping, hunting and fishing supplies. Cabela’s was scheduled to serve as one of the anchors for the retail portion of the development with approximately 165,000-square-foot store. Early last year, executives with Cabela’s said it was highly unlikely it would ever open in the Meadowlands. As a result, one of the main issues Triple Five will now have to tackle will be creating a new anchor line-up for the center, says Lanyard.

    In the past, “there was some skepticism if the developers could even deliver the project,” adds Robert Martie, a Parsippany, N.J.-based executive vice president with Colliers International, a commercial real estate services firm. “With Triple Five, I think the credibility issues of the project have disappeared. It enhances everybody’s image of the project. Bringing in Triple Five, creating the financing package and redesigning the mix [creates] a very strong success formula.”

    Point of no return

    Over the years, some commercial real estate specialists have questioned the wisdom of the very concept of building a mega retail/entertainment complex in New Jersey, a state already dense with regional malls. There was also the question of building a 600-foot indoor ski slope in an area that doesn’t lack for real snow, notes French.

    Previous developers involved in the project, “didn’t really have a clear plan” as to what they wanted to achieve. The Mills Corp.’s approach “was kind of like ‘if you build it, they will come,’” French says. He feels the burden of Xanadu Meadowlands might have helped sink the firm when it began to run into troubles in 2005.

    Given the project’s history and the already immense construction costs associated with it, people like Barry LePatner, founding partner of LePatner & Associates LLC, a New York City-based law firm construction law firm, feel Governor Christie would be making a mistake in committing additional funds to its completion. In his view, the new developers should only be allowed to proceed with construction if they are willing and able to finance it themselves.

    Nevertheless, 80 percent of the construction for the original plan has already been completed and the facility currently sits empty. As a result, it makes sense to try to finish it and hopefully create some economic benefit for the state, according to Ira Bergstein, principal and CFO of Palisades Financial LLC, a Fort Lee, N.J.-based commercial real estate lending firm.

    “I think the concept was flawed from the beginning, but it’s what we have,” Bergstein says. “There was a group that stepped up and was willing to do something, so I think you need to give it a shot to make it work.”

    Completing the Meadowlands project will create approximately 8,900 construction jobs and up to 35,000 permanent jobs, according to New Jersey Governor’s Office. Altogether, the project’s economic impact on the region will total $3.8 billion a year, according to the Triple Five Group.

    “We have to make some short-term investments in the state to keep the jobs going,” Bergstein says. “If we do nothing and allow jobs to leave the state, we’ll never become an economic success.”

    The right fit

    Today, the project has two things going for it. The first is its location. The American Dream Meadowlands is located in Bergen County, one of the wealthiest and most densely populated areas in the country. As of 2009, there were approximately 3,778 people living per square mile, with a median household income of $82,136 a year, almost $30,000 above the median figure for the U.S. It also sits adjacent to Meadowlands Stadium, the home of the NFL’s New York Jets and New York Giants.

    According to Triple Five’s estimates, more than 100 million vehicles pass by the site on an annual basis. The firm projects the center will attract approximately 55 million visitors a year. Because of the site’s extensive transportation network and close proximity to New York City, “if it’s finished properly, it will have good potential for success,” says Lanyard.

    What’s more, the Triple Five Group specializes in the development and operation of shopping centers, notes Martie. It operates two signature projects—the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn. and West Edmonton Mall in Alberta, Canada—that it can model American Dream Meadowlands on.

    The 2.5-million-square-foot Mall of America combines 500 shops and restaurants with an amusement park, an aquarium and a wedding chapel. West Edmonton Mall combines 3.8 million square feet of retail with up to 2 million square feet of entertainment venues, including a water park, an ice rink and a miniature golf course.

    Triple Five Group is a privately held company and doesn’t release financial information about its properties, but both venues seemed to have come through the recent recession in fairly good shape.

    “I would imagine their game plan would be to imitate the Mall of America and create something more than just a mall,” says French. “You’ve got to make this special—New Jersey doesn’t lack for retail and there are plenty of malls that are easier to get to.”

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    [Reply]

    rob Reply:

    @SEAN, WIth all the retail stores that are in Paramus what kind of retailers could they put in the meadowlands, It will bring alot of jobs but now that Simon Property sees this what they are going to up against now.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @rob, Go to a site called The Infrastructurist. You will find two links to the NY Times including a debate & comments from readers on if the mall should be saved.

    http://www.infrastructurist.com

    Needless to say most of the comments are directed at Gov. Christie & in particular him giving an enormous tax break to Tripple 5 on the one hand & bitching about the ARC tunnel & public worker benefits on the other. One ccommenter linked to another page on this site to prove his point reguarding dead malls.

    [Reply]

    rob Reply:

    @SEAN, Go in to website Nanuet Patch You will see a headline Rough timeline for Nanuet Mall Traditional with outdoor setting. Gromack video. Its saying that it will be out doors , either Whole Foods or Stew Leonards Upscale shops, They do not want to duplicate any stores that are in Palisades, So I think they should get rid of Macys if it will be upscale put Bloomingdales Macys owns them and will keep their building at Nanuet. Its a whole big article.

    [Reply]

    rob Reply:

    @SEAN, Sean put in Nanuet patch Nanuet Mall it will be the first line.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @rob, I have more questions then ever. It semes that Alex isn’t able to release details or he is a complete moron when it comes to this stuff. Well I herd a rumor that… blah blah blah, come on you can do better than that.

    Rob, reread the transcript & tell me if Alex isn’t a bit hazy on information other than Macy’s & Sears staying put.

    [Reply]

    rob Reply:

    @SEAN, Sean , 1. It said last week that they will announce the plans the end of May. Alex is probably not allowed by Simon to say too much. 2. I really do not know what to believe with Simon they have been saying for so long that they have plans . I am only showing you what was said last night in New City.It just seemed that Alex had some preview of what simon property will announce. So I just let you know when i see some kind of new news on Nanuet. I just want to see if they keep their word on an announcement the end of May.

    [Reply]

    Tim Reply:

    @rob, I don’t Simon ever said anything about announcing in May. Sounded like gromack making those claims, almost like he’s gonna push simon to talk by doing a media blitz. Guy’s been on TV, radio, newspapers, and the net yappin’.

    BTW, nice to see the Nanuet talk from the Monmouth thread to the Paramus Park thread. There should be a Nanuet thread at one point.

    [Reply]

    rob Reply:

    @Tim, There is I only did under Paramus Park because Sean did a recent statement there to locate him. They would have done all this if it wasnt true on knocking the mall down on cbs news 12, ny times and the journal news.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @rob, Thanks. You keep your eyes on what’s going on there along with Palisades as will I.

    Tim, It just ended up that a few posts about Nanuet Mall were posted here. Remember Paramus has an effect on what happens in Nanuet & other places nearby, wich is why I posted the article about the mall in the Medowlands above since there’s a connection between them.

    [Reply]

  82. Retail’s newest hot property – the not-so-big-box
    Sunday, July 3, 2011
    BY JOAN VERDON
    STAFF WRITER
    The Record

    For most of the 1990s and 2000s, the mantra of the nation’s major retail chains was, “Supersize my store.” Now, retail landlords and real estate brokers are hearing a different refrain: “Do you have anything smaller?”

    Some of the same retailers who built their businesses with big boxes — stores of 40,000, 60,000, or in the case of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., 100,000 square feet of selling space — have decided that smaller is better. That’s a trend with big implications for North Jersey shopping centers, malls and developers.

    Major retailers who are creating smaller-format stores, some of them in North Jersey, include:

    Best Buy — planning to shrink its stores to 36,000 square feet, down from the current average of 45,000, in part by subleasing space to other retailers.

    Walmart — building 7-Eleven-size Walmart Express stores; seeking sites in North Jersey for its 45,000-square-foot Neighborhood Markets.

    Staples — now considers 15,000 square feet the ideal size, down from 22,000.

    Office Depot — cut its Route 17 Paramus store in half and leased the spare half to Trader Joe’s.

    Gap —remodeling its store at Westfield Garden State Plaza in Paramus to occupy a smaller space.

    Modell’s — has opened stores in Ramsey and Manhattan that are about half the size of their older stores.

    Target — will launch a smaller store prototype in 11 cities in 2012.

    Sears —subdivided some of its stores, sharing space with co-tenants like Forever 21.
    Landlords are subdividing superstores, and reinventing their shopping centers to respond to the trend. “As tenants reduce their footprints, [landlords] are going to need more tenants. And that means they need to have a broader-based shopping environment,” said Glenn Brill, a managing director in the Real Estate Solutions practice of FTI Consulting, who has worked on a number of New Jersey retail developments.

    Power centers — freestanding large stores that house chains such as Staples Inc., Best Buy Co. and Home Depot Inc., ringed around a common parking lot — were developers’ pet projects before the recession. Now, community centers, better known as strip malls in North Jersey, are the favorite retail configuration, because they have more options for small and mid-sized stores.

    “The sweet spot now for the medium-size boxes is in the 10,000- to 20,000-square-foot range,” said Chuck Lanyard, president of The Goldstein Group, a retail brokerage firm based in Paramus. “We’re going to see smaller and smaller stores, and that’s probably going to be the wave of the future.”

    Three factors are driving the downsizing trend, retail analysts and brokers said. First, retailers need to increase their sales per square foot in a rough economy. Second, the Internet is changing the way people shop, and pushing retailers to increase profit margins at their brick-and-mortar stores. Third, shoppers, particularly aging baby boomers, are tired of schlepping through superstores.

    “In retail, one of your key measures of productivity is sales per square foot. What’s been happening in the big-box stores is that number has been pretty stagnant, and possibly even going down,” said James Dion, president of Dionco Inc., a retail consulting firm based in Chicago. Retailers’ corporate reports and retail analysts have been documenting that trend since the recession hit.

    In recent years, Dion said, Best Buy, Wal-Mart and other large chains have been suffering price deflation that has hurt sales per square foot. “A 42-inch plasma TV that five years ago they were selling for $5,000 is being sold for $600, so their sales per square foot are definitely going to take a hit,” he said. “You have to stand back as a merchant and say, ‘I pay for every square foot I have, so clearly the smaller the footprint, the more productive I am.’ ”

    The Apple stores are the stellar example of being highly productive in a small space. Apple stores, Dion said, at an average size of 6,000 square feet, have sales of almost $6,000 per square foot of selling space, compared with $300 for Wal-Mart, $895 for Best Buy and less than $200 for most department stores.

    Consumers today want stores to “edit” or limit the choices, rather than overwhelm them with dozens of options for each product category, Dion said. “We know [from studies] that when customers are confronted with too much choice, they don’t make a choice,” he said.

    The ease of Internet shopping also has made consumers less patient with hard-to-shop superstores. “We have made online so easy to shop,” Dion said, “and yet brick and mortar has really fallen behind,” he said. “The big boxes in particular are struggling with the navigation concept. How do I make my store as easy to navigate as my website?”

    As online sales become a bigger source of revenue for retailers, large superstores are becoming less important, Brill said. Retailers “are going to demand higher margins from their stores, and they’re only going to want to have high-performing stores. You start to think about having fewer stores, and the stores you do have you expect their margins to be not dissimilar from the margins you’re getting on the Internet.” Those margins vary with each retailer, but online sales obviously require less overhead than a brick-and-mortar store, Brill said.

    Jerry Welkis, president of Welco Realty, and a member of X Team International, a consortium of retail brokerage firms, represents a number of North Jersey landlords, as well as retailers looking for spaces. These days, the top thought in retailers’ minds is, “How can we get more productivity — do the same kind of sales volume in a smaller space — and make more money for the bottom line,” he said. As part of that trend, he has seen retailers such as shoe discounter DSW switch from favoring 30,000- to 35,000-square-foot stores to 17,000- to 19,000-square-foot spaces, and office supply chain Staples downsize to 15,000 square feet from a 20,000- to 22,000-square-foot format.

    In some cases, Welkis said, retailers are developing smaller-store formats in order to have more flexibility to go into new locations. Sporting-goods chain Modell’s recently opened a store in the Interstate Shopping Center in Ramsey that at 8,900 square feet is about half the size of its typical stores. Toys “R” Us, he said, has three size formats for its new combined Toys and Babies “R” Us stores — 30,000 square feet, 45,000 square feet and 60,000 to 70,000 square feet.

    Welkis said retailers are increasingly realizing that one size doesn’t fit all markets. Paramus, which generates high sales per square foot, will continue to have more large-size stores than smaller and less-affluent markets, he said.

    But even in Paramus, “retailers want to get more productivity out of their stores and where they feel they can downsize and not sacrifice volume, they’re going to do that,” Welkis said.

    Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. Chief Executive Officer Steven Temares, in an interview at the company’s recent annual meeting, said finding the right size for the market is more important than jumping on the downsizing trend.

    “We always have sized the store for the market,” he said. “So we’ve had 18,000-square-foot stores and stores in excess of 100,000 square feet. New Jersey, where there’s great density, good income, generally speaking supports a larger store. In Vineland, we have a smaller store than we have in Paramus, for example, but we love them both.”

    E-mail: verdon@northjersey.com

    Thaughts.

    Was there a solid reason for the big box stores to become so large in the first place? As for getting smaller, the retailers in a few years will decide to cut loose most B & C level locations & keep the A level stores witch maybe the larger formats because those areas draw in the most customers & dollars per square foot.

    Most of north Jersey is considered to be A level in the retail world.

    [Reply]

    rob Reply:

    @SEAN, I am starting to see it at palisades. H AND M shrunk their store I have a feeling Best Buy will as well because there is alot of empty space in the store.A new restaurant is opening on the 1st floor next to bed bath ravioli something its opening in September.Orvis is opening in August. I wouldnt be surprised if stores reducing sizes in malls because of rents especially in GSP AND PALISADES. ON the bus i saw markings all around nanuet malls lots it seems they are getting ready soon so far September 10.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @rob, I don’t nessessary buy the internet arguement from the article because if the internet is replacing the mall, it would have done it years ago. However the cost of retail square footage is rather high especially in the northeast. Perhaps this is the opening for the return of non fashon retailers to the mall.

    Notice the comments reguarding Best Buy, 2-years ago Best Buy was the only chain to out sell Wal-mart in it’s catagory & was praised by Wall Street. It was do to the selling of thousands apon thousands of big-screen TV’s & all the acesseries that go along with it like DVD players & HDMI cables. Now they cant depend on those sales & now Wall Street is sticking the perverbial knife in the back.

    I’m waiting to here back from Paula on Nanuet, so we’ll see what happens there.

    [Reply]

    rob Reply:

    @SEAN, I see what you are saying. Please let me know when you hear from Paula on Nanuet. i guess i hate when i buy on line from Belk and Dillards i would rather shop in their stores. As you know i get very tired of Macys. When i get to North Carolina i do head to the mall.SEE down south there is more variety than here.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @rob, Where in NC. GSO, CLT, or RDU.

    It’s going to be interesting when the retailers shrink there square footage & realize they over did it & won’t be able to reaquire that space again unless they either build new stores or buy out the old space at enormous cost & who really has the money to go through that?

    All that blah blah blah on Wal-mart going to the supercenter format was a load of garbige, because it’s become too costly to run most of them effectively. The fact that Wal-mart is in shrink mode should be quite revieling. Retailers are still in cost cutting mode no matter what ecconomic recovery spin the press puts out there. Wana take a guess what will happen if oil prices spike again?

    [Reply]

    rob Reply:

    @SEAN, oops SEAN LOOK UNDER POSTING UNDER ROB TELLING U ABOUT RALEIGH NC.

    [Reply]

  83. raleigh north carolina , Crabtree Valley Mall and Triangle Town Center. Triangle is part indoor and part outdoor as well. Triangle has MACYS, SEARS ,SAKS ,BELK AND DILLARDS,CRABTREE HAS 5-6 RESTAURANTS, MACYS,BELK AND SEARS. CRATE AND BARREL BELK MENS DEPT TOOK TOP FLOOR OF FORMER LORD AND TAYLOR. THEY CLOSED WHEN THEY WERE STILL OWNED BY MAY CO. tHEY ARE TWO GOOD SIZE MALLS AND REALLY NICE. NORDSTROM IS IN DURHAM AND JC PENNEY IS IN ANOTHER PLAZA CALLED NORTH HILLS IN RALEIGH. rALEIGH IS SIMILAR TO PARAMUS MANY SHOPPING CENTERS ONLY 2 ENCLOSED MALLS. THREE KOHLS 2 STEINMARTS, 2 TARGETS 2 WALMARTS.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @rob, My bad. We discuss so many things it’s hard to remember everything.

    Do we really need 4000 Wal-mart’s, 2000 Target’s, 800 Macy’s, 700 Best Buy’s, 6000 CVS’S & the like? Paramus is a unique situation where two of almost every retailer exists & most of them thrive. One odity is Lenscrafters, they have 5 locations in Paramus.

    [Reply]

    rob Reply:

    @SEAN, I know i feel that way about macys alone. I just spoke to a friend of mine she went to get her hair done in nanuet mall today she said all remaining stores have to be out within two weeks except for macys and sears.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @rob, I wasn’t focusing so much on Macy’s, rather the over expantion of most retail chains on the whole. There are just some markets that way over expanded & others that don’t have the population dencity to justify hundreds of thousands of retail square footage. Las Vegas & Phoenix in the former case & the Nanuets of the US in the latter, i,e those areas that cant support two malls if bearly one.

    Look at Putnum County NY, they have around 100,000 residents & most of them either go to Jefferson Valley or more likely Danbury Fair. There are hardly any big box retailers within the county borders, most of them are either on US 6 between Peekskill & Yorktown or on Federal Road in Danbury near Stew Lennards about 4-miles east of the mall.

    [Reply]

    rob Reply:

    @SEAN, Its the same up in dutchess county, they only have poughkeepsie galleria or residents go to Danbury Fair, South Hills Mall is dead.I told you that the remainning tenants have to be out of Nanuet Mall within two weeks. It seems things are getting ready.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @rob, Paula never got back to me, so I will try again next week.

    It will be interesting to see the impact on the Paramus & Clarkstown areas once “American Dream” opens. That is if it ever does. Besides who’s dream is it anyway & as of now that dream has been nothing short of a nightmare for all parties involved.

    [Reply]

    rob Reply:

    @SEAN, I know what you mean hiring is at a stand still and unemployment is rising again. I think it is a risk of Nanuet going upscale. The only thing that sounds good is either Stew Leonards or Fairway. Well Paramus Park may gain for those who do not like palisades. Palisades may gain a bit who dosent want to go down to Paramus its a gain of 50/50 for both areas.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @rob, What you say is true, however I wonder what the impact will be when American Dream opens. Since there’s going to be a greater focus on entertainment rather than retail, did tripple 5 realize we have already have enough retail square footage in the area thanks to Paramus as well as Palisades & decided to put there efferts elsewhere.

    On top of that, there are duel plans to reskin the current building & add aditional space for more entertainment venues. I cant imagine what else they could add that could draw visitors away from Manhattan or northern New Jersey atractions. Casinos perhaps? After all Atlantic City as a casino hub is being given it’s last rights thanks to Yonkers, eastern Pennsylvania & Connecticut.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @Rob, Perhaps condos could be constructed to create a transit village around the future mall? After all there’s plenty of dead acreage within a football fields distance plus a recently constructed rail line.

    [Reply]

    rob Reply:

    @SEAN, Well, that would be good if the real esatate maket gets going again. There are still empty ones at Hollows at Blue Hill here In Pearl River. I just hope the way the economy is wall street and washington once simon knocks down the mall that they wont back out.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @rob, We’ll see how things play out in the real estate end of things. Meanwhile retail sales were up quite a bit recently & I wonder where all the money is comeing from. People not paying the morggage perhaps? Hmmm.

    rob Reply:

    @SEAN, Well June is wedding , graduation and fathers day month. People are just buying what they need and the stores put on huge sales up until July 4th. Now we will see July with all thats going on in Washington with the countrys debt. Retail salles will slow in july and after Augusr 2nd. and also Back To School sales. It is looking as if Palisades MALL IS filling up empty stores so i hope it stays that way.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @rob, I agree on Palisades as long as they keep the junk stores away.

    You really think congress wants to raise the debt limit again? I think not. Many politicos want to see national social programs eliminated & by not raising the debt limit, they in effect get there wish. Never mind the fact with that money gone those who depend on that finantial support will be dropping out of the ecconomic circle as it were & not shopping at the local mall.

    Yes I know this is a retail blog, but retail has a complex engine that includes aspects that we don’t think about on a day to day basis & this is becomeing one of them.

    rob Reply:

    @SEAN, I heard on the news that Borders could not get a buyer so they are closing all their remaining stores. Liquidation is starting soon.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @rob, How soon are we talking about. Once Borders left Garden State Plaza, that was the beginning of the end for them.

    rob Reply:

    @SEAN, It was on the ch 7 news this morning about Borders sorry if i wasnt clear.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @rob, I saw it on ch 7 this afternoon. I guess Borders is being turned into “kindleing.”

    Speaking of Borders, do you know what will be going into the Paramus store?

    rob Reply:

    @SEAN, I was at GSP a month ago and the store was still empty. Knowing GSP they will get another store in there.They have had alot of comings and goings of stores. The former Filenes Basement is still empty at BTC. As popular as Paramus is their malls do get problems staying filled.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @rob, What’s the skinny on Townhouse Restaurant & Wine bar that is going in to GSP across from Ruby Tuesday.

    I wouldn’t worry so much on vacancy rates in Paramus, they have a unique posission in the retail universe.

    rob Reply:

    @SEAN, I just saw an article North Jersey .Com Face pf Paramus retailing is changing. In Paramus Park the Foot Locker closed and they are opening an L.L Bean store in there scheduled to open in mid November I guess footlocker has a tough time competing with MODELLS, DICKS CHAMPS AND SPORTS AUTHORITY. i DIDNT REALIZE RUBY TUESDAY CLOSED IN GSP. I HAVENT BENN AT THAT END OF THE MALL IN A WHILE. tHIS ARTICLE WAS POSTED ON MONDAY JULY 11,2011

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @rob, LL Bean did you say? COOL! My dad will like that.

    rob Reply:

    @SEAN, AT 5p.m on ch 7 news Paramus Park Mall had a water main break in front of Macys. It has been closed all day and they said it may be closed tomorrow as well.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @rob, Oops there goes a weekend of sales & it’s all Macy’s fault. LOL

    Was the rupture inside or outside the mall. It must be serious if the mall will be closed for the entire weekend.

    Remember when King of Prussia Plaza flooded a few months back? That was do to extreme amounts of rain that ended up back flowing into the mall via the storm drains. It took several weeks to totaly reopen the plaza building since most stores on the main level needed to be remoddled.

    rob Reply:

    @SEAN, HA HA, I dont think it was Macys fault just old pipes underneath the mall outside. dont forget that mall opened in the early70s. GSP WILL LOVE IT IF THE MALL REMAINS CLOSED TOMORROW. Maybe Macys will have a watermain break sale on Monday.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @rob,

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @rob, Perhaps they will, but I rather call it a watershed moment for Paramus Park.

    [Reply]

    rob Reply:

    @SEAN, WELL IT WAS CONFIRMED THIS MORNING ALL399 BORDERS ARE CLOSING. A FEW STORES THAT ARE LEFT IN NANUET ARE STARTING TO GET READY TO LEAVE. i THINK FOOT LOCKER CHILDRENS PACE AND RADIO SHACK WILL SHIP MERCHANDISE TO THEIR WAREHOUSES OR PALISADES STORES.

    SEAN Reply:

    @Rob, just send the stuff to Paramus Park, Garden State Plaza & Palisades & be done with it.

    So sorry to see Borders go, but maybe Books-A-Million & Barns & Noble can pick up the slack.

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN, I’ve been to Books-A-Million in FL and I’m surprised they haven’t entered the NY/NJ Market on a more aggressive basis. It’s an alright chain…

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, Perhaps this maybe just the insentive for BAM to open shops in the northeast. I can think of nearly 1200 reasons for them to do so. Where in Florida did you visit them.

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN, Went to the one in Davenport, just off I-4, about 8 miles south of Disney. It wasn’t planned, I just happened upon it, as I was driving from Tampa back to Orlando Airport and had some extra time. Looks like a very nice store. Meant to go there on my most recent trip there, but didn’t go in that direction this time. I did see additional locations in Gainesville, Ocala and Kissimmee, but just at a glance.

    They may very well work here in NJ!

  84. LL Bean in Paramus Park is a big get for the mall! Northern New Jersey’s first.

    [Reply]

  85. L.L. Bean is now open at Paramus Park!

    [Reply]

  86. I love Paramus park mall. always find good deals. an very convenient. Don’t have to travel to far so i save gas.<3

    [Reply]

  87. I had to be up this way today, so I decided to stop at the Paramus area malls today. First stop was Paramus Park. It was as busy as I’ve ever seen it, but still incredibly manageable! They now have new Christmas decorations, which is needed. That was also my first time in that particular LL Bean and I found it kind of underwhelming, as compared to the first LL Bean outside of Maine in Tysons Corner.

    Also went to Garden State Plaza, which on the first Saturday before Christmas, was ridiculously busy, but not as busy as I’ve seen it. The new parking management system they have in the Nordstrom parking deck is unique and should be used in more malls. The traffic flow along the mall’s interior roads is also much better. It seems that now at Garden State Plaza, they use every bit of floor space, no matter how small, to set up a shop or kiosk. The new Uniqlo is just as large as the NYC locations

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, I was at Garden State Plaza on Friday, but for the Christmas season it semed unusually quiet. Perhaps I was there too early for an accurate mesurement. However I did speak to some people in Super Dry who I’m friendly with including the manager who noted the same thing. As she put it, “it was like being in time out” as she was making the schedules for the rest of december. That’s how quiet it was for the first five hours they were open.

    [Reply]

    rob Reply:

    @SEAN, Sean I wonder how J.C Penney is doing at GSP the Palisades store has an awful selection of merchandise i have a feeling something is going to happen to them after the holiday season. Red Robin is opening in palisades mall. I heard that J.Crew may come back to palisades mall.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @rob, Hey there, haven’t sene you around here lately. Happy Holidays!

    I was at Palisades yesterday & saw the Uniglo sign next to H & M. Palisades has suddenly become quite agressive in atracting mid-tier tennents in a way I’ve never sene before. I wonder if they have a new management team in place. If so, it may explane such high profile & unusual signings as Dicks Sporting Goods, Red Robbin, Uniglo, IHOP, Forever 21 & Yardhouse in the past year & a half.

    They still need to do some heavy renovations like hiding the HVAC amung other things.

    As far as J C Penney is concerned, if the Palisades location closes, you have two options Sears or Boscov’s. Personally I think the latter is much better as there are just too many questions with sears right now. At GSP on the other hand, the easyest thing to do is turn that JCP into small shop space if that location closes. As a footnote Zin Burger is going to open soon as the sign is up & the furnishings are in place.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @SEAN, I think JCPenney in Garden State Plaza is doing just fine. Would be very surprised if they ever closed. It looked busy when I stepped in there on Saturday.

    [Reply]

    rob Reply:

    @mallguy, Does J.CPENNEY IN GSP showing a good selection of merchandise because the Palisades mall store is very slim selection. I think they may close it i have a feeling. to me it wouldnt be a loss it be a opportunity for Boscovs to step in .I havent bought a thing in J.CPENNEY since they did this new stragety.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @rob, GSP JCP does,,,and it’s also one of the largest in NJ (3 levels), if not the largest

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    @mallguy, The GSP Penney’s maybe performing well, but the issue with them is on the corporate level & those stores not in strong markets. Same thing applies to Sears & there problems, although with Sears it relates more towards Eddie Lampert’s efforts in stringing that company along.

    [Reply]

    rob Reply:

    @mallguy, Mallguy Uniglo is opening in the spring ay palisades mall on the 1st floor.

    [Reply]

    mallguy Reply:

    @rob, The one in GSP seemed just as busy as the NYC locations on 5th/53rd and Herald Square

    [Reply]

  88. *Shocked that the Carrousel Rage has not reached here*

    [Reply]

  89. Retail store vacancy rate falls in North Jersey – NorthJersey.com

    The retail vacancy rate in northern and central New Jersey fell to 7.2 percent in July, the lowest it’s been in more than four years, according to the midyear survey released Monday by retail brokerage firm The Goldstein Group in Paramus.

    Chuck Lanyard, president of The Goldstein Group, said growing retail confidence about the economy contributed to the drop from a 7.8 percent vacancy rate in January, the biggest percentage-point decline since before the recession began at the end of 2007. The July rate is the lowest since January 2009, when it was 6.9 percent.

    Vacancy rates
    The twice-yearly retail vacancy report by The Goldstein Group shows that the vacancy rate for northern and central New Jersey retail properties dropped to 7.2 percent in July, the lowest in four years. But vacancy rates along the highways varied greatly. Here are the strongest and weakest submarkets in North Jersey:

    Fewest vacancies:

    Route 3, Clifton 2.27%

    Route 17, Rochelle Park to Rutherford 2.64%

    Route 17, Ramsey to Mahwah 5.04%

    Most vacancies:

    Route 17, Paramus 10.53%

    Route 46, Totowa to Fairfield 8.73%

    Route 4, Paramus 7.97%

    Source: The Goldstein Group Mid-Year Vacancy Report, July 2013

    “The general feeling is the economy has turned around as best as it could, and we aren’t really bottoming out any more,” Lanyard said. Retailers have decided that “although the economy is nowhere near as strong as it was prior to 2008, there are some good retail sites to be taken and it’s time to commit to them,” he said.

    The Goldstein Group retail vacancy survey is considered the most comprehensive assessment of vacant space in North Jersey because the firm surveys every property on the 22 retail highways it monitors, including Routes 4, 17, 3, 46 and 23. The survey measured square footage that was vacant in July.

    Two retail submarkets, Route 3 in Clifton and Route 17 from Rochelle Park to Rutherford, posted vacancy rates of below 3 percent, recalling the robustness of the pre-recession, when most North Jersey retail highways had rates below 5 percent.

    But patches of problem retail real estate remain, particularly along Route 17 in Paramus, where the vacancy rate stands at 10.53 percent, with 400,543 square feet of vacant space because of several large stores. Some of those properties have been vacant for more than a year and are challenging to lease, such as the 90,000-square-foot former Home Depot Expo store located just off the highway, or the 70,000-square-foot Syms store, which has an entrance that faces away from Route 17.

    Goldstein said he expected the Route 17 vacancy rate to decline in the coming months because deals are in the works for some vacant properties, including for 50,000 square feet of space at the Paramus Town Square shopping center.

    Route 46, from Totowa to Fairfield, also had a higher-than-average vacancy rate of 8.73 percent. Some of the vacant space along that corridor was filled recently when T.J. Maxx leased the former Daffy’s space at the Abill Plaza shopping center in Totowa.

    “We’re seeing classic absorption,” Lanyard said. “Spaces are leasing. We’re going to continue to see that, although there still is concern about what is going on with the economy, let alone what happened with Congress these past few weeks,” he said. But Lanyard said he hadn’t heard of any retailers delaying leasing deals because of the partial government shutdown.

    Email: verdon@northjersey.com

    Duh, most national chains have two or more locations in Paramus & in some cases as many as five stores.

    [Reply]

  90. From the NYT

    Matthew Bucksbaum, Mall Developer, Dies at 87

    By BRUCE WEBER

    Matthew Bucksbaum, who co-founded a family shopping mall empire that helped transform the landscape of suburbia and the habits of American consumers, died on Sunday at his home in Chicago. He was 87.

    His daughter, Ann B. Friedman, said the cause was complications of Alzheimer’s disease.

    In 1954, Mr. Bucksbaum and his brothers, Maurice and Martin, were working in the family grocery business and looking to open a store in a shopping center under development in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The shopping center project was struggling, however, and instead of opening a store, the Bucksbaums decided to sell their business, which their father had started in Marshalltown, Iowa, and take over the development. When it succeeded, it became the spur for them to seek out more locations.

    Expanding first to Bettendorf, Iowa, and then to the outskirts of many small cities throughout the Midwest, the company, which became known as General Growth Properties, built dozens of open-air shopping centers and later enclosed malls. Taking advantage of an increasingly automobile-based culture, the company’s projects both fueled and fed on the growth of American suburbs.

    The architecture critic Paul Goldberger wrote in The New York Times in 1995 that when the Bucksbaum brothers “decided in the early 1950s that, instead of putting their fourth family supermarket in someone else’s building, they would become landlords themselves, it marked a turning point in the growth and development of the Middle West.”

    Maurice Bucksbaum became less of a presence in the company as time went on, but Martin, who handled the financial side, and Matthew, who focused on operations, built a formidable partnership, and General Growth, which went public in 1993, became one of the largest mall developers in the country.

    After Martin Bucksbaum died in 1995, just as the company was beginning a period of aggressive acquisitions, Matthew continued to lead the company as chief executive until 1999. He later yielded the post to his son, John, but he remained chairman until 2006, two years after General Growth bought a competitor, the Rouse Company. The $12.6-billion deal added 37 malls — including Faneuil Hall Marketplace in Boston and Water Tower Place in Chicago — to General Growth’s portfolio.

    At Matthew Bucksbaum’s retirement, the company’s holdings numbered more than 200 malls encompassing more than 200 million square feet of space, and the family was one of the country’s wealthiest, ranking 105th on Forbes magazine’s list of the 400 richest Americans in 2007 with a net worth of $3.3 billion.

    Matthew Bucksbaum was born in Marshalltown on Feb. 20, 1926, to Louis Bucksbaum and the former Ida Gervich, immigrants from Eastern Europe. He graduated from the University of Iowa, where he studied economics, and during World War II served in the Army Air Forces as a cryptographer based in New Guinea.

    With a debt that reached $27 billion, General Growth Properties was hit especially hard by the recession of 2008, as the market for commercial mortgages, which the company had relied on to finance its expansion, virtually disappeared. The Wall Street Journal reported in December 2008 that as the company’s stock price plunged, the family’s ownership stake dwindled to $116 million in six months.

    The company filed for bankruptcy in 2009. John Bucksbaum, who had remained chairman after giving up his chief executive role under pressure in 2008, left the company after it emerged from bankruptcy in 2010. According to the company website, General Growth’s real estate portfolio now comprises 123 malls in the United States.

    Matthew Bucksbaum, who lived in Aspen, Colo., as well as in Chicago, was a two-term chairman of the Aspen Music Festival and also served on the board of the Chicago Symphony and Lyric Opera of Chicago. Through their family foundation, he and his wife, Carolyn, known as Kay, were co-founders of the Bucksbaum Institute for Clinical Excellence at the University of Chicago medical school, which is dedicated to teaching doctors how to better communicate with patients.

    In addition to his daughter, who is married to the Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman, Mr. Bucksbaum is survived by his wife, the former Carolyn Swartz, whom he married in 1952; his son, John; his brother Maurice; and four grandchildren.

    “People did not want to go downtown and fight traffic and parking ramps,” Mr. Bucksbaum said in an interview in The Times in 1995, recalling the premise that drove the formation and expansion of his family’s company. He added: “We sometimes had some misgivings — you felt sorry for the downtown merchants and downtown landlords. But they had had their way for many years, and many of them didn’t reinvest in their properties. They just didn’t keep up with the times.”

    [Reply]

  91. PLEASE…. Can somebody find nice pictures of this mall from its golden 1970s birth and its 1980s era? Instead of talking about how it looked. Can’t somebody dig up pictures? I’m sick of every mall trying so hard to look ‘modern’. My favorite North Jersey Mall used to be Riverside Square Mall (just a town or two over from Paramus Park). They ruined this mall in 1993/1994 when a major renovation turned it into just another boring attempt at looking ‘modern’. It used to have cobble stone floors. And a rich, dark, gloomy, cut classical design throughout. Anyway.. PICTURES. WE NEED PICTURES HERE!

    [Reply]

  92. Was there for the opening. My father worked for Allstate Insurance, owned by Sears Roebuck at the time, and they had a booth/counter in Sears, across from the large candy counter. We visited him often since my mom didn’t work. Sears (which at the times had the rights to Winnie the Pooh) used to have a person in a Winnie the Pooh costume (had a big honey pot on his head) walk around the mall for pictures. My parents obviously knew who was in the costume because he would come out of the ‘backroom’, take my hand and I got to walk the mall with him. I’m sure I am in countless pictures from others’ childhood because he never let me hand go. My mom and I spent many days eating at Magic Pan and Chick fil A (back when your food came in a cardboard barn as a meal). Used to race my parents – they on the glass elevator and me on the stairs or them on the escalator and me on the elevator – to see who would get down first. Loved Farrell’s, had parties there with the drum and the licorice shoelaces. I remember Harmony Hut, just outside Sears on the right, and just past that was an early electronics store (the name escapes me, something ‘Concepts’ maybe) and they would show Laser Disc movies all day long on their TV. Many times I would just sit on a couch that they had and just watch for hours. Past that store was a store called Paper Tiger and they sold t-shirts and stuff. Early on, at the bend headed from Sears to the waterfall was a little carpeted play area that had big animals to climb on. There was a picture studio at that corner and they always had kids pictures in a ‘filmstrip’ going down the outside wall as advertisement. Loved that mall and have many, many fond memories.

    [Reply]

  93. I love all the fond memories, thanks to all of you. Now I have a question. Does anyone remember the free-standing toy store on Rt 17 south approximately in the vicinity where (or before?) The Christmas Tree Shop/Ikea is today?
    Thanks in advance.

    [Reply]

  94. Note on Shops at Riverside – Sacks will be closing in 2016 & will be reopening at American Dream in the Meadowlands along with it’s sisters Off Fith outlet & Lord & Taylor. I wonder if the Lord & Taylor will be closing at Fashon Center in Paramus.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    Follow up

    Regal Cinemas will be opening a 10-screen RPX theatre at Paramus Park in 2016. They will also be opening locations in…

    Sayreville 14-screens
    Lynbrook 13-screens
    Sunrise Mall 10-screens.

    No mention of dates as of now.

    [Reply]

    SEAN Reply:

    Simon Announces Transformational Redevelopment Of The Shops At Riverside

    The new ‘Collection at Riverside’ will offer an unparalleled luxury shopping experience adjacent to the region’s best dining and entertainment options

    HACKENSACK, N.J., Nov. 4, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Simon, a global leader in retail real estate, announced today a transformative redevelopment of The Shops at Riverside to offer a complete luxury shopping, dining and entertainment experience that will further establish the landmark property as the luxury hub in Bergen County.

    The transformed Shops at Riverside will be anchored by ‘The Collection at Riverside,’ a distinctive shopping experience designed for today’s uber-luxury shopper. ‘The Collection at Riverside’ will feature a tranquil, elliptical concourse with soaring, two-level storefronts, perfect for showcasing 25 of the world’s most exclusive and sought-after brands. Dramatic 25-foot glass skylights will create an abundance of natural light and an ‘open-concept’ atmosphere to complement the natural stone flooring and modern architectural details.

    Renowned design studio 5+design, a firm that recently completed work on the spectacular two-level ‘Fashion Wing’ at Simon’s Del Amo Fashion Center in Southern California, will serve as the design architect for The Shops at Riverside. 5+design has a wealth of retail experience and has collaborated on other signature Simon properties including Coconut Point in Estero, FL and Pier Park in Panama City Beach, FL.

    In addition to world-class modern finishes, ‘The Collection at Riverside’ will offer a customer experience to rival the world’s elite hotels. An exclusive valet area will provide quick and effortless access. A concierge service will attend to every guest’s needs such as package delivery and personal shopping. Guests will enjoy plush seating and a concierge lounge alongside exquisite landscaping and beautiful environs. Guests will access the property with ease directly from Route 4.

    “‘The Collection at Riverside’ is a luxury oasis which will be adding an exclusive collection of world-class luxury brands to an already impressive set of top brands including Louis Vuitton, Salvatore Ferragamo, Burberry, Omega, Hugo Boss, Tiffany & Co and of course Bloomingdale’s. Today, The Shops at Riverside is already synonymous with luxury and the new ‘Collection’ will take luxury to the next level,” said David Contis, President of Simon’s mall division.

    Tony Spring, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Bloomingdale’s said, “We pride ourselves on delivering an outstanding shopping experience at The Shops at Riverside. Our customers have come to expect the latest fashions, personalized service and amenities that make Bloomingdale’s like no other store in the world.” He added, “Riverside is an important store for our company and we are confident that the redevelopment of the center will further enhance its status as a top shopping destination.”

    Vicki Hanor, Simon’s Executive Vice President and Managing Director of Luxury Leasing added, “We’ll be creating something very special at Riverside that will mesh perfectly with our very discerning luxury customers. Our intent is to take our existing strong base of luxury stores and enhance it with the world’s most exclusive brands.”

    Complementing ‘The Collection at Riverside,’ the upper level will feature lifestyle and home furnishings, including an enticing mix of contemporary retail and home furnishing brands with favorites such as Arhaus, Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn, and Pottery Barn Kids.

    Finally, adjacent to ‘The Collection at Riverside,’ a dining and theater district facing Route 4 will offer guests a top culinary destination befitting a true luxury experience, including iconic New York dining destinations to be announced in early spring 2016. Two new restaurants and a café will be added to complement the seven existing restaurants. There will also be a 40,000 square foot upscale theater experience with nine screens, a wine bar, and 1,040 fully-reclining leather seats.

    [Reply]

  95. NYT

    Huge Mall Rising at Troubled Site in North Jersey

    By CHARLES V. BAGLI

    OCT. 2, 2015

    EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Most of the checkerboard walls on the mammoth shopping mall rising in the Meadowlands that Gov. Chris Christie once called “the ugliest damn building in New Jersey and maybe America” have been replaced with muted white panels.

    And now, after six years of sitting dormant, the ill-fated project once known as Xanadu is moving into high gear as it is transformed into American Dream Meadowlands.

    Seven giant tower cranes loom over the 21-acre site near MetLife Stadium. The third developer in the project’s turbulent 12-year history is busily rolling out superlative-filled announcements about its biggest tenants and most impressive features two years ahead of the scheduled opening in hopes of burying the bad memories of the venture among retailers, potential investors and New Jersey residents.

    So far, $1.9 billion has been spent on the troubled Xanadu mall in the New Jersey Meadowlands.

    Toys “R” Us, which is to vacate its Times Square flagship next year, will be an anchor for 500 stores, including Saks Fifth Avenue, Lord & Taylor and Hermes, as well as restaurants and other attractions in a multilevel building that will be more than a half-mile long.

    The project will also be home to a 300-foot-tall Ferris wheel that the developer says will offer better views of Manhattan than the 625-foot-tall wheel that is being built on Staten Island and promoted as the world’s tallest.

    The complex, the developer says, will also include both North America’s largest indoor amusement park and largest indoor water park, the first indoor ski hill in the Western Hemisphere, and the world’s steepest roller coaster and tallest twin-body water slides.

    Just don’t call it a mall.

    “We create centers and environments that are almost like a city, where you can do absolutely anything your heart desires,” said Don Ghermezian, a principal in the Triple Five Group, which is building American Dream Meadowlands. “Dining. Shopping. Playing. Entertaining. By opening day, there’ll be nearly $5 billion invested in this project. I think that makes it the most expensive retail project on earth.”

    The Ghermezian family and its company, Triple Five, already own two of the largest retail and entertainment complexes in the world: the 4.2-million-square-foot Mall of America near Minneapolis and the 5.2-million-square-foot West Edmonton Mall in Canada. They plan to raise more than $1 billion on the bond market for American Dream and to open it in late summer 2017.

    But opening dates have come and gone before. Mr. Christie once announced, for instance, that it would open in time for the 2014 Super Bowl at MetLife Stadium.

    The potential cost of American Dream could still jump given Triple Five’s reliance on bonds at a time when interest rates in the bond market have been rising. Beyond that, the 2.9-million-square-foot project (bigger than the Empire State Building) is a daunting undertaking with other serious challenges, particularly in a state with no shortage of shopping malls and a county that prohibits retail sales on Sundays.

    The $5 billion enterprise described by Mr. Ghermezian would require a daily gusher of customers to be financially viable, and he estimates that the complex will attract more than 40 million visitors a year, half of them tourists visiting New York City.

    That sounds optimistic considering that only 12.4 million of the 56.4 million visitors to the city last year ventured to Lower Manhattan, according to groups that track such activity. Skeptics have asked why people would cross the Hudson River from the biggest theme park of them all, Manhattan.

    Rosy forecasts for American Dream also fly in the face of predictions that, ultimately, Internet shopping will all but eliminate brick-and-mortar shopping.

    “There are still a lot of question marks,” said D.J. Busch, a senior mall analyst at Green Street Advisors, a real estate research firm. “The prospects are better with all the bells and whistles. But there is a lot of competition for wallet-share and time-share in the New York metropolitan area. If it was simply a mall, I would say the probability of success would be much lower.”

    The project was originally conceived in 2003 when the state awarded the Mills Corporation the right to build Xanadu, a retail complex on the grounds of the state’s Meadowlands sports complex that was to feature a 286-foot-tall Ferris wheel, an indoor ski hill, a Legoland park, movie theaters, a concert hall and hundreds of stores.

    State officials, eager to reap new revenue that could offset losses at a nearby racetrack and arena, provided the land, built new highway connections and waived tax collections for years, while the developer paid rent and promised thousands of jobs.

    In 2006, Colony Capital, a private equity firm based in California, took over the project after Mills struggled with construction delays and cost overruns. Colony did not fare much better. In 2009, a Lehman Brothers subsidiary cut off its financing.

    At that point, work came to a halt on what was a very unfinished building despite the two developers’ having spent a combined $1.9 billion. Colony’s lenders foreclosed and later turned the project over to Triple Five.

    Though the Christie administration once characterized Xanadu as a “failed business model,” the governor, a Republican, has since embraced American Dream and the jobs and tax revenues it is supposed to generate.

    Government watchdog groups have criticized the administration for agreeing to support the project with an estimated $1 billion in tax breaks and other subsidies.

    Jeff Tittel, director of the Sierra Club of New Jersey, said American Dream would be likely to siphon off business from the six existing malls that are within a short drive of the Meadowlands.

    “Given the extent of public financing behind it, this project shows that it could not have been built by the private sector,” Mr. Tittel said. “In a state with no money to fix roads or build schools, that’s shameful.”

    Such criticism notwithstanding, American Dream does seem finally to be moving forward and overcoming the stigma of failure at the site.

    “I’m starting to come around,” said Robert K. Futterman, founder of RKF Associates and a major retail broker in the metropolitan New York region. “These guys are so good at what they do and are so determined. They’ll do whatever they have to do to get this thing leased.”

    Triple Five says it has spent more than $225 million on the Meadowlands project this year, pounding more than 5,000 pilings into bedrock for the water and amusement parks, which are being developed in partnership with DreamWorks SKG.

    Mr. Ghermezian said Cirque du Soleil had signed on to perform up to 10 shows a week in American Dream’s 1,500-seat theater. And this week, Triple Five announced that the complex would also have a SeaLife Aquarium and Legoland Discovery Center.

    There are also plans for a kosher food court, a significant feature for an area with a large population of observant Jews. The Toys “R” Us plans call for a three-level, 55,000-square-foot store. An 800-room hotel is in the design stage.

    Factoring in the entertainment and dining offerings, Mr. Ghermezian said he expected entire families to linger in the complex for an average of four hours, compared with the hourlong average at the typical mall.

    American Dream will also, he said, promise same-day delivery of purchases by shoppers who arrive by public transportation, surfing contests at the water park and toboggan rides in the Snow Dome.

    “We try and do flagship-sized deals,” Mr. Ghermezian said. “We’re pushing the digital age. We’re creating in-store environments that make it become an immersive, interactive, experiential environment.”

    [Reply]

Leave a Reply


one × = 5