The Marketplace Mall, located 3 miles south of downtown Rochester in the suburb of Henrietta, opened on October 7, 1982. Originally anchored by Rochester-based Sibley’s, McCurdy’s, and B. Forman, and complemented by national retailer Sears, Marketplace is home to 140 specialty stores and was, for many years, the largest mall in the Rochester area.
The Marketplace Mall was developed by Wilmorite, a Rochester-based retail developer that developed all four of Rochester’s suburban malls. Wilmorite still owns and manages Marketplace, along with several other Rochester malls.
The Marketplace has expanded twice in its 28-year history. In 1983, JCPenney opened as the mall’s east anchor, and in 2001 a 2-story, 86,000 square-foot Galyan’s sporting goods store was added as the northwest anchor. The expansions brought the mall to 1.6 million square feet of retail space including the anchors, with 350,000 square feet of in-line retail.
The Marketplace Mall is located along one of the best and biggest retail corridors in metro Rochester. Nearly 5 million square feet of retail space is located within 2 miles of the mall, including many national big box chains and numerous strip malls.
In addition, The Marketplace benefits from having over 50,000 students at 3 schools nearby. Marketplace is the closest mall to all three of them: Rochester Institute of Technology, Monroe Community College, and The University of Rochester.
Also, The Marketplace benefits from access to I-390, which is less than a quarter mile from the mall, while I-90 and the New York State Thruway are two miles away.
Several anchor changes have taken place at The Marketplace since it opened. Sibley’s was converted to Pittsburgh-based Kaufmann’s in 1990, and McCurdy’s became Bon Ton in the mid-1990s. B. Forman also closed before the chain folded, and in 2006, Kaufmann’s became Macy’s. Also, Galyan’s, which opened in 2001, was acquired by and converted to Dick’s in 2004.
Although The Marketplace opened as the largest mall in the Rochester region in the early 1980s, other malls have since given it competition through opening and expansion. In 1990, Irondequoit Mall opened as a brand new mall in Rochester’s northeast suburbs; however, its success was short-lived due to its location and perception of crime. It closed in 2009 pending future rejuvenation. In the mid-1990s, both Greece Ridge and Eastview Malls expanded dramatically, and Eastview expanded again in 2003, giving it market dominance and the best selection of stores in metro Rochester. In addition, a fifth metro Rochester mall located downtown, Midtown Plaza, closed in 2008 after years of struggles.
Today, The Marketplace Mall holds its own due its centralized location in Rochester, within reach of 50,000 college students, easy accessibility from freeways, and situation on one of the best retail strips around. However, despite a renovation of the center court in 2006, much of the mall appears somewhat dated in our 2007 photo set. Take a look at the JCPenney photo, featuring the fun angled wood facade, and also look at the flooring, which appears to have been put in sometime in the late 1980s or early 1990s.
We visited The Marketplace Mall in December 2007 and took the photos featured here, with the exception of the top photo above, which came from The Marketplace Mall’s own website. What do you think of the mall? Please leave your comments, experiences, and reactions on the comments page.