The Marketplace Mall; Henrietta (Rochester), New York

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.


9 Responses to “The Marketplace Mall; Henrietta (Rochester), New York”

  1. I thought Marketplace Mall was next to Penn-Can Mall?

    Oh well, I’m digging that JCPenney facade.


    Prange Way Reply:

    @Pseudo3D, Penn-Can (now Drivers Village) is in a suburb of Syracuse, about 90 miles east of Rochester.


  2. Yeah, I know, but next door to Penn-Can was a small interior mall called Marketplace Mall.

    Guess it’s one of the things to be confused about. After all, how many Crossroads Mall(s) do you know?

    And aren’t there two Fox Run Malls in New England?


  3. You gotta love the groovy wood JCPenney facade and the two very different Macy’s entrances. One is obviously original, and the other just screams “latter-day May Company.” It’s got me curious about the rest of the exterior, which makes it a good post in my opinion.


  4. JC Penney’s mall entrance is all original (from 1983).

    Macy’s has changed quite a bit from when it was opened as Sibley’s (under Associated Dry Goods ownership) in 1982.

    If you look at the section of the exterior where the sign is, that was added by May Department stores when the store was expanded in the Kaufmann’s era, (circa early 1990s) The mirrored entryways (which appear to be right behind the mall sign, but really aren’t) were actually corner entrances (there a matching one on the other side of the building) which had the Sibley’s script logo above them when the store opened in 1982.

    The Macy’s mall entrance is different too. It originally featured a glass wall from the second floor, which showcased Sibley’s housewares department displays. When Kaufmann’s took over they sealed it up and made it a solid wall to accommodate their larger bland logo sign. Much of the interior of the mall is still original too.


  5. One question-Was the nearby Southtown Plaza ever an enclosed mall? I have heard that it originally was until Marketplace opened. After that, it tried a stint as an outlet/off-price center until it was de-malled. Does anyone have any info about that?


    Powers Reply:

    @loveminuszero, Southtown was never enclosed.


    Tito Reply:


    Southtown was mainly a very large strip mall, but it very definitely did have a section which was enclosed, at least in the eighties and early nineties. It was in the center of the complex (west of Burlington Coat Factory, east of Freddy’s). It was very drab and sad, and I do not remember there being more than a very few stores inside, but it definitely existed as such.


  6. Marketplace Mall opened in 1982 with Sears Sibleys McCurdys and B. Forman It was expanded in 1983 with about 20 inline stores and JCPenney with groovy wood panels it was expanded again in 2001 with Galyans which was later converted to Dicks The mall also added a freestanding DSW In 2014 Wilmorite converted the old DSW to a Field and Stream Also in 2014 Bon Ton closed its last store in Rochester and half the space was converted to a Pole Position Raceway a go kart place


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