Walt Whitman Mall; Huntington Station, New York

Lord & Taylor and Macy's at Walt Whitman Mall in Huntington Station, New York, 2007

Longtime readers of Labelscar (or any other mall/retail history website, frankly) will notice we hold a distinct bias against a lot of the most successful shopping malls. Of course the obvious question is “Why?”–if these malls do well, and we like malls, why don’t we cheer for them as much as the others?

It’s not that we derive any thrill out of the death or decay of a shopping mall, but rather because we feel that the shopping malls of the ’60s, ’70s, and first half of the ’80s exuded a certain cool; rather than today’s centers which are practically-floored to maximize sales per square foot, they were often designed by architects who were trying to make grandly palatial, modern, contemporary gathering spaces. And unfortunately, the only malls left that still look like this tend to be the ones that have been neglected over the past two decades. The rest of them had their personality beaten out of them, usually with the walls painted white, the planters and fountains ripped out, and useless kiosks stuffed into every available space in the main concourse.

Walt Whitman Mall in Huntington Station, New York, 2007

Long Island’s Walt Whitman Mall, at Walt Whitman Road and Jericho Turnpike, is no exception. But because it is one of these neat old malls by design, it does retain some vestiges of its past, and is at least somewhat interesting (if only architecturally, at this point), especially for a mall that is very upscale–its four anchor stores today are Bloomingdale’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy’s, and Lord & Taylor.

Walt Whitman Mall in Huntington Station, New York, 2007First of all, no discussion of the Walt Whitman Mall would be complete without addressing the center’s amusingly awkward name. Walt Whitman was originally from Huntington, and there’s a historic site at the house he was born located relatively close to the mall. However, the notion of a mall named for Walt Whitman is more than a bit silly. There’s a site that’s dedicated to the sheer ridiculousness of it, and they speak about this at length:

Is there any American writer whose work has less to do with shopping than Walt Whitman? He was an unwashed iconoclast, a rebel who loved to offend polite society, and an in-your-face sensualist homosexual back when nobody had the nerve to come out in public. He was so offensive, even Ralph Waldo Emerson balked at inviting him over for dinner, and it was Ralph Waldo Emerson whose endorsement of Leaves of Grass made Whitman a famous poet.

 

It’s hard to disagree, honestly, and the silliness only continues. In a somewhat misguided homage, the exterior of the mall contains quotes from Leaves of Grass etched into the stone facade, the stanzas organized in the shape of leaves. Sheesh!

Unfortunately, I don’t know a ton about the history of the Walt Whitman Mall, beyond that the modern-day Macy’s was once an Abraham & Straus store and that there used to be a McCrory’s here. The mall opened in 1962 as the first fully-enclosed shopping mall on Long Island, although at least three of Long Island’s malls (Roosevelt Field Mall, Green Acres Mall, and Broadway Mall) are actually older because they began life as outdoor shopping centers. What makes it sort of cool–apart from today’s upscale anchor roster–is the swooping ceiling lines, which change height at random and create several airy, spacious courts, especially in front of the Macy’s or Bloomingdale’s stores. These things are easy to miss, but a mall connoisseur can notice the unmistakeable bones of an old mall. For a comparison to see this place’s former glory, check out our friends at MallsofAmerica, who have a great shot of the court in front of the old A&S (modern-day Macy’s) and another shot in front of the old Macy’s (possibly the current Bloomingdale’s?), both of which are unmistakeably the same place, even if it is a bit duller now.

Bloomingdale's at Walt Whitman Mall in Huntington Station, New York, 2007

A year ago, there were some rumors that owner Simon was interested in adding a second-level expansion to the 1,034,747-square-foot mall, increasing its square footage by 200,000 square feet and adding a food court, although there are no signs presently that this will be moving forward.

Walt Whitman Mall in Huntington Station, New York, 2007 Walt Whitman Mall in Huntington Station, New York, 2007 Walt Whitman Mall in Huntington Station, New York, 2007 Bloomingdale's at Walt Whitman Mall in Huntington Station, New York, 2007

Walt Whitman Mall in Huntington Station, New York, 2007 Walt Whitman Mall in Huntington Station, New York, 2007 Walt Whitman Mall in Huntington Station, New York, 2007 Lord & Taylor and Macy's at Walt Whitman Mall in Huntington Station, New York, 2007

Lord & Taylor at Walt Whitman Mall in Huntington Station, New York, 2007 Macy's at Walt Whitman Mall in Huntington Station, New York, 2007 Mall ceiling shift in front of Macy's at Walt Whitman Mall in Huntington Station, New York, 2007

49 Responses to “Walt Whitman Mall; Huntington Station, New York”

  1. Today’s mall is a little sterile, but that Bloomingdale’s entrance is hot!

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  2. Isn’t it?? The mall is pretty sterile now, but there are enough interesting bits (the ceilings and the Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s fronts, mostly) to elevate it above the fray. Old malls renovated to look new are still more interesting than completely new malls most of the time.

    And yeah, I wish more department stores would experiment with modern architecture, like this Bloomingdale’s did. Much of the retail architecture I enjoy was the result of pushing the envelope in the first place, and this is a newer example of that same kind of boldness.

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  3. Apart from the sleek and shiny floors and the upscale-ness this mall does’nt seem very special to me. It’s all so uniform and bland, especially the pic with the LT and Macy’s entrances.
    I like going to malls that not only have nice stores, but cozy and comfortable interiors, like Great Lakes Crossing with its carpeted and hard-wood floors, distinct sections, and walls that are’nt whitewashed.

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  4. It is difficult for me to think of Macy’s, in relation to Walt Whitman Mall, as being an “upscale anchor”. Perhaps in the late 70s and early 80s Macy’s, especially Herald Square, was a little cutting edge. However after its 1992 bankruptcy and buyout by Federated in has turned into a junk store. A junk store that can be found in almost every mall in this country. They brought in junk but took away local names and identities. Now even Bloomingdale’s, their cousin, is carrying Macy’s labels. What Macy’s has done to this country’s retail industry is truly unforgiveable and will further destroy the character and uniqueness of all of the centers that this website is trying to identify and celebrate.

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    Michael S Reply:

    @Michael, How was it cutting edge, exactly?

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  5. I completely agree with what Michael said. The fact of the matter is that more than any other retailer–including Wal-Mart–Macy’s is to blame for today’s sorry state of department stores and shopping malls. What really irks me is that Macy’s was not able to destroy some two dozen department stores by offering a better product or value (unlike, say, Wal-Mart, which truly did offer the lowest prices around); instead, all they did was acquire each department store chain and rename it Macy’s. Every retail enthusiast should hate Macy’s with a passion.

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  6. Malls of America has some vintage photos of this one.

    http://mallsofamerica.blogspot.com/2005/08/walt-whitman-mall.html

    The vertical glass panes are clearly vestigial of the 1960′s origins and they haven’t gone too far. The rest, however, has been creamed by Simon (since). Per usual, the fountains and plants are largely gone. *sigh* How typical. I think this was the earliest of the malls in L.I. and they probably named it after this guy as something of a sour tribute?

    Long Island has some interesting malls; some of which I haven’t seen but heard. There’s the ever-classic SmithHaven Mall; whose since seen drastic renovations. Westfield took over South Shore (has a reeeeally old Macy’s in-and-out) and a likewise (Wal-Mart anchored!, also features an old-school caps Macy’s) Sunrise Malls while the Walt Whitman Mall went far upscale.

    Walt Whitman, Sunrise and SmithHaven Malls were built by the same architect, Davis Muss. (http://www.newsday.com/about/ny-iholi042005story,0,2475291.htmlstory)

    I believe in recent years, Roosevelt Field has *owned* the Long Island mall scene by far but they’re all doing quite well.

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  7. Whoa guys… I don’t disagree with you (in fact, I’m in complete agreement) but with Macy’s at practically every mall now, I can’t simply ignore that they’re there, or that they’re a big part of the landscape at this point. If I could go back and grab shots of all these malls when they had Stern’s, Filene’s, Jordan Marsh, Strawbridges, Kaufmann’s, etc., then well, I surely would. (And if anyone has them, please email me!)

    Remember too that I live in the Northeast, and here there are a fair share of malls where Macy’s has in fact been around, and in its original form in some cases, for some time. In fact, a few of the malls I visited on Long Island even have some really ancient Macy’s stores intact, and I’ll be posting some pictures of those at some point. Even in New England, we’ve had Macy’s for over ten years, so they’re not really anything new to us… there’s just no more Filenes :(.

    I don’t mean to defend them, because really, I’m as upset about this change as anyone. But at the same time, I can’t help but feel like this is just a symptom of the fall of the traditional department store in general (i.e., Macy’s is really in survival mode, and they’ve just outlasted everyone else, but that their day will be coming too), and hardly the final chapter. Regardless of whether Macy’s made the wrong decision in eliminating all of those regional chains (and I think they did), they’re still here, for the moment anyway.

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  8. But even the Macy’s of today is just a shadow of its former self. I grew up in San Francisco, where Macy’s had been since 1947 so it was part of my childhood too. Even though Macy’s was more promotional than upscale (remember the jingle ‘You always do better at Macy’s?), they still had departments such as books, records, wine, fabrics, washers & dryers, candy, notions, television, stereo, stationery, etc, that made the store an interesting place to spend a few hours. I just got back from Sydney where the two leading department stores, Meyer and David Jones, have fabulous downtown stores that carry everything under the sun. David Jones even has a full-scale food hall in the basement which, on the Saturday I was there, had throngs of people lind up to buy wildly expensive prepared foods.

    I had to laugh when I read the latest comments by some Macy’s-suit about bringing back in-store restaurants as ‘improving the customer experience’. First of all, executives who use phrases like ‘improving the customer experience’ should be instantly fired…or shot. Secondly, opening a tiny, cramped cafe adjacent to an ear-splitting, over-amped, juniors department (think Herald Square store), run by disinterested 20-somethings serving overpriced food on paper plates doesn’t enhance anyone’s ‘experience’.

    Hey Macy’s, here’s a wild idea: why not get rid of about half the fixtures in your overcrowded clothing departments, hire knowledgeable staff who actually get out from behind the cash register, pay them a decent wage, clean out the fitting rooms once in awhile, and bring back some non-clothing departments and see if that doesn’t improve the ‘customer experience’.

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  9. Paul- I agree completely- I think the last paragraph in your post says it all- I can’t stand setting foot in there anymore- it’s a complete mess- “junky” is exactly the right word. I can only hope that Bloomingdale’s does not follow in those footsteps. I have recently begun doing all my department store shopping at Lord and Taylor- and have been much happier with the experience- NICE, organized, well run department stores, with knowledgeable sales associates- a refreshing change for sure! I agree that there are going to be changes in traditional department stores, but IMO, stores like L&T will adapt, and come out on top.

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  10. Unfortunately Macy’s is now a part of ‘our’ lives, but not my life. I have not spent one penny in those stores since September and rarely did before then. Macy’s has ruined the fun of visiting shopping malls for me and, I’m sure, many other closet mall freaks. Yes I have countless photos of Filene’s, Jordan Marsh, Sterns, Kaufmann’s, Strawbridge’s, etc. all killed off by Macy’s that I took from 1980-on. But now I don’t even bring a camera to a mall. Why? The wonderful logos and identities of these anchor stores are gone. And Macy’s sales results, even the ones they are choosing to disclose, are proof of their destiny. But I don’t take pictures of Macy’s, except an occasional one like the old downtown Miami Burdines (Macy’s) whose days are numbered. The only redeeming feature of the Walt Whitman Mall photos is that the WWM is fortunate not to have the red star of Communism next to the Macy’s nameplate. Somebody, whose name begins with Terry, stole my hobby and the fun I used to have.
    Sorry for the vent. I’ll live.
    But one more thing, an ‘upscale’ anchor would never carry Donald Trump cologne and clothing. Leave that to Kmart and Jaclyn Smith. (When Steinbach was on its fast spiral downward in the early 1980s they started carrying Johnny Carson suits and I thought “oh no”. At least I guess I’d rather look and probably smell like Johnny Carson.) And guess who’s starting a new Martha Stewart line? Ugh!

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  11. Malls of America has some vintage photos of this one.

    http://mallsofamerica.blogspot.com/2005/08/walt-whitman-mall.html

    The vertical glass panes are clearly vestigial of the 1960′s origins and they haven’t gone too far. The rest, however, has been creamed by Simon (since). Per usual, the fountains and plants are largely gone. *sigh* How typical. I think this was the earliest of the malls in L.I. and they probably named it after this guy as something of a sour tribute?

    Long Island has some interesting malls; some of which I haven’t seen but heard. There’s the ever-classic SmithHaven Mall; whose since seen drastic renovations. Westfield took over South Shore (has a reeeeally old Macy’s in-and-out) and a likewise (Wal-Mart anchored!, also features an old-school caps Macy’s) Sunrise Malls while the Walt Whitman Mall went far upscale.

    Walt Whitman, Sunrise and SmithHaven Malls were built by the same architect, Davis Muss. (http://www.newsday.com/about/ny-iholi042005story,0,2475291.htmlstory)

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  12. I too noticed that Macy’s is pretty much a monopoly. I think like 80% of the malls feautred her has or had a Macy’s at one time and most of that was due to Macy’s being converted from anotehr dept store. Which sucks because I loved shopping at Marshall Field’s (and remembered shopping with my Mom at Hudson’s).

    And since there are alot of Macy’s around, I can only imagine what’ll happen to the malls when the chain goes belly up.

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  13. Gotta love the name and the “Levaes of Grass” stanzas. Sometimes you just have to ask “What do it mean?”.

    Short Pump Town Center in Richmond, VA has statues of Ella Fitzgerald and Chief Powhatan is close proximity to each other. That puzzled the hell out of me until I realized that they were trying to do a “Famous Virginians” thing.

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  14. Because I am no expert on shopping malls in New York State, I’d like to pose the following questions: Is the Walt Whitman Mall the most upscale mall in the state? If not, what is?

    Based on my somewhat limited knowledge, I would say that the Walt Whitman Mall is New York State’s most upscale shopping mall. Another Long Island mall, Roosevelt Field Mall (anchored by Bloomingdale’s, JCPenney, Macy’s, and Nordstrom), would come in second place.

    When it comes to New Jersey malls, I can say that the Taubman-owned The Mall at Short Hills (anchored by Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, and Saks Fifth Avenue) is without question the most upscale mall in the state. In second place would come The Shops at Riverside (anchored by Bloomingdale’s and Saks Fifth Avenue). However, when it comes to naming the third-most upscale mall in New Jersey, I would have a hard time choosing between Bridgewater Commons (anchored by Bloomingdale’s, Lord & Taylor, and Macy’s) and Westfield Garden State Plaza (anchored by JCPenney, Lord & Taylor, Macy’s, Neiman Marcus, and Nordstrom), although I would probably give a slight edge to Bridgewater.

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  15. It is only in the last five to ten years that Walt Whitman mall has become so upscale. A fire in the McRory’s location in the early nineties closed off a huge section of the mall. The fire was started by a person who intended to extinguish the fire and appear to be a hero. The fire got quite out of control. I think for awhile it looked like to mall was never going to be rejuvenated. There was a plan for a second floor at one point, but it was voted down by the community.

    My favorite memory of Walt Whitman mall was when Federated closed all of the A and S stores, including the one at the mall. They decided the solution to the empty slot was to open a second Macys. At the time, there were only two anchors, so it was Macy’s or Macy’s!

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  16. Sometimes the worst thing these days is to have a mall with not just one Macy’s but two Macy’s. Watch out for Bloomingdales. Their spiral has already begun. Macy’s, its owner, is too preoccupied with its nationwide disaster that they are shelving their interest in Bloomingdales for the time being. There is only one Bloomingdale’s scheduled to open in the future, a former planned Hecht’s store in Chevy Chase, MD, and there are no other planned outlets after that. Many mid-size+ cities hoped their better(?) Macy’s stores would be considered for a possible Bloomindale conversion. Ain’t gonna happen. If you want to see Bloomingdale’s in a rapid deterioration mode check out the White Flint, MD store. That’s probably worth some pictures. Little do the employees know that their store will not be around much longer. Macy’s says they’ll operate both. Two Bloomingdale’s 4 miles apart? What a lie.

    Walt Whitman almost lost its Lord & Taylor store last year. Opened in 1998 it was planned for closure in early 2006 but was given a last minute stay of execution. Once Federated sold L&T they no longer had a 3-store monopoly at the mall and were not being forced to dump the anchor slot. It was never a special L&T (it is very May-ordinary in design) but at least it’s not Macy’s.

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  17. I just can’t think of Walt Whitman as truly ‘upscale’ even though it has pretty classy anchors. My vote would go to The Westchester in White Plains, with Neiman-Marcus and Nordstrom, plus stores such as Tiffany, Louis Vuitton, Elizabeth Arden, Crate & Barrel, Gucci, and Kenneth Cole. The most upscale mall of all may be the new Oyster Bay center with Neiman-Marcus, Nordstrom, and Barney’s (that is, if Taubman ever gets out of court and builds the thing).

    Sad news about Bloomingdale’s in White Flint falling on hard times. I remember when that center opened in the late 1970′s (Elizabeth Taylor cut the ribbon at Bloomingdale’s). White Flint had the only east coast branch of San Francisco’s wonderful I. Magnin specialty store, as well as Bloomingdale’s and Lord & Taylor.

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  18. Yeah, I would agree. Walt Whitman looks kind of classy and does have mostly upscale anchors, but the mall on the whole is mostly mid-upper range. I haven’t been to the Westchester in about seven years (odd, since it’s one of the closest New York malls to me) but I do seem to recall it being more genuinely upscale through and through.

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  19. Bloomingdale’s has not done well in Atlanta. They were not well deferentiated from the Rich’s/now Macy’s when they opened.The blandness of the selection, relative to other Bloomie’s sort of fits Atlanta (land of the bland, where chains seem to narrowcast selections more than in most large cities). OTOH, Nieman-Marcus’ showy stuff from established brands is probably a better fit for well-off Atlanta shoppers (who often come from elsewhere in the region and seem to like vulgarity and famous brands). People there with real money go to New York to shop anyway.

    The White Flint store seems doomed–Friendship Heights is a better location for high end shoppers, although the little mall across the street is struggling. White Flint limps along, although May had enough faith to remodel it a few years ago.

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  20. I would have thought that the White Flint Bloomingdale’s was doing well…the mall is at a great location, it has Metro access and is a good combination of shopping and entertainment. Interesting about White Flint…with the closing of I Magnin and the recession of the 1990s, the mall fell on hard times. They transitioned and were able to survive and prosper…White Flint is the 1st mall in my memory to combine the shopping and entertainment/dining options (as per the additions of Borders, Dave and Busters and the Cheesecake Factory.) I liken White Flint to a DC Metro version of the Shops at Riverside (S@R has used the same methods to survive in the shadow of Garden State Plaza) and if it is true that the WF Bloomies may close, that will be a shame. White Flint and its REIT should be aware of the upcoming expansion to Montgomery Mall nearby and plann accordingly to compete.

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  21. Re:Atlanta Bloomingdale’s. I can believe they are struggling. I am at Perimeter Mall today. The mall is busy, but Bloomingdale’s is empty. But then, I have seen the same situation in San Diego and even their flashy new store in downtown San Francisco. IMHO, Bloomingdale’s just isn’t generating much excitement outside the Northeast, and maybe South Florida.

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  22. I don’t think Bloomingdale’s is headed out of Atlanta or White Flint, despite appearances to the contrary. The store in Friendship Heights could possibly cannibalize sales from the White Flint store, to be sure, and Bloomine’s isn’t putting on its best face in the ATL, but Federated is unlikely to pull the plug in either case because there is enough business to cover expenses and maintain profits.

    Think about it. If things were so bad at White Flint, Bloomingdale’s would have run back when they would have had a more justified reason to, back before the rebirth when nobody was making any money at that mall. In Atlanta, they would have been justified in keeping both former Macy’s closed when Macy’s pulled out of the market a few years ago. It’s not like they were shy about closing duplicate stores at that time ;)

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  23. The employees at White Flint admit they are in limbo and expect the store to be downsized and become a home store only. The Chevy Chase might not have enough room for everything since the space is limited. But every week I go by or into the store and the exterior is worn with stained windows and dirty walls and the interior is beige and drab. It’s also empty. No big designers here. I’ll take pictures and prove my point. The employees aren’t as totally naive to the situation as I’ve implied. But management, of course, has never officially talked to them. A number of them do expect the store to become just a home store and some think it will just close. I don’t know of any who truly believe life goes on. But if it does for God sake’s fix it up!

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  24. Bloomie’s did fine at White Flint even after I. Magnin closed shop and the mall went into decline. Lord & Taylor didn’t seem to do so well at that time, but May ultimately remodeled the store and it seems to do an okay, but not great business. L&T laso is at Friendship Heights. Both chains could easily leave here.

    The mall limps along, but does seem to have a stable if odd roster–H&M and Pottery Barn. A post office and a funny collection of offices and service businesses and Bloomies.The mall is close to the Metro, but a little awward to access from the train. It’s a little far from the Beltway, and it anchors the southern end of the Rockville Pike mall zone (lots of strip malls), which is a horrible bottle neck on weekends. It’s much smaller than Montgomery Mall and less well placed for an upscale clientele. I could see it eventually turning into a lifestyle center, complementing the off-price complex next door.

    As for Atlanta–they probably would have done better if they’d gone for the showy quality and designers that Bloomie’s used to be known for. At Lenox Square, they’re in the least desirable part of the mall and don’t have a really good entrance–they’re more off to the side and the have the least used section of parking. Federated probably has a reasonable long-term lease. Unless Simon moves one of the Phipps Plaza anchors in, Dillard is probably the only likely candidate if Bloomie’s were to leave and they would add nothing to the mall. Phipps has cut its vacancies, but lost a lot of its identity in the process, so I doubt Simon would want to make significant changes.

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  25. I work in WHITE PLAINS a few blocks from the westchester. Let me tell you the mall is more upscale today then when it opened. As for WWM iwent twice & i found it ho hum. Give me roosevelt Field any day.
    HERE IS MY LIST OF UPSCALE MALLS IN NEW YORK AREA
    1. WESTCHESTER
    2. ROOSEVELT FIELD
    3. WWM
    IN NJ
    1. SHORT HILLS
    2. BRIDGEWATER COMMONS
    3. THE SHOPS @ RIVERSIDE
    4. GARDEN STATE PLAZA

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  26. Lets not forget about tysons corner they to have bloomingdale’s. THE DC incroud shops at tysons corner or galleria because they are so close to DC & that is were the power brokers live.

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  27. A couple of years ago when I was on the Island, I visited Walt Whitman Mall and thought it was nice…not a “destination mall,” but still very nice. Personally, I like Roosevelt Field much better…they have more stores to offer, a large Nordstrom and they have a nicer Bloomingdale’s, maybe one of the nicest suburban Bloomingdales in suburban NY. Plus being direcly off the Meadowbrook Parkway is a good thing with the traffic in Nassau County. I hear that they are also (along with Garden State Plaza) getting a Grand Lux Cafe to get even more people there. On the expansion, the mall’s site claims it’s still on, so if anyone has any additional info on it, please update. It would definitely be in their best interests to do the expansion, especially with the Mall at Oyster Bay opening soon…Walt Whitman has the most to lose with M@OB as competition.

    As per Sean’s mention of Tysons Corner, that Bloomingdales seems to be doing very well (it’s crowded whenever I go in there), as does the entire Tysons Corner Center (the Galleria as well). Tysons just completed an expansion (an indoor lifestyle expansion, Barnes and Noble, AMC movie theatre and more restaurants) to attract even more people to the mall and more traffic to that area…when the Metro’s Silver Line is actually completed, you will defintely see more people go there. Bloomie’s in Tysons (along with pretty much every anchor over there) is there to stay.

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  28. Let me ad that Grand Lux cafe will open at gsp in october according to mall cs staff. I cant wait. It will be located next to AMC. You can park near best buy or under the the thesatre near the food court.
    Take ramp after IKEA & christmas tree shop/ bed bath & beyond on route 4 west if you are driving over the GWB, or take route 17 to the mall parking lot .

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  29. An A P story today about the new ad campaign for Macy’s featuring Martha Stewart, Donold Trump, Jessica Simpson & others poking fun at them selfs wile hawking there product lines.
    WHOO HOO!

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  30. WWM actually burned several times in it’s 45+ year lifetime…there was another fire back in 1984 (electrical in nature, started in a card shop being remodeled) which took out over a dozen stores, and I’d thought I remembered there was another fire earlier in it’s life that caused significant damage. Makes you wonder if there’s some curse they’re trying to get out from under.

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  31. Oh lord, the Walt S**tman mall. I worked there for 5 years at the EB Games and let me tell you, the worst run mall I ever saw. The mall manager had no intention of dealing with any problems in that place and worked to make that mall as “women-friendly” as possible by driving out the music and toy stores and replace them all with clothing stores. No food court and no way were they ever going to put a 2nd level in as whomever owns the land did not want either there. Poor parking also atrtributes to how bad that mall is. Glad when I left.

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  32. Just an update on White Flint: The Mall seems to be not as crowded, although the Bloomingdale’s and Lord and Taylor are crowed. Now, back on topic. I visited Walt Whitman Mall once, and I don’t plan on going back any time soon. I found many bad things about it. First of all, the parking is AWFUL. Second, the Bloomingdale’s is very run down. The Saks Fifth Avenue is OK, not great, and the Macy*s is horrible. The Lord & Taylor is OK, not as good as the one in Fashion Center or Garden State Plaza though. IF Whitman adds a second floor, I think that it will benefit the mall greatly, but until then, that malls future is a bit questionable. I will agree with everyone that Roosevelt Field is a lot better.

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  33. the c. 1962 Macy*s store closed in 1995 and was relocated to the former A&S location. Bloomingdale’s took the place of the then vacant Macy*s store, and renovated and reopened it c. 1998. Also, a new 2-Level Lord & Taylor and Parking Deck opened in 1998, and in 1999, a new 2-Level Saks Fifth Avenue opened on the site of the former McCrory’s.

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  34. @ Tommy…the mall manager you mentioned is Debra Weber, and let me tell you, she was one big ol’ b–tch. I worked at Armani Exchange in that mall back in 2004, and remember several times I had to deal with her and attend “mall tenant meetings”. The A|X store was opened to bring in more men’s business…something that Simon wanted in that mall…and offered the space to A|X for dirt cheap.

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  35. The connection between walt whitman and the mall being named after him is not only cause his house was accross the street but because where the mall is placed is directly on top of where his apple orchid was where he would spend his time writing his poems, hense the leaf shaped poems around the outside of the mall

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    Brett Reply:

    **orchard

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  36. It is a crying shame that what once was eye appealing, tranquil, beautiful, and relaxing is destroyed by so-called modern times. People forget the past when it comes to good and nurturing things, but repeat the past when it comes to bad and awful things.
    Why does progress always mean to throw away oldies but goodies in favor of new, but degenerate ideas?
    Maybe people should reexamine what progressive really means? Because it certainly does NOT mean progress for the better!

    Goodbye old Walt Whitman Mall! You were once a shining beacon of hope only to turn into a machine like reflection of greed, vanity, and lust. You died in 1984 with the first McCrory fire.
    God Bless the young who will never enjoy or know freedom & liberty in America, thanks to the progressive movement of the left destroying any goodness anywhere in our lives. Hopefully the minds of the young have a chance to really CHANGE America back to its former glory and gift of freedom to every citizen. Help the Conservative movement make it a reality. Your happiness is counting on you!

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    Caldor Reply:

    @George Serano, lol? what are you on about exactly? This comment doesn’t even make any sense. The mall is still there, and how have progressives taken it away?

    I think you might have something interesting to offer here, but this comment doesn’t make much sense…

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  37. Several stores are relocating & or enlarging square footage including Apple & Brooks Brothers.

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  38. Restaurants, Luxury Tenants are Once Again in Expansion Mode
    May 20, 2013 Elaine Misonzhnik

    The retail real estate market is finally reaching a state of equilibrium, with several groups of tenants working on aggressive expansion campaigns, according to leasing executives attending the RECon convention in Las Vegas this week. Leasing activity has gotten strong enough that there is now talk of new developments under works for 2014/2015. The caveat is that those trends are much more pronounced in top-tier, urban markets, including Seattle, Dallas and Miami, than they are in smaller areas.

    Restaurants, retailers that focus on aspirational luxury items and apparel sellers have been among the most active dealmakers at high-end properties in the New York area, according to Francis X. Scire, Jr., assistant vice president of leasing with mall REIT Simon Property Group. Simon is currently working on expansion/redevelopment projects at Walt Whitman Shops in Huntington Station, N.Y. and Roosevelt Field Mall in Garden City, N.Y. At Walt Whitman Shops, where Simon is adding 70,000 sq. ft. of front-line GLA to the center, that space will be filled by P.F. Chang’s and Brio Tuscan Grille on the restaurant side and Urban Outfitters concepts, West Elm and Pottery Barn Kids, among others, on the retailer side.

    Retailers “are still very focused on making sure the decision [to go into a center] will work for them, but they want to open stores. It feels good again,” says Scire.

    Some of the same tenants that have been signing new leases or expansion deals at Simon’s malls in New York, including Tesla Motors, Microsoft and Apple, have also been filling up space at The Bellevue Collection, a class-A property in Bellevue, Wash., according to Kemper Freeman, Jr., chairman and CEO of Kemper Development Co., which owns the center. With the vacancy rate at the Bellevue Square mall now at less than 2 percent, Kemper Development feels confident enough in the market to start work on a major expansion that will include 400,000 sq. ft. of retail, 600,000 sq. ft. of office space, residential units, a hotel and 3,000 parking stalls.

    Kemper executives first started thinking about the expansion four years ago, but it was put on hold because of the recession. In the last six months, however, the company witnessed a 38.5 percent average increase in same-store sales, according to Freeman.

    “Entertainment and restaurants are doing well,” he says. “And the luxury component is really on fire in our market.”

    Freeman cautions, however, that The Bellevue Collection benefits from its location in a market that serves as home to a lot of major technology firms, including Microsoft, Expedia and Amazon. Median family income in Bellevue is roughly $100,419 a year, which helps drive sales at retail and restaurant establishments.

    The same is true in Dallas, where the energy boom has been driving population growth, and consequently demand for more retail, according to Mike Geisler, founding partner with Venture Commercial, a regional real estate services firm. Geisler notes that Texans, normally content to live in the suburbs, have been gravitating toward Dallas’ urban core, and that’s where many retailers want to do deals. Among the most rapidly expanding tenant groups are restaurants (particularly the burger concepts) and grocery stores, including Whole Foods, Kroger, Fresh Market, Sprouts and Walmart Neighborhood Market.

    “The tenants are fighting for the right spaces—if they like the space, they’ll take deals with no Tenant Improvement (TI) dollars and will get creative in other ways,” Geisler says. “So we’re starting to see some higher rents.”

    Restaurants, for example, will now pay anywhere from $65 to $70 per sq. ft. for space in downtown Dallas.

    Conditions don’t appear as rosy for retail properties in many secondary and tertiary markets, however. During the boom, for example, there were some shopping centers built in markets like Atlanta that will never going to work as retail, according to Scott Prigge, senior vice president of national property operations with Regency Centers, which is headquartered in the area. Prigge notes that the centers will likely be bought and redeveloped to fit another use, but when it comes to Regency, the shopping center REIT is now focusing on top-tier urban infill markets, preferably with at least 100,000 people within a three-mile radius and average annual incomes in the $100,000 range.

    “We feel our anchors will perform better in those locations, and by extension, so will the inline tenants,” Prigge notes.
    .PrintreprintsFavorite

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  39. Lovesac, PF Changs & Zinburger are opening at WWM later this year.

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  40. The Legal Sea Food at WWm was evacuated a few days ago do to carbin monoxide poisoning. Six were taken to local hospitals, but the manager died. CO detectors weren’t installed as NY state doesn’t require them, but all Legal locations will now have them installed.

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  41. A few observations from a recent visit…

    1. WWM has almost no vacancies & continues to atract high end tennents like it sister Roosevelt Field.

    2. Center court was renovated with aditional soft seating & new flooring giving the area a refreshed look.

    3. The mall manager at WWM recently transfered to Roosevelt field. The former RF manager suddenly left do to I believe health concerns, but she was really good & has put that mall on a path towards greater things in the future despite the current state of renovations.

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    Max Reply:

    @SEAN,

    Thanks for the update.

    I was wondering if you have recently visited either the South Shore Mall or the Sunrise Mall. I was saddened to learn that the vintage Macy’s at the South Shore Mall was razed and replaced with a new one. Does the Macy’s at Sunrise Mall still sport the old school logo?

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    SEAN Reply:

    @Max, Hey there, what’s going on… haven’t been to South Shore Mall, but have been to Sunrise Mall a few times. The center when I visited last summer semed to have been somewhat renovated, but I didn’t notice any vintage signage. what struck me was how dead the place was & it always semes that way when ever I have been there. I think it relates to the fact that Broadway Mall & Green Acres Mall aren’t that far away & serve a similar demographic.

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    Max Reply:

    @SEAN,

    Thanks so much for your insights. I have never been to any LI malls, but am nevertheless fascinated by them.

    The original Macy’s at South Shore Mall opened in 1962/63 and had the all-caps logo through the very end. Here is a picture of it.

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/10073060@N00/3859447600/in/photolist-6T3ERs-6T3Fj1-6SYDdv-6SYCWB-6SYDkp-6SYCvz-6T3EZE

    This store closed in March 2012 and was subsequently demolished. A new store was opened in 2013, and the entire mall underwent a renovation to coincide with the brand new Macy’s. Here are some pictures of the new store:

    http://beluscapitaladvisors.com/2013/10/14/19-photos-show-new-magic-macys/

    I hope that the Macy’s at Sunrise Mall still sports the old logo. Here is a picture of that store:

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/10073060@N00/2620603793/in/photolist-4Zzhd2-4ZDv9U-4iYsDZ-4ZDvks-4ZDvPj-4Zzi2p-4ZDv19-4ZzhQB-dbjqPM-dbjtR1-dbjtmE-dbjqkF-dbjq5g-dbjtEE-db6abV-db6eom-db691K-db68HV-db6dTN-db6c4f

    One final thing about LI malls is that I just found out that the Walt Whitman Mall was renamed Walt Whitman Shops. I can’t say I’m surprised, though, because for some reason there is this irrational dislike of the word “mall.”

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    SEAN Reply:

    @Max, That’s why I’m here.

    If you visit any LI malls, WWM should be on your list. Although Roosevelt Field is the absolute best mall & requires plenty of time to take it all in. As I type, The center is being renovated top to bottom along with an expantion behind Macy’s that includes a new Neiman Marcus.

    Up thread, someone mentioned mall manager Debra Weber – she is now at Roosevelt Field. Haven’t met her yet, but I do know several members of her current staff & they are great people.

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    SEAN Reply:

    @Max, Let me add that I never saw Macy’s logos like those before. I do recall before Roosevelt Field’s renovation & expantion in 1995, the Macy’s sported a mustard yellow fasade with the logo painted in black – quite ugly if you ask me.

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