Bridgewater Commons

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Bridgewater Commons
Bridgewatermall08.jpg
Southern side of the Bridgewater Commons
Location Bridgewater, New Jersey, United States
Opening date February 26, 1988
Developer TrizecHahn
Management General Growth Properties
Owner General Growth Properties
No. of stores and services 170 [1]
No. of anchor tenants 3: Bloomingdales, Lord and Taylor, Macy's[1]
Total retail floor area 970,000 ft²
No. of floors 4
Parking Lighted lot and 3-story parking deck east of AMC
Website BridgewaterCommons.com

Coordinates: 40°35′11″N 74°37′06″W / 40.586492°N 74.618415°W / 40.586492; -74.618415 Bridgewater Commons is a fully enclosed mall located in Bridgewater Township, New Jersey. The mall is located at the intersection of U.S. Route 22 and U.S. Route 202/U.S. Route 206 and borders Interstate 287. The mall opened in 1988 and has a gross leasable area of 900,000 sq ft (84,000 m2).[2] Bridgewater Commons is owned by General Growth Properties. It features a gross leasable area of 900,000 sq ft (84,000 m2),[3] placing it in the top ten among the smallest shopping malls in New Jersey.

The mall was expanded in 2005 and 2006 to include a lifestyle center called "The Village at Bridgewater Commons". It is anchored by Crate & Barrel and Maggiano's Little Italy and contains 15 other stores.

Mall anchors are Bloomingdale's, Lord & Taylor and Macy's. The mall also contains a wide variety of upscale stores, such as Brooks Brothers and J.Crew.

Dining and entertainment[edit]

As of November 2008, the Food Court has reopened[4] as have some of the restaurants within. Changes to the food court consist of new lighting, relocated and new dining space (openings looking down to the second floor have been closed off), new flooring, new seating and renovated eateries. The former space of the Food Court are now Hollister and Skechers. In addition to the food court, there are additional dining and entertainment options including McCormick & Schmick's, AMC Theatres (changed to to the new AMC Dine-In concept; prior to 2002, it was a General Cinema multiplex, then was converted to AMC after they acquired GCC in 2002) and food/drink shops such as Starbucks, Gloria Jean's Coffees (closed 2014), Auntie Anne's Pretzels, Dale and Thomas Popcorn (closed 2009), Mrs. Fields, and Cinnabon. Within The Village, there is Chipotle Mexican Grill and Maggiano's Little Italy, as well as an additional Starbucks. In August 2010, construction on a new Cheesecake Factory, located right next to the McCormick & Schmick's, has been completed. In November 2010, California Pizza Kitchen was opened near Bloomingdale's.

History[edit]

Bridgewater Commons opened in February 1988 with anchor stores Macy's, Hahnes and Sterns. By 1991, Hahnes would change to Lord and Taylor and in 2002, Sterns to Bloomingdales. The mall complex pursued a major expansion in 1991 to add two eight-story office buildings to the complex, which would include 578,000 sq ft (53,700 m2). of office space and a 300-room hotel. The effort was initiated as part of a longstanding urban renewal project.[5] By 2000, with a 347-room Bridgewater Marriott Hotel already under the construction, the mall's developers pushed ahead to develop the office towers planned for the complex.[6] The two towers later opened, occupied mostly by Sanofi-Aventis.

Since opening, mall management and Somerset Medical Center have sponsored a HealthHike mall walking program to give walkers an indoors, secured, and climate-controlled environment in which to walk. Anyone can obtain a name tag to enter the mall starting at 6:30 a.m. Monday through Saturday and 9 a.m. Sunday. The program also includes a monthly meeting at 8:30 a.m. on the first Wednesday of each month from October through June to discuss health-related topics. Since opening, the mall has also featured an annual Christmas display and kids photo opportunity with Santa Claus in addition to a photo opportunity with the Easter Bunny around Easter time.[7][8]

In 1993, Bridgewater Commons jumped on the bandwagon, becoming one of the first malls in the state to ban smoking, joining 300 of 1800 malls nationwide that prohibited smoking on mall grounds.[9]

The mall has become a major focus in Bridgewater and an attraction throughout the area, bringing new residents to the township and shoppers to the mall which "dominates the retail industry in Somerset County." You can often find students of Immaculata High School dressed in their blue and white uniforms or students of Somerville High School walking to and around the mall right after school as it is so close by.[10]

Bridgewater Commons underwent its first major renovation between 2004 and 2005, replacing the flooring on the second and third levels, repainting the ceiling and floor lights, adding lighting, adding elevators (the glass elevator in center court would later be removed in 2007) and removing the 3 story escalator. Since September 2006, the mall has added a whole new section, called the Bridgewater Village. The Village, located directly across from the Bridgewater Marriott hotel, is rooted by such stores as Crate & Barrel. It also contains Maggiano's Little Italian Restaurant and a Chipotle Mexican Grill.

While under management and ownership by Simon Property Group, the mall also featured a preferred shoppers' program and public and personal concierge service. GGP later purchased some of Simon's properties including Bridgewater Commons.

In 2007, major tenants Eastern Mountain Sports, The Gap and Lane Bryant relocated to a nearby open-air mall, the Somerset County Shopping Center.

In 2008, the Food Court area was renovated and modernized. In 2010, The Cheesecake Factory[11] was opened outside of the main entrance next to McCormick and Schmick's, and California Pizza Kitchen was opened near Bloomingdale's.

During the early morning hours of November 27, 2009, a power outage at a RadioShack in the mall caused chaos for some shoppers. The outage was soon fixed, and several stores had the power back on. This once again happened at Love Culture (closed 2014) in 2010, but problems were soon resolved.

One of the most significant appearances at the mall was made by Miranda Cosgrove in 2009 when she came to do a signing for her fans. A line wrapped around all 3 levels in every area of the mall. There was little space to stand as it was so crowded. In the end, not all of the fans were able to meet Miranda.

Troubled owner GGP[12] filed for bankruptcy protection in April 2009[13] but operations will continue as normal.[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "GGP: Mall Directory". Corporate. Retrieved June 15, 2008. [dead link]
  2. ^ "International Council of Shopping Centers: Bridgewater Commons". October 3, 2006. Retrieved July 11, 2009. [dead link]
  3. ^ "Rockaway Townsquare". Simon Property Group, Inc. Retrieved 2011-01-28. 
  4. ^ Heyman, Lois. "Bridgewater Commons food court reopen for business". Gannett. Retrieved July 11, 2009. 
  5. ^ "Hoping to Defy the Odds in Bridgewater; Developers Bet On Office Center, Citing Location", The New York Times, February 17, 1991. p. R8
  6. ^ Garbarine, Rachelle (May 21, 2000). "In the Region/ New Jersey; Bridgewater Commons Is Entering the Home Stretch Offices and hotel will complete the master plan for the mall". The New York Times. pp. RE9. 
  7. ^ Richardson, Kara. "Central Jersey retailers hoping for busy Black Friday". Gannett. Retrieved July 11, 2009. 
  8. ^ Loyer, Susan. "Local walkers get healthy at Bridgewater mall". Gannett. Retrieved July 11, 2009. 
  9. ^ "2 Big Malls Ban Smoking". The New York Times. October 8, 1993. pp. B6. 
  10. ^ Cheslow, Jerry (December 29, 2002). "If You're Thinking of Living In/Bridgewater, N.J.; Where the Downtown Is a Shopping Mall Residents are drawn by good schools, low taxes, housing variety". The New York Times. pp. J5. 
  11. ^ Richardson, Kara. "New food court, stores on the way at Bridgewater Commons". Gannett. Retrieved July 11, 2009. 
  12. ^ Verdon, Joan. "Surviving a mall malaise". North Jersey Media Group. Retrieved July 11, 2009. [dead link]
  13. ^ Holzer, Jessica. "US Lawmakers Sound Alarm About Comml Real Estate Mkt". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved July 11, 2009. [dead link]
  14. ^ MacKenzie, Pamela. "Business to remain as usual at Bridgewater, Woodbridge malls after parent company files for bankruptcy". Gannett. Retrieved July 11, 2009. 

External links[edit]