Menlo Park Mall

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Menlo Park Mall
Location Edison, New Jersey, USA
Coordinates 40°32′18″N 74°22′43″W / 40.53833°N 74.37861°W / 40.53833; -74.37861Coordinates: 40°32′18″N 74°22′43″W / 40.53833°N 74.37861°W / 40.53833; -74.37861
Opening date 1959 (renovated/enclosed in 1966-1967 and expanded in 1990-1991)
Management Simon Property Group
Owner Simon Property Group
No. of stores and services 175
No. of anchor tenants 5: Macy's, Nordstrom, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, AMC Theaters, and The Cheesecake Factory
Total retail floor area 1,232,000 ft² (114,000 m²)[1]
No. of floors 2 (department stores have 3)
Website Menlo Park Mall

Menlo Park Mall is a two-level super regional shopping mall, located on U.S. Route 1 and Parsonage Road in Edison, New Jersey, United States. The mall has a gross leasable area of 1,232,000 ft² (114,000 m²).[1] Menlo Park Mall is currently owned and managed by Simon Property Group.

Description[edit]

Less than 60 minutes from Manhattan and 20 minutes from Staten Island, Menlo Park Mall is on US 1 near I-287, the New Jersey Turnpike, and the Garden State Parkway. It is easily accessible from commuter communities in Middlesex, Somerset, and Union Counties. It includes specialty stores such as Abercrombie & Fitch, AMC Dine-In Theatres, Apple, AX Armani Exchange, Banana Republic, bebe, The Cheesecake Factory, Chico’s, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Coach, Coldwater Creek, Forever 21, Needless Markup (Neiman Marcus), Fortunoff Backyard Store, Godiva Chocolatier, H&M, Hollister Co., J.Crew, J. Jill, Lucky Brand, Michael Kors, Old Navy, Rainforest Cafe, Sephora, Sony Style, Swarovski, Vans, and Zara International.

History[edit]

Menlo Park Shopping Center opened in September 1959, as an open-air complex. It was named after the Menlo Park area of Edison, where Thomas Edison had his famous laboratory, the site of which is about two miles (3 km) from the shopping venue. The structure was fully enclosed between June 1966 and December 1967. After the remodeling, it was renamed Menlo Park Mall.

The original center was anchored by Bamberger's, Montgomery Ward (opened May 1960), a small, dry goods only, JCPenney, a two-level Woolworth, as well as two grocery stores: ShopRite (later a Pathmark), and Pantry Pride, later a Big Buy.

Originally a one level structure, the fully enclosed mall (post-1967) had a lack of skylights, with only shaded windows along the sides of the ceiling. The low lighting made the interior quite dark, as was customary with interior malls of the time. The flooring was quite unique in that there were patterns of orange, black, yellow and white throughout the mall.

The Montgomery Ward space was taken over by Alexander's in 1972. J.C. Penney moved to Woodbridge Center in 1981. Bamberger's was rebranded by Macy's in October 1986. When Alexander's went out of business, the mall was able to secure the 2nd Nordstrom in the state of New Jersey, but changes had to be made to prepare for the opening.

Most of the mall was closed from 1990-1991, when it underwent a significant renovation and expansion that converted it from a single-story structure into its current two-story form. In expanding and fitting into the space, the new Menlo Park Mall was built on an angle with the vertex occurring at center court. The new Menlo Park Mall was also changed to have galleria style skylights, domed fountain courts, marble flooring, dramatic lighting, sculptures and a large, skylit food court. Two parking decks were also added, as was a 12 Screen Cineplex Odeon movie theatre, which replaced the smaller Menlo Park Cinema on Route 1 (which was later replaced by Romano's Macaroni Grill) and was later replaced by an AMC "Dine-In" theater. Macy's was the only store to remain open during the primary expansion.

In the media[edit]

While not featured, the mall's name was mentioned in Kevin Smith's films Mallrats and Chasing Amy, both of which take place in Central Jersey areas. An episode of Comedy Central's Upright Citizen's Brigade was filmed in the Menlo Park Mall. The Scott and Todd Big Show on radio station WPLJ sponsored a contest in April 2007, in which five contestants had to live in a makeshift prison in the mall for five days with the winner receiving a $5,000 shopping spree and a vacation to Aruba.[2]

Following the shooting of an employee on September 7, 2007, the Gymboree store temporarily closed, but reopened shortly thereafter.[3]

Anchors & majors[edit]

Tenants[edit]

The mall's original anchor store was Bamberger's, now Macy's (occupying 337,591 sq ft) and a more recent addition to the mall is Nordstrom (occupying 190,000 sq ft.). Over the years, Menlo Park Mall has sought tenants that market to upscale shoppers like Club Monaco, Abercrombie & Fitch, J. Crew, Coach, Lucky Brand Jeans, Swarovski, Zara, Beauty Plus Salon Guess, Armani Exchange, H&M, and Hollister. Menlo Park has also brought in various entertainment and dining options to keep the mall populated after regular hours such as Barnes & Noble Booksellers, The Cheesecake Factory, the Rainforest Cafe, a 12-screen AMC/Cineplex Odeon Dine-In Theatre, Romano's Macaroni Grill, Benihana, and Fox and Hound

References[edit]

External links[edit]