The west main entrance of the mall, built in 2002.
|Location||Paramus, New Jersey, U.S.|
|Opening date||March 14, 1974|
|Developer||The Rouse Company|
|Management||General Growth Properties|
|Owner||General Growth Properties|
|No. of stores and services||107|
|No. of anchor tenants||2|
|Total retail floor area||770,941 sq ft (71,622.8 m2)|
|No. of floors||One with Food Court mezzanine (Macy's is three floors and Sears is two floors)|
Paramus Park is a shopping center located on From Road in Paramus, New Jersey, United States, sandwiched between Route 17 and the Garden State Parkway, a little more than two miles (3 km) north of Route 4. The mall is owned by General Growth Properties and offers a Gross leasable area (GLA) of 770,941 sq ft (71,622.8 m2). The mall is accessible from Parkway exits 163 (northbound only) and 165 and from two specifically built access roads off of Route 17 which were named Sears Drive and A&S Drive in honor of the mall's initial anchors. Sears Drive is only accessible from the northbound side of Route 17 while A&S Drive can be accessed from either the northbound or southbound sides of the highway.
At 767,000 square feet and about 100 stores, Paramus Park, compared to the larger Westfield Garden State Plaza (which is three times its size), is a more regional, destination-oriented mall, with a higher-than-average sales per square foot, estimated by industry experts to be between $400 and $500 a square foot or more. In addition to attracting upscale shoppers and tenants, its smaller stores, lower congestion and location along the Garden State Parkway in an affluent area attracted shoppers responding to the late-2000s recession, according to a 2011 NorthJersey.com report.
The quartet of Paramus Park, Westfield Garden State Plaza, The Outlets at Bergen Town Center and Fashion Center account for a major portion of the $5 billion in annual retail sales generated in Paramus, more than any other ZIP Code in the United States. Paramus Park gets 6 million visitors annually to its 107 stores. Located in Bergen County, the mall is subject both to the county's Blue laws and the borough's stricter ordinance, which require them to be closed on Sundays, though establishments with their own separate entrances are able to remain open on Sundays, such as Bensi.
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (March 2009)|
At the time of its construction, Paramus Park was one of three enclosed malls in Paramus, joining the Fashion Center and the Bergen Mall (now The Outlets at Bergen Town Center, which was enclosed in 1973). It was the last of Paramus' four major malls to be constructed, but not the last enclosed mall in Paramus.
The mall, developed by The Rouse Company, opened on March 14, 1974, with a 300,000 sq ft (28,000 m2). Abraham & Straus (now a Macy's store) and Sears (which did not open until August) as anchors and space for 120 specialty stores. The Paramus High School Marching Band played at the grand opening. The mall's second-floor food court was a new innovation, and is now credited as the first successful shopping mall food court. A Fortunoff opened at the store in 1977.
The mall is shaped as a four-legged zigzag, with an anchor store at each end and the mezzanine-level food court encircling an atrium which featured a 30-foot (9.1 m) terraced waterfall surrounded by vegetation and punctuated by a pair of escalators. A stairway and a glass elevator surrounded by terraced gardens rounded out the access points to the 2nd level food court until 2002 when it was demolished due to long lines, and replaced by 2 new elevators which were relocated. To this day, the food court is very popular at the lunch hour with the area office workers. The garden-like design was prevalent throughout the rest of the mall. Trees lined the main promenade of the mall, along with park benches; all under large skylights. Two small courtyards were at the other leg intersections; one hosted a carousel and the other a lowered seating area with a bronze statue of a turkey. The last carousel was put in during the 1990s. The carousel was installed by Peter and Tony Bowen of Bowen Accountants in 1976, when at the time the play area was considered dangerous and was the site of a number of child injuries. The carousel was removed in August 2013 so that the mall could use that space for other purposes. The turkey statue was inspired by the name of the town from which the mall gets its name. Paramus comes from the Lenni Lenape Native American word meaning "land of the wild turkey" or "place of fertile soil".
In 1986, Paramus Park was the site of an innovative McDonald's restaurant in its food court, which featured a decor with oak trim, pastel tiles and marble counters, in lieu of the traditional plastic interior in primary colors. The facility cost $650,000 to construct, 40% more than a typical McDonald's, and was designed to create more of the feel of an upscale restaurant. Closed in 2000, it was replaced by a walk-up. Restrooms are now located in its former location. A Claire's store was opened in 1988, and closed in 2006.
In 2001, the mall was renovated and expanded with the addition of an Old Navy store and Foot Locker complex (which included a Lady Foot Locker and Kids Foot Locker store that were connected to the Foot Locker store) along an elongated East Center Court Entrance. Center court was radically changed in that the waterfall, the gardens, escalators, stairway, elevator, and elevated gardens were removed in favor of a more open space. Two elevators were installed between Cinnabon and Auntie Anne's, a new smaller fountain was constructed, new escalators were constructed and vegetation/trees added, as well as the addition of new seating areas. Throughout the rest of the mall, flooring was changed, lighting was improved, seating areas were added and ceilings and walls were repainted. The Turkey statue was moved from the Macy's midcourt to the upper level food court and the seating area was transformed into a children's play area. The crescent waterfall in front of Macy's was kept, but the seating area surrounding it was removed in favor of a massage kiosk. Among the few stores that have remained throughout the mall's thirty-plus years are Sears and Chick-Fil-A.
During the late-2000s recession, the mall's smaller stores, historical lower congestion and location along the Garden State Parkway in an affluent area attracted upscale shoppers and tenants that had previously shifted away from smaller malls in lieu of the larger ones in the area, such as Westfield Garden State Plaza, according to a 2011 NorthJersey.com report.
In late 2009 the mall added a 88,650 sq ft (8,236 m2) "lifestyle" component, located on the landscaped plaza just outside the west center court entrance, facing Route 17. The expansion contains at least two restaurants along with shops.
In May 2013, following a unanimous vote from the local zoning board, plans began to construct a 13-screen movie theater on the west side of the mall, attached to the food court.
The following New Jersey Transit bus lines serve Paramus Park:
- 168 to Port Authority Bus Terminal
- 722 to Paterson Main Street
- 752 to Oakland or Hackensack and Ridgewood
- 758 to Passaic
- 762 to Hackensack
Of the five buses that serve Paramus Park, the 752 is the only one that does not terminate at the mall.
- International Council of Shopping Centers: Bergen Mall, accessed November 6, 2006[dead link]
- Verdon, Joan. "Remodeled Paramus Park draws smaller prototype stores". NorthJersey.com. August 14, 2011
- Paramus 07652, GlobeSt. Retail, October 3, 2005
- In This Town, Even a Mall Rat Can Get Rattled, The New York Times, December 20, 2006
- Strum, Charles (November 3, 1993). "Sunday-Closing Law Retained in New Jersey County". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-06-25. "Efforts to repeal the 34-year-old ban on Sunday retailing in Bergen County, one of the country's richest shopping areas, were turned back easily today....Even if the county laws had been repealed, stores in Paramus would have remained closed because the community enforces its own ordinances against Sunday shopping and has vowed not to lift them"
- Sears, Steven. "Bensi Gives Back to Local Schools". Paramus Patch. December 20, 2011
- "Shopping Center Is Opening. Parallel to Parkway". New York Times. March 10, 1974. Retrieved 2010-11-30. "Paramus Park, a new, fully enclosed shop ping center with a cascading waterfall and tens of thou sands of tropical plants and trees in its internal prom enade, will open Thursday at 9:30 A.M."
- "Rouse Left Mark On Malls, Not Just His Own". Shopping Centers Today (International Council of Shopping Centers). May 2004. Retrieved April 20, 2010.
- Verdon, Joan. "Fortunoff resurrects outdoor stores, with plans for Paramus, Totowa", NorthJersey.com, February 1, 2010
- Cheslow, Jerry (April 15, 2001). "If You're Thinking of Living In/Paramus; In Shopping Mecca, Houses Sell Well Too". The New York Times.
- Wassel, Bryan (August 19, 2013). "Carousel at Paramus Park Mall to be removed". NorthJersey.com.
- Smith Jr., Don E. "'Ariel' Singer Dean Friedman Remembers Paramus 30 Years Later". Paramus Patch. January 4, 2011
- "At Fast-Food Restaurants, Plastic Is Out, And Marble, Brass and Greenhouses Are In", Wall Street Journal, December 3, 1985. pg. 1
- Friendly, Jonathan. "A McDonald's in Paramus With Infusions of Grandeur". The New York Times. April 18, 1986. p. A22. Retrieved June 12, 2008.
- Verdon, Joan. "Paramus Park expanding with 'lifestyle center'". northjersey.com. April 12, 2008
- Directory. Paramus Park Mall. Retrieved January 2, 2012
- Sullivan, S.P. (May 24, 2013). "Paramus Park Mall moving forward with 13-screen movie theater addition plan". NJ.com
- Official Paramus Park web site
- Paramus Park, International Council of Shopping Centers
- Paramus Park leasing information