Paramus Park

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Paramus Park
1.8.09ParamusParkMallByLuigiNovi1.jpg
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)
Parking 4550 parking spaces. [1]
Website Official site

Paramus Park is an enclosed shopping mall that is located on From Road in Paramus, New Jersey, United States. It is located on a plot of land that is bordered by the northbound lanes of NJ 17 and the southbound lanes of the Garden State Parkway, approximately two miles from the interchanges of both highways with NJ 4.

The mall is owned by General Growth Properties and is one of four malls operated by that company in New Jersey along with Willowbrook Mall in Wayne, Bridgewater Commons in Bridgewater, and Woodbridge Center in Woodbridge.[citation needed] Paramus Park has a gross leasable area (GLA) of 770,941 sq ft (71,622.8 m2).[1]

Description[edit]

Paramus Park is accessible from the northbound Garden State Parkway at exit 163 and at exit 165 in both directions. An entrance to the southbound lanes is located in the mall's rear parking lot. Access off of NJ-17 is available on two access roads named for its two original anchors, Sears and Abraham & Straus. The Sears Drive entrance is only available from the northbound lanes but southbound drivers are able to access A&S Drive via an exit and an overpass constructed specifically for the mall.

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.[2]

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.[3] Paramus Park gets 6 million visitors annually to its 107 stores.[4] 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,[5] though establishments with their own separate entrances are able to remain open on Sundays, such as Tommy's.[6]

History[edit]

Paramus Park was initially one of three enclosed malls in Paramus when it was built. The Fashion Center, which is located near Paramus Park along NJ-17, was the first built specifically as a strictly-indoor facility and opened in 1967. The Bergen Mall, located on NJ-4 and built in 1958, became the second when the former outdoor mall was enclosed in 1973. (At the time Garden State Plaza, built in 1957, was still an outdoor mall; it completed its conversion to an enclosed mall in 1984.) Paramus Park remains one of three indoor malls in Paramus; the Fashion Center and the Mall at IV, the latter constructed after Paramus Park was built, were converted into outdoor shopping plazas.[citation needed]

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.[7] 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.[8] A Fortunoff opened at the store in 1977.[9]

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.[10] 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.[11] 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".[10]

In 1977, Paramus Park was immortalized in the lyrics of the Dean Friedman song "Ariel". The two characters in the song were "standing by the waterfall at Paramus Park".[citation needed]

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.[12][13]

The second floor food court. In the background on the right is the giant metal turkey statue.

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.[citation needed]

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.[2]

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.[14]

In 2011 the Foot Locker complex store was closed as L.L. Bean decided to begin leasing the space. The store opened in November 2011.[2][15]

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.[16]

Public transportation[edit]

The following New Jersey Transit bus lines serve Paramus Park:

Of the five buses that serve Paramus Park, the 752 is the only one that does not terminate at the mall.

Anchors[edit]

The Sears anchor store, at the south end of the mall.

References[edit]

  1. ^ International Council of Shopping Centers: Bergen Mall, accessed November 6, 2006[dead link]
  2. ^ a b c Verdon, Joan (August 14, 2011). "Remodeled Paramus Park draws smaller prototype stores". NorthJersey.com.[dead link]
  3. ^ Paramus 07652, GlobeSt. Retail, October 3, 2005
  4. ^ In This Town, Even a Mall Rat Can Get Rattled, The New York Times, December 20, 2006
  5. ^ 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 
  6. ^ Sears, Steven. "Bensi Gives Back to Local Schools". Paramus Patch. December 20, 2011
  7. ^ Savage, Ania (March 10, 1974). "Shopping Center Is Opening. Parallel to Parkway". The New York Times. 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. 
  8. ^ "Rouse Left Mark On Malls, Not Just His Own". Shopping Centers Today (International Council of Shopping Centers). May 2004. Retrieved April 20, 2010. 
  9. ^ Verdon, Joan. "Fortunoff resurrects outdoor stores, with plans for Paramus, Totowa". NorthJersey.com, February 1, 2010
  10. ^ a b Cheslow, Jerry (April 15, 2001). "If You're Thinking of Living In/Paramus; In Shopping Mecca, Houses Sell Well Too". The New York Times.
  11. ^ Wassel, Bryan (August 19, 2013). "Carousel at Paramus Park Mall to be removed". NorthJersey.com.
  12. ^ "At Fast-Food Restaurants, Plastic Is Out, And Marble, Brass and Greenhouses Are In", Wall Street Journal, December 3, 1985. pg. 1
  13. ^ Friendly, Jonathan. "A McDonald's in Paramus With Infusions of Grandeur". The New York Times. April 18, 1986. p. A22. Retrieved June 12, 2008.
  14. ^ Verdon, Joan. "Paramus Park expanding with 'lifestyle center'". NorthJersey.com. April 12, 2008
  15. ^ a b c Directory. Paramus Park Mall. Retrieved January 2, 2012
  16. ^ Sullivan, S.P. (May 24, 2013). "Paramus Park Mall moving forward with 13-screen movie theater addition plan". NJ.com

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°57′28″N 74°04′13″W / 40.957656°N 74.070214°W / 40.957656; -74.070214