Wayne Towne Center
The Wayne Towne Center is a regional shopping center located in Wayne, New Jersey, located adjacent to Willowbrook Mall along Willowbrook Boulevard. As of 2008, the mall had a gross leasable area of 653,000 square feet (60,700 m2). The center formerly operated as an indoor shopping mall from the time of its building as the West Belt Mall in the 1970s until 2008, when the last of the mall's secondary tenants closed. By June 2009 the center had only one anchor, JCPenney, following the closing of its other main anchor Fortunoff.
In January 2008, the Borders Books and Music, which replaced Last Call, was one of three North Jersey locations closed by the chain. The portion of the mall that housed the Borders store was demolished in Fall 2008.
Later in 2008, the mall began undergoing what is referred to as "de-malling", which refers to a process where an enclosed shopping center slowly begins a transition to a more traditional shopping center. In order to accomplish this, the remaining stores in the mall were closed one a time as were two of its anchor stores, Old Navy and Loehmann's. The TGI Friday's restaurant that was located in the mall was replaced by a freestanding location in the parking lot, and the remaining two anchors (JCPenney and Fortunoff) sealed off their mall entrances. The TGI Friday's in the frontmost parking lot was joined by Olive Garden and Bahama Breeze restaurants and a DSW Shoe Warehouse store, while a Chipotle Mexican Grill location was added in the JCPenney rear parking lot. Plans were to open a Dick's Sporting Goods store in the center, and the ownership went as far as to put a marker for the store on its sign post. These plans did not go through, however, as Dick's eventually backed out. Currently, JCPenney stands alone as an anchor store following Fortunoff's 2009 closure. The interior portions of the mall have been completely demolished.
In a deal closed on December 28, 2010, the mall was purchased by Vornado Realty Trust for $12.1 million from Wells Fargo, along with annual lease payments of $2.5 million for the land. A Vornado spokesman said that the company planned to revamp the property, as Vornado had previously done at The Outlets at Bergen Town Center in Paramus, New Jersey.
In March 2014, construction began again in earnest and accelerated. The 215,000 square foot Fortunoff store, after undergoing asbestos abatement, was demolished. Dick's Sporting Goods has since reconsidered its departure and a two-story location, the construction of which was halted, is being built in the parking lot adjacent to JCPenney. Costco, which has done business in a subdivided former Fortunoff Backyard Store that was located across from the mall since its merger with Price Club in 1993, is also becoming a part of Wayne Towne Center as a new building is being constructed on the Fortunoff site to replace the older store. A Costco-branded gas station will also be on the property near DSW. Panera Bread opened in the vacant rear half of the Chipotle building.
- JCPenney (241,000 ft)
Former primary and secondary anchors
- Neiman Marcus Last Call (closed 1993)
- Fortunoff (215,000 ft²) (closed 2009)
- Borders Books & Music (closed 2008)
- Old Navy (closed 2008)
- Loehmann's (closed 2008)
- Zany Brainy (closed 2001)
- Wayne Towne Center, International Council of Shopping Centers, backed up by the Internet Archive as of March 4, 2008. Accessed March 31, 2011.
- Braue, Marilee Loboda. "LAST CALL IS PACKING ITS BAGSDISCOUNT RETAILER TO LEAVE WAYNE MALL", The Record (Bergen County), March 11, 1993. Accessed August 16, 2007.
- Verdon, Joan. "Borders to close Wayne, Paramus stores", The Record (Bergen County) January 10, 2008. Accessed March 12, 2008
- Verdon, Joan. "To Stay Competitive, Northern New Jersey Malls Remodel, Reposition.", The Record (Bergen County), February 11, 2004. Accessed August 16, 2007.
- Tangel, Andrew. "Vornado takes over Wayne Towne Center", The Record (Bergen County), February 9, 2011. Accessed March 31, 2011.
- Verdon, Joan (September 14, 2014). "De-malled Wayne Towne Center being overhauled". The Record. Retrieved September 15, 2014.