Southern side of the Bridgewater Commons
|Location||Bridgewater, New Jersey, United States|
|Opening date||February 26, 1988|
|Management||General Growth Properties|
|Owner||General Growth Properties|
|No. of stores and services||170 |
|No. of anchor tenants||3: Bloomingdales, Lord and Taylor, Macy's|
|Total retail floor area||970,000 ft²|
|No. of floors||4|
|Parking||Lighted lot and 3-story parking deck east of AMC|
Coordinates: 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). Bridgewater Commons is owned by General Growth Properties. It features a gross leasable area of 900,000 sq ft (84,000 m2), 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.
Dining and entertainment
As of November 2008, the Food Court has reopened 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 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 1000 Degrees Pizza, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Shake Shack 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. On Commons Way, there is also a Chipotle Mexican Grill, T-Bones steakhouse, and Seasons 52.
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. 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. 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.
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.
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.
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 2008, the Food Court area was renovated and modernized. In 2010, The Cheesecake Factory 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.
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