Mall at The Source

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The Mall at the Source
The-mall-at-the-source.png
Location Westbury, New York, United States
Opening date September 5, 1997[1]
Developer Simon Property Group, Fortunoff
Management Newmark Grubb Knight Frank
Owner Lenders
(Fortunoff space, currently vacant, is owned by Hudson's Bay Trading Company)
No. of stores and services 44
No. of anchor tenants 1
No. of floors 2

The Mall at the Source (also known as The Source Mall or simply The Source) is a shopping mall located in Westbury, New York, United States, on Old Country Road and Merchants Concourse (Ellison Avenue), currently managed by Newmark Grubb Knight Frank and owned by lenders. Until August 2012, the mall was managed and co-owned by Simon Property Group. Its last stores included an Old Navy, an H&M, and a David's Bridal. It currently only has a couple upscale restaurants — The Cheesecake Factory and P. F. Chang's China Bistro — a Dave & Buster's, a Lord and Taylor outlet, a Fortunoff's outdoor furniture outlet, a Gymboree Play & Music, a few discount retailers, an rescue animal shelter, and small standalone kiosks. The mall was named for its former anchor store Fortunoff (which used the phrase "The Source" in advertising for the chain), which the mall was built around and which closed in June 2009.

With the closure of Fortunoff, Steve and Barry's (which closed in early 2009), and Circuit City (which closed in March 2009), three large anchor stores have become vacant. The drop of foot traffic by the loss of the anchors has caused other stores — the three aforementioned subanchor chains, plus Saks Off 5th, & Forever 21 — and the entire food court — including McDonald's, Starbucks, Ranch 1 — to pull out from the mall. Simon Property Group and unnamed co-owners of the Mall at the Source defaulted on a $124 million balloon interest-only mortgage in March 2009.[2] It was purchased by a European pension fund in August 2012 and auctioned.[3] In November 2016, it was announced that the Mall at the Source will be sold and could be demolished to make way for a new mixed use development.[4]

History[edit]

The site of The Mall at the Source was originally Roosevelt Field airport, with Charles Lindbergh taking off on his epic trans-Atlantic flight near the site of the mall's parking garage. Roosevelt Raceway bought the property when it expanded the harness-racing track in the 1940s for additional parking. In the early 1960s, Ohrbach's constructed a department store on leased land at north-east corner of the raceway's property. Fortunoff built its store several years later in 1964, as they followed their customers east from the original Fortunoff location in Brooklyn. Alan Fortunoff bought the entire property north of the current boundary of Transverse Drive from Roosevelt Raceway in the early 1980s.

In the late 1980s, Alan Fortunoff planned to construct the Long Island Galleria shopping mall, one comparable to the size of the massive Roosevelt Field Mall a few miles away but with different stores. It was to be built by the Westfield Group and include Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom as anchor stores. Community pressure over congestion concerns forced Fortunoff to scale back the size and scope of the mall. Roughly half of the property was sold to Price Club (now Costco), which developed their portion to include a Kmart (now Walmart). The mall was instead built by Simon Property Group, and they continued to manage and co-own the mall until August 2012.

The mall was also the first on Long Island to house clothing chains H&M, Old Navy, Nordstrom Rack, and Saks Off 5th. It was also the first to house restaurants including The Cheesecake Factory, P.F. Chang's China Bistro, and Rainforest Cafe (closed on 19 October 2000).[5] The Mall at The Source is also adjacent to many other shopping complexes and restaurants.[6]

Many of the mall's tenants left after the closure of the anchor stores.

2009 saw the shuttering of all three anchor stores — Fortunoff, Steve & Barry, and Circuit City — crippling foot traffic and resulting in a steady abandonment by its remaining tenants (outside of its restaurants, which maintained their standalone customers). On August 9, 2012, it was announced that the property was to go up for auction by the end of the month; by then, the mall was under 50% occupancy. The opening of the nearby Gallery at Westbury Plaza in late 2012 prompted Nordstrom Rack, Old Navy, and Saks Off 5th to move away, leaving the future of the mall uncertain.[7] On August 28, an auction was held, but was unsuccessful in attracting buyers.[8] Lenders then took ownership of the mall, and Newmark Grubb Knight Frank was hired for management.[9]

In 2013, a Lord & Taylor outlet store and the Jewelry Emporium and Mall opened in the former Nordstrom Rack and Off 5th, respectively.[10] However, these stores failed to increase foot traffic at the mall, and the vacancy rate continued to increase.

In 2014, Dick's Sporting Goods closed a substantial portion of its Golf Galaxy stores,[11] including its store in the Mall at the Source. David's Bridal moved to the nearby Roosevelt Raceway Shopping Center in June 2015, leaving the Fortunoff court almost completely vacant.

Due to its low foot traffic and high vacancy rate, The Mall at the Source is largely considered to be a "dead mall."[12]

Layout[edit]

The Off 5th Saks Court.

The Mall at the Source has two floors and is shaped like an L. Because of this, the mall has separate "courts", named after the stores that anchor it (except for Center Court). Each anchor store has its own public entrance but not all have mall entrances; these stores tend to stay open later than the interior stores.

Center Court

The Center Court is the main entrance and includes a carousel and train. Some of the stores in the Center Court include, P. F. Chang's China Bistro and Lord & Taylor Outlet. The center court is also where the former Steve and Barry's was; in its place is a Fortunoff Backyard Store. Nordstrom Rack, Old Navy, and Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th relocated to the neighboring Gallery at Westbury Plaza.

Off 5th Saks Court

The Off 5th Saks court is the upper tip of the L, a long hall that includes the Food Court and the former Saks Off 5th. The 1st floor has a Dave & Buster's. It also contained the former Circuit City.

Fortunoff Court

Like the Off 5th Saks Court, the Fortunoff Court is a long hall, ending with the former Fortunoff. It also has the 2nd floor entrance to the former Ayhan's Shish Kebab and The Cheesecake Factory. The 1st floor contains Men's Wearhouse and Tux and Gymboree Play & Music. There are no elevators that provide direct access to the Fortunoff court, so customers use the Center Court, Saks Off 5th Court or the parking deck elevator to get down to the Fortunoff court.

References[edit]

Coordinates: 40°44′41″N 73°35′41″W / 40.744656°N 73.594838°W / 40.744656; -73.594838