Monmouth Mall

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Monmouth Mall
Mall sign.JPG
The 1987-2010 Logo
Location Eatontown, New Jersey, United States
Coordinates 40°17′13″N 74°03′20″W / 40.287°N 74.0556°W / 40.287; -74.0556Coordinates: 40°17′13″N 74°03′20″W / 40.287°N 74.0556°W / 40.287; -74.0556
Opening date March 1, 1960 (The outdoor plaza of the mall)
1975 (The indoor plaza of the mall)
1987 and 2011 (The renovated indoor plaza of the mall)
Management Brookfield Properties Retail Group
Owner Two Guys (1960-1982)
Vornado Realty Trust (1982-2015)
Kushner Companies (1982-)
Brookfield Properties Retail Group (2017-)
No. of stores and services 150
No. of anchor tenants 4
Total retail floor area 1,500,000 square feet (140,000 m2)
No. of floors 1 in original wing, 2 in expansion
Parking Parking lot and 3-story parking garage adjacent to the Boscov's
Public transit access Bus transport NJ Transit NJ Transit bus: 831, 832
Website www.monmouthmallonline.com

Monmouth Mall, an enclosed split level shopping center in Eatontown, New Jersey owned and managed by Kushner Companies in partnership with Brookfield Properties Retail Group, is located on the corner of the intersection of NJ 35, NJ 36, and Wyckoff Road (Route 547). Currently, the mall has a gross leasable area of 1,500,000 sq ft (140,000 m2),[1] making it the fourth largest shopping mall in New Jersey (tied with Willowbrook Mall), boasting over 150 shops. The mall is located near the Garden State Parkway at exit 105 and NJ 18 near the former location of the Eatontown Circle.

Anchor stores at the mall are Boscov's, J. C. Penney, Lord & Taylor and Macy's.[2]

History[edit]

Entrance to the mall from Route 36 eastbound.

Opened on March 1, 1960, as a 600,000-square-foot (56,000 m2), 14-building, 50-store open-air center, originally called "Monmouth Shopping Center", was built on what was then a farm owned by the Valentino Family of the nearby city of Long Branch, New Jersey. Original anchors of the mall consisted of Bamberger's (at that time a subsidiary of Macy's) and Montgomery Ward.[3][4] After pulling out of New Jersey, Montgomery Ward became Alexander's in 1975. The mall was enclosed and expanded to its current size in 1975. The older section of the mall continued to be one level while the new expansion was two levels anchored by Abraham & Straus, Hahne's and JCPenney.

In 1987, the mall was renovated. The renovation brought in new lighting, new flooring, and new glass and chrome handrails along the second level; took out the in-floor planters and replaced them with movable planters; closed off the mall entrance near the former arcade on the Wyckoff Road side of the old wing; and raised the lowered seating areas in front of the anchors.

Ashley Tisdale was discovered at the mall in 1989 as a three-year-old.[5]

In 1994-1996, the mall was expanded to include an elevator and a food court (modeled after a Jersey Shore theme) including 1920s style beach photos wrapped around the columns in the older section of the mall, as well as Nobody Beats the Wiz, a new 15-screen Loews Theatres (now AMC) and Old Navy to replace the closed Caldor. The mall also saw minor cosmetic changes that consisted of replacing black with sky blue in the color schemes through painting and retiling, as well as new lighting along the pillars.

Through the years, Monmouth Mall has seen many different anchors that have come and gone, however, J.C. Penney was built by themselves in 1976 and remains to this day. In 1987, the Bamberger's brand was eliminated and the store was renamed for its parent corporation, Macy's. Anchor changes consisted of Caldor replacing Alexander's in 1986, Macy's replacing the former Bamberger's in 1987, Lord & Taylor replacing the former Hahne's in 1990, Stern's replacing Abraham & Straus in 1995 and Boscov's replacing Stern's in 2001. In 2010, Planet Fitness opened at Monmouth Mall.

Monmouth Mall went through a significant expansion in 2009.[6] In mid-2010, cosmetic renovations started at the mall including new tile, paint, lighting, and a complete overhaul of the food court. The renovations lasted until summer 2011.[7]

In 2012, Vornado Realty Trust announced plans to sell its portfolio of enclosed shopping malls.[8] In August 2015, Vornado's fifty percent stake and management in the Monmouth Mall was sold to co-owner Kushner Companies for $38 million.[9]

Redevelopment[edit]

In February 2016, Monmouth Mall owner Kushner Companies announced conceptual plans to redevelop the mall into a pedestrian-friendly "live, work and play" development at a cost of around $500 million. The development, which would be renamed the "Monmouth Town Center" would include a revamped tenant mix, a hotel, a residential component, and an outdoor plaza, along with biker- and pedestrian-friendly greenspaces and streetscape. The residential component would be composed of one- and two-bedroom units to minimize impact on the local public school system and traffic. Kushner Companies then-CEO Jared Kushner noted the decline of traditional enclosed shopping malls in the 21st Century and consumer trends of the Millennial generation as catalysts behind the redevelopment.[10] On April 27 of that year, a public meeting was held in a local middle school gymnasium where Eatontown's mayor Dennis Connelly and the Borough Council spoke out against a zoning change that would allow the expansion of the mall. Several borough residents also spoke out against the redevelopment, and Kushner announced the abandonment of the project at the same meeting.[11]

As part of a proposal issued in January 2018 named The Heights At Monmouth, announced back in 2017, the two-story wing covering 300,000 square feet (28,000 m2) that includes Boscov's would be demolished and additions totaling 900,000 square feet (84,000 m2) would bring the mall's total gross leasable area to 1,500,000 square feet (140,000 m2).[12] During this time, Kusner partnered with Rouse Properties (now Brookfield Properties Retail Group) for the redevelopment. The redevelopment was approved on July 16, 2018. The new plans include opening up the two story mall corridor and also create new outdoor corridors. The anchor tenants (except Boscov's, which is owned by the mall owners and Lord & Taylor) will remain unaffected.[13]

On September 7, 2018, it was announced that Lord & Taylor would be closing as part of a plan to close 10 stores nationwide. The store will close in January 2019.[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ International Council of Shopping Centers: Monmouth Mall Archived 2012-02-05 at the Wayback Machine., accessed September 21, 2006
  2. ^ "What is being built across from Monmouth Mall?".
  3. ^ Lisicky, Michael J. (2016). Bamberger’s: New Jersey’s Greatest Store. Arcadia Publishing. p. 80. ISBN 9781439658369. Retrieved March 7, 2018.
  4. ^ Radel, Dan (February 10, 2016). "Exclusive: Monmouth Mall's new look". Asbury Park Press. Retrieved March 7, 2018.
  5. ^ Martin, Patti (September 8, 2007). "Ashley Tisdale goes to the head of her class". Home News Tribune. Retrieved September 17, 2007.
  6. ^ Howley, Daniel (January 3, 2008). "Monmouth Mall seeks approval for expansion". Atlanticville. Retrieved March 7, 2008.
  7. ^ "Asbury Park Press". Asbury Park Press.
  8. ^ "Vornado to Hold Quarterly Calls, Sell Some Retail Centers". 13 April 2012 – via www.bloomberg.com.
  9. ^ Diamond, Michael L. (August 10, 2015). "Pier Village owner Kushner buys out Monmouth Mall". Asbury Park Press. Retrieved February 10, 2016.
  10. ^ Radel, Dan (February 10, 2016). "EXCLUSIVE: Monmouth Mall's new look". Asbury Park Press. Retrieved February 10, 2016.
  11. ^ Radel, Daniel. "Kushner Drops Monmouth Mall Plan". Asbury Park Press. Retrieved 28 April 2016.
  12. ^ Radel, Dan (February 1, 2018). "Monmouth Mall latest redevelopment plans: Shops and apartments but no spaceship". Asbury Park Press. Retrieved March 7, 2018.
  13. ^ Dan Radel (July 16, 2018). "Eatontown approves Kushner Cos.' Monmouth Mall redesign". Asbury Park Press. Retrieved July 17, 2018.
  14. ^ https://www.nj.com/monmouth/index.ssf/2018/09/1_nj_lord_taylor_store_to_close_after_holidays.html