|Address||1245 Worcester Street
Natick, Massachusetts 01760-1553
|Opening date||April 27, 1966|
|Architect||Beyer Blinder Belle (expansion)|
|No. of stores and services||250|
|No. of anchor tenants||6|
|Total retail floor area||1,860,000 sq ft (173,000 m2)|
|No. of floors||2|
|Public transit access||MWRTA: Routes 1, 4 and 11|
The Natick Mall (previously named the Natick Collection) is an upscale shopping mall, located in Natick, Massachusetts and owned by GGP Inc. The mall is a component of the Golden Triangle shopping district with the adjacent Shopper's World power center in Framingham, Massachusetts, both of which are situated between Massachusetts Routes 9 and 30.
The original facility became the first enclosed shopping mall in Greater Boston with its opening in 1966, and was demolished and replaced by a larger building in 1994. Following a significant expansion in 2007, the mall was brought to a total of 1,860,000 sq ft (173,000 m2) gross leasable area and is the largest mall in New England by number of tenants, with 250.
The Natick Mall was originally anchored by Filene's and Sears; it is anchored by Sears, Lord & Taylor, Macy's, Neiman Marcus, and Nordstrom. Previous anchors include JCPenney and Jordan Marsh; Wegmans is scheduled to open in the mall in 2018.
Construction of the original Natick Mall began in 1965, connecting two stand-alone locations of Sears and Filene's (both of which had opened in March and August 1965, respectively), with a 725,000 square-foot, one-story facility of twenty-five stores. The project would become the first enclosed mall in Greater Boston, and among the first built east of the Mississippi River. It was dedicated on April 27, 1966 with two smaller anchors on the north end of the mall, Woolworth's, Pray's Furniture, and a large fountain/entertainment area. Pray's Furniture was eventually replaced with a Boston Baby store, but after the closure of Boston Baby in the 1980s, the vacant space was redeveloped into an additional retail wing and food court. By the 1990s, the mall lost popularity, as it had been largely unchanged for almost 25 years. As a result, shoppers began commuting to other facilities in the region; in 1992, the Homart Development Company purchased the Natick Mall and the adjacent Shopper's World in Framingham. Initial plans called for the Natick Mall to become a power center and Shopper's World an enclosed facility; however, after resistance from the town of Framingham, the plans were reversed and developed on the opposite properties. The Natick Mall was demolished in June 1993 and replaced by a two-story building, which was opened on October 12, 1994 with a remodeled Filene's, a rebuilt Sears, a relocated Jordan Marsh, and the addition of a Lord & Taylor.
In late 2006, the mall began an upscale renovation and expansion. Its image was re-branded, first by attempting to change its name to simply Natick. After resistance from the town, the mall was instead renamed the Natick Collection. The first phase saw the renovation of the existing facility and the addition of a new wing on the property's north-east end, on the site of the former Wonder Bread/Hostess baking factory. The expansion added two new anchors, Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus, and nearly 100 new stores to the mall. This phase was opened to the public on September 7, 2007, though some stores planned to open through the winter and following spring. Construction of a Crate & Barrel, a relocated California Pizza Kitchen, and an American Girl Boutique and Bistro began in April 2008, with an original completion time frame of early spring 2009. The southwest mall entrance was moved approximately 100 ft (30 m), placing it between Crate & Barrel and the California Pizza Kitchen, across from the northwest wing housing JCPenney. The new 30,000 sq ft (2,800 m2) Crate & Barrel facility replaced the original 10,000 sq ft (930 m2) store with a new one-level store (with two-story facade) that occupies parts of the original location. In October 2009, the second phase of the expansion, The Promenade at Natick Collection, opened on the south-western section of the mall along Route 9; a Cheesecake Factory opened shortly after. The third phase, the construction of the condominiums, which originally had a projected completion of summer 2008, finished construction during spring 2009. The final phase is the proposed addition of a ten to twelve story luxury hotel adjacent to the new wing and across from JCPenney. While initial site work has been completed, the financial difficulties of mall parent General Growth Properties had put the final phase's construction into doubt. With the addition and the new eight-story parking facility, the Natick Collection became the twenty-third largest mall in the country, fourth largest on the east coast, and the largest in New England.
The Great Recession negatively effected mall expansion. By December 2008, condominium sales in Nouvelle at Natick were behind projections, with only 34 of the 215 units sold or under contract. Real estate agents in the Metrowest area have stated that the prices of the units, ranging from $379,900 to over $1 million, combined with the timing of the opening of the facility have harmed sales. Several real estate agencies have stated that General Growth, or its successor pending its bankruptcy case, will need to lower its prices for the units to attract consumers in tight economic times. Additionally, home sales in the Natick and Framingham area are traditionally oriented towards single family homes which are also working against the residences. On September 10, 2009, The Boston Globe reported that Nouvelle at Natick would auction off 42 of the 215 units, with bids starting as low as $160,000.
In July 2011, General Growth Properties reverted to the original name, "Natick Mall," citing local tradition as the reason for the change.
Following a two-level, generally T-shaped floor plan, the Natick Mall spans 1,860,000 sq ft (173,000 m2). With its late-2000s expansion, it makes use of natural lighting with the intention of providing an open atmosphere. Its curved ceiling was inspired by the American Indian translation of "Natick", meaning "place of rolling hills". Much of the mall's design incorporates the leaves of the birch tree. The expansion also provided an underground parking garage in addition to its three existing structures. The lower level incorporates porcelain tile flooring, while the upper level uses engineered hardwood flooring; the design utilizes glass fixtures throughout. The exterior of the Neiman Marcus location is covered by an 80 ft (24 m) curved stainless steel panels colored in various shades of brown; it is intended to resemble a woman's dress.
- Shopper's World – Power center adjacent to the mall
- Golden Triangle – District in which the mall is located
- "Natick Collection, Massachusetts, USA : Information".
- "Natick Mall Properties & Leasing". General Growth Properties. Retrieved February 11, 2013.
- Drake, John (February 21, 2007). "Mall reborn as Natick Collection". The Boston Globe. Retrieved September 15, 2009.
- Manuse, Andrew J. (November 9, 2009). "Natick mall streetscape gets final OK". The MetroWest Daily News. Framingham, MA. Retrieved November 27, 2009.
- "Future Store Locations". Wegmans. Retrieved July 9, 2017.
- "From the Natick Mall (1966) to the Natick Mall (1994), Natick (2006), Natick Mall (2007), and Natick Collection (2007)". Retrieved 2013-02-08.
- Drake, John C. (2007-01-17). "Natick Mall drops bid to be known simply as 'Natick'". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2013-02-08.
- "American Girl store is coming to Natick Collection". The Boston Globe. 2008-05-12.
- Manuse, Andrew J. (2007-11-29). "Natick mall streetscape gets final OK". The MetroWest Daily News. Retrieved 2009-07-14.
- Eileen Kennedy (2008-04-28). "Destination Shopping In Natick?". Worcester Business Journal. Retrieved 2008-12-31.
For the Natick Collection, the proposed luxury hotel would be at least two years away [from April 2008] as plans must be presented to Natick town planners for their approval, and negotiations for the right hotel have to be concluded, according to Michael H. McNaughton, General Growth Properties' vice president of asset management.
- "Collection goes back to being named Natick Mall". The MetroWest Daily News. July 15, 2011. Retrieved July 15, 2011.
- Hillman, Michelle (2008-11-21). "Natick Collection condos buffeted by bad timing". Boston Business Journal. Retrieved 2009-07-14.
- Jenn Ableson (2009-09-10). "Developer resorts to auction for Natick luxury condos". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2009-09-18.
- Muther, Christopher (February 21, 2007). "Extreme makeover: mall edition!". The Boston Globe. Retrieved February 9, 2013.
- "Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners LLP". Beyer Blinder Belle. Retrieved February 9, 2013.
- "The Natick Collection – Architect Magazine". Beyer Blinder Belle. Retrieved February 9, 2013.
- Newman, Morris (April 1, 2008). "An Undulating Façade for Neiman Marcus". Buildings.com. Retrieved February 9, 2013.