Philadelphia Mills

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Philadelphia Mills
Philadelphia Mills west entrance near Burlington.jpeg
Entrance to Philadelphia Mills
LocationPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Coordinates40°05′14″N 74°57′42″W / 40.0873°N 74.9616°W / 40.0873; -74.9616Coordinates: 40°05′14″N 74°57′42″W / 40.0873°N 74.9616°W / 40.0873; -74.9616
Opening dateMay 11, 1989; 32 years ago (May 11, 1989)
DeveloperMills Corporation
ManagementSimon Property Group
OwnerSimon Property Group
No. of stores and services125
No. of anchor tenants13 (10 open, 3 vacant)
Total retail floor area1,776,000 square feet (165,000 m2)[1]
No. of floors1 (2 in Burlington)
ParkingParking lot
Public transit accessBus transport SEPTA.svg SEPTA bus: 20, 50, 67, 84, 129, 130
Websitewww.simon.com/mall/philadelphia-mills

Philadelphia Mills (formerly and still referred to as Franklin Mills) is an enclosed shopping mall in Northeast Philadelphia, bordering Bensalem in Bucks County and 15 miles (24 km) from Center City.[2] Formerly named for Benjamin Franklin, the mall is home to 125 stores, a movie theatre, a food court, and seven theme restaurants[3] and was visited by an estimated 18 million people in 2006.[4] The anchor stores are Dave & Buster's, Forever 21, Urban Planet, Saks Fifth Avenue, Marshalls, HomeGoods, American Freight, Walmart, AMC Theatres, and Burlington. Three currently vacant anchor stores once housed Phar-Mor, JCPenney, and Modell's Sporting Goods.

Opened in 1989, Franklin Mills was the second built and formerly owned by the Mills Corporation and is now managed by the Simon Property Group.[5] Along with the King of Prussia mall, Simon has control of Pennsylvania's two largest malls.

On September 16, 2014, Simon Property Group renamed the mall from Franklin Mills to Philadelphia Mills.[6]

Location[edit]

The Philadelphia Mills site was formerly home to Liberty Bell Park Racetrack.[7] It is located about a mile west of Interstate 95, at the intersection of Woodhaven Road (Pennsylvania Route 63) and Knights Road.

Branding and design[edit]

Interior view of Philadelphia Mills

Philadelphia Mills mall is designed in the shape of a thunderbolt in commemoration of Benjamin Franklin's kite-and-key experiment. The mall's former logo, when it was called Franklin Mills, included a red kite with a lightning bolt on the right side and the string ending on the letter "A" of "FRANKLIN". The mall is separated by its four Neighborhoods: Red, Blue, Yellow, and Green, and has six main entries including its neighborhood color entries, plus Aqua at the Grand Court and the Orange entry in its Green Neighborhood near the former Steve & Barry's. There are also entries at either side of the AMC 14 theater for moviegoers after mall hours. So far, the mall's Red, Green, and Orange entrances have been renovated to look modern. However, the Blue and Yellow entrances have been constructed, but are still unfinished.

The mall is the first Mills mall to have two food courts. "Cafe Court", at Red Neighborhood 1, is anchored by GAP. "Cafe Freedom", a larger food court at Green Neighborhood 4, was, as of early 2016, renamed "Dining Pavilion" and has undergone renovations. The mall once had graphics, usually hanging from the ceiling, but in the later years, they were removed. The mall also previously had two video courts; one was removed in the 2000s, and another one which was removed in August 2014.[8] From the mall's opening until 2012, an animatronic likeness of Benjamin Franklin's face hung from the ceiling at the Grand Court between Neighborhoods Blue & Yellow, which would announce the time hourly. Almost all main mall entries have a graphic at its entry. Throughout the mall, there are several sets of projection TVs hanging from the ceiling known as "Mills TV", showing video loops of music videos and advertisements, as of the early 2010s however, They were eventually replaced by double-faced Daktronics LED boards.[9]

The 1,600,000-square-foot (150,000 m2) mall consists primarily of factory outlet stores.[3] As of Early 2021, the surviving major anchor tenants included Marshalls and Burlington. When the mall first opened in 1989 the original anchors were JCPenney; Sears; Ports of the World, Reading China and Glass, and Phar-Mor.[10][11] Over time, the Ports was re-branded as Boscov's, and was later replaced by Steve & Barry's. Reading China & Glass closed and its building was split between Marshalls and OfficeMax. Sears Outlet left the mall for the first time and was replaced by General Cinema, itself acquired by AMC Theatres. OfficeMax later left the mall, and Sears Outlet returned taking the OfficeMax space. Original stores remaining in the mall include Bed, Bath and Beyond & Modell's, which have been joined by Forever 21, Last Call, H&M, & Off 5th and Walmart. On December 15, 2011, it was announced that JCPenney would be returning to the mall as a department store, in its original location; the outlet store had been closed as part of a nationwide realignment by the retailer of all its outlet stores.[12] On March 17, 2017, JCPenney announced that its store would be closing as part of a plan to close 138 stores nationwide;[13] the store closed on July 31, 2017.[14] As of September 2020, Sears Outlet has rebranded as American Freight.

Notable incidents[edit]

On Black Friday 2013 at around 2:30 AM, a fight broke out in the mall involving a taser gun and two women. Nobody was injured however the two were kicked out of the mall shortly after security broke up the fight.[15]

In late 2016 in the wake of violent flash mobs happening around the country, one of them occurred in the mall on December 27, 2016 when a group of around 30 teens flash mobbed and started fights in the food court, reportedly attacking a police officer. Four teens ended up getting arrested.[16]

In May 2020, in the wake of the George Floyd protests, police surrounded the areas of the mall and barricading it to prevent any looting or raids after it was learned that a group of people were planning to raid the mall.[17]

During early 2021, two shootings occurred in the mall. One of them occurred on February 7, 2021 when a 21 year old man was shot in the neck at around noon. The cause of the shooting was unknown and the victim was reported to be in "stable condition" after being taken to a local hospital.[18] Another one occurred on March 29, 2021 when a fight broke out in the mall's "Dining Pavilion" food court which resulted in a shooting, killing one person. The mall was placed on lockdown following the shooting.[19] The stepson of a local detective was killed.[20]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Philadelphia Mills Fact Sheet" (PDF). Simon Property Group. Retrieved January 19, 2017.
  2. ^ ""Simon: Franklin Mills." Accessed July 20, 2007". Archived from the original on 8 August 2012. Retrieved 30 September 2014.
  3. ^ a b ""Franklin Mills Mall." Accessed July 20, 2007". Philadelphia - Official Visitor Site - visitphilly.com. Retrieved 30 September 2014.
  4. ^ "Van Allen, Peter. "Franklin Mills Mall lines up as major tourist destination." Accessed July 20, 2007". Philadelphia Business Journal. Retrieved 30 September 2014.
  5. ^ "Find A Nearby Center -OR- Change Your Current Center - Search By Center Name, City, State or ZIP Code | Simon". www.simon.com.
  6. ^ Bayliss, Kelly (September 16, 2014). "Franklin Mills Changing Name to Philadelphia Mills". Philadelphia: WCAU-TV. Retrieved September 16, 2014.
  7. ^ ""Cinema Treasures: Franklin Mills 14." Accessed July 20, 2007". Retrieved 30 September 2014.
  8. ^ "Facebook". www.facebook.com.
  9. ^ "Franklin Mills - Philadelphia, PA New Daktronics led boards - East Rutherford & Bradley Beach, New Jersey". East Rutherford & Bradley Beach, New Jersey. 19 February 2012. Retrieved 30 September 2014.
  10. ^ David M. Giles (May 7, 1989). "A Mall To End Them All New Franklin Mills Is Largest Outlet Mall". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved November 29, 2011.
  11. ^ Richard C. Halverson (June 5, 1989). "Nation's largest off-price mall opens in NE Philadelphia - Franklin Mills shopping Center".
  12. ^ Maria Panaritis (December 15, 2011). "J.C. Penney plans to open a department store at Franklin Mills". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved December 15, 2011.
  13. ^ "J.C. Penney closing local stores; includes King of Prussia". Philadelphia, PA: WPVI-TV. March 17, 2017. Archived from the original on 2017-03-18. Retrieved March 17, 2017.
  14. ^ Parmley, Suzette (July 28, 2017). "The end is here for 3 Philly-area Penneys on Monday". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved January 27, 2018.
  15. ^ "Women Get Into Black Friday Stun Gun Fight Inside the Mall". NBC10 Philadelphia. Retrieved 2021-04-01.
  16. ^ "Police: Teens arrested after disturbance at Philadelphia Mills Mall". FOX 29 Philadelphia. 2016-12-27. Retrieved 2021-04-01.
  17. ^ "https://twitter.com/a8_queen/status/1267164649016963072". Twitter. Retrieved 2021-04-01. External link in |title= (help)
  18. ^ "Police Investigating After 21-Year-Old Shot In Neck Inside Philadelphia Mills Mall". 2021-02-07. Retrieved 2021-04-01.
  19. ^ Cuellar, Dann; Staff (March 29, 2021). "Man shot, killed inside food court at Philadelphia Mills Mall; suspect wanted". Philadelphia, PA: WPVI-TV. Retrieved March 29, 2021.
  20. ^ Pagones, Stephanie (2021-03-30). "Man killed in Philadelphia mall shooting was stepson of local detective: DA". Fox News. Retrieved 2021-04-01.

External links[edit]