Greater Philly mall thread: The good, the bad, and the dead.

Discussion in 'The Suburbs' started by Nytecat, Mar 8, 2016.

  1. dontforget

    dontforget Well-Known Member

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    As far as Tri Towne in Marlton, I never experienced it as an enclosed mini-mall, and I'm not sure that it was a mini-mall, but I could be wrong. It was originally anchored by A&P (later became Superfresh) and Kmart. The Superfresh lasted longer than the Kmart/Sears Essentials, and lasted to shortly after the 70/73 circle was removed and it became slightly easier for those east to reach the Marlton ShopRite for it to lose more customers to ShopRite. As of today, I believe the Marlton ShopRite remains successful and has limited traditional direct competition in Marlton/Evesham and eastern Cherry Hill. Although it competes with Aldi, Trader Joes and Whole Foods, Rastelli's, and the grocery section inside Target and Wal-Mart. Most of those are niche stores to some extent, and the Wal-Mart isn't a Super Walmart. Acme was under ownership changes and somehow missed serving Marlton/Evesham, Giant doesn't service South Jersey, and Wegmans also doesn't service Marlton, although it's Mt. Laurel store is about 15 mins away.

    Here are some cool photos that I found of some of the Marlton shopping centers:
    A&P and Super Fresh in Marlton, N.J.

    The Cinnaminson Mall was an enclosed mini-mall that I wish that I saw.
    Cinnaminson Mall

    It was before my time, but I remember when it was a very large dead shopping center, before it became redone into the Shoppes at Cinnaminson. And, I think there were 1-2 more mini-malls off the Route 130 corridor. While I originally had a peculiar interest in the Route 130 corridor, there are too many traffic lights, it's somewhat downscale, it seems overdeveloped and all turns are jug handles, which make access to some of the retail centers challenging.
     
    #331 dontforget, May 4, 2018
    Last edited: May 4, 2018
  2. Nytecat

    Nytecat Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the recollections. Two Flicker members, Josh and John, post nifty photos of shopping centers and supermarkets from all over the area and some have an amazing history of name changes and whatnot. My only memory of the Cinnaminson Mall was riding past it a few times while it was shuttered and I think the anchor still had a Caldor sign.

    One Rt. 130 shopping area I’ve been following has been Willingboro Plaza and the adjacent Grand Marketplace. Willingboro Plaza was developed by the Levitt brothers as part of one of their several Levittowns. I’m kinda surprised the Mall Hall of Fame blog covers this and the Pennsylvania Levittown Shoparama while ignoring the more significant Suburban Square.

    My immediate item of concern is the Grand Marketplace. This former enclosed mini mall was renovated to house flea market stalls in 2006 but it has struggled financially to stay afloat. It was recently sold at auction and the new owner wants to convert the property to warehouse and light industry. That idea is going nowhere with the township.
    Developer's plan for Willingboro's Grand Marketplace panned by governing body, residents
     
  3. Jayfar

    Jayfar I'm very old®

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    Owner of former Echelon Mall, called 'slumlord' in Fla., taps overseas cash to become nation's biggest mall buyer | Philly.com

     
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  4. Nytecat

    Nytecat Well-Known Member

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    Hey DF! What's going on at Moorestown Mall? Playing around online it looks like they've lost Pac Sun and a few other stores recently. I'd appreciate it if you could give me an update and save me a trip. On the plus side, the online mall map now shows the planned subdivision of the former Macy's.
     
  5. dontforget

    dontforget Well-Known Member

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    Hey, I was walking towards the Boscov's side and thought there were some stores missing. I guess you pinpointed it to PacSun. American Eagle and Cotton On are still there though. It seems there is enough space on the Boscov's side for a large Shoe Dept. Encore, but that's just me speculating what would make sense. (Ironically, Shoe Dept. but as a smaller site used to once operated by there). PREIT needs something large that will take up some dead space there.

    In the food court, it lost Philly Steaks and Gyro(s) and every time that I go, I never see the Suki Hana operating from the second secondary site it has in the center of the food court.

    Time for PREIT I think to find a couple of new food court tenants. It should try to get enerjuicer to move over from Voorhees Town Center to Moorestown Mall, or California Shakes and Juice Bar (About California Fruit Shakes), that also operates in Deptford Mall and Hamilton Mall in South Jersey.

    Nothing else is really new. Just that Sierra Trading Post and HomeSense opening later this year. One will open late this year, the other in early 2019. PREIT has said that a grocer tenant will occupy some space, but hasn't listed which one. (It won't be Sprouts).
     
    #335 dontforget, May 27, 2018
    Last edited: May 27, 2018
  6. dontforget

    dontforget Well-Known Member

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    I meant to post this but couldn't log into this site from my work computer. So, it's 10 days old, but CNN Money is indicating it's pretty bad times for JCPenney:
    JCPenney is running out of time

    I wonder if JCPenney would proactively start selling some of it's stores for cash?
    e.g.
    Quakerbridge Mall in relatively wealthy area would do well as a Bloomingdale's.
    PREIT could convert Cherry Hill's JCP into Primark.

    At least in the Philly area, JCP could sell off some of it's stores as it remains pretty sparse, and focus on markets where it has greater strengths, or growing markets and/or markets with less competition.
     
    #336 dontforget, May 27, 2018
    Last edited: May 27, 2018
  7. Jayfar

    Jayfar I'm very old®

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    Do you happen to know what portion of the remaining stores they own versus lease?

    I found an article from 5 years ago, when they had 1102 stores:

    1,102 stores, of which 306 are owned, 123 are subject to ground leases and 673 are leased. In addition, they own a central office building and some warehouses and distribution facilities.

    What Is J.C. Penney's Real Estate Worth - And Does It Even Matter To Shareholders? - J.C. Penney Company Inc. (NYSE:JCP) | Seeking Alpha
     
  8. dontforget

    dontforget Well-Known Member

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    I don't know percentages and which stores it owns vs. leases in the Philly or Mid Atlantic area.

    But, it did sell it's Owings Mill MD store to Kimco for $5.2 million, and perhaps it might need to make more of these type of deals:
    https://www.bizjournals.com/baltimo...ition-of-owings-mills-mall-isunderway-as.html

    Initially, I was surprised because JCPenney's only other area presence was in White Marsh, the northeast part of Baltimore County, and in Columbia, a successful mall but still a decent 35 minutes away. It's Owings Mill store faced the entrance of the plaza, and yet, it didn't want to be part of the redevelopment of the center to an open air center.

    Macy's had closed before the Christmas shopping season, but it had locations in Towson and Security Square, along with White Marsh and Columbia.

    But knowing how much debt JCPenney is in, these deals might make more sense.
     
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  9. Nytecat

    Nytecat Well-Known Member

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  10. dontforget

    dontforget Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for finding and sharing this article. I have been to the Pier and thought the mall was too small to be a destination, and not surprised given AC in general, it will close there. But it's unfortunate Apple is not moving to the Hamilton Mall, which has a nice macy's, free parking and overall is a convenient site for Southeast NJ.
     
  11. dontforget

    dontforget Well-Known Member

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    Another blow:
    Distrito in Moorestown to close as sale of Garces restaurants to go forward
     
  12. Nytecat

    Nytecat Well-Known Member

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    I also thought they'd consider a store in The Walk which is a pretty busy shopping area and has free or discounted parking with proof of purchase. A big criticism of the Pier is that it was a long walk from Caesar's garage and the parking there is expensive. But Atlantic County's population is just under 300,000. I don't know the smallest metro area or metro division with an Apple Store, but every place else I can think of has more people.

    Sorry to hear Distrito is throwing in the towel but with the business in a state of flux, I guess it is what it is.

    Sears Holdings just released a new hit list today. Say goodbye to Quaker Bridge and the last store standing at Burlington Center. Sears is closing 63 stores as sales tumble — here's the full list
     
  13. dontforget

    dontforget Well-Known Member

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    Sears closing does now give Burlington Twp. a clean slate for redevelopment, and maybe not tied to partial retail or accommodating Sears.

    Quaker Bridge should have no problem moving forward, maybe Boscov or Bloomingdales or conversion for other use would work.

    Along the northern Burlington county to Mercer corridor there will be no Sears, but just west in PA, two Sears in a short distance between Neshaminy and Oxford Valley.

    As for Apple, you are probably right, Atlantic County even if Cape May is added, doesn't have a high enough population and maybe not enough affluence. From what I see, Apple stores tend to go in more successful malls than Hamilton Mall as well. It'd be kind of interesting if Hamilton Mall was partly demalled, though, if the mall owner could buy up the JCPenney space and convert the mall partly to an hybrid open air center, with maybe something like Wegmans. I'm envisioning Hunt Valley meets Sagemore of Marlton. And there is a lot of land behind the Hamilton mall at the former racetrack. For now, Best Buy in Mays Landing and Vineland should benefit with Apple product sales without having to compete with an area Apple store. The Vineland store sells with a discounted 3.5% sales tax as well.
     
    #343 dontforget, May 31, 2018
    Last edited: May 31, 2018
  14. Nytecat

    Nytecat Well-Known Member

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    Hudson Bay owned Lord & Taylor is in big trouble, will close up to 10 stores under that nameplate.

    Hudson's Bay to close up to 10 Lord & Taylor stores, including Fifth Avenue in New York

    Not sure how this will play out here. I'm tempted to think King of Prussia is safe but, with the closing of the Manhattan flagship, clearly nothing is off the table. It's hard to see both Quaker Bridge and Moorestown surviving. Long term, the L&T brand appears to be fading fast and a lot of pundits are predicting its demise. I can see QBM getting a Nordstrom or possibly a Bloomingdales in the future but that prospect is highly unlikely for Moorestown.
     
  15. dontforget

    dontforget Well-Known Member

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    Also in the Philly region is the Bala Cynywd store.

    Between Quaker Bridge and Moorestown, QBM likely has better longevity prospects. It's not only a more successful mall, but it's also in the southern fringe of the NY market where the brand originates from and is more recognized, unlike Moorestown (South Jersey).

    In Moorestown, the outparcel space held by Potbelly, later Corner Bakery Café, is becoming a Sprint store. The adjacent space has been held by Pei Wei since PREIT added the outparcel, split by two stores.
     
    #345 dontforget, Jun 8, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2018
  16. dontforget

    dontforget Well-Known Member

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    So here is a mouthful:

    On my trip back from western PA, I finally visited the York Galleria in York, and then Park City Center in Lancaster, and made a stop at Granite Run's former Mall.

    At York Galleria, the mall is losing both Bon Ton and Sears, at the same time, as discussed. Both were having going out of business liquidations. The mall also has Boscov's and then Marshall's and Golds Gym as junior anchors. JCPenney used to serve the mall as a fourth department store anchor. Boscov's has the best position in the mall, and should benefit with the loss of the competitor anchors. The mall didn't seem terrible, but definitely looked dated, from the late 80's/early 90's. Its aesthetics in the food court looked like the opening credits of Saved By The Bell or the restaurant in that tv show. Even so, I think the mall has potential even though malls in general are in decline. I liked the natural sun light that came from above.

    From wikipedia, there is an article listing a possibility of a mini casino.
    In any event, I believe the best path forward, if there is investment in the mall, is just to demolish the Bon Ton entirely, level the ground, and create a new entrance. Make it as if Bon Ton never existed there. Even though the store was closing, and there were these sales, everything was expensive. I didn't get a good impression of the store.

    As a two level mall, there might be a challenge to de-malling the mall and going an outdoor format. GGP, the mall ownership, could try to encourage New York and Company and Express to open (or re-open). Losing Bon Ton and Sears might not be a bad thing, if the center can encourage less competition coming from department stores, and more accommodation on the inline tenants instead. Maybe the center could add a few restaurants as outparcels. I could see the Sears being split. The second level has more value and it's one entrance there is easy walking distance close to the Marshall's entrance. So a compatible store like Home Goods or Stein Mart might do well occupying the second level. Both the Bon Ton and Sears don't have great visible locations in general, with exception of maybe just the second levl of Sears.

    I later went to Park City Center. This is a successful mall and the strongest mall in Central PA, and it's currently losing The Bon Ton. I'd have to imagine that GGP is in negotiations with macy's or that macy's should be interested in this site. This site is pretty desirable with highway facing appeal. The mall layout is very interesting and there is the open tent structure as the center convergence in the mall. The mall has Bon Ton, Sears, JCPenney, Boscovs and Kohl's. That's five mid range department stores! The Kohl's is in a very peculiar location and it faces the JCPenney in the foodcourt. It's seems like it was a last comer addition. If macy's doesn't pursue Bon Ton's space, Kohl's would likely want to pursue upgrading to the Bon Ton space, but really the mall needs a macy's not a Kohl's relocation. The Sears is extraneous in the multi mid range department store mix in the mall.

    Also, on my way back from Lancaster to the Philly region, I took 30 East. I came across another Kohls (apparently Lancaster East), and I came across several shopping centers, including Tanger Outlets and Rockvale Outlets, just 1 mile apart! I didn't get time to check these outlet centers, but it's amazing that Lancaster supports all this retail so close together.
    A tale of two outlets: just one mile apart, one outlet has shuttered stores, another is expanding
    This was near the Dutch Wonderland attraction.

    Getting into Coatesville and later the Philly market, I ventured into Granite Run. Some areas in Granite Run are currently under construction, but some areas are already open. Panera and Chipotle which are in front facing plaza, are currently open. The Sears and Boscov's have signs outside saying open for business. The Sears looked bereft of customers. I can only imagine that this Sears will be among the lowest volume store in the region after Burlington Center is closed. At least with Exton, Oxford Valley, Deptford, Neshaminy or Moorestown, one can walk in the enclosed part of the mall and wind up walking to Sears. In an outdoor center like this one, there is lower probability of that, and one would have to actively seek out to walk into Sears.

    The Boscov's in Granite Run really needs an exterior facelift. The Christiana DE store has nice aesthetics for a Boscov, while this store has one of the worst aesthetics. There is also a dated AMC movie theater here. Overall, it's a mix of old and new here in Granite Run, and the old isn't a nice old for type of that mix.

    I plan on heading up to Quaker Bridge later this week, and check out the closing Sears and property a bit more. From what I remember, the Lord & Taylor here is rather large. I'd think L&T would keep this site. It might be possible to convert this location and King of Prussia's to Saks Fifth Avenue, as that is a more successful brand from its parent ownership. There would be redundancy in Bala Cynwyd, and maybe one can be sold.

    The more that I think about it, I think the Moorestown Lord & Taylor will most likely close. Unlike the macy's, this store isn't even Route 38 facing. However, it faces East Gate Square and it's ideal 120,000 sq. foot print is more manageable than the 200,000 sq. ft of macy's. Hopefully, it wouldn't be difficult for PREIT to find a replacement tenant. Although only 4 miles apart from Centerton Sq., it'd be nice to see a new Target replacing L&T at Moorestown, but I know unlikely at 3.6 miles from Centerton's Mt. Laurel Target. But a benefit would be that Target would be in the mix with with the East Gate Square/Moorestown tenants as it's somewhat of it's own shopping center district, than Centerton or Marlton. But anyways, I digress...

    Target is adding a smaller format store in Westmont, NJ, approximately 4.3 miles from the Cherry Hill store. It is kind of unique for South Jersey.
    ‘Small-Format Target’ Store Coming to Westmont Plaza in Haddon Township
     
    #346 dontforget, Jun 10, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2018
  17. Nytecat

    Nytecat Well-Known Member

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    TL;DR

    Just kidding!

    I haven’t been to York Galleria or Johnstown Galleria but from photos and what I’ve read, these sister malls are very similar in design. But if one had to pick the mall with the better prospects going forward, it would be York because of the better demographic trends. York is one of PA’s faster growing counties. Fast growth alone is no assurance of mall survival. But compared to the state’s overall indoor retail scene, York Galleria appears to be better positioned than most.

    When Park City’s Sears closes, I wonder if they would be able to lure Macy’s and a luxury anchor? But so far, I haven’t been able to find a comparable mall that has a luxury anchor despite an Apple Store and a sprinkling of upscale inline retailers. Nordstrom and similar department stores rarely venture outside of major metro areas. I am amazed, and slightly appalled, by the amount of retail development in Lancaster County. Although growing, there is no way population and spending power are keeping pace. One of the two outlet centers you mentioned is already failing but I forget which one.

    I will be sure to visit QBM and BCM before Sears closes at each.

    The Moorestown L&T may be on the back side from Route 38, but it’s on the side closest to Route 73 and the SB 295 off ramp. I’d rather not see Moorestown lose L&T as that would diminish the mall’s status even further. But a Target here might not be impossible as two Targets successfully coexist on Baltimore Pike barely a mile apart. Targets sometimes move too. One Target relocation I’d like to see is in Bensalem if GGP can coax them into relocating to Neshaminy Mall’s old Macy’s spot.

    Westmont Plaza? Now that's an interesting location for a mini-Target!

    Just for
     
  18. dontforget

    dontforget Well-Known Member

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    Westmont will be interesting. Most likely, if it does well, Target might scout for a location for a 60,000 sq. ft store in a town like Medford - although I can't think of a site in Medford. But, Medford is ideal in that gets into a good 8-10 miles from the Marlton Target as this point, and it has good demographics and no Wal-Mart in town as well. The Moorestown L&T building is 120,000 sq. ft, and there is an upstairs, but it could be split I guess.

    I didn't think about Neshaminy and I haven't been to the Bensalem Target, but maybe you are right that it would be a good relocation opportunity. If it just waits a bit longer though, when Sears closes, that Sears buildings might be even better location. In Moorestown, PREIT might as well de-mall the mall once Sears closes though.
     
  19. dontforget

    dontforget Well-Known Member

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    I did a couple of mall visits today.

    First I went to the Quaker Bridge Mall. The macy's has the best spot in the mall, and the Sears which is closing down is just right of the macy's. While bloomingdale's or Boscov's might do well replacing Sears here, I'd think Simon could just expand the mall's inline space, rather than necessarily need a fourth department store anchor - that might cannibalize L&T or JCPenney. It'd also give Simon more tenants to charge rent, and maybe it can attract some higher end tenants like Zara. The mall isn't all that large, and it's easy to walk from one end to the other end. It's not like more inline space would add to a glut of space really.

    After QB Mall, I went to Oxford Valley Mall. While this mall has some solid tenants still, I can see that it's in decline. It's almost as if Simon is treating it like Granite Run (which it co-owned) relative to King of Prussia, prior to Granite Run's demise, and wouldn't be surprised if Quaker Bridge is favored over Oxford Valley. The vacated Teavana spot really needs to be white boarded up. The side by the former Boscov's looks like Burlington Center Mall, 10 years ago.

    I didn't go again to Neshaminy Mall, but I did check out the Bensalem Target. It's not been remodeled or anything, and I agree that it might fit in well in Neshaminy Mall better at one point. Famous Footwear could move over also. The Target is kind of tucked in the shopping center after Home Depot, although it gets some highway visibility - although one can't pull into the Target from there. I also think the HomeSense/Sierra Trading Post combination might also do well in this mall. I guess there won't be redevelopment interest until Sears closes though. PREIT might have more interest if it owned this mall. It might be able to spruce up the mall, although I don't know if it can lure some of the stronger tenants from Oxford Valley over - even though OV mall seems hopeless in some ways.

    Here is a link of Promenade at Granite Run:
    Promenade rises at Granite Run

    It's interesting that the owners did try to pay off Sears to leave. Also noted in the article is Boscov's intent to improve the store and the former AMC. When I went last week, I didn't see these changes yet, but maybe it's still in progress.
     

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