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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    It was just so weird when I was out there in Henderson. It was like the Moorestown Mall (because of my interest in it) was now following me on my vacation. Lol.

    Speaking of it, I was incorrect assuming the Five Below will be replacing the former Eastern Mountain Sports space. According to the Moorestown Mall map, the Five Below will actually be located next to the Sierra Trading Post (in the subdivided macy's space), where Sierra will be next to the Homesense (opening Sep. 20). Meaning no inside mall entrance for Five Below. Unless demolition outweighed the opportunity cost, I still don't know why PREIT didn't demolish the macy's site and build a proper big box wing, than filling small sections of the former department store site.

    Regarding Burlington Ctr, it's now a clean slate. My preferred option would be residential, with possibly a 55+ active adult community, and maybe some condos or luxury apartments mixed. With the aging population we have, it'd be beneficial if there were more homes designed for people who are getting up there in age. Not everyone wants to move to the Carolinas or Florida, but many want to downsize into new space and stay in NJ. And maybe the area with the nice water fountain currently in the enclosed part of the mall could be preserved. The mall location still has great highway access, and really Burlington is not that far for the occasional NYC visit as well.

    Regarding Voorhees Town Ctr, here is the latest:
    https://www.courierpostonline.com/s...ent-brandywine-financial-services/1343015002/

    I wonder what they have in plan for the former macy's space. More luxury apartments?
     
    #391 dontforget, Sep 18, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2018
  2. Nytecat

    Nytecat Well-Known Member

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    PREIT goes on and on about the merit of "off-price" chains for Moorestown Mall. Is that simply a PC way of saying discount? Or are off-price stores a particular genre of discount that gets over as trendy and in demand as opposed to cheap? In any event, the media likes to tout off price as growing while legacy stores are dying. I'd rather see some more upscale stuff at Moorestown but other shopping centers have too much of a stranglehold on those stores.

    Is the 55+ residential market in this part of NJ that robust right now? I wonder. I see several developments for older adults around but that alone doesn't mean there isn't demand for more. But NJ is generally panned as a bad state to retire in.

    Regarding the elephant sculpture, Zenos Frudakis is still active and he maintains a website. I've read that he's been contacted regarding the demise of BCM but I don't know what he's said or done in response to it. A lot of people are clamoring for the elephant to be saved and who would be a better advocate than the sculptor who made it? Elephant Fountain
     
  3. dontforget

    dontforget Well-Known Member

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    PREIT has found restaurant replacements, Hash House A Go Go and Joe Italiano’s Maplewood, for the mall:
    https://www.courierpostonline.com/s...oe-italianos-maplewood-hash-house/1369601002/

    I visited the new HomeSense in Moorestown Mall, and viewed it from inside in to the outside. The adjacent Sierra Trading Post will not be accessible unless one walks out of the HomeSense to the outside and through the Sierra Trading Post doors. Typical, but basically unlike the Marshall's HomeGoods setup across the street.

    I honestly don't think the Five Below decision to be next to Sierra Trading Post makes a lot of sense. One, if a person is going to Regal, the foodcourt, Boscov's or majority of the mall property, the Five Below isn't well connected to any of those businesses. Five Below already has stores in Ellisburg, Marlton and Centerton at much better locations as well. And Five Below needs some walk in traffic from customers who intended to shop at another store. In those other plazas, the Five Below is in between businesses like popular grocery stores and in between groups of other big box stores. All they have here is HomeSense and Sierra Trading Post but those are relatively niche.

    Perhaps the demolition costs for the macy's building was too high, and what PREIT had low expectations of what it could re-develop the space into over there. It should have done a big box row, or waited to Sears to close, and come up with a better redevelopment plan for the entire mall.

    As for Burlington, I just don't see it be transformed to another retail center. One problem is the close accessibility of the Centerton square shopping in Mt. Laurel, 7 miles south on 295. i.e. Costco wouldn't have interest in Burlington Twp. Costco is pursuing a Cherry Hill site, about 7 miles or so in the west direction, but the density gets higher from Mt. Laurel towards CH, while it decreases from Mt. Laurel towards Burlington Twp.

    I think residential adds more value in this case. I know NJ isn't a great state to retire especially inviting for out of state residents, but a community could be targeted for those already living in NJ with some level of wealth, that might not want to relocate to the southeast US. The Burlington area is somewhat close enough to the Princeton area to be a lower cost alternative, and being close enough to Central NJ and not too far for NYC trips as well. I went up to Rochester, NY a few months ago, and saw a lot of one level new type of homes and communities targeted for active adults, that I don't see in southern NJ.
     
    #393 dontforget, Sep 29, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2018
  4. Nytecat

    Nytecat Well-Known Member

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    I agree. The way PREIT is filling Moorestown now doesn't make much sense if they're waiting for Sears to close and attempt to consolidate the mall on a smaller footprint. Time will tell. I also agree the BCM area is looking tapped out retail-wise and putting a bunch of stores on the mall site isn't going to lead to the outcome the township is looking for.

    And there's some sad news out of Illinois. Galeburg's Sandburg Mall closed its doors for the last time on Friday. The final store to depart was GNC. Galesburg's Sandburg Mall locks its doors after last tenant closes

    And closer to home, Simon is ripping out the main fountain and skylight at King of Prussia. While updated flooring would have been welcome, I didn't see this coming.
     
  5. dontforget

    dontforget Well-Known Member

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    I think the Wal Mart shopping center in Burlington Twp. has an easier chance of re-filling the spaces left behind by Toys R Us and Acme. Apparently HomeGoods joined Marshalls already. But getting a major anchor like a Costco into Burlington Twp and expecting it anchor the former mall, or even stores like Best Buy would be challenging.

    I know it's unlikely, but it might not be impossible if the mall could be redeveloped and transformed into mixed use - something on the lines that are more common in the DC region and although, less typical with South Jersey. Then small stores, coffee shops, etc. could be integrated in with other businesses and residential.

    There is a Regal screen in Burlington and a shopping center with Dick's, OfficeMax and Target , that could be integrated and walkable between the properties as well. Maybe Regal could build a new screen altogether as well, somewhere on the mall side.

    It's been years since I've been into the Regal Burlington, but I hated the design of each theater with half of the theater above entrance with stairs up, while the other half (and a lot of seats) were too close to the screen. The Regal in Conshohocken/Plymouth Meeting was similar design, but I digress.
     
    #395 dontforget, Oct 9, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2018
  6. Nytecat

    Nytecat Well-Known Member

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    Jayfar likes this.
  7. Jayfar

    Jayfar I'm very old®

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    A whole lot of self-dealing with Eddie Lampert, but I suppose it's legal as long as there's transparency. ;-)

    Lampert — Sears’s largest shareholder and creditor and the owner of the hedge-fund ESL Investments — asked creditors last month to refinance $1.1 billion in debt before the Oct. 15 payment, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. He also called on the company to sell off $3.25 billion in real estate and assets. Those include Sears Home Services and the company’s flagship Kenmore brand, which Lampert offered to buy in August for $400 million.

    Interesting Salon piece on Lampert from several year back:

    Ayn Rand-loving CEO destroys his empire
     
    #397 Jayfar, Oct 10, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2018
  8. Nytecat

    Nytecat Well-Known Member

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    Ahead of Sears bankruptcy filing, I did a count of the remaining stores in our area. There are 9 Sears (8 mall based plus Granite Run) and 11 Kmarts. With Monday's filing, they announced an initial 142 stores to get the ax. Say goodbye to Kmarts in Phoeniville, Glassboro, and Thorndale. Also going are Sears in Deptford, Bensalem, and Langhorne.

    Sears store closing list: 142 more Sears, Kmart locations closing in Chapter 11 bankruptcy

    Moorestown will become the last full-sized Sears in South Jersey, at least until they're forced to close the chain entirely.
     
  9. dontforget

    dontforget Well-Known Member

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    Also, the Somers Point Kmart will be the last Kmart store in South Jersey now, assuming we consider Toms River and Trenton to be in Central NJ.

    I look forward to how the Sears at Deptford space can be re-used. I mentioned some months ago that this mall is successful and this space can re-used to enhance the property even further. Maybe a mini-upscale leaning store wing with restaurants and gourmet grocer.

    Neshaminy and Oxford Valley need some bolstering just to stay at their B mall status. Possibly the proximity of the two Sears canceled each other out from either being profitable, or at least profitable enough like Moorestown to stay open for a little while longer.

    I went to a new store in South Jersey, Gabe's, that opened in East Gate Square, next to Ross. It's somewhat better than I expected - better than Ross for sure, and maybe similar to Marshall's. I'd guess we will see more of these while we lose Sears.
     
    #399 dontforget, Oct 15, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2018
  10. Nytecat

    Nytecat Well-Known Member

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    Isn't the Somers Point Kmart the newest Kmart in the country as well?

    I recall a GGP rep saying they indeed want to help Neshaminy. Hopefully the transition to Brookfield hasn't altered that. But I haven't heard or seen anything from Simon regarding Oxford Valley.

    Can discount stores save malls if they're coupled with enough entertainment and "experiential" choices? That seems to be the hope for secondary malls like Moorestown which can't attract more upscale tenants, the best option for mall survival. I saw a comment on Facebook that described Boscov's as being a low class store, beneath Kohl's. I think he was just trolling and his off the rocker comments were ignored by the group. Anyway, for all the criticism discount stores get, at this point in time, they are an upgrade over Sears as it teeters on the brink of death.
     
  11. dontforget

    dontforget Well-Known Member

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    As for the Somers Point Kmart, apparently it was one of the latest if not latest store to have opened:
    Dead and Dying retail: The last Kmart ever built.... Somers Point, NJ

    Another article on that store:
    Somers Point Kmart is keeping the customers happy

    There is an Acme and Big Lots in this area, that sell some similar items, and a ShopRite not too far. It might make an ideal setup for Target one day with Target's smaller site (like Haddon Twp.) format but groceries might be well-covered from the presence of actual grocery stores. (Although Haddon Twp. also has an Acme)

    As for Boscov's, I think at each store, you find a lot of items at low prices unlike Kohl's. For example, I went and bought a number of $4-7 T-shirts at Boscov's without any coupons needed. Kohl's tends to be pricey, and one has to use a 30% coupon and Kohl's cash to get a good deal, but it's typical items are pricier. That said, I don't think Boscov's is low class. It would be cool if maybe the Voorhees Boscov and maybe a few others in our area added a restaurant. The Boscov's in Hazleton in Laurel Mall has one:
    Boscov's Greenery Restaurant, Hazleton - Restaurant Reviews & Photos - TripAdvisor

    I plan on making a trip to Neshaminy and Oxford Valley malls again one day soon. I like the idea of Target moving into the Neshaminy Mall, and maybe going to the Sears site which IMO has best visibility. And, for the former macy's, maybe discount stores like Sierra Trading Post. Even Kohl's would probably be better off relocating it's Street Road store to the mall.
     
  12. Nytecat

    Nytecat Well-Known Member

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    The news that prompted that complaint about Boscov's was the report that they were replacing the departing Nordstrom at Providence Place. Providence still has Apple, the Cheesecake Factory, and several A Mall stores like Ann Taylor and Vera Bradley. There have been reports of stores leaving but so far I haven't been able to identify them. Still, after seeing what happened to malls like Horton Plaza and Circle Centre which were thriving just a few years ago, Providence Place no longer looks invincible.

    I wonder what Brookfield's prospects for poaching nearby stores to replace empty anchors are. Target and Kohl's both sound like good choices even though they prefer standalone stores for the most part. Burlington is probably not an option as they have a mall based location nearby at the Mills. They might make sense for Oxford Valley after Sears leaves though. I still wish something would be done with the dead anchor.
     
  13. dontforget

    dontforget Well-Known Member

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    I suppose it's because Target's placement and success at Christiana and Springfield Malls and it's ability to adapt, that I like the Target idea. Also, the site is IMO better than it's current site in the Neshaminy shopping area. There is a second level in this Sears (with no mall entrance or parking lot entrance) but I don't think Target needs to spread it's inventory across two levels. The site can probably be configured to be one level only.

    Another enhancement to Neshaminy that would make sense is direct enclosed mall access between the Boscov's and the AMC wing side of the mall. It probably wouldn't that costly (in development), add some more leasable mall space, and help the AMC end of the mall. There is a restaurant pad by the AMC screens that seems like it has been vacant for years.

    On the other end of the mall, probably Kohl's wouldn't the best choice to replace the macy's site, on second thought. It probably wouldn't want to move anyways. Maybe Old Navy, and a few small box stores (Sierra Trading Post), assuming the macy's structure was demolished. Modell's could relocate to the box side. Or something large scale like a Wegmans (like Montgomery Mall)? I don't think it should be very challenging to come up with a plan for the site.

    At Oxford Valley, the Sears site has two levels with direct mall entrances, as OVM is a two level mall. However, the lower level has no parking lot entrance/exit direct access, and it's somewhat like a basement. The upper level is more desirable to reconfigure, and it's parking lot is across a United Artists movie screen. One thought that I had was if the second level was converted to more mall space, and relocation was given to a few tenants by the former Boscov's like Disney Store. Then, the Boscov's could be demolished, for luxury apartments, and maybe some of that side of the mall downsized. I still don't know what could go on the lower level of Sears though. One luxury apartment community, Avalon, is noticeably missing from the Philly market but is prevalent in Central NJ and Baltimore/Washington area. For some reason, I feel it would fit in well at Oxford Valley with it's upper end demographics nearby, and it does former retail space - it replaced a former macy's then Walmart space at the former Hunt Valley Mall in Maryland as well.

    There are some deadmall.com Youtube videos now that I've been watching, including one on Burlington Ctr.


    Its not amusing like Dan Bell's videos, but Sal (from these videos) goes more in depth with the financials in the redevelopment, and history of these malls. And he discusses the Elephant Fountain
    more. (I do hope it can be preserved to a museum or re-development is done around it).

    Another one was done for York Galleria - which I don't think should be grouped as a dead mall, but just a challenged mall.
     
    #403 dontforget, Oct 20, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2018
  14. Nytecat

    Nytecat Well-Known Member

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    It’s funny. A year ago there was nothing on YouTube for the York Galleria or its sister mall the Johnstown Galleria. Now there are several. Both malls are facing challenges because of anchors closing. But York has the better forecast due to a stronger economy and population growth. I just hope that the addition of a mini casino there helps the mall and doesn’t hurt it.

    Maybe Brookfield and Simon (if they even care about Oxford Valley) are waiting for Sears to depart from their Bucks County malls before doing any serious work and retenanting.

    Have you ever been to the Liberty Village Outlet Marketplace in Flemington? I think it’s considered one of Simon’s “premium outlets” even though they oddly don’t use that nomenclature here. I never paid attention until I stumbled across this video. Apparently it’s half vacant and it’s unusual for Simon to retain such a low performing property.

     
  15. Nytecat

    Nytecat Well-Known Member

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    I went to Voorhees Town Center for their Halloween Festival on Sunday and holy crap! Every kid in Voorhees and Somerdale must have been there. All the events were held outdoors which was overcast but dry. Still there was a higher than usual number of people walking through the wall and taking advantage of Brooklyn Pizza and Enerjuicer which were the only food places open outside of Tilt. Adventureland was closed but was still full of merchandise. Maybe it's just storage for excess inventory now that their new location at the Gloucester Outlets is now open?
     
  16. Notcom

    Notcom Version 2.0

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    Priorities


    Bro needs to Uber himself to a Supercuts

    :eek:

    Hopefully he can find one...but it must be a challenge when you spend your time chasing empty space.
     
  17. dontforget

    dontforget Well-Known Member

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    Probably opening a new store at Gloucester Outlets is it's exit plan for Voorhees. But, I called the Voorhees store and I was told there is no closure expected. It seems like it is one of the few stores there for the long term. But, I wouldn't be surprised if Bath & Body Works (right next to it) and maybe Victoria Secret relocate to Eagle Plaza after that plaza is finished with it's renovations, but I mentioned that before. Even GNC, which is supposedly one of those stores that stays at dead malls forever, left for a shopping plaza by the AMC movie screens. Interestingly enough, Payless closed it's off mall Lindenwold station site, but kept it's VTC site open.

    I believe that you shared this deadmall video of Echelon Mall:


    I watched it again and took more interest.

    At 18:36, he walked up and captured some video of the chandelier in the macy's. It seems it is valuable and I'd assume it can be de-attached. I wonder if macy's owns this as it owns the building?

    I remember Echelon Mall well from the '90s forward. I think one of the biggest mistakes was the addition of Sears. When it closed, it not only left a dead white elephant but it likely diluted JCPenney sales in the year it co-existed. And then a lag of disinvestment in the mall, long left behind dead anchor, likely resulted in JCPenney pulling out. (Had say restaurants been added at the Sears side, maybe JCP would have survived a bit longer).

    No matter though what was done, we might have ended up at the same result though, that the mall would have only been anchored by Boscov. But it seems a lot of money was put into this mall, with new escalators, and flooring and a lot of expectation that strawbridge's/macys was in for the long term. And I remember when the redevelopment happened, that there were tenants still by the JCPenney side. Only Kay Jewelers moved to the foodcourt. Most if not all tenants just left. It was as if PREIT offered no relocation assistance or none of them took it. And maybe the long needed renovation happened too late. This mall needed to be up kept during the early 90's and need that, over a Sears anchor addition.

    Echelon Mall/VTC warrants a dead mall video, although I wish there was video capture of the mall during it's interesting years. Even though Voorhees is a failure by many accounts, I envision mixed use for Oxford Valley almost following a similar boulevard approach, but believe OVM would start at a lot stronger baseline, and could succeed where VTC couldn't.

    A note on the former Echelon YMCA building, it's actually assumed by Jersey Wahoos, Giant Fitness and a Chiropractor group now. It's actually great to see the building re-used even with 3 tenants now. Sadly for South Jersey residents in other area, the Virtua Fitness Health Center, in Washington Twp. will close.
     
    #407 dontforget, Oct 31, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2018
  18. Jayfar

    Jayfar I'm very old®

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    Michaels and Miller’s Ale House coming to Plymouth Meeting Mall | Philly.com

    Michaels and Miller's Ale House will open stores in the former Macy's location at the Plymouth Meeting Mall, joining previously announced Burlington, Dick's Sporting Goods and Edge Fitness.

    This announcement marks the finalization of "anchor replacement" stores for the former Macy's location, which occupied 215,000 square feet and closed in March 2017, according to the mall's owner, Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust (PREIT). All stores are set to open in fall 2019.

    Michaels, an arts and crafts store, will have 26,000 square feet of retail while Miller's Ale, a casual restaurant, will occupy 7,300 square feet of space, PREIT announced.


    [snip]
     
  19. dontforget

    dontforget Well-Known Member

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    Interesting. I assume Michaels is relocating from it's near IKEA Conshohocken location to PM Mall?
     
  20. dontforget

    dontforget Well-Known Member

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    #410 dontforget, Nov 8, 2018 at 5:45 PM
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018 at 6:44 PM
  21. Nytecat

    Nytecat Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I logged in just to report those closings. Having recently lost its last Sears, the city will soon have no Kmart either. Meanwhile, before the Berkshire closing was even announced, Allied Properties was planning a post Sears and Bon-Ton renovation of the mall.

    http://www.mscretail.com/wp-content...gRqYy5G-A3NXY1yUlo-_uLGqNBizeuOV1A1Tf_8Iu_Pww

    Sadly, this will remove the mall’s retro charm including, I’m sure, the fountain with the bridge by Sears.
     

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