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New Jersey Preps for Post Mall Era

lord and Taylor

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Paramus NJ, a Ridgewood resident was at Paramus Park on Thursday and she told us it was empty, just 10 days before Christmas.

The first wave of walls were all open-air shopping areas that tried to mimic the traditional downtown shopping experience that they escaped from. The first noted shopping mall called the Country Club Plaza was founded in 1922 by the J.C. Nichols Company in Missouri. In 1928, the Grandview Avenue Shopping Center opened in Ohio, followed by the Highland Park Shopping Village in 1931 in Texas. Unlike the others, Highland Park featured storefronts that faced inward away from the streets to entice customers. This became the norm for mall architecture.

By the mid 1960’s there were over 7,600 shopping centers or malls in the U.S. due to the growth and development following World War II. The high demand for housing meant a high demand for retail stores. An increase in cars also meant a need for places that could temporarily house all those vehicles. However, malls still weren’t done evolving.

Between 1980 and 1990, the history of malls continued to progress; over 16,000 centers were built, including the new power center, which features between 250,000 and 600,000 square feet and has big-box retailers.

Then in 1994 ,it was Netscape , the internet was born and Americans buying habits began to change . 2007 marked the first time a mall wasn’t built in the U.S., something that hadn’t happened since the 1950s, and over 400 malls closed between 2007 and 2009. Instead of tearing them down, dead or dying malls are being converted into mixed-use centers, including apartments, churches, industrial and office space or even school campuses.

The rise of online commerce and the decline of the suburban areas contributed to the decrease in malls being built, as well as a drop off in stores wanting to open at malls.

The empty mall and changes in Americas shopping habits have left a lot of malls near deaths door . So what does a state with so many shopping malls do ? Some New Jersey towns have have moved forward and today in we noticed this , “Flemington’s Borough Council has adopted an ordinance establishing the “Liberty Village Redevelopment Plan” that will transform the borough’s notable outlet mall into mixed-income housing units.”

“The plan, approved Monday night, consists of redeveloping the Liberty Village Redevelopment Area — which is comprised of 10 lots and about 23 acres — into multi-family residential and/or townhouse units that will accommodate a mix of incomes and household sizes, according to the redevelopment plan.”

6 thoughts on “New Jersey Preps for Post Mall Era

  1. The Rise Of Cannabis Use & Decriminalization Will REIMAGINE Cities To Just OPEN AIR DRUG MARKETS. As Biden Would Say “We Have To Do It NOW!” Prohibit Use, Possession Or Being Under The Influence In PUBLIC. p.s. I Support Medical Marijuana & The Privacy Of What One Does In Their Homes…But PUBLIC HEALTH & SAFETY Will Suffer..

  2. More housing in the CBD for the Village since quite a few stores are closed.

  3. Are you at the medical marijuana helps it’s a good thing.

  4. Considering many people use the emergency room as their family doctor, the mall will be repositioned into a hospital. Besides, Valley is right next door, they will take the site over immediately. However, wait times will increase from too long to excruciating.

  5. Woodbridge Center near where I grew up in the late 1970s and 80s was THE place to be on Saturday afternoons. It was a very modern, very large indoor shopping center but it was just “the mall” to me and half a dozen high school friends who regularly met there. It had a nice selection of big name department stores (Abraham & Straus, Stern Brothers come to mind) and lots of smaller boutique style shops (Vanguard Shoes, The Gap, Spencer Gifts, Chess King, Fanny Farmer Candies, Sam Goody Music, Hamburger Heaven or something like that and many more). Places throughout the mall with fountains and trees and sitting areas was great for “people watching”!
    I got a Christmas season job at Abraham & Straus in 1980 in “better jewelry” (although at 18 years old I had no experience or interest in jewelry I found the experience to be great because I met a lot of people who bought jewelry and we has some good conversations. The art of conversation has been lost on sitting at home doing Internet shopping).

    Eventually moved away from the Woodbridge area but “the mall” remains a fond teenage memory of a great place where friends met, spent a few dollars here and there and had innocent fun. And there was never an incident of gun violence there. The good old days and I miss them.

  6. Average Valley ER wait time to be seen was 6.0 hours.

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