The Record from Hackensack, New Jersey on February 11, 2007 · Z22
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The Record from Hackensack, New Jersey · Z22

Hackensack, New Jersey
Issue Date:
Sunday, February 11, 2007
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Z-22 NORTH JERSEY BUSINESS SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 1 1 , 2007 ECONOMYJOBS These aren't your mother's shopping malls Retail centers adding stores, entertainment and new looks By JOAN VERDON STAFF WRITER Welcome to Mall Makeover, 2007 Edition, where you have to change to stay in the game. In North Jersey, which has five major malls, a half-dozen smaller shopping centers and more than 13 million square feet of highway stores compete for consumers, retailers can't afford to stand still. And they don't. Remodeling projects will add more than 800,000 square feet of retail, entertainment, dining and parking space at three of the malls over the coming year. North Jersey's oldest enclosed shopping center, Bergen Mall, will begin work this spring on reconstructive surgery designed to transform it into a "town center" from a mall. Westfield Garden State Plaza in Paramus, the region's largest mall, with more than 2 million square feet of stores, has decided that today's malls don't live by shopping alone. It is adding a 163,000-square-foot "entertainment lifestyle precinct." It will include a 16-screen movie theater with stadium seating, a restaurant and 10 specialty retailers, including "experiential" stores where shoppers are encouraged to try out the merchandise before they buy. Westfield had sales per square foot of $578 in 2005, according to the Directory of Major Malls, and is one of the most profitable in the country with sales about 50 percent above the national average. Westfield executives, in seeking permission for the addition, argued that today's malls need more entertainment and dining to draw shoppers. Consumers, they say, increasingly want to combine a shopping trip with some relaxation time. Westfield, however, had to battle opponents of the addition -Paramus residents near the mall -who were concerned a 16-screen theater would create traffic nightmares at the mall. The shopping center first proposed the project in 2003, and had to win three court decisions before it got the green light to build. The theater has been built on concrete columns, with a 158,000-square-foot parking lot underneath the new wing. Westfield also is planning to "refresh" its food court, which was last renovated about 10 years ago. "We'll be installing new tile, new lighting, new tables and chairs," said Lisa Herrmann, the mall's marketing director. Work began on the food court in January and is scheduled to be completed by May, in time for the grand opening of the new wing and the mall's birthday celebration. The shopping center also is expanding its concierge services and plans to install a "super concierge center" featuring plasma TV screens with information about mall stores and services. The Shops at Riverside in Hackensack is working on the second phase of the multiyear remodeling undertaken by owner Mills Corp. to morph the former DANIELLE P. RICHARDSSTAFF PHOTOGRAPHER An "entertainment lifestyle precinct" at the Westfield Garden State Plaza in Paramus will include a theater complex and a restaurant. Riverside Square mall into the more upscale, more chic Shops at Riverside. Phase One, completed last year, featured a new parking deck and an expanded Blooming-dale's Home Store. The second phase will add another "restaurant row" to the mall's north side, with three popular restaurant chains joining the four restaurants at the mall. Maggiano's Little Italy and P.F. Chang's are scheduled to open in the summer, and Rosa Mexi-cano is expected to debut in the fall. The third phase will create a wing of stores at the mall, and two of the tenants are slated to open this spring - apparel store Cache and upscale stationery destination Papyrus. The existing wings of the mall will be adding tenants as well, including a Hugo Boss store that will be moving into a space across from The Cheesecake Factory this month, and a Salvatore Ferragamo shop set to open across from Tiffany & Co. in late spring. At Bergen Mall in Paramus, the $171 million overhaul that will transform the aging shopping destination into a "town center" with pedestrian walkways and groupings of stores with separate entrances, rather than an enclosed mall, is scheduled to begin in March or April. Vornado Realty Trust, which got the go-ahead from the Paramus zoning board in December, plans to move quickly and be ready for new tenants starting next year. Vornado has not disclosed all of the planned tenants, but Paramus officials have been told that Target Corp., Whole Foods Market Inc., and home-improvement chain Lowe's Cos. are expected to take space at the new Bergen Town Center. Willowbrook Mall, coming off a holiday shopping season that featured half a dozen high-profile national retailers new to the Wayne shopping center, is planning to add several more retail powerhouses in 2007. Some of the hot retailers who joined the mall in 2006 included MAC cosmetics, the best-selling department store brand that has begun opening its own retail locations, and White HouseBlack Market, the new concept by the company that created the Chico's stores. The Baker's Footwear chain also opened a new concept store, Ciella, at the mall. Ciella is intended to remind shoppers of a European shoe boutique. Apparel retailers Zara and BCBG Maxazria are scheduled to open this spring. Willowbrook also will be the new home of a proto type store for trendy teen retailer Aeropostale Inc. The Aeropostale store makeover follows a move by leading teen retailer American Eagle Outfitters Inc. to renovate and expand its space at the mall last year. Abercrombie & Fitch Co. also plans to renovate its Willowbrook space this year. Paramus Park mall is planning to add several "exciting new tenants" this year, according to mall manager Minnie Adams, but she can't name all the names until the leases are finalized. The deals she can reveal include plans by Chico's to double its space at the mall to add its new Soma store concept that features lingerie. A swimwear and exercise apparel store, Swim 'n Sport, is scheduled to open in March. 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SEE POS FOR COMPLETE OFFERING TERMS. WE ARE PLEDGED TO THE LETTER AND SPIRIT OF U.S. POLICY FOR THE ACHIEVEMENT OF EQUAL HOUSING OPPORTUNITY THROUGHOUT THE NATION. WE ENCOURAGE AND SUPPORT AN AFFIRMATIVE ADVERTISING AND MARKETING PROGRAM IN WHICH THERE ARE NO BARRIERS TO OBTAINING HOUSING BECAUSE OF RACE, COLOR, RELIGION, SEX, HANDICAP, FAMILIAL STATUS OR NATIONAL ORIGIN. !!! I I isss; Hill Gill .war i ,' ifeif

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