The Garden State Plaza is getting a makeover — and tons of new eateries and family activities are included, NorthJersey.com reports.
Work will begin early February and is expected to wrap up within the year and is expected to wrap up in the fall, the article says.
According to NorthJersey.com, new additions include:
Jersey Shore-themed play area
Delaney Chicken is expected to open next to Shake Shack in the spring.
The Paramus mall has confirmed that it is remodeling its food court into a dining hall with an “urban bistro” atmosphere; and making other improvements New Jersey’s largest mall is preparing to begin its latest makeover, designed to give the 60-year-old shopping center a fresh look and improvements that will carry it into an increasingly digital age. Westfield Garden State Plaza confirmed Wednesday that it is remodeling its food court into a dining hall with an “urban bistro” atmosphere; adding an interactive play area; and placing state-of-the-art digital media screens and art displays throughout the Paramus mall. A new valet parking area is being planned as well, as are new entrances to the mall. The project will include upgrades to the heating, cooling and energy systems, security operations, and technology, including improved WiFi, beacon and communication technology. Sections of the roof will be replaced. “This revitalization will allow us to be on the forefront of creating truly unique and memorable shopping experiences for our customers,” said Bryan Gaus, senior general manager of the Plaza. ““This revitalization will allow us to be on the forefront of creating truly unique and memorable shopping experiences for our customers."” Bryan Gaus, senior general manager, Westfield Garden State PlazaWork on the makeover for the 2.1-million-square-foot mall is scheduled to begin in early February, with completion expected before the end of the year. The new dining hall is slated to open in October. Mall officials did not disclose what the project would cost. Constant reinventionThe mall, which opened in May 1957, is the second-oldest in North Jersey and six months younger than its next-door neighbor, The Outlets at Bergen Town Center. But Westfield Corp., which has owned the Plaza since the mid-1980s, is continuously reinventing the retail experience there. In 1996, the mall nearly doubled its size with a luxury addition that added Neiman Marcus and a Lord & Taylor. In 2007, it added a 16-screen movie theater and entertainment wing. In 2013, it rebuilt a parking deck to carve out space for a new “fashion district” that added upscale retailers. The Plaza is one of 16 centers that Westfield calls its “flagship” properties, and one of nine Westfield malls around the world with annual retail sales greater than $1 billion. The Plaza’s sales figures beat those of most of the other Westfield malls, and the majority of U.S. shopping centers, even though it is closed on Sundays because of Bergen County blue laws. The complex draws 20 million visitors a year. Ahead of the competitionBut the Plaza is always looking over its shoulder at competitors that could steal sales. Right now, the largest potential rival looming is the long-delayed American Dream entertainment and shopping complex in the Meadowlands. The developers of that project say it will be ready to open in late 2018, but it still faces possible setbacks. The Plaza also announced that it is adding a number of retailers this year, in addition to the previously announced Amazon Books. Others opening locations include Fabletics, the athletic-leisure brand by actress Kate Hudson; the barbecue restaurant Mighty Quinn’s BBQ; and coffee brand Nespresso. European designer Marc Cain plans to open his first U.S. store at the mall.
Food is the new fashion as dining halls meet the mall Reserved parking debuts at Garden State Plaza
Interactive gaming comes to Paramus mall High-end furniture store opens in Paramus By reinventing its food court, the Plaza is following in the path of other Westfield malls, and other shopping centers, that want to replicate the success of the dining halls at the Brookfield Place and Westfield World Trade Center malls in lower Manhattan. “Westfield is upgrading the food courts in a number of ‘A’ malls that they own,” said mall expert Paco Underhill, founder of research and consulting firm Envirosell and author of “Why We Buy.” “There are other Westfield properties in other parts of the world that have magnificent food courts that tie into local cuisine,” he said. A rendering of the new hall at Westfield Garden State Plaza (Photo: Submitted) Those food courts often have a view, he said, something not possible at the Plaza, where the food court is located on the lower level. The mall, Underhill said, may be trying to compensate for the lack of a view with art installations and digital screens.
Underhill said the addition of more valet parking “makes a lot of sense” and can be used in conjunction with the Westfield shopping app to build customer loyalty. The digital screens, he said, are a way to “take a page from the billboard industry, which is, there are ways of leveraging traffic other than just selling them stuff; it’s leveraging eyeballs.” Jersey Shore-themed play spaceThe new play area next to the remodeled food court will have a combination of digital and traditional play spaces, and will have a Jersey Shore theme, said Lisa Herrmann-Srednicki, senior director of marketing for the Plaza.
Herrmann-Srednicki said the remodeling work will take place in the evenings, after the mall is closed for the day, and be designed to have minimal impact on shoppers. The current food court will remain open during the remodeling. The entire mall will get a fresh look, with new seating, painting, and lighting, plus new exterior landscaping. New security operations systems will add what the Plaza described as “ultra-modern back-of-house access control systems,” which would monitor the non-public parts of the mall.
Underhill said Westfield and the Plaza deserve credit for constantly attempting new things. “They’re not afraid to try,” he said.
Content gathered & updated by the Bergen Review Media team.