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Old 11-03-2015, 09:55 PM
 
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Well, it's only natural that people in Gloucester County would go to Deptford when it opened. But you said that Deptford KILLED Echelon Mall, to which I say "Hell no it didn't."

Echelon had no vacancies until the beginning of the millennium. Having gone there throughout the 90's, business was very strong. The mall was always busy (maybe not crazy packed like Cherry Hill, but it was definitely getting by and then some), as were the adjacent properties: the movie theater, Exhilarama, and that Hard Rock Cafe-type restaurant whose name now escapes me. Ultimately, those properties ending up going down first and then a few years later the actual mall.
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Old 11-03-2015, 11:21 PM
 
Location: The place where the road & the sky collide
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Originally Posted by Leps12 View Post
Well, it's only natural that people in Gloucester County would go to Deptford when it opened. But you said that Deptford KILLED Echelon Mall, to which I say "Hell no it didn't."

Echelon had no vacancies until the beginning of the millennium. Having gone there throughout the 90's, business was very strong. The mall was always busy (maybe not crazy packed like Cherry Hill, but it was definitely getting by and then some), as were the adjacent properties: the movie theater, Exhilarama, and that Hard Rock Cafe-type restaurant whose name now escapes me. Ultimately, those properties ending up going down first and then a few years later the actual mall.
Think whatever you want. I was there when the mall opened & when Deptford opened. After Deptford opened it became a high school hangout & appeared busy but business was way down. It took another hit when the strip malls opened on 73 & never recovered.
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Old 11-04-2015, 09:07 AM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leps12 View Post
Well, it's only natural that people in Gloucester County would go to Deptford when it opened. But you said that Deptford KILLED Echelon Mall, to which I say "Hell no it didn't."

Echelon had no vacancies until the beginning of the millennium. Having gone there throughout the 90's, business was very strong. The mall was always busy (maybe not crazy packed like Cherry Hill, but it was definitely getting by and then some), as were the adjacent properties: the movie theater, Exhilarama, and that Hard Rock Cafe-type restaurant whose name now escapes me. Ultimately, those properties ending up going down first and then a few years later the actual mall.
I liked Echelon in the 1990s and early 2000s. I chose to go there rather than Cherry Hill or Moorestown. Even then, our neighbor the RE agent called it the dying mall. I couldn't understand why he said that, because, as you said, there were no vacancies and plenty of shoppers.
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Old 11-04-2015, 11:34 AM
 
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I think you guys already had this Deptford killing Echelon argument 2 years ago in the Outlet thread...
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Old 11-04-2015, 11:48 AM
 
Location: The place where the road & the sky collide
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Originally Posted by Gerania View Post
I liked Echelon in the 1990s and early 2000s. I chose to go there rather than Cherry Hill or Moorestown. Even then, our neighbor the RE agent called it the dying mall. I couldn't understand why he said that, because, as you said, there were no vacancies and plenty of shoppers.
+5

That's because it was dying compared to what it was pre-Deptford. It's all in perspective. Was it dead in the 90s? No. Was it dying? Yes. By the 90s, quite a few of the original stores were gone & after various times with boarded up spaces had been replaced.

Store #1 of AC Moore was originally in Moorestown Mall & store #2 was originally in Echelon, between Strawbridge & Lits.

Last edited by southbound_295; 11-04-2015 at 12:15 PM..
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Old 11-04-2015, 12:04 PM
 
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Originally Posted by southbound_295 View Post
That's because it was dying compared to what it was pre-Deptford. It's all in perspective. Was it dead in the 90s? No. Was it dying? Yes. By the 90s, quite a few of the original stores were gone & after various times with boarded up spaces had been replaced.

Store #1 of AC Moore was originally in Moorestown Mall & store #2 was originally in Echelon, between Strawbridge & Lits.
Turnover of stores in a mall means nothing. That says more about the individual stores than it does about the mall as a whole. Most restaurants fail and close within 3 years of opening. That doesn't necessarily mean anything about the areas in which they were located. It's just the nature of the business. Again, these original stores that closed were replaced. The problem with a mall as a whole is when stores close and no new ones come to take their place. This didn't happen until 25 years after Deptford opened. You cannot have a fundamental problem with your business and drag it out over 25 years. Businesses never last that long if they are "dying."
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Old 11-04-2015, 12:14 PM
 
Location: The place where the road & the sky collide
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Originally Posted by Leps12 View Post
Turnover of stores in a mall means nothing. That says more about the individual stores than it does about the mall as a whole. Most restaurants fail and close within 3 years of opening. That doesn't necessarily mean anything about the areas in which they were located. It's just the nature of the business. Again, these original stores that closed were replaced. The problem with a mall as a whole is when stores close and no new ones come to take their place. This didn't happen until 25 years after Deptford opened. You cannot have a fundamental problem with your business and drag it out over 25 years. Businesses never last that long if they are "dying."
The original stores that failed or left when or after Deptford opened left a lot of boarded up spaces for a long time. Merchants were upset through the 90s because so much of the foot traffic was high school kids. Like I said, think whatever you want. You've already admitted to not being there for the entire duration. I was there. Another poster has posted that her neighbor referred to it as dying. It's not a hallucination on my part.
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Old 11-04-2015, 02:48 PM
 
Location: The place where the road & the sky collide
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Originally Posted by GoPhils View Post
I think you guys already had this Deptford killing Echelon argument 2 years ago in the Outlet thread...
+5

Dug up that other old thread. I think you might be right.
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Old 11-09-2015, 03:33 PM
 
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Regarding Deptford, I do believe the Deptford Mall renovation in the early 2000s put it notches over Echelon. JCPenney opening there meant it didn't need to be in Echelon also, although JCP had relocated out of Audubon to Deptford. The Marlton shopping area also impacted Echelon's potential. It's also somewhat unfortunate that Cinemark Somerdale and the Ritz now Carmike Voorhees movie complexes are so close to the Voorhees/Echelon Mall, but neither movie complex is in the center to help the center directly.

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Originally Posted by Leps12 View Post
No, not the whole center. Just the mall part. I think they should get rid of it and try to transform it into an expansion of the outdoors part and continue on the trend towards a mixed-use center. Take the retail out of the mall and put it outdoors to create an entirely walkable complex and push the parking vertical to help create better synergy. It's obvious that the mall is a failure and cannot be rescued. It's time for a change. They started on the right path, but they the-assed the job. It's time to full-ass!

A grocery store would be a big help. But I'm just saying don't expect a Wegman's or a Whole Foods. I wouldn't expect a Shop Rite or Acme either though, considering they already have stores nearby. Maybe Rastelli Market Fresh opening a third location would be the best option. Either that or Trader Joe's. The other thing that I would say would be beneficial would be running a shuttle service from VTC to the Ashland PATCO.
Why do you think the area isn't a good place to live (from your previous comment), and they did a half ass job? I think the luxury apartments aren't overpriced and they could be ideal for someone that takes PATCO but wants a suburban experience. The restaurant row has been mostly successful. Even though it's not walkable to PATCO, it's a short drive. Depending on where one commutes, it might be better than a luxury apartment in Burlington County that is over 20 minutes to PATCO.

If anything, I believe PREIT overspent in the VTC transformation over doing it half heartedly. I think PREIT made the mistake of putting new flooring in the mall side of it, instead of putting it in Moorestown Mall, which still has the old dated flooring except in the new food court. It's like renovating a house with the bad location, over the one with the good location. If there was a greater chance of it one day being sold at loss, and/or demolished, then putting new flooring was a waste of money.

If Macy's closes, I doubt the building is usable for other purposes. The lack of windows in these giant department store anchors make it terrible for office space, and thus it might have to be demolished, especially as a central part of the center. Maybe more housing and outdoor retail will be part of a redevelopment, and retail if this anchor closes. I like your idea of Rastelli's. It's small but somewhat gourmet oriented. A small retail section with a grocer anchor could be suited for Aldi, Rastelli's or some other store. This wouldn't be very destinational pulling in Gloucester County residents, but just suited for the convenience of those living in the area, and maybe PATCO commuters stopping there from station to center to back to home in the evening. Wegmans and Whole Foods might be ambitious, but still not bad to court them initially.

When Strawbridge's closed in the CH Mall, the first announced plan was an outdoor lifestyle component like what the Lehigh Valley Mall has now. But, PREIT was able to successfully court Nordstrom. Some might have figured Nordstrom was too ambitious in CH, given that there are a lot of lower income HHs not too far from the mall.

The Oxford Valley Mall still has a vacant former Boscov's store and it's been vacant for years. The former anchor is somewhat less central, and the rest of the mall continues to operate normally and new retail (like an H&M) gets replaced in the enclosed part of the mall. Point from that is one empty anchor might be bearable that no redevelopment is done to it.

Last edited by marltonguy; 11-09-2015 at 04:28 PM..
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Old 11-09-2015, 05:42 PM
 
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Originally Posted by reprot View Post
I work directly behind the Echelon Mall and let me tell you the VTC and the adjacent mall is dead dead dead. Neither Boscovs' nor Macy's are busy so it may or could be either store to close.
It's a shame. Once the Deptford Mall opened it killed Echelon. Echelon's location is terrible. Somerdale Rd. is a pita so too Evesham and Burnt Mill Rd. Backs up quickly and too many lights. One must drive through neighborhoods to get there. Just my opinion, but I do not believe the people living in this part of Voorhees are upper middle class. It's still Somerdale to me. The luxury condos are bordered by tired side of Lawnside and Walmart, which is always crowded.
What to do...dunno I'm certainly no visionary.
I know several upper middle income families that live in houses by the Echelon area and minutes from Ashland. It really isn't that much different from Cherry Hill, except for the density of apartments.

Last edited by marltonguy; 11-09-2015 at 06:01 PM..
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