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Old 12-03-2015, 10:18 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by southbound_295 View Post
+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.
The death of Echelon was distinct, between the years of when Sears closed shortly after opening, to about a year later when JCPenney closed it's doors. Chains like the Disney Store, New York & Company and Express left after that point. I once wondered if Sears was never built (which never got a return of investment with such a short duration of operation), but instead that space was used for a restaurant row (like the current restaurant row), and the mall got a renovation, if the mall would be better off today, with JCPenney possibly still operating there.

But now, I believe the outcome would be much the same. The Owings Mill Mall in Maryland recently closed and that mall was huge like Echelon, and if I recall, even nicer inside with more top tier tenants.

I remember the mid 90s and while Echelon was doing decent, it wasn't getting upgraded and renovated. Meanwhile the CH Mall got renovations and it was attracting the higher tier chains, like Banana Republic and Abercrombie. The elimination of the Ellisburg circle also made it easier for residents in 08003 to reach the CH Mall.

Regarding Deptford Mall, it's nice, but it's still not strong enough or maybe large enough to attract the Apple Store and some more top tier tenants. That mall has potential but it seems stunted. I think the mall owner, Macerich, should pay off Sears for it's site, and then replace it with a lifestyle component, like what the Lehigh Valley Mall has currently, or it could be extended enclosed area space with a Barnes & Noble and a restaurant as an end anchor.

Cherry Hill Mall is still the top mall in South Jersey without doubt. Quakerbridge, while in Central NJ, has been renovated even though the plans to shuffle JCPenney around to fit Nordstrom never panned out, but it remains a strong mall, and it pulls from those in northern Burlington county.

Last edited by marltonguy; 12-03-2015 at 10:42 PM..
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Old 12-04-2015, 09:24 AM
 
Location: The place where the road & the sky collide
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marltonguy View Post
The death of Echelon was distinct, between the years of when Sears closed shortly after opening, to about a year later when JCPenney closed it's doors. Chains like the Disney Store, New York & Company and Express left after that point. I once wondered if Sears was never built (which never got a return of investment with such a short duration of operation), but instead that space was used for a restaurant row (like the current restaurant row), and the mall got a renovation, if the mall would be better off today, with JCPenney possibly still operating there.

But now, I believe the outcome would be much the same. The Owings Mill Mall in Maryland recently closed and that mall was huge like Echelon, and if I recall, even nicer inside with more top tier tenants.

I remember the mid 90s and while Echelon was doing decent, it wasn't getting upgraded and renovated. Meanwhile the CH Mall got renovations and it was attracting the higher tier chains, like Banana Republic and Abercrombie. The elimination of the Ellisburg circle also made it easier for residents in 08003 to reach the CH Mall.

Regarding Deptford Mall, it's nice, but it's still not strong enough or maybe large enough to attract the Apple Store and some more top tier tenants. That mall has potential but it seems stunted. I think the mall owner, Macerich, should pay off Sears for it's site, and then replace it with a lifestyle component, like what the Lehigh Valley Mall has currently, or it could be extended enclosed area space with a Barnes & Noble and a restaurant as an end anchor.

Cherry Hill Mall is still the top mall in South Jersey without doubt. Quakerbridge, while in Central NJ, has been renovated even though the plans to shuffle JCPenney around to fit Nordstrom never panned out, but it remains a strong mall, and it pulls from those in northern Burlington county.
Yes, Echelon struggled, particularly after Deptford opened, when they lost the majority of paying customers from Gloucester County & got the bands of roaming high school kids as a replacement. When Frederick's of Hollywood closed that store was empty for a very long time, & it was a prime spot, across from Strawbridge & Clothier, near the entrance to the wing going to JC Penney.

Funny you should mention Owings Mills. . . I worked in Owings Mills & did a weekly commute there for several years before that mall opened. It's not like that area is overrun with other retail.
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Old 12-06-2015, 08:45 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by southbound_295 View Post
Yes, Echelon struggled, particularly after Deptford opened, when they lost the majority of paying customers from Gloucester County & got the bands of roaming high school kids as a replacement. When Frederick's of Hollywood closed that store was empty for a very long time, & it was a prime spot, across from Strawbridge & Clothier, near the entrance to the wing going to JC Penney.

Funny you should mention Owings Mills. . . I worked in Owings Mills & did a weekly commute there for several years before that mall opened. It's not like that area is overrun with other retail.
Frederick's of Hollywood closed after the JCPenney closed. That chain was floundering and didn't open up afterwards in Cherry Hill or Moorestown as a replacement. It has since gone bankrupt.

While Deptford was competition to Echelon for those in between and closer to Deptford, it's disingenuous to claim Echelon struggled or was dying between when Deptford opened (1975) to the late 90's/early 2000's when a wide variety of stores, national chains, served as tenants in the enclosed section of the Echelon mall. It's just inaccurate. Echelon was frequented by customers from Cherry Hill, Marlton and towns around that, while these customers would never travel to shop at towns like Deptford let alone Somerdale.

Deptford offered Wanamakers, Macys and Sears while Echelon offered Strawbridge's, JCPenney and Boscov's. For a long time, the department store differences distinguished the mall's offerings.

Further north- Moorestown didn't even have tenants like Disney Store, Finish Line and The Limited while Echelon had all of these in the 90's/early 00's, and PREIT still can't attract these stores to open in Moorestown, likely because the chains figure Cherry Hill Mall is so close.

Similarly Neshaminy Mall isn't as strong as Willow Grove or Oxford Valley, but the Echelon of the late 90s/early 2000s was like the Neshaminy of today, sandwiched nearer better malls. A difference of course is Neshaminy is near highways and will likely not go in decline, even if doesn't improve much for the better.
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Old 12-06-2015, 09:55 PM
 
Location: Levittown
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marltonguy View Post
Frederick's of Hollywood closed after the JCPenney closed. That chain was floundering and didn't open up afterwards in Cherry Hill or Moorestown as a replacement. It has since gone bankrupt.

While Deptford was competition to Echelon for those in between and closer to Deptford, it's disingenuous to claim Echelon struggled or was dying between when Deptford opened (1975) to the late 90's/early 2000's when a wide variety of stores, national chains, served as tenants in the enclosed section of the Echelon mall. It's just inaccurate. Echelon was frequented by customers from Cherry Hill, Marlton and towns around that, while these customers would never travel to shop at towns like Deptford let alone Somerdale.

Deptford offered Wanamakers, Macys and Sears while Echelon offered Strawbridge's, JCPenney and Boscov's. For a long time, the department store differences distinguished the mall's offerings.

Further north- Moorestown didn't even have tenants like Disney Store, Finish Line and The Limited while Echelon had all of these in the 90's/early 00's, and PREIT still can't attract these stores to open in Moorestown, likely because the chains figure Cherry Hill Mall is so close.

Similarly Neshaminy Mall isn't as strong as Willow Grove or Oxford Valley, but the Echelon of the late 90s/early 2000s was like the Neshaminy of today, sandwiched nearer better malls. A difference of course is Neshaminy is near highways and will likely not go in decline, even if doesn't improve much for the better.
They recently did something to Neshaminy Mall, at least put up some new signs on the outside. Haven't been inside there since. But I actually prefer this mall over Oxford or Franklin Mills not just because it's smaller and less crowded, but I also like the store selection better. And I live closest to Oxford.

I'd been to Echelon many times growing up. I was last there in 2006 just before it became the town center and boy was it nasty. It was like walking through a big haunted house, pretty empty except for a few questionable characters roaming around the place. I'm not exaggerating when I say it didn't feel safe, granted it was nighttime. Neshaminy Mall today is nothing like this, I guess its proximity to Rt 1 is holding it up better, and you still see that big sign off the highway, while Echelon is located off of backroads.

As for Oxford Valley, has there been any talk of filling that vacant anchor?
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Old 12-07-2015, 06:30 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NYtoNJtoPA View Post
They recently did something to Neshaminy Mall, at least put up some new signs on the outside. Haven't been inside there since. But I actually prefer this mall over Oxford or Franklin Mills not just because it's smaller and less crowded, but I also like the store selection better. And I live closest to Oxford.

I'd been to Echelon many times growing up. I was last there in 2006 just before it became the town center and boy was it nasty. It was like walking through a big haunted house, pretty empty except for a few questionable characters roaming around the place. I'm not exaggerating when I say it didn't feel safe, granted it was nighttime. Neshaminy Mall today is nothing like this, I guess its proximity to Rt 1 is holding it up better, and you still see that big sign off the highway, while Echelon is located off of backroads.

As for Oxford Valley, has there been any talk of filling that vacant anchor?
2006 was before it's transformation to the Voorhees Town Center. My comparison was Echelon from 90s/early 00's to Neshaminy of today. Both B malls.

Here is a tenant listing from before JCPenney closed at Echelon Mall:
https://web.archive.org/web/20010420...lID=108&FL=All

Hardly a dead mall then because of Deptford Mall's presence.

The VTC mall is generally safe and doesn't have the roaming kids element either now.

Here is the 2003 directory listing of Echelon Mall:

https://web.archive.org/web/20030219...ting_print.cfm

Notice that Frederick's of Hollywood was still operating at that time. The mall was in decline however as JCPenney and Sears had both left. Between 2000-2006, many tenants didn't renew their leases.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NYtoNJtoPA View Post
As for Oxford Valley, has there been any talk of filling that vacant anchor?
It likely goes in another thread in the Philadelphia forum, but in short, I haven't seen in media anything about it throughout the years. Similarly, the space is not visible off the highways either so it's no surprise that interest hasn't been strong. I do wonder if Sears will keep both stores (Neshaminy and Oxford Valley) open given that it's just 6 miles apart and given that Sears has serious issues and has announced it will close stores next year. Perhaps Boscov's will wait and pick up the Sears space at Oxford Valley if Sears leaves there, which is more central at that mall than the anchor spot that Boscov's had left.

Last edited by marltonguy; 12-07-2015 at 07:59 AM..
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Old 12-07-2015, 03:00 PM
 
Location: The place where the road & the sky collide
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marltonguy View Post
Frederick's of Hollywood closed after the JCPenney closed. That chain was floundering and didn't open up afterwards in Cherry Hill or Moorestown as a replacement. It has since gone bankrupt.

While Deptford was competition to Echelon for those in between and closer to Deptford, it's disingenuous to claim Echelon struggled or was dying between when Deptford opened (1975) to the late 90's/early 2000's when a wide variety of stores, national chains, served as tenants in the enclosed section of the Echelon mall. It's just inaccurate. Echelon was frequented by customers from Cherry Hill, Marlton and towns around that, while these customers would never travel to shop at towns like Deptford let alone Somerdale.

Deptford offered Wanamakers, Macys and Sears while Echelon offered Strawbridge's, JCPenney and Boscov's. For a long time, the department store differences distinguished the mall's offerings.

Further north- Moorestown didn't even have tenants like Disney Store, Finish Line and The Limited while Echelon had all of these in the 90's/early 00's, and PREIT still can't attract these stores to open in Moorestown, likely because the chains figure Cherry Hill Mall is so close.

Similarly Neshaminy Mall isn't as strong as Willow Grove or Oxford Valley, but the Echelon of the late 90s/early 2000s was like the Neshaminy of today, sandwiched nearer better malls. A difference of course is Neshaminy is near highways and will likely not go in decline, even if doesn't improve much for the better.
Eh, I lived in Cherry Hill, near Ellisburg, which put me pretty much in the middle to go to all 3 malls. I'm tired of justifying my comments to people who I doubt were alive & living in South Jersey when the Deptford Mall opened or when Echelon opened. Think whatever you want.
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Old 12-12-2015, 03:46 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by southbound_295 View Post
Eh, I lived in Cherry Hill, near Ellisburg, which put me pretty much in the middle to go to all 3 malls.
Deptford is significantly farther away from any point in Cherry Hill.

Ellisburg-Deptford Mall 13.2 miles
Ellisburg-Echelon Mall 6 miles
Ellisburg-Moorestown Mall 3.8 miles
Ellsburg-Cherry Hill Mall 3.7 miles

Quote:
Originally Posted by southbound_295 View Post
I'm tired of justifying my comments to people who I doubt were alive & living in South Jersey when the Deptford Mall opened or when Echelon opened. Think whatever you want.
I already presented a directory of the Echelon Mall in late 90s/00s, which indicates a robust tenant list. You ignored it. I was around then in the 80s/90s and witnessed when the mall was doing well, to it's decline.

Deptford didn't really accelerate it's position over Echelon until Deptford got a JCPenney and makeover (2000-2001), and the anchor consolidation left Echelon redundant. Echelon's competition isn't limited to Deptford.

Last edited by marltonguy; 12-12-2015 at 04:40 PM..
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Old 12-12-2015, 05:01 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marltonguy View Post
Deptford is significantly farther away from any point in Cherry Hill.

Ellisburg-Deptford Mall 13.2 miles
Ellisburg-Echelon Mall 6 miles
Ellisburg-Moorestown Mall 3.8 miles
Ellsburg-Cherry Hill Mall 3.7 miles



I already presented a directory of the Echelon Mall in late 90s/00s, which indicates a robust tenant list. You ignored it. I was around then in the 80s/90s and witnessed when the mall was doing well, to it's decline.

Deptford didn't really accelerate it's position over Echelon until Deptford got a JCPenney and makeover (2000-2001), and the anchor consolidation left Echelon redundant. Echelon's competition isn't limited to Deptford.
As I had said. Glad I have someone who agrees with me. I restate my opinion that the combination of the opening of The Promenade and renovations and expansions to both Cherry Hill and Deptford Malls did Echelon in, all of which started taking form around the late 90's to early 00's. I think it was The Promenade first and foremost though.
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Old 12-22-2015, 10:11 PM
 
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I had a chance to see the new Friendly's that opened up in the Voorhees Town Center. There is an article in the Inquirer about the franchise owner. It opened up in the boulevard next to the closed Yogurtland space. (I kind of would prefer if Yogurtland would just re-open over Friendly's)

I still am unsure why this is better space than the former Friendly's on Haddonfield Berlin Road in front of the Carmike movie cinemas, but maybe the franchise figures someone would eat at Catelli Duo or one of the other fancy restaurants and follow it with a cheaper dessert option. But there were 2-3 restaurants in the Carmike center and it was closer to the movie theater and the two hotels in the area.

I also stopped in Macy's, that is expected to close. Unlike the Macy's in Cherry Hill and even Moorestown where one enters from the inside of the mall and sees the cosmetics/fragrances area, in the Voorhees store, they display some miscellanous goods by the front end of the mall, which was always boring and uninspiring. It's been like that forever but it's just worth commenting that it doesn't create an happening space like the Cherry Hill store. I also noticed that the third floor is totally not used anymore. There is a 4th level as well, but I believe one might have to use the elevator and it's not open to shoppers. The macy's is a very massive space and totally unfit for the space that macys really needs.

I wonder if Costco could be another chain that could be courted to replace dead anchors in malls. Maybe it could fit in Oxford Valley Mall and Voorhees after a demolition of the anchor space and construction of a new store, without a mall entrance but fitted very close to the mall. Costco did express interest on the west side of Cherry Hill by the former racetrack, but I don't know if that plan fell through or not. The Centerton store is 13 miles away which might be enough spacing distance between it and Voorhees. There are Costcos that are 8 miles apart in other areas. I'm not sure if there is good remaining retail space in Deptford for Costco so this could be a proxy for a south store.

Last edited by marltonguy; 12-22-2015 at 10:24 PM..
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Old 12-23-2015, 07:38 AM
 
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Originally Posted by marltonguy View Post
I had a chance to see the new Friendly's that opened up in the Voorhees Town Center. There is an article in the Inquirer about the franchise owner. It opened up in the boulevard next to the closed Yogurtland space. (I kind of would prefer if Yogurtland would just re-open over Friendly's)

I still am unsure why this is better space than the former Friendly's on Haddonfield Berlin Road in front of the Carmike movie cinemas, but maybe the franchise figures someone would eat at Catelli Duo or one of the other fancy restaurants and follow it with a cheaper dessert option. But there were 2-3 restaurants in the Carmike center and it was closer to the movie theater and the two hotels in the area.
It's possible that the Friendly's owner got a sweetheart deal to open up at the Town Center, and that's why that was chosen instead of the Carmike (former Ritz) area. Funny that you mention Catelli Duo. As I'm sure you remember, the original Catelli was at Main Street, and then when the VTC opened up, they moved over there. I also am suspecting they got a sweetheart deal to do that, as the township was, and still is, desperate to fill in spaces in their pet project.

The sad thing is that it's pretty obvious that the VTC was designed to try to appeal to the "new generation" and give off a semi-urban/hip vibe, hence the mixing of commercial and (pricey/"luxury") residential establishments together. Not that "lifestyle centers" are ever actually successful at doing that, because they are not real downtowns, but rather glorified strip malls, and thus by the very nature of their structure cannot properly replicate an urban or inner ring suburb vibe. But, they at least seem to THINK that it has a certain appeal that would attract people who like Haddonfield and Collingswood.

Maybe they just are that desperate to fill spaces at this point, but if they think that, of all things, Friendly's is going to help make the VTC a "happening" area, well, they are even more idiotic than I thought. Friendly's is as antiquated and uncool as just about any other restaurant that I can think of. Bad food, bargain-quality ice cream, and if they think that young professionals want to go eat there, boy they really are clueless. Look at Haddonfield and Collingswood as examples, since I already mentioned them. Do you see low-level crappy chain restaurants over there? No, and these are the successful downtowns that people actually enjoy frequenting. Certainly not compared to Haddonfield, but Voorhees has a ton more wealth than Collingswood. If Collingswood can draw people in with classier options, Voorhees should have no problem doing that as well and should not be stooping to putting a Friendly's in their pet project.

Voorhees just "doesn't get it."
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