Menlo Park Mall is due to undergo a multimillion-dollar revamp project that will take months to complete.
It has been more than 20 years since its last renovation project and this new project will propel it into the 21st century.
Some people are of the opinion that malls are on their death-bed, but officials at Simon, the owners of Menlo, said the market within New Jersey is still strong.
The shopping behavior of consumers has changed over the years. If they wish to buy something, there is generally no need to leave home. However, places such as Amazon do not offer movie theaters where you are served wine, or soft couches in large spaces, or the chance for you to be seen and see others in public. This is the reason why malls are being changed to cater for these social and entertainment needs of consumers.
To achieve this, Menlo will see the installation of new carpeting, couches and renovation of its central elevators. Upon completion, the mall will sport new LED lighting fixtures, new bathrooms and new exterior signage.
There will be cellphone chargers in the new center court area, which will act as a gathering place for shoppers. The food court will be changed into a ‘dining pavilion’.
The work is due to commence during early April and none of the stores will be affected by it. The planned completion date is November, ready for the Christmas season. Certain areas may be roped off during the renovations, but most of the work will be done after hours.
The mayor of Edison, Thomas Lankey, attended the groundbreaking ceremony at the mall, where he smashed a ceramic tile and noted that polls indicate Menlo Park Mall is one of the most popular shopping areas within the state. He said he will definitely appreciate the comfortable couches due to be installed.
Menlo Park Mall was first opened as an open-air shopping center during 1960. It was converted to a closed mall during 1968 and its last major renovation was during 1991.