The mall is preparing for the transformation from a traditional brick-and-mortar suburban mall to an open-air shopping village.We’ve heard plenty of stories about what the mall of the future may look like, but some developers aren’t merely just talking about it. New York-based Kushner Cos. is putting the wheels in motion to remake a crown jewel of retail on the majestic New Jersey shore, and the company is teaming up with Brookfield Asset Management affiliate Rouse Properties to make it happen.
As Fox Business shares, the property in question is the Monmouth Mall in Eatontown, NJ. This isn’t your average everyday makeover either, as we’re talking about a total transformation from a traditional brick-and-mortar suburban mall to more of an open-air shopping village.
"This is where malls are heading, and we need to transform it for the next generation," Kushner President Laurent Morali said.
The mall is being renamed as the Heights at Monmouth, and the developers are putting their money where their mouth is - to the tune of an estimated $500 million total project cost. Plans call for the mall to be transformed to include a walkable streetscape, apartments, and even more shopping and retail options.
"The trophy landlords, though they don't have to do this today, they are moving today because they already have market share and dominance, and they aren't going to give it up," according to Garrick Brown, national retail research director for Cushman & Wakefield.
Brown has a point. It could simply be business as usual here for the Monmouth Mall makeover, but Kushner Cos. has its sights set on a transformative property that draws inspiration from innovative mixed-use developments that are popping up across the nation. The concept should fit in quite well on the Jersey Shore, which is an area that features the dual attraction of being a hot tourist spot, as well as being chock full of permanent residents.
"You have a lot of wealthy consumers living there year round and no critical mass center anywhere close. I knew it would be a home run if we created the biggest and best mousetrap in this area," added Rouse chief executive Brian Harper.
One other huge highlight of the revamped mall will be an indoor marketplace that will be known as Culinary Heights, which will feature upscale restaurants, theme shops, various food vendors and wine bars. That’s just one more feature that will make the Heights at Monmouth the place to be when the revamp is done in 2020.
"We need to make the mall evolve to the next iteration. Then we will be able to truly benefit from the existing community and its demographics and its shopping power," Morali added.