Kingston Collection Mall: A Blend of Tradition and Change in Kingston, MA

Historical Overview

Nestled in Kingston, Massachusetts, the Kingston Collection has been a beacon of retail and entertainment since its grand opening in 1989. Originally named Independence Mall, Pyramid Management Group developed it and quickly became a hub for shoppers and families.

The original anchors, Sears, JCPenney, Filene’s, Filene’s Basement, and Hoyts Cinema, were household names that drew crowds from near and far.

The mall’s early years were marked by bustling activity and a sense of community. However, as times changed, so did the need for a fresh look and feel.

In 2013, plans were announced for a drastic renovation, including a complete overhaul of the exterior facade and interior aesthetics. The transformation was not just physical; the mall was rebranded as Kingston Collection in 2014, symbolizing a new era.

Renovations were not merely cosmetic but a strategic move to adapt to the evolving retail landscape. New tile work, paint coatings, renovated restrooms, and plush soft seating areas with free Wifi were introduced. The reopening of the basement closed to the public since 1998, was part of the extensive renovation, adding a layer of intrigue and novelty.

Expansions and Additions

The Kingston Collection’s growth was not limited to its appearance. 2011 construction began on a new 58,000 square-foot Regal Cinemas 14 complex, replacing the original Hoyts Cinema. This addition signaled a commitment to providing top-notch entertainment options for visitors.

The F-100 indoor racetrack, K1 Speed, was a fascinating addition, offering adrenaline-pumping experiences for racing enthusiasts. New stores and dining venues were added alongside these entertainment options, enhancing the mall’s appeal as a one-stop destination for shopping, dining, and fun.

The expansion was challenging, but the mall’s management was determined to create a space that resonated with the community. The combination of shopping options, entertainment venues, and culinary delights at Kingston Collection was meticulously selected to appeal to various interests and inclinations, solidifying its status as a cherished destination for people from all walks of life.

Challenges and Incidents

Despite its successes, the Kingston Collection faced its share of challenges and incidents. The mall was evacuated on November 11, 2014, due to a Tier2 HazMat situation.

During an incident in the food court, a sudden loss of power was triggered by a fire alarm, accompanied by an odor compared to the sting of pepper spray.

Emergency services, including ambulances, fire brigades, and law enforcement, promptly responded, resulting in two individuals being transported to the hospital for medical attention.

Another significant challenge was closing Sears, one of the mall’s anchor stores, in January 2015. Announced in October 2014 as part of a plan to close 77 stores nationwide, the closure marked the end of an era. The store was demolished in early 2021, making way for new developments.

These incidents, while unsettling, were met with resilience and determination by the mall’s management and community. They served as reminders of the ever-changing nature of retail and the importance of adaptability and responsiveness.

Kingston Collection: Recent Developments

The Kingston Collection continued to evolve, reflecting the changing needs and desires of the community. In 2022, the former Sears site was transformed into Alexan Kingston, a 282-unit high-end apartment complex. With rents ranging from almost $2,200 to more than $4,400, it added a residential dimension to the mall’s offerings.

On July 16, 2023, a significant milestone was reached when Pyramid sold the mall to Florida-based Second Horizon Capital. The new owners expressed their goal to bring new life to the property, reenergizing on-site activity and leveraging existing infrastructure to enhance the experience for guests and tenants.

These recent developments signify a commitment to growth and innovation, ensuring that the Kingston Collection will be a vibrant and relevant part of the community. The blend of retail, residential, and entertainment creates a dynamic environment that will attract visitors and residents alike.

Current Tenants and Offerings

Today, the Kingston Collection in Kingston, Massachusetts, is home to a diverse array of stores, restaurants, and entertainment venues that cater to a wide range of tastes and preferences. With a total retail floor area of 837,000 square feet, the mall offers something for everyone.

Anchors

The mall’s anchor tenants play a significant role in attracting shoppers. Macy’s and Target are the primary anchors, offering a broad selection of apparel, home goods, electronics, and more. Macy’s Backstage and Target Pharmacy further extend the services provided by these retail giants.

Among the popular stores, Famous Footwear Outlet provides a variety of branded footwear, while Designer Warehouse offers trendy clothing options. Ancient Eyebrows and Ancient Wellness provide specialized services for those interested in wellness and beauty. Toy enthusiasts can explore Maziply Toys, and the newly reopened Toys-R-Us brings back nostalgic memories for many.

Dining Options

The dining experience at Kingston Collection is equally diverse and appealing. B3 Restaurant & Bar offers a sophisticated dining ambiance, while Hot Doogy and TrainReck Tacos provide quick and delicious bites. For those passionate about coffee, Starbucks is a favored destination, while Mochinut offers an intriguing assortment of flavors, catering to the cravings of dessert enthusiasts.

Entertainment and Specialty Shops

Entertainment options are abundant, with Regal Cinema for moviegoers, Sky Zone Trampoline Park for active fun, and Maziply’s Laser Tag for thrilling adventures. Specialty shops like Cloverdilly Candle Company and Garden Essence add a unique flair to the shopping experience.

Health and Fitness

Fit Factory and Cardio Sport offer workout options for health and fitness enthusiasts, while LensCrafters and Pearle Vision care for eye health needs.

Pet-Friendly Options

Pet owners can find services at Barks & Bubbles, JB’s Indoor Dog Park, and To The Rescue K9 Training, making the mall a pet-friendly destination.

Unique and Local Businesses

Local businesses like 4GoodVibes and 4GoodVibes Boutique, along with Unicorn Gang Shop, add a personal touch, showcasing the creativity and spirit of the Kingston community.

The current tenants of Kingston Collection reflect a thoughtful blend of retail, dining, entertainment, wellness, and community engagement. From fashion to food, games to grooming, the mall continues to be where community members can find what they need, enjoy their time, and connect to their local culture.

Future Prospects

The future of Kingston Collection looks promising, with Second Horizon Capital’s revitalization plans and the attractive economic environment in Plymouth County. The new owners are poised to inject fresh energy into the mall, improving the experience for both guests and tenants.

The growth potential is evident, with opportunities for redevelopment and expansion. The recent resurgence as a destination location and the addition of residential spaces position the Kingston Collection for success.

The blend of nostalgia, innovation, tradition, and transformation makes the Kingston Collection a unique and cherished part of the community. Its ability to adapt and evolve gives hope that it will become a beloved destination for years.

Conclusion

The Kingston Collection’s journey is a complex tapestry of growth, innovation, and challenges. Once a bustling hub in Kingston, MA, it is now a poignant symbol of changing times. Despite its rich history, diverse offerings, and community spirit, the mall has not been immune to broader economic shifts.

Exploring the Kingston Collection today reveals a landscape of empty storefronts and a sense of abandonment. The once-vibrant corridors are now frequented mainly by mall walkers, a stark contrast to the lively atmosphere of its heyday. The recession’s impact has been profound, casting a shadow that feels more akin to a depression.

Yet, the Kingston Collection’s story is not merely one of decline. It reflects resilience, adaptability, and the ever-changing nature of retail and community life. The memories of bustling stores and family outings mingle with the current reality, creating a narrative that resonates with locals and visitors alike.

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