The Birth of Newport Centre Mall
Newport Centre Mall welcomed visitors for the first time in the heart of Jersey City, New Jersey, in October 1987. The atmosphere buzzed with excitement and anticipation. Sears and Stern’s stood as two of the four anchor stores, ready to greet shoppers. The mall served as a symbol of the city’s growth and modernization.
The grand opening unfolded as a remarkable event on November 12, 1987. Distinguished guests like New Jersey Governor Thomas Kean and Senator Frank Lautenberg attended. The Smurfs also made a special appearance, adding a playful element to the festivities.
Back then, the mall boasted 75 tenants. Popular stores like Eddie Bauer, Benetton, Sam Goody, and Hallmark were part of this initial lineup. This variety attracted residents from the newly developed Newport waterfront and beyond.
What’s more, the mall drew attention from Bergen County residents. The reason? Bergen County’s blue laws kept shopping malls closed on Sundays, making Newport Centre a popular destination for weekend shopping.
The mall also functioned as an integral component of the larger Newport Complex. This complex features the Newport Tower, one of the tallest buildings in Jersey City.
In its early days, Newport Centre broke new ground. It earned the distinction of being Hudson County’s first super-regional mall, paving the way for future developments.
The Architecture and Layout of Newport Centre Mall
The Newport Centre is a marvel of modern architecture. It spans a total retail floor area of 1,153,000 square feet, making it one of the largest malls in the state. The mall has three floors, each designed to offer a unique shopping experience.
The layout is intuitive, guiding visitors effortlessly from one section to another. The mall is part of the larger Newport Complex, including the Newport Tower. This tower is the sixth tallest building in Jersey City, adding a touch of grandeur to the mall’s surroundings.
But what sets Newport Centre apart is its Urban Enterprise Zone status. This means the state sales tax on purchases is reduced from 6.625% to 3.5% at eligible merchants. And guess what? There’s no sales tax on clothing!
The mall’s design also considers the needs of the differently-abled, with strategically placed ramps and elevators. It’s a mall for everyone, truly embodying the spirit of inclusivity.
Anchors of Newport Centre Mall
Anchors are the pillars of any mall, and Newport Centre is no exception. The mall is anchored by four major stores: Sears, Macy’s, JCPenney, and Kohl’s. Each store has its unique appeal, drawing in a diverse crowd of shoppers.
Sears is the go-to place for appliances and tools. It’s the store where you can find everything from a screwdriver to a washing machine. On the other hand, Macy’s is all about fashion and home decor. It’s where style meets substance.
JCPenney offers a mix of clothing, furniture, and beauty products, making it a one-stop shop for many. Kohl’s complements this by offering affordable clothing, home goods, and toy options.
Each anchor store has undergone renovations to keep up with changing consumer preferences. They’ve adapted to the times, incorporating online shopping options and in-store pickups for a more convenient shopping experience.
The anchors also host seasonal sales and events, making them a focal point of the mall’s activities. Whether Black Friday deals or back-to-school shopping, these stores know how to pull in the crowds.
A Diverse Array of Tenants
Newport Centre is also home to many other tenants catering to various interests and needs. From fashion outlets like H&M and Forever 21 to specialty stores like Art Mango and Dosa Spot, the mall offers something for everyone.
For the tech-savvy, there’s AT&T and GameStop. Need to glam up for a special occasion? Head to Sephora or Bath & Body Works. The mall even has a GAIA EV Rental for those interested in eco-friendly transportation options.
And let’s not forget the kids. Stores like Toys R Us at Macy’s and The Children’s Place ensure the little ones are not left out. Whether it’s toys, clothing, or educational material, these stores have covered it.
For those looking for unique gifts, stores like Swarovski Crystal and Kay Jewelers offer a range of exquisite items. And if you’re in the mood for self-care, there’s LUSH and The Body Shop to pamper yourself.
Food and Drinks at Newport Centre Mall
Regarding dining, Newport Centre offers an array of options. The food court is a bustling area featuring a variety of cuisines. From fast food joints like McDonald’s and Dunkin’ Donuts to specialty eateries like Obox Sushi and The Little Beet, there’s something to satiate every palate.
For those who prefer a sit-down meal, the mall is home to popular restaurants like The Cheesecake Factory and Shake Shack. These restaurants offer a more relaxed dining experience for family outings or romantic dates.
And for the snack lovers, there’s Auntie Anne’s Pretzels, Cinnabon, and Haagen-Dazs. Whether you’re in the mood for something sweet or savory, these outlets have covered you.
But that’s not all. The mall also has a range of beverage options. From the classic Starbucks Coffee to the trendy Gong Cha, there’s a drink for every mood and occasion.
So, if you’re wondering about things to do in Jersey City, New Jersey, a visit to Newport Centre should be on your list. It’s a place where you can enjoy a delightful culinary journey.
Newport Centre in the News
Newport Centre has been making headlines for various reasons. Recently, there have been plans to transform the mall into an entertainment destination. This is part of a larger vision to evolve the waterfront area into a bustling hub of activity.
In March 2020, the mall closed its doors temporarily due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was challenging, but the mall bounced back, reopening on June 29, 2020, with necessary precautions in place.
However, not all news has been positive. The AMC theatre at the mall was closed due to a rat infestation, as reported in September 2023. It was a setback, but steps are being taken to address the issue and ensure the health and safety of visitors.
Despite these challenges, the mall continues to be a vital part of the community. It hosts various events throughout the year, from fashion shows to cultural festivals, keeping the spirit of Jersey City alive.
How to Get to Newport Centre Mall
Thanks to its excellent connectivity, getting to Newport Centre is a breeze. The mall is accessible via the Hudson–Bergen Light Rail’s Pavonia/Newport station and the PATH’s Newport station. These stations are well-maintained and offer frequent services, making it convenient for visitors.
For those who prefer to take the bus, New Jersey Transit offers multiple routes that serve the mall. These buses connect Jersey City Heights and the North Hudson towns of Guttenberg, North Bergen, West New York, and Union City to the mall.
Parking is also not an issue, as the mall has a three-story parking structure. So, whether you’re coming by public transport or driving, Newport Centre has got you covered.
Newport Centre has come a long way since its opening in 1987. It has evolved to meet the changing needs and preferences of its visitors. From being a simple shopping center to becoming a hub for dining, entertainment, and community events, the mall has truly stood the test of time.
Newport Centre is a place to shop and experience the best Jersey City offers. So, the next time you’re in the area, pay a visit. You won’t be disappointed.