Your Next Adventure: Smith Haven Mall in Lake Grove, NY

The Historical Evolution of Smith Haven Mall

Smith Haven Mall, nestled in Lake Grove, New York, is a significant retail hub for the Middle Island area of Long Island. Its story began in October 1965 when Macy’s announced plans for a new shopping center, initially named “Nesconset Shopping Center.”

This announcement started a new retail era for Long Island residents. By March 12, 1969, the mall officially opened its doors, with Macy’s and Abraham & Straus as its original anchors, symbolizing its commitment to providing a diverse shopping experience.

The architectural design, crafted by Copeland, Novak, & Israel, set a precedent for future developments in the area. The mall’s layout and structure were designed with the shopper’s experience in mind, providing easy navigation through its wide array of stores and services.

Over the years, Smith Haven Mall has expanded and evolved, reflecting its consumers’ changing tastes and needs. Adding new stores and services has kept the mall relevant and bustling with activity.

Significant changes have marked the mall’s journey, including the transition of anchor stores and extensive renovations.

For instance, the original Abraham & Straus transformed into a lifestyle village, adapting to the shifting retail landscape. 2006-2007, the mall underwent a multimillion-dollar renovation project, further cementing its status as a premier shopping destination.

These renovations enhanced the mall’s aesthetic appeal and introduced new retail spaces, attracting a broader range of shoppers and businesses.

Throughout its history, Smith Haven Mall has mirrored the growth and transformation of the retail industry.

From its early days as a traditional shopping center to its current status as a modern retail and lifestyle hub, the mall has continually adapted to meet the needs of its community.

As the easternmost enclosed mall on Long Island, it draws shoppers from across the region, including those from the Hamptons and the North Fork, making it a pivotal element in the local economy and a key player in the retail sector.

For residents and visitors looking for things to do in Long Island, NY, Smith Haven Mall remains a go-to destination, offering a variety of shopping, dining, and entertainment options.

The Artistic Legacy of Smith Haven Mall

Smith Haven Mall was not just a shopping center but also a place where art met commerce. Initially, the mall housed significant public artworks, making it a unique destination.

One of the most notable pieces was by Alexander Calder, a famous artist known for his mobile sculptures. His work, “Janey Waney,” was specially created for the mall’s opening in 1969. This giant mobile added a touch of artistic elegance and became a talking point for visitors.

Another significant artwork was a 40-foot mural by Larry Rivers titled “40 Feet Of Fashion.” This piece was an assemblage of giant Plexiglas objects, including lips, a clock, bathing suits, and big women’s legs, showcasing the blend of fashion and art.

However, over the years, as the mall evolved, these artworks were removed. Calder’s piece was taken down in the early 1970s but found a new life when it was refurbished and moved to the newly built food court in 1987, named Calder Court in his honor. Unfortunately, this artwork left the mall’s premises when auctioned for $1.7 million in 2002.

Removing these artworks marked the end of an era for Smith Haven Mall. The original gallery space once hosted works from various artists, including Peter Max, no longer exists.

Despite these changes, the mall’s early commitment to integrating art into a retail environment left a lasting impression on its identity and set it apart from other shopping destinations.

Current Anchors and Their Stories

Smith Haven Mall is anchored by several key stores, each with its unique story within its ecosystem.

Macy’s has been a cornerstone of Smith Haven Mall since its opening in 1969. As one of the original anchors, Macy’s has adapted over the years, expanding its offerings and renovating its spaces to keep up with the changing trends and consumer demands.

This department store continues to attract a wide range of shoppers, from families looking for back-to-school outfits to individuals searching for the perfect gift.

Dick’s Sporting Goods is another key anchor, providing sporting goods and apparel to the community. The store occupies two floors, offering various products for sports enthusiasts and casual shoppers. Its presence enhances the mall’s appeal to a diverse audience, adding to the shopping experience.

Primark, a new addition, opened its doors in November 2023, taking over the space left by JCPenney. This move is part of Primark’s broader U.S. expansion strategy, aiming for 60 stores by 2026.

This international retailer is known for its affordable fashion and home goods, attracting budget-conscious shoppers and fashion-forward individuals.

Primark’s opening is part of the mall’s ongoing efforts to introduce new brands and keep the retail mix fresh and appealing.

This addition aligns with the changing retail landscape, where value and variety become increasingly important to consumers​.

Smith Haven Mall
Smith Haven Mall” by Joe Shlabotnik is licensed under CC BY 2.0

H&M, another fashion anchor, has been part of the Smith Haven Mall for several years, offering trendy and affordable clothing for all ages.

H&M’s presence in the mall caters to the demand for fast fashion, providing shoppers with various styles and the latest trends in apparel.

Each of these anchors plays a crucial role in the mall’s ecosystem, drawing in different types of shoppers and contributing to the mall’s overall diversity and appeal.

Stony Brook Medicine Advanced Specialty Care at Smith Haven Mall

Stony Brook Medicine Advanced Specialty Care has opened its doors at Smith Haven Mall, offering a new dimension of healthcare services in a retail environment.

This facility, located conveniently within the mall premises, represents a significant shift towards integrating health services within community spaces, making healthcare more accessible to the public.

Occupying approximately 170,000 square feet, the Advanced Specialty Care Center boasts a modern, open-concept layout designed to provide a comfortable and welcoming patient environment.

This large space allows for a wide range of medical services under one roof, catering to various healthcare needs.

The center is strategically situated to serve the community effectively, with Stony Brook University Hospital and Stony Brook Children’s Hospital just four miles away, ensuring that comprehensive care is readily available.

The services offered at this facility are extensive, covering a broad spectrum of medical fields. This development is a boon for those seeking medical care.

This facility is a testament to the evolving landscape of healthcare delivery, emphasizing patient accessibility, convenience, and the importance of integrating health services into community hubs.

Stony Brook Medicine plans to commence Phase 2 of the expansion in 2024, introducing additional services such as orthopedics, obstetrics and gynecology, radiology, and imaging services.

The future also holds introducing an Advanced Urgent Care facility, further enhancing the scope of healthcare services available to the community.

Diverse Retail Experience at Smith Haven Mall

Smith Haven Mall offers various shopping experiences catering to multiple tastes and budgets. The mall’s retail landscape is divided into several categories, ensuring every visitor finds something to suit their needs.

In the apparel category, shoppers can find various high-end and budget-friendly options. Stores like American Eagle Outfitters and H&M offer trendy clothing for young adults, while more specialized stores like L.L.Bean provide outdoor gear and casual wear.

Michael Kors and Brighton Collectibles offer designer accessories and fashion items for those looking for more upscale options.

The electronics sector is well-represented by the Apple Store, where customers can find the latest technology and gadgets. For video game enthusiasts, GameStop provides a wide selection of games, consoles, and accessories.

Specialty stores add unique flavor to the mall’s retail mix. Build-A-Bear Workshop® offers a personalized toy-making experience for children. At the same time, the LEGO Store provides creative play options for all ages.

For beauty enthusiasts, Sephora and Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics offer a wide range of skincare and makeup products.

This diverse retail mix caters to a wide audience. It keeps the shopping experience at Smith Haven Mall fresh and exciting. The mall continuously updates its store lineup, ensuring it remains a key shopping destination on Long Island, New York.

Dining Destinations at Smith Haven Mall

Smith Haven Mall’s dining options offer visitors various choices, from quick snacks to sit-down meals. The food court and different standalone restaurants cater to all tastes and dietary preferences, making the mall a popular dining destination.

For those looking for a quick bite, Auntie Anne’s Pretzels offers freshly baked pretzels throughout the mall, including the Center Court, Food Court, Macy’s Wing, and North Wing.

Other fast-food options include Charleys Philly Steaks and Cinnabon, perfect for shoppers needing a quick meal or snack.

Smith Haven Mall
Smith Haven Mall” by Joe Shlabotnik is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Sit-down dining experiences are available at restaurants like The Cheesecake Factory and Bahama Breeze, where visitors can enjoy a relaxed meal in a more traditional restaurant setting. For a unique dining experience, Kura Revolving Sushi Bar offers Japanese cuisine with a modern twist.

The mall also caters to coffee lovers with Starbucks Coffee, providing a comfortable space to relax and recharge. For those looking for something sweet, Häagen-Dazs and the combined Cinnabon/Carvel Ice Cream offer a variety of ice cream and dessert options.

The mall experienced the closure of California Pizza Kitchen in December 2023, a staple for over a decade.

This closure is part of a broader trend affecting the restaurant chain, which has faced financial challenges, leading to a restructuring effort and focusing on expansion outside the U.S.

The array of dining choices at Smith Haven Mall enhances the overall shopping experience, allowing visitors to take a break and enjoy a meal without leaving the mall.

This convenience adds to the appeal of Smith Haven Mall as a comprehensive destination for shopping, entertainment, and dining.

Challenges and Future Prospects of Smith Haven Mall

Like many retail spaces, Smith Haven Mall faces its share of challenges, particularly with the rise of online shopping and changing consumer behaviors. However, the mall continues to adapt and evolve to meet these challenges head-on.

One of the significant challenges has been maintaining foot traffic and attracting new customers. In response, the mall has diversified its offerings, introducing more dining options, entertainment, and services like Stony Brook Medicine Advanced Specialty Care.

These additions aim to create a more integrated shopping experience, encouraging visitors to spend more time and money at the mall.

Despite the challenges, Smith Haven Mall remains a key player in Long Island’s retail and community sectors. Its ability to adapt and evolve will be crucial in maintaining its status as a premier shopping and community destination.

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