The Shops at Nanuet Mall, located in the heart of Nanuet, New York, has a rich history that spans over five decades. Opening in 1969 as the Nanuet Mall, it quickly became a central hub for the community.
With original anchor stores like Bamberger’s and Sears, the mall was a bustling place where families gathered, teenagers hung out, and shoppers found everything they needed.
In the 1970s and 1980s, the mall thrived, adding new stores and symbolizing suburban prosperity. The mall’s food court became a popular gathering spot, and its wide corridors were filled with the latest fashion trends. The mall’s success reflected the booming economy and the growth of consumer culture.
However, the 1990s brought challenges. The opening of the nearby Palisades Center in 1998 drew shoppers away, and the Nanuet Mall began to lose its appeal.
Stores closed, and the once-vibrant mall started to show signs of decline. The turn of the millennium saw further struggles, with vacancies increasing and foot traffic dwindling.
In a bold move to revive the mall, Simon Property Group announced plans to demolish and rebuild it as an outdoor mall. The transformation began in 2012, and The Shops at Nanuet opened in 2013, featuring a mix of retail, dining, and entertainment options.
The Shops at Nanuet: Tenants and Key Players
The original Nanuet Mall was home to many beloved stores that left lasting memories. From Bamberger’s elegance to Sears’s practicality, the mall offered something for everyone. Over the years, these stores changed hands, with Bamberger’s becoming Macy’s and later Boscov’s before closing in 2008.
The transformation into The Shops at Nanuet brought a fresh wave of tenants, including Fairway Market, 24-Hour Fitness, and Regal Cinemas—the new design aimed to create a lifestyle center, blending shopping with leisure and community engagement.
Recent years have seen a resurgence in the mall’s fortunes. New tenants like Fidelity Investments, Saba Rugs & Flooring, and Buffalo Wild Wings have added diversity and vibrancy. The reopening of P.F. Chang’s and adding small New Jersey chains like Sombrero Tacoria and Roast’d Coffee signal a positive trend.
Today, The Shops at Nanuet in Nanuet, NY, hosts anchor tenants catering to various community needs. Stop & Shop provides residents with a convenient grocery shopping experience, offering fresh produce and household essentials.
At Home, a home décor superstore inspires creativity with its extensive selection of furnishings and accessories. Depo House Furniture has taken over the first floor of the former Sears site, offering a wide range of affordable home goods.
24-Hour Fitness’s state-of-the-art gym facilities and fitness programs serve the health-conscious community. Regal Cinemas, a key entertainment venue, continues to draw movie enthusiasts, showcasing the latest films in a comfortable setting.
Together, these anchors contribute to the mall’s unique character and role as a central hub for Rockland County shopping, leisure, and community engagement.
Economic Impact and Community Engagement
The economic impact of The Shops at Nanuet has been significant. In its heyday, the mall provided hundreds of jobs and contributed to the local economy. The decline in the late 1990s and early 2000s had a ripple effect, affecting local businesses and the broader community.
The mall’s transformation and recent revitalization efforts have brought new hope. The addition of new tenants and the increase in foot traffic are positive signs. Local business owners are optimistic about the future, building their businesses and benefiting from increased foot traffic.
Community engagement has always been at the heart of the mall’s identity. From hosting holiday events to being a gathering place for residents, the mall has played a central role in community life.
Efforts to engage with residents and respond to their needs, such as the recent petition to keep Regal Cinemas open, demonstrate the mall’s commitment to the community.
The future of The Shops at Nanuet looks promising. With new tenants moving in and plans to redevelop vacant spaces, there is a sense of renewal and optimism. The relocation of stores like Buffalo Wild Wings and the opening of new home furnishing stores signal positive changes.
The mall’s owners also show flexibility in negotiating lease terms, offering incentives for tenants. This approach attracts diverse tenants and creates growth opportunities. The addition of Rockland County’s first Fidelity Investments office adds a new dimension, reflecting a shift towards a mix of retail and non-retail offerings.
Development plans include the potential expansion or redevelopment of existing spaces. The former Sears site offers opportunities for creative reuse, and there is potential for attracting more diverse tenants. The mall’s adaptability and willingness to evolve with changing retail landscapes position it well for future success.
Challenges and Controversies
The journey of The Shops at Nanuet has not been without challenges and controversies. The competition with nearby shopping centers, economic downturns, and the pandemic’s impact have created obstacles. The mall’s location on former wetlands has also raised environmental concerns, adding complexity to its story.
Historical incidents like the 1981 Brink’s robbery and the loss of tenants due to high rents before the pandemic have added to the mall’s challenges. However, the mall’s and its tenants’ resilience and adaptability have allowed them to weather these challenges.
The mall’s ability to adapt and evolve reflects a broader trend in retail, where traditional malls are transforming into mixed-use centers. The Shops at Nanuet’s journey offers insights into the future of retail and community engagement.
The Shops at Nanuet’s story involves transformation, resilience, and community connection. The mall’s journey reflects broader social and economic trends, from its early days as a bustling hub to its struggles and recent revitalization. Its significance to the Nanuet community and its potential to adapt to future retail trends make it a landmark worth watching.
As The Shops at Nanuet looks to the future, it carries the memories, experiences, and connections that have made it a cherished part of Nanuet’s history.