Unwrapping the Magic of Lehigh Valley Mall near Allentown, PA

The Birth and Evolution of Lehigh Valley Mall

The Lehigh Valley Mall opened its doors in October 1976 in Whitehall, a suburb of Allentown, Pennsylvania. Developed by The Kravco Co., a notable name in commercial real estate, the mall emerged as a modern shopping haven in the Lehigh Valley region.

Its inception marked a significant milestone in the area’s retail landscape, offering the local community diverse shopping experiences.

Ownership and management of the mall have seen changes over the years. In 2003, Simon Property Group, a global leader in retail real estate, acquired The Kravco Company. This acquisition brought the mall under the management of Simon Property Group, renowned for its expertise in creating thriving retail environments.

The ownership structure further evolved, with Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust acquiring a 50% stake, making it a joint venture that combines the strengths of two real estate giants.

Several renovations and expansions have marked the mall’s journey through the years, each adding to its allure and functionality.

A significant renovation took place in 1995, transforming the mall’s interior and exterior. The removal of the spiral ramp, a distinctive architectural feature, made way for a modern glass elevator, enhancing the mall’s accessibility and aesthetic appeal.

In October 2007, the mall expanded its footprint by adding a 110,000-square-foot lifestyle center. This addition brought high-end stores like Apple and Sephora alongside the well-established Barnes & Noble, further diversifying the shopping experience.

These developments not only elevated the mall’s status but also catered to the evolving needs and preferences of shoppers.

Current Layout and Facilities

Today, the Lehigh Valley Mall is a shopping destination symbol of the region’s growth and modernization.

Lehigh Valley Mall spans two floors, housing 145 stores and services. It boasts a total retail floor area of 1,181,000 square feet, making it one of the largest malls in Pennsylvania.

The mall has a parking lot that can accommodate 5,875 vehicles, ensuring ample parking space for visitors.

The current layout is a testament to the mall’s commitment to providing a comprehensive and enjoyable shopping experience.

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It’s a place where people can find various things to do near Allentown, PA, from exploring the latest fashion trends to enjoying a day out with family.

As the mall continues to evolve, it remains a testament to the dynamic nature of the retail industry and its ability to adapt and thrive in changing times.

Anchor Stores – The Pillars of Lehigh Valley Mall

Macy’s

Macy’s, a flagship American retail store, has been an integral part of Lehigh Valley Mall since its early days. Initially known as Bamberger’s, the store rebranded to Macy’s, bringing a legacy of quality and style.

Macy’s at Lehigh Valley Mall is more than just a shopping destination; it’s a landmark that combines the latest in fashion trends with timeless classics, catering to a diverse customer base.

JCPenney

JCPenney is another cornerstone within the mall, having been a part of its journey since the beginning.

Known for its wide range of affordable fashion, home decor, and appliances, JCPenney has consistently adapted to the evolving market trends while maintaining its core values of quality and customer service.

Its presence in the mall has been pivotal in attracting a broad spectrum of shoppers looking for style and value.

Boscov’s

Boscov’s, a name deeply rooted in the history of the northeastern United States, occupies a significant space in the mall.

The store, which succeeded former giants like Wanamaker’s, Hecht’s, and Strawbridge’s, offers a unique shopping experience with its extensive range of products.

From fashion apparel to home furnishings, Boscov’s blends quality with affordability, making it a popular choice among the mall’s visitors.

Barnes & Noble

As a junior anchor, Barnes & Noble adds a unique dimension to the Lehigh Valley Mall. It’s not just a bookstore; it’s a cultural hub that brings together readers, learners, and thinkers.

With its vast collection of books, magazines, and educational materials, Barnes & Noble has become a favorite spot for those seeking knowledge, entertainment, or a quiet place to unwind.

Each of these anchor stores has played a pivotal role in defining the shopping experience at Lehigh Valley Mall.

They are shopping destinations and institutions that have grown and evolved with the mall. Their presence contributes significantly to the mall’s status as a premier shopping and cultural destination in the Lehigh Valley region.

A Diverse Array of Retailers

Michaels

Michaels is a creative haven for arts and crafts enthusiasts. This store offers a wide selection of art supplies, fabric, canvases, yarn, knitting & crochet supplies, frames, floral, scrapbook materials, beads, jewelry kits, Cricut machines, and more.

Catering to various seasonal and festive needs, Michaels is a destination for crafters looking to celebrate occasions with unique and personalized creations.

Bob’s Discount Furniture

Bob’s Discount Furniture & Mattress Store offers a wide range of quality furniture at unbeatable prices.

The store boasts many budget-friendly options, including bedroom sets, living room ensembles, dining room furniture, sofas, mattresses, and numerous other items.

Known for its stylish home accents and accessories, Bob’s Discount Furniture helps customers complete any room in their home with flair.

Positioned close to the Lehigh Valley Thruway, the store offers easy access for anyone seeking to stylishly outfit their homes without breaking the bank.

Guitar Center

Guitar Center is a paradise for music lovers and musicians. The store caters to various musical styles and preferences, offering multiple instruments, equipment, and accessories.

Whether you’re a beginner looking for your first guitar or a professional seeking advanced lighting or sound equipment for live gigs, Guitar Center Allentown has something for every music enthusiast.

The store carries top brands like Fender®, Gibson, Taylor, Yamaha, Zildjian, Pioneer DJ, Shure, Alesis, DW, and more. Additionally, Guitar Center provides lessons, repairs, and rentals, making it a comprehensive destination for all music-related needs.

Fashion and Apparel

Lehigh Valley Mall boasts an impressive array of fashion and apparel stores catering to various styles and preferences.

Aerie, known for its inclusive sizing and comfortable lingerie, sits alongside Aeropostale, a favorite among the youth for its trendy and affordable clothing.

American Eagle Outfitters offers casual American-style clothing, while Forever 21 caters to those seeking the latest fashion trends at great prices. Each store brings its unique flair to the mall, making it a fashion hub for shoppers of all ages.

Technology and Entertainment

For tech enthusiasts and entertainment seekers, the mall houses several key players. The Apple Store is a go-to for the latest technology and gadgets, offering a sleek range of products and in-store tech support.

GameStop satisfies gamers with its vast collection of video games, consoles, and accessories. Barnes & Noble is not just a bookstore; it also provides a selection of multimedia products, making it a haven for those who love reading and entertainment.

Specialty Stores and Services

The mall is also home to a variety of specialty stores and services. Build-A-Bear Workshop® offers a unique experience where children and adults can create personalized stuffed animals. LensCrafters provides eye care services and a wide range of eyewear.

The Beauty Institute | Schwarzkopf Professional is a destination for those seeking professional beauty and hair care services. These specialty stores add more diversity and service to the mall’s offerings.

Dining Options – A Culinary Journey

Fast Food and Snacks

Lehigh Valley Mall offers a delightful array of fast food and snack options, perfect for those on the go or seeking a quick bite.

Auntie Anne’s, a staple in many shopping centers, serves its famous pretzels, an ideal snack for shoppers needing a quick energy boost.

With its reputation for fast service and delicious chicken sandwiches, Chick-fil-A provides a satisfying meal for families and individuals.

Starbucks Coffee is the go-to spot for coffee enthusiasts or those looking for a light snack, offering a range of coffee beverages and pastries.

Sit-Down Restaurants

The mall houses several sit-down restaurants for visitors looking for a more relaxed dining experience. Bonefish Grill offers an upscale yet casual dining atmosphere, specializing in market-fresh seafood and an innovative cocktail menu.

Red Lobster, a family favorite, serves various seafood dishes, including their famous Cheddar Bay Biscuits.

The Cheesecake Factory is a culinary delight with its extensive menu that spans from gourmet burgers to pasta and, of course, a wide array of cheesecakes.

Lehigh Valley Mall
Lehigh Valley Mall” by Atwngirl is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

Unique Eateries

The mall also prides itself on its unique dining experiences. Dunderbak’s Market Cafe offers a taste of European cuisine, focusing on German dishes, in a cozy and inviting atmosphere.

It’s a place where shoppers can enjoy a different culinary experience. Pocono Brewery Co. brings the craft beer scene to the mall, offering locally brewed beers and a menu that complements the brews perfectly.

These unique eateries provide a distinct and memorable dining experience, adding to the mall’s diverse culinary landscape.

Entertainment and Leisure at the Mall

Dave & Buster’s

In 2020, Lehigh Valley Mall welcomed Dave & Buster’s, a significant addition that expanded the mall’s entertainment offerings.

This establishment combines a restaurant and a video arcade, creating a vibrant and energetic atmosphere perfect for families, friends, and corporate gatherings.

Dave & Buster’s has become a popular destination for those seeking a fun and interactive experience, offering a variety of games and activities alongside a menu of delicious food and drinks.

Its presence has significantly enhanced the mall’s appeal as a leisure destination, attracting visitors for shopping and entertainment.

Children’s Entertainment

For families with children, the mall offers several kid-friendly entertainment options. Chuck E. Cheese remains a favorite, providing a fun-filled environment with arcade games, play areas, and kid-centric food options.

The Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital Play Area also offers a safe and engaging space for children to play and interact.

This play area is designed to provide a break for families during their shopping trips, ensuring that the mall experience is enjoyable for visitors of all ages.

Lehigh Valley Mall
Lehigh Valley Mall” by Atwngirl is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

Seasonal and Special Events

Lehigh Valley Mall also hosts various seasonal and special events throughout the year, adding to its charm and appeal.

The Bunny Photo Experience is a notable event, especially popular during the Easter season, offering families the opportunity to capture memorable moments.

Other seasonal attractions and events are organized regularly, catering to different interests and celebrations.

These events provide entertainment and foster community among mall visitors, making the mall a central hub for local festivities and gatherings.

Transformations at Lehigh Valley Mall: A 2023 Review

The Lehigh Valley Mall Welcomes Outback Steakhouse

In March 2023, the Lehigh Valley Mall in Whitehall, PA, announced a new addition: an Outback Steakhouse.

The Australian-inspired Outback Steakhouse received approval for its land development plan for a 4,000-square-foot restaurant.

Located in a vacant section of the mall’s parking lot off Grape Street, it’s positioned near the mall entrance and just across from Buffalo Wild Wings.

Outback Steakhouse is known for its casual atmosphere that evokes the spirit of the Australian Outback. The menu features a variety of seasoned steaks, chicken, ribs, seafood, pasta, and the iconic Bloomin’ Onion appetizer.

Owned by Bloomin’ Brands, which also operates Carrabba’s Italian Grill and Bonefish Grill, Outback brings a unique dining experience to the mall.

The Culinary Landscape at Lehigh Valley Mall is Enriched with The Cheesecake Factory

In 2023, Lehigh Valley Mall welcomed a variety of new businesses and enriched its dining scene with a major addition.

Just before Christmas, The Cheesecake Factory opened its doors, adding a sweet flavor to the mall’s culinary offerings.

The opening of The Cheesecake Factory, which took place on December 19, was perfectly timed for the holiday rush.

Situated less than a week before Christmas, the launch was an exciting event for both the mall and the local community.

The restaurant promised to cater to the tastes of last-minute holiday shoppers and food enthusiasts with its extensive menu, including favorites like Macaroni and Cheese Burgers and various legendary cheesecakes.

The Cheesecake Factory is renowned for its expansive menu, boasting over 250 freshly prepared selections and more than 30 types of cheesecakes.

This addition to the Lehigh Valley Mall reflects its commitment to providing its visitors with diverse, high-quality dining options.

The restaurant’s arrival at the mall enhanced the food landscape and contributed to local employment. In preparation for its opening, The Cheesecake Factory hired a team of 270 staff members.

This workforce was set to manage a substantial indoor dining area of over 8,900 square feet, along with an additional 1,200 square feet for patio dining. 

The opening of The Cheesecake Factory at Lehigh Valley Mall symbolizes how modern malls are evolving into lifestyle destinations.

They are no longer just centers for shopping but are becoming vibrant spaces where people come to enjoy a variety of experiences, including diverse dining options.

With its vast menu and inviting ambiance, the Cheesecake Factory is poised to be a key attraction at the mall, drawing in both residents and visitors.

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