ROXBURY, NJ – At least they didn’t spell it “shoppes.”
Nevertheless, good old Ledgewood Mall will soon be addressed in a more upscale fashion. Are you ready, Roxbury, for The Shops at Ledgewood Commons?
Ready or not, that’s the moniker chosen by the mall’s new owners.
And while you’re at it, lose that proletarian word “mall.” The place, according to the owners, will become a retail “open-air power center,” one that was “reimagined” and “redefined.”
The word “removed” is not part of the marketing hyperbole, but removal is what the future holds for the piece of the mall that previously served as home to a Macy’s. Plans call for razing the structure. Roxbury Mayor Jim Rilee said he was told the building, which juts out from the rest of the structure, impedes traffic flow.
Traffic flow is important because removal is also in store for the indoor corridors at the 43-year-old shopping center. The goal of the proposed “open-air power center” is to have shoppers drive up and park near their destination store. All access to stores will come from outside doors, as is the case with the nearby Roxbury Mall.
The new owners, JV Partnership, have yet to announce any new tenants. Their plans call for most of the existing retailers to remain, including the Walmart, Ashley Furniture, Marshalls, Sports Authority, Ruby Tuesday, Men’s Wearhouse, Red Lobster, Wendy’s and Pizza Hut.
Curiously, the plans do not mention the Barnes & Noble store. The Ledgewood Commons plans show the store as “Pad B” and have it colored as being available for lease.
Barnes & Noble has been steadily shutting-down stores, but the company today said it has no plans to leave Ledgewood. "We have a long-term lease at our Ledgewood, N.J. store for another three years and we have an option to extend well beyond that," said David Deason, the chain's vice president of development, in an email.
If the bookstore leaves, it will be moving out of a site described by the new owners as a “well-anchored property (that) is an established destination to meet, eat and shop. The site, they say will be “modernized retail in the Heart of Morris County” that is “situated in a notable trade corridor with strong area demographics” including 34,106 people and nearly 13,000 households, with an average yearly income of nearly $138,000, within three miles.
Told about the new name, one longtime Roxbury resident laughed. "No," she said. "It will always be Ledgewood Mall to me."