ROXBURY — The realty company and developers involved in the proposed Shops at Ledgewood Commons, a 470,000-square-foot open-air mall on Route 10, are moving forward with plans to open in October 2020.
ROXBURY — The realty company and developers involved in the proposed Shops at Ledgewood Commons, a 470,000-square-foot open-air mall on Route 10, are moving forward with plans to open in October 2020, and several eateries have been added to a list of already secured retailers.
The site, located within a popular shopping area just 25 minutes south of Newton, was once home to the closest Macy’s department store to Sussex County, which was demolished in November 2017 to make way for the proposed shopping development. In February, the Roxbury Planning Board gave the green light to developers to convert the former Ledgewood Mall into The Shops at Ledgewood Commons.
In July, demolition crews took aim at the Walmart — the first built in Morris County — adjacent to the Macy’s, knocking it down to allow for construction of a 164,000-square-foot Walmart Supercenter, which will be the “anchor” of the site and will include a grocery store.
On its website Thursday, Jeffrey Realty, which has been involved with the site since the new shopping center was announced in 2016, released updated plans to the proposed area, allotting roughly 2,000 square feet for the following eateries: Five Guys Burgers and Fries, Starbucks, Chipotle Mexican Grill and Panda Express Chinese Kitchen. The eateries, the realty group’s packet states, have yet to sign their leases but have been assigned spots within the mall.
The eateries will be added to the ones currently on-site: Red Lobster and Wendy’s.
A site drawing published by the realty group, complete with rendering by owners Advance Realty Investors and DeBartolo Development, shows three new businesses will be part of the mall, which have already been revealed by developers: DSW, Ulta and Five Below. Aside from the Super Walmart, the largest of the proposed spaces at almost 16,000 square feet is earmarked for DSW, a footwear retailer.
Some of the businesses already established on site will be moving to new locations within the designated Shops at Ledgewood Commons area, including Barnes and Noble — whose current building will be demolished — Marshalls, Ashley Furniture, Men’s Warehouse and Lemon Tree Family Salon.
The plans show roughly 132,000 square feet of the 470,000-square-foot project remain available but not yet leased.
With a tag line of “Meet. Eat. Shop,” the mall will also include a left-turn lane that will be constructed by the state Department of Transportation for westbound Route 10 traffic to allow cars to enter the mall via Mary Louise Avenue.
According to TAPintoRoxbury, which has covered the project extensively over the years, the mall project was initially slated to open in 2017, a timeframe later revised to 2019 before extending to 2020.
Opened in 1972, the Ledgewood Mall was arguably one of Morris County’s prime shopping locations. By 1980, the mall’s main anchors were Rickel, Jamesway and Arthur’s Catalog Showroom before the Rickel space later closed and became PharmHouse and Marshalls, according to a 1993 article in the former Daily News Record, an American trade journal that has since folded.
In fall of 1994, Stern’s department store opened in a 60,000-sqare-foot space, eventually converting to a Macy’s in 2001 when Stern’s stores were closed. In 1995, Jamesway closed, according to an article in the New York Times, and Walmart was built in 1999.
Other stores have been located within the Ledgewood Mall area over the years, including Circuit City, which served as the second-largest U.S. electronics retailer after Best Buy in the 1980s and 1990s before shutting down all remaining locations in 2009.
According to minutes from the Roxbury Planning Board along with several media reports, previous owners of the mall, Acadia Realty Trust, filed tax appeals in 2005, 2006 and 2007 that reduced the mall’s property assessment from $32.3 million to $21.3 million.
A search of tax records for the 46-acre property indicates it was sold in 2015 for $28.5 million in a partnership made up of Advance Realty in Bridgewater and Invesco of Atlanta. At the time of the acquisition, Cushman and Wakefield, the brokers handling the transaction, declined to disclose the purchase price, instead saying it was “in the high-$20 million range.”
Lori Comstock can also be reached on Twitter: @LoriComstockNJH, on Facebook: www.Facebook.com/LoriComstockNJH or by phone: 973-383-1194.