Some major changes are apparently in the works at a big shopping mall in South Jersey.

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As shopping patterns have changed over the years, owners of traditional malls find themselves having to reinvent their properties, especially as both big box and smaller stores move to strip malls or even exclusively online.

One of those mall owners, PRIET, is making a serious effort to modernize the Moorestown Mall in Moorestown. They have announced they have sold two plots around that mall for a combined $14.2 million.

Moorestown Mall - Photo: Google Maps
Moorestown Mall - Photo: Google Maps

Live at the mall

The largest of the two transactions was for $12 million and plans are for 375 residential housing units to be built at the mall.

The sale of land for multi-family units at Moorestown Mall is a meaningful step toward PREITs vision to evolve its properties. PREIT is focused on evolving its properties into community hubs marked by a healthy mix of apartments, hotels, entertainment, dining, health & wellness, working space, and local small business retail.

According to The Courier Post, the development would be called "The Pearl," and it would be built in the corner of a parking lot between Nixon Drive and Boscov's.

The first building could open to tenants in 2023, offering studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom units in four-story buildings. Seventy-five affordable units would be dispersed throughout the building.

Parking lot between Nixon Drive and Boscov's at Moorestown Mall in Moorestown NJ - Photo: Google Maps
Parking lot between Nixon Drive and Boscov's at Moorestown Mall in Moorestown NJ - Photo: Google Maps

They've done this before

The concept of turning a large shopping mall into a "community hub" or at least adding housing of some type to a mall is not new. Over the past few years, Echelon Mall in Camden County, which lost many of its anchor stores, was redeveloped into a community center with outdoor shopping, bars and restaurants, and apartments with a portion of the original mall remaining.

As for PRIET, they sold land at their Exton Square Mall not too long ago and 350 housing units were built at that shopping center.

Second sale

Additionally, PRIET also sold an outparcel at Moorestown Mall to Four Corners Property Trust for $2.4 million. While no plans have officially been announced in connection to that sale, Four Corners Property Trust describes itself as, "a leading owner of restaurant real estate."

Plans for a hotel, too

The Courier Post also reports PREIT has announced plans for a 110,000-square-foot hotel to be built at the mall, too. Specific details on this project were not readily available.

Moorestown Mall's history in South Jersey

The Moorestown Mall has been a part of South Jersey for nearly six decades. It opened in 1963 with Gimbels, Wanamaker's, and Woolworths anchoring the property. Sears joined the center about eight years later. A major fire damaged the mall just before Christmas in 1992. Macy's closed in 2017 and Sears in 2020. Today, Boscov's remains the mall's only major anchor and the former Sears store is being redeveloped by Cooper University Health Care.

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