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  • Writer's pictureAndre Watson

Garden State Plaza makeover inches closer

Mill Creek Residential joins the redevelopment

By: TRD Staff

Mill Creek Residential’s Bill MacDonald with Garden State Plaza (Kenneth Park, Mill Creek Places, Getty)

The Garden State is one step closer to breaking ground on a major mall makeover.

Mill Creek Residential has joined the redevelopment team of the Garden State Plaza in Paramus, reported. Mill Creek will be pitching in during the first phase of the New Jersey mall’s redevelopment.

Plans for a unique redevelopment of the Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield mall have been in the works since prior to the pandemic. The redevelopment called for adding office space, a residential area, more food options, space for gyms, a hotel and open green space to one of the more valuable malls in the nation.

In 2019, the hope was to unveil the redeveloped space by 2022. The developers are now aiming to break ground on the first phase of the redevelopment in 2024 and have it completed by 2026.

This phase involves the addition of 550 luxury apartments, which will be in two new buildings on the west side of the mall, where a parking lot sits. A town green, commercial office space and a transit center are also still in the plans.

The redevelopment doesn’t need a zoning change, which should make it easier to move ahead. A major site plan application will need to be submitted to the town’s planning board, though.

Part of the redevelopment did get going before the pandemic. The former JCPenney has been redeveloped into Lululemon, Aerie Offline, Peloton, Under Armour, Champs and Old Navy. Four additional retail spaces in that part of the project are under construction.

The redevelopment is moving forward at a time when Westfield is retreating from its American mall holdings. Last week, the mall operator sold the Westfield Santa Anita complex in Arcadia, California for $538 million. It was the largest U.S. retail transaction in four years.

Last year, the company said it would “radically” reduce operations in the United States and shed regional shopping centers across the country. Westfield, however, said it was committed to flagship properties, which might alleviate any concerns from Mill Creek about losing its partner during the redevelopment.

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