Westfield Garden State Plaza in Paramus, one of the biggest malls in the country (and currently NJ’s largest), has even bigger plans for the not-too-distant future. Developers are planning to add a lot more than just stores to the mall. The final proposal is anticipated to be completed by early next year.
In a report to NorthJersey.com, mall officials announced that major renovations will bring luxury residential properties, a public park, hockey rink and possibly a high-end hotel.The park will boast an open-air plaza, fields, tree-lined streets and a promenade. Three vacant spaces (one near J.C. Penney, one near Uniqlo and another in the building that was once Best Buy) at the mall will also be repurposed to hold about 20 new retail spots, restaurants, family entertainment and health and fitness studios.
“Since the mall’s opening 62 years ago, our shopping, dining and special events have drawn generations of area residents,” Stephen Fluhr, vice president of Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, said in a press release today. “Now we’re poised for the next step in creating a true ‘town square’ destination in northern New Jersey,”
Zoning changes approved in 2016 make it legal to build mixed-use residential properties along the commercial corridor, so it’s an upside for businesses, too. Mall officials are also planning to expand one of the mall’s parking decks, as a current lot is going to be converted into a residential building.
“We understand and appreciate that residents of Paramus and neighboring towns are concerned about congestion, so traffic and accessibility are key in planning as is the inclusion of public open space,” noted Fluhr in the press release. “We are part of the community and we want to be good neighbors and enhance the quality of life for all residents. There will be something for everyone to enjoy here, from farmers markets, concerts and festivals to ice skating.”
The retail renovations taking over the three vacant areas are predicted to be finished by the end of 2020, while the rest of the complex is estimated to be complete in 2022.