Paramus Park

Paramus Park

Infobox shopping mall
shopping_mall_name = Paramus Park

caption =
location = Paramus, New Jersey
opening_date = March 14, 1974
developer = The Rouse Company
manager = General Growth Properties
owner = General Growth Properties
number_of_stores = 107
number_of_anchors = 2
floor_area = convert|770941|sqft|m2|abbr=on
floors = 1 with Food Court Mezzanine
parking =
website =

Paramus Park is a shopping center located on From Road in Paramus, New Jersey, United States, sandwiched between Route 17 and the Garden State Parkway, a little more than two miles (3 km) north of Route 4. The mall is owned by General Growth Properties and offers a Gross leasable area (GLA) of convert|770941|sqft|m2|abbr=on. [ [ International Council of Shopping Centers: Bergen Mall] , accessed November 6, 2006] . The mall is accessible from Parkway exits 163 (northbound only) and 165, and from Route 17.

The quartet of Paramus Park, Westfield Garden State Plaza, Bergen Mall and Fashion Center account for a major portion of the $5 billion in annual retail sales generated in Paramus, more than any other ZIP Code in the United States. [ Paramus 07652] , GlobeSt. Retail, October 3, 2005] Paramus Park gets 6 million visitors annually to its 107 stores. [ [ In This Town, Even a Mall Rat Can Get Rattled] , "The New York Times, December 20, 2006] Located in Bergen County, the mall is subject both to the county's Blue laws and the borough's stricter ordinance, which require them to be closed on Sundays. [cite news |first= |last= |authorlink= |coauthors= |title=Sunday-Closing Law Retained in New Jersey County |url= |quote=Efforts to repeal the 34-year-old ban on Sunday retailing in Bergen County, one of the country's richest shopping areas, were turned back easily today. ... Even if the county laws had been repealed, stores in Paramus would have remained closed because the community enforces its own ordinances against Sunday shopping and has vowed not to lift them|publisher=New York Times |date=November 3, 1993 |accessdate=2008-06-25 ]


The mall, developed by The Rouse Company, opened on March 14, 1974, with a convert|300000|sqft|m2|abbr=on. Abraham & Straus (now a Macy's store) and Sears (which didn't open until August) as anchors and space for 120 specialty stores. ["Shopping Center Is Opening; Parallel to Parkway", "The New York Times" March 10, 1974; pg. 72] The Paramus High School Marching Band played at the grand opening.

Paramus Park was the fourth, and final major indoor (or in the case of Garden State Plaza, soon to be indoor) mall in Paramus. It is shaped as a four-legged zigzag, with an anchor store at each end and the mezzanine-level food court encircling an atrium which featured a convert|30|ft|m|sing=on terraced waterfall surrounded by vegetation and punctuated by a pair of escalators. A stairway and elevator surrounded by terraced gardens rounded out the access points to the 2nd level food court. To this day, the food court is very popular at the lunch hour with the area office workers. The garden-like design was prevalent throughout the rest of the mall. Trees lined the main promenade of the mall, along with park benches; all under large skylights. Two small courtyards are at the other leg intersections; one now hosts a carousel, the other a lowered seating area with a bronze statue of a turkey.

In 1977, Paramus Park was immortalized in the lyrics of the song "Ariel", which was a #26 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song was written and performed by Dean Friedman, who was born and raised in Paramus. The two characters in the song meet "by the waterfall at Paramus Park".

In 1986, Paramus Park was the site of an innovative McDonald's store in its food court, which featured a decor with oak trim, pastel tiles and marble counters, in lieu of the traditional plastic interior in primary colors. The facility cost $650,000 to construct, 40% more than a typical McDonald's, and was designed to create more of the feel of an upscale restaurant. Closed in 2000, it was replaced by a walk-up. There are now restrooms where the old McDonalds was. ["At Fast-Food Restaurants, Plastic Is Out, And Marble, Brass and Greenhouses Are In", "Wall Street Journal", December 3, 1985. pg. 1] [Friendly, Jonathan. [ "A McDonald's in Paramus With Infusions of Grandeur"] , "The New York Times", April 18, 1986. p. A22. Accessed June 12, 2008.] In 2001, the mall was expanded where an Old Navy and Foot Locker complex were added along an elongated East Center Court Entrance and the mall was renovated. Center court was radically changed in that the waterfall, the gardens, escalators, stairway, elevator, and elevated gardens were removed in favor of a more open space. Two elevators were installed between Cinnabon and Auntie Anne's, a new smaller fountain was constructed, new escalators were constructed and vegetation/trees added, as well as the addition of new seating areas. Throughout the rest of the mall, flooring was changed, lighting was improved, seating areas were added and ceilings and walls were repainted. The Turkey statue was moved from the Macy's midcourt to the upper level food court and the seating area was transformed into a children's play area. In the Sears midcourt a carousel was added. The crescent waterfall in front of Macy's was kept, but the seating area surrounding it was removed in favor of a massage kiosk. Among the few stores that have remained throughout the mall's thirty-plus years are Sears, Fortunoff, and Chick-Fil-A.

As of the Holiday season of 2006, Paramus Park was experimenting with expanded hours on the weekends. The mall opened at 8 a.m. on Saturdays, closing at 10 p.m. As of February 2007, the mall went back to its normal 10 a.m. opening on weekends. Thereafter the mall returned to a closing time of 9:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Beginning soon, Paramus Park will expand again for the second time in 10 years. This expansion will add a lifestyle component to the mall and it will be located on the landscaped plaza just outside the west center court entrance (facing Route 17). The expansion will be about convert|89000|ft|m|abbr=on2 and is anticipated to contain at least two restaurants along with shops. Paramus Park will first sign the tenants and the construction is scheduled to begin in late 2009. [ [] , accessed June 15, 2008]

The giant metal statue of a turkey was inspired by the name of the town from which the mall gets its name. "Paramus" comes from the Lenni Lenape Native American word meaning "land of the wild turkey" or "place of fertile soil". [ [ If You're Thinking of Living In/Paramus; In Shopping Mecca, Houses Sell Well Too] , "The New York Times", April 15, 2001]

The mall and its parking lot lie in a 500-year flood plain, which has flooded extensively twice since the opening.


*Macy's (289,000 sq ft.)
*Sears (170,000 sq ft.)


External links

* [ Official Paramus Park web site]
* [ Paramus Park] , International Council of Shopping Centers
* [ Paramus Park leasing information]

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