Steinbach (store)

Steinbach (store)

Steinbach was a department store chain based in Asbury Park, New Jersey.



Steinbach was founded in Asbury Park, New Jersey, and maintained branch stores along the New Jersey Shore, and in the central part of New Jersey. The firm was at one time affiliated with the Kresge-Newark department store in downtown Newark. In the 1960s the chain was purchased by Supermarkets General Corporation (SGC), and continued to operate as a stand alone company. SGC also purchased the Howland chain in Bridgeport Connecticut, and the 2 store Georke's department store based in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Howland also continued to run as a stand alone chain, while the Goerke's stores became part of the Steinbach chain, and in turn were rebranded Steinbach. In the 1970s the chain opened 3 large full line branches at Mall locations along the growing Jersey Shore, including the firms largest, a unit at the Shore Mall near Atlantic City. In 1976 a fourth mall location was opened at the Seaview Square Mall, near its downtown Asbury Park store.

The Seaview Square location was opened as the firm's most upscale store, and a number of departments where not part of the merchandise mix, this changed when the ailing downtown Asbury Park location was closed in 1979, and Seaview Square was modified to include all departments that where carried downtown.

Ownership changes

In the late 1970s, SGC merged the two chains together under the corporate name, Howland-Steinbach. Each group of stores retained their original name, but were operated by a single corporate office. SGC sold the chain the 1980s to Dutch based Amcena Corporation, the owners of the NYC based Ohrbach's chain.

Amcena in turn converted most of its Ohrbach's stores to Steinbach stores. The parent company also converted all of the former Howland stores to the Steinbach nameplate, and closed the former Ohrbach's flagship location in NYC. By the late 1980s, Amcena opted to sell the chain, Value City purchased some of the stores, and Detroit based Crowley Milner and Company purchased some others. The chain was liquidated with the rest of Crowley Milner in 1999.

Former locations


*Bridgeport, downtown. Former Howland flagship, closed as Steinbach, 1988
*Danbury - downtown
*Fairfield - Black Rock Turnpike, closed as Steinbach, late 1990s.
*Hamden - Hamden Mart ("closed late 1990s, now Bon-Ton)
*Norwalk - downtown
*Trumbull - Hawley Lane Mall, now Best Buy
*Waterford - Shopping Center, now Sav-A-Lot


*Methuen, Massachusetts - Methuen Mall (Opened as a Howland's)

New Hampshire

*Concord - Steeplegate Mall ("opened 1990, closed 1999. Now Bon-Ton")

New Jersey

*Asbury Park ("Former Flagship closed in 1979, being developed as condos and retail")
*Brick Township ("now Bon-Ton")
*Egg Harbor Township - Shore Mall ("opened 1974, Value City in 1996 store closing in 2008")
*Elizabeth ("former Georke's, now Shoppers' World")
*Manalapan - Manalapan Mall ("now Value City; rest of mall torn down")
*Ocean - Seaview Square Mall ("now Value City; rest of mall torn down")
*Paramus, New Jersey - Bergen Mall - "Former Ohrbach's; after Steinbach's, became Value City; currently being demolished for redevelopment"
*Plainfield ("former Georke's, now closed")
*Red Bank ("later Bon-Ton, now closed")
*Wayne, New Jersey - Willowbrook Mall - "Former Ohrbach's; Now Lord & Taylor"
*Woodbridge, New Jersey - Woodbridge Center Mall - "Former Ohrbach's; Now Lord & Taylor"

New York

*Albany - Colonie Center ("opened 1992, closed 1995, now Boscov's")
*Cicero - Penn-Can Mall ("opened 1988 in former Sears, closed 1994. Mall converted to an auto mall")
*Clifton Park - Clifton Park Center ("opened 1991 in former Price Chopper, closed 1999, vacant")
*Cortlandt Manor - Cortlandt Towne Center ("mall torn down")
*DeWitt - Shoppingtown Mall ("opened 1991 on one level of former Addis & Dey's, closed 1995. Both levels of former Addis & Dey's are now Sears")
*Glens Falls - Northway Plaza ("closed 1999")
*Ithaca - Pyramid Mall (Opened in 1976, Closed in 1986, now several storefronts and part of "Regal Cinemas")
*Johnson City - Oakdale Mall ("Opened as Howland, became Howland-Steinbach.") ("Now Abercrombie & Fitch, and Hollister Co.")
*Lake Grove - Smith Haven Mall (late 1980s to mid 1990s, presently a J.C. Penney)
*Middletown - Galleria at Crystal Run ("opened 1992, closed 1995, now Dick's Sporting Goods")
*Middletown - Orange Plaza (moved to Galleria in 1992; now Kohl's)
*Newburgh - Newburgh Mall ("opened 1980, closed 1999, now Old Navy")
*New Hartford - New Hartford Shopping Center, now Joann Fabrics
*Plattsburgh - Champlain Centre North ("opened 1988, closed 1999, now Dick's Sporting Goods")
*Poughkeepsie - Poughkeepsie Galleria ("after closing, was Dick's Sporting Goods, now Target")
*Saratoga - Wilton Mall ("opened 1990, closed 1996, now Dick's Sporting Goods")
*Syracuse - Carousel Center ("opened 1990, closed 1996, now Circuit City")
* Tarrytown, downtown. Former Howland unit, now Pay Half .
*Utica - Riverside Mall ("mall torn down, now a strip mall")
*Watertown - Salmon Run Mall ("opened 1988, closed 1999, now Dick's Sporting Goods")
* Watertown, downtown. Former Howland store, replaced in 1988 by Salmon Run Mall.
*Queens, New York - Queens Center Mall - was Ohrbach's, then JC Penney's which was demolished in mall expansion


*South Burlington - University Mall ("opened 1992, closed 1999, now Bon-Ton")

Historic Steinbach Flagship Building

Steinbach had been a fixture in Asbury Park since the late 1800s, and by the turn of the century a new all in one flagship store was planned and built on Cookman Avenue. This grand building initially contained 5 floors, (basement level through 4th floor) and by the 1930s a 5th floor and clock tower was added making this landmark even more impressive. As the Northern sections of the NJ Shore started to suburbanize, Asbury Park and Steinbach became a focal point. The downtown Steinbach remained popular even after several nearby shopping centers opened, but the race riots during July 1970 cast a shawdow over downtown, and shoppers started to avoid the area. Ownership changes also affected Steinbach, and in 1978 it's parent company, SGC, opened a new consolidated office building in White Plains, New York to serve as the Headquarters for it's department store holdings. This cost downtown over one hundred jobs, and diminished the role of the downtown building. SGC also refocused Steinbach as a more value oriented chain, and by late 1978 only the downtown store maintained an in-store dining room, The Garden Grill.

In the Spring of 1979 it was announced that the downtown Steinbach would close after a liquidation sale. Saturday July 14, 1979 was the stores last day of business and it closed at 5:30 PM for the final time. The public entrances were padlocked and the remaining display windows were covered in plywood. Steinbach continued to use the building as a base for its maintenance staff for a few years and then it sat empty. In the late 1980s an arson fire almost destroyed the building and did result in the removal of the clock tower and 5th floor.

On March 1, 2007, the company that purchased the building, Sackman Enterprises, announced that the first of 63 apartments are ready for rent. This after a total rehabilitation of the historic building.

The ground floor contains 22,000 sq feet of retail space. The four floors above are unique loft-style apartments. The major tenant who will opening in May 2007 is Old Man Rafferty's - a bar and grill.

Local merchants and politicians look at the Steinbach as the last link to reopening the downtown, as many new merchants flocked to the once boarded up section of the city.By: David Dorfman, asburyboardwalk.comSee the links below for more information.


* [] - History of Asbury Park and the Boardwalk
* [ The Steinbach Building Condos] - Floor Plans and more

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