SWANSEA MALL: SWANSEA, MA
Joseph Aglione's Commentary
Posted December 13, 2005 (user submitted)
This was the mall to go to in the late 70's and for most of the 80's.
at the intersections of Route 6 and 118 with easy Route 195 access it was built
around 1975, the mall had Sears, Edgars and Caldor as anchors from what I
remember. An Apex Department store was added a few years later. There were also
two outparcels (Toys R Us and Service Merchandise). This mall had all your
typical chain stores (Waldenbooks, Papa Gino's, Doctor Pet Centers, Midland
Records, B Dalton Booksellers, 16 plus, Kay Bee toys, etc). The arcade was
called Just Fun and was the best in the area. It also had a 4 screen movie
theater (I saw the premiere of E.T. there). The mall was very popular and would
host the Jerry Lewis Telethon every Labor Day.
Then in 1989 came the behemoth
called Emerald Square Mall. Located about 20 minutes to the north in Attleboro
Mass, this 3 level monstrosity sucked the life out all surrounding malls for
miles. Swansea was no exception. The Edgars had closed in the 80's and would
later become a Macy's. The movie theater closed about that time as well. Caldor
went out of business in the 90's and is now a Wal-Mart which opens onto the
mall. I think this is the only thing that saved Swansea Mall. Apex closed a
couple years ago and now that section of the mall is walled off. Pretty much
most of the original chain stores are long gone as is the arcade. For awhile
before the Wal-Mart went in, about 50% of the mall was vacant or fronted with
temporary mom and pop or specialty stores many of which are still there.
Swansea Mall does seem to be coming back to life. There are still a goodly
amount of vacant stores but there is a decent food court, the usual chain
stores (Wilson's, Hot Topic, Olympia sports and Borders Books) and a large
shopping plaza just across the street with a mega movie plex that I am sure
brings business. I am unsure what will be done with the vacant Apex. As far as
the outparcels are concerned, the Toys R Us that opened in the 80's is doing
well, Service Mechandise closed awhile back and was vacant for a long time
until a Dollar Tree opened up in one half of the space.