Jack Thomas' Commentary

Posted August 6, 2016

Burlington Center Mall was opened in 1982 by The Rouse Company featuring Strawbridge & Clothier and Sears as anchors, in a two level skylit "L" shaped building with a food court on the upper level in the middle of the mall. Built to serve the communities of Burlington, Westhampton and Mount Holly, the mall was situated between I-295 and the NJ Turnpike, gauranteeing constant traffic passing by the site.

A simple straightfoward mall, it was not meant to draw shoppers from the bigger malls nearby, simply to provide another option for locals and passing travelers alike. It worked for a little while. The road that the mall is on got a boost in shopping and dining options, and the mall even added a third anchor, JCPenney in 1996. Rouse let go of the mall in 1999 to Jager Management.

Trouble brewed towards the mid 2000's as nearby malls, Moorestown and Cherry Hill Malls, both expanded and drew higher end shopping options. Strawbridge's became Macy's in 2006. A gang related incident in 2007 saw the closure of the mall for a day, and the mall was met with an unsafe reputation afterwards. Macy's decided to close in 2010 causing most smaller stores on that end of the mall to leave.

2014 saw the purchase of the mall by Las Vegas based Moonbeam Capital Investments, who plan to transform the mall into the Marketplace at Burlington. The Strawbridge's wing of the mall would be demolished and an outdoor shopping center would be built, with expanded frontage along I-295. JCPenney closed later that year, presenting expanded opportunities for redevelopment.

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