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.

Located 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.

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