News Column

Newark: NewPark Mall's glittering glass plan for new movie theater, restaurants

May 16, 2014

By Chris De Benedetti, The Argus, Fremont, Calif.



May 16--NEWARK -- For a decade, talk about reviving the aging NewPark Mall never translated into action, leaving city leaders frustrated as its stores slowly defected to other cities.

That disappointment turned to glee earlier this week when the mall's owner, Rouse Properties, announced lease agreements for 140,000 square feet of restaurants and entertainment at NewPark, including a multiplex movie theater with an Imax screen.

The company envisions a glittering, glass-enclosed shopping center with 21st-century amenities, including new signage with modern aesthetics and outdoor seating under palm trees.

"There's almost a giddiness that this is finally happening," Mayor Alan Nagy said. "Plans like these were announced 10 years ago by the mall's previous owner, but they never materialized. We're finally seeing the fruition of all that work."

Rouse will spend more than $40 million on the upgrades, said Andrew Silberfein, the company's president and CEO.

"It's the biggest investment we're making among our 34 malls throughout the country," he said.

Renovations will include new mall entrances, flooring and lighting, plus a new restaurant pavilion offering open-air, patio-style dining. The food pavilion's two stories of glass will modernize its appearance and give customers views of the mall as they dine, Silberfein said.

"It will create quite an ambience and experience for the customer," he said.

The mall's new eateries will include John's Incredible Pizza and Toby Keith'sI Love This Bar & Grill, a country-and-western-themed restaurant owned by the Nashville musician.

NewPark has 1.1 million square feet of retail space and more than 150 stores, such as Macy's, Coach, The Body Shop and Forever 21.

But, in a major shift since its opening nearly 35 years ago, today's shoppers spend nearly as much as money on gourmet food and special entertainment as they do in traditional stores, city leaders said.

Rouse, a New York-based real estate investment firm, will collaborate on the mall improvements with Berkeley's ELS Architecture and Urban Design, which worked on renovating the Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto.

Construction will start at NewPark next month. The upgrades will resuscitate the weathered mall and help attract new businesses within Newark's once-thriving 125-acre commercial zone, city leaders said.

"From a retail standpoint, the No. 1 thing in this city has been the slow decline of NewPark Mall," Nagy said. "But this turns that around 180 degrees and points it in the up direction."

Contact Chris De Benedetti at 510-353-7011. Follow him at Twitter.com/cdebenedetti.

___

(c)2014 The Argus (Fremont, Calif.)

Visit The Argus (Fremont, Calif.) at www.insidebayarea.com/argus

Distributed by MCT Information Services


For more stories covering arts and entertainment, please see HispanicBusiness' Arts & Entertainment Channel



Source: Argus (Fremont, CA)


Story Tools






HispanicBusiness.com Facebook Linkedin Twitter RSS Feed Email Alerts & Newsletters