Simon Property Group, the owner and operator of The Shops at Riverside in Hackensack, N.J., is embarking on a redevelopment project that will expand the mall’s luxury offering, add two new restaurants, a cafe and a 40,000-square foot movie theater.
The redevelopment comes after the defection of Saks Fifth Avenue and Hermès to American Dream, a 3 million-square-foot shopping center-cum-amusement park under construction several miles to the east in the Meadowlands.
Saks Fifth Avenue closed its Riverside unit late last year in anticipation of opening a full-price store and an Off 5th unit at American Dream in 2017. Saks’ parent, Hudson’s Bay Co., also committed to opening a Lord & Taylor at the larger mall. Hermès plans to leave Riverside and relocate to American Dream when it opens.
Simon will create “The Collection at Riverside,” dedicated to 25 luxury retailers. Sources said Simon is targeting “the usual luxury suspects: Chanel, Gucci, Saint Laurent, Chloé, Dior, Ermenegildo Zegna and Jimmy Choo,” among others. Simon declined to comment.
The mall already has a strong luxury roster with Louis Vuitton, Salvatore Ferragamo, Burberry, Hugo Boss and Tiffany & Co. They will all be gathered in an elliptical concourse with 25-foot glass skylights. Simon is designing new soaring two-level storefronts.
“The Shops at Riverside is already synonymous with luxury and the new Collection will take luxury to the next level,” said David Contis, president of Simon’s mall division. The mall, which reportedly does $800 per square foot in annual sales, will do well over $1,000 per square foot once the Collection opens.
Riverside is located in an area known for its strong demographics. Within a five-mile radius of the mall, there are 33,000 homes with incomes of $100,000 a year to $149,000 a year.
A lack of space and available land has made it difficult for shopping centers to grow. “We have to manufacture space in some of our better malls,” Contis said, referring to relocating anchors and tearing down and rebuilding parts of centers. “At Riverside, we recaptured the Saks space and that was the catalyst that unleashed the opportunity to transform the center.”
Simon, which beat Wall Street estimates in the most recent third quarter, is spending $1 billion a year to renovate its properties. It transformed the Nanuet Mall, a traditional enclosed center into The Shops at Nanuet, an outdoor lifestyle center, and significantly expanded the Roosevelt Field Mall, adding Neiman Marcus and a luxury wing.
Bloomingdale’s, the remaining anchor, remains key to The Shops at Riverside. Industry sources estimate the store does about $90 million in sales a year.
“Riverside is an important store for our company and we are confident that the redevelopment of the center will further enhance its status as a top shopping destination,” said Tony Spring, chairman and ceo of Bloomingdale’s. “Our customers have come to expect the latest fashions, personalized service and amenities.”
Contis said a new dining and theater district facing Route 4 will be built with two new chef-driven restaurants and a café, and a 40,000-square-foot AMC theater with nine screens, a wine bar and fully reclining leather seats.