MID-ISLAND SHOPPING PLAZA
North Broadway and Mid-Island Boulevard
Nassau County (Town of Oyster Bay), New York

Long Island's third shopping mall was designed by Lathrop Douglass and developed by a joint venture of Allied Stores and the New York City-based Stackler & Frank Company. It occupied a 68 acre parcel, situated 27.3 miles east of Times Square, in Nassau County's Town of Oyster Bay / Hicksville hamlet. The mall site had, at one time, contained Saint John's Protectory, a boys' orphanage, and a church-run vegetable and dairy farm.

MID-ISLAND SHOPPING PLAZA was comprised of a main retail level and service basement.The 40 million dollar, open-air mall housed approximately 800,000 leasable square feet. It was anchored by the 6-level (325,000 square foot), Queens-based Gertz Hicksville. This department store opened for business on October 12, 1956, along with eighty stores and services.

Charter MID-ISLAND SHOPPING PLAZA tenants included Bond Clothes, Oppenheim Collins, Lorry's Haberdashery, National Shoes, Buckner's Bridal, Albrecht's, Kitty Kelly Shoes, Thom McAn Shoes, Bonnet Shops, Savel Jewelers, Lodge Coffee Shop, Atlantic Book Shops, Famous Fashions and a Horn & Hardart Retail Store.

There were also J.J. Newberry and S.S. Kresge 5 & 10s and Food Fair and First National Stores supermarkets. The First National grocery morphed into a Finast in mid-1963.

The first addition to the shopping center was built as a freestanding structure at the north end of the complex. The Town & Country Theatres Twin Theatre North & South showed its first features in May 1964. It was one of America's first shopping mall multiplex venues.

A second north-end expansion added a 3-level (230,000 square foot), New York City-based S. Klein department store. Completed in 1969, it was built as part of a renovation that enclosed the mall. During this remodeling project, the North Wing was extended so that it connected the original mall with the new S. Klein and existing twinplex.

There were several major shopping centers in the vicinity of MID-ISLAND SHOPPING PLAZA. These included ROOSEVELT FIELD CENTER (1956) {4.6 miles southwest, in Nassau County}, WALT WHITMAN CENTER (1962) {6.9 miles northeast, in Suffolk County} and SUNRISE MALL (1973) {7.8 miles southeast, also in Nassau County}.

Anchor store rebrandings commenced at MID-ISLAND PLAZA in mid-1975. S. Klein was rebannered by New York City-based E.J. Korvette (a.k.a. Korvettes). This store was shuttered on December 24, 1980. In February 1983, Gertz morphed into another Allied Stores division, Paramus, New Jersey-based Stern's. This store was "Macy-ated" in May 2001.

The mall's west end supermarkets would be rebranded before closing for good in the late 1970s. Food Fair morphed into a Pantry Pride and then a Hills. The Finast store was rebranded as a Pathmark.

Meanwhile, Long Island's Delco Development Corporation had acquired the shopping hub in 1985. A remodeling was proposed, which would have added 500,000 square feet of retail space. A new name, DELCO PLAZA AT MID-ISLAND, was to be instituted as part of this project.

Work commenced on a scaled-down refurbishment in November 1987. A vacant Pathmark supermarket became the mall's first Food Court and the interior of the complex was updated with skylights and new flooring. With completion of the project in 1989, the name of the shopping hub was changed to BROADWAY MALL.

The twin cinema was demolished around this time. It was replaced by a 2-level (235,000 square foot) Ikea, which opened for business March 13, 1991. A multilevel parking garage (adjacent to the new Ikea) was also built. Korvettes, which had stood vacant for nearly 14 years, was gutted and rebuilt. The National Amusement Company Broadway Multiplex Cinemas opened in April 1995, along with an adjacent 8-bay Food Court.

4 years later, two supermarket structures on the west end of the mall were demolished. A 1-level (90,000 square foot) J.C. Penney was built. This store opened in October 1999, but closed in November 2002. The building was gutted and expanded, with a 1-level (140,500 square foot) Target Greatland opening on October 10, 2004.

In late 2005, the 1,153,300 square foot shopping center was acquired by New Jersey's Vornado Realty Trust. Vornado sold the property in February 2014, with the buyer being a joint venture of New York City's KKR (Kohlberg, Kravis, Roberts Company), Atlanta's Cushman & Wakefield and El Segundo, California's Pacific Retail Capital Partners.

A face lift renovation commenced in August 2015. During the project, new flooring, seating and landscaping were installed, common area was refurbished and exterior entrances rebuilt. New tenants, such as Noodles & Company, Blaze Pizza, Blink Fitness and Chick-Fil-A, were signed.

The revitalized mall, which now housed eighty-six tenant spaces, was rededicated January 15, 2016. Its name was changed to BROADWAY COMMONS in January 2017. In July of the same year, a 2-level (49,200 square foot) Round 1 Bowling & Amusement Center opened in space previously housing Steve & Barry's University Sportswear and Sam Good music.

Sources:

The New York Times
http://www.fultonhistory.com / Old Fulton NY Post Cards By Tom Tryniski
Nassau County, New York tax assessor website
http://www.labelscar.com
www.cinematreasures.org
http://www.vno.com (Vornado Realty Trust)
http://www.broadwaymallonline.com
http://cliftonrm.com (Clifton Realty Management)
http://atbroadwaycommons.com
"Broadway Mall" article on Wikipedia


BLACK AND WHITE PHOTOS:

From the Gottscho-Schleisner Collection / Repository: United States Library Of Congress Prints and Photograph Division, Washington, D.C. / Taken by Gottscho-Schleisner, Inc. / Samuel Herman, July 1957 / Lathrop Douglass- Client / Photographs are in the public domain: no known restrictions on publication / www.loc.gov/rr/print/catalog.html