By the time of this circa-2014 site plan, Filene's has been rebranded as a Macy's. One might wonder about references to "Interstate-193", and then, "Interstate-293". The spur highway, which runs north of the mall, was originally signed as I-193. After a portion of the F.E. Everett Turnpike was incorporated into the Interstate Highway system in the late '70s, I-193 was redesignated as I-293.

South Willow Street and Interstate 193 (293)
Manchester, New Hampshire

Plans for the first major shopping mall in the Granite State were announced in April 1976, with construction commencing in the following July. MALL OF NEW HAMPSHIRE was developed by Stephen R. Karp, under the auspices of Newton-based State Properties of New England. The fully-enclosed complex was built on a 48.6 acre plot, located 2.7 miles southeast of center city Manchester.

The 525,000 square foot complex accomplished a couple of firsts. It housed the first Filene's in New Hampshire (a 1-level store of 60,000 square feet), as well as the first Lechmere built outside of Massachusetts (consisting of 1-level and 62,000 square feet). The 12 million dollar mall was also anchored by a 1-level (110,000 square foot) Sears.

At its official dedication, held in August 1977, MALL OF NEW HAMPSHIRE was the state's largest retail center. Charter inline stores and services included B. Dalton Bookseller, Casual Corner, Chess King, Hickory Farms of Ohio, Music World, Wallachs and a McDonald's fast-food restaurant.

Shopping hubs in the MALL OF NEW HAMPSHIRE trade area included BEDFORD MALL (1969) {2 miles west, in Hillsborough County}, ROCKINGHAM MALL (1971-1999) {16.3 miles southeast, in Salem}, PHEASANT LANE MALL (1986) {17.1 miles south, in Nashua} and MALL AT ROCKINGHAM PARK (1991) {16.1 miles southeast, also in Salem}.

A prospective renovation of MALL OF NEW HAMPSHIRE first came to light in 1993. The 50 million dollar project got underway in March 1996. Its first phase involved construction of a new 2-level (165,000 square foot) Filene's, at the southwest corner of a newly-enlarged mall site.

After Filene's relocated into their new store, on November 21, 1996, the old location was demolished. In its place was built a 2-level (101,300 square foot) J.C. Penney, which was dedicated April 18, 1998. The mall structure had also been expanded to connect the new Filene's and Penney's stores. At the same time, Sears was enlarged to 136,400 square feet.

When the construction dust settled in late 1998, MALL OF NEW HAMPSHIRE enveloped 930,000 leasable square feet and over one hundred and twenty stores and services. It now followed MALL AT ROCKINGHAM PARK and PHEASANT LANE MALL, as the state's third-largest shopping complex.

Lechmere's shuttering, in the fall of 1997, provided space for two new junior anchors. A (41,000 square foot) Best Buy welcomed its first shoppers on October 16, 1998. Kitchen, Etcetera filled the remainder of the space.

In February 1999, the Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group bought fourteen shopping malls from New England Development (a 1978 reincorporation of State Properties of New England). Included in the transaction was MALL OF NEW HAMPSHIRE.

Filene's received a Macy's moniker September 9, 2006. Kitchen, Etcetera was shuttered in August 2004 and was followed by a Berlin, New Jersey-based A.C. Moore Arts & Crafts. This store closed in late 2015 and was replaced by Glowgolf, a glow-in-the-dark mini-golf course, in early 2016.


The Nashua Telegraph
The Union-Leader
"Mall of New Hampshire" article on Wikipedia (Simon Property Group)
Hillsborough County, New Hampshire property tax assessor website