QUAKER BRIDGE MALL
Brunswick Pike / US 1 and Quakerbridge Road
Mercer County (Lawrence Township), New Jersey

The story of the Garden State's capital city shopping mall begins in 1968. R.H. Macy & Company acquired options on 102 acres, located 6.5 miles northeast of the New Jersey State House in a section of unincorporated Mercer County.

In April 1969, a zoning change was secured for the property. Macy's then joined with Philadelphia's Kravco Company and formed a joint venture, known as Lawrence Associates. They would develop and operate QUAKER BRIDGE MALL.

Grading commenced at the site in late 1974, with principal construction getting underway in mid-1975. A 2-level (212,600 square foot), Newark-based Bamberger's became the first operational store on March 18, 1976.

The 1,099,000 square foot shopping facility was officially dedicated April 1, 1976. A 2-level (151,400 square foot), Newark-based Hahne's ["haynz"] opened for business along with sixty inline stores. The grand opening festivities were attended by Governor Brendan T. Byrne (D) and Nancy Craig "Miss New Jersey 1975".

The third operational anchor, a 2-level (151,400 square foot) J.C. Penney, began business July 28, 1976. This store was followed by a 2-level (171,100 square foot) Sears, which was in operation by late 1976. The American Multi-Cinema Quaker Bridge 4, an in-mall multiplex, showed its first features February 6, 1977.

Among the one hundred and thirty-five charter tenants were Arthur Treacher's Fish & Chips, Duke's Pub, Friendly's Ice Cream, Hickory Farms of Ohio, Casual Corner, Chess King, CVS Drug, Foxmoor Casuals, Jewelry Garden, Lerner Shops, Merry-Go-Round, Music Scene, Space Port video arcade, Kay-Bee Toys and 1-level F.W. Woolworth 5 & 10.

Major shopping hubs in the vicinity of QUAKER BRIDGE MALL included NESHAMINY MALL (1968) {17.7 miles southwest, in Bucks County, Pennsylvania}, OXFORD VALLEY MALL (1973) {12.5 miles southwest, also in Bucks County}, WILLOW GROVE PARK MALL (1982) {25.3 miles southwest, in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania}, FRANKLIN MILLS (1989) {19.9 miles southwest, in Philadelphia}, BRIDGEWATER COMMONS (1989) {20.4 miles north, in Somerset County, New Jersey} and NASSAU PARK PAVILION (1995) {.6 of a mile north, in Mercer County, New Jersey}.

The original anchor line up at QUAKER BRIDGE MALL lasted until October 5, 1986, when Bamberger's received a Macy's banner. Hahne's was shuttered in May 1989 and re-opened, as Lord & Taylor, on July 24, 1990.

Indianapolis' Simon Property Group had established a minority interest in the Kravco Company in the 1990s. In November 2003, they increased their stake in the company to an eighty percent share. As a result, the official name of the company was changed to Kravco Simon Investments.

A multi-million dollar renovation and expansion of QUAKER BRIDGE MALL was first  announced in September 2005. This project was to include the relocation of J.C. Penney into a new structure at the southwest corner of the mall and demolition of the existing, circa-1976, store. A 501,000 square foot Northeast Wing would be built.

This dual-level addition was to be anchored by a 2-level (144,000 square foot) Nordstrom and 2-level (90,000 square foot) Neiman Marcus. Two parking garages were to be built, with the existing mall given a thorough interior and exterior update. A dedication date of Spring 2010 was mentioned. However, The Great Recession caused the project to be shelved.

A scaled-down renovation was announced in February 2012, with work getting underway in March. The interior of the existing mall was completely remodeled, with some existing tenants relocated and-or expanded into adjacent spaces. An 8-bay "Dining Pavilion" was installed on the Second Level, which replaced the mall's existing First Level Food Court.

Two outward-facing, sit-down restaurant's were added to the northeast corner of the complex. Cheesecake Factory held its grand opening September 19, 2012. Brio Tuscan Grill welcomed its first diners November 14, 2013.

Mall floors were carpeted, with new soft seating areas, skylights, landscaping, escalators and an elevator installed. Four entrances were also rebuilt. The new & improved shopping complex was officially rededicated December 11, 2013.

It is unknown whether or not the expansion originally proposed in 2005 will ever be built. If constructed, it would expand the GLA of QUAKER BRIDGE MALL to approximately 1,448,600 leasable square feet.

Sources:

Town Topics
"Quaker Bridge Mall" article on Wikipedia
www.simon.com (Simon Property Group)
www.cinematreasures.org
http://www.lawrenceville.patch.com
The Trentonian
The Lawrence Sun