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  • Katherine Harrington

The Northshore Mall: A Timeline

If you live in northern Massachusetts, there’s a good chance that you’re quite familiar with this mall yourself. After all, it’s a long-standing business, conveniently located and has a variety of different retailers to draw you inside. However, how much do you know about its history? Here’s an interesting timeline:

1958: The Northshore Mall first opened as an outdoor shopping center featuring stores such as Sears, Jordan Marsh and Filene’s. There was even a bowling alley, a movie theatre, and a small amusement park. Can you imagine that?

1960: Carmelite Chapel, the first Catholic Chapel in a shopping mall, opened.

1972: The mall became entirely enclosed in order to compete with the nearby Liberty Tree Mall by New England Development.

1977: The mall underwent a roofing renovation from 1977-1978, which included a 2-level (240,200 square foot) Sears. This Sears replaced the smaller, original store.

1992: The Northshore Mall was acquired and expanded by New England Development.

1993: A replacement Filene’s store opened where the former amusement park, Kiddietown, once was. Lord & Taylor and a new food court was also introduced.

1999: New England Development sold the mall to a joint venture led by Simon Property Group. Cosmetic and structural changes began to take place.

2001: The first Apple store in the northeastern US opened at this location.

2006: Plans to demolish the former Jordan Marsh to clear space for an expansion is announced.

2007: The Cheesecake Factory, perhaps the mall’s most popular restaurant to date, opened.

2009: The new wing, previously announced in 2006, opened. All-Pro Electric played a large role in the electrical work done during this time. Unlike the rest of the mall, the new wing had stores on two floors. In addition, the food court entrance was renovated and expanded. All-Pro Electric employees also renovated The Carmelite Chapel during this time, which still exists in the basement-level of the mall.

2017: Renovations began outside the mall to add restaurant Bancroft & Co., Tony C’s Sports Bar and Grill, and an outdoor stage for community events and performances. A new area called The Promenade was created, which included two fast-casual restaurants, and a new patio and landscape.

2018: The mall’s 60th anniversary. Sadly, Toys “R” Us closed down and so did Sears.

2018-Present: Plans to add Lifetime Inc. health club in 2020, new restaurants, a new main entrance, a second floor to the mall, and a third floor over the Nordstrom wing is announced. The second floor project is still in planning and approval stages but is expected to be completed by 2035. The Northshore Mall has undergone consistent reinvention and improvement since its opening in 1958. We’d bet that the best is yet to come for this historic shopping center.


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