Scrolling through Yelp reviews can be a bit of a trying experience, especially for business owners. Each negative review burns and can detract from your business. That’s exactly the situation the Burlington Center Mall, located in Central New Jersey between I-295 and the NJ Turnpike, is currently facing. Built in 1983, the complex has seen three decades of wear and tear while watching business after business walk out its doors.
But times are changing in Burlington (at least at the mall). Developers have just unveiled plans to replace the aging shopping center with the new “Marketplace at Burlington.” With over 200 acres and 1.5 million square feet of retail space, the shopping center has a chance to become a major development for the Burlington Township.
Steve Maskin, CEO of Moonbeam Capital Investments, and the man behind the development, believes that the project will redefine the property. “We have a chance to really turn this into an upscale establishment,” Maskin said, “We will make this a destination area, and once you’re here, you should want for nothing.”
The development will come at a cost. J.C. Penney regulars will be unhappy to hear that their store at Burlington Center will be closing permanently (it will not return when the “Marketplace at Burlington” re-opens). Even with Penney’s leaving, the developers will have to acquire a large plot of land adjacent to the mall, the building will have to be redesigned (for visibility from motorists on I-295), and a new thoroughfare road will need to be laid through the 150 acres of development. Recent estimates suggest that all of the renovations, acquisitions and building construction could cost upwards of $230 million dollars.
Businesses within the mall will not be the only parties that will benefit from the redesign as it represents a monumental opportunity for contractors to find some extra work. With 1,500 full time jobs expected to be created, on top of thousands of part-time construction jobs, contractors should be made aware of the potential job openings created by the project.
Residents of Burlington will likely read this with a degree of skepticism. Developers have come with similar inspiring and comforting words, but none have ever followed through. But Steve Maskin’s plan seems different. There is enthusiasm in Burlington again, and there is hope on the horizon for what has been a source of public dismay for quite some time.