*UPDATE: What Will Become of the Danbury Mall?
Plans in place could bring a host of "unusual uses" to nearly 40 year old mall.
Growing up in the Carmel, NY area, and eventually Dover Plains, the Danbury Mall was always a popular spot to visit in my youth. And let's face it, malls are a dying breed these days. Post COVID, malls are struggling to survive as most people op for the home delivery service such as Amazon, where you can get basically anything you want, delivered to your home, sometimes in just a day.
The Danbury Fair Mall is an upscale shopping mall located in Danbury, Connecticut. As of 2011, it was the second largest shopping mall in Connecticut as well as the fifth largest in New England. Located off of Interstate 84 and U.S. Route 7 opposite the Danbury Municipal Airport, the mall features the traditional retailers Macy's, JCPenney, Primark, and Dick's Sporting Goods. There are 192 retailers and eateries in total, at the mall.
According to the Danbury News-Times, the mall could become home to apartments, an elementary school, or perhaps a hospital, along with other a host of other unusual possibilities. The mall has laid out a vision to rebrand as a "24-hour environment" via a 12 page rezoning request. The plan would allow other such uses as an adult day care center, an assembly hall, a college campus, swimming pool, ice rink, museum, and a hotel are all ides that have been tossed around.
Could Rebranding Plan Help Struggling Mall?
With malls struggling to get people in the doors these days, many malls have been pulling out all the stops, trying to come up with ways to keep the doors open. One example would be the Newburgh Mall becoming home to Resorts World Hudson Valley. In Poughkeepsie, the popular Poughkeepsie Galleria's future has been questioned with its value plummeting recently, according to reports, and earlier this year, the iconic Galleria Mall in White Plains closed its doors after 40 years.
One thing is clear, malls will need to consider rebranding plans to keep themselves alive and vital these days, and rezoning looks like the only way to go for these once flourishing, now aging shopping destinations.
*UPDATE: Investors Plan To Utilize Former Lord & Taylor Store Space
The Danbury News-Times reports that investors are interested in turning the empty Lord & Taylor store at the Danbury Fair Mall into apartments, with potential for up to 144 units. The 80,000 square-foot anchor space closed in 2020 after Lord & Taylor declared bankruptcy.
Lord & Taylor is a digital first retailer which was originally the oldest surviving department store retailer in the United States. In business since 1826, the retailer transformed from their traditional brick-and-mortar format into becoming a digital first retailer beginning 2021.