Mountain Farms Mall
Mountain Farms Mall is a one-story shopping mall in Hadley, Massachusetts, United States, with approximately 12 stores. It is located on Route 9, at 335 Russell Street in Hadley, Massachusetts, between Amherst and Northampton, approximately five miles east of Exit 19 off I-91. The mall is owned by S.R. Weiner and WS Development.

History
Mountain Farms first opened to the public on Nov. 23, 1973 as an indoor shopping mall. Original anchor stores were Woolco and Almy's. After the neighboring Hampshire Mall opened in 1978, business at Mountain Farms fell off. In the heyday of its first incarnation were about 40 stores in the mall. By 1990, the Mountain Farms was generally referred to as "the dead mall", containing a hot tubbing location and an AMC theater. By the spring of 1994 its original 35 stores had declined to four. In May 1994 Wholesale Depot Inc. filed bankruptcy under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code and closed its store which opened at the mall in December 1992. In June 1997, WS Development, an open-air shopping center developer, showed interest in refurbishing the mall and as part of this plan it envisioned devoting a third of its space to a Wal-Mart store. The Planning Board members at the time raised concerns about the appropriateness of a Wal-Mart in Hadley saying that they preferred small and unique stores. In 1998 permission was obtained to bring in the Wal-Mart. In April 1998 a citizens group in Hadley filed suit against W.S. Development and the Hadley Planning Board seeking to overturn the Planning Board's decision to grant site plan approval. In July 1998 a Hampshire Superior Court justice dismissed the lawsuit. On August 19, 1998 the mall was sold by Henry Rosenberg of New York City, trustee of MFF Realty Trust, to W.S. Hadley Properties, care of S.R. Weiner and Associates Inc. of Chestnut Hill. The buyers were sister companies of WS Development, the mall's prospective developers. Construction on the new project began in February 1999. Peoples Bank of Holyoke purchased a boarded-up former Bess Eaton doughnut shop adjacent to the Mountain Farms Mall. Wal-mart opened its store in February 2000. Linens 'N Things opened its store in September 2000, and closed in 2008 after liquidating. An Old Navy opened a month later in October 2000. In 2001, Barnes and Noble opened a store in the revamped mall. In 2002 Michael's, an arts and crafts store, opened between Marshalls and Bread & Circus supermarket. In September 2002 the Kai Chi restaurant in the Mountain Farms Mall closed as a consequence of their landlord W.S. Development Associates, LLC of Chestnut Hill purchasing the remaining 10 years on their lease. In 2003 a 16,400-square-foot (1,520 m 2) expansion of the Bread & Circus (which later that year was rebranded as Whole Foods Market) at Mountain Farms Mall began. A 63-room, 27,700-square-foot (2,570 m 2) Econo Lodge was constructed that opened in 2003 in front of Mountain Farms Mall. During this time period the Hampshire Mall was regarded as the dead mall in comparison to the vibrant Mountain Farms Mall (although it too revived in 2005). Eastern Mountain Sports, Pier 1 Imports, Panera Bread, and Famous Footwear opened stores in mall in 2004. A new expanded Whole Foods Market (formally Bread and Circus) opened in June 2004. Home Depot obtained permission for a 323,000-square-foot (30,000 m 2) shopping center adjacent to the mall later in the year. In May 2006 the town voted in favor of the "Compatible Building Size Bylaw" which measure placed 75,000-square-foot (7,000 m 2) cap on retail building size, effectively prohibiting future malls and shopping centers from coming to the Route 9 corridor. The proposed Lowe's home improvement center, Home Depot, and Wal-Mart Supercenter projects, all of which have already begun or completed the planning process, will not be affected. The Home Depot and Hadley Corner retail project was shut down in March 2006 by the state Department of Environmental Protection , but has resumed activity. In 2007 construction began at the rear of the mall for a Planet Fitness which opened in 2008. Bed, Bath, and Beyond opened in the former Linens N' Things space in November 2009. Currently there is no interior entry other than a set of vestigial doors between Panera Bread and EMS.

Walmart controversy
Starting in 1997, when Wal-mart started expressing interest in establishing a store, an organized group of area residents have sought to oppose any Wal-mart development plans, Wal-mart epitomizing what they oppose. In 2005 Wal-mart wished to build a new 212,000-square-foot (19,700 m 2) Supercenter southeast of the Hampshire Mall. However there have been various hindrances as a consequence of a bylaw designed to keep out large stores by restricting new stores to 75,000 square feet (7,000 m 2) as well as local organized opposition. After two years of negotiations, on November 20, 2007, a subdivision plan that exempted the planned Wal-Mart Supercenter from the current bylaw restrictions was approved. Developers have eight-years to get a site plan approved before the exemption expires. This would almost certainly mean the current store, attached to the east end of Mountain Farms Mall, would close. There continues to be tensions within the Hadley community between those that want development for shopping, business, tax and employment reasons versus those that wish to not allow any more development in order to keep Hadley as rural as possible. The Wal-mart at the Mountain Farms Mall has been the scene of various demonstrations since it opened, not all of which impinged directly on Wal-mart. On May 2, 2004 activists picketed the store to publicize what they have called the "Wal-Martization of health care," and to vocalize what they saw as a need for a national health insurance plan." Some customers, however, felt harassed and complained to the store manager who called the police. All the other stores in the mall also placed a call in complaint of the protest. According to the police, the protectors stopped customers from entering stores, blocked store entrances and generally annoyed the customers. It was only after a trespass order was issued to force the activists to disperse that the demonstration ended. Since then, further demonstrations have occurred on Route 9 on the edge of the Mountain Farms Mall property.

Wifi hotspots
There are currently 3 free hotspots in Mountain Farms Mall, in Panera Bread, in Whole Foods, and in Barnes & Noble which became complimentary in 2009.

Stores
Current stores include:
  • Barnes & Noble
  • Bed Bath and Beyond
  • EMS
  • Famous Footwear
  • GameStop
  • Marshalls
  • Michaels
  • Old Navy
  • Planet Fitness
  • Pier 1 Imports
  • Sleepy's
  • Wal-Mart
  • Whole Foods Market


Food
The mall has a Whole Foods Market, and a Panera Bread bakery/restaurant. There is also a Dave's Soda and Pet City store.

Outbuildings
Notable stores, but not part of the mall:
  • AT&T
  • Burger King
  • Florence Savings Bank
  • KFC
  • Manny's TV & Appliances
  • Vision Showcase


Former
  • Linens 'n Things
  • AMC Theatres
  • Papa Gino's