Paramus Park
Paramus Park is a shopping center located on From Road in Paramus, New Jersey, United States, sandwiched between Route 17 and the Garden State Parkway, a little more than two miles (3 km) north of Route 4. The mall is owned by General Growth Properties and offers a Gross leasable area (GLA) of 770,941 sq ft (71,622.8 m 2). The mall is accessible from Parkway exits 163 (northbound only) and 165, and from Route 17. The quartet of Paramus Park, Westfield Garden State Plaza, The Outlets at Bergen Town Center and Fashion Center account for a major portion of the $5 billion in annual retail sales generated in Paramus, more than any other ZIP Code in the United States. Paramus Park gets 6 million visitors annually to its 107 stores. Located in Bergen County, the mall is subject both to the county's Blue laws and the borough's stricter ordinance, which require them to be closed on Sundays.

At the time of its construction, Paramus Park was one of three enclosed malls in Paramus, joining the Fashion Center and The Outlets at Bergen Town Center (the latter of which was enclosed a year before Paramus Park's opening). It was the last of Paramus' four major malls to be constructed, but not the last enclosed mall in Paramus. ( Westfield Garden State Plaza, which at the time was an open-air shopping center, became fully enclosed in 1984.) The mall, developed by The Rouse Company, opened on March 14, 1974, with a 300,000 sq ft (28,000 m 2). Abraham & Straus (now a Macy's store) and Sears (which didn't open until August) as anchors and space for 120 specialty stores. The Paramus High School Marching Band played at the grand opening. The mall's second-floor food court was a new innovation, and is now credited as the first successful shopping mall food court. A Fortunoff opened at the store in 1977. The mall is shaped as a four-legged zigzag, with an anchor store at each end and the mezzanine-level food court encircling an atrium which featured a 30-foot (9.1 m) terraced waterfall surrounded by vegetation and punctuated by a pair of escalators. A stairway and a glass elevator surrounded by terraced gardens rounded out the access points to the 2nd level food court until 2002 when it was demolished due to long lines, and replaced by 2 new elevators which were relocated. To this day, the food court is very popular at the lunch hour with the area office workers. The garden-like design was prevalent throughout the rest of the mall. Trees lined the main promenade of the mall, along with park benches; all under large skylights. Two small courtyards were at the other leg intersections; one now hosted a carousel and the other a lowered seating area with a bronze statue of a turkey. A carousel still occupies the same location as the original, but the current one was put in during the 1990s. The turkey statue was inspired by the name of the town from which the mall gets its name. Paramus comes from the Lenni Lenape Native American word meaning "land of the wild turkey" or "place of fertile soil". In 1977, Paramus Park was immortalized in the lyrics of the Dean Friedman song "Ariel". The two characters in the song meet "by the waterfall at Paramus Park". In 1986, Paramus Park was the site of an innovative McDonald's restaurant in its food court, which featured a decor with oak trim, pastel tiles and marble counters, in lieu of the traditional plastic interior in primary colors. The facility cost $650,000 to construct, 40% more than a typical McDonald's, and was designed to create more of the feel of an upscale restaurant. Closed in 2000, it was replaced by a walk-up. Restrooms are now located in its former location. A Claire's store was opened in 1988, and closed in 2006. In 2001, the mall was expanded where an Old Navy and Foot Locker complex were added along an elongated East Center Court Entrance and the mall was renovated. Center court was radically changed in that the waterfall, the gardens, escalators, stairway, elevator, and elevated gardens were removed in favor of a more open space. Two elevators were installed between Cinnabon and Auntie Anne's, a new smaller fountain was constructed, new escalators were constructed and vegetation/trees added, as well as the addition of new seating areas. Throughout the rest of the mall, flooring was changed, lighting was improved, seating areas were added and ceilings and walls were repainted. The Turkey statue was moved from the Macy's midcourt to the upper level food court and the seating area was transformed into a children's play area. The crescent waterfall in front of Macy's was kept, but the seating area surrounding it was removed in favor of a massage kiosk. Among the few stores that have remained throughout the mall's thirty-plus years are Sears and Chick-Fil-A. The mall will begin construction in late 2009 on an expansion that will add a "lifestyle" component to the mall, which will be located on the landscaped plaza just outside the west center court entrance, facing Route 17. The expansion will be 88,650 sq ft (8,236 m 2), and is anticipated to contain at least two restaurants along with shops. The mall and its parking lot lie in a 500-year flood plain, which has flooded extensively twice since the opening.

Public transportation
Paramus Park is served by several buses on the New Jersey Transit line, including the 168, whose two terminus points are the mall and the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan, as well as the 722, 752, 758, and the 762. Like the 168, the 722 and 758 buses have terminus points at Paramus Park, with the 722 bus running to and from Main Street on the border of Clifton and Paterson and the 758 running to and from the Passaic Bus Terminal.

  • Macy's (289,000 sq ft.)
  • Sears (170,000 sq ft.)