Willow Grove Park Mall
Willow Grove Park Mall (generally referred to as just " Willow Grove Mall" by residents) is a three-story shopping mall located in the unincorporated community of Willow Grove in Abington Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. The mall contains over 130 stores plus several restaurants including The Cheesecake Factory and is located at the intersection of Easton Road and Moreland Road ( Pennsylvania Route 63). It is owned by Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust. The Willow Grove Park Mall is the third most profitable mall in the Philadelphia area.

Location
The Willow Grove Park Mall is located in the unincorporated community of Willow Grove in Abington Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, 15 miles north of Center City Philadelphia in the northern suburbs of the city. The mall is bordered by Pennsylvania Route 63 (Moreland Road) to the northeast, Easton Road to the southeast, and Old Welsh Road to the southwest. The mall is located near Pennsylvania Route 611 and is a little more than a mile from the Willow Grove exit of the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Four SEPTA bus routes stop at the mall, providing access to the mall from Warminster, Doylestown, Norristown, Horsham and the Olney Transportation Center. The mall is also near the Willow Grove station on the Warminster Line. The Willow Grove Park Mall is located near several wealthy suburbs in eastern Montgomery County including Rydal, Jenkintown, Elkins Park, and Huntingdon Valley and has a market area that extends north into neighboring Bucks County.

Stores
The Willow Grove Park Mall currently contains three anchor stores. The largest is Bloomingdale's, which is 237,537 square feet (22,067.9 m 2) and opened in 1982. The Bloomingdale's store is one of two located in the Philadelphia area. The second largest is Macy's, which is 225,000 square feet (20,900 m 2) and opened in 2001 as part of a mall expansion. The smallest of the three anchor stores is Sears, which is 175,584 square feet (16,312.3 m 2) and opened in 1982 as B. Altman and Company before becoming Sears in 1987. In addition, there is a vacant anchor spot at the mall. This space opened in 1982 as Abraham & Straus before becoming Strawbridge & Clothier (later Strawbridge's) in 1988. Strawbridge's closed in 2006, with a part of the former space on the third floor reopening as The Cheesecake Factory in 2007, which is 10,310 square feet (958 m 2) in area. The remaining area of the former Strawbridge's on the third floor is expected to become additional retail space. The lower two floors of the Strawbridge's space are vacant; they were to reopen as Boscov's until that chain faced financial troubles. In addition to the anchor stores, the Willow Grove Park Mall contains over 130 stores, including Abercrombie & Fitch, Coach, Guess, a two-story H&M, J. Crew, Lucky Brand Jeans, Sephora, Victoria's Secret, and Williams-Sonoma. The mall also contains a food court with eleven spaces as well as three sit-down restaurants: The Cheesecake Factory, Ruby Tuesday, and T.G.I. Friday's. As of 2010, the Willow Grove Park Mall has a nonanchor occupancy rate of 92.7%.

History
The current site of the Willow Grove Park Mall was originally Willow Grove Park, a popular amusement park that existed from 1896 to 1975. In 1978, Federated Department Stores and The Rubin Organization announced plans to build a $25 million mall on the site of the former amusement park. The plans for the mall were approved by Abington Township in 1979, which included a downsizing to three anchor stores from four anchor stores among concerns from residents about the size of the future mall. The Willow Grove Park Mall opened on August 11, 1982. The mall was designed with a Victorian theme honoring the former amusement park. The developers of the Willow Grove Park Mall were Federated Department Stores and The Rubin Organization and the architect was RTKL. When the mall opened, the original anchor stores were Bloomingdale's, Abraham & Straus, and B. Altman and Company. In 1984, Federated Department Stores sold its share of the mall to the Equitable Life Assurance Society of the United States for $43 million. In 1986, B. Altman and Company closed its store, which reopened as Sears in 1987. In 1988 Abraham & Straus closed and became Strawbridge & Clothier, which had relocated to the mall from a store in Jenkintown. The mall was acquired by PREIT and the Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement System in 2000 for $140 million from a group of pension fund clients managed by Lend Lease Real Estate Investments, Inc. In 2001, the mall underwent a major renovation which included the addition of Macy’s as an anchor, the construction of a 212,000 square feet (19,700 m 2) parking garage with 800 parking spaces adjacent to Sears and the food court, and the addition of a carousel at the third floor entrance opposite the food court. The renovation of the mall cost $25 million. PREIT assumed full ownership of the Willow Grove Park Mall in 2003 by acquiring the Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement System's 70% share of ownership for $122.3 million. In 2005, a mosaic wall with images from the former Willow Grove Park was installed in the mall. The mosaics were created by the Abington Art Center's Youth Empowderment Program and the Abington Township Balanced and Restorative Justice Program from designs made by Carol Strinton-Broad. In 2006, Strawbridge’s closed due to the acquisition of its parent company May Department Stores by Federated Department Stores, with the upper floor becoming home to The Cheesecake Factory in September 2007 with other new stores planned. The lower two floors were planned to open as Boscov's; however, it never opened due to the chain's financial problems. On November 25, 2006, during one of the busiest shopping weekends of the year after Thanksgiving, a small fire broke out in the Forever 21 store that forced the evacuation of 6,000 shoppers; no injuries were reported.

Economic impact
The Willow Grove Park Mall serves as a major regional attraction for Abington Township and is the third most profitable mall in the Philadelphia area. In the Pennsylvania part of the Philadelphia area, the Willow Grove Park Mall is the second most profitable mall after the King of Prussia Mall. The mall is regarded as one of three most successful locations for retailers entering the Philadelphia market due to its location and store selection. In 2010, the Willow Grove Park Mall saw sales of $384 per square foot. The mall employed 1,843 people in 2009, making it the third largest employer in Abington Township with 7.93% of the jobs in the township. The opening of the Willow Grove Park Mall led to the decline of retail along Old York Road in Abington and Jenkintown, with department stores such as Bloomingdale's, Sears, and Strawbridge & Clothier relocating from this area to the mall.

In popular culture
The outside of the Willow Grove Park Mall was seen on the television show 'Til Death in the episode "The Ring," which first aired on September 21, 2006. The mall has also appeared in the TV show It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia .

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