Monday, October 23, 2017

After Years of Delays, First Store at Irvington's Valley Mall Plaza Finally Opens

IRVINGTON, N.J.: Opening day has finally come for part of an Essex County shopping mall that has been 'coming soon' for many years.

A 25,000 square foot Value Zone Department Store opened its doors within the Valley Mall Plaza in Irvington on Saturday morning, welcoming hundreds of area residents. The store is Value Zone's sixth Essex County location, according to a post on the company's Facebook page. There are other stores in Bloomfield. East Orange, Newark, and on Springfield Avenue in Irvington. Now, the lights are on and this location will be open for business seven days per week.

What makes this unique is that it is the first sign of commerce at this shopping complex on Chancellor Avenue near Route 78 in the township in close to a decade. The building that is now known as Valley Mall Plaza was once home to a location of Valley Fair, a chain of 'super discount centers' throughout Northern New Jersey. The sign for Valley Fair may remain in front, but after the store closed and the building was rehabilitated into Valley Mall Plaza several years ago, no businesses opened inside.

Why one of the first new shopping malls to open in Northern New Jersey in decades remained closed for so many years was a mystery. 

In 2013, the developer claimed that 25 stores planned to open inside, and that the mall could open in the early fall of that year, according to NJBIZ. However, 2013 and 2014 came and went without any businesses opening at Valley Mall Plaza. Then, in October 2015, representatives from Weichert Commercial Brokerage, which represented the property, told Essex County Place that the 230,000 square foot complex was slated to open the following month with 'typical mall hours'. Despite this, no shoppers were allowed to enter Essex County's third indoor mall until last weekend.

If completed, several additional stores and a food court would be located inside the building.

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