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Palisades Center, or sometimes referred to as the Palisades Mall, is a 2.2 million square foot mall located in West Nyack, New York, just 42 minutes away from New York City.

Opened on March 4, 1998, Palisades Center is the eleventh largest mall in America. It has between 200 and 250 stores, 16 anchor stores, and has four levels including a parking garage level. The overall amount of parking spaces in Palisades Center is over 18,000 spaces. 

History[]

According to the mall's sponsoring partner, Thomas Valenti, it took 16 years to get the mall approved and built. The 130-acre site was purchased by The Pyramid Companies for about $3 million and promised to clean up the two landfills, which were filled with incinerator ash and garbage. The 875,000-square-foot mall was proposed in 1985 with a goal of luring upscale retailers like Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor (closed in 2020), and also a promise to keep sales tax dollars from slipping across state lines into New Jersey. The mall also has several independently owned businesses.

The site was selected for its proximity to the New York State Thruway and Westchester County. Its location four miles from New Jersey, where blue laws in Bergen County keep the malls closed on Sundays, was also a factor. Local residents, recalling how the Nanuet Mall nearly drew the life out of Rockland County's traditional shopping villages about 20 years earlier, opposed the mall, predicting that it would bring crime, increased traffic, air pollution, and an economic downturn to the area's downtowns, and that the site was not properly tested for toxins. Ground was broken on the project in October 1993. The mall cost between $250 million and $280 million.

AMC Theatres

Target

The Palisades Center was built around the Mount Moor Cemetery, a 150-year-old cemetery for African Americans established in 1849 for people of color, including Native American and African American veterans of American wars from the Civil War to the Korean War. The cemetery is visible from a number of points in the mall, and was undisturbed by construction.

The construction of the mall faced a number of environmental obstacles before it began. What was initially thought to be a mastodon buried there turned out to be a circus elephant. Nesting grounds for a nearly extinct red-legged partridge turned out to be a domesticated pheasant. Other problems included flooding from one of the region's glacier-dug bottom spots and runoff from three landfills on the property.

The mall finished construction in December 1997 and opened in March 1998. From the beginning the mall was dogged by rumors, the most prevalent of which being that the underground parking lot was sinking because it was built on unstable swampland, and that it would collapse under its own weight. After the 1999-2000 holiday seasons, rumors of the mall's closing abounded. On the January 6, 2000, episode of The Rosie O'Donnell Show, host Rosie O'Donnell, who lives in Nyack, mentioned the rumor of the building's sinking to her audience. Local police, town engineering officials and the mall's developers, however, assured the public that there was no truth to these stories and that the mall was safe and in no danger of closing. A managing partner of the mall, Thomas J. Valenti, appeared on a later episode of The Rosie O'Donnell Show, where he performed a song and dance number to the tune of "Cheek to Cheek," debunking the rumors of the mall sinking.

In 2002, ShopRite opened across the street from the mall.

Lord & Taylor And Macy's

On May 3, 2013, Pyramid announced that Palisades Center would undergo a multimillion-dollar makeover later that month, which would be completed by the end of the year. The remodeling was intended to create a more sophisticated appearance to the mall, which had begun to show signs of wear and tear. The renovation brought about a warmer color scheme to soften the institutional beige of the mall, colored glass mosaics, ceiling facets, and designer lighting. Some aspects of the remodeling targeted specific areas of the mall. For example, the four-story court at the center of the mall incorporates glass handrails and architectural lighting elements, and the "Theatery" area on level 4 received new tile floors and chandelier fixtures. Other areas had soft seating, custom planters, and plush carpets added to them. The kiddie rides were removed; some of them were moved to the escalators leading from the food court to the fourth floor, while others, such as the Jolly Roger Superman Train kiddie ride, were removed entirely.

Former JCPenney

Two years later, in 2015, the AMC Theatres location was renovated. The building was remodeled and the theater replaced its former gray seats with red luxurious self-adjustable controlled recliners. The theater also added Coke Freestyle machines and self-serve ICEE machines, which replaced the former video game arcade. The former IMAX theater closed in 2016 and was moved into a separate auditorium inside AMC. However, the IMAX theater in AMC does not have self-adjustable controls on the seats. The Loews Theaters signage was dropped as well, making the theater simply as an AMC/IMAX theater.

In 2019, Lord & Taylor announced that its Palisades Center store would close forever in early 2020. The space is going to be used for a York Factory office.

Opposition and critical reception[]

The Palisades Climb Adventure Ropes Course

Opponents of the mall have stated that their predictions prior to the mall's construction have come to fruition, complaining that the Superfund site located on the property was paved over rather than cleaned and that the mall tax receipts failed to lower the average homeowner's bill as advertised. Mall opponent Bruce Broadley commented, "Everything we said would happen happened. Go back and look at all the proposals and drawings. It's a vastly different mall that was built. It was sold as upscale. What they built is arguably one of the ugliest malls in America." These complaints were detailed in the 2008 documentary Megamall. However, Clarkstown Town Board member Shirley Lasker, who opposed the mall, acknowledged in 2008 that their concerns over traffic did not materialize. Valenti explained that the $23 million spent to fix area roads and create the mall's own exit on the Thruway prevented the predicted traffic congestion. Columnist Greg Clary argues that aesthetics are subjective, that average homeowners' bills did not go down due to continued spending on the part of elected officials, and that while the downtowns were hurt by the mall, this is not unique to the area, and can be averted by town planners who represent some of the 20 million of the mall's patrons.

On November 5, 2002, voters in Clarkstown voted on whether to approve the mall's leasing out of 100,000 square feet of unoccupied space, in keeping with a 1997 covenant that Pyramid Companies signed stipulating that any additional leasing would be decided by a town referendum as part of a deal that let the mall take over three town streets. Opponents argued that Pyramid Companies had previously insisted that this space had no practical use when they had built beyond the original 1.8 million square feet they were allowed, but Pyramid insisted that they did not wish to expand beyond the limits of the mall, but rather to lease space already contained in the building, which would be occupied by Kids City, an interactive educational and recreational center for children ages 3 to 12. Nicole Doliner, president of the Rockland Civic Association, however, characterized Kids City as a "theme park."

Barnes & Noble

New York Times writer Joe Queenan criticized the mall's exterior for lacking any sense of design or theme and characterized its rectangular layout as "a series of interlocking coffins." He also criticized the visible "trash gondolas" near the Interstate 287 entrance. Queenan had kinder things to say about the mall's vast interior, likening its sprawling floors to a retail version of Centre Georges Pompidou, analogizing its amalgamated structure to the "Gotham skyline," and lauding the bowling alley, ice rink, and food court Ferris wheel for giving people an opportunity to play "adult hooky."

Layout[]

DSW Shoe Warehouse

The mall has four floors. including 16 anchor stores, In addition to the more traditional department-store anchors Lord & Taylor and Macy's on the east end, the mall has a Best BuyBurlington Coat Factory and a Target on the west end. The Mall has 3 sets of high-speed glass elevators, installed by MontgomeryKONE in 1998 when the mall opened.

The Home Depot

On the fourth floor is a stadium-seating 21-screen AMC Theatres, that includes a once-separate IMAX theater. Since 2016, the former IMAX site is home to 5 Wits Interactive Family Entertainment Center. At the east end of the fourth floor is an ice rink, which is home to many teams and programs such as the Palisades Predators Youth Hockey team and BUDS for Hockey. The rink also houses a free skate and Learn to Skate program, an arcade, and a party room for birthday parties. The fourth floor is also the entry to Palisades Climb Adventure, a five-level, 85-foot-tall climbing obstacle course created by WonderWorks that allows guests to climb on obstacles while strapped into a harness. The third floor of the mall contains a 2,000 seat food court with over a dozen quick-service restaurants, a Ferris wheel and formerly housed Philadelphia Toboggan Company Carousel Number 15, a carousel that was built in 1907 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2001. In May 2009, mall management announced that the then-101-year-old carousel would be disassembled and removed the following month and was replaced by a modern double-decker Venetian carousel. However, the Venetian carousel closed and was removed in summer 2021 and will be replaced by ClimbZone, a climbing wall by the winter.

Best Buy

Current Anchors and Tenants[]

BJ's Wholesale Club

The anchor stores in bold are currently in the mall

Former Tenants[]

  • Outback Steakhouse (opened 2000, closed 2020)
  • Ann Taylor
  • Ann Taylor Loft
  • William-Sonoma
  • Ultra Beauty Salon (on the third floor)
  • CVS Pharmacy (on the third floor near Filene's, closed 2006)
  • CompUSA
  • The Sharper Image
  • Nickelodeon Store (on the third floor, only around for a year, replaced by Rave)
  • Verizon Wireless Store
  • Discovery Channel Store
  • McDonald’s
  • Disney Store (on the third floor, closed on May 19, 2021)
  • X-Zone (originally where the fourth floor location of Forever 21 is now, then moved to the former area of the batting cages in a dead area near the ice rink)
  • Books Kinokuniya
  • Sanrio Store (on the first floor, later the third floor)
  • Laura's Hallmark
  • JoAnn's
  • Kirklands Furniture (on the first floor)
  • Pottery Barn
  • Picture People (originally Great Train Store)
  • KB Toys (on the third floor)
  • Rock'N Willy's
  • CyberXpo
  • Big Fat Wow
  • Farmers Almanac
  • Eddie Bauer (replaced by American Home, then Forth and Towne)
  • Bob's
  • FYE (formerly Record Town, now a children's clothing store)
  • ABED.COM/Advanced Comfort
  • Bodum
  • Mikasa
  • White Barn Candle Co.
  • RadioShack
  • Thomas Kinkade (formerly Impostors)
  • The Hudson (originally Legal Sea Foods, 1998 - 2009, then Tony Roma's, 2010 - 2017)
  • Trade Secret (on the second floor near Circuit City)
  • Casual Corner
  • Mr. Rags
  • Record Town
  • USA Dog Shop
  • Sweets From Heaven (on the second floor down a few from Johnny Rockets)
  • The Treat Train (on the fourth floor near where Levity is now)
  • The Sweet (on the first floor)
  • Palisades Art and Frame (on the first floor)
  • Café Tu Tu Tango (on the fourth floor)
  • Elevation Burger
  • Q'doba (on the fourth floor)
  • American Home (formerly Eddie Bauer)
  • Bebe Sport
  • Camille La Vie
  • The Bombay Company
  • Bombay Kids
  • Le Gourmet Chef
  • Esprit
  • Brooks Brothers
  • Rincon Musical
  • Pet Company
  • Body Ink
  • Aroma D'Italia
  • Giovanni Ranna (formerly Aroma D'Italia)
  • Street Corner News
  • Brookstone
  • Club Libby Lu
  • J. Crew
  • Lady Foot Locker
  • Kids Foot Locker
  • Dashing Diva
  • Underground Station
  • Parade of Shoes
  • Big Bag
  • BCBG
  • Hakky Shoe Repair
  • Epic Design
  • EBX
  • Great Train Store (on the third floor opposite FYE, replaced by Picture People)
  • Vitamin World
  • InTouch Wireless (two locations)
  • Keep in Touch Wireless
  • Page One (two locations)
  • Stop and Save Software
  • Wet Seal
  • It's About Time
  • Jeans Plus
  • Gifts Engraved
  • Lindt Chocolate
  • Washington Mutual Bank
  • Mr. Bulky (on the third floor)
  • AfterThoughts
  • The Icing
  • Mish Mash
  • London Fog
  • Contempo Casuals
  • Limbo Lounge
  • Rampage
  • Wilson's Leather
  • BCBG
  • Bailey Banks and Biddle
  • Talbots
  • Jessica McClintock
  • Impostors
  • Things Remembered
  • Natural Wonders
  • LaBrea
  • Couch Potato Entertainment
  • Rave (originally the Nickelodeon Store)
  • Nancy's Coffee Café (formerly The Chili Shop)
  • Perfumania Plus

Attractions[]

Attractions in bold are currently in the mall.

  • AMC Theatres/IMAX (a 21 screen movie theater, formerly AMC/Loew's Theaters)
  • 5W!ts Family Entertainment Center (formerly the old IMAX theater.)
  • Autobahn Go Kart Raceway (formerly Sports Authority)
  • Billy Beez (formerly an indoor rock wall, then Steve & Barry's)
  • Palisades Center Ice Rink (originally with an extremely rare Sonic Championship cabinet in the arcade)
  • Ferris Wheel (Which is currently not operating in the moment)
  • Carousel (originally a Philadelphia Toboggan Company #15 Carousel. It was replaced by a modern two story venetian carousel in 2009, which later closed in mid-2021)
  • Palisades Climb Adventure, a five story 85 foot tall climbing obstacle course created by Wonderworks that opened in 2012.
  • OMG Entertainment
  • Mystery Room (originally Great Train Store, then Picture People)
  • Party Animals
  • Spin Zone Bumper Cars (formerly Bath & Body Works)
  • VR Exodrome (originally Stir Crazy)
  • IMDEEP XP 7D Theater
  • MaxFlight (opened in 2002, closed in 2014)
  • Catskills Arcade
  • New York Sports Club
  • The Holodeck (formerly the first location of Fiends, then Morning Glory, then Belle on Fifth)
  • Palisades Express Train Ride (on the first floor)
  • RNN News Studio (on the fourth floor)

Dining[]

The ThEATery[]

The ThEATery is a combination of theater and eatery located on the fourth floor. Along with AMC/IMAX and the ice rink, it has many restaurants. Here is a list of restaurants that are located in the ThEATery:

  • Buffalo Wild Wings (originally NASCAR Silicon Motor Speedway)
  • Chili's
  • Chipotle Mexican Grill
  • Dave & Buster's (originally with an Iwerks 4D Motion Theater)
  • EAST Japanese Restaurant (originally Crown Empire Buffet)
  • IHOP (originally Braseiro Churasscaria)
  • Little Buddha (originally Mickey Mantle's Restaurant, then Fire and Ice, and then Hibachi Factory)
  • Levity Live Comedy Club and Restaurant (originally Rainbow Direct, then Opus Entertainment, then Orange County Choppers, and then Maximo Culture)
  • Lucky Strike Entertainment (originally Jeepers!)
  • TGI Fridays
  • Yard House (originally Romano's Macaroni Grill, then Bravo!)
  • Blu Alehouse (originally Don Pablos Mexican Kitchen, then Chevy's, then Joe's Crab Shack)

Other Restaurants/Eateries[]

  • Cheesecake Factory (located on level 1, originally Rainforest Cafe)
  • Johnny Rockets (located on level 2)
  • Ben & Jerry's (located on level 2)
  • Great American Cookies (located On level 3 next to Macy’s)
  • Haagen Daz (located on level 3)
  • Caribbean Quizine (formerly Catskill Corners Store, then BC Sports Collectibles, then Temptations, and then Accessorize)
  • Shah's Halal (formerly Jamba Juice)
  • Starbucks (three locations; one is in Barnes and Noble, the second is on level 2, and the third is in Target)
  • Target Café (Pizza Hut and Starbucks) (located in Target on level 4)
  • Wetzels Pretzels (three locations; two are on level 1 and one is on level 3)
  • Yogen Früz Frozen Yogurt (located on level 2)
  • Cinnabon (located on level 3)
  • 7 Eleven (Formerly Mr Donut/Dunkin Donuts, then Chase, then the first location of Party Animals)
  • Texas de Brazil (formerly Restoration Hardware)
  • Dough Life (formerly Sweet Memories, then McDonald's)
  • Mike's Burgers (formerly Red Robin)

Food Court[]

The food court at Palisades Center is located on the third floor. It can seat up to 2,000 people. The ferris wheel and carousel can be found at the food court, but there are many restaurants as well. Here is a list of the restaurants in the food court:

Gallery[]

Videos[]

Photos[]

External Links[]

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