Fall River’s New Harbour Mall Getting Breath of New Life as South Coast Plaza
Fall River's Mayor Sutter hinted at a new future for the Harbour Mall during the debates last week. Today, he and the Office of Economic Development held a press conference to officially announce the redevelopment of the mall.According to the Fall River Office of Economic Development, the CEA Group of Cambridge began looking at the 30 acre site back in April and planned to redevelop the area for retail use. In the days leading up to today, rumors circulated that businesses like Market Basket, an iMax movie theater and Starbucks would all be future tenants of the 372 William S. Canning Blvd. location.
At a press conference held inside what used to be DOTS on Tuesday morning, it was finally revealed that they will totally redevelop the mall. In the coming years, this location will become South Coast Plaza which is hoped to be the hub of shopping, dining and entertainment in this area.
The CEA believes that the Fall River community deserves an exceptional shopping center and asks for support from the public, the city and the state as a whole. They hope it will be a public and private partnership.
Here is what we can expect from the South Coast Plaza: Construction with begin roughly a year from today and take approximately 12-18 months to complete with a pending opening date in late 2017. Roughly 700 construction jobs will be generated during the building stages and over 1,000 permanent jobs will come as a result of the new plaza.
The New Harbour Mall as we know it will be completely redone and developers will bring in a brand new cinema, which is a direct request from citizens in Fall River. The cinema will feature digital sound, digital projection and stadium seating.
Ron Golub from the Stonewood Company in Cambridge spoke of the physical changes coming to the mall. The first will be the actually removal of the existing mall. It will be replaced with an open-air plaza with outdoor seating. The second change will happen where the former WalMart had its greenhouse space. This will be used for smaller shops that will be connected to William S. Canning Blvd. for easier access. The third major change will be a brand new parking lot equipped with LED lighting, new landscaping, updated drainage and pedestrian-friendly sidewalks.
South Coast Plaza will house 20-30 merchants and the new cinema. The 350,000 square-foot plaza will be able to house a vast variety of shops ranging from seasonal needs, smaller stores and major retailers.
The developers are in advanced negotiations with retailers and merchants but are not at liberty to disclose details as to which will be coming to the South Coast Plaza.
If you haven't been inside the New Harbour Mall in some time, here's what the building currently looks like, despite its few remaining occupants.