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Natick Grand Reopening Press Conference and Expansion Tour

Held November 17, 2006, 9:45 a.m.

To mark the completion of renovations to the existing Natick Mall and celebrate the forthcoming expansion, General Growth Properties held a press conference on November 17, 2006. After remarks by Natick General Manager Frank Lazorchak, General Growth CEO John Bucksbaum, Natick Town Administrator Phil Lemnios, and General Growth Vice President of Asset Management Michael McNaughton, models hit the runway to announce several of the stores that will be part of the mall's expansion.

This runway was set up to host the mall's "Holiday Fashion Parade", which was held immediately prior to the start of the press conference. Several of the mall's current tenants participated in the show, including Ann Taylor Loft, Cache, Coldwater Creek, Eddie Bauer, Express, Express Men, J. Jill, Janie and Jack, Lane Bryant, Limited Too, Lord & Taylor, New York & Company, Paiva, Talbots Kids, and Water, Water Everywhere.

This picture shows the many improvements made to the existing mall as a result of the $11 million renovation. New glass handrails were added throughout the mall. Jatoba wood floors were installed across the second level, while light contemporary tile on the first level provides a sophisticated look to the mall. The forest green color, which was previously found throughout the mall from tiles to railings to structural supports, has been virtually eliminated and replaced with cream-like tones.

In the distance, an area with purple carpet and several banners can be seen. That is where the existing Natick Mall will connect with the new expansion.

After General Manager Frank Lazorchak introduced him by mentioning, "It's always good to have the number one guy here;" John Bucksbaum, CEO of General Growth Properties, gave his remarks at the press conference. Bucksbaum's comments highlighted his belief that "[Natick] is going to be the premier facility in New England and rival any in the United States."

Following the press conference, media and special guests were invited on a special hard hat tour of the under-construction mall expansion, which is slated to open on September 7, 2007. This picture is taken from the position of someone just entering the expansion wing from the existing mall, with a clear view of the massive new skylight.

Yet another view of the skylight, looking down the mall's corridor. This picture was taken while standing on what will act essentially as an "island" where, if I understand correctly, events will be held.

This is the specific site of where the new mall will connect with the old mall. In fact, the area seen in this picture is actually carved out of what was previously retail space in the existing mall; directly behind this wall is the area with the purple carpet. When the expansion and existing mall are finally linked together next fall, the yellow wall will be dismantled and the elevator in the existing mall, which went untouched in the recent renovations, will be demolished: it will be replaced by an elegant "feature elevator" which will be constructed in the new wing.

The future Teavana is also located on the right side of this photo.

Going deeper into the mall; the future home of The North Face is just ahead on the right.

The inspiration for the unique ceiling, you might wonder? Natick is the Native American word for "rolling hills".

Although walls are yet to be put up, simple signage placed throughout the expansion indicates the future Natick locations of many prominent retailers. This spot on the east side of the expansion wing will house Martin + Osa next fall.

The structure seen through the expansion's roof is the 12-story south tower of Nouvelle at Natick. The south tower is the tallest component of the residential portion of the project, and is slated to open by early 2008.

This is one of the 144,000 sq. ft. Nordstrom's two entrances from the mall; the other entrance is located around a corner near the main Speen Street mall entrance. One interesting fact about the new Nordstrom store: not only will it be the company's first store in Massachusetts, but the timing of the store opening coordinates in a way that makes the Natick location Nordstrom's 100th store.

At the end of the corridor, covered in plastic wrap, is the 100,000 sq. ft. Neiman Marcus. While the tour took place on a damp day, the excessive water throughout the building is instead because the structure is undergoing excessive HVAC work at this point.

The exterior of Neiman Marcus, as seen from the second level of the expansion. The skirt-like facade is expected to be installed in the not-too-distant future.

In just two weeks, this barren area of the expansion has come to life. Contractors are hard at work constructing the supports for a parking deck (Deck D) level to Speen Street, which will stretch from Neiman Marcus to Nordstrom.

While there is still a great deal of work to be completed, the mall is confident that it will be able to open its expansion in 294 days.
Just for perspective, the temporary yellow wall behind the sign is the side of Aeropostale.

Return to From Wonder Bread to the Natick Collection 2007 Expansion
Return to From the Natick Mall (1966) to the Natick Mall (1994), Natick (2006), Natick Mall (2007), and Natick Collection (2007)


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