Grand Reopening Press Conference and Expansion Tour
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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