NORWALK, Conn. – Brookfield Properties’s new mall in Norwalk, The SoNo Collection, “is having a fantastic holiday season, with traffic and sales comparable to 2019,” Retail Senior Marketing Manager JP Geoghegan said Thursday.
Planning and Zoning Director Steven Kleppin recently gave a similar report to Common Council members. He’d been told by SoNo Collection Senior General Manager Matt Seebeck that the mall had a “a very busy holiday weekend, better than 2019,” Kleppin said Dec. 3.
The SoNo Collection began its opening process in October 2019. Nordstrom and some smaller retailers opened Oct. 11 and Bloomingdale’s, the second anchor, opened in mid-November. At the time, Seebeck said the mall was 90% leased.
We all know what happened a few months later. In March 2020 the mall was forced to close due to the pandemic.
It’s the “only new mall in America.” The American Dream in East Rutherford, N.J., also opened in 2019 but construction actually began 17 years earlier. The SoNo Collection’s design began conceptually in 2013, so this is not a new mall built on a framework dating back to the late 1990s.
Some speculate it will be “the last mall built in America.”
“They’re pretty optimistic,” Kleppin said Dec. 3 to the Planning Committee.
Geoghegan referred to the ongoing holiday season when he said Thursday:
“It’s been great seeing all of the activity; we’ve noticed that our shoppers are staying at the mall for longer periods of time as well. They’ll grab a bite to eat, pay a visit to Santa, relax in the Magnificent Room, etc. We have some fun holiday activities on the calendar that have been well received and enjoyed by the community while visiting the center.
“In terms of leasing activity, the center is 90 percent leased, notwithstanding construction and operational delays due to the pandemic and supply chain issues. We continue to hold a lease with Lillian August and look forward to their opening. As new tenants are added to our roster, we will, of course, share the news with our community when we’re able.”
Kleppin said The Norwalk Redevelopment Agency would soon be talking about a request from “some new tenants who are looking for some street exposure. So they want to see what they can do to tweak the facade to get a little more activity on the street.”