Old Echelon Mall may soon get desperately needed makeover

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VOORHEES, N.J. (KYW Newsradio) — Voorhees Township officials are trying, again, to revive a dying shopping mall. An agreement-of-sale puts the property into the hands of a new developer with big plans. 

Brandywine Financial is the fourth owner of what used to be Echelon Mall and is now known as Voorhees Town Center. The last makeover delivered a mix of retail, offices and restaurants along a boulevard leading to the mall. The problem is the traffic stops at the town center, and no one seems interested in what the mall has to offer.    

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So Voorhees Mayor Michael Mignogna says Brandywine wants to try something entirely different in hopes of turning the 51-acre property into a vibrant, new destination place. 

"They've talked about ideas such as a microbrewery with beer garden and a wine bar, and perhaps a theatre and some type of indoor sports component, a residential and commercial component," Mignogna said.  

In it's heyday, Echelon Mall was a shopper's paradise, sporting five anchor stores. Today there's just one left, and many of the shops inside are shuttered, a victim of the times, says Mignogna. 

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"With online shopping, malls as I knew them growing up are dinosaurs. They're just not what they used to be for a number of reasons. So that property needs a facelift," he added. 

Voorhees is hardly alone, as hundreds of malls across the country have closed over the past two decades.