Good news for the upscale: South Shore Plaza is comfortable for you again

The Patriot Ledger reports the owners of the South Shore Plaza are trying to re-brand the mall as "comfortably chic" in a bid to attract the sort of people who otherwise might be forced to travel all the way to Dedham or Chestnut Hill to shop in the manner to which they've become accustomed. Based on the Patriot Ledger's description, the main change to date seems to be new signs, new comfy chairs and new uniforms for customer-service workers. Oh, and you can check your coat now.



Free tagging: 


Indeed, Scratchie!

One's fine Hingham blue blood should never be subjected to such degraded environments as the Hanover Mall!

No sympathy for Simon

They have gotten their hat handed to them by Derby Street and Legacy Place, which are locally owned by the way. Owned by very rich people, but people who live for the most part locally.

This Chamber of Commerce story subtly says "We have changed things a bit and we can control the teenagers inside the mall so the lady from Hingham with money to spend will feel safe here."

Not originally from MA, but....

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An old coworker of mine used to comment that the South Shore Plaza used to be a hotspot for car theft (as in, having your car stolen). Can anyone confirm or deny?

Used to be America's Car Theft Ground Zero

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Growing up in the late 70's/early 80's on the South Shore it was a "fact" that it was the most likely place in the country to have your car stolen. Or so we heard.


It was one of the top spots for car theft in the state and was to the point that cops would pull over people in the cars that were statistically most likely to be stolen to ensure it wasn't on its way to the chop shop. Keep in mind that it was one of the top spots for car theft in a state that had close to or the highest rate of car thefts in the country (Lojack starting here is what drove us down the list).

In a side note to you youngsters or more recent transplants the reason it is called the Plaza instead of a mall is that when originally build it did not have a roof over it but was a pedestrian plaza surrounded by shops (Jordan Marsh, Filene's and S.S. Kresge were the three biggest stores. I still correct people when they refer to it as "The Braintree Mall"

I was just there

this past Saturday. Lots of children not paying attention to where they're going and almost walking into other people, people walking 3-4 wide so others can't get by, and a whole bunch of stores I have no interest in shopping at.

Reminded me a lot of the Back Bay. So mission accomplished?


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I am sure that Newbury Street will be empty this Saturday.


Still won't find me there. I've started to hate malls and crowds as I've grown older.

Westwood / University Place

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Let's not forget about Westwood/University Place.. That development will definitely spell the end of Westgate, South Shore Plaza and Hanover. It's supposed to be huge and I think may make Legacy look small. Times are definitely changing for sure.

Not at all

1. The peripheral stores at the Hanover Mall; Trader Joe's, Panera, Dick's, etc. are holding there own. The inside, it is not a big mall, not so much. Plus it is the worst Wal-Mart (not saying much there), owing to it being a repurposed Ames. I'm still shocked Wal-Mart didn't buy the whole mall at bankruptcy and use the existing GBA to by pass zoning and build a new SuperCenter.

2. Westwood's lead tenants are Wegman's and Target. No one in their right mind south of Braintree, save for one exploratory trip to Wegman's, is going to suffer the lane drop trauma of a Saturday or Sunday on Route 3 and do their regular shopping in Westwood. Is the Westwood Target going to have more attractive Dial soap over the Hanover one or over the Easton one? As far as Westgate goes, it is what it is.

3. If you want to see what Westwood is going to look like, go to Northborough Crossing. It has Kohl's, Wegman's, BJ's, and every other store that is in every other shopping center inside 495. Big parking lots, broken up by islands, with Qdoba/Panera/Taco Bell/Chili's on pad sites. It will not have however a Macy's, a Sears, a Lord & Taylor, and probably not an Irish Cottage. Braintree will lose some traffic, but not much.

The Plaza will survive

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It's the largest shopping center in Massachusetts, for starters.

Besides, since we have frickin' hot and humid summers and frickin' cold and snowy winters, indoor shopping centers have a slight advantage.

I am curious about the Westwood development. Sure, I go to Legacy Place, but it's a horrible design. It is the epitome of a glorified strip mall.

I remember the days when it

I remember the days when it was a one floor mall with a Windsor Button Shop where I got my stickers for my sticker collection before it went upscale. My parents tell me it was once an open air mall.

I think open malls are coming

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I think open malls are coming back! If anyone's been to Market Street in Lynnfield, it's great. If I want to go to a store, I can just park and go to my one destination instead of dealing with the mall and all it entails.

Funny because my father was active in bringing one of the first closed malls (North Shore in Peabody) to fruition. If he were alive today, I bet he'd love the open mall concept once again. Not to mention where Market Street is, is where we used to go sledding as kids.

Malls are so 80's in my opinion.

Open malls are shiny new things

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And I see their decline in the next 10 to 20 years.

Weather aside (ignoring that I mentioned it above), if an open mall is done right (see Patriot Place), it's a choice destination. A lot of the new open malls I've seen are glorified strip malls. I am talking about the likes of Legacy Place and Derby Street Shops. Heck, even Patriot Place looked kind of sad the last time I was there with the vacancies.

I wouldn't mind open style as long as I don't have to cross a parking lot to get from one store to the other. Still, poor or proper planning of any commercial space could mean success or failure down the road.

Market Street Lynnfield

If anyone's been to Market Street in Lynnfield, it's great.


I've been, and it sucks.

Everyone tries to park on the inside, in the middle of all the shops, causing alot of congestion. Not mention the amount of parking on the inside is unsightly. They should have removed all parking from the inside and kept it on the outside. That way, people wouldn't be clamoring for spaces inside and creating a congested, unsightly place.

I've not been to the Wrentham Outlets, but looking at satellite imagery, THAT is how Market St should have been built.

I don't

I don't even bother trying, why would I do that?

But the fact remains that a large number of people still try to. And it also creates a less cohesive space by having any parking on the inside to begin with.

I could write a book about the South Shore Plaza

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but I'll spare the gory details.

In the past week I've been to Copley Place, Legacy Place, the Prudential Center mall and South Shore Plaza. I've been to Derby Street within the past month. For reference, I live in Quincy

One of these things is not like the other: Copley Place. You want upscale? Go to the place that has Louis Vuitton and Gucci. Yeah, somehow Gap and Aveda snuck somehow but overall, I think we can agree that is upscale.

The Pru: B- for effort, D for execution. If it didn't have the biggest Sephora in Massachusetts, I'd avoid it like the plaque.

Legacy Place: The biggest Whole Foods in the Northeast (true fact at the time of opening). Apple! LL Bean! Cinema DeLux! and every other typical mall store. A+ for effort, C for execution. When I go to the Paper Source and then I have to walk across one of the worst parking lots I've ever experienced to get to Whole Foods,it's like being the frog in Frogger.
Side note: Why do Moms from Westwood need those huge SUVs?

Derby Place: Agree with the others. It seemed cool at the time but it's a strip mall and has low/mid tier stores.

And then there is South Shore Plaza. I had high hopes when the Nordstrom wing opened but they've been dashed over and over again. Now I make targeted, quick visits. Park near the store I want to visit, do what I have to do and GTFO. I don't want to spend any more time than is absolutely necessary in that hunk of unappealing junk.

As for the others: I want Wegman's so bad it hurts but I'm too impatient to put up with the inevitable backup on 128 and that Mom in her SUV driving around the parking lot cluelessly. I'd probably go on Wednesday night at 8pm.

Hanover, Westgate mall: Never been. Those are like different worlds to me and I'd rather drive to Needham to go to Trader Joe's. Why there isn't one in Braintree is beyond me.

One more bit of brain dump. I'm pretty old and I remember when SSP was a an open air plaza. It was quite a novelty and it was pretty fun to visit but I don't remember doing much shopping there except for Jordan Marsh.

2 1/2 cents from a shopaholic about malls in and around Boston.

Growing up between Westgate

Growing up between Westgate Mall and the South Shore Plaza in the town between Braintree and Brockton (and going to high school in Brockton), we would also go to Westgate. It started to go downhill when I was a teenager. I have not been inside the mall since I was a kid. It was kind of like the Brockton Fair. When we were kids, every 4th of July we went to the fair. As I got older, that is when the gang fights started and when there were more undercover cops than people at the Brockton Fair. It is still around though. The baseball park has helped that.

I do a mall circuit

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I like to keep things fresh-

Burlington Mall- the parking is okay, but oddly the only attraction is food. You've got Chick Fil-A and the Rainforest Café if you have kids, but not much else. They once had a Red Sox team store, but that is no more.

Natick Mall- hopefully there is not too much reach for the uhub, since I don't want this one gem to get out. They have covered parking. Not climate controlled, but I gravitate here in the heat of summer and cold of winter since getting out of the car means relatively temperate conditions. I thank the new addition, which is architecturally great but a bit dead. This is probably the furthest mall in the circuit, but I keep on going so I must like it.

South Shore Plaza- being a Bostonian and having strong Dorchester ties, this is the homeland to me. I did go there when it was one level, and I have vague memories of it being open air. I usually don't have trouble finding parking, but then again I never park in the front. It has a good mix of stores (I've done food shopping there at Target) and a good mix of people.

Of course, I am never at the mall on Saturday afternoons, so I miss most of the madness.

Enjoyed your commentary!

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Enjoyed reading your assessment, Nancy. You are a glutton for punishment, spending time in all those malls in such a short period of time. I have recollections as a youngster being in the windswept SSP in the winter time shopping with my Mother - not a fun experience. Miss the stores like Crate and Barrel there. Like you, when I do go there, it's a targeted approach. In and out and I'm gone. So many empty storefronts (still) in the new Nordstrom wing....great idea, poor execution.