The Freehold Raceway Mall has been a shopping staple for regional residents for the past 30 years. Let’s take a look at the history of this family favorite and how it’s become so popular.
The land for the Freehold Mall, across the street from the Freehold Raceway, was purchased in the late 1980s and construction began in 1987. The property was originally used for horses’ stables, which still exist today. To prepare for the mall, the once prominent Freehold Circle was eliminated and transformed into an intersection.
The mall first opened in early August of 1990 with a fundraiser for the CentraState Medical Center, which included all sorts of glitz and glamour including a fabric replica of the Italian carousel which had not yet arrived for the food court. The mall’s original two anchor stores, Sears and Lord & Taylor, offered many sales and promotions, attracting shoppers from all over the state.
Surprisingly, the Freehold Raceway Mall was not initially successful. It took the arrival of Nordstrom, of which there wasn’t another location for 30 miles, to finally push the mall to the top. The crowds came in, making the mall one of the most popular in the state.
In 2007, expansion was needed, so construction began to fill in the space between the JCPenney and Sears stores. The new addition included outdoor stores, two restaurants, and promenade with an area made for community events. The existing building was also revamped to update the flooring, ceilings, and color schemes. New lighting and columns were also added, changing the overall look to a more modern theme.
Still a Popular Shopping Location
Although online shopping has changed the way people shop over the last decade, the Freehold Raceway Mall remains a favorite spot for families to spend an afternoon shopping and dining. It’s become a landmark for the community, attracting people from all over the region.