SALEM — Shoppers at the Mall at Rockingham Park will soon see some changes before they even hit the mall parking lot.
A major renovation of the 1.025-million square foot mall got underway in May, the first big update to the mall’s look since it opened in 1991.
Earlier this week, the Salem Planning Board approved the plan to replace and update the outside signs at the mall.
There will actually be fewer signs overall than there are now, with a reduction in the number of directional signs pointing toward specific stores throughout the parking area.
However, there will be a new stand-alone sign at the mall entrance at Pleasant and South Policy streets. The existing freestanding sign at Rockingham Park Boulevard and Mall Road will also be replaced with a new sign, said mall General Manager Cindy Hall.
“The approach we are taking with the signage is like the approach we are taking with the entire mall,” said Hall. “It was built in 1991, so it is 23 years old and practically everything on the property that you see is original to the project.”
Although Hall said the mall has been maintained over the two-plus decades, it is time for a change.
“The way we approach these types of elements is very different than they were at that time,” said Hall. “We are very focused on greeting the customer as they are coming onto the property and we want to begin with an experience at the curb. We want to elevate the experience to something that is more sophisticated and more elegant, and we would like that experience to begin at the curb.”
Several board members praised the overall mall renovation efforts.
“They are beautiful signs and very classy looking,” said board member Jane Lang. “The renovations you are bringing to the mall are really very stunning.”
The highlights of the project include a redesign of the existing mall entrances, including automatic doors and new facades, updates to the food court, including a new entrance, new colors, lighting, updated seating layout, and improved ADA compliance, and updated feature stairs at the center court.
The mall will also have improved seating areas throughout, flooring upgrades, restroom renovations, new glass railings, energy efficiency upgrades, and a new color scheme.The renovations are planned for substantial completion in time for this year’s holiday shopping season.