“The Mall at Chestnut Hill” is a prime example of a mall that doesn’t require a huge amount of space or hundreds of different retailers in order to be successful. The mall is referred to by many different variations of its name such as Chestnut Hill, Chestnut Mall, or simply just Chestnut. Located in the city of Newton off of Boylston Street (Route 9), this Massachusetts mall is owned by Simon Property Group and was established in 1974.
Currently the mall is anchored by Bloomingdale’s alone, however there is actually two different Bloomingdale’s locations in the Chestnut Hill Mall, one for men and the other being for women. These two locations both anchor the mall, and are a key stopping point for most of the shoppers at Chestnut.
The opening of Chestnut Hill Mall
Back in the year of 1974 the mall official had its grand opening. The name comes from the fact it is actually built on the side of a hill. Since the beginning the main attraction at Chestnut Hill has been the Bloomingdale’s and that still rings true today as the major department store remains in the same spot it was built nearly 40 years ago, as well as in a few other areas.
At the start, Bloomingdale’s Home Furnishings weighed in at 70,000 square feet and has since increased. In addition to that, the mall itself was an 180,000 square feet two story structure, along with a 123,000 square feet Filene’s store which also opened in ’74. Filene’s actually had relocated from its previous slot in the area once known as “Chestnut Hill Shopping Center” which was located nearby.
Past Additions in The Mall at Chestnut Hill
Four years after the opening of Chestnut Mall, Bloomingdale’s added its Women’s store across the street. Along with the addition of this Women’s location, they also added a third floor to accommodate the required space. A couple of years later in 1980, Filene’s also tacked on an additional 63,000 square feet, which included a new third floor as well.
From the year 1980 until 2005 the mall refrained from any more major renovations or additions, which made Chestnut Hill one of the more historic malls in the area and even the country since it was very uncommon to go 25 years without change.
Recent Changes to Chestnut Hill Mall
In 2005, some major dealings were in the works behind the scenes that would greatly impact the layout of Chestnut. Filene’s was owned by May Department Stores, which was bought out by Federated Department Stores who owned Bloomingdale’s. It quickly became evident that Feline’s would be closing within the next year. The following year in March, Feline’s was closed down and renovation began to move the Bloomingdale’s Women location into the mall, taking Feline’s spot.
The mall itself went under some renovations as well in that year to accommodate the new Bloomingdale’s, the renovations included new sitting areas and a main elevator for the building.