The Last Days of the Meadow Glen Mall
The Meadow Glen Mall’s days are numbered.
The Medford commercial fixture has been in decline for years, as newer shopping centers have sprung up around it and retail habits have changed with the rise of online shopping. Malls, staples of ’80s and ’90s youth culture, just aren’t cool anymore. They’re stale holdovers from a different time when food courts were all the rage, people loved to drive, and city centers were filled with vice.
Today, it’s all about outdoor mixed-use shopping centers like Assembly Square and Legacy Place that mimic the downtowns of yore but still manage to make it easy for suburbanites accustomed to malls to get in and out with their cars. Not only do people want to feel like they’re somewhere when shopping but in many cases, they want to live near there too.
In the not-too-distant future, a Wegmans will replace the Meadow Glen Mall as part of a grocery-anchored neighborhood center. Developers expect the mall to be devoid of tenants by the end of February, but the mall will likely remain open for several additional months in order to facilitate access to Marshalls and Kohl’s.
The Meadow Glen Mall opened in 1979 on the site of an old drive-in movie theatre. The place was anchored by Bradlees until 2001, when the retailer went bankrupt. In 2002, Kohl’s replaced the vacant Bradlees as a new anchor. Marshalls has been an anchor tenant at the mall since it opened.
Recently, Ron Newman of Somerville explored the mall to see how it’s doing during its final days. Here are some of his photos: