PARAMUS — Two new Hasbro attractions will open in Westfield Garden State Plaza late next year as the mall joins a nationwide trend of introducing entertainment to counteract the rise in online shopping.
“This has been a focus for us for a long time,” Dennis Marnick, senior vice president of flagship leasing at the mall’s owner, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield. “We knew we wanted to add more layers to the Garden State Plaza experience.”
Hasbro and Kingsmen Xperience, the US subsidiary of an Asian company that builds interactive attractions, will open the first North American location of Nerf Action Xperience and the world’s first Planet Playskool kids’ mall experience by the end of 2023, the companies announced in a recent statement Week.
Paramus is one of the premier retail markets in the country, making it the perfect home for both of these new experiences, Marnick said. With a high-performing AMC theater, the mall wanted to add family entertainment opportunities, which led to it merging with Kingsmen Xperience, he said.
Planet Playskool will be a 20,000 square foot indoor entertainment center aimed at children and families, allowing them to play and try out different toys such as: B. Play-Doh by Playskool, a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc that manufactures educational toys and games.
“They have these old brands that your grandpa or your dad knows, and now the kid knows them,” Marnick said. “I think of it as a really cool family experience that’s not just focused on kids.”
The 25,000 square foot Nerf Action Xperience features a variety of different obstacle courses for all ages. The venue will be available for birthday parties, team building events and other gatherings, Marnick added.
The two indoor entertainment centers will be located in the former JC Penny section of the mall, which closed in 2018. The east side of the space became home to flagship stores such as Old Navy, Champs Sports, lululemon and Adidas. On the west side, near Neiman Marcus, the mall saw an opportunity to add entertainment as Garden State Plaza plans to add residential development.
“We plan to have 150,000 square feet in the center of our mall,” Marnick said. “We feel like this side of the mall is going to be really redesigned.”
The two new entertainment centers will join The Arena STEM, an existing indoor entertainment center offering STEM activities and workshops.
Stephanie Noda is a local reporter for NorthJersey.com. For unlimited access to the most important news from your local community, subscribe or activate your digital account today.
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