Oxford Valley Mall Gets Touch-up

Posted: August 02, 1990

Built 17 years ago, the Oxford Valley Mall is getting its first extensive face lift.

Kravco Malls of King of Prussia, the mall owner, is spending several million dollars on painting and new flooring and lighting, said manager Richard Wenderoth.

The work, which began May 15 and includes marble flooring and tropical plants, is scheduled to be completed in November.

"The mall was tired-looking," marketing director Susan Furman said.

Officials said the work would help keep the mall competitive with many

malls that were not yet built, or even dreamed of, when Oxford Valley opened its doors in Middletown Township in 1973.

Emmanuel "Manny" Reider, architect for the project, said the work was mostly "cosmetic" but could have a positive effect on business.

"Bright equals happy shoppers," he said. "You've got an overall dark impression on that mall. Even though there is a lot of natural light, the dark colors create shadows."

Reider said the only structural alteration was a change to the staircase in the Macy's court.

"When I got out of (architecture) school," Reider said, "I thought a building would be around for a long time. But it seems in the retail business you recycle everything within 20 years."

"Pardon our dust but remodel we must" read the signs in the hallways of the mall, which has remained open. The work is being done both during and after business hours, and maintenance crews arrive daily at 6:30 a.m. to clean up before the mall opens at 10 a.m.

Susan Roth of Kravco Construction, the major contractor for the project, said the mall was getting a "complete face lift."

"This (construction) has helped us develop a positive rapport with the merchants," Wenderoth said.

Wenderoth, who has been at Oxford Valley for 2 1/2 years, said the shopping center had always been a "family mall," appealing to a variety of income levels. In his opinion, he said, competition from other, more upscale, malls has not hurt its business significantly.

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