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.