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               BELKNAP MALL: BELMONT, NH

Chris S's Commentary

Posted September 3, 2006 (user submitted February 2, 2006)

The only enclosed mall in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire. This mall was originally anchored by Zayre and Shaw’s An addition to the mall was completed in the late 80’s which housed a new larger Zayre store. In the early 90’s Zayre became Ames. Decelle moved into the old Zayre store. This was the best time for the mall. It had lots of stores including national retailers like Record Town, Foot Locker, CVS, and Radio Shack, as well local retailers. In the mid 90’s Decelle closed and the space became Blockbuster Video.

In 2002, Ames closed along with the rest of the chain. Many of the smaller stores in the mall left with the loss of its major anchor store. The malls owners used this opportunity to renovate the mall to try and attract new tenants. The stores on the side of the mall facing route 3 were given both mall entrances and exterior entrances. Finally, new tenants began to move in like a Pet store and Sal’s Pizza. The former Ames was divided and the part with the mall entrance became New Hampshire’s first Peebles department store. The other half of the store, with no mall entrance, became a Big Lots store. The KB Toy Works in the parking lot also closed since then.

Today the mall has Shaw’s and Peebles as anchors. The mall from the outside appears healthy; however the stores inside that lack outside entrances are largely vacant or taken by non-traditional tenants including the registry of Motor Vehicles office.

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