Pembroke Mall is Booming
Pembroke Mall, at the intersection of Virginia Beach Boulevard and Independence Boulevard, turns 50 years old this month. The mall opened in March of 1966 as the first of its kind in Virginia Beach. At that time , it was not even an enclosed mall. During an expansion in the early ’80s it gained a roof, a multiplex theater and some new retailers. The mall has been anchored since the beginning by a large Sears location.
Towne Center Has Revitalized Central Virginia Beach
Across the street from Pembroke Mall, Divaris Realty spearheaded the creation of Towne Center to fix the situation that the city had no “downtown”. Now The center of the beach city is thriving. Towne Center has attracted a terrific assortment of restaurants, retailers, hotels and class A office space as well as residential locations. Now one can live, shop and dine without the need for a vehicle. Some of the national restaurant chains that are represented in the new downtown are Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, McCormick & Schmick’s, Gordon Biersch Brewery, California Pizza Kitchen and a Southern bistro, Tupelo Honey Café. One of the best additions to Towne Center is the Sandler Center for the Performing Arts which attracts entertainment ranging from Broadway productions to symphony performances, speakers and rock and roll. In short, something for everyone.
Sears Made Way for Two New Tenants
Towne Center spurred growth at Pembroke Mall again starting a few years ago with the addition of a Target store as a secondary anchor.
Sears has been downsized to make room for a Whole Foods Store which opens for business on March 30, 2016. Another part of Sears has now been rebuilt and recently a Nordstrom Rack opened in that space. The former Sears Auto Center will soon be home to retailer REI. With all the renovation, facelift and expansion, the mall now encloses more than 100,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space.
The parking lot is home to several restaurants like Jason’s Deli, Macaroni Grill and Smokey Bones plus a branch of BB&T Bank.
You’ve missed the Easter Bunny, but there is plenty to see and do at Pembroke Mall and Towne Center. See you there!