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May 17, 2024

Go-kart track proposed as part of overhaul of Moorestown Mall

An entertainment center with a bar, arcade and other amenities is planned at the South Jersey property owned by PREIT.

Development Malls
Moorestown Mall StreetView/Google Maps

The redevelopment of the Moorestown Mall includes a proposed entertainment center that would feature go-kart racing, an arcade, a bar and other amenities.

The Moorestown Mall in Burlington County could be getting a multi-level go-kart racing track as part of a redevelopment plan made possible by voters' approval of a referendum in November's election.

The proposed entertainment center in South Jersey would feature laser tag, axe-throwing, bowling, a bar and other amenities that previously had been outlawed by a measure that was adopted in 1962.

At the time, Moorestown had opted out of the New Jersey State Amusement Games Licensing Law, meaning the township did not permit games of chance or skill. The Moorestown Mall, built in 1963, has since been hampered from keeping up with changing mall trends that have put more emphasis on family amusement venues.

In November, 67% of Moorestown residents approved the new referendum that had been backed by Moorestown Mall owner PREIT, which recently emerged from bankruptcy and has since gone private in an effort to revitalize its properties under new executive leadership. PREIT also owns the Cherry Hill Mall, which it calls the "crown jewel" of its mall portfolio.

At a planning board meeting on May 2, township officials were presented with a proposal for an entertainment center called Parky's that would occupy the former Lord & Taylor department store, reported. The new venue would feature a speakeasy-style bar on the first floor that would host live jazz and comedy events. The property also would include an arcade with more than 100 games, and the rooftop would have space for live music.

Despite the changes made by the referendum, the law would not allow for any gambling at the new facility.

During its period of financial turmoil, PREIT had considered a sale-leaseback of the Moorestown Mall but later dropped that plan and leaned into a vision that includes more than 1,000 housing units surrounding the mall. The first of those properties, a 375-unit building called the Pearl, is under construction and expected to open next year.

The township hopes to stabilize the Moorestown Mall as a mixed-use anchor of the community. It reached a settlement agreement with PREIT that will ensure a portion of the residential units meet Moorestown's need for more affordable housing.

Go-kart racing facilities have been multiplying in New Jersey in recent years. In Edison Township, Supercharged Entertainment opened a multi-level track in 2022 and touted the course as one of the world's largest. In Camden County, a former Kmart was transformed into Monaco Indoor Karting.

A timeline for the new entertainment center at the Moorestown Mall hasn't yet been determined. In the fall, prior to PREIT's bankruptcy and shake-up, company officials had said they were hopeful the project could be completed in 2025.