Polaris Fashion Place
The rush to the suburbs had been going on for the better part of 60 years by the late 1990s, and seemed to show no real signs of ending. Although the 1990s had been somewhat of an improvement over previous decades for cities and urban life, suburbia was still by far the expected destination for most. Sprawl had exploded during the 1990s and most suburbs had experiened record growth. Southern Delaware county, especially, saw massive building as the population there climbed quickly. Polaris Fashion Place was built to take advantage of the suburban trends. Built largely on farmland, Polaris was to be one of the largest malls in the state and offer high-end fashion names like Lord & Taylor and Saks Fifth Avenue. Planning began in the mid-1990s and construction began in 1999, finishing up in 2001…and just in time. Polaris is one of the last enclosed malls built in the entire United States, as they quickly fell out of favor once the town-center concept, like Easton, became popular. Malls, and retail in general, also suffered from the double recessions during the 2000s. Polaris itself continues to be a popular mall, and development in the area, while not quite at the same pace, has continued.
Polaris Fashion Place Stats
Start of Construction: 1999
Current Status: Complete
Cost: $200 Million
# of Stores: 200
From this 1995 aerial, the Polaris site is just one big farm. I-71 is on the right, but otherwise there are almost no roads through the area.
Fast forward to 2002 and suddenly the farms are gone. A new exit off 71 is Polaris Parkway.
The Polaris area has continued to add new development through this 2011 aerial.