As the retail landscape continues to evolve in New Jersey, a couple of area malls are planning some changes.

Freehold Township approved zoning changes for the Freehold Raceway Mall that will allow more types of businesses to open there. According to Patch.com, the rezoned mall can now attract “movie theaters, performing arts facilities, arcades, indoor climbing gyms, bowling alleys, roller rinks and virtual reality centers, as well as designated civic, cultural and senior citizen centers, as well as educational spaces, co-working spaces, breweries, health care offices and urgent care facilities.”

The zoning changes seek to help address several high profile defections from the mall, including Sears, Nordstrom, and The Disney Store. Frank Lucia, the property manager of the mall told the Asbury Park Press, "These changes open up opportunities for complimentary uses such as entertainment and fitness, grocery, office, co-working, medical and really other mixed uses which helps support our core retail business.”

Meanwhile, the Ocean County Mall has announced two new restaurant tenants: P.F. Chang’s and Turning Point, a breakfast, brunch, and lunch eatery. The two new additions will be going in the mall’s lifestyle center that occupies the space where Sears used to be. Other retailers there are Lifetime Fitness, Ulta Beauty, and Five Below.

Turning Point is expected to open next month, while P.F. Chang’s is just starting construction now. Turning Point has another location in Brick. P.F Chang’s has over 200 restaurants in the United States as well as locations in 25 countries.

Also announced for the Freehold Raceway Mall is a new location for the Brio Italian Grille, although no opening date has been set.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle. Any opinions expressed are Bill Doyle's own.

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