A story from this week's Bronx Press.
By Brendan McHugh
Another chain store is finding the Bronx is open for business.
Macy’s will anchor The Mall at Bay Plaza, a new $270 million, 780,000-square-foot enclosed fashion mall that will be combined with an existing JC Penney.
The three-level, state-of-the-art mall will be located on a corner parcel at Prestige’s thriving Bay Plaza Shopping Center in the Bronx, already the largest shopping center in New York City.
Macy’s is leased for 160,000 square feet and will have three levels.
Last week, the Bronx Press reported that chain stores were beginning to flock to the Bronx, with 3.8 percent more stores in the borough than 2010. The total amount of chain stores in Manhattan dropped 2.1 percent and the city average was only 1.6 percent.
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The Mall at Bay Plaza is expected to create more than 2,000 construction jobs and more than 1,700 permanent jobs.
Complementing Bay Plaza Shopping Center’s existing roster of retail tenants, The Mall at Bay Plaza and three-story Macy’s are poised to further elevate the entire center, which will approach a total of 2 million square feet when all three levels are taken into account.
"This project will bring new jobs and new business to the Bronx, and I am thrilled to welcome a new Macy's to our borough," said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “Their decision to build a new store in the Bronx shows just how much opportunity our borough has to offer.”
Located at the intersection of the Hutchinson Parkway and I-95, The Mall at Bay Plaza is scheduled to break ground in spring 2012, with the entire complex anticipated to open in fall 2013 or spring 2014, which also includes a 1,800-car parking garage.
The Mall at Bay Plaza has already drawn intense interest from dozens of other national and regional retailers eager to lease space at a retail destination that serves more than four million residents in just a 10-mile radius, though the developer wouldn’t say whom they were in contact with.
"The Mall at Bay Plaza is a retailer's dream," said Welco Realty Principal Jerry Welkis, who along with Allen Cooperman leads all Bay Plaza leasing efforts on behalf of Prestige Properties.
Prestige is currently trying to lease the remaining 470,000 square feet of the Mall at Bay Plaza, for which asking rents range from $100 a square foot to $200 a square foot.
Welkis highlighted the “perfect location, an existing powerhouse shopping platform and incredible highway access and transportation for shoppers,” as a reason the stores there will thrive.
“Prestige Properties’ Bay Plaza Shopping Center is already a great site of economic activity," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said. “A new mall means new job opportunities and new tax revenue, which will help boost our economy."
Macy’s Chief Stores Officer Ron Klein is excited to do business with the Bronx
“We will be tailoring our merchandise assortments of well-known brands to local customer needs, with an emphasis on the distinctive fashion, obvious value and exciting shopping experience for which Macy’s is known,” he said.