Thursday, March 15, 2012

Petco and BoA to join BJ's at Kingsbridge mall

UPDATE: On June 15, Metropolitan Realty Associates president Joseph Farkas finally confirmed that Petco, Bank of America and casual dining restaurant franchise Buffalo Wild Wings were currently negotiating leases. Although none have signed on the dotted line, he said signs were promising.

Artist rendering of Riverdale Crossing showing the location of
BJ's Wholesale Club, Bank of America and Petco.
by Miawling Lam

Petco and Bank of America will join BJ’s Wholesale Club at Riverdale Crossing, a new shopping center to be built at the former Stella D’oro cookie factory.

The Riverdale Review can exclusively reveal that a revised brochure posted on Ripco Realty’s website on Thursday shows both businesses have filed letters of intent to occupy space at the yet-to-be-built mall, located at Broadway between West 236th and West 238th Streets.

Ripco Realty is currently recruiting retailers to set up shop at the highly anticipated mall and is acting as a leasing agent for the Long Island-based owners Metropolitan Realty Associates.

According to the three-page flyer, Bank of America is set to occupy a 2,800 square-foot parcel of land facing the elevated subway tracks on Broadway, while Petco will be housed further west on a 9,995 square-foot space.

Floor plans show at least four other smaller spaces ranging from 4,774 square-feet to just over 9,998 square-feet are being flogged. Up to 304 spaces of street-level and rooftop parking will also compliment the retail space.

Calls to Ripco Realty, Petco and Bank of America for comment were not immediately returned.

Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz said he would welcome both tenants to Kingsbridge.

“When these kind of stores come into an area, I think they’re basically demonstrating their confidence in the area so I think it’s positive for the community,” he said. ”I think, over time, we are going to see continuing improvements in the Kingsbridge area, partially as a result of the additional stores coming in.”

As the Riverdale Review first reported last year, BJ’s Wholesale Club will anchor the 114,598 square-foot mall and occupy more than 80,000 square feet on West 237th Street.

The BJ’s branch in the Gateway Center, a few miles south in Mott Haven, is the third most successful wholesale branch in the country, giving reason as to why the wholesale club would want to open another store in the Bronx.

The latest announcement comes just weeks after rumors circulated that Trader Joe’s would lease space and join the ranks of Riverdale Crossing.

An accompanying picture uploaded on Ripco’s website, which was abruptly taken down, even had the Trader Joe’s logo superimposed on a mock sign alongside the mall’s anchor tenant, BJ’s Wholesale Club.

However, sources said the specialty grocer was simply on a “wish-list” of desired tenants and talks were continuing. The shopping center is expected to open in fall 2013.

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. briefly referred to the project during his State of the Borough address last month.

He said the site proved that economic development dollars were flowing into the Bronx and predicted the development would bring forth hundreds of jobs.

“This project will include several high-level national retailers, will serve as a major traffic hub for the entire Broadway commercial corridor, and create more than 400 jobs in the process.”

Metropolitan Realty Associates purchased the sizeable parcel of land for nearly $19 million in August last year. 

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