The Mall at Bay Plaza, New York City’s largest and first enclosed fashion mall in over 40 years, officially opens to the public today.
To celebrate the occasion, elected officials, community leaders, mall representatives and retailers gathered at the ribbon cutting ceremony where Lieutenant Governor Robert J. Duffy, Congress Member Eliot Engel, Public Advocate Letitia James, Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., State Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson, Assembly Member Michael Benedetto, Council Member Andy King and Commissioner of the New York State Department of Labor Peter M. Rivera were in attendance.
Following two years since the groundbreaking, crews have worked to complete the 780,000-square-foot three-level mall, making it the largest mall in the city.
The mall includes a new, ground-up 160,000-square-foot Macy’s Inc., which will be be the first location that the retailer has opened within the city in 15 years, and an existing JC Penney as the anchor tenants. Over 100 retail shops have been constructed, many of which will operate in the Bronx for the first time. H&M, Ulta, Victoria Secret, Kay Jewelers, the Gap, Aeropostale and many others will open their first locations in the borough.
Over the course of two years, Sam Shalem, Chairman and CEO of Prestige Properties & Development Co. Inc., the mall’s owner and developer, created more than 2,000 construction jobs and will now open its doors to allow for more than 1,700 permanent jobs in a county that holds the highest unemployment rate in the state. Prestige Properties invested over $300 million in the mall’s construction and development.
The state and city of New York are expected to receive more than $25 million annually in non-property tax revenue, split nearly evenly between the two, according to an economic benefits study conducted by AKRF, Inc.
Lieutenant Governor Robert J. Duffy said, “This mall is an example of the economic growth that we are seeing across the state under Governor Cuomo’s leadership. The Mall at Bay Plaza will ensure that the region sees many economic benefits, with new jobs and new businesses growing right here in the Bronx. I thank our public and private partners for their commitment in developing this borough and look forward to the Bay Plaza serving as an economic engine in the Bronx for years to come.”
“I am thrilled with the grand opening of the Mall at Bay Plaza, and I am so happy that The Bronx now has its first enclosed fashion mall ever, and the first built in the New York City area in almost 40 years. This mall will bring new jobs and new business to The Bronx and I welcome with open arms a new Macy’s to our borough. I thank the developer, Prestige Properties, for making this major project a reality for The Bronx. Macy’s decision to build a new store in our borough shows just how much opportunity our borough has to offer. The Mall at Bay Plaza will be a place that Bronx families as well as visitors from all over the region will enjoy for years to come,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
“After much hard work, it is extremely rewarding to have the mall open to the public. It was our mission to create an open and friendly retail destination for Bronx residents, New Yorkers and visitors alike. We are confident that the Mall at Bay Plaza will make for a great addition to the Bronx and to the city,” said Sam Shalem, Chairman and CEO of Prestige Properties & Development Co. Inc. “It’s humbling to know that we have brought a number of new stores and jobs to the borough.”
Shoppers may access free WiFi throughout the mall along with a dozen dining options in the food court, which is located on the third floor and lined with flat-screen televisions and light-streaming floor-to-ceiling windows. Additional dining options are located on the second floor, including Joe’s Crab Shack, Olive Garden and Red Robin, which will officially open in the coming weeks.
In addition, XSport Fitness, a 24-hour gym, will soon its first location in the Bronx, which includes a pool, basketball court, juice bar and retail area. A new state-of-the-art AMC Theater has been constructed adjacent to the mall. The mall also features a guest services and a concierge desk available for directions, guides, coupons and transportation assistance.
The mall is located on a corner parcel at the intersection of the Hutchinson River Parkway and I-95 where a combined 250,000 cars pass a day. It includes a 2,400-car parking garage, ample public transportation and several taxi stands. Shoppers may access three MTA bus lines that will make stops at the mall, along with the nearby No. 5 train.
The mall is adjacent to the Bay Plaza Shopping Center, which features an additional 1.2 million square feet of retail space, and has been owned and operated by Prestige Properties since 1988. The entire development will now be folded into the Mall at Bay Plaza – expanding the space to over 2 million square feet. Prestige always believed a first-class, suburban-style fashion mall would flourish on the site due to its ideal location, right at the crossroads of The Bronx and Westchester. Hence the concept of the Mall at Bay Plaza was born.