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Debt & EquityRetail

Mall re-boot could spell economic revival for Westbury, Nassau Hub

Having invested some $92 million to purchase The Source mall property along Old Country Road, Westbury, Lesso Mall Development has announced a $25 million project to transform the retail complex into a multifaceted destination that will showcase a multibillion-dollar home furnishings, décor and design industry to American retailers while providing a family-friendly environment that introduces visitors to a broad variety of attractions that cater to their needs.

Lesso executive Michael Mai stated the new complex, entitled Lesso Home, “will attract industry buyers from Maine to Miami, as they seek the latest international designs without the need to travel around the world in search of new trends. In addition, it will welcome consumers from throughout the region.”

He explained that their investment will become a keystone in the economic revitalization of The Nassau Hub.

“With the introduction of well-capitalized new initiatives creating new jobs and opportunities, Nassau’s prominence as a marketplace for high-quality products, design and creativity will have an opportunity to flourish at Lesso Home.

“There is no question the whole is greater than the sum of the parts when discussing the Hub, the Nassau Coliseum, Hofstra University and the surrounding properties. The Hub is an enormous economic generator and we see the synergies that each development brings to this corridor. We have already begun to reach out to various stakeholders to determine how we can best integrate our contribution,” Mai said.

The Lesso executive also said their investment seeks to be consistent with the economic vision of Hempstead Town, Nassau County and Westbury Village officials.

He observed, “For example, Third Track construction on the Long Island Rail Road includes the Westbury station. How can our plans complement this strategic infrastructure project so that we benefit Westbury Village as well? These are the kinds of conversations we are looking to conduct in the weeks and months to come.”

Mai says they expect to be a major economic anchor in the heart of Nassau County, generating sales tax revenues, creating new jobs and strengthening the role of The Hub.

It will be an agile retail center, capable of anticipating changes in consumer trends, and providing the entrepreneur and the home furnishings innovator with space that showcases the best and the brightest.

Lesso Mall Development recognizes that retail space designed in the 20th Century may not be relevant in an age of 21st Century online shopping. As a result, Lesso’s concept for Lesso Home includes showrooms for international manufacturers of home furnishings, décor and design and designers, new and pedestrian friendly market walks, a children’s fun center, business conference center and Lesso’s regional corporate headquarters.

The extensive renovations are being designed by Perkins Eastman and will be completed summer 2018.

“We envision part of our space being modeled on the enormously successful `Eataly’ adjacent to the Flatiron Building in Manhattan where food is celebrated as an experience in and of itself. Another element includes the creation of a `town square’ that invites community events, live entertainment and similar attractions that make a visit to Lesso Home a genuine experience,” explained Mai.

“Our hope is that by providing a people friendly center where ideas and solid initiatives come together in welcoming designs and products, we can create a marketplace that offers the very best for those throughout the New York metropolitan area.“

Tenant leasing for the renovated space is being managed by Newmark Knight Frank, led nationally by Dennis Karr and Managing Director Peter Rossi, and on Long Island by Dan Oliver, Jason Oliver and Scott Berta.

Lesso Mall Development (Long Island), is a subsidiary of LESSO Group, an industrial group listed in Hong Kong.

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