Staten Island has taken the lead in the race for New York City’s first outlet shopping mall. After weeks of talks with the Bloomberg administration, BFC partners announced it officially signed a deal to develop a hotel and outlet mall, Harbor Commons, that will have up to 350,000 square feet of retail and 120,000 square feet for a 200-room hotel in St. George, Staten Island.
The complex will include a 1,250 parking garage and will be next door to the Richmond County Ballpark, home of the Staten Island Yankees. The first outlet in New York City, Harbor Commons will include roughly 100 designer outlets in addition to restaurants and cafes, BFC Partners said.
The complex will be managed by EWB Development and Casandra Properties and designed by SHoP Architects, the firm behind the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
With the deal, Staten Island is further along its bid to get an outlet mall, than are similar proposals in the Bronx and Brooklyn. As previously reported, the Lightstone Group is in talks to convert the Whitestone Mutiplex Cinema site into an outlet after purchasing the space this spring, and Thor Equities President Joe Sitt is said to be considering bringing an outlet to the former Revere Sugar Refinery on the Red Hook waterfront near Ikea.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who was present for the announcement, also confirmed that the world’s largest Ferris wheel will be built on the other side of Richmond County Ballpark. Construction is expected to begin next winter and finish in 2016. — Jane C. Timm