Despite grim outlook for malls, Bronx’s Bay Plaza moves ahead

June 13, 2012 01:00PM

Ground broke last month on the Mall at Bay Plaza in the Bronx, the first new suburban-style mall in New York City in the past 40 years. The New York Times noted that while developer Prestige Properties is taking a big chance on the $300 million, 780,000-square-foot shopping mall, especially amid the nation’s declining appetite for such properties, it insists it will be a profitable project.

Though the Manhattan Mall and the shops located inside the Time Warner Center have been considered successful, the Times wrote, other complexes, like the South Street Seaport’s Pier 17 and the Albee Square Mall in Brooklyn have not performed as well. As previously reported, Green Street Advisors, a real estate research firm, said earlier this year that 100 of the nation’s 1,000 large enclosed malls would be torn down or converted — and industry executives at this year’s ICSC event even said this estimate was too low. Online retail has made potential tenants less interested in mall space.

But Prestige said that the mall’s location, at the crux of the Hutchinson Parkway and I-95, is convenient to both Bronx residents and shoppers coming from Westchester and will help business. In addition, the mall’s two anchor tenants will draw crowds, they said. There will be a 150,000-square-foot J.C. Penney and a 160,000-square-foot Macy’s, which The Real Deal reported was one of the largest retail leases in New York City last year. There is also little direct competition nearby, as the Cross County Shopping Center is in Yonkers and the Bronx’s Gateway Center does not have a fashion focus. [NYT]