The south Bronx has a new Yankee Stadium, a new Metro North station and now a new Marshalls. The national bargain store opened at the Gateway Center shopping mall – Exterior Street and E. 150th Street – on Thursday, August 6.
Marshalls is the latest of a handful of big-ticket stores to set up shop at the Gateway Center. Home Depot, Target and BJ’s Wholesale are in business; Best Buy, Staples and Bed Bath & Beyond are set to open soon. Marshalls hired approximately 75 full and part-time employees to operate its new 38,000 square foot store. At 9 a.m. on August 6, a handful of early shoppers stopped by to sift through dress racks and eyes stacks of shoes.
“We are very pleased with the turnout so far,” Marshalls spokeswoman Thea Houghton said. “We are also very excited that about 85 percent of our employees are Bronx residents.”
The store offers apparel, footwear, accessories and home merchandise; Marshalls touts itself as the ultimate destination for “treasure hunters.” The new Bronx Marshalls includes The CUBE, a “stylish” boutique.
Jenixiae Reyes, 18, heard about the new Marshalls on television. She took the 4 train from her home near Yankee Stadium to Grand Concourse and E. 149th Street, and then walked to the Gateway Center. Reyes is glad to have a new shopping mall in the south Bronx.
“The community was at a standstill,” she said. “Every other borough has a downtown. There was no downtown Bronx.”
Reyes suggested that the Gateway Center run a shuttle from Yankee Stadium to the shopping mall, something like the shuttle from 4th Ave to IKEA in Brooklyn. Beverly Bond is a resident of Concourse Village and visited Marshalls on August 6 to shop for boots. Bond was glad to see Marshalls hiring in the Bronx; many of her young neighbors landed jobs at the Gateway Center interview fairs hosted by Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. But Bond disapproves of the shopping mall’s parking rate: $2.50 an hour.
Steven Brown, 17, of E. 167th Street is a Marshalls fan. He works at E. 149th Street and walked to the Gateway Center on August 6. In the past, Brown has shopped at Bay Plaza in Co-op City and 34th Street in Manhattan. He prefers the new shopping mall to Fordham Road. Deborah Burrell, 53, left Queens for Parkchester in 2004. She praised Marshalls reasonable prices and layaway plan. People in the Bronx deserve name brand clothes and affordable options, Burrell said.
The Gateway Center was built by mega-developer The Related Companies in step with a community benefits agreement negotiated in 2006. The benefits agreement stipulates that Related reserve 25 percent of retail positions at the shopping mall for unemployed or underemployed residents of Community District 4.
There is no requirement for public disclosure or monitoring of the agreement outside of the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation, a quasi-public entity linked to the borough president’s office.
©2009 Community News Group