Bronxites can now shop till they drop with a traditionally suburban shopping experience at the Mall at Bay Plaza.
The long-awaited indoor mall officially opened its doors to the public on Thursday, August 14.
While elected officials, community leaders, mall representatives and retailers gathered for a ribbon cutting ceremony before the doors opened, hundreds of people lined the sidewalk outside the mall, eager to start shopping.
The mall is the result of a two-year, $300 million construction project.
“After much hard work, it is extremely rewarding to have the mall open to the public,” said Sam Shalem, chairman and CEO of Prestige Properties & Development Co. Inc. at the ceremony. “We are confident that the Mall at Bay Plaza will make for a great addition to the Bronx and to the city.”
Elected officials in attendance included Lieutenant Governor Robert J. Duffy, Congressman Eliot Engel, Public Advocate Letitia James, Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson, Assemblyman Michael Benedetto, Councilman Andy King and Commissioner of the New York State Department of Labor Peter M. Rivera.
The officials touted the almost 2,000 jobs the mall will create, the majority of which will go to residents of the borough.
“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,” said Duffy. “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.”
The mall features a number of stores that represent retailers’ first foray in to the Bronx, including H&M, Victoria Secret, and the Gap. Many mall-goers were enthusiastic that the stores they used to frequent in Westchester are now available closer to home.
But while many stores opened on August 14, a number of retailers and dining options are still coming soon.
The dining options at the mall will include Joe’s Crab Shack and Olive Garden in addition to a food court, and the AMC next door to the mall was renovated in advance of the mall’s opening.
The mall also has an indoor parking garage — rates start at $2 for the first hour — as well as taxi stands and public transportation.
Although some locals at the opening voiced concern about the increased traffic the mall will draw, most seemed happy to have the new amenities nearby.
A full store directory, dining guide, and information about sales can be found at www.malla
©2014 Community News Group