Bring on those jobs!
Some 2,000 construction jobs and 1,700 retail positions are expected for the new $300 million enclosed Bay Plaza Mall coming to Co-op City in 2013, officials said.
Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., Mayor Michael Bloomberg and other elected officials made the announcement at a ceremonial groundbreaking there earlier this month.
A new Macy’s Department Store and the present JC Penney’s will serve as the anchor tenants for the new mall. Macy’s already boasts a branch store in Parkchester.
The project adds about 780,000 square feet to the center, bringing it to 2 million square feet, according to a spokesman for the project’s developer Prestige Properties.
The Marino Organization, which represents developer Prestige Properties, did not have a breakdown of how many of those retail jobs will be part-time or full-time.
Still, the job numbers provide an economic shot in the arm for a borough with a 14% unemployment rate, the highest in the city.
Diaz Jr. called the project a “wonderful addition to the Bronx, bringing new jobs, new businesses and a new Macy’s.”
“This [new mall] is going to be the size of three Yankee Stadiums,” joked Mayor Bloomberg. “It’s going to be a major attraction.”
Talks to bring another Macy’s to the Bronx had been in the making for nearly a decade, noted Edward Jay Goldberg, the department store’s senior vice president of external affairs. He and his team looked at the economic success rate in the Bronx and saw great potential.
“When we saw the signals were right, even during a recession like this, we said now’s the time to go into it,” said Goldberg, who was further convinced by the mall’s geographic location at Co-Op City, which houses 55,000 “built-in customers.”
Goldberg said he doesn’t mind Macy’s neighboring with the competitor.
“We feed off of each other,” he said.
The latest project is another example of the business economic boom happening in the Bronx. Construction is already underway for a BJ’s Wholesale store at the former Stella D’Oro factory in Kingsbridge.
Reach reporter David Cruz at 718-742-3383 or firstname.lastname@example.org.