Shopping mall project moves forward

A proposed shopping mall project that has been in the works for almost a decade may finally see the light of day on W. 230th Street near Broadway.

The site, currently a parking lot between the Major Deegan Expressway and Broadway, is finally being sold by the city to developer Louis Ceruzzi for $6 million. The contract should be finalized by June and construction should begin on a new shopping mall by the end of 2012.

The New York City Economic Development Corporation handled the redrawing of a new contract for the property along W. 230th Street near Broadway with developer Louis Ceruzzi, after changing economic conditions and the discovery of ground water underneath the property required changes to the shopping mall’s original design.

“We did enter into a contract with Mr. Ceruzzi and the deadline for purchase in that contract is June 30th,” said Kyle Sklerov, spokesman for the New York City Economic Development Corporation. “We are happy that this project is moving forward and look forward to the future retail development at the site.”

A shopping mall at the location was first proposed by Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz and then-Councilman elect Oliver Koppell in 2001, and the EDC credited both public officials with helping them bring the current contract to fruition.

“Here we are nine years later and we are finally at a point where we are starting to see this project that we pushed for moving forward,” Dinowitz said.

The shopping mall may not be ready for a ribbon cutting until 2014 and two other parcels of land directly on the corner of W. 230th Street and Broadway and just to the north of the southeast corner still will remain undeveloped, but Dinowitz said that the shopping mall hopefully will attract quality stores.

“I am pleased that we are finally making progress at West 230th Street and Broadway,” Dinowitz stated. “I have worked hard to make this happen. I am eagerly anticipating the opening of a mall with excellent stores and looking forward to spending more of my money right here in the Bronx.”

Among the ideas being tossed around for the shopping mall are one or more retail outlets, restaurants or a health club. Under the contract, Ceruzzi has 18 months to begin construction or he will lose the deal.

The development should be a win-win arrangement for everyone, especially the community, Koppell said.

“I am deeply gratified that the city has finally reached an agreement with the developer,” Koppell said. “I have been working on trying to get a shopping mall at that location for many years to revitalize the area and provide attractive, convenient shopping and other amenities for people in the community and elsewhere.”

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