With millions of residents and more than 52 million visitors shopping annually, New York City is considered the world’s top retail location. Retailers from around the world flock to New York to open flagship stores in Manhattan and the outer boroughs. The cube-shaped Apple Store, located at the entrance of the General Motors building, has the highest revenue per-square-foot of any retailer in the world. Fifth Avenue is home to flagship locations of Tiffany and Company, Bergdorf Goodman, UNIQLO, Zara and others. However, even with all these retail locations, New York City is considered by many as severely under-retailed.
In the outer boroughs, the retail sales per-capita ratio is far below the national average. The investment sales firm Eastern Consolidated reported in 2012 that it was around 40% to 60% less than the national average. Today, urban retail centers are still under-developed in all of the five boroughs, especially in the Bronx and Staten Island.
Over the past three years, several urban retail centers have been built in the Bronx, convenient to Yankee stadium and public transportation.
In 2009, The Related Companies completed the Gateway Center at the Bronx Terminal Market. The 913,000 square foot mall has become the Bronx’s and Upper Manhattan’s newest shopping destination. Major tenants include Home Depot, Target, BJ’s Wholesale Club (the first and only warehouse club in the Bronx), Toys “R” Us, Raymour & Flannigan, Marshall’s, Best Buy, Bed Bath & Beyond, Staples and Applebee’s.
Equity One, a REIT, was recently selected by the New York City Economic Development Corporation to develop a 130,000 square foot multi-level retail center called Broadway Plaza, located at 171 West 230th Street. With almost 550,000 people living within three miles of the development, this project reflects the REIT’s strategy of bringing convenience to urban areas that are underserved by national retailers. Construction commenced in 2013, and the project is expected to open in 2014.
A few blocks from Broadway Plaza, Metropolitan Realty Associates, in a joint venture with Angelo Gordon, is building Riverdale Crossing, a 165,000 square foot shopping center on the former site of the Stella D’Oro Biscuit Company. The center, slated to open at the end of 2013, will be anchored by BJ’s Wholesale Club and will include a Petco and Buffalo Wild Wings Grill and Bar.
In Ferry Point, Simone Development, Aaron Malinsky and Paul Slayton are developing the Throggs Neck Shopping Center. The two-level, 285,000 square foot center will have parking for 900 cars and will be anchored by a 165,000 square foot Target. Other tenants in the center include TJ Maxx, Petco, Famous Footwear, Metro Optics Eyewear and Applebee’s.
Last year, The Lightstone Group acquired property at the former Whitestone Multiplex Cinema site in Castle Hill and announced that its plans to develop an outlet mall similar to Woodbury Commons.
Residential and commercial development is booming in the borough of Brooklyn. One of the largest urban retail developments in downtown Brooklyn is City Point, a mixed-use property that will add retail and residential space to Fulton Street and the Fulton Mall. The first four floors of the complex will be the home to Century 21 Department Store, Armani Exchange, and Alamo Drafthouse Cinema.
In East New York, the second phase of Gateway Center is scheduled to open in 2014. The 605,000 square foot center will be home to the largest ShopRite in the metropolitan area. The original Gateway Center opened in 2002 and is home to prominent retailers including BJ’s Wholesale Club, Home Depot, Target, and Bed, Bath & Beyond.
St. George will soon be home to New York City’s first outlet center. Named Empire Outlets-New York City, it is scheduled to open in late 2015. The 350,000 square foot complex will include Adidas, Coach and Nike stores, and will be located adjacent to the New York Wheel. The Wheel, an attraction scheduled to open in 2016, is aiming to be the world’s tallest observation wheel.
Triangle Equities is in the process of developing Lighthouse Point, a unique mixed-use waterfront development at the base of the Staten Island Ferry, which will include 100,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, a boutique hotel and a luxury residential condominium with onsite parking.
These planned developments are just a few of the new urban retail centers that will be forging ahead to serve the growing population of New York City.