Yonkers, NY (PRWEB) October 12, 2011
The Cross County Shopping Center, Westchester County’s first shopping center, celebrates a new chapter in its remarkable history with a series of events throughout the week to mark the completion of a $250 million redevelopment project. The extensive renovation and remerchandising of the property positions the 1million-square-foot outdoor shopping center as one of the region’s most successful and enduring retail developments.
Events to be held this week as part of the mall’s “RE-Launch Celebration Week” include a VIP Reception for Yonkers civic and community leaders and business professionals, followed by a series of exciting programs including a restaurant tasting event, public art sculpture installation, live concert,fashion shows, beauty makeovers and much more.
“The redevelopment of Cross County Shopping Center is complete and after more than five years of renovations, we could not be more pleased with the outcome,” said James Stifel, chief investment officer for Benenson Capital Partners, LLC and executive vice president for the property’s owner, Brooks Shopping Centers, LLC. “The center has been transformed into a modern destination with nationally-known retailers, beautifully landscaped gathering spaces and valued amenities including free parking. The one thing that has remained consistent is the connection Cross County Shopping Center has with the local community – our history with Westchester residents are what set us apart from other shopping centers. We are so pleased to welcome our shoppers back to what we believe to be a brand new Cross County Shopping Center and a brand new shopping experience.”
“Cross County Shopping Center is an integral part of the fabric of our city. We have been pleased to work closely with Macerich and Brooks Shopping Centers to bring this revitalization to fruition. This project has created more than a thousand construction jobs and hundreds of new permanent jobs for our community, and Cross County is one of the city’s largest revenue generators. Congratulations to all involved,” said Yonkers Mayor Philip A. Amicone.
"Westchester loves to shop locally and the Cross County Shopping Center has been filling that need for close to six decades," said County Executive Robert P. Astorino. "Its redevelopment positions it as a go-to destination for shoppers for years to come and is a sign of confidence in the county's continuing economic growth."
Located in Yonkers at the junction of the Cross County Parkway and New York State Thruway, the Cross County Shopping Center features more than 100 retailers including noted national brands Macy’s, A│X Armani Exchange, Swarovski, bebe, GUESS, H&M to name a few. Since the redevelopment project began in 2007, 32 retailers representing 155,288 square feet have opened new stores and/or renovated or expanded existing stores at the center.
As part of the redevelopment project, each of the 15 buildings that comprise the center received architectural enhancements including new canopy details, updated lighting and more window frontage for retailers to showcase their merchandise.
Retail Venues Complemented by Extensive Landscaping
The 71-acre center has also undergone extensive landscaping to complement the retail venues and restore the center’s beautifully manicured outdoor setting. The common area has been transformed into an attractive pedestrian-friendly centerpiece with new brick pavers, colored concrete, new planters with seasonal and local flowers and trees that line the main promenades and entrances. The outdoor shopping experience has been enhanced with the addition of new outdoor gathering spaces with graceful fountains, comfortable seating vignettes and outdoor play areas for children.
Two new children’s play areas were opened last year to enrich the family experience at the center. The Zoo Zone play area features an animal theme, complete with eight play pieces and a tree-house/slide as the centerpiece. A second children’s play area includes two “park pet” sculptures which are modeled after the Alice and Wonderland statutes seen in New York’s Central Park. Both play areas are open to the public at no charge.
Last year the center opened a new indoor soft seating lounge and public restrooms. The new restroom facility includes a family restroom as well as two private nursing rooms. Restrooms are located to the north of A│X Armani Exchange. Also in this location is a new centralized security office which assists shoppers with services such as Lost & Found, mass transit schedules, taxi contact assistance and store directories.
Major Improvements to Parking and Traffic Flow
A key element in the redevelopment project is the improvement of parking and traffic flow at the center. A new direct entrance into the shopping center from the Cross County Parkway allows shoppers to circle right into the property, while on-going traffic continues on Kimball Avenue. The exit ramp off the Cross County Parkway onto Midland Avenue has been widened to allow more traffic to flow toward the shopping center. There is also a new entrance into the center off Central Park Avenue that leads shoppers directly into a new parking deck with 685 free parking spaces on five levels and direct access into Macy’s on two levels. The center has more than 5,000 free parking spaces.
Macy’s, the largest store in the center, has expanded by an additional 75,000 square feet of new retail space. The $30 million expansion and renovation by Macy’s brings its total square footage at the center to over 400,000 square feet.
More Retailers Slated to Open Soon
Additional restaurants are slated to open at Cross County, including a free-standing TGI Friday’s and Red Lobster restaurants as well as Chipotle, BGR The Burger Joint, Noodle House and Sarku Japan. More fashion retailers are also planned to open including Adidas, a renovated Gap, Call it Spring and GNC. Future development plans call for replacing the existing eight-story office building at the center,potentially with a new hotel with approximately 150 beds, meeting space and ground-floor retail.
In addition to its many retail offerings, the Cross County Shopping Center is home to an extension center of Westchester Community College which has re-located and expanded to more than 12,000 square feet at 8510 Mall Walk. The extension center, which serves more than 2,500 students, offers a variety of credit and non-credit courses. WCC has also formed a partnership with AARP to assist the needs of area seniors.
Original Center Featured Gimbel’s and John Wanamaker’s
When it opened in 1954, the Cross County Shopping Center was Westchester’s first shopping center and featured as its original anchor stores such legendary retailers as Gimbels, John Wanamaker and F.W. Woolworth. The property was developed by Sol Atlas and subsequently acquired by Brooks Shopping Centers LLC. The group’s majority partners include Benenson Capital Partners, LLC, the New York-based firm dating back to 1905 whose holdings include over 200 properties throughout the United States, Canada and Europe; and Merchant’s National Properties, Inc., a prominent real estate development company.
The Cross County Shopping Center is professionally managed by the Macerich, a fully integrated self-managed and self-administered real estate investment trust, which focuses on the acquisition, leasing, management, development and redevelopment of regional malls throughout the United States. Macerich now owns approximately 72million square feet of gross lease-able area consisting primarily of interests in 70 regional malls. For more information about the Cross County Shopping Center visit http://www.crosscountycenter.com.