The first indoor mall to be constructed in New York City in 40 years has finally opened and The Mall at Bay Plaza in the Baychester/Co-op City neighborhoods of The Bronx does not disappoint.
With 780,000 square feet, The Mall at Bay Plaza is the largest shopping mall in New York City bringing with it over 1,700 permanent jobs. With newcomers to The Bronx such as the high-end Michael Kors, a Victoria Secret, and the ever popular H&M, Bronxites will no longer have to trek outside of the borough into Manhattan or Westchester — and in turn will keep their money here.
Another first is a new Macy’s, which is one of the anchor tenants, and is the first brand new Macy’s built from the ground up in over 30 years. (Fun fact: Macy’s currently has 850 stores nationwide and the second store opened outside its original Herald Square 34th Street location was in Parkchester in The Bronx. Also, the founder of Macy’s, Rowland Hussey is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery).
During the opening ceremony, Public Advocate, Letitia James declared, “The people of the Bronx no longer have to go to the border into Westchester to shop, goodbye Westchester!”
New York State Senator Ruth Hassel-Thompson stressed the importance of being able to keep our money within our districts which goes back to what we said earlier. “It gives our young residents an opportunity for employment,” added Hassel-Thompson.
New York State Lieutenant Governor Robert J Duffy stressed the state’s commitment to improve access and egress to the area off the I-95 corridor and commitment of funds to make sure that traffic doesn’t become the nightmare that the community has been fearing.
Once the mall opened promptly at 10AM, thousands came through the doors and were in awe. A young shopper was besides herself saying, “This is a really big deal for me and The Bronx, we don’t have to go far for the same stores we shop at in Westchester or Manhattan.”
As I walked around and finally reached H&M, there was a line of hundreds of people waiting to get inside the two-level store but unfortunately had to wait a bit as there was a ribbon cutting for the store’s first Bronx location.
The winners today are the people of The Bronx, both those working and the shoppers. Everyone I spoke to who worked at the mall said they were from The Bronx and according to the developer the number is about 90% of employees are from our borough. Two of these individuals were Danny and Valleirya who both work at Sprint and were excited to be there.
The Mall at Bay Plaza offers a wide variety of stores for all Bronxites from the super high end Michael Kors and Swarovski to the casual and affordable GAP and H&M.
The space feels very similar to The Westchester in White Plains but with a slight urban feel. This is something we all definitely can be proud of for it is definitely the most beautiful mall in all of New York City offering an experience unparalleled in the city.
The economic impact of the mall extends outside its walls. As I exited the mall, I was able to get a taxi by the stand. The driver, Donald Anderson, was excited about the Mall At Bay Plaza. I was his first official fare from the new mall. “I can’t believe how huge it is!” exclaimed Anderson as he drove me to the train station.
Mr Anderson has been in the states for 12 years and is originally from Jamaica. “I first briefly lived in Brooklyn but I didn’t like it. I came to The Bronx and I love the Bronx since I moved here 12 years ago. This is where it’s at. We may not have all the developments like the other boroughs but it’s still beautiful.”
I, along with many Bronxites are excited to keep our money in our beloved Bronx.
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