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Glendale mall expects makeover to boost business

The owner of the Shops at Atlas Park has begun construction on a new greenspace at the mall. Rendering courtesy Macerich
TimesLedger Newspapers

The owners of a mall in Glendale announced vast changes this week in an effort to inject new life into the struggling shops.

After revealing last August that trendy fashion retailer Forever 21 planned to open a 15,000-square-foot store at the Shops at Atlas Park this summer, Macerich, the mall owner, declared more alterations are on the way.

The Shops at Atlas Park, located at 80-00 Cooper Ave., also said trendy women’s clothing retailer Charlotte Russe will be added to the mall, and construction has started on updates to the property’s Center Green open space.

“These two exceptional retailers are a real fit for the dynamic community surrounding The Shops at Atlas Park,” said Liza Diaz, property manager for the shopping center, which was acquired by Macerich in a foreclosure auction in 2011. “We are pleased to be bringing more exciting, destination retail concepts to this property.”

Changes to the center court area will include new, moveable glass kiosks for seasonal and specialty merchandise and a 10,000-square-foot area designed to host events and entertainment ranging from community groups and seasonal festivities to outdoor concerts. The new entertainment area and retailers are set to open this summer.

Macerich, which owns, operates and develops malls across the country, also owns the Queens Center Mall in Elmhurst. It would not comment on any possible plans to change the mall’s name.

City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Middle Village) said the shop’s former owners had no experience operating a mall and it showed.

“Rest assured Macerich knows how to run a mall,” she said. “They took the mall out of bankruptcy during the worst recession in recent times and they are going to turn this into a great economic engine for our community.”

According to Macerich’s website, The Shops contain roughly 216,000 square feet of in-line retail space, 142,000 square feet of major and anchor retail space and about 41,000 square feet of office space.

Diaz said this latest announcement is the first of many as Macerich moves to solidify the mall’s future lineup. The center also will start construction on additional parking spots to make nearly 100, upfront parking spaces available to shoppers and diners.

The community has expressed frustration about the lack of changes at the mall in the past and the Glendale Civic Association’s Facebook page is jammed with skeptical comments from residents, but Diaz said Macerich is working hard to create a shopping area the neighborhood would be proud to call its own.

“This community is looking for a retail, dining and entertainment destination that feels modern, comfortable and family-friendly,” said Diaz. “We are investing in The Shops at Atlas Park as an appealing centerpiece for this part of Queens. Our vision is to create not only a fine shopping destination with great dining options but to establish a community gathering spot with the Center Green.”

Diaz said the mall will remain open during construction.

Reach reporter Steve Mosco by e-mail at smosco@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4546.

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