Nearly 73 percent of retail space in the new expansion area now under construction at Queens Center has been leased, company officials said this week.
Scheduled to open in phases during 2004, the expansion and redevelopment will increase gross leasable area to nearly one million square feet from the current 620,000 square feet.
Merchants that have signed new leases to date include American Eagle, Applebee’s, Ashley Stewart, The Body Shop, Caché, Casual Corner, Champs Sports, Coach, Express, Famous Footwear, Finish Line, Guess?, Helzberg Diamonds, Journey’s, Kay Jewelers, Lenscrafters, Limited Too, Naturalizer, New York & Co., Pacific Sunwear, Payless Shoes, Petite Sophisticate, Pulse, Rampage, Rave Girl, Timberland, William Barthmann Jewelers, and Wilson’s Leather.
In connection with the project, a number of existing specialty merchants have agreed to expand their locations at Queens Center. H&M will increase in size from 19,427 square feet to 25,196 square feet; Forever 21 will expand from 7,250 square feet to 11,517 square feet; the separate Footlocker, Kids Footlocker and Lady Footlocker stores will increase their combined area from 6,518 to 9,861 square feet; Victoria’s Secret will grow from 5,020 to 7,767 square feet; The Children’s Place will expand from 6,117 to 6,489 square feet; Aeropostale will be enlarged from 2,580 to 3,823 square feet; Aldo Shoes will go from 1,528 to 2,509 square feet, and Zale’s will more than double in size from 872 square feet to 2,069 square feet.
“The exceptional level of interest we have seen in Queens Center is testimony to the strength of this unique property and its standing as the only enclosed regional mall in a trade area with 2 million people,” said Lori Gatto, Macerich senior vice president, asset management.
All told, the expansion will more than double current non-anchor GLA, bringing it from 155,000 square feet to 410,000 square feet and increasing the total number of merchants at Queens Center to approximately 175 from 69 at present. That expanded roster also reflects an enlargement of the mall’s food court to 14 restaurants from 10 today.
The new specialty merchants and food court tenants will join a mix anchored by Macy’s and J.C. Penney. In connection with the project, J.C. Penney will relocate its Queens Center store to a new 200,000 square foot, three-level building that will anchor the mall’s new wing. The retailer’s current 137,000 square foot building will be reconfigured into new mall space.