By  on June 24, 2008

Taubman Centers' long-delayed Mall at Oyster Bay in Oyster Bay, N.Y., is closer to becoming a reality.

A ruling in the long and bitter battle between Taubman and the Town of Oyster Bay clears the way for the 750,000-square-foot mall to move forward. New York State Supreme Court Justice Jeffrey Spinner ordered the town to issue a special use permit to the Bloomfield Hills, Mich., developer.

Taubman has received commitments from anchors Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and Barneys New York, and about 65 percent of the specialty store space is leased, the company said, declining to provide additional names.

The Mall at Oyster Bay would be the first new major retail property built in Long Island in more than 30 years.

Taubman in 1997 submitted an application to build a 1 million-square-foot shopping center on the site of the former Cerro Wire and Cable Co. factory in Oyster Bay. The town denied the application and the litigation began. Since then, the developer reduced the square footage, but that did not appease members of the Cerro Wire Coalition, which includes 32 civic and business groups that objected to the mall based on concerns about traffic, overdevelopment and road safety.

Sy Gruza, a partner in Weber Law Group, which represents Taubman, said the coalition "already served notice of their intent to appeal. We will go to court the very next day with a motion to expedite the appeal."

Gruza said, "It's a matter of record" that the coalition receives partial funding from the Simon Property Group of Indianapolis, a Taubman competitor and owner of the nearby Roosevelt Field mall in Garden City, N.Y.

Taubman is "firmly committed to building a mall on this property," a spokeswoman said.

The privately owned Americana Manhasset, which targets upscale shoppers with stores such as Louis Vuitton, Fendi, Dior, Hermès and Oscar de la Renta, also is relatively close, in Manhasset, N.Y.

"We're looking forward with great anticipation to the first Neiman Marcus store on Long Island," said Wayne Hussy, senior vice president of properties and new store development for the Neiman Marcus Group.

A spokeswoman for Barneys New York said the retailer is "fully committed to the project."The site of the Mall at Oyster Bay is in affluent Nassau County, where the average household income is $95,000, according to the 2000 U.S. Census.

The mall would provide substantial tax benefits, including real estate tax revenue of almost $8 million, and $19 million in sales tax, Gruza said. The goal is to "be ready to open by fall 2010."

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