Empire Outlets, New York City’s first and only outlet center, bowing in 2016 on Staten Island, has been attracting interest from a variety of retailers for whom the fast-growing outlet sector is a priority. On the heels of last month’s announcements that Nordstrom Rack and H&M plan to open 34,000-square-foot and 26,000-square-foot units there, respectively, Empire has rushed to fill 100,000 square feet of retail space with 10 apparel tenants.
This story first appeared in the April 14, 2015 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The brands include Gap Outlet, Banana Republic Factory Store, Guess Factory Store, White House|Black Market, Innovation Luggage, Columbia Sportswear Co., Wilsons Leather, G.H. Bass & Co., Lids, Obey Your Body skin care as well as Walgreens, Häagen Dazs and other eateries.
BFC Partners, the developer of Empire Outlets, is negotiating with other national retailers, the company said. The project, which will include 340,000 square feet of space for about 100 retailers, will open in 2016. The plan also includes a 190-room hotel with a 55,000-square-foot banquet facility and a 1,250-space structured parking garage.
Empire Outlets is located adjacent to the St. George Ferry Terminal, which is used by 65,000 passengers daily, and next to the New York Wheel. The 630-foot wheel will be one of the tallest observation wheels in the Western Hemisphere when it opens in 2017.
“In addition to addressing the needs of the local community, New York City will soon recapture hundreds of millions in lost spending, real estate taxes, sales tax revenue and payroll tax revenue from the 1,000-plus new permanent jobs at Empire Outlets,” said Donald Capoccia, managing partner and founder of BFC Partners. “This will not only benefit our retailers, but it will transform the lives and prospects for hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers for decades to come.”
BFC believes Empire Outlets will attract residents of all five boroughs as well as some of the 52 million tourists who visit the city annually.
The project is expected to be a catalyst for the renaissance of the North Shore.