Construction progresses at The Boulevard

Developers say the two-story Main Street shopping concept will bring 50 national and local retailers to New Dorp site by Fall 2019

With 90 percent of its retail leases signed and close to 50 national and local tenants finalizing their storefront space, developers at the two-story shopping center dubbed The Boulevard in New Dorp say their construction timetable is currently on schedule.

“Construction has been progressing rapidly since our groundbreaking late last year,” noted Nicholas Brown, vice president of development for the Northern

Region of Kimco Realty Corporation, one of the country’s largest operators of open-air shopping centers and the developer of the Staten Island site. “We are nearing completion of steel erection and will commence tenant fit-outs shortly. The project remains on track for a grand opening in Fall 2019.”

The $180 million project, which is currently rising on the site of the former Hylan Plaza, will introduce an Alamo Draft House Cinema to the borough and provide a two-story Main Street concept shopping experience. LA Fitness, Marshalls, Ulta Beauty, PetSmart and AC Moore are just a handful of retailers who have already committed to the space.

“Unlike the typical strip center that is commonplace on Staten Island, The Boulevard will provide a completely unique shopping experience,” Brown continued.

“Our two-story Main Street concept will deliver a pedestrian-friendly environment, complete with outdoor dining and sidewalk activity, which will energize and activate the entire shopping center. We believe that we struck the perfect balance that will offer the excitement of a downtown hub while providing the conveniences that customers expect from a typical shopping center. The dynamic tenant lineup at The Boulevard will encourage visitors of all ages to stay and linger, whether it’s dining outside on restaurant row, working out at a 24-hour gym, enjoying a movie at the dine-in cinema, shopping for fresh groceries, or taking care of everyday service needs.”

A few of Hylan Plaza’s existing tenants will stay, including Modell’s, CVS and Chase Bank. And other successful Staten Island businesses, including Party City and ShopRite, are moving from their current locations to capitalize on the new shopping center’s draw and appeal.

“Kimco has recognized the great potential in Staten Island and we’re transforming the already ideally-located Hylan Plaza into a shopping center befitting this growing borough,” the developer said in a statement. “Without a doubt, Staten Island is in the midst of a renaissance. Already New York City’s wealthiest outer borough, planned projects and new amenities are expected to attract millions of tourists and add 14,000 jobs to the area over the next five years. Retailers are flocking to the under-served Staten Island market for its combination of strong population density, high income levels and projected growth. We plan on making The Boulevard the premier downtown hub on the Hylan Boulevard commercial corridor.”

And Kimco’s research on the borough’s demographics only underscores those findings.

“Staten Island’s explosive population growth significantly surpasses other New York City boroughs,” Kimco notes on its website. “Over the last two decades, the Island’s population has increased by an astounding 24 percent — more than triple Manhattan’s growth rate over the same time period.”

Citing the borough’s population, size and accessibility as impetus for this project, Kimco also listed Staten Island’s economic viability as a big draw: “Staten Island has the highest per capita personal income of New York City’s outer boroughs, in addition to the city’s lowest unemployment rate,” the developer noted.

“The location, population, and income benefits are even more attractive due to the fact that, like the other New York City outer boroughs, Staten Island’s population is under-served by retailers,” Kimco continued. “Residents are clamoring for additional shopping and entertainment opportunities.

Plans are underway for major improvements; including shopping and apartment complexes, hotels, parks and other planned developments that are all part of Staten Island’s current revitalization.”

The 440,000 square-foot shopping center will feature retail spaces ranging in size from 1,500 to 80,000 square-feet. The ground level shops and restaurants will front an outdoor plaza, featuring sidewalk activity and al fresco dining options.

The second level will accommodate larger anchor tenants and entertainment attractions.

“This is going to be one of the main, strategically located retail hubs in Staten Island,” Brown concluded. “With its unbeatable location along the heavily-trafficked major commercial corridor of Hylan Boulevard, the center will be easily accessible from all parts of the Island and will provide dozens of first class retail and entertainment venues.”

By Jessica Jones Gorman

Freelance Writer at Staten Island Business Trends