Renovations to the Green Acres Mall have begun, starting with a facelift to the south side streetscape, an expansion to H&M that began in May and the construction of Chipotle which is expected to start in mid-June.
Amaka Oweazim, the mall’s marketing manager, said that “revamp” to the south side includes the removal of the existing exterior soffit and new elevations “to create a modern streetscape with distinct storefront facades.”
Also, mall entryways will be renovated to make them more prominent and accessible to shoppers. Oweazim said that entrances will remain open during construction, but some may be closed for a time in order to complete the construction safely. November 2014 is the targeted date of completion for all work done at the mall. The expansion to H&M is expected to be completed in October and Chipotle’s construction is targeted to be finished in September.
“We know that Green Acres has great potential due to its size and location,” she said. “We are fully committed to investing in the property and further enhancing the overall experience and merchandise mix.”
The mall’s marketing team is spearheading the project and is working with the Town of Hempstead, Village of Valley Stream, retailers and the local community to “ensure the success of Green Acres,” Oweazim said, adding that there is no expansion to the mall and they are working to renovate the current space.
For some shoppers, like Danielle Meeks of Queens, there is an aesthetic improvement that comes with the renovations. “I think [the renovations] are a good thing,” Meeks said. “They’ll make the mall look a lot better than it did before.”
For others, like Ed Anderson, who was born in Valley Stream, the mall is a place that leads to congestion. “I grew up in this town, this mall ruined this town,” said Anderson, who was shopping in the mall. “I think it’s a disgrace.”
The Green Acres Mall opened in 1956 and has become a popular place for residents of Valley Stream, Queens and other surrounding communities. Macerich, a real estate company, bought the Green Acres Mall for $500 million in January of 2013. The last renovations occurred under the previous ownership of Vornado Realty Trust in 2006-07.
Oweazim said that these renovations are just the “first step” in continuing Macerich’s success at the Green Acres Mall.
“We are currently researching and discussing the best uses that will further complement the merchandise mix at the center as well as show our commitment to the local community,” she said. “Our plans for the future of Green Acres are to add value that will further enhance the overall experience and lead to additional retail, restaurant and entertainment. To achieve this we will continue to partner with the city as well as the local community to ensure success.”