Staten Island is bracing preparing for its very own megaproject, the centerpiece of which is a 625-foot-tall observation wheel, but the bulk of the development will be a 1,000,000-square-foot outlet mall and entertainment complex designed by firm-of-the-moment, SHoP Architects. Both the mall and the wheel (they have different developers) enter the six-month review process today, and BFC Partners released a slew of new renderings showing the design of the complex, know as the Empire Outlets. Green roofs abound on the multi-tiered project, which will host 125 storesin 340,000-square-feet of retail, plus restaurants and a 200-room hotel.
Cuozzo of the Post reports that several high-end retailers showed interest in the development, to rise close to the St. George Ferry terminal, during the ICSC conference in Las Vegas. Supposedly reps from Coach, Restoration Hardware, Michael Kors, Nordstrom Rack, and Brooks Bros. all showed interest in BFC’s presentation of the Empire Outlets. The developer wouldn’t discuss specifics, but they made clear that not all brands are welcome in the retail space: “We actually have had to turn some people away because we want a certain brand level. There are outlets and there are outlets.”
The project is estimated to cost between $250 and $275 million, and if all goes as planned, it will be complete in 2016. The Wheel developer Richard Marin hopes to break ground next year and open on July 4, 2016. Are you ready, Staten Island?