FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 24, 2004
MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG AND BRONX BOROUGH PRESIDENT ADOLFO CARRIÓN CUT RIBBON AT RIVER PLAZA IN MARBLE HILL
Largest Shopping Center to Open in Borough in More Than a Decade Creates Over 1,000 Jobs Summer Sales Tax Free Week begins on Tuesday, August 31st and runs through Labor Day
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrión today attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony at River Plaza, the largest retail development to open in the Bronx in more than a decade. Developed on the former site of a vacant warehouse and other abandoned industrial buildings, the 235,000-square-foot retail center will create more than 1,000 jobs, and is anchored by a 35,000-square-foot Marshall's and a 130,000 square-foot Target store. The privately financed, $90-million development is expected to generate $12 million in annual tax revenue for the City. Kingsbridge Associates LLC partners Jerome Kessler, James P. Levin, Aaron Malinsky and Paul Travis joined the Mayor and Borough President at the shopping center located at 40 West 225th Street in Marble Hill.
"Today, as we celebrate the opening of River Plaza, more than 1,000 people can look forward to coming to work here and thousands of community residents can look forward to affordable, high-quality shopping opportunities," said Mayor Bloomberg. "River Plaza is just another example that our Administration's focus on job creation and economic development in all five boroughs is working, and I want to thank the employers at this shopping center for their focused attention on local hiring. River Plaza opens just in time for shoppers to take advantage of the upcoming 'Summer Sales Tax Free Week,' right before Labor Day and the start of the new school year."
"On what was once an underutilized site, we now have this phenomenal development, which will benefit the residents of the Bronx in countless ways," said Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrión. "We are pleased to welcome River Plaza to our neighborhood."
New Yorkers can enjoy the best shopping around without having to pay sales tax as part of "Summer Sales Tax Free Week", which begins on Tuesday, August 31st and continues through Monday, September 6th. Purchases of clothing and footwear costing less than $110 are exempt from New York's 8.625% sales tax during this period. In addition to Marshall's and Target, River Plaza includes Payless ShoeSource, Lane Bryant, Lazarus, Washington Mutual, Radio Shack, Kid's World, Bon Bini, City Jeans, Rincon Musical, Starbucks, Sprint, Celines Toribio, APS Business Solutions, and a free-standing Applebee's.
"The opening of River Plaza is enormously positive for this area - it is the largest private investment in the West Bronx to date, totally unsubsidized," said Paul Travis, principal of Kingsbridge Associates LLC. "It is going to fill a void in a neighborhood that is severely underserved from a retail standpoint, and it is going to provide valuable jobs for the residents who live here. We would like to thank the local community, who has been very supportive in making this project a reality."
In June 2004, over 500 prospective employees attended a job information fair sponsored by Kingsbridge Associates and Councilman Miguel Martinez at St. Steven's Church in the Bronx. Participating River Plaza tenants included Applebee's, Marshall's, Radio Shack, Payless, and Washington Mutual. Target also held a job fair at the Department of Labor's South Bronx location in May 2004.
River Plaza sits on 9.5 acres along the Harlem River, adjacent to the Major Deegan Expressway and West 225th Street. The site is the former home of a warehouse utilized by Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center to store medical records, along with five smaller commercial properties, and the groundbreaking took place in December 2002. The new retail center is comprised of three one- and two-story buildings, which house 16 storefronts located on West 225th Street. Greenberg Farrow Architecture and Rosenbaum Design Group Architects designed River Plaza. Construction financing for the retail center was provided by North Fork Bank and permanent financing was arranged by Citigroup. In 2002, The Real Estate Board of New York honored River Plaza with the award for Most Important and Creative Retail Deal in the Outer Boroughs.
Edward Skyler / Jennifer Falk (212) 788-2958
Lee Silberstein/Stacey Eckstein (for River Plaza) (212) 889-0808