Members from the Simon Property Group, Inc. were at Wednesday night’s Planning Board meeting to about turning the Nanuet Mall into The Shops At Nanuet by late 2013.
On Wednesday, the two continued discussing the Environmental Assessment Form (EAF) as part of the State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR).
Tom Schneider, executive vice president of development for Simon and Ira Emanuel of the Law Office of Ira M. Emanuel, P.C. in New City, were the two representatives that spoke on The Shops at Nanuet. First they briefly went back over the general schedule for the process, in which demolition would start in January with plans for the shops to open by late 2013.
“In time for the Christmas season,” Emanuel said.
A big topic of discussion Wednesday night was transportation-related items. Emanuel said because the incoming shops will take up around 150,000 square feet less than what the space was designed to hold, they don’t predict there being any traffic issues. They will reconfigure the parking spaces, and the demolition includes the two-story parking deck.
“The mall is smaller than what the road network is designed to handle,” Emanuel said.
Perhaps the most-discussed topic of the night was whether to ask for a traffic study a year after the shops open, in addition to the normally just one that is done after the construction is completed. The board previously did this with the Stop & Shop supermarket.
Also in regards to transportation, Emanuel said while construction is under way, they will allow bus routes to still drop off at the mall at locations away from the demolition and are discussing possible locations for a new centrally-located bus stop once the shops are open. Emanuel said the plan is to have it somewhere in the back of the mall with a bus lane for quick in-and-out access.
While demolition and construction is going on, there will be no park-and-ride access.
Chairwoman of the board Shirley Thormann was concerned about debris and dust in the air during the demolition and construction. Sam Fattah, vice president of project management for Simon, said the process they use is to mist the debris and dust so it doesn’t flutter around in the air. He also added they will have independent testing to monitor the dust.
Another topic discussed was noise, which Emanuel said is unavoidable because they’re demolishing such a large building. He said the loudest noise is expected to come from the crusher machine, which he said will mostly be positioned somewhere between 500-600 feet away from the railroad tracks. He also said they plan on keeping it as far away as they can from residential areas.
The demolition process will take place from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and construction hours will last a bit longer.
Emanuel said they’re also in talks about where to place the police substation at the new shops. Currently, the substation is located at the parking deck.
The Simon representatives said that when the Nanuet Mall is at full capacity, approximately 1,300 full time-equivalents are employed there. The shops at full capacity will have about 1,160 full time-equivalent employees, and the construction process will create about 1,950 jobs.
Emanuel also added that they think the shops could be an “anchor” in the community, bringing in people from outside Clarkstown, Rockland and even New York to go shopping in the area, which could lead to increased business for places nearby the shops as well.
“Since the shops will be open Sunday, that could be a draw for people from New Jersey,” Emanuel said.
The meeting was also a public hearing, although not many got up to speak. One man brought up if there will be walkways or anything to connect the shops to the other businesses in Nanuet, and was told that that’s something being discussed.
Their next discussion is Jan. 18, which will also contain a public hearing portion.
To read more details about the plans for the Shops at Nanuet, check out this four-part series from October of this year: