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Planning Board, Simon Group Discuss Plans For Shops At Nanuet

Simon Property Group representatives hope the new shops will open in time for the holiday season in 2013

 

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:

RJ December 15, 2011 at 11:47 AM
I didn't even read this article since I won't be shopping in Rickland County anymore thanks to Vanderhoef's spineless, irresponsible, unfair tax increase.
Cal Mendelsohn December 15, 2011 at 12:03 PM
What wasn't discussed also was the need to relocate the exiting Nanuet railroad station away from residential areas to hook up near the revamped Nanuet Mall. That was the original plan to my understanding but our wonderful politicians squelched that. Local residents around the existing railroad station are left with ridiculous levels of traffic from commuters parking near their homes as a result. Another classic example of doing what's convenient and not what's right for Nanuet residents. I am one who doubts that the revamped Mall will do anything but increase local traffic without adding significant commerce or well-paying LONG-TERM jobs.. People will still go to the Palisades Mall in droves because the selection of stores and facilities is more complete and compelling, and allows shoppers not to freeze and shop in the winter or bake in the summer, which somehow always brightens one's mood.
Maureen December 15, 2011 at 12:54 PM
Cal:   Who cares about the residents of Nanuet or Bardonia?  Our "million dollar election fund" supervisor, Gromack, is on the side of any developer who claims he will provide him with more revenue to expend.  Meanwhile, Chairwoman Thormann, always trying to appear relevant, asks about "dust and debris".   They bus tourists into Woodbury Commons with discount prices and can't fill it in the winter. Here we will have a wind tunnel called "Main Street" to welcome us with the threat of pneumonia and higher sales taxes.  And our County has a "Tourist Department" too! Anyone know what it does?  Is it planning to bus in European and Japanese tourists to fill the extra parking spaces?  We all knew when the Palisades mall went in the Nanuet Mall would die and the tax revenues we were promised from Palisades would not materialize.  What has changed.?  Nothing!   During the last election it was said that with today's Planning Board the Palisades Mall would not have turned out as it did.   Obviously we would have had less dust and debris!
Pat December 15, 2011 at 01:16 PM
This is one of the best pieces of news to come out of Rockland County in a long time. As a member of the Urban Land Institute and a participant in their many conferences on responsible planning and development, I have a great respect for the Simon Property Group and the successful projects they have built around the country. There are several projects similar to this open-air plan that have been a huge success in similar communities with far greater weather challenges (Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin, anyone?). This project will create a completely different experience than the dreadful Palisades Mall, that big box with the nondescript exterior and horrid interior. It WILL draw people. Simon is a first-rate developer with a great reputation for working with the community. I say bravo, bring it on, can't wait. My wish list? Whole Foods and a decent movie theater, similar to Jacob Burns over in Pleasantville. Since Nyack seems fixated on never allowing this type of destination to revitalize their downtown, I'll happily head to Nanuet!
Bard of Bardonia December 15, 2011 at 02:30 PM
Pat:   I agree about SPG but if the new shops are going to be so great why do we need to be outdoors?   Could it be that it will be cheaper to construct and less lost if it goes belly up again?
Pat December 15, 2011 at 03:15 PM
No, I don't think so at all, Bard. If that were SPG's aim, why wouldn't they simply revamp the existing structure? Aside from the demolition and general construction, there's a lot that goes into the elevations of the buildings, the forms and surfaces, the things that give the space texture and life (as opposed to that big blank Palisades Mall box, except for the Cheesecake Factory). The idea of being outdoors has to do with the trend back to creating town centers, places where people actually intersect and interact with one another--much like the return to front porches on homes in places like Watercolor, Celebration or Seaside. Personally, I love the idea of being able to access the stores I want without having to walk eight miles through that godawful mall. And ohmygosh, to be able to walk into a movie theater from the parking lot, like we used to be able to do in Rockland prior to the Palisades? And yes, I can already hear the comments about "isn't that what Nyack or Nanuet are supposed to be?" But those places do not have one landlord doing all the maintenance and caretaking, and vetting the tenants. It's all left to chance, the vagaries of landlords and the decisions of village boards (such as parking meters, ticket machines, lack of parking and inconvenience in general).
Scott Walters December 15, 2011 at 03:17 PM
I still think this is smoke and mirrors. Color me jaded, but I am n ot holding my breath on this.I still thik they demolish and sell.
Madeline December 15, 2011 at 03:49 PM
Pat, Great comments. I think relocating and integrating the Nanuet Train station into this project would add to its attraction. What do you think? Also why does it have to be only high end stores? What about an electronic store or something that would draw middle class people to it. Most people I know hate the Palisades Center and only go there when necessary. I live close to the PCM and would gladly drive to Nanuet.
Pat December 15, 2011 at 04:01 PM
Madeline, I have to admit, I'm not thoroughly versed on the train station piece, but at first blush it sounds interesting. Given that I'm just now catching up on this story, I don't know what SPG has said about this, pro or con. RE: teh stores themselves, most of the developments of this type that I've seen have had plenty of stores that would draw people from a range of income groups, though let's face it, most places depend on a particular age group--the shoppers, the 18 to 34 year old set--for traffic. It's a mix of shopping, eating and entertainment / lifestyle destinations that usually gets people interested, regardless of age. Are you thinking electronics as in Best Buy or Radio Shack or ...?
Madeline December 15, 2011 at 04:16 PM
Best Buy or maybe a higher end electronics store. Then again since Sears is staying maybe they could fill the void and have computers etc. I dont think a radio Shack would fit the malls new profile.
Pat December 15, 2011 at 05:23 PM
Madeline, Yes. Sears now covers the gamut with their Brand Central area, though at the other new developments I've seen, Sears has not been a participant in the exterior remodel--more of a dead weight as opposed to an anchor. But hey, they're Sears, they're there and they fulfill a function. I just wish they'd play nice from an exterior look standpoint.
Michael N. Hull December 15, 2011 at 06:02 PM
Good comments, Pat.  However, I think this will have to be something very original and different if it is to be successful.   Given there is an opportunity to fix the traffic problems for the residents living near the train station I think we should go to the next Planning Board meeting and see what will be done with that opportunity.  
ParisParamus December 31, 2011 at 05:11 PM
Interesting. Comments. The big mall down the way is awful. I just hope the Sears isn't one of the units just marked for closing. Also, I haven't seen the plans for the new mall but the outdoor shopping centre idea seems to clash with even one or two big stores...

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