Many eagerly anticipated the Grand Opening of The Shops At
Nanuet, including elected officials and area residents ,and they showed up
Thursday morning in large numbers.
At 7 a.m., three hours before its official opening, Maria Ali of Garnerville was first in line for the Apple Store. She had a purpose for being there so early.
“I’m hoping they have the 5s iPhone in gold,” she said.
Rob Magee of Maywood, NJ was second in line and said he arrived about 7:30 a.m. He was curious to see the store and wanted one of the commemorative t-shirts Apple was giving away.
“I want to see the new store,” he said.
Ali and Magee headed up a line that probably numbered more than 100 people and kept growing until the store actually opened its doors at 10 a.m. following the retail center’s ribbon cutting ceremony.
Others came to be among the first to see the 28 open stores and eateries.
Lois Supan of Orangeburg was also among the first arrivals.
“My husband and I want to go into the Fairway,” she said. “I wanted to see what it all looks like. It looks beautiful.”
Cookie Sanders of Spring Valley wanted to take advantage of the free umbrella giveaway as she waited for the stores to open their doors.
“I came to see what type of stores they have,” she said, adding she was hoping to find some bargains.
The ceremony started off with the U.S. Army Color Guard raising the American Flag and the American Bombshells singing the Star Spangled Banner. Dignitaries sat on the podium and filled a reserved seating area. Several speakers referred to the Nanuet Mall, which The Shops At Nanuet replaces.
“The redevelopment of this property presents an opportunity to help and develop the surrounding area,” said Clarkstown Town Supervisor Alex Gromack, adding that a major financial boost is expected.
“This year there could be county sales tax in the area of $4 million,” said Gromack. “And when we get into fiscal year 2014, $15 million and who knows with the added rejuvenation of Sears and Macy’s that could bring that even higher.”
Rockland County Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef said the opening was historic and urged everyone to “Let’s go shop.”
Fairway Market Executive Chairman Charles Santoro described it as one of the finest shopping destinations in the New York metropolitan area.
Tom Schneider, executive vice president of the Simon Property Group, which owns The Shops, said people can look forward to nine more stores opening before the end of the year at the fully leased center and all tenants open by the spring of 2014.
“Each trip you come back you will find something new,” he said.
Nanuet Chamber of Commerce President Risa Hoag said local business owners were enthusiastic and hope mall shoppers will patronize their businesses too.
Before midday Thursday the parking areas were busy even with store employees take shuttle buses between The Shops and the commuter lot behind the Nanuet Post Office where they parked. When fully open, the 750,000 square foot open air shopping center will include 50 retailers and restaurants, major anchors Sears and Macy’s and junior anchors, Fairway Market, Regal Cinemas and 24 Hour Fitness.