Downtown Flushing Shopping Center: Main Street Business Boom Starts Huge Westward Expansion

Downtown Flushing’s frenzied commercial growth during the past two decades is getting another shot in the arm with a scheduled westward expansion to the Flushing River.
This one-square-mile commercial enlargement generated by dramatic population and customer growths will open 107 choice acres for business development between the Flushing River and College Point Blvd., just south of Northern Blvd.
The westward movement was initially sparked by a detailed area study, funded by Councilwoman Julia Harrison, and later incorporated into the City Planning Department plans. Recently okayed by the City Council, the program calls for a massive redesignation of underutilized manufacturing zones adjacent to College Point Blvd.
Nearby, the City is also funding construction of a $270 million underground sewage storage bank, a $13.6 million promenade along the Flushing River, tree-lined walkways along 37 and 39 aves. Keeping pace with municipal plans, heavy commercial construction is currently underway on two sites along Prince St. and three on 39 Ave.
Already completed are the reconstruction of the Downtown main and Union St. roadways, the $26 million Main St. subway station, the $22 million Flushing library, and the Main St. LIRR overpass all within three blocks of one another.
Downtown Flushing is not only the citys fastest growing area, but is also its largest outlying commercial district. It is New Yorks largest inter-modal transportation hub, servicing 21 inter-connecting and two express bus routes that are linked to adjacent subway and LIRR train terminals.
Its epicenter, the corner of Roosevelt and Main, is a major traffic hub: nearly 1,000 pedestrians cross every 15 minutes, and 900 cars pass through every hour. These volumes more than double during morning and evening rush hours. At last count, 22 commercial and savings banks operate within a ten-block radius from this busy corner.
In cooperation with the Bay Terrace Community Alliance (BTCA), residents, and local politicians, the Cord Meyer Development Group will soon begin construction to expand the Bay Terrace Shopping Center through stores, parking and security.
At the request of the community, Cord Meyer will be developing several stores and is discussing further plans of expansion in the near future. While no date has been released, stores such as Banana Republic and The Mens Warehouse are scheduled to be added while an existing store, The Childs Place, will be enlarged.
"Weve been very successful over time filling the needs of the community," said Scott Mullen, partner of Cord Meyer. "The tenants asked for a book store and we brought them Barnes and Noble. They asked for additional eating facilities and we brought Applebees and Outback Steak House. We just want them to know that were always there for them."
At the behest of Barbara Jobo, president of the BTCA, Cord Meyer is also considering an expansion of their post office. "Bay Terrace deserves a post office big enough and with sufficient staff to ensure that customers are serviced without a long wait," Jobo said. "Residents need to have easy and timely access to post office services."
While Cord Meyer has not yet decided on the post office, they are ready to add parking and security along with the new stores. They will be adding speed bumps, traffic controllers and Cord Meyer employees to help control traffic. Mullen said they have received overwhelming support by the community, as they are fully aware of the employment and tax revenues that will be added.
"Major concerns are better police presence and response, better traffic controls and signal lights, decreased vehicular speeding and better traffic flow, graffiti and vandalism violations, and beautification of the area," Jobo said. "Poor traffic patterns and congestion are a nightmare for residents and shoppers, but backed by the support of everyone involved, were doing our best to address everyones concerns and make this as easy as possible."
With the ongoing communication with Cord Meyer, Borough President Claire Shulman, the Dept. of Transportation, and Community Board #7, Jobo says they will work to find ways to make this major expansion a reality.

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