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Green At Atlas Park Opens – QNS.com

Green At Atlas Park Opens

Shopping centers are a rare commodity in densely populated New York City. Shopping centers featuring a park and a water fountain are rarer still. But the Shops at Atlas Park, a project in progress in Glendale, will be the city’s first lifestyle center, including everything from retail shops, salons and restaurants to food markets and a six-screen cinema.
On Saturday, the Green at The Shops at Atlas Park marked its grand opening. The celebration included the introduction of a Greenmarket, a Crafts Market, a performance by the Queens Symphony Orchestra and the “christening” of the center. The day also kicked-off their series, “The Park Meets the Arts,” which will include family-oriented activities every Saturday throughout the summer and continuing into the fall.
Located on the corner of Cooper Avenue and 80th Street, the center hopes to attract residents from the surrounding communities as well as from across the city. The difference between The Shops at Atlas Park and other shopping centers, according to Damon Hemmerdinger, a principal at A & Co., is all the attention that has been given to architecture, lighting, the selection of retail shops and specialty stores, and even the greenery.
“We are trying to get people to change their behavior patterns and spend their leisure time and dollars here,” said Hemmerdinger.
Looking for the most efficient use for the property, A & Co., the consulting firm that serves as the development manager and design architect on behalf of the owner, Atco Properties & Management, decided to make it mixed-use. They are inviting retail stores such as Ann Taylor and Coldwater Creek, services such as Elizabeth Arden Salon and Spa, and the New York-based Italian restaurant, Pasticcio.
To quell community concerns about traffic and sanitation from the influx of people, project planners have met with the Department of Transportation and have made recommendations such as putting up a traffic light on the corner of Cooper Avenue and 80th Street, creating turning lanes and more signage and rerouting the local Q54 bus.
Fortunately, the project does allow car traffic between the park and outlying buildings. An underground garage will accommodate 1200 vehicles.
The shopping center is scheduled to open in the spring of 2006 and Hemmerdinger predicted, “It’s something that will be here for 100 years.”
Marah Ramirez is a freelance writer.

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