Construction Begins On Long Anticipated Junction Mall Project – QNS.com

Construction Begins On Long Anticipated Junction Mall Project

By Helen Klein

After extensive delays, the Junction mall project is finally underway.According to Elysa Goldman, of Triangle Equities — the Whitestone, N.Y.-based development company that has undertaken the project — construction preliminaries have already started on the 300,000-square-foot retail complex, which is expected to open in fall, 2007.The mall, which will be known as Triangle at the Junction, is being built on the site of the former municipal parking lot, bounded by Flatbush Avenue, Avenue H, Nostrand Avenue and the Long Island Railroad cut, as well as in the air space over the tracks, which are under the jurisdiction of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA).The mall’s anchor store will be a 220,000-square-foot Target, the third store that the nationwide chain has opened in the borough. There will be parking for 500 cars on five levels.The complex, said Mayor Michael Bloomberg, “Will ensure a greater diversity of shopping options for area residents and will support Brooklyn’s ongoing renaissance.”The mall has been on the drawing boards for a long time. As far back as 2000, Triangle had expressed interest in the site, which was offered for sale by the city in 1997, when former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani first announced that the administration was looking to sell off underutilized city-owned property.Triangle finally acquired the 147,000-square-foot property from the city in 2004. This occurred after their proposal had successfully gone through the extended city land use review process known as ULURP. The original anchor tenant was K-Mart, which subsequently declared bankruptcy.What caused the delays in breaking ground? According to Goldman, “K-Mart initially was the big delay.” Beyond that, she said, “Basically, it was a combination of marketing and having our deal straight with Target, making sure it was all in order.” In addition, Goldman said, “Part of it was MTA-LIRR delays. Getting their approval for a structure above the tracks was not an easy task, but, in the end, we were able to obtain that.”As to what other stores might be in the complex, Goldman said that Triangle had, “Just started marketing. We think we are in a much better position to go after other tenants,” she went on. “We are looking at some family-style sit-down restaurants, soft goods, clothing, shoes, electronics, a wide range.”What kind of effect will the mall have on local business? Asquith Reid, chief-of-staff to City Councilmember Kendall Stewart, said that he believed the mall would be, “A convenience for people in the immediate area.” As for businesses, he said, “We think that it will bring more people into the Junction, so it will help small businesses.”Will local residents be employed at the complex? As far as construction jobs, Goldman said that was under the control of the construction management company, Jeffrey M. Brown Associates.As for jobs at the complex, once it’s open, Goldman said, “That will be Target’s responsibility. They will do what they did at Atlantic Center. They absolutely would like to hire locally, and they have significant outreach for that.”Construction jobs at the site are a major issue for Stewart. “That’s our main concern,” noted Reid. “We are trying to talk to the contractor directly.”

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