By Connor Adams Sheets
The 800,000 square feet of new retail space at Sky View Center in Flushing is filling fast, and in the past week two new anchor retailers have opened their doors there.
Marshall’s and Target made their debut in the neighborhood at the mall at 40-24 College Point Blvd. last week to rave reviews from local customers, who have long looked for new shopping options in the area.
The Flushing Target is piquing the interests of many neighborhood residents, as it is unique among the retailers’ hundreds of stores with a wide selection of specialty Hispanic and Asian foods no other Target in the country offers.
Marshall’s opened last Thursday and was immediately busy as many shoppers know the store and its well-priced clothing from visiting other locations.
Paul Galas, the manager at the new 37,000-square-foot location, said Sunday that the store, which created more than 100 permanent jobs, has generated positive impressions so far.
“We’re very excited because we’re new to the community. The off-pricing of brand-name merchandise will be a great thing for the community and so will the jobs,” he said. “People absolutely love it. I’ve gotten a lot of great feedback from our customers.”
Lucrecia Reed was in town from New Jersey for the weekend, visiting her sister in Flushing. She said she headed straight over when she found out a new Marshall’s had opened.
“I love Marshall’s. My handbag: Marshall’s; this scarf: Marshall’s; my jeans are Marshall’s and my sunglasses; and my shirt is from Marshall’s in New Jersey,” she said. “I like the quality and the price. I like it because they have the body shapes I want and they have material of high quality and they deliver it at a reasonable price. As soon as I walk in I know what I want immediately.”
The new Target store has been open since Oct. 6, but held its grand opening Sunday. Store team leader Joe Marando, a Flushing native, said the 160,000-square-foot retailer has seen heavy foot traffic and that customers have been impressed with the wide selection it offers.
The Sky View Center Target has all the usual Target items — home furnishings, electronics, clothes and more — but the new store also offers an extensive grocery selection. It is also the only one of the 1,800 Target stores in the United States to sell such a wide range of Asian and Hispanic foods. ï»¿The store has a special distributor relationship set up just for the location’s Asian refrigerated food selections.
“We have a Hispanic and Asian assortment that many other Targets don’t have, especially in the grocery department,” he said. “I think Target offers a wide variety that caters to all guests. It’s sort of a one-stop shop. You can come here and get your groceries, your home decor, cosmetics and you can even drop off a prescription to be filled in the pharmacy. A one-stop shop is something you don’t really see in this area.”
As he perused the shelves Sunday, Julio Rincon of Flushing said he was thrilled to have a Target in his neighborhood.
“It’s awesome, fabulous. I’ll shop here for electronics, house supplies, stuff for my dog. Everything’s just right there, it’s wonderful,” he said.
Retailers Bed, Bath & Beyond, Payless and Old Navy and restaurants Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar and Chuck E. Cheese’s are slated to open at Sky View Center later this year.
“This is an exciting time for Sky View Center as we continue to welcome new retailers to our already bustling center,” Michael Dana, president of the center’s owner and developer, Onex Real Estate Partners, said in a statement.
Reach reporter Connor Adams Sheets by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4538.