New York City’s first outlet mall isn’t quite ready for its close-up: The Staten Island Advance reports that Empire Outlets, the retail complex on Staten Island’s north shore, has pushed its opening back from April to May 15.
“We’re thrilled to move forward with a May 15 opening that will bring tens of thousands of visitors to Staten Island’s revitalized North Shore,” Joseph Ferrara, a principal at BFC Partners, the mall’s developer, told the Advance.
According to the Commercial Observer, the delay is to give the mall’s 100 retailers—which include Nordstrom Rack, H&M, Nike, and American Eagle Outfitters—more time to finish building out their stores. Earlier this year, BFC stated that it would begin opening in phases in April, but that timeline has now shifted.
Construction on Empire Outlets, which is designed by SHoP Architects, began in 2015, and the mall’s opening has been pushed back a few times before this. It’s rising adjacent to the Staten Island Ferry Terminal and the site where the New York Wheel would have been. That project—which would have brought a 630-foot-tall Ferris wheel to the Staten Island waterfront—was beset by delays and lawsuits, and ultimately rolled to a stop last year.
Despite the loss of the wheel, which officials predicted would be a huge economic boon for the borough, BFC’s Ferrara told Curbed last November that he was still optimistic about the North Shore’s future—and Empire Outlets’ place within it. “Our project is a beacon of economic development for the borough and for the city,” Ferrara said. “The transformation and renaissance that everyone’s been speaking about for years is already here.”