New York may be home to some of the best boutiques, specialty shops and department stores in the world, but you know what it really needs? A huge outlet mall with brand names for less!
The New York Times claims that New Yorkers, secretly covetous of the bland, sprawling suburban malls that can be found in the city’s hinterlands, are ecstatic to hear that an outlet mall may be opening near Co-op City in the Bronx. (The Lightstone Group, a company that develops and manages outlet malls, purchased a 19.2-acre site in the Ferry Point neighborhood this May, although the group has yet to announce any plans for the site.)
To investigate resident’s reactions to the project, The Times talked to tourists on a bus bound for the Woodbury Common outlet mall in Orange County. And guess what? They were all incredibly enthusiastic about the prospect of opening more places in New York that feel exactly like the soulless suburban tracts they left behind. Never mind that most of them had never been to the Bronx and weren’t really sure where it was.
“It’s the hassle of having to come down here and get on a bus versus a short cab journey,” said John McLaughlin, a tourist from Northern Ireland visiting with his family and a large duffel bag that they intended to fill with Calvin Klein and Timerberland merchandise.
Other tourists, the newspaper noted, reasoned that if the Bronx was good enough for the Yankees and Jennifer Lopez, it was surely good enough for Prada and Louis Vuitton.
“Love J-Lo, very fashionable,” Tammy Bevcar, an operations manager in her 40s from Toronto, told The Times. “I would definitely go.”
The site of the outlet mall is not exactly close, but it is accessible via public bus and is about a mile from the nearest subway station. (Shoppers will need to bring their wheeled suitcases, which The Times notes are already common carry-ons on the $42 bus to Woodbridge Common.)
Not that everyone is excited about the development. The local community board is worried about the additional congestion and traffic that an outlet mall would bring to the area, especially since a new mall, Mall at Bay Plaza, is already being planned nearby.
To be fair, The Times does talk to a few New York residents, including Marlene Cintron. Ms. Cintron, who also happens to be the president of the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation, said that all her friends were thrilled to hear about the planned outlet mall.
“They were beside themselves,” she gushed, adding that a Connecticut friend was “on her way home to let the rest of the neighborhood know.”