30 NOVEMBER 25 - DECEMBER 1, 2016 BROOKLYN MEDIA GROUP Empire Outlets: Vast shopping and dining destination going up near ferry terminal While most people know Empire Outlets is being built on the North Shore next to the Staten Island Ferry Terminal, few know exactly what's going on behind the fence that surrounds the morethan seven-acre site. On site, where 300 construction workers report to work every day, Empire Outlets is taking shape. And it looks like New York City's first outlet mall is on track to open on schedule — just in time for Black Friday, 2017. "We pour about 20,000 square-feet of concrete per week," said Joseph Ferrara, principal of BFC Partners, Empire Outlets developer. "In about two to three weeks, we'll start to get steel for H&M, Nordstrom Rack and the Nike Factory Outlets, and then people will see the outlets going up. Being that there's a difference in grade from Richmond Terrace, you don't see what's happening behind the fence. But when you look from the water side you can really see the progress," he added. By this time next year, Empire Outlets will be comprised of 350,000 square feet of prime retail space with approximately 100 designer outlet retailers and a 190-room hotel featuring a rooftop venue with expansive waterfront views. At the site is one 170-foot-high tower crane, and two even larger cranes will soon join it at the site. The cranes will help erect all the steel for the project at the site, said Ferrara. "We had to have three tower cranes because any normal size cranes wouldn't be sufficient enough because of the vast acreage we have here," said Ferrara. He said construction of Empire Outlets should be complete by spring; then, the retailers will be able to begin building out their individual spaces. The commuter parking lot, which will include 780 spots on the first floor of the parking garage, may open earlier than the outlet mall, if it's finished sooner, said Ferrara. The three-story parking garage will be comprised of a total of 1,200 parking spaces, said Ferrara. The outlets will have a visual corridor that will allow for picturesque views of the Manhattan skyline. "We'll have a main visual corridor with planters, but we will also have shopping corridors where the view will be open to the (skyline)," said Ferrara. There will also be a 40,000-squarefoot food and beverage deck that will provide panoramic views of the Manhattan skyline. While construction has progressed, so has the leasing of the stores and restaurants that will be housed at the outlets. One of the most recent leases signed was with Two Boots Pizza. In an international spotlight, most recently Empire Outlets along with the New York Wheel were presented to thousands of tour operators at World Travel Market in London. New York City hit a record of 58.5 million visitors last year and this year is on track to push through the 60 million visitor milestone, which will be on all-time high and new record. NYC & Company promotes the NEW New York City Campaign… and they’ve been fortunate enough at Empire Outlets and the New York Wheel to be showcased to this audience as they launch at the end of 2017. Want to know more about all Staten Island has to offer? Come 2017, you will also be able to learn it all via a touch of a button on digital information kiosks that will be installed throughout the Staten Island and Whitehall Ferry terminals. From a night of beer tasting at Flagship Brewery to a spin on the future New York Wheel, there is an abundance of attractions for tourists taking a trip to Staten Island. A good portion of Empire Outlets’ initial efforts around the promotion of Destination St. George will focus on Photos courtesy of Empire Outlets educating visitors — and many New Yorkers from other boroughs – about what the entire neighborhood has to offer, The kiosks will be part of a bigger marketing push to get people to spend a substantial amount of time in the area and to spend millions of dollars across restaurants, retailers, cultural institutions and other small businesses in the community. Destination St. George, which includes some existing and coming cultural and recreational attractions on the North Shore, is being marketed around the world by NYC & Company, as well as Wheel and Empire Outlets principals, at both trade shows and via pitches to travel journalists. A rendering of the project. A rendering of a plaza within the development. Information kiosks will help familiarize visitors with the area.
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