BY LUIS GRONDA
New attractions are coming to The Shops at Atlas Park this summer, which aims at increasing foot traffic to the struggling Glendale-based shopping center.
Construction is underway to bring two popular clothing stores, Forever 21 and Charlotte Russe, to the mall, as well as a new performance space, which will host live performances and community events. The stage area will be 10,000-square-feet according to Liza Diaz, the property manager for the shopping center.
“This community is looking for a retail, dining and entertainment destination that feels modern, comfortable and family-friendly,” said Diaz. “We are investing in The Shops at Atlas Park as an appealing centerpiece for this part of Queens. Our vision is to create not only a fine shopping destination with great dining options, but to establish a community gathering spot with the Center Green.”
In addition to the renovations at the mall, Macerich also plans to create additional parking spots available to its shoppers. Macerich has owned the Atlas Park mall since 2011 and also owns other shopping centers throughout the country, including the Queens Center Mall in Elmhurst.
Kathy Masi, president of the Glendale Civic Association, expressed some concern over their plans for the performance space. She said that loud noise from having a concert there could be a disturbance to residents living near the mall, adding that there have been concerts there in the past and the music could be heard from where she lives on Doran Avenue.
She also believes that the company is trying to make the center both a shopping mall and a green space.
“They don’t mix,” Masi said. “I can just go to Juniper Park and watch a free concert there.”
Gary Giordano, district manager of Community Board 5, said that potential problems like noise from a concert will depend on what kind of music act is performing there and what time the event is taking place. He added that he ultimately hopes the mall succeeds in Glendale.
In response, Diaz said that they are considerate of its neighbors and will schedule events at appropriate times and noise levels.
Council member Elizabeth Crowley (D-Middle Village) was complimentary of Macerich’s plans for the mall.
“Atlas Park has the potential to be a great economic engine for Glendale and the surrounding communities. Macerich has a proven record developing malls, and I believe the new stores and outdoor performance space will bring new life to Atlas Park,” she said in a statement.
Diaz could not provide details about the project’s total cost as of press time.
Reach Reporter Luis Gronda at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 127 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.