The Eastern Property Owners' Association (EPOA) was joined by many concerned residents Thursday to further discuss the 100,000 square foot expansion of Roosevelt Field Mall.
Thomas J. Schneider, executive vice president of the Simon Property Group, which owns Roosevelt Field Mall, presented further images and details regarding the expansion project. Renovations are set to start in 2013 and are projected to be completed in 2015, according to Schneider.
Renovations include the new Neiman Marcus building, creation of a dining pavilion and additions and improvements to parking garages, among others. Renovation agreements are also underway for the AMC Loews theater to provide new, premium seating and enhanced concession stands. Schneider believes it will be a great addition to the property.
“The inside of the mall and the outside of the mall are going to be pretty much totally transformed,” said Schneider. These transformations will include new building facades, refurbishing of all parking garage decks and a drastic cut in the amount of carts and kiosks to allow for more pedestrian traffic.
According to Schneider’s presentation, which included specific drawings, plans are also in place to expand sidewalks, expand/reorient parking fields and make everything more “pedestrian friendly,” he stated.
“Design has a few phases; conceptual, schematic, design development and construction drawings,” he said. “These drawings are developed to 25 percent design development. We will finish design development in September and finish construction drawings and phases probably just after the first of the year.”
Due to these modifications, a second application was submitted July 2 with hopes to reach the Town of Hempstead board by September. Even if the expansion is denied, Schneider confirms that the mall will still undergo the revamping.
With all the expansion plan in place, many residents are concerned about the traffic flow and congestion which already plagues the area. According to the presentation, a pull off area is expected to be created to allow for easier drop offs, which is a step in the right direction to help control congestion.
Along with the data collected from the county and the town, independent traffic analysis has also taken place with regards to the project. Studies have been conducted on intersections such as Old Country Road and Glen Cove Road, Stewart Avenue and the Zekendorf Boulevard/Meadowbrook Parkway intersection.
Even though studies have been conducted, residents are still concerned about the traffic problem. Many residents stated that during the busiest times for the mall, they often make a point to stay away from the area due to the congestion.
While Schneider reassures “anything with a permit or that is currently under construction is included in the traffic study,” many residents still are not satisfied and worry that the new addition of BJs and the Avalon apartments on Stewart Avenue in E. Garden City are also adding to the already congested area surrounding Roosevelt Field.
“Residential projects don’t conflict with retail projects,” Schneider explained. He also reported that Nordstrom, who welcomed the idea of the Neiman Marcus addition, had shared their own traffic data and marketing reports for the project.
More traffic study information will become available as the project progresses.