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Friday, October 31, 2014

Hilltoppers appear cool to new shopping centers

By Shant Shahrigain
Posted

With the start of the school year just around the corner, Riverdalian Nina Velazquez will be heading to the West 225th Street Target and other Kingsbridge stores to do her children’s shopping. She is among the few Riverdalians who regularly shop in Kingsbridge — a situation unlikely to change with the opening of two large malls on Broadway later this year.

“It’s really good for that neighborhood,” Ms. Velazquez, 53, said of the new malls. “It’s murder to drive, and we’re going to have stuff at our fingertips.”

Still, many Riverdalians prefer the drive to Westchester — or a walk down Johnson Avenue — to the short trip to Kingsbridge’s shopping options.

A Riverdale lawyer waiting for the Bx7 bus on a recent weeknight said he might consider shopping at the BJ’s Wholesale Club and other stores coming to West 237th Street or some of the stores soon opening at a mall on West 231st Street. But the prospect did not fire Bill Lamot’s imagination.

“I would say most people from Riverdale don’t really come down here other than to ride the train,” said Mr. Lamot, 50. “I guess if people happen to be down here, they might shop here.”

The first of several large stores at Broadway Plaza on West 231st Street opened last week. An Aldi’s, Sports Authority and TJ Maxx are expected to follow the Party City later this fall, although the mall’s developer did not answer inquiries seeking dates and other details.

A Petco at West 237th Street is opening on Saturday, Sept. 27, according to a press release from the store. Other large stores in the same shopping center, including a BJ’s, are expected to open in October, according to developer Metropolitan Realty & Associates.

That site is called Riverdale Crossing — perhaps a reference to the fact most Riverdalians will be crossing by on their way to work.

“I know they’re building something there, but I’ve never checked what it will be,” Riverdalian Peter Drubetskoy, 37, said while waiting for the bus on West 231st Street.

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