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Saturday, April 18, 2015

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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bronxrunner

It has yet to be explained to me how these shopping centers are both "good" and "local."

On the second point, all the stores in these shopping centers are national chains whose upper echelon employees most certainly do not live in Kingsbridge, Riverdale or the Bronx. Therefore, in regards to the money brought in, most of it will leave the area.

Ok, how about rents paid to the owners of the property? Same deal. I highly doubt that those who receive monies related to the lease of these locations are living in Kingsbridge. So again, money pours out of the neighborhood.

Alright, one can make the argument it brings in jobs. Correct on its face, but are these really the jobs we want to attract to our area? Low paid, menial, depressing retail work?

I have noticed the disturbing trend of local politicians getting their panties all in a twist in excitement about these shopping centers. Meanwhile, in the case of the 238th street project, a viable factory employing skilled workers vanished to another state. Menial, low paid retail work is the extent of these pols ambitions with regards to jobs? Not only is that short sighted, it's also pathetic and just is another example of how low we've come as a society where Pols can campaign on bringing in retail, minimum wage, menial jobs. And what's worse? The people actually fall in line thinking this is good!

Count me out of shopping in any of these horrifically short sighted malls.

Sunday, August 31, 2014 | Report this
KateBB

After living on Manhattan's upper west side for some 35 years, we were priced out and had to downsize. North Riverdale has been the perfect new neighborhood for us. While it's always nice to own a car, we do not, and a car is not necessary here. No jaunts to Westchester for us. We've enjoyed shopping at Target and are looking forward to the new malls.

Sunday, August 31, 2014 | Report this
Lianne

I live in North Riverdale and it's shorter driving to Westchester than to navigate the traffic tryng to get to the 230th street stores. Sad, but true.

Monday, September 1, 2014 | Report this
hhudsonpky

As a Riverdalian, I have no interest in shopping down the hill in Kingsbridge. Everything that I need I can get here in Riverdale or in Westchester or Manhattan, which are easier to reach than Kingsbridge due to the hilly topography of Riverdale. The other thing that the newspaper isn't mentioning is that Kingsbridge isn't exactly a great neighborhood, particularly the areas around Broadway. It is loud with people blasting their music at various hours, and quite frankly I wouldn't feel safe shopping down there. In my mind it's basically like a ghetto. Aside from that the store selections leave a lot to be desired.

Riverdale is an upper middle class community more aligned with upscale parts of Westchester, while Kingsbridge is basically a typical middle class to lower class Bronx neighborhood, and this difference needs to be noted because these two neighborhoods overall have completely different lifestyles even though Riverdale is just up the hill. People who live in Riverdale generally don't have any desire to leave Riverdale to go Bronx neighborhoods. This is a bedroom community, often thought of as an extension of Manhattan with a suburban feel, so people either stay within Riverdale and support the local businesses here or they go to Westchester or Manhattan. In short, Riverdalians are proud of their neighborhood and generally have a desire to support local business here within Riverdale and I don't see that changing. The businesses down the hill are for Kingsbridge, and that won't change no matter how they name stores "Riverdale" down there. I quite frankly find it annoying that they try to market that area as being part of Riverdale when it clearly isn't, and that's another reason I wouldn't shop down there. That's Kingsbridge and those people need to be proud of their neighborhood as it is and stop trying to paint it as being something that it isn't.

Monday, September 1, 2014 | Report this
Jackbx

hhudsonpwky -- As a very proud resident of Kingsbridge, your arrogant "ghetto" comments sound much like recent comments from Ted Cruz. Perhaps you'd be happier in Texas?

Plastering the name "Riverdale" on malls in Kingsbridge is most certainly not the idea of Kingsbridge residents. In fact we protested mightily. Not only is the traffic nightmare foisted on us, the developers had the audacity to call it Riverdale Crossing! If it is Riverdale Crossing, build it in Riverdale.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014 | Report this
hhudsonpky

@JackBx - I'm speaking the truth and you know it. I was very clear about the area of Kingsbridge being referred to. The immediate areas of Broadway in Kingsbridge are not only loud, but quite dirty as well, and typical of what most people how come to know the Bronx for. How can they expect upper middle class professionals and other residents to come from Riverdale to shop there? Hilltoppers will not shop in Kingsbridge in masses because of the ghetto mentality that exists in that area. They will shop in classy parts of Westchester, Manhattan or simply stay up the hill in Riverdale. The parts of Kingsbridge WEST of Broadway near Riverdale are decent, but anything along Broadway and EAST of it... Forget it... For what it's worth, Kingsbridge has been on the decline for years since a lot of the Irish left and started moving to Riverdale. If people have to fear for their safety while shopping then that means there's a problem that needs to be addressed. No Riverdalian is going to subject themselves to such aggravation when they can shop in their own neighborhood or take a quick trip on the parkway and be in Manhattan or Westchester in minutes. Also we've had problems for years with people coming from down the hill in the Bronx, particularly from Kingsbridge and traveling up the hill in Riverdale to steal cars, some of which has been reported by our own newspaper here in Riverdale(Riverdale Press), so why would Riverdalians now drive TO Kingsbridge to increase their risk of having their cars stolen down the hill?

Finally, to address your claims that people such as yourself protested vehemently about the mall being called "Riverdale Crossing"... I don't buy it. There seems to be this desire by the realtors and others in your neighborhood to cling to our name, our identity, and our rich history when that area is not part of Riverdale in any way shape or form. In fact I find it insulting that officials would think that calling it Riverdale Crossing would somehow entice Riverdalians to come and shop there. The name won't make any difference, and does nothing but confuses people about the true boundaries of Riverdale and Kingsbridge.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014 | Report this
Jackbx

@hhudsonpky I have many things to say about your elitist stereotyping of those us "down the hill". I honestly don't see the point of trying to convince you. But you are absolutely wrong about residents of Kingsbridge not protesting the name "Riverdale Crossing". I went to several community board meetings where the mis-naming was derided. Here is one reference in the Riverdale Press itself:

http://riverdalepress.com/stories/Riverdale-Crossing-truck-deliveries-rerouted,51711?page=3&

And another complaint about the name (see comment of BronxVoter)

http://www.rew-online.com/2014/03/12/medics-make-it-97-percent-at-riverdale-crossing/

Wednesday, September 3, 2014 | Report this
hhudsonpky

The real question is why couldn't they use "Kingsbridge Crossing" rather than Riverdale Crossing when this place is not in Riverdale? I don't care how close to Riverdale it is. Local leaders in Riverdale know that we like and patronize our mom and pop shops, and that his hideous mall would simply not work in Riverdale, so then they turn around and insult us by throwing Riverdale on it. That area is Kingsbridge and it should be treated as it's own neighborhood rather than "a false extension" of Riverdale. We both know why that is, and as I said earlier, it won't make a difference in terms of Riverdalians coming down the hill to shop in that area of the Bronx. As far as I'm concerned, your fellow Kingsbridge residents didn't scream enough apparently. The other thing that is annoying is these cheesy selections. Nothing "upscale" there, so how do they expect to draw upper middle class shoppers from Riverdale with this? I don't shop at any of those stores, so there is nothing there that would draw me there. Part of the problem is the desire of leaders in your area appealing to a select group of people, which I suspect are either lower middle class or perhaps even poor. The Bronx will never become a borough with NUMEROUS communities of upper middle class residents if they keep building these cheesy malls with low-end retail and dining spots.

People go to Westchester and Manhattan because that's where the real shopping is to buy more high-end goods. Even here in Riverdale we have a great local wine store in Central Riverdale (yes Central Riverdale, which is what we residents call it here, and not "South Riverdale" as the Riverdale Press keeps calling the area around 235th and Johnson) selling wine at various price points. So for all of the "mystery" as to why Riverdalians won't be shopping in your neighborhood in masses, my above explanation should clarify things. I just think it's foolish to call it Riverdale Crossings when the type of retail there is really more representative of what people in Kingsbridge need/want.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014 | Report this
frizzzx76

@hhudsonpky

you are completely mistaken. i live right by riverdale crossing and this area is great. there is no ghetto and is very safe. we have great local businesses like the Bronx Alehouse, and other smaller bars like Mr. Mcgoos, and many other diners (louies dale diner, riverdale diner, etc) elitsts like you is what this area, riverdale NOR kingsbridge, need. i love this area because there is a great mix of people, ethnicities and races. try to learn a little, and step out of your little bubble.

Saturday, March 7 | Report this
frizzzx76

also the rent around here is VERY high and rising. there are a lot of young, students and/or professionals moving into the area. this is not a "poor" area. and even if it was, you really need to get off your high horse and flap your lips like "your shit don't stink."

Saturday, March 7 | Report this
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