No paradise, ‘mall’ to remain a parking lot


The plan to build a shopping center in the parking lot on Broadway at West 230th Street is dead on arrival, after the developer failed to close on the property by a June 30 deadline.

Ceruzzi Holdings signed a contract with the New York City Economic Development Corporation in February, to purchase the parking lot for $6.7 million and build a shopping center. Ceruzzi had agreed to begin building within 18 months of the closing date, but never came through.

Local politicians, who have been pushing hard for the Kingsbridge spot to be developed and who have been disappointed time and again, did not seem too devastated. 

“Maybe it’s an opportunity to get someone new to do a better project,” Councilman Oliver Koppell said.

The parking lot has been a black hole in the Kingsbridge community for a long time. 

Five years ago, there were plans for a large retail hub with multiple stores and a movie theater. Over time, it was scaled down to a smaller, three-story design with a parking garage.

When Ceruzzi agreed to buy the land in February, the EDC said the company was actively seeking tenants and hoped it would be a shopping center with retail outlets, restaurants and a health club.

Mr. Dinowitz and Mr. Koppell pushed the city to make a deal, which it did, even though it was for half of what the EDC originally asked for. But since Ceruzzi agreed to buy the land, its plan changed from a shopping center to a single supermarket, irking local pols. 

“I told EDC they should end their relationship with Ceruzzi,” Mr. Dinowitz said. “In the end, all they wanted to do was put a supermarket there. That would be a waste.”

The city didn’t listen but Mr. Dinowitz got his way.  

It is unclear how much money Ceruzzi lost by not following through on its agreement with the EDC. Mr. Dinowitz said the company probably lost a deposit, but it wouldn’t be in the millions of dollars. 

Now it’s back to square one.

The EDC will issue a new request for proposals soon.
“We will now work closely with the community and local elected officials to move forward and activate this site as soon as possible,” wrote a spokesperson for the EDC in an e-mail.

Local pols hope that means a fresh batch of proposals for the site.

“I’d like to see a series of specialty stores. I think that would be more interesting,” Mr. Koppell said.

Mr. Dinowitz said previously that large chain stores like Bed, Bath & Beyond or Best Buy would be great for the Kingsbridge area. 

Ceruzzi did not respond to a call for comment. 

shopping center, parking lot, West 230th Street, Ceruzzi Holdings, New York City Economic Development Corporation, Councilman Oliver Koppell, Adam Wisnieski