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YONKERS-While some redevelopment work is under way at the property, the ownership of the Cross County Shopping Center has made some revisions to its $250-million improvement plan. The original redevelopment initiative was approved by the city last November. However, after discussions with the property’s existing retailers and re-thinking the plan’s components, a revised plan was filed last month and presented to the Yonkers Planning Board earlier this month.

Robert Ryan, general manager of the Cross County Shopping Center, says the property owner Brooks Shopping Centers LLC, has decided to go away from new big-box oriented space and add new multi-tenant buildings geared to smaller tenants. In addition, one of the property’s chief anchor’s Macy’s is looking to expand its more than 250,000-sf store by another 75,000 sf. In the original plan, Macy’s was to expand its store by 50,000 sf. Construction has commenced on the façade improvements on some of the existing retail stores at the center.

The redevelopment project will add a total of 245,375 sf to the more than one-million-sf shopping center, which now consists of 960,773 sf of retail space ad 60,200 sf of office space. The center, which was built in 1954, is anchored by Macy’s, Sears, Super Stop & Shop, National Amusement Multiplex Theater and Old Navy.

“The vast majority of our retailers wanted more square footage,” Ryan says, and that fact drove the need to revise the original plan. In addition to Macy’s, Aeropostale, New York & Co., Wet Seal, Bath & Body Works are all expanding their stores at the property. He also reports that Guess has signed a lease for a 3,000-sf store and Body Shop inked a deal for 1,200 sf. Macerich will be looking to add restaurants to the property.

Ryan, who is an executive with The Macerich Co., of Santa Monica, CA, was the keynote speaker at the May 22 meeting of the Westchester County Board of Realtors Commercial Investment division held at the WCBR offices in White Plains. Macerich manages the property for Brooks Shopping Centers. Macerich is hoping to begin development on the expansion of the retail at the property in late 2008 or early 2009.

Ryan says another key component of the multi-phased revised plan is the proposed demolition of an existing eight-story 60,000-sf office building. In its place will be built a new 150-room hotel with ground floor retail. The revised plan also reconfigures some of the planned new parking facilities that allow more visibility from adjacent roadways. Currently there are approximately 4,000 parking spaces at the property. If approved, the new plan would bring that total to 5,500 spaces.

When asked the cost of the project will be, Ryan says that the final numbers are still being calculated, but notes the redevelopment will wind up “well in excess of $250 million,” including approximately $10 million worth of infrastructure improvements that will enhance the center’s access to the Cross County Parkway, New York State Thruway and adjacent local access roads.

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