Kenneth J. Knuckles,
President & CEO of the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone Development Corp.,
joined by elected officials and the East River Plaza Mall’s developers, leads
Grand Opening ceremonies for the Mall.
HOSTS EAST RIVER PLAZA MALL GRAND OPENING
New York, NY – On Tuesday, July 20th,
Kenneth J. Knuckles, President &
CEO of the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone Development Corp. (UMEZ) hosted
the grand opening ceremony for the East
River Plaza Mall.
Knuckles was joined by a number of elected officials, including Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, City Council
Speaker Christine Quinn, Manhattan Borough
President Scott Stringer and Council
Member Melissa Mark-Viverito.In addition to other City and State
government officials, also in attendance were Ed Blumenfeld and David
Blumenfeld of Blumenfeld Development Group, Bruce Ratner of Forest City Ratner Companies, and Peter Davidson, Executive Director of
the Empire State Development Corp.
In the fall of 2005, UMEZ approved a $15
million Business Investments loan and $40 million in triple-tax exempt
Empowerment Zone Bonds towards the development of the 485,000 square foot mall.The Mall’s retail tenants include Costco,
Buy, Target, Bob’s Discount Furniture, GameStop,
Navy, Marshall’s, Kidstown, Verizon and PetSmart.Several of these tenants have already opened,
with the remainder scheduled to open within the week.
project represents the single largest investment UMEZ has ever made and brings
our total investment in East Harlem to over $100 million,” said Mr. Knuckles.
“East River Plaza not only brings additional quality retail choices to Upper Manhattan,
but even more importantly, it represents job creation. In the case of this mall,
more than 1,000 jobs will be for residents of this community.”
Among other amenities, East River Plaza Mall
has an attached 1,250-space parking facility. It sits primarily on the site of
the former Washburn Wire factory and
consists of nearly six acres that are adjacent to the FDR Drive between 116th
and 119th Streets. The mall is directly accessible via the 116th Street exit of
the FDR Drive.
THE Upper Manhattan Empowerment ZoneDEVELOPMENT CORP.
UMEZ seeks to revitalize
distressed communities by using geographically targeted public funds and tax
incentives as catalysts for private investment. In Upper
Manhattan, the communities that lie within the Empowerment Zone's
borders include Harlem, East Harlem,
Washington Heights and Inwood.