Developer Sol Atlas built the first open-air shopping mall in the New York City region. It is located in the suburb of Yonkers, on a 71 acre tract, and opened in 1954. The center was among the largest built at the time, with 885,000 square feet of leasable space. The two anchors in the original mall were Wanamaker’s and Gimbel’s. Nowadays, these stores are occupied by Sears and Macy’s. There was also a four building hospital complex on the south side of the center. However, the hospital closed some years back, and is now utilized as additional retail and office space.
Unbelievable as it may seem, CROSS COUNTY is still the same open-air shopping center that it started out as. Over its fifty years in business, there have been no major renovations. The mall was never enclosed and air-conditioned, during the 1960′s and 70′s, when most older, open-air centers were. In this new millennium of retail, everything old is new again. Enclosed malls are now being demolished by the dozen, or else, being converted to roofless shopping centers.
At CROSS COUNTY, a major remodeling job got underway in 2006. However, the center is going to be left essentially the same…but just upgraded to a modern, lifestyle-type mall. Improvements will include facelifts of all exteriors, refurbishment of the existing pedestrian mall and eight-story office building, demolition of 47,000 square feet of retail space and construction of 245,000 square feet of new stores and restaurants. The Macy’s store will also be expanded. 265 million dollars is to be spent on these, and other, renovations over the next three years.