New Planned Shopping Center Next To Forest Hills

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Forest Hills Gardens residents love to shop on Austin Street. But The Shops at Atlas Park, opened in 2006 and managed by Forest Hills Gardens resident Damon Hemmerdinger, provided a new – indoor/outdoor shopping option. With stores like Stein Mart, Borders and Jos A Bank, the shopping center, by all accounts, seemed to be growing – albeit slowly – and on its way to providing one of the nicest shopping experiences in New York.

In 2011 Macerich, the operators of the Queens Center Mall, took over the operations at Atlas and have slowly been changing the look and feel there. Anchor tenants remain Regal Cinemas, Johnny Rockets and Shiro of Japan – and new tenant Forever 21 seems to breathe some new air into the facility – although some of the larger chain stores have resisted putting roots there.

The industrial properties adjacent to Atlas, owned by the Hemmerdinger family was recently listed for sale and reports have surfaced that Mr. Hemmerdinger had been involved in the planning of a new shopping center. Now a new shopping center is slated for development on Cooper Avenue, just East of the Shops at Atlas Park.

Schuckman Realty, a Woodbury-based real estate firm, was recently selected to manage the site owned by the Hemmerdinger family in a two-phase development process expected for completion by the spring of 2016. Phase one is slated for the fall of 2015.

While Schuckman Realty representatives said they are not prepared to make a comment and have yet to release information as to the types of businesses expected for the new shopping center between 84th St. and the Shops at Atlas Park, they do allude to plans for three anchor tenants and a grocery store in documents outlining the development design.

According to the Schuckman Realty website, they have plans to announce the results of current “negotiations with numerous big box retailers” at a later date.

Although some rumors in the community speculate Target or a Fairway Supermarket, we are not able to substantiate those reports at this time.

Meanwhile, they have released that the, ”suburban style shopping center,” has the possibility for stores and restaurants between 1,000 and 14,500 square feet with outdoor seating and drive-thru options.

With size constraints taken into consideration, Glendale’s Community Board 5 chairman Vincent Arcuri speculated that a Fairway Market could be a possibility for a small-scale grocery store anchor.

“I think Fairway has been going into smaller restaurant type locations in Manhattan,” he suggested.

As for the possibility for success, he added that it all comes down to advertising.

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