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Green Acres Mall owner to spend $163 million to renovate, add retail space

Pictured is an architect's rendering of Green Acres

Pictured is an architect's rendering of Green Acres Commons, a new $83 million shopping center to be built adjacent to Green Acres Mall in Valley Stream. Photo Credit: Macerich Co.

The owner of Green Acres Mall plans to build an $83.7 million shopping center adjacent to the Valley Stream mall, plus spend an estimated $79 million on improvements to the mall.

The new retail center -- Green Acres Commons -- will feature big box name brands and will replace the Sunrise Multiplex Cinemas, which showed its last movie Jan. 19.

Santa Monica, California-based Macerich Co., the mall's owner, is expected to submit an application this week to demolish the movie theater, according to building department officials with the Village of Valley Stream.

Improvements to portions of the approximately 1.7 million-square-foot mall are already underway. The mall will remain open during the renovation work, which is expected to take 15 years to complete, according to documents from the Hempstead Industrial Development Agency.

The plan includes improvements to the mall's facade, including street-side entrances to stores, as well as new security equipment, interior and exterior lighting, seating, food court furniture and the replacement of an aging roof.

In December, Macerich was granted financial aid for the mall project, including a sales tax exemption of approximately $6 million over 14 years; a mortgage recording tax exemption of an undetermined amount; and a 10-year payment in lieu of taxes agreement with an optional five-year extension as long as the mall's 2,774 full- and part-time employees are retained during the renovation, according to Edie Longo, deputy executive director of the IDA.

Because the Hempstead IDA does not give tax assistance to retail projects, Macerich had to qualify Green Acres as a tourist destination that brings at least 51 percent of its business from outside the county. According to survey results from Macerich, 73 percent of the mall's shoppers come from outside Nassau County.

Macerich plans to complete the new two-story Commons shopping center in late 2016. The 220,600-square-foot building will eventually be surrounded by 163,330 square feet of additional restaurant and retail space.

"We know Green Acres has great potential due to its location and size," a Green Acres spokeswoman said in an email.

The developer is also seeking financial aid for the construction of the Commons center.

Macerich, which owns 53 shopping centers including the Queens Center Mall, bought Green Acres in 2012 for $500 million from Manhattan-based Vornado Realty Trust. The company purchased the adjacent movie theater in 2013 for $22.5 million, according to property records.

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