The Mall at the Source will add a Lord & Taylor outlet store to its roster this summer, a move its leasing agent expects will boost efforts to turn around the long-struggling Westbury property.
The 50,000-square-foot outlet store will replace the Nordstrom Rack location, which recently moved down the street to the new Gallery at Westbury Plaza, said Jeremy Isaacs, a Jericho-based Ripco Real Estate broker who represented the landlord and tenant in the deal. The mall also has signed the Jewelry Emporium and Mall, a space housing about 60 small vendors expected to open later this week.
"It's very significant, obviously," Isaacs said. "It's a shot in the arm."
Last August, lenders took over ownership of the Source mall after a foreclosure auction found no buyers willing to pay $148 million to settle its debts. The owners hope to lease vacant spaces and sell the mall in three or four years, Isaacs said.
The Source mall sits in the middle of a nationally known retail hub surrounded by affluent communities. Last year, the Gallery at Westbury Plaza joined the shopping cluster, adding an eclectic mix of outlet stores and retailers like Trader Joe's supermarket and the Shake Shack restaurant. Isaacs said that the Source's goal is to attract "discount-oriented" or outlet tenants to the mall.
"There are enough of those tenants out there and it's a category that's very hot," Isaacs said. "A lot of them want to be in the Westbury-Roosevelt Field market."
The recovering economy will make leasing easier now than it had been several years ago, when anchor tenants like Fortunoff filed for bankruptcy and closed, said David Pennetta, chairman of development for the Commercial Industrial Brokers Society of Long Island.
Lord & Taylor is "a destination store," said Barry Berman, a Hofstra University business professor, who once served as a consultant when the Fortunoff family owned the property. "They will generate their own store traffic and won't be reliant on stores nearby."
Amram Attias, who holds the lease to the Jewelry Emporium and Mall, also hopes to bring customers to the Source mall. The 35,000-square-foot space will be located in the former site of Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th. Attias said he wanted to provide a site for small vendors who had inhabited an indoor bazaar he ran for 31 years.
"We would be good for the mall," Attias said, "because hopefully we will create movement."