Submitted by ub on Fri, 08/08/2014 - 14:38

It's been billed as the largest mall in NYC. On August 14, interested shoppers will have a look and decide if this just completed addition represents a new life for a twenty five year old mall.

Back in 1957 the first fully enclosed shopping mall was built in USA. Since then, shopping had been a favorite American pastime. New shopping malls changed the landscape of multiple communities across this country at the rate of 140 a year.

Most Americans grew up near malls and experienced fond memories, but today many shopping malls are closing and being replaced by online shopping. 2007 was the first year that no malls were built in the US. Since then, that number has steadily declined.

What does one do with an older mall? Do you allow it to decay, or give it a new life for area wide shoppers? That is exactly what Israeli developer Sam Shalem, chairman and CEO of Prestige Properties, the owner of The Mall at Bay Plaza will try to accomplish when the facility opens to the public on Thursday, August 14 after breaking ground back in May 15, 2012.

City Island Images asked for new photos, but Marketing Director Maranda Askar said we had to wait to see the new space on opening day. We were also told there would be music and other surprises opening day.

Although it took over two years and $300 million to complete the major addition to the Bay Plaza Shopping Center, this center for commerce was originally built in 1988. These new stores, along with four restaurants and a food court will create more than 1000 jobs and what about he traffic? We'll just have to wait and see how serious the future road congestion will be?

Meanwhile, starting on August 14th and through the following weekend, bands will play near the entrance of the mall and alternate starting August 14 through August 17th.

The Barry Bryson Orchestra. Five pieces with vocals for Broadway and New York theme music. Also orchestrating fanfares for the ribbon cutting. From "New York, New York" to saluting Broadway and NY Jazz Giants, they even play homage to the beloved Bronx Bombers.

Viva la Salsa & Latin Jazz, Raf Astor & Rumba Gitana. Latin heritage celebration with a classic homage to Salsa & Latin Jazz.

Island Jam! Elegant Caribbean sounds with steel drums and guitars. Calypso, Reggae and good old Rock 'n Roll.

For additional information, please contact Emma Dawson, Mall General Manager.