Flushing Caldor site to become mixed-use mall

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The former site of the Caldor department store in downtown Flushing is slated to open by the end of the year as a mall with a wide range of new amenities for area shoppers.

In the building located at the intersection of Main Street and Roosevelt Avenue, construction has been underway for months on what will be called the “New World Mall.”

“This mall will have a supermarket, restaurants, lots of stores,” said Sharon Shi, a broker for Perfect Group Realty, which represents the project. “It’s a mixed-use, brand new shopping mall.”

But the supermarket might be a point of contention with the area’s non-Asian residents, many of whom have been vocally opposed to the conversion of two Key Food store locations into Asian groceries in the past year.

Community Board 7 District Manager Marilyn Bitterman said she believes the supermarket will primarily serve American foods, but will offer an Asian food section.

“They’re very receptive,” she said. “They want to bring in American stores, not just have an Asian mall.”

But on Tuesday, Shi said the store will be a primarily Asian one.

“It will not be an American supermarket,” she said. “The majority of people are Chinese, so the purpose is to pick up a Chinese supermarket, but of course there will be American food, too.”

The mall will have a “huge” catering hall on the third floor, a variety of American, Chinese and Korean stores, a food court, a rooftop restaurant and more, according to Shi.

The basement parking lot currently has about 300 spots, according to Bitterman, but valet parking could allow for more cars to occupy the space.

Work is ongoing on various aspects of the site, including the building’s escalator and elevator, which will descend into the parking lot to ensure ease of access to the shops.

“Our goal is to open in November,” Shi said. “I’m hoping we open on time, but we still have some work to finish up.”

Reach reporter Connor Adams Sheets by e-mail at csheets@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4538.

Updated 6:30 pm, October 10, 2011
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