By David Brand
The 53-year-old Queens Place mall in Elmhurst is not closing, in spite of what a local community board chairperson said last week, the building owner told the Eagle Monday.
Community Board 4 Chair Louis Walker dropped a bombshell about potential plans to close the 440,000-square-foot shopping center at a community board meeting last week, but property owner Madison International Realty denied that claim.
“Queens Place Mall is not closing. Queens Place is a prime location and the facility will continue to serve the neighborhood,” a spokesperson for Madison International Realty told the Eagle.
Madison also said they were not aware of plans for Target, which occupies two of the circular structure’s five floors, to leave Queens Place.
“To our knowledge and based on our discussions with the company, Target has no plans to move from Queens Place,” Madison said. “In fact, Target has recently invested in remodeling and updating its store at the mall. We are proud to have Target as a partner at Queens Place, a prime location and facility that will continue to serve the neighborhood.”
The confusion began when Walker announced the pending closure of Queens Place — which opened in October 1965 — at the monthly CB4 meeting on April 9, the Queens Chronicle reported. But Walker did not provide much more information than that.
“While there’s no official announcement it appears the site will be closing and after the closing the question is will they reopen it or will they decide not to reopen it as a mall?” Walker said at the meeting. “That’s a rather large parcel of land so we should be quite concerned to know what’s going to end up in that space if it doesn’t remain a mall.”
In addition to Target, the five-story mall features a DSW, Best Buy and Macy’s Backstage outlet store. At the meeting, Walker said the Target could move to Middle Village’s Rentar Plaza, where a Kmart and Toys “R” Us have both shut down, leaving the hulking structure largely vacant.
“I cannot confirm that,” Rentar spokesperson Felice Bassin told the Eagle in reference to Target. “I don’t know anything.”
Bassin also told QNS that she could not confirm Target’s plans on April 10.
A Target spokesperson told QNS that the big-box store did not plan to close its Queens Place store, however.*
Walker did not respond to the Eagle’s request for comment Monday.
Lest the confusion continue, the owners of the Queens Center mall — located next door to Queens Place — want to dispel any rumors from spreading about their own Queens Boulevard shopping center.
Macerich, the real estate developer that owns the Queens Center mall, said they knew nothing about possible plans to close Queens Place. And they assured the Eagle that Queens Center is thriving
“Queens Center is here to stay,” said Macerich spokesperson Cara Mauer.
“This is the first I’m hearing about that,” said Judd Mohel, the senior manager of business development Macerich’s Metro New York arm, referring to the possible plans to close Queens Place. “Queens Center isn’t going anywhere.”
*This story has been updated to reflect QNS’ Target reporting.