In late 2011, the announcement that Filene’s Basement would be closing its doors presented both a challenge and an opportunity for Kimco’s Manhasset Center in Manhasset, New York. The well-known department store was the center’s anchor tenant, occupying a 60,000-square-foot, three-story building on Northern Boulevard’s ‘Miracle Mile,’ one of Long Island’s most heavily trafficked shopping corridors. The task of filling this vacancy allowed us to re-imagine and reconfigure our anchor space, while bringing a new look and life that would transform the center in today’s consumer landscape.

The initial objective was to identify an exceptional tenant that would drive foot traffic and excite consumers at Manhasset Center. Instead, we found two: DSW and Nordstrom Rack. By placing these marquee retailers alongside our existing tenant, Marshalls, we created a powerful trifecta of tenants that established our center as a true destination for discount designer fashion.

The second goal was to restructure the space by giving it a contemporary design, improved curb appeal, and increased visibility. The new façade also sought to break up the massing of the prior structure in a way that would give each tenant its own unique entrance, vertical transportation, and branding.

Implementation of the redevelopment presented various planning and construction challenges, including navigating municipal permitting hurdles and working within the confines of a 50-year-old structure. We overcame the first obstacle by working closely with the municipality to avoid triggering a complex approval process – a strategy that allowed us to accelerate our construction start date by six months. Next, we aggressively value engineered the project’s design, which enabled us to complete construction under budget and produce a higher yield for our stakeholders.

BEFORE AND AFTER: A look at the façade renovation plans that would transform Manhasset Center’s anchor tenant space

As part of the newly split building, DSW now occupies 17,000 square feet of retail space on the building’s first level and a portion of the basement level, and Nordstrom Rack occupies 34,000 square feet on the balance of the first level and the entire second level.

This May, DSW was able to officially open its doors at Manhasset Center, welcoming in shoe shoppers from all over the region. On June 5, Nordstrom Rack also held a grand opening event complete with music, coffee, and prizes. Shoppers at the event could enter a raffle for a chance to win one of 30 $100 gift cards, and one lucky winner received a $1,000 shopping spree and early access through its ‘Rule the Rack’ sweepstakes. The first 1,000 customers who made a purchase at the new Nordstrom Rack also received a complimentary Nordstrom Rack tote as a gift.

RULE THE RACK: Nordstrom Rack employees welcome shoppers to the new store

RULE THE RACK: Nordstrom Rack employees welcome shoppers to the new store

The success of both grand opening events exceeded expectations, with swarms of shoppers heading to Manhasset Center to be among the first to check out the new shops. Kimco is confident that the reinvigoration of the center will not only benefit Nordstrom Rack and DSW, but will also generate additional traffic and visibility for the other tenants at the center.