Empire Outlets New York City, a 350,000-square-foot retail outlet complex in the St. George neighborhood of Staten Island opened May 15. Construction on Empire Outlets started in 2015. When the $300-million center is fully completed in August 2019, it will include 100 designer outlets. It is the first outlet mall in New York City. The mall is located next to the St. George Terminal, a major ferry, train and bus hub.
Tenants include H&M, Nordstrom Rack (scheduled to open in July), Nike, Banana Republic and Old Navy. The property was developed by BFC Partners with the help of $47 million in state subsidies. The outlet center attracted 165,000 shoppers on opening weekend and is averaging 20,000 visitors a day.
A significant number of visitors are tourists, according to Joseph Ferrara, principal in BFC Partners. The property is near the Staten Island Ferry, which transports 4.5 million people annually to and from Manhattan. Now many who use the ferry can add outlet shopping to their itineraries. The owners of Empire Outlets are joining forces with tour operators; the plan is to bring shoppers by the busload or on the ferry as an add-on to lower Manhattan tours.