Kings Plaza in 2017.
|Address||5100 Kings Plaza|
(2509 Flatbush Avenue)
Brooklyn, NY 11234
|Opening date||September 11, 1970|
|No. of stores and services||150|
|No. of anchor tenants||6|
|No. of floors||2|
|Public transit access||MTA Bus: B2, B3, B9, B41, B46, B46 SBS, B47, Q35 |
New York City Subway:
trains at Flatbush Avenue-Brooklyn College (via B41 and Q35)
train at Avenue U (via B3)
|Website||Kings Plaza Online|
Kings Plaza Shopping Center is a shopping center within the Marine Park/Mill Basin section of Brooklyn, New York City, near the Flatlands and Bergen Beach neighborhoods. Opened in September 1970, it is located at the southeast corner of Flatbush Avenue and Avenue U, just north of Floyd Bennett Field. The mall's anchor tenants include Best Buy, Burlington, JCPenney, Lowe's, Macy's, Primark, and Zara.
The mall was originally owned by a joint venture between R.H. Macy's and Alexander's, and is currently owned and managed by Macerich. With approximately 4,200 jobs in retail services and over 120 individual stores, Kings Plaza is the largest indoor shopping center within the borough of Brooklyn.
Kings Plaza is located along the south side of Avenue U, between Flatbush Avenue to the west and East 58th Street to the east.  The mall occupies 23 acres of land. The primary block of the mall lies between Flatbush Avenue and East 55th Street. It contains two levels of mall stores, along with the Macy's and former Sears/Alexander's anchor locations which are both four floors high. Both anchor stores contain around 330,000 square feet of space. At the south end of the block is a multi-level parking garage, accessible from northbound Flatbush Avenue and East 55th Street. The garage was built using specialized prestressed concrete columns, and holds nearly 4,000 cars. The eastern block is solely occupied by a Lowe's location and its adjoining parking lot. The block was entirely used for parking prior to the construction of the Lowe's. At the easternmost end of the site extending to East 58th Street is Mill Basin Plaza, a separate complex owned by Kimco Realty. It features Home Depot, Walgreens, and Petland Discounts stores.
Unlike traditional malls in the United States, shoppers visiting Kings Plaza (as well as most other malls within New York City) have to pay for parking their cars on mall premises in the parking garage. The parking fee is currently $3 per vehicle.
To the east and south of the mall is the Mill Basin Inlet, which separates the mall from the neighborhood of the same name. A marina called the Kings Plaza Marina is located along the perimeter of the parking garage. The original purpose of the marina was to allow shoppers to travel to the mall by boat.
Kings Plaza has its own cogeneration plant on the roof of the mall, dubbed the Kings Plaza Total Energy Plant. The plant currently uses four Deutz AG natural gas engines to produce the mall's entire electricity needs with no connection to the Con Edison grid, while the heat from the engine exhaust is used to heat and cool the building. The plant, which was built with the mall, originally used five Nordberg-built diesel engines.
The mall acts as a terminal for the bus routes in the area. The B2, B9, B41, B46 and B46 SBS utilize a dedicated bus terminal on the Flatbush Avenue side of the mall, the B3 and Q35 serve the mall at intermediate stops, and the B47 terminates at the Avenue U entrance to the mall. The terminal was renovated in 2005. Since April 2017 due to construction, B2 and B9 buses terminate at the northeast corner of Flatbush Avenue and Avenue U, using the existing Q35 stop.
The closest New York City Subway stations are the Flatbush Avenue–Brooklyn College station on the IRT Nostrand Avenue Line in Midwood, and the Avenue U and Kings Highway stations on the BMT Brighton Line in Sheepshead Bay and Midwood respectively.
Prior to the construction of Kings Plaza, the site was occupied by a Standard Oil petroleum storage facility, built in the 1930s. The site was later occupied by a plastics producer and an auto garage. In 1965, the Alexander's department store chain announced it would build a new store at Flatbush Avenue and Avenue U, in order to expand to Southeast Brooklyn in response to residential development in Flatlands and Canarsie. Alexander's was competing with E. J. Korvette to build a store in the area. By 1966, the mall was planned as a joint venture between Macy's and Alexander's.
Ground was broken on the Kings Plaza Shopping Center and Marina on July 8, 1968. The ceremonies were officiated by Alexander's president Alexander S. Farkas and Macy's president David L. Yunich, with Mayor John Lindsay and Brooklyn Borough President Abe Stark in attendance. Financing for the project was provided by John Hancock Financial. As part of the mall's construction, Flatbush Avenue and Avenue U were both rehabilitated, which included expanding Flatbush south of Utica Avenue to its current width. The bus terminal on Flatbush Avenue was also built along with the mall.
Opening and early history
The mall opened in fall 1970, right after Labor Day, with 79 stores. Among these stores was the world's first Sbarro pizza restaurant. The mall was the first in the city to be fully enclosed and air conditioned. In protest of the new mall, local residents barricaded nearby side streets to prevent traffic congestion from spilling over to residential blocks. By 1971, the mall expanded to 125 stores.
In 1985, Macy's sold 50% ownership of the mall to Alexander's. In 1988, the remaining 50% share was sold to Alexander's. In 1992, Alexander's filed for bankruptcy and closed all its stores including the Kings Plaza location. The space remained vacant until 1997, when Sears took over the site.
In May 1999, the mall began a $50 million renovation program, which included a new glass entrance at Flatbush Avenue, and upgrades to the mall interior. Around 2002, the mall's owners planned to construct an addition to the mall, on the parking lot on the east side of 55th Street. As originally planned, it would have added 100,000 square feet to the mall, with a home improvement store, a multiplex theater replacing the original mall theater, and indoor parking space. A new complex on the site had been planned going back to 1997. In mid-2003, the parking lot was closed in preparation for the addition. In 2005, Lowe's signed on to occupy the home improvement store. The expansion faced community backlash due to fears of increased traffic in the area. The developers, Vornado Realty Trust (the successors to Alexander's), and the New York City Department of City Planning were also accused of conspiring to keep the local community in the dark about the progress of the addition. The community opposition led the developers to downsize the expansion to the single Lowe's store. Construction began in 2009, and the Lowe's was opened on July 23, 2010.
It was announced in May 2012 that Alexander's/Vornado planned to sell the mall with the rest of the Vornado enclosed mall portfolio, and in October 2012, Macerich announced it was buying the mall in a deal that closed at the end of 2012.
In summer 2014, the center started a significant renovation project that includes: reconstruction of its parking garage, renovation of the exterior façade and signage, as well as a renovation of the interior common areas and décor. The property also houses retailers such as Michael Kors, Fossil, Justice and Brothers, and Chipotle.
In June 2016, it was announced that Sears would close down at Kings Plaza in September 2016 and be replaced by two European retailers: Primark and Zara. It was subsequently announced that Burlington would be opening in Summer 2018 in the former fourth floor offices of Sears, while JCPenney opened a multilevel, 75,000 square feet (7,000 m2) store in a portion of the former Sears in August 2018.
On December 26, 2013, several hundred teenagers assaulted visitors and vandalized the mall, forcing it to close down. The incident began at about 5 p.m. and continued until the mall shuttered at 7 p.m. A temporary "no teens" rule was issued, banning all underaged people without an accompanying adult. One teenage girl was arrested, but not charged. No people were killed or seriously injured during the attack. It was reported that the incident was a violent flashmob organized via social networking services and intended to become the "world's largest knockout game".
On the morning of September 17, 2018, a seven-alarm fire broke out on the second and third floor levels of the mall's parking garage. Between 250 and 300 firefighters responded to the fire, and 21 people were injured by the fire, including 18 firefighters. One hundred and twenty cars belonging to a car dealership were parked on the second level. The New York City Police Department detained a suspect and filed arson charges the same day.
- Best Buy (opened 2011)
- Burlington (opened 2018)
- JCPenney (opened 2018)
- Lowe's (opened 2010) - outparcel
- Macy's (opened 1970)
- Primark (opened 2018)
- Zara (opened 2018)
- Alexander's (1970–1991)
- Century Theatres (1970 – c. 1995), Loew's Theatres (1995–2005), AMC Loew's (2005–2010)
- Sears (1997–2016)
- Barmash, Isadore (September 4, 1970). "Brooklyn Shopping Center to Open in Week" (PDF). The New York Times. Retrieved January 30, 2016.
- "Kings Plaza Shopping Center: Tenant Design Criteria" (PDF). Macerich. March 2017.
- William B. Helmreich (October 4, 2016). The Brooklyn Nobody Knows: An Urban Walking Guide. Princeton University Press. pp. 267–268. ISBN 978-0-691-16682-7.
- "Mill Basin Plaza". Kimco Realty. Retrieved May 20, 2017.
- "Shopping Plaza and Marina Are Dedicated in Brooklyn" (PDF). The New York Times. July 9, 1968. Retrieved May 20, 2017.
- Shelby, Joyce (January 21, 2001). "NEW BEGINNING FOR MALL Kings Plaza gets $50M face - lift". New York Daily News. Retrieved May 20, 2017.
- "Civic Assn., Plaza Map Parking Plan". Brooklyn Daily. Fultonhistory.com. July 12, 1969. p. 3. Retrieved May 20, 2017.
- "Huge Kings Plaza Shopping Center Opening Planned For September 11". Wave of Long Island. Fultonhistory.com. September 3, 1970. p. 1. Retrieved May 20, 2017.
- Rybstein, D. (September 25, 2003). "CB 18 Continues Opposition To Kings Plaza Expansion". Canarsie Courier. Retrieved May 22, 2017.
- Buiso, Gary (February 23, 2006). "With No Permits, Kings Plaza Expansion In Limbo; Cleanup Awaits". TimesLedger. Retrieved May 22, 2017.
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- Sloane, Leonard (August 6, 1965). "It's Brooklyn and Yonkers for Alexander's; ALEXANDER'S SETS TWO NEW STORES" (PDF). The New York Times. pp. 33, 37. Retrieved May 20, 2017.
- "Mammouth Shopping Center To Provide Electricity For Its Own Needs". New York and Brooklyn Daily. Fultonhistory.com. August 7, 1970. p. 8. Retrieved May 20, 2017.
- Mormile, Dara (April 28, 2005). "CB 18 Approves Kings Plaza Bus Terminal Changes". Canarsie Courier. Retrieved January 20, 2016.
- "Brooklyn Bus Map" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. November 2017. Retrieved April 24, 2018.
- "Plan Major Repairs On Flatbush Avenue". Brooklyn Daily. Fultonhistory.com. April 1, 1970. Retrieved May 20, 2017.
- "Anatomy of a Route: Reducing Delays on the B41 bus" (PDF). Transportation Alternatives, Straphangers Campaign, Schaller Consulting. July 18, 2003. Retrieved May 22, 2017.
- "DOT and MTA Announce Reconstruction of Kings Plaza Mall Bus Terminal". New York City Department of Transportation. June 24, 2005. Retrieved May 22, 2017.
- Mormile, Dara (April 28, 2005). "CB 18 Approves Kings Plaza Bus Terminal Changes". Dara Mormile. Retrieved May 22, 2017.
- Cuba, Julianne (April 27, 2017). "MTA moved bus stops without warning: CB18". Brooklyn Daily. Retrieved May 22, 2017.
- "Voluntary Cleanup Program; Operable Unit (OU)-3 – Former Standard Oil Terminal Kings Plaza Shopping Center". New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. May 13, 2002. Archived from the original on May 15, 2015. Retrieved May 22, 2017.
- "FACT SHEET: Kings Plaza Shopping Center/Marina Voluntary Cleanup Program; Remedy Proposed for Voluntary Cleanup Site Contamination; Public Comment Period Announced" (PDF). New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. May 2016. Archived from the original (PDF) on January 27, 2017. Retrieved May 22, 2017.
- Barmash, Isadore (March 20, 1965). "Alexander's and Korvette Seek Big Brooklyn Site in Flatlands; Alexander's and Korvette Seek Big Brooklyn Site in Flat Lands" (PDF). The New York Times. pp. 31, 39. Retrieved May 20, 2017.
- Bennett, Charles G. (July 29, 1966). "Macy's and Alexander's to Build Joint Brooklyn Shopping Center; Macy's and Alexander's to Build Joint Brooklyn Shopping Center" (PDF). The New York Times. pp. 1, 28. Retrieved May 20, 2017.
- "NEWS OF REALTY: PROPERTY TRADED; Manhattan Parcels Gained for Massachusetts Plot" (PDF). The New York Times. February 1, 1968. Retrieved May 20, 2017.
- Kadinsky, Sergey (2016). Hidden Waters of New York City: A History and Guide to 101 Forgotten Lakes, Ponds, Creeks, and Streams in the Five Boroughs. Countryman Press. p. 187. ISBN 978-1-58157-566-8.
- "Flatbush Streets Blocked To Protest Heavy Traffic". The New York Times. September 13, 1970. Retrieved May 22, 2017.
- Hudson, Edward (September 12, 1970). "Residents Block Brooklyn Roads". The New York Times. Retrieved May 22, 2017.
- Bodamer, Dave (November 21, 2002). "ROYAL TREATMENT: Brooklyn's Kings Plaza gets a major renovation designed to modernize the 30- year-old mall" (PDF). International Council of Shopping Centers. Retrieved May 21, 2017.
- Fisher, Ian (May 16, 1992). "11 Closings: The Impact Rumbles In Region". The New York Times. Retrieved May 20, 2017.
- Shelby, Joyce (February 29, 1996). "Mill Basin Shops For Solution". New York Daily News. Retrieved May 20, 2017.
- Lueck, Thomas J. (February 14, 1997). "Sears to Open 110 Stores in New York by End of 1999". The New York Times. Retrieved May 20, 2017.
- Feiden, Douglas (February 14, 1997). "Sear to Open Giant Stores in MAnhattan, B'klyn". New York Daily News. Retrieved May 20, 2017.
- Fung, Amanda (January 19, 2010). "After 10 years, Crown family wins big in Brooklyn: Court throws out long-running case that had sought $120 million in damages over aborted plans to build theater complex near Kings Plaza". Crain's New York. Retrieved May 22, 2017.
- Friedman, Neil S. (August 14, 2003). "Pol Charges Mall Developer Has 'Unholy Alliance' With City". Canarsie Courier. Retrieved May 22, 2017.
- Berke, Ned (September 11, 2009). "Lowe's-Kings Plaza Gets a Wall". Bklyner. Retrieved May 22, 2017.
- "Lowe's to open in Mill Basin on July 23". New York Post. June 22, 2010. Retrieved May 22, 2017.
- Courier Life (January 19, 2010). "Kings Plaza Theater closes doors". New York Post. Retrieved May 21, 2017.
- "Kings Plaza Mall Renovation". Stratford Engineers. October 23, 2013. Retrieved May 21, 2017.
- Nadja Brandt, Bloomberg. "Vornado To Hold Quarterly Calls, Sell Some Retail Centers." April 13, 2012. Retrieved July 13, 2012.
- Ilaina Jonas, Reuters. "Macerich to buy two malls from Vornado and Vornado affiliate." October 22, 2012. Retrieved October 23, 2012.
- Cuba, Julianne (June 17, 2016). "Sears ya Later!Department store departing Kings Plaza, makeover to follow". Brooklyn Daily. Retrieved June 30, 2016.[permanent dead link]
- "Burlington to open huge store at Kings Plaza Shopping Center". The Real Deal New York. December 28, 2017. Retrieved July 13, 2018.
- "JCPenney Debuts Second Brooklyn Store". The Daily Times. January 1, 1970. Retrieved July 13, 2018.
- Guariglia, Matthew (December 28, 2013). "400 NYC Teens Start a Mall 'Knockout' Riot". Heavy. Retrieved December 29, 2013.
- "Facebook post to put Kings Plaza Mall 'on tilt' incites flash mob, fighting at Brooklyn shopping center". New York Daily News. December 27, 2013. Retrieved December 29, 2013.
- "Hundreds of teens trash mall in wild flash mob". New York Post. December 28, 2013. Retrieved December 29, 2013.
- "Police investigate Kings Plaza fire as arson". Retrieved September 17, 2018.
- West, Melanie Grayce; Honan, Katie (September 17, 2018). "Police Call Fire at Popular Brooklyn Shopping Center Suspicious". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved September 17, 2018.
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