CO-OP CITY - New York City's first indoor mall to be built in decades marked its one-year anniversary Friday with music and a T-shirt giveaway, but some shoppers say the mall continues to pose transportation problems.
Millions of people have passed through the doors of the Mall at Bay Plaza since it opened in August 2014 in Co-op City.
Mall owner Prestige Properties says many changes have happened since the grand opening. Businesses such as retailer Forever 21 and Billy Beez, an amusement area for children, have set up shop inside the massive mall. A fitness center is also expected to open inside the mall.
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But drivers say navigating traffic around the mall is stressful, especially during the holidays. "You gotta wait an hour sometimes," says shopper Sonya Ortiz. "An hour, just to get into the parking lot."
"We have improved access to the center, and the DOT ... helped us do that," says Sam Shalem, of Prestige Properties.
In the past year, drivers have complained about traffic congestion, and people taking public transportation said buses were very overcrowded near the mall.
The MTA plans to extend weekend service for the Bx5 bus next month, making the shopping center the last stop instead of Pelham Bay.