The biggest sale at the Kings Plaza Shopping Center this week was the mall itself.
The owner of a popular and busy mall in Queens has scooped up the Kings Plaza Shopping Center on Flatbush Avenue and Avenue U for a whopping $751 million.
The Macerich Company, which already owns the Queens Center Mall — one of the busiest and most profitable in the country — will close on the deal with Vornado Realty Trust for the Mill Basin mall, where tenants pay nearly twice the national average in rent.
And some neighborhood stakeholders say they’re looking forward to a change in management.
“I’m really excited about it,” said Community Board 18 district manager Dorothy Turano. “Vornado was not a good neighbor. We’re hoping Macerich will be more responsible and neighborhood friendly.”
The soon-to-be former ownership created waves when it jacked up the price of parking at the mall to $3 a spot, a move that Turano said resulted in motorists circling the neighborhood looking for free parking on the street.
Turano added that other Flatbush Avenue businesses even needed to bring on staff to manage the overflow of cars seeking free spaces in their lots.
“Raymour and Flanigan had to hire a parking attendant to keep everyone going to Kings Plaza out,” she said.
Representatives of Macerich could not be reached for comment, but the Queens Center Mall — which is also a transit hub that many drivers use as a park-and-ride — charges for parking, with $7 early-bird specials for drivers who arrive between 5 am and 9 am and leave by 9 pm. Hourly parking ranges from $3 per hour to $20 for more than six hours.
Kings Plaza was built by Macy’s and opened in 1970 as the city’s first indoor shopping center with 79 stores. It increased to 125 retail outlets a year later, including the stores Buster Brown, the Singer Sewing Center, Bun N’Burger, and the Orange Bowl.
Macy’s sold the mall in 1985 to the now-defunct Alexander’s, also a Vornado entity. The shopping center underwent a $50 million renovation in the late 1990s, at which time Sears moved into a part of the Alexander’s space. The remainder was occupied by Modell’s sporting goods on the first floor and Old Navy on the second floor.
Today, Kings Plaza includes 150 stores and restaurants, including the Brooklyn Cyclones official team store, and the world’s first Sbarro pizza outlet.