Submitted by ub on Thu, 08/14/2014 - 15:17

The Mall at Bay Plaza officially opened their doors to the public today. The first enclosed mall in 40 years in NYC promises to bring nearly two thousand permanent jobs to The Bronx. With over 100 stores, restaurants, a movie theater and a 24-hour fitness center.

Ready for business, with limited live music, free food and promotions. Browsers were in abundance, but most were curiosity and bargain seekers, but not shopping yet. The usual suspects were also there, including plenty of elected officials, public servants, police officers and private security. NY Senator Jeff Klein was a no show because he is on a political junket to Israel.

Israeli Iraqi Sam Shalem, Chairman and CEO of Prestige is banking on his expanded version of The Mall At Bay Plaza. He told City Island Images that he expects shoppers will continue to visit to his shopping center to participate in the mall experience and is happy to have helped create local jobs. “It’s humbling to know that we have brought a number of new stores and jobs to the borough.” His timing appears to have been perfect, as the shopping season will soon be gearing up in full force, not only for back to school sales, but also for the holidays.

The shopping mall includes a 160,000-square-foot Macy’s, which is be the first time the retailer is opening a new location within the city in 15 years, and the existing JC Penney as the main tenants. More than 100 retail shops have been built, many of which will operate in The Bronx for the first time. H&M, Ulta, Victoria Secret, Kay Jewelers, the Gap, Aeropostale and others. We saw large crowds outside of H&M and Victoria's Secret, which were offering special promotions.…

One shopper, Michelle wanted to know why it took so long to build an indoor mall in The Bronx. She told us that found an ad in the newspaper and says she'll be shopping at Macy's. Ivy and her daughter Camile were looking to see which items were on sale. Alicia told us she was looking to purchase school supplies for her six yea old daughter Marielli

And what about the future fear of traffic congestion? Stay tuned, because it's bound to get worse than it already is now.

Here's how other media outlets covered this story:

Enclosed Mall Opens At Bay Plaza In The Bronx « CBS New York

The mall the merrier as massive new shopping center opens in the Bronx

Photo S. Shalem with his sons and future daughter in law