The site of the former Century 21 flagship store in Bay Ridge will be transformed into an urban retail hub with the help of the family behind the beloved department store chain.
ASG Equities — the real estate firm of the Gindi family, who founded the flagship Century 21 location on 86th Street in 1961 — will revamp 150,000 square feet of commercial space across 15 buildings on 86th and 87th streets and repurpose more than 700 feet of retail storefronts. The company aims to introduce a mix of quality supermarkets and shops selling clothing, cosmetics, medical necessities, food and more.
Council Member Justin Brannan has been working alongside ASG Equities to make the project come to life.
“The vibrancy of the 86th Street commercial corridor is crucial to our local economic ecosystem not only as a retail shopping destination but a hub of local employment,” Brannan said. “A rising tide lifts all boats — the more people shopping on 86th Street, the more economic activity we’ll see for our small businesses and restaurants along 3rd and 5th Avenues.”
The firm has been has been acquiring properties on 86th Street since the 1960s. Following a string of COVID-related insurance hardships, the company filed for bankruptcy at the end of 2020 and closed the Bay Ridge Century 21, which had long been a staple in the community.
Developers have since acquired five buildings formerly occupied by Century 21 but never officially owned by the Gindi family. The purchase of space spanning 220 feet of adjacent buildings completed the family’s real estate profile in order to launch a full redevelopment.
According to a spokesperson with ASG Equities, the team has also already signed a lease with New York-Presbyterian to renovate the former TJ Maxx building located at 502 86th St., and plan to fill the storefronts with top quality-retail. The family hope the multi-level space will become an outer-borough “center of commerce and business.”
The project will market the rear of the 87th Street building — which is connected to a large parking garage — to national supermarkets, and will feature an outdoor walkway connecting 86th and 87th streets.
Project leaders called the construction plan the “first major steps towards the revitalization of Bay Ridge.”
Brannan said he hopes to revitalize the nabe at large by bringing back its much-needed commercial hub.
“The goal here has always been to bring back 86th Street bigger and better than ever and I’ve been doing everything in my power to make that happen,” he said. “I’m so excited to finally share with folks the vision we’ve been working on for the famous side of 86th Street. The best is truly yet to come!”