KINGS PLAZA
Flatbush Avenue and Avenue U
New York, New York (Borough of Brooklyn)

New York's first in-city, regional-class shopping mall was developed by a joint venture of R.H. Macy & Company and the John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Company. The 2-level shopping facility was built on 26 acres, located 22 miles southeast of Times Square, in the Mill Basin section of Brooklyn.

Ground was broken for KINGS PLAZA on July 8, 1968. An official dedication for the 45 million dollar mall was held September 11, 1970, with forty-two stores and services beginning business. Anchoring the 1,078,700 square foot center were two Big Apple-based department stores. Macy's 4-level (325,000 square foot) location was the fourteenth in the chain. Alexander's 4-level (330,000 square foot) store was that chain's ninth.

By December 1971, KINGS PLAZA housed a total of one hundred and eighteen stores and services. These included Sbarro Pizza (first store in chain), Chess King, Sam Goody Music, Waldenbooks, Singer Sewing Center, Buster Brown Shoes, Bun 'n Burger, Orange Bowl, Roaman's, Barracini Candy, Red Cross Shoes, Young Set, Zum Zum's Deli and the twin-screen Century's Kings Plaza North & South Cinema. This venue was quaded in 1983 and reconfigured as a 6-plex in the mid-1995.

R.H. Macy had sold its 50 percent share of KINGS PLAZA to Paramus, New Jersey-based Alexander's, Incorporated in 1985. 3 years later, Alexander's established full ownership. The Paramus-based Vornado Realty Trust absorbed the holdings of Alexander's, Incorporated in the mid-1990s.

Meanwhile, the Alexander's department store had been shuttered in August 1992. The empty space was sectioned into three stores. A 4-level (289,200 square foot) Sears opened for business October 25, 1997. Remaining First Level space was configured as a (16,800 square foot) Modell's Sporting Goods. Second Level space became a (28,100 square foot) Old Navy.

A 50 million dollar, mall-wide face lift got underway in May 1999. Two large skylights were installed in court areas, four obtrusive stairways were removed and replaced by new escalators and floors were recovered in new terrazzo and carpet.

The remodeled KINGS PLAZA, which now housed one hundred and thirty stores and services, was re-dedicated January 18, 2001. Its tenant list included Ann Taylor Loft, American Eagle Outfitters, New York & Company and Avenue.

Later in the decade, a 1-level (94,000 square foot) Lowe's Home Improvement Center was added to the north end of the mall site. The freestanding store opened for business July 23, 2010. The 6-plex cinema had been shuttered earlier in the year.

On the level below, an existing H & M was shifted north, taking in space previously taken by Washington Mutual Bank and Payless ShoeSource. Space vacated by the move became the first floor of a new Best Buy, whose second floor occupied the old cinema. The (56,400 square foot) store opened for business in the spring of 2011.

Southern California's Macerich Company bought the shopping hub from the Vornado Realty Trust in October 2012. Sears shuttered their KINGS PLAZA store in September 2016.

The vacant space is to be gutted and reconfigured with a 3-level, Dublin-based Primark and 2-level, Arteixo, Spain-based Zara. The mall's Flatbush Avenue facade will also be rebuilt, while its interior spaces are refurbished with new elevators, escalators, soft seating areas and lighting.

Sources:

The New York Times
"Kings Plaza" article on Wikipedia
www.nydailynews.com
www.kingsplazaonline.com
www.cinematreasures.org
www.macerich.com