Because there aren’t enough places to shop in New York City, Staten Island is getting the Big Apple’s first ever outlet mall. Brought to us by BFC Partners, EWB Development, and Casandra Properties, Empire Outlets was proposed in August 2012, approved in October 2013, and is set to open in 2016.  Along with 350,000 sq.-ft. of retail space, there will be a 120,000 sq.-ft., 200-room hotel, with 1,250 parking spaces, and the world’s largest Ferris wheel. While a 34,000 sq.-ft. Nordstrom Rack is the only confirmed tenant, over 100 other tenants are expected to fill up the spaces.

No one can argue that Americans love their shopping, and realistically this outlet mall will probably become a popular destination for Staten Island residents and tourists, but what analysts are arguing is that the death of malls is becoming a regular trend. Business of Fashion reports, “Real estate research firm Green Street Advisors predicts that 15 percent of malls in the US will close or be converted into non-retail space within the next decade. Meanwhile, retail analyst Howard Davidowitz expects half of America’s shopping malls to fail over the next 15 to 20 years.”

So why build a $230 million shopping mall and hotel when analyst’s predictions are anything but optimistic? Not only will this give the 8.3 million residents of NYC another shopping destination, but it will also give the 52 million visitors of the city a reason to visit Staten Island. It is hoped that the 65,000 passengers of the Staten Island Ferry each day will want to stop by Empire Outlets to have a quick drink or dinner after work or meet friends to shop. Along with abundant shops, restaurants, and a unique hotel, the area will also have the world’s largest Ferris/Observation Wheel at 625 feet, which will undoubtedly attract many tourists.