Tag Archives: renaming

Vallone: Don’t name landmarks for the living


| brennison@queenscourier.com


Councilmember Peter Vallone Jr. wants to give the death knell to renaming landmarks after individuals that are still alive.

The Astoria councilmember made waves recently when he announced he would draft legislation banning the renaming of city property after living persons.

That honor, Vallone said, should be reserved for people who have perished and not used to curry favor.

“When city property is renamed after a living person there is the possibility that it was done for an endorsement or contribution or because the person was powerful,” Vallone said.

Vallone adamantly opposed renaming the Queensboro Bridge after Ed Koch, but said he’s disappointed the former mayor got caught up in the maelstrom.

Street co-namings is another area that has gotten out of hand, said Vallone.

Vallone’s father, former Council Speaker Peter Vallone, Sr., neatly fits the category the councilmember believes should wait until they are departed for their name to grace city property.

“I think my father would deserve some sort of honor, but if it’s city property it would have to wait until after he’s deceased,” Vallone said. “And that’s not something I even want to think about.”

Changes coming to Atlas Park?


| brennison@queenscourier.com


A name change, among other modifications, may be in store for the struggling Shops at Atlas Park.

Macerich, Atlas’ owner, is still in the process of reviewing the mall and considering alterations, which may include a renaming.

“Whenever we redevelop, there is a whole list of possibilities, and a name change is one of them,” said Tim Steffan, senior vice president of property management at Macerich. “This is part of the normal process.  It takes time to get arms around the entire project and property.”

The shops were originally named after the former occupants of the property, Atlas Terminal. There is no definitive timetable for a decision on whether the mall will undergo a name change.

Macerich purchased the 21-acre open-air shopping and entertainment center for approximately $54 million at a January 2011 foreclosure auction after its former owners defaulted on a $128 million loan to two French banks in 2009.

The Santa Monica headquartered company also owns and operates Queens Center Mall in Elmhurst which sits just two miles away from Atlas Park.

Steffan said that though the mall is just down the road, in an incredibly dense market, Queens Center has no effect on Atlas.

Glendale’s Atlas Park was unveiled in 2006 as an outdoor “lifestyle center,” but its mix of restaurants and boutiques slumped through recent years. Shoppers have complained about a lack of “anchor” stores.

“It’s lovely, but it is usually a second thought when I think about shopping,” said Middle Village resident Cathy Rose.

Steffan said that any mall needs an anchor or destination as a draw. The company will also look into expanding entertainment in the center.

“There is no one store attraction that shoppers come for,” said Michelle Herrera, who said she frequents the restaurants in the mall. “Most people seem to come to eat or watch a movie.”

The mall currently features California Pizza Kitchen, Chili’s, Manor Oktoberfest, Shiro of Japan, Simply Fondue and Venezia Ristorante.

“Nothing is off the table right now.  We are looking at everything from a 360-degree perspective — parking, access, merchandise,” Steffan said of a potential reinvention of the site.  “Simply put, we are a patient group.  We acquired [Atlas Park] because we believe in the community. We want to make it better, something of value to the community.”