Two separate pipe bursts in The Shops at Atlas Park last month damaged five stores in the shopping center — and the future of some of those affected businesses is still unclear.
“There were two separate pipe bursts, one in Gymboree and one in Shiro of Japan, about 12 hours apart from each other,” said Peter DeLucia, a representative from The Shops at Atlas Park. “Some stores have since opened and some are still fixing up.”
The pipe that burst on Feb. 16 at Shiro of Japan damaged that store, along with Maidenform, J. Jill and Chico’s. Since the burst, Shiro and Maidenform have reopened, but the same could not be said for J. Jill and Chico’s.
According to DeLucia, both J. Jill and Chico’s are closed until further notice, and he said that he could not comment on whether they will re-open at this point.
But a source familiar with the situation claimed that those stores would not re-open. The stores have been cleared out and both store’s signs have been taken down.
The windows at Chico’s were covered in paper, barring passersby from peeking inside. Nothing covered J. Jill’s windows on Wednesday morning, and all anyone could see inside the shop were a few industrial fans.
Chico’s placed a sign at the location stating that it was temporarily closed, but a contact number on the sign — which they invited shoppers to use for questions — did not work.
J.Jill also sent an email to its customers stating the location at Atlas Park is closed. This was the only location of the store in Queens, according to the company website, whereas Chico’s has another location in Bayside in the Bay Terrace shopping center.
Gymboree’s pipe burst has left the store closed for more than two weeks, but its reopening is imminent, according to DeLucia.