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Simon Adds Stores, Enhancements To Growing Woodbury Common Premium Outlets; Two New York Offshore Wind Project Gone with The Wind; Briefs

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Simon Adds Stores, Enhancements To Growing Woodbury Common Premium Outlets

Simon plans to add customer experience enhancements and a new store line-up to Woodbury Common Premium Outlets. Woodbury Common, the Orange County-based mega outlet mall which has the largest collection of luxury outlets in the US, will added 20 stores in 2024. The list includes David Yurman, Roberto Cavalli, Maison Margiela, Ladurée, BOGNER, Sferra, Bollicine Champagne Bar, Jil Sander, Eleventy, and Reformation among others. In addition, Arc’teryx, Tory Burch, Marc Jacobs and Golden Goose are expanding their footprints.

The outlet center draws more than 10 million shoppers annually.

Woodbury Common Premium Outlets Rendering

The center is also planning upgrades, including a VIP Suite with private spaces including dressing rooms, an upscale lounge area with plush furnishings and curated art, and a private kitchen. The opulent ambience, the center said in a press release, will allow guests to explore the latest fashions from luxury brands in privacy and comfort. The VIP Suite will host private events, as well as offer personalized service and curated customer experiences. The multimillion-dollar suite is expected to open later this year in the heart of the center’s luxury wing, The Adirondacks District.

“Innovation and continually enhancing our idyllic shopping atmosphere, along with our collection of the most desirable brands, is what excites Woodbury Common’s shoppers, and we look forward to enhancing our guest service experience with our luxurious VIP Suite,” said Mark Silvestri, Simon’s President of Development.

Woodbury Common last fall unveiled plans to add 155,000 square feet of retail stores and restaurants, a 200-key luxury hotel, a second parking facility, and upgraded customer amenities. Enhanced amenities will include a new children’s play area, improved crosswalks and wayfinding, and generous landscaping.

Woodbury Common reported Q4 2023 sales surpassing $375 million. The center generates more than $1.2 billion in sales annually.

New York Offshore Wind Project Gone with The Wind

Two offshore wind farms that had been planning to use an upstate port for a fabrication area have nixed their plans, while others remain on course.

Wind Shore Project SiteGE Vernova and LM Wind Power had planned to use the Port of Coeymans in the Capital Region for an assembling area for turbine engines and blades. The plan would have created nearly 900 jobs.

The cancellations were just the latest of several similar reversals along the East Coast over the last year. The volatility reveals the uncertainty in variables and cost challenges, despite pressure by both New York and the Biden administration to develop coastal wind as a major energy source.

Both the 1,314-megawatt Community Offshore project proposed by RWE, as well as the 1,404-megawatt Attentive project from Rise Power and Light and the French energy giant Total were canceled last week. The news was listed on the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s website and was first reported by Politico.

The wind developers said their cancellation followed a change in plans by GE Vernova: The power spinoff of General Electric Co. earlier this year said it was focusing on producing more “workhorse” 15.5-megawatt turbines rather than the newer and more complex 18-MW variant.

The company said there is plenty of demand for the 15.5-megawatt models as well as the 3- and 6-megawatt turbines it builds for land-based wind farms.

Executives at the Port of Coeymans say they intend to continue expanding despite the cancellation of the Attentive and Community Offshore wind projects off the coast of Long Island, according to reporting in the Times Union.

“No final awards will be made … and NYSERDA will look to advance a future competitive solicitation,” the agency stated on its website.

The Port of Coeymans had initially been identified as the facility where GE Vernova was going to build some of their turbines and blades, as well as LM Wind Power blades.

But with the Attentive project also halted, at least in the near term the port won’t be hosting a turbine factory.

Port officials, though, stressed that work is proceeding for two other wind projects that are currently under construction off Long Island: Empire Wind from Equinor and Sunrise from Orsted, two Scandinavian companies that are major global developers of offshore wind farms.

Both the Port of Coeymans and GE Vernova said they haven’t given up on the idea of building turbines and blades in Coeymans.

“The offshore wind industry still presents a tremendous opportunity for New York state,” Carver Companies Chief Operating Officer Nick Laraway said in a statement. The Carver Companies owns and operates the Port of Coeymans.

“The Port of Coeymans will continue supporting offshore wind projects Sunrise Wind and Empire Wind as announced by the state earlier this year,” Laraway added.

Heather Bell-Meyer Takes Helm of Chamber Alliance of New York State

The Board of Directors of the Chamber Alliance of New York State (CANYS), a statewide association of over 70 Chambers of Commerce, has elected Heather Bell-Meyer, President and CEO of the Orange County Chamber of Commerce as Chairperson.

Bell-Meyer began her board term on CANYS in January 2023.

The newly elected Chair has more than a decade of experience with chambers of commerce, economic development initiatives, and advocacy throughout the Hudson Valley region.  Bell-Meyer is President & CEO of the Orange County Chamber of Commerce.

She has also held leadership positions since 2008 with Heineken USA, the YMCA, and her own small business.  CANYS’ press release said she participates in the Business Council of NYS, Orange County Economic Development Task Force, Orange County Workforce Development Board, Stewart Air Service Development Committee, United Way of Dutchess and Orange Regions, the US Chamber of Commerce and Orange County and NYS Association of Towns.

“I’m extremely pleased to have Heather serve as our Chair to help further the work of CANYS in providing professional development, valuable resources and crucial advocacy strategies to our chambers of commerce throughout New York State”, said Peter Aust, Executive Director of CANYS.  “Heather’s passion for chambers of commerce is effusive, her experience extensive and I’m confident our association will continue to grow under her leadership”

Bell-Meyer added, “I feel incredibly honored to contribute to CANYS in this capacity and to express my enthusiasm for business, economic development, and advocacy on behalf of colleagues statewide.” remarked Bell-Meyer.

“The efforts of Chambers of Commerce play a vital role in the survival, growth, and innovation of the communities we serve,” she added. “Our actions have a meaningful impact, and I am delighted to align my passion with CANYS, working towards the organization’s growth and, ultimately, enhancing business representation in New York State.”