Rego Park Center
For national large-format retailers, the American City has represented a “final frontier.” Challenges related to these projects that have kept big-box retailers from urban areas include difficult approvals and the complexities and constraints associated with urban sites. Rego Park Center represents an innovative approach to integrating big-box retail into an existing urban community. EE&K’s design integrates the center’s 700,000 SF program into an established residential neighborhood with ground-level retail, shifts in the exterior material palette, and a sensitively designed façade wrapping the center’s five-level parking garage. The centerpiece of the center is a block-long sunlit promenade that brings three large-format retailers together with smaller-format shops. The “galleria,” which is enclosed under a tensile fabric roof, links the center with pedestrian patterns of the surrounding residential street grid and is intended to provide a public amenity to the neighborhood.
To take advantage of the site’s highway visibility, EE&K wrapped the center’s west side in a bold, brightly colored corrugated metal shell that makes an unforgettable visual statement. An animated roof pattern was devised to make the view of the large expanses of roof pleasing to the surrounding residential towers. EE&K designed the mixed-use center to allow development to be staged incrementally in response to the market, incorporating the structure and vertical circulation core for a future residential tower that will be built out as market conditions permit.