With its warnings about not entering if coronavirus symptoms are present, floor markers for social distancing and a mask-wearing requirement, the Staten Island Mall welcomed shoppers back inside Wednesday for the first time since March.
"It's been too long, so we're happy that's its open; you can get out and do what you've gotta do," said one shopper.
Malls across the state and in New Jersey opened earlier this summer, but malls here in the city remained closed, with Governor Cuomo citing concerns about certain types of indoor activities as reason for keeping them shut.
Shoppers we spoke with were frustrated by the delay, pointing out that the Staten Island mall had invested in new air filters and that the city had reached a low enough number of new covid cases to permit reopening.
"I felt it was very unfair because I know that they had fixed their filtration system and everything else, and I don't know, it just felt like they were so biased to New York City," a shopper told us.
City councilman Steve Matteo spent most of the summer pushing for the mall to reopen.
He said he's concerned about the economic impact the extended closure will have for months to come.
"They definitely took a financial hit and we're probably going to see some stores that aren't there anymore. And everybody talks about a mall and talks about a national chain. That's not true," said the councilman.
Some shoppers agreed.
"Money has to flow from somewhere," said one person. "And if somebody is getting paid, someone else has to get paid. People are getting their jobs back hopefully."
Not every store has opened yet.
The mall has shortened hours and only 50 percent capacity. The food court is partially open, but sitting and eating is not allowed.
Shoppers we spoke with said they'd take it. Most stores are boasting steep discounts to move inventory and attract shoppers back inside.
"It's about time. Because like, I need clothes, I need stuff. I can't order stuff online. I need to try stuff on," one shopper told NY1.