JACKSON HEIGHTS — A large building inside a popular shopping center will soon be going to the birds...and the cats and dogs.
Petco has signed a 10-year lease to take over the 13,500-square-foot former Dante Catering Hall in the Jackson Heights Shopping Center at 31st Avenue and 77th Street — part of an attempt to give the shopping center a more than $3 million makeover.
In addition to the Petco deal, Santander Bank, formerly known as Sovereign Bank, is planning to move to a 4,000-square-foot corner space in the complex, which formerly housed a Rainbow clothing store from a smaller location in the complex.
"We're always looking to upgrade," said Jeffrey Kay, the chief operating officer of Muss Development.
They're fixing signage throughout the shopping center in addition to renovating the large building and are trying to find "a good balance" between national chains and local stores.
"We have a good combination of space," he said.
The renovated catering hall, which closed last fall, will also include office space in the basement and second floor of the building. An exterior elevator will be built for access to the offices above the Petco, Kay said.
Petco already has other stores in the borough, with outposts in College Point, Fresh Meadows and Howard Beach, according to its website. Kay said the pet store should open by the end of the year, after the building undergoes a complete renovation.
A call to Petco was not immediately returned.