ST. GEORGE — The fragrance shop Parfum Europa and nutrition store GNC have leased space in the under-construction Empire Outlets, officials announced.
Parfum Europa took 1,200 square feet while GNC leased 1,384 square feet in the mall, which is scheduled to open next year, developer BFC Partners said.
Both stores signed 10-year leases.
"From a micro-perspective, local residents may say, 'What's different about a GNC outlet?'" said Joseph Ferrara, principal of BFC.
"When the Chinese visitor comes to New York City, obtaining products that are for the longevity of their health is on the top of the list. That product just isn't available in their country."
Ferrara added that the developer tried to strike a balance between stores that will appeal to international shoppers and ones for locals.
"The most important thing for me, and for us, is being able to cover every category," he said.
With sections of the building already built and anchor tenants like Nike secured, Ferrara said it has become easier to sell retailers on the outlet. He expects to have it fully leased when it opens in November 2017.
"People are excited," he said.
Ferrara said he expects to announce some "exciting deals" next year, as well as the operator of a 190-room hotel included in the project.
The $304 million complex will bring 100 stores and a 1,250-space parking garage to one of the former St. George Ferry Terminal lots.
Several retailers have already taken space, including Nike, H&M, Nordstrom Rack, Banana Republic, Toys 'R' Us, an "artisanal" food spot run by the team who launched the Meatpacking District's Gansevoort Market, and the borough's first Two Boots pizza restaurant.
The project came under criticism in February when it was granted nearly $47 million in state subsidies — more money than BFC Partners kicked in — after the developer donated more than $85,000 to Gov. Andrew Cuomo's re-election campaign.
A source involved with the project previously said the subsidies would only be used to build infrastructure like the garage and storm protections. A spokesman for Cuomo told Politico New York the contributions had no effect on the funding.