In 1935, 250 acres of land in the neighborhood of New Springville/Heatland Village were being converted into an airport by Ed McCormick. By 1941, the airport opened as the Staten Island Airport beneath Richmond Hill Road, adjacent to a drive-in movie theater. The drive-in movie theater remained while the airport closed in 1964. By the next year, a building was constructed for an E.J. Korvette department store, completely changing the neighborhood from its rural setting of chicken farms.
After the department store chain went bankrupt in 1980, it closed down. During the early part of the prior decade, however, another building was already under construction nearby. The construction of this building and its accompanying parking lot was so large that the drive-in movie theatre had to be demolished. In 1973, the building opened up at 2655 Richmond Avenue and became known as the Staten Island Mall.
Currently, as of 2011, the Mall's hours of operation are from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. from Monday through Saturday, and from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. Macy's, JC Penney and Sears, the Staten Island Mall's anchor stores, remain open until 9:30 p.m. every day but Sunday. During these hours, the Mall provides many services. Some of the services include wheelchair rentals, lost and found, and ATMs.
During the holidays, the Mall is well known for hosting events. Between October 12 and November 2 of 2011, for example, a Halloween Photo Contest will take place in which contestants will send in photos of their children in their costumes for a chance to win a four-person vacation to Universal Orlando Resort and a $1,000 Mall Gift Card. During the Christmas season, children are invited to the lower level of the mall, in the center court, to visit Santa Claus. The Mall also offers programs, such as the Mall Walkers Program, which allows members to walk through the mall beginning at 7 a.m., prior to the opening of the mall.
The Staten Island Mall currently contains 184 stores and has 7,200 parking spaces in its parking lot. There are many different types of stores in the facility. They include accessory stores, such as the Sunglass Hut; bath and beauty stores, such as Bath & Body Works; card and gift stores, such as American Greetings and Things Remembered; children's apparel stores, such as the Children's Place and the Disney store; the department stores, which have already been mentioned; grocery and pharmacy stores, such as CVS; housewares and home stores, such as Yankee Candle; jewelry stores, such as Kay Jewelers and Piercing Pagoda; men's apparel stores, such as American Eagle Outfitters and Hollister Co.; entertainment stores, such as Hot Topic; restaurants and eateries, such as East Pacific and McDonald's; shoe stores, such as Finish Line, and Vans; specialty stores, such as Motherhood Maternity and the stores that open during the holidays, such as Spirit Halloween; sports and fitness stores, such as GNC; technology and electronics stores, such as Brookstone and Radioshack; toy stores, such as Build-A-Bear Workshop; and women's apparel stores, such as Ann Taylor and dELIA*s.
The Crossings at Staten Island Mall refers to the portion of stores located behind the Mall. This section has a few more places to eat, such as Carrabba's Italian Grill, Outback Steakhouse and Panera Bread. Aside from eating, however, there are many other stores, such as Pet Company and Babies R Us.
Second to the St. George Ferry Terminal, the Staten Island Mall is the largest transportation hub on Staten Island. There are five buses whose last stops are at the Staten Island Mall. Two of them, the s44 and s61, both travel to the St. George Ferry Terminal. The other three buses are the s55, which comes from Rossville; the s56, which comes from Huguenot; and the s79, which comes from Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. Another local bus that passes by the Mall is the s59, which leaves Port Richmond to get to Tottenville. The x17 and x31 express buses also pass by the Staten Island Mall to get to the Goethals Bridge and into Manhattan. The x31 goes to Midtown Manhattan, while the x17 will go to either Lower Manhattan or Midtown Manhattan, depending on the time and the day.