With plenty of parking, an impressive roster of retailers, and a natural, park-like layout, Cross County Shopping Center is a retail mecca for locals and visitors.
Turns out what lures shoppers also lures location scouts. Cross County Shopping Center in Yonkers, N.Y., is becoming quite a hub for film activity lately, and word is spreading about its accessibility, flexibility, and diversity.
“We work with a lot of different scouts,” says Liz Pollack, senior manager of marketing for Cross County. “When you’re helpful and flexible, word gets around. We’ve seen a lot of filming activity over the years, and we’re always getting new scouting requests.”
Recently, Cross County was tapped as a location for an episode of “Law & Order Special Victims Unit” (NBC) that aired April 4. The shopping center has also been used as a backdrop in episodes of “Sneaky Pete” (Amazon) and “Madam Secretary” (CBS).
Why would New York City crews head to Yonkers to film? According to Pollack, it’s for the same reasons people head to Yonkers to shop.
“There’s so much space up here, parking is plentiful, and there is a lot of versatility.”
The on-site locations scouts flock to include empty stores, the parking garage, parking lots, underground tunnels, storage rooms, rooftops, the maintenance shop, and the green park in middle of the mall. With 1 million square feet of retail space on 72 acres, this outdoor shopping haven delivers that “anywhere in the USA” feel that productions seek.
“We’ve had some crazy requests,” notes Pollack. “We’ve been asked if we would allow a car explosion.” (They would, but the scene was moved to a park instead.) “The producers of ‘Sneaky Pete’ had an enormous fake buffalo and they wanted to carve it up in our parking garage because the characters were trying to retrieve hidden money out of it. Unfortunately, it was so big it wouldn’t fit,” she says.
No matter how unusual the request, though, Pollack and her team work hard to please.
“We’ve had film crews here in blizzards, or in the middle of the night,” she says. A big plus is that Cross County Shopping Center permits shooting 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
While the options of such a vast property might be overwhelming, Pollack keeps a digital portfolio on hand to make it easy for scouts to explore every nook and cranny. Best of all, Cross County Shopping Center is just minutes from New York City on the New York State Thruway.
Looking ahead, Pollack is enthusiastic about Cross County’s future in film. “Film activity is exciting. It’s one of the many cool things going on here, and we’ll continue to welcome it in the future!”