YONKERS, N.Y. – Legoland is primed to break ground on its first New York location next week, and Yonkers officials are grabbing their hard hats in preparation.
Elementary school students and city officials will join company executives Oct. 17 when they officially welcome the $12 million facility to Westchester’s Ridge Hill. There, they will be showered by a cascade of falling Legos before digging into the pile of plastic building blocks as construction kicks off on the 32,000-square-foot facility.
When completed, developers say, Legoland Discovery Center Westchester will feature more than 3 million Lego pieces and models of area landmarks like One World Trade Center and the Empire State Building made entirely out of Lego bricks.
In addition, children will have access to interactive play areas, Lego rides and a 4D cinema.
“The Legoland Discovery Center concept is already successful in both Europe and elsewhere in the USA, and I know people will love it here in Westchester County,” Glenn Earlam, managing director of the Legoland ownership group at Merlin Entertainment, said in a statement. “We are also absolutely delighted to be opening in this exciting new development.”
After looking for space in New York City, Earlam said, Legoland decided on Yonkers because it is becoming a “popular leisure destination,” attracting visitors from around the area. The store is to open in the spring of 2013 and with it, bring at least 100 full-time jobs, company executives said.
Kathy Welch, senior vice president for retail development at Forest City Ratner’s Ridge Hill, said the company welcomed the addition.
“The addition of this fantastic attraction is going to complement the outstanding mix of tenants already in full-swing and those contemplated to be opened by the end of this year,” she said in a statement.
At the Oct. 17 groundbreaking, Legoland officials will also announce the start of open registration for “Brick Factor,” a two-day talent search to find the area’s best Lego builders.
The contest will begin a month later when the contestants compete for a job as the Lego master model builder of Legoland Discovery Center Westchester.