In a Tuesday news conference, New York State Budget Director Robert Mujica released preliminary information about the state’s Phase 4 re-openings next week. Mall retailers were not happy.
Malls, movie theaters, and gyms will remain closed in Phase 4, and neither Mujica nor Gov. Andrew Cuomo gave any indication of when they’d be allowed to re-open.
One tenant of Pyramid Management Group’s Destiny USA mega-mall in Syracuse was irate over the announcement.
“How can he lump all the malls together? It’s devastating. I’ve been closed for three months, and there’s no end in sight,” Mike Theiss, owner of University Sports Shop told Syracuse.com. “I’m more than disappointed. It’s ludicrous.”
Last week, New York State Assembly members Bill Magnarelli, Pam Hunter, and Al Stirpe pressured Cuomo to let the 2.4 million-sq.-ft. Destiny USA to re-open, noting that it was one of the region’s largest employers with some 5,000 workers. Representatives of the governor have agreed to meet with mall owners and locked-down retailers to further discuss the issues.
Pyramid had issued a statement urging Cuomo to let malls re-open three weeks ago, during Phase 2.
“Simply put, re-opening is key to the survival of these retailers, many of which are locally owned and are now in grave danger of never being able to open their doors,” the statement said.