Simon cancels scheduled mall openings in New York

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Simon cancels scheduled mall openings in New York

By Al Urbanski - 05/07/2020
Simon's Woodbury Common Premium Outlets
Simon's Woodbury Common Premium Outlets

Simon Property Group’s intention to make southern New York properties like the Woodbury Common outlet center part of its mass mall-reopening got postponed.

"We have been in touch with Woodbury Common leadership who clarified and confirmed they will not open in violation of NY Pause," said Assemblyman Colin Schmitt, whose 99th district encompasses Woodbury. Schmitt is also a realtor.

A May 5 staff memo written by Simon president of malls John Rulli said the company intended to open seven New York malls on May 16, a day after the expiration of the NY Pause shutdown program. Still, that date was far ahead of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan for a phased re-opening of businesses in New York. 

Simon has already re-opened 59 malls and planned to add 18 more this month, according to the memo by Rulli, which stated that the traffic at re-opened properties exceeded expectations and had to be limited by social distancing standards.

As of May 11, Simon had re-opened 77 retail properties in the United States. At the same time, it suspended or eliminated a total of $1 billion in capital for new projects and redevelopments. 

“To our surprise, many of our tenants experienced much stronger than expected sales over the weekend. Consumers have relayed to us how excited they are to be out shopping again,” Rulli wrote. “With more and more stores opening every day, we expect our retailers will be able to take advantage of significant pent-up consumer demand.”

Other Simon malls originally scheduled to re-open in New York were The Shops at Nanuet, Waterloo Premium Outlets, The Westchester in White Plains, Roosevelt Field in East Garden City, Smith Haven in Lake Grove, and Walt Whitman Shops in South Huntington.