Clarkstown Voters To Decide Whether Palisades Mall Can Rent Out Unused Attic Space – CBS New York
WEST NYACK, NY (CBSNewYork) – The voters in a suburb will decide on an unusual referendum in this election cycle.
They vote on whether a mall can rent unused attic space.
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In March 1998, shoppers flocked to the newly opened Palisades Center. Even on opening day, there were concerns that the large mall would get even bigger.
At that time, the developer told CBS2 that he had agreed not to rent the top floor.
“We and the city agreed that we would put it off,” he said.
Twenty-two years later, when the internet threatens brick and mortar retail stores with the pandemic, Clarkstown voters are asked to lift the restrictive contract that is preventing the mall from leasing 200,000 square feet in its fourth-floor attic.
The mall believes unfinished high-ceilinged spaces would appeal to a multitude of potential tenants who are not interested in retrofitting a former anchor store like the empty JCPenney or Lord and Taylor.
In the 1990s, the Rockland County executive declined to build the mall.
Today he calls on voters to allow Palisades to expand.
“We can either let people invest in the mall and keep paying property taxes and then pay some and sales taxes, or we can wither and die, and that’s just not a viable option right now,” said Ed Day, executive of Rockland County.
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Bronte Menswear store owner Eddie Tawfik says malls need to adapt and become retail and entertainment destinations. He is voting to lift the space restriction.
“I will have more traffic in the mall. More traffic means more business, ”he said.
Voters waiting in Clarkstown Town Hall for the early voting series shared their views with Tony Aiello of CBS2.
“People who shop online. The mall is not doing well before COVID so I see no reason to expand it, ”said Melissa Alexander.
Voter Bob Jay says he will vote yes.
“Just for the tax base,” he said.
A referendum to expand the shopping center was rejected in 2002. Much has changed since then, and this time supporters are counting on approval.
Earlier this year, Clarkstown Council announced its approval and voted unanimously to put the referendum on the mall on the ballot.
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