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Clarkstown: Nanuet Mall Getting Ready for a Big Makeover

Owners have started talks for rehabilitation of the 40-year-old mall, town officials say.

When someone mentions a mall these days in Clarkstown, most people assume the talk is about Palisades Center in West Nyack. But town officials say that in the fall they expect much of the talk will be about the future of the Nanuet Mall.

Clarkstown Town Supervisor Alex Gromack said that the owners of the 40-year-old Nanuet Mall have had preliminary discussion with town officials about a planned major revitalization of the mall that could start in 2011.

"It's certainly good news that the owners of the Nanuet Mall want to make an investment in the property," said Gromack. "A lot of the rumors about the mall are not true. The fact is there are some big plans for a renovation, revitalization of the mall."

Gromack said the mall's owner, Simon Properties of Indianapolis, Ind., wants to keep the Nanuet Mall as a traditional mall. To do that, Gromack said preliminary information shared with the town calls for a major reconstruction, which could include demolition of the mall's parking garage and the empty wing of the mall erected during an expansion that most recently was leased by Boscov's.

The 913,000 square foot mall opened in 1969 and features a variety of stores on two levels and a Macy's department store on the east side of the mall, with a Sears store on the west side. Macy's and Sears own those buildings.

Officials at Simon Properties would not comment on the future plans for the mall, which was expanded in 1994 and fell onto hard times with the opening of the larger Palisades Center in 1998 just a few minutes east on Route 59.

Gromack said Simon representatives have already met with town building officials to go over local rules and regulations governing the Nanuet Mall site. Gromack said he is anticipating Simon presenting sketches and other details to town planning officials for them to start reviewing in September or October.

The formal approval process for a Nanuet Mall revitalization plan could start in early 2011, Gromack said.

"They are talking about construction in 2011 and 2012," Gromack said.

Some previous ideas for the mall included converting it into an outlet shopping center such as Woodbury Common in Orange County. However, Gromack said that idea is not part of the new plan.

As a company, the mall's owner is a real estate giant.

Simon Property Group Inc. recently  announced results for the quarter ended June 30, 2010. Net income was $152.5 million, or $0.52 per diluted share, compared to a net loss of $20.8 million, or $0.08 per diluted share, in the prior year period. The 2009 results included a non-cash impairment charge of $140.5 million, or $0.43 per diluted share.

Funds from operations hit $487.7 million, or $1.38 per diluted share, in the second quarter of 2010 as compared to $313.1 million, or $0.96 per diluted share, in the prior year period.

"Our positive momentum from the first quarter continued," said David Simon, chairman and chief executive officer. "The improvement in business conditions extended into the second quarter as demonstrated by higher occupancy and sales. Sales for our malls and Premium Outlets during the second quarter of 2010 were 4.9 percent higher than in the second quarter of 2009, and occupancy grew 90 basis points from March 31, 2010. Revenue growth and a continued focus on expense management resulted in positive comparable property net operating income growth in the quarter.

"The company utilized a portion of its cash during the first six months of 2010 to retire $1.5 billion of debt, acquire an outlet center in Puerto Rico, and increase its ownership interest in Houston Galleria, arguably one of the top five malls in the United States," Simon said.

Simon Property Group, Inc. is an S&P 500 company that owns or has an interest in 373 retail real estate properties comprising 256 million square feet of gross leasable area in North America, Europe and Asia. Simon Property Group and employs more than 5,000 people worldwide.

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