The Nanuet Mall was the center of discussion at last Wednesday’s meeting of the Clarkstown Town Board. Plans remain to tear down and rebuild the mall starting January of 2012.
Tom Schneider, an Executive Vice President of Simon Property INC. explained a few designs of the changes that would be made to the mall. One of the most interesting things about the new design is that the mall would be an outdoor mall, designed around a two-way street. Schneider described the plan not as a demolition, but as a reconstruction or a renovation, calling it a “transformational redevelopment”.
“We are redeveloping the mall with a fully functional street for cars to go through it, almost like a ‘main street,’” said Schneider. The plan includes parking on the street, and in a multitude of parking lots jetting off the road. The outdoor mall would consist of both the original Macy’s and Sears that are already in the mall, as well as a health center, a
movie theater, shops, restaurants, and a produce store.
Simon Property Inc. has done multiple projects like this in Texas, Florida, Maryland and Yonkers, as well other locations. The projects attract a multitude of shoppers and restaurant-goers, and have become popular in the towns they are built in.
Aside from Sears and Macy’s, the mall will be completely closed as of December 31 of this year and demolition is planned to begin as of January 1. The new mall is set to begin building in March of 2012 and is predicted to be complete in the Fall of 2013.
Residents had a few concerns about the project and how it would affect the area. One resident asked about Middletown Road and its upkeep. Resident Tom Holstine asked
what the company predicted for a customer count in the future, which unfortunately could not be answered as of yet.
As for the traffic influx that comes with building shops, Schneider stated that the company predicted steady but reasonable traffic due to the hours of the stores. “The peaks differ, so the prediction for local traffic is actually less then one might think,” he explained. He also said that the company had done “extensive traffic modeling” for the area. The plan does include a cut to parking spaces, but not by much. “There are 4,215 parking spaces there now, but after reconstruction there will be about 3,000 spots,” Schneider admitted, although he doesn’t think it is enough of a reduction to cause a serious issue.
Schneider also addressed the flooding problem in the high level concrete parking lot, explaining that the new plans would raise it up to allow proper drainage, and put in place a water storage system underneath to ensure there would be no further flooding issues. Schneider also informed residents that environmental testing is underway, and that any further information on that status would be announced to the public. He also mentioned that discussions with the Clarkstown Police Department had been ongoing to ensure safety during the project and after the completion of the mall.