Saratoga County

New theater, hotel almost completed at remade Clifton Park mall

The economy may be sagging elsewhere, but it’s thriving at the Clifton Park Center mall near Northwa

The economy may be sagging elsewhere, but it’s thriving at the Clifton Park Center mall near Northway Exit 9 in Clifton Park.

Two multimillion-dollar mall upgrades — a 10-screen state-of-the-art cinema and a 104-room hotel — will be opening in mid-to-late November.

Mall officials offered a sneak preview on Monday of the nearly completed Regal Cinema Digital 10 theater at the mall.

The old eight-screen, 1980s-era Regal theater was demolished and the new, much larger theater complex has been under construction since early this year.

The five-story Hilton Garden Inn, complete with a banquet and conference center and an upscale restaurant, is also in the final stages of construction.

“We wanted to open in less than a year,” said Donald C. Greene, owner of DCG Development Co. of Clifton Park, which owns the mall.

“We are very happy with the progress,” Greene said. He said the schedule for demolition of the old theater and construction of the new theater and hotel was ambitious.

Greene would not provide a dollar amount for the mall improvements but agreed that “multimillion-dollar” was a good description.

The new Regal theater complex is 48,000 square feet, more than double that of the old theater. All of the new cinemas have 3-D capability and are digital, but the centerpiece of the project is the Regal Premier Experience (RPX) theater, which has 400 large seats and a surround-sound system.

The screen at the RPX theater is larger than the traditional cinema screen.

Donald MacElroy, vice president of DCG Development, said the new construction at the mall on Clifton Country Road has created 300 construction jobs. He said when the projects are completed they will create 100 full-time jobs and nearly as many part-time jobs.

Clifton Park Supervisor Philip Barrett said local developer Greene took an aging, old-fashioned mall and transformed it with new tenants and a new look.

“He took Clifton Park Center to a whole new level,” Barrett said.

Over the past four or five years, DCG Development has changed the exterior of the mall with retail shops and restaurants facing outward. New, popular national chain stores and restaurants have also located on mall property.

An Olive Garden restaurant is currently under construction where a Dunkin’ Donuts was once located and the Buffalo Wild Wings chain opened a large restaurant near the mall late last year.

Apricot Lane, a women’s boutique shop, will soon open near the new Regal cinema complex. The chain is based in California and has a store in Syracuse.

“A rising tide lifts all boats,” Barrett said about the new mall tenants. He said the Clifton Park Center is “bucking the trend of the tough economic times.”

Barrett said having a state-of-the-art movie theater complex at the mall will keep town residents spending their entertainment money in Saratoga County rather than at mall cinemas in Albany County.

“This will mean more sales tax revenue,” Barrett said about the new cinema, hotel and other additions to the mall. He said sales tax revenue is the town’s main source of revenue with more than $10 million expected by the end of this year.

Barrett is budgeting a little less sales tax revenue in 2012 than this year. “I will be happy to be proven wrong,” Barrett said about his conservative sales tax projection.

Mall officials said the lack of a movie theater and the ongoing construction in parts of the mall have not hurt business. Greene said sales at the mall have been the same, and in some cases, better than when the old cinema complex was in business.

The contractors for the construction work are Bast Hatfield of Halfmoon and Keller Construction of Castleton.

Categories: Business

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