Gap is closing its outlet store in Rotterdam Square mall next month and relocating to the Mohawk Commons shopping plaza in Niskayuna.
The company confirmed Wednesday the Rotterdam store will close in February and the Niskayuna store will open March 25. Although it’s unclear how many store employees there are, company spokesman Sean Piazza said Wednesday evening that employees from the Rotterdam store will relocate to the new store.
“At Gap Inc., we’re constantly re-evaluating our real estate portfolio to ensure we have the right stores in the right places to best serve our customers,” he said.
The clothing retailer is the third major retailer to leave the struggling mall in the last year. TJ Maxx left in March 2014 and Macy’s announced last week it’s planning to close. A Daily Gazette reporter counted 18 empty storefronts on a walk around the mall Friday, with at least two stores (Olympia Sports and Aeropostale) offering going-out-of-business sales.
The two remaining anchor stores — Sears and Kmart — are both owned by the financially beleaguered Sears Holding Corp., which has been announcing store closures on and off since 2011.
The mall’s new owner, Mike Kohan, was surprised to learn Wednesday evening that Gap would be closing its store come February.
“I had no idea,” he said. “We never received any word.”
Gap’s lease doesn’t expire until next year, Kohan said. He wasn’t sure if the terms of the lease stipulated any penalties if a tenant were to leave before it expired.
Kohan, of the Long Island-based Kohan Retail Investment Group, bought the mall on Campbell Road from Santa Monica-based Macerich one year ago this month.
Although not an anchor, Gap occupies one of the larger spaces in the mall, between Shoe Dept. Encore and Foot Locker, near the movie theaters.
In its new space at Mohawk Commons, Gap will fill 8,325 of 24,000 square feet left vacant by Barnes & Noble’s departure last year. A spokesman for DDR Corp., the property manager, confirmed final negotiations are underway with an additional tenant to occupy the leftover space.
Town Supervisor Joe Landry said Wednesday he was pleased to hear Gap would be coming to the outdoor shopping plaza, whose major tenants include Lowe’s, Target, Price Chopper and Bed Bath & Beyond.
“We think it’s going to be a good addition to the mall, and we’re looking forward to having them in Niskayuna,” he said.
Other clothing retailers in the plaza include Old Navy, which is owned by Gap parent company Gap Inc., Target, Marshalls, Maurices and Eastern Mountain Sports.