Schenectady County

Rotterdam Mall once again has new owner

Rotterdam Mall has a new owner, again — and one that has recently breathed new life into a mall in F
Empty spaces in Rotterdam Square Mall near Sears .
Empty spaces in Rotterdam Square Mall near Sears .

Rotterdam Mall has a new owner, again — and one that has recently breathed new life into a mall in Florida.

Former owner Mike Kohan, whose Long Island-based Kohan Retail Investment Group bought the West Campbell Road property for $8.5 million in January 2014, has been trying to sell the mall to Via Properties, a Turkish developer, for months. Now, the struggling mall’s website lists Via Properties as its owner.

“They are a very professional company that revitalizes malls,” Kohan told The Daily Gazette in late March.

Kohan could not be reached for comment Tuesday, but Terri Emond, the mall’s general manager, said Via Properties was preparing a news release for today. She declined to say more about the sale until then.

Via Properties owns traditional malls, outlet malls, theme parks, hotels and a marina in Turkey. The company bought its first property in the U.S., a struggling mall in Leesburg, Florida, in September, also from Kohan, and has introduced many changes since. For one, it used to be called Lake Square Mall but now goes by Via Port Florida.

The company has spruced up the mall with new lighting, floors and paint, remodeled the bathrooms, repainted inside and out, installed a center court fountain, improved the outdoor landscaping and installed a 60-foot-tall digital screen to greet shoppers. New tenants have arrived including a shoe store, a gluten-free market and a clothing retailer. At a “grand opening” in May, mall owners unveiled plans for a fun zone complete with a bowling alley, arcade, game area and restaurant and bar where a Target had vacated in February 2014, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

Kohan said in March that he sold Lake Square Mall because his company didn’t have the funds needed to revitalize it. The same was true about the pending sale of Rotterdam Mall, which had been the only mall he owned in the state, he said then.

“My resources are very limited in the state of New York because I’m mostly Midwest-based, so I saw an opportunity with these guys,” he said.

Rotterdam Mall, formerly Rotterdam Square, has lost some major tenants since Kohan purchased it 17 months ago, including T.J. Maxx in March 2014 and Macy’s and Gap Outlet this past spring. Its assessment was reduced from $30 million to $19.9 million last year, and its power was shut off in February because of a delinquent bill.

Categories: Business, News

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