WILTON -- Saratoga Hospital will be leasing the former Sears department store space at Wilton Mall, moving some non-medical office operations there, hospital officials said on Tuesday.
The hospital will be leasing 56,000 square feet from mall owner and operator Macerich as part of a plan to move offices out of the main medical campus on Church Street in Saratoga Springs, so that more space there can be used for medical care. The Sears store, the last in the Capital Region, closed in February.
Information systems and other support functions will be the first to move. No moving date has been announced.
"Like many hospitals that were built before cities grew around them, we are almost out of room on our hospital campus," said Saratoga Hospital President and CEO Angelo Calbone. "To best serve our growing community, we must find ways to reserve space at the hospital for care that simply can't be provided anywhere else."
In recent years the hospital has moved outpatient services to campuses in Wilton and Malta, including Wilton Medical Arts, which is located on state Route 50 near the mall.
"This repurposing of the former Sears space for hospital support functions represents a forward-thinking adaptive reuse of retail space," said Mike Shaffer, the mall's senior property manager. "Employees working in the new hospital facility can enjoy the range of amenities our property has to offer -- from great food and top shopping options to free wi-fi and easy parking."
Wilton Mall, like malls across the country, has struggled to keep retail tenants as anchor stores like Bon-Ton and Sears have left. Malls across the country have seen former anchor spaces converted to uses ranging from offices to aquariums to churches. The Saratoga Farmers Market will be making its winter home at the mall this year.
Hospital officials said the move will occur in phases. Initially, 10,000 to 20,000 square feet are being converted into offices.
"One of the advantages of the mall location is that it gives us the room and flexibility we need in two key locations," Calbone said. "We can dedicate the hospital campus to critical care-related services, while meeting other needs at a convenient, easily accessible location."