The sun is setting on the Sunrise Mall in Massapequa.
The Nassau County mall is nearing its demise, as owner Urban Edge Properties has stopped renewing the leases of tenants, Newsday reported. The Manhattan-based owner is expected to push for a redevelopment of the property as tenants drift away.
“Sunrise Mall is clearly in transition, a reflection of the challenges facing a generation of shopping malls across Long Island and the nation,” Coleen R. Conklin, Urban Edge vice president of marketing, told the newspaper.
“To ensure it remains a positive and contributing economic anchor for the surrounding communities, the Town of Oyster Bay, and Nassau County we need to create an orderly roadmap for that transition,” Conklin continued.
Any plans for a redevelopment are being kept close to the vest, but Urban Edge is not considering a residential community, according to Newsday. The site is zoned for either light industrial or commercial use.
Toward the end of 2020, Urban Edge acquired the 1.2-million-square-foot mall / from Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield for $29.7 million. At the time, the mall was only 65 percent occupied and struggling after significant departures earlier in the decade, including JC Penney and Walmart.
The mall is now about half vacant and counts only about 50 tenants left. It’s not clear if the tenants will have the ability to finish out their leases, but Urban Edge doesn’t appear to be pushing them out.
“There are a series of leases expiring over time so there is no one specific date by which these tenants need to vacate,” Urban Edge said.
Urban Edge reported a net operating loss of $400,000 at the mall during the fourth quarter and $3 million for the year.
Sunrise Mall has the distinction of being the last place on Long Island to house a Sears retail location. The store closed in October, ending a 62-year run for Sears on Long Island. Transformco had previously reached an agreement with Urban Edge to terminate Sears’ leases at the Sunrise Mall, Bruckner Commons in the Bronx and one Puerto Rico location.
[Newsday] — Holden Walter-Warner