Queens mall foreclosure nears completion

Shops at Atlas Park

Foreclosure proceedings are expected to be completed in the next two months at the Shops at Atlas Park in Glendale, Queens, almost 18 months after developer Damon Hemmerdinger defaulted on a $128 million loan, Crain’s reported. Now, the path is clear for the property’s lenders — French banks Société Générale and Calyon — to sell off the 400,000-square-foot property and bring in new owners. When the mall first opened on the former site of the Atlas Industrial Park, the 25-acre retail development initially seemed like something from an upscale retailer’s dream, featuring stucco buildings and an outdoor promenade, plus a mix of tenants, including an eight-screen Regal movie theater, stores such as Florsheim and J. Jill, as well as the Amish Market gourmet food store. But these high-end businesses were never a good fit for the middle-income neighborhood, and as time went on, vacancy rates began rising and foot traffic worsened. Hemmerdinger eventually gave up ownership of the center in February 2009. While the banks began work on foreclosure proceedings, CB Richard Ellis was appointed as the property manager, whose priority is now to retain the remaining tenants, which include several restaurants, a Borders bookstore and the Regal movie theater. [Crain’s]

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