Simon says malls will reopen but some states say otherwise
Nation’s largest mall landlord has reactivated dozens of properties but was blocked from doing so at locations in New York and Indiana, and may have to adjust scheduled reopenings in other areas
Simon Property Group’s plan to reopen several dozen malls across the U.S. has not gone as smoothly as expected.
While more than three dozen states have partially reopened to business — or will be soon — some cities within those states remain under quarantine.
Simon has postponed the opening of at least seven malls in New York State — which has been hit harder by the coronavirus than anywhere else in the country — and four others in Indiana, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The openings in Indiana were blocked when officials from Marion and Monroe counties extended their stay-at-home orders through May 15. The malls in New York were set to open May 16. The state is allowing some counties to begin industry-specific reopenings based on criteria such as infection and hospital rates. New York City, which has recorded the highest number of cases of Covid-19 and the highest number of deaths, remains under a stay-at-home order, with nonessential businesses shuttered.
Late last month, Simon — the country’ largest mall landlord — planned to open 49 malls in 10 states, but that list has changed and is expected to continue to change in the coming weeks depending on local and state rules, the Journal reported.
Despite the setbacks, CEO David Simon said that 77 of its malls had opened as of Monday.
Simon was hit hard by the pandemic in the first quarter, with a 20 percent year-over-year decline in net income, it reported on Monday. The company expects those results to darken in the second quarter, when the full impact of the virus-led shutdowns will be revealed. In late March, Simon announced it would furlough 30 percent of its workforce because of coronavirus. [WSJ] — Dennis Lynch