Pyramid lands refi to keep shopping center afloat

Albany property gets lifeline, but Syracuse megamall doesn’t

Pyramid Management Group's Stephen Congel and Crossgates Commons in Albany (Pyramid Management Group)
Pyramid Management Group's Stephen Congel and Crossgates Commons in Albany (Pyramid Management Group)

New York-based mall operator Pyramid Management Group is skating out of trouble in Albany, but remains in limbo in Syracuse.

Pyramid landed a loan to refinance the debt on Crossgates Commons in Albany, according to Syracuse.com. The details of the financing for the 700,000-square-foot shopping plaza, including the amount of the loan, were not disclosed.

New York City-based real estate lender Argentic provided the 10-year loan on the property. Argentic is the same company that acquired the Chelsea building that housed the original Barneys New York department store earlier this year after a $49.5 million foreclosure judgment.

Pyramid has struggled with debt across its portfolio as shopping malls suffered through the pandemic. The company seems to be recovering in spurts, however; the Crossgates Commons refinancing is its second major mall deal in as many weeks, following a three-year loan extension at the Walden Galleria in Buffalo.

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Clockwise from top left: Poughkeepsie Galleria, Crossgates Mall, Destiny USA and Walden Galleria (Credit: Google Maps; I Love NY; Visit Buffalo)
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There’s no news, however, about the status of Destiny USA in Syracuse, the biggest mall in the state. Pyramid is trying to pay off more than $700 million in debt on the property.

Two loans totaling $430 million were due to mature at Destiny last week. The company also owes $278.5 million in bonds issued by the Syracuse Industrial Development Agency. The Kroll Bond Rating Agency estimated in March that the property was worth only $139.2 million.

It has lost several major tenants in recent years, including J.C. Penney, Lord & Taylor and Best Buy.

Last year, Pyramid reached a settlement with lender Axonic Capital after defaulting on a $20.5 million mezzanine loan on the Galleria at Crystal Run, a shopping mall in Middletown, New York. Terms of the settlement at the Orange County mall were not made public.

The three malls are among five in Pyramid’s portfolio that have gone into special servicing in recent years. The others are Poughkeepsie Galleria and the Palisades Center in West Nyack.

[Syracuse.com] — Holden Walter-Warner