Long Island mall vacancy rates range from 35% to 5%

Area malls trading traditional tenants, beating national average

Tri-State /
Nov.November 01, 2021 12:48 PM
 Samanea New York at 1504 Old Country Road in Westbury (Facebook, Google Maps)

Samanea New York at 1504 Old Country Road in Westbury (Facebook, Google Maps)

Amid hot streaks for Long Island’s residential and industrial markets, the area’s malls face mixed success grappling with the rise of e-commerce and loss of anchor stores.

Newsday reports Samanea New York in Westbury, has a current vacancy rate of 35 percent. The figure is the area’s highest, representing one-third of the mall’s 750,000 square feet as empty.

After a $28 million renovation led the its effort to pivot to a destination for lifestyle brands, negotiations are reportedly underway for 22 percent of its unleased space. Newsday reports Dave & Buster’s has already moved in, in addition to indoor golf franchise X-Golf and Empire Adventure Park that are soon to follow.

Sunrise Mall in Massapequa is also struggling, sporting a 34 percent vacancy rate in the second quarter. The mall was recently sold to a joint venture led by Urban Edge Properties for $29.7 million, well below the 2005 purchase price of $143 million.

Urban Edge’s reported plans to redevelop the mall are currently unclear.

Among the other malls with high vacancy rates are Green Acres Mall in Valley Stream (22.9 percent) and Smith Haven Mall (11.8 percent as of December). The vacancy rates for Broadway Commons and Westfield South Shore are unclear, while the vacancy rate at the Walt Whitman Ships was 8.7 percent in December.

Not all of the malls are struggling as mightily as Samanea New York and Sunrise. Roosevelt Field in Garden City recorded a 5 percent vacancy rate as of December, possibly due to its mix of tenants.

Nordstrom, Macy’s and an AMC movie theater are among the anchor tenants at Roosevelt Field. The mall also has high-end eateries like Capital Grille and is slated to add a Hermès boutique next year, Newsday reports.

Overall, Long Island malls are doing better than the national average, which CoStar reports has stalled at 7.6 percent for the past two quarters. The firm’s Brandon Svec cited high incomes and population density as support for the survival of the LI malls.

In the first quarter of this year, the vacancy rate for regional and superregional malls hit a record 11.4 percent, up from 10.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2020, according to Moody’s Analytics.

[Newsday] — Holden Walter-Warner





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