NEW YORK — As several states begin to reopen amid the COVID-19 outbreak, mall empire Simon Property Group announced it is planning to reopen several malls and shopping areas, including several locations in the New York area once the state government allows them to do so.
Simon Property Group has reopened about 59 properties in the 13 states that have lifted closure orders and initially hoped to open another 18 within the next week, pending state stay-at-home orders.
“Shopper response to our reopenings has been very positive. Initial traffic has been better than expected, and at times we have had to limit access to our properties to ensure enthusiastic shoppers adhere to the social distancing standards outlined in our COVID-19 safety protocols,” the company said in a statement.
Simon Property’s COVID-19 safety protocols for employees include preemptive employee screening, providing proper protective equipment, and enforcing social distancing as well as enhancing disinfecting.
The company also provided a list of locations with projected reopening dates, including several in New York such as Roosevelt Field Mall in and Woodbury Common Premium Outlet.
New York locations initially had a projected reopening date of May 16, which coincides with the end of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s “PAUSE” executive order.
Following the news of potential reopenings, Sen. David Carlucci sent out at statement saying Simon Property Group's New York locations will not open May 16.
"I have spoken with Simon Property Group, and they have reassured me that their malls in NYS are not reopening on May 16th, despite guidance they released. They said they are looking to work with the State so any reopening is done safely and responsibly. I appreciate their correction on this matter, as it caused some alarm in the Hudson Valley where we have been greatly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Assemblyman Colin Schmitt, who serves for the 99th NYC Assembly District, which includes parts of Rockland and Orange counties, said he has been in touch with Woodbury Common leadership, who have clarified and confirmed they will not open in violation of Cuomo’s “NY PAUSE” order. “They will only open as prescribed by law at the appropriate time.”
Gov. Andrew Cuomo's NY PAUSE order is set to expire May 15. He has laid out several steps to reopen the state, region by region.
As of Tuesday, New York state has reported over 320,000 confirmed coronavirus cases, with over 171,000 in New York City, according to the state and city health departments.