Georgia company finalizes purchase of Hudson Valley Mall

(Photo by Will Dendis)

Hull Property Group announced today the acquisition of the Hudson Valley Mall in the town of Ulster. The purchase had been expected since last month, with an estimated sale price of around $8 million – a fraction of the property’s $66 million assessment.

Hull cited the mall’s difficulties in its announcement.

“We believe that it is important for a community to have a vibrant retail corridor and a first class enclosed mall, but it is clear that the Hudson Valley Mall is not succeeding in its current state,” the release reads. “Due to changing shopping habits and the current exodus of retailers, a great amount of time, capital and effort is needed to turn the Hudson Valley Mall around.”

Indeed, previous reports stated Hull would invest around $10 million to improve the 765,700 square-foot mall.


The company said it would work with local leaders, community stakeholders and surrounding property owners “to build a consensus on what the future should be for not only the Mall but the entire Highway 9W retail corridor…If we don’t share a vision for the future of this important area and work together to achieve that vision, then the marketplace may dictate an unfortunate and unforgiving future.”

Also referenced was the still pending bid by previous owner PCK Development of Liverpool to reduce the assessed value of the property to $40 million. The sale price puts Hull in a position to argue for a still-lower valuation. That would be a one-two punch for the local taxbase, still reeling from a court’s ruling last April reducing the assessment of TechCity, the former IBM campus across the street from the mall, by a third.

The purchase by Hull follows its acquisition of three malls from Chattanooga-based CBL & Associates on Dec. 19. The malls, located in Wisconsin, Georgia and North Carolina, share similar circumstances, having recently lost one or more anchor stores. In a release announcing that sale, Hull said it had a successful record of reviving under-performing malls in small markets. It owns 28 enclosed malls in 12 states.

The Hudson Valley Mall’s unwinding began with the closure of JCPenney in 2015. Macy’s followed in 2016, and the mall’s owner defaulted on a $50 million debt and went into receivership last June.

Another long-time anchor store, Sears, managed to survive another round of store closings. That company announced earlier this week that 150 Sears and Kmart stores would be closing in early 2017. The only store from our neck of the woods on the list was Middletown, but the company is clearly in trouble. Sears subsequently announced the sale of its venerable Craftsman line of tools to Stanley Black & Decker, a move characterized by the New York Times as an effort to raise cash after a disappointing holiday season that saw sales fall 12 percent.

Also reporting disappointing holiday sales: Kohl’s (which has a location just down the street from the Hudson Valley Mall) and Macy’s, which announced it would close 68 stores and lay off 10,000.

Meanwhile, Amazon had its best holiday season ever.


There are 9 comments

  1. Ann Haris

    I would like to see some HIGH END discount outlets such as in Monroe Woodbury Commons. A furniture store, Men and Womens clothing, A department store, A leather store “no dollar stores please”. A comedy club & restaurant etc.. Thank you

  2. Favorite Place

    First thing, Hull Companies has a high success rate with redeveloping dead malls. Check them out, do your research, they’ve taken over properties in similar sized regions where obsolete malls don’t meet shopper’s current habits, and have suffered decline due to age, design, and the loss of local industries such as the closing of IBM.

    First – Brand / Aesthetic / Relevant Feel / Experience:
    For HVM – it needs a re-branding (new logo identity, the parking areas need upgrades and re-design, new lighting, landscaping, signage, a clearly branded, defined design aesthetic that pulls it out of the 80s and into the 2010’s & beyond.

    Second – As with the majority of this kind of property Hull would keep the profitable end of the mall – Target, Dick’s, Best Buy – and give the exterior & interior connections a total upgrade; this includes consolidating the best stores adjacent, with freshly designed space for new tenatns. Then, keeping the theatres but wowrking toward the south end — demolish the building, taking down the old JCP, Macy’s and adjacent interior mall spaces. I would actually work with Sears to get their newest format into a newly built space, one that is a mix features only their best brands; get rid of the rest, they’re cheap and people don’t shop them. NEXT –
    rebuilding on the former footprint would be probaly two smaller ‘box formats’ (possibly something like Steinmart and/or an out of region department store that Hull has connections with, and would introduce a new brand to the market (Dillards, or other smaller footprint department store that has good brands). Within the new build would be several out-of-market restaurants, and as noted in other comments bring in either a Trader Joe’s or a Whole Foods at their 25,000 /30,000 sq. foot format. (A grocery like this will draw from both sides of the Hudson because of it’s uniqueness to the market). Mixed within these new, smaller format anchors would be possibly a dozen to a dozen & a half new specialty retailers, ones that are not currently represented in this market. I would also evaluate the benefit of a city-loft-style development on that new end of condos, perhaps 100 units, that would either occupy upper floors, or be developed with greenspace facing the rear of the property on the less-traveled end of the property. The sheer volume and format of the current parking lots are outdated and not needed, again, landscaping, lighting and design all come into play.

    Lastly – The property is NOT worth what the town wants to assess. It isn’t, it doesn’t generate revenue to support that, and sits partially empty. The town (all towns like it) are living in an old state-of-mind and lack of reality if they think they can just demand a tax rate like that. they need to re-set the value, and come to an agreement that once redeveloped, new business are in, and generating income there can be a fair re-assesment in five years.

    Towns have to bite the bullet, lower costs, merge, streamline. Cut benefit expectations and be smarter and more aggressive to attract business. The way the town has handled the IBM / Tech City site is criminal and they continue to fail us on that point. Clear it, sell it, get a data center(s) and/or cloud facility developed there. Create open space if needed, go aggressively with the state’s private universities and partner with them to develop a hybrid-technology campus here (Cornell, NYU, Columbia, Syracuse, there are many institutions that are generating research, manufacturing and jobs) and the site is ripe to start from scratch.

    We, people, towns, have to stop looking at the old economic model from 40-years ago. You can’t go back, but you can go forward IF YOU HAVE VISION.

  3. Your local assessor

    There are more than one way to assess real property values but there is no process by which they are combined. It is not complex these intricate methods it’s really sixth grade stuff and while we’re on the education of children…

  4. Your local assessor

    the last act of the states three member assessments oversight board was to dismiss itself that was 2014 and nobody published beyond the website. The reasoning was that this county was devaluing land in violation of the rps laws by invoking Home Rule. Home rule equates as a plutocracy an economic rule without philosophy ergo your hunting the wrong dog if you aren’t best informed about how the financial Capitol of the country did not note and understand the event

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