Hudson Valley Mall

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Hudson Valley Mall is a shopping mall located in Kingston, New York, in the area known as the Town of Ulster. It is the lone mall in Ulster County and is the only mall located between Poughkeepsie and Albany. Owned and managed by CBL & Associates Properties, the mall opened in 1981 and has an area of 765,000 square feet (71,100 m2) on one level with over 70 shops and restaurants as well as a 12-screen Regal Cinema theater. Adjacent to the mall is Hudson Valley Plaza, a two-tiered complex of "big-box" stores on a west-facing hill, consisting mostly of a Walmart, Petsmart and Toys "R" Us, as well as a few other shops.

Anchor stores[edit]

Current[edit]

  • Macy's - opened 1995 as Filene's - in former Hess's location (120,000 ft²)
  • JCPenney - opened 1981 (67,578 ft²)
  • Sears - opened 1989 in mall expansion. (110,862 ft²)
  • Best Buy - opened 2000 - half of former Kmart store.
  • Dick's Sporting Goods - opened 2001 - half of former Kmart store.
  • Target - opened 2001 - built onto the north end of former Kmart store. (124,000 ft²)

Former[edit]

History[edit]

The Hudson Valley Mall opened in 1981 with Kmart, J.C. Penney, Hess's, and a Hoyt's six-screen theater (later expanded to 12 screens and renamed under the Regal name), with an addition coming in 1989, adding Sears, a food court and about 15 other stores. In 1994, the mall quickly hit a decline when both Hess's (which folded) and Kmart (which moved to a location south of the mall on U.S. Route 9W) left the mall within months of one another (later this new K-mart location also went out of business and was to be replaced by a Kohl's department store). Though the Hess's space was filled the next year by Filene's, the Kmart space stayed vacant, and the north end of the mall suffered in response. During this time, The Pyramid Company, owner of many malls in New York state including this one, began to plan a drastic renovation process.

As the 21st century started, Pyramid began investing in the mall by doing a complete renovation of the mall's interior as well as using their clout to attract new tenants. The former Kmart space was carved into a Best Buy (opened 2000) and a Dick's Sporting Goods (opened 2001), with Target building a new location adjacent to the space (also opening in 2001). (The Target pad was originally slated to be Lord & Taylor.) On September 9, 2006, the region gained its first Macy's when that chain took over Filene's.

Other recent additions to the mall include Hollister (now closed), Against All Odds (which closed a few months after it opened), Charlotte Russe, The Children's Place, Hot Topic, Justice, Foot Locker, Buffalo Wild Wings (in the former Ground Round location), a relocated GameStop and a renovated New York and Company. In July 2010, the mall was sold to CBL & Associates Properties.

Incidents[edit]

2005 mall shooting[edit]

On February 13, 2005, Robert Bonelli Jr. of Glasco, New York, entered the mall with a Hesse-47 assault rifle and began firing it inside the Best Buy located at the mall. Bonelli, aged 24, caused a panic as employees and shoppers began to flee the mall. Bonelli moved into the mall corridor and continued firing his weapon until he ran out of ammunition, to which he promptly dropped his gun. At that point, a mall employee grabbed his gun, while another tackled Bonelli. The mall was evacuated and Bonelli was taken into custody. Amazingly, no one was killed in the shooting and only two people (a National Guard recruiter and a 56-year-old man) were wounded, with one of them making a full recovery and the other still facing limitations today.[when?]

In the wake of the incident, Ulster County investigators searched Bonelli's room at the home he shared with his father, and found what Ulster County District Attorney Donald Williams described as "Columbine memorabilia". Officials described the young man as being fascinated by the Columbine High School massacre. Additional searches were conducted by police after videos seized at Bonelli's residence showed him exploding homemade pipe bombs with a man named Kenneth Stine and another individual. Both individuals were later arrested and charged with violating federal explosives laws.

Bonelli was taken to the Ulster County jail; on March 15, 2006, Bonelli pleaded guilty and on May 20, 2006 was sentenced to 32 years in the state prison (the maximum allowed under the guilty plea). He will be eligible for parole in 26 years.

2006 murder of Sharon Inger[edit]

Some time between closing time at the Ground Round on Saturday, June 3 and the morning of Sunday around 9:00 a.m., June 4, 2006, a suspect entered the Ground Round restaurant in the mall and stabbed a 42-year-old employee, named Sharon Inger, approximately 33 times. Inger, who worked as a night manager at the restaurant, was found early Sunday morning when another employee arrived to open the restaurant. $4000 was missing, according to night receipts. Within the area, another woman's body was found around the same time. On September 21, 2006, police named Paul David Despres as the killer of Sharon Inger. Despres had begun employment with the Ground Round just a couple of weeks earlier. Investigators believe he went to the restaurant to steal his personnel file after giving a false name to police during a traffic stop earlier on the night of the murder, at around 11:00 p.m. Police believe he snapped when confronted by Inger, grabbed a knife in the kitchen, and killed her at around 12:45 a.m.

The police have offered as evidence three circumstantial items: the fact that there was no employee file for him in the employee file cabinet, that $4000 was missing, and a bite on Inger's body that possibly matches his impression. The murder weapon was not recovered and there are two photographs taken (one from a cell phone and one from a digital camera) with time stamps within minutes of 1:30 a.m., showing his holding his traffic stop ticket with his hair, hands, and clothes clean and dry. There has been no mention of DNA matches from either the bite nor vehicles available to him. Two weeks later, the individual died from impacted head trauma. Police concluded he jumped, while intoxicated, from a vehicle driven by a woman he was staying with, who was also intoxicated. Again, stories from witnesses were not consistent and all theories are still under investigation as there are many unanswered questions. Friends and family are working diligently to defend his innocence.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°58′00″N 73°59′02″W / 41.966734°N 73.983822°W / 41.966734; -73.983822