South Hills Mall
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (May 2007)|
|Location||Poughkeepsie, New York, United States|
|Closing date||December 31, 2007|
|Owner||Vornado Realty Trust|
|No. of stores and services||4|
|No. of anchor tenants||4 open|
|Total retail floor area||675,000 ft² (62,700m²)|
|No. of floors||1|
South Hills Mall was an indoor shopping mall on U.S. 9 in the town of Poughkeepsie, New York. The 675,000 ft² plaza opened in 1978 and included two anchors (Sears and KMart) at opposite ends. The South Hills Mall is owned and operated by Vornado Realty Trust, which purchased the mall from the locally-based Dagar Group in October 2005.
The mall is adjacent to its significantly more successful rival, the Poughkeepsie Galleria, and the two are linked by interior roads. The Galleria's existence has led to the slow decline of South Hills.
Presently, the space, now known as The Shoppes at South Hills (despite the remaining "South Hills Mall" signage at the site), is being constructed as a strip mall. Previous tenants include K-Mart, Burlington Coat Factory, Shop Rite (2006); Newly opened ones include: Christmas Tree Shoppes (2009), New England-based Bob's Discount Furniture (2009), PetGoods (2012), Hobby Lobby and Ashley Furniture.
South Hills Mall was the first true indoor shopping mall in Poughkeepsie and the second in Dutchess County (after Dutchess Mall in Fishkill, 10 miles south). Upon opening, anchors were Sears and KMart in addition to smaller shops. The original plan called for Forbes & Wallace as the other anchor. South Hills quickly became the dominant retail center in the Poughkeepsie area, leading to the closing of prominent downtown retailer Luckey Platt & Co. in 1981. An eight screen movie theater opened in 1984 in a space once occupied by Park Place Roller Rink, and a later expansion added Hess's and a food court in 1985.
In the early 1980s, an initial proposal for a two-story mall adjacent to South Hills was submitted; after several years of protests, this proposal became the Poughkeepsie Galleria and opened in 1987. Though the malls co-existed successfully for the first several years of the Galleria's existence, as the 1990s began South Hills began to suffer. The decline largely began in 1991 when Hess's closed their location and Sears moved to the Galleria; the Hess's space was replaced by Burlington Coat Factory while the Sears space was divided between Pharmhouse and a (freestanding) Price Chopper supermarket. Service Merchandise relocated to this mall in 1995 after closing their location at the Dutchess Mall. It is believed that both stores were open at the same time for a while, with the Dutchess Mall location closing before the company went out of business in 2002.
In the 1990s, South Hills was sold to Sarakreek Holdings NV, a Dutch property holding firm which attempted to revive the mall by opening "big-box" retailers like Media Play, Old Navy, Office Max, Discovery Zone, and Bob's Stores. The success was short-lived; in the long run the alienation of smaller stores by the larger ones only led to a further, greater decline resulting in the closure of all the aforementioned retailers.
By the late 1990s, Sarakreek sold South Hills to the Dagar Group, a locally based retail ownership group. The mall's decline accelerated after this change as many smaller tenants left the mall. Filling those holes have been smaller, independent shops which existed for only a brief time. The Service Merchandise location has been largely vacant, minus several months as an overstock book store. After Phar-Mor, parent of Pharmhouse, folded, the space has played host to two different furniture stores. The closings of Media Play, OfficeMax, and Price Chopper supermarket in 2006 did not bode well for the mall. The Price Chopper location was subsequently replaced by a ShopRite supermarket and has remained successful. For a time in 2007 to 2008, the few remaining sources of income for the mall was the Silver Cinemas (a discount movie theater), and K-Mart.
By May 2008, the mall was almost fully empty, with the exception of Silver Cinemas, Kmart, Burlington Coat Factory, ShopRite, and Namco (not to be confused with the Japanese video game company).  The shopping center's interior halls were still open and accessible to the public, though all other stores were closed on December 31, 2007.
In July 2008, construction crews had begun demolition of the site, while the four major tenants remain open. KMart remained at the south end of the mall, Burlington in the middle and ShopRite at the north end. The former Bob's Store eventually was turned into the Hobby Lobby store.
- "Dagar Group". Retrieved 2008-06-25.[dead link]
- "Vornado Realty Trust". Retrieved 2008-06-25.
- DeadMalls.com Profile
- Photos of South Hills Mall
- KMart & Burlington Coat Factory To Stay - Poughkeepsie Journal
- The Shoppes at South Hills (Site Plan)
- Requiem for a mall