Westgate Plaza (Albany, New York)

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Westgate Plaza is a large strip mall in the city of Albany, New York, located on Central Avenue. Westgate is considered the first mall in the Albany area,[1] and opened in 1957.[2][3]

Tenants[edit]

Over the years, tenants have included:

Tenant Name Date Opened
JCPenney 1957 (closed in 1984, moving to Crossgates Mall)[4]
Barbizon Fashion Shops 1960s (closed during redevelopment, then reopened)[5] (closed permanently after May 9, 1997)[6]
W.T. Grant 1974 or earlier[7]
Albany Public Market unknown[8]
Land of Fabrics unknown[9]
Traditions Antiques unknown[10]
National Savings Bank before October 24, 1986[11]
Big Dom's before August 26, 1988[12]
Westgate Piano & Organ unknown[13]
Stylish Women Limited unknown[14]
Card Time unknown[15]
Albany Window Design before July 8, 1990[16]
MSS Limited before December, 1990 (planned to relocate to Builders Square Plaza in Colonie by January, 1991)[17]
Grand Union before March 6, 1991[18] closed before February 23, 1993[19]
Woolworth's unknown, closed before February 23, 1993[19]
Wheels April 23, 1992[20]
Paper Cutter before February 23, 1993[19]
Rose Dental Associates unknown, moved before March 7, 1997[21]
Harold L. Joyce headquarters (political campaign office) before September 15, 1993[20]
Champion Factory Outlet before April 13, 1994[22] (closed 2004)[23])
Price Chopper Spring, 1995[24] (left Colvin Central Plaza)[25] (renovation around 2000)[26]
Fay's Drug before Spring, 1995 (left Colvin Central Plaza)[25]
Westgate Barber Shop before April 22, 1995[27]
Cohoes Savings Bank (branch inside Price Chopper) May 15, 1995[28]
J.B.'s Theatre before June 18, 1995[29]
Duane's Toyland before December 21, 1995[30]
Empire Cellular before January 28, 1996[31]
The Party Experience June, 1997 company took over Paper Cutter in 1996 (liquidation in May, 1998)[26]
New Music Center before July 25, 1998[32]
Mini Mall Theater before February 13, 1999[33]
Capital District Equal Opportunity Center before July 12, 1999[34]
Key Bank before July 17, 1999[35]
American Institute of Japanese Karate before July 12, 2000[36]
Mailboxes Etc. before November 18, 2000[36]
Call to Pray Ministry before September 12, 2002[37]
Mr. Subb before March 17, 2003[38]
One Price Clothing Store before February, 2004 (closed by end of March, 2004)[39]
Payless Shoes before October 25, 2004 [40]
Fashion Bug before June 18, 2005 [41]
Dean's Incredible Edibles before November 16, 2005 [42]
UPS Store before December 27, 2005 [43]
PCX Corp. after June 12, 2007 [44]
Horizons Management Associates LLC after June 12, 2007 [44]
A.J. Wright October 16, 2008[45] (24,000 sq ft.)[46]
BEST Fitness Unknown

"Record Town" "before 1982

Redevelopment[edit]

Plans were submitted to the city of Albany before February 23, 1993 for redevelopment of parts of the plaza. This would include demolishing the section that included the closed Grand Union and Woolworth's stores, as well as the still open Wheels and Paper Cutter stores, with plans to relocate the latter stores. A new section would be built on space occupied by the section to be demolished.[19]

By October 26, 1993, the redevelopment plans had been approved by the city of Albany.[5]

Ownership/Property Management[edit]

As of February 23, 1993, the plaza was owned by Russell Road Associates of Boston. On that date, the plaza was only 40% full and the owners were bankrupt.[19]

Nigro Cos. was managing the shopping center in October, 1993.[5]

Price Chopper purchased 2 acres (8,100 m2) from owner Russell Road Associates in 1993 at a cost of $3 million. This purchase allowed Russell Road Associates, bankrupt at the time, to jumpstart their reorganization. Price Chopper built an 82,500-square-foot (7,660 m2) store on the land for approximately $4 million. The building was sold to Mesirow-Heller and Price Chopper leases the building. In early 1997, Ruskin Investors of Northbrook, Illinois purchased the building from Mesirow-Heller for $9 million. Lease terms did not change as a result of the purchase.[47]

Boston Development Associates of Westwood, Massachusetts, became the manager of the plaza property in January, 1997.[48]

Historic Sign[edit]

The sign for Westgate Plaza is unofficially considered a landmark for the downtown Central Avenue area. There have been concerns about damage or renovation of the sign as removing a piece of history for the area.[48][49]

Miscellaneous Notes[edit]

By 1994, it was noted that Crossgates Mall, which had been open for ten years by that time, had had a negative effect on older city shopping plazas such as Westgate.[50]

Sources[edit]

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