Cohoes Commons

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Cohoes Commons
Location Cohoes, New York
Opening date August 1, 1987
Developer Zandri Construction Co. of Cohoes
Owner National Enterprises
No. of stores and services 16
No. of anchor tenants 1
Total retail floor area 120,000 sq ft (11,000 m2)
No. of floors 2

Cohoes Commons was a small, urban enclosed shopping mall in Cohoes, New York, mostly focusing on upscale fashion factory outlets. What is unique about this mall is that it was located in an urban area. Most malls in the Capital District of New York were much larger and located in suburban areas. The building still exists, though it is primarily an office complex at this time. It is located on Mohawk Street.


Plans for development of the mall were announced in Summer, 1986. A mall would be built as an edition to the existing Cohoes Specialty Stores, which would serve as the anchor. The plan was to build 56,000 square feet (5,200 m2) of additional retail space in a two-story building. The intent was to feature stores not found in the larger, suburban malls in the NY Capital Region. Ground breaking was scheduled for October 1, 1986.[1] The cost of the mall was $4 million. Construction was done by Zandri Construction Co. of Cohoes.[2] It was claimed that people came to Cohoes Specialty Stores and wanted to see other shops in close proximity.[3]


The mall was scheduled to open on August 1, 1987. Total retail space was 75,000 square feet (7,000 m2) in addition to its anchor.[3]

Concerns by the community[edit]

At the time, Cohoes had a downtown with businesses catering to cost-conscious customers. It was felt among the community in that area, that the kinds of traffic coming to the mall would not spill over into the business area. Parking concerns were also cited because this mall did not have acres of parking spaces like the typical suburban mall.[4]

Initial success[edit]

By 1989, New York State Route 787, an arterial expanding I-787, had been completed, connecting Cohoes with the interstate. This brought more people into the area. It was noted that busloads of people were arriving in Cohoes on Saturdays, prompting consideration of a Harmony Mall in the old Harmony Mills No. 2 building. This building had served as a knitting mill in 1866.[5]


The Cohoes Specialty Stores chain owned 50% of the Cohoes Commons building. When Burlington Coat Factory purchased the chain in 1989, they took the 50% ownership in the building.[6][7]

By 1993, the partnership that operated the mall (including Cohoes Fashions, then owned by Burlington Coat Factory, as a limited partner) was the Mohawk Group based in Manhattan.[8] In 1987, Mohawk Group purchased the mall from Cohoes Specialty Stores, Ltd. The mortgage holder in 1993 was First International Bank of California. The bank filed foreclosure papers by mid-1993 due to failure to pay the $44,000 monthly payment.[9]

By the end of 1995, the mall was transferred to National Enterprises of California from the Mohawk Group to avoid foreclosure.[9]


Over the years, tenants have included:

Tenant Name Date Opened
Cohoes Specialty Stores/Cohoes Fashions original anchor[10][11][12] (left for Crossgates Mall approximately October, 1999)[13]
American Tourister Factory Outlet original tenant[6][14]
Assortments (engraving kiosk) before September 16, 1987[6]
Chocolate Drop, The before September 16, 1987[6]
Corning Factory Store original tenant[6][14] closed early September, 1989[15]
Crystal Factory, The original tenant[6][14]
Dansk Factory Outlet original tenant[6][12][14] (vacated free-standing building across the street)[14] (moved from this location to Latham in spring, 1994)[16]
David's Cookies and Ice Cream original tenant[6][11]
First Choice Fashions original tenant[6][14] (left in Summer, 1995)[17]
Gingersnips Ltd. around September 6, 1987[6][18]
L'eggs/Hanes/Bali Outlet original tenant[6][14]
Lee Jay for the Home (later called Lee Jay Linens) original tenant[6][14] (left the mall in Summer, 1995)[17]
CB Sports original tenant[6][14]
Paper Factory, The original tenant[6][14]
Prestige Fragrance and Cosmetics original tenant[6][14]
Polo/Ralph Lauren Factory Store original tenant[6][12][14] (closed this location after Labor Day, 1999)[19]
Ribbon Outlet, The original tenant[6][14]
Toy Liquidators original tenant[6][14]
Cohoes for Kids around July 24, 1992 (second floor)[20]
Hudson-Neva (art gallery) 1996[21]
Browse Around (coffee shop) July, 1998[22]
Earth Stone and Fire moved out Summer, 1999[19][23]
Metropolis Antiques (coffee shop) before April 29, 1999[24]
Bugle Boy Outlet before November 30, 1999[25]
Nevsky Fine and Applied Art Gallery before December 18, 1999[26]
Finserv Health Care Services (medical billing) after November 30, 1999 (filling space of Cohoes Fashions)[25]
Brass Rail Coffee Co. (Seton owned) before October 14, 2000[27]
Cohoes Family Health Center (Seton owned) after October, 2000[27]
Seton Health Business Office/Materials Management March 4, 2002[28]
New York State Department of Civil Service Employee Health Service facility May 11, 2006[29][30]

Cohoes Too[edit]

As a result of the mall being built, Cohoes Specialty Stores opened Cohoes Too, which sold clearance items from all stores in the Cohoes Specialty Stores chain, across the street in the building formerly housed by Dansk. Dansk moved into the mall as an original tenant.[14]

Decline as a shopping center[edit]

The Cohoes Specialty Stores chain was underwater in debt, and was sold by mid-1989. The chain's flagship and anchor store at Cohoes Commons was temporarily closed (June 2 to June 18, 1989)[31] and others in the chain were permanently shuttered.[32] Ultimately, Burlington Coat Factory bought the chain in a bankruptcy sale.[31] The mall itself did well after this time, but stores continued to relocate over the years. By 1995, the mall had a 68% vacancy rate. New owners were attempting to turn it around to return it to the upscale shopping center of the late 1980s.[9]

By late 1995, the only remaining tenants included Cohoes Fashions, L'eggs/Bali/Hanes, Labels, Polo/Ralph Lauren, Prestige Fragrances, and Labels. The new owners planned renovations to include skylights and other items to make the mall seem more upscale.[17]

Cohoes Fashions announced in April, 1999, that it would be vacating its anchor store space and relocating to Crossgates Mall.[33] In the subsequent months, Polo/Ralph Lauren announced its departure from the mall along with another boutique.[19] In October, 1999, the anchor Cohoes Fashions was finishing its store liquidation sale in preparation for its new location at Crossgates Mall.[13] By January, 2000, it was noted in the Albany Times Union that Cohoes Commons was "largely empty."[34] Like many other, larger malls, loss of the anchor caused traffic to dwindle and a chain reaction of smaller stores leaving.[27] Size of the mall (under 200,000 sq. ft.) made it difficult to attract new retail tenants.[27]

Unlike many larger struggling enclosed malls, this mall did not face the wrecking ball. Instead, its purpose changed into an office complex when Seton Health moved in and later a unit of the New York State Department of Civil Service.

  • Note: As of November 1, 2009, part of one of the original buildings has been torn down.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Picchi, Joe (1986-08-27), "Store plans expansion in Cohoes", Times Union, The (Albany), p. B1 
  2. ^ Picchi, Joe (1987-01-20), "$4m shopping complex work on Cohoes Mall 'ahead of schedule'", Times Union, The (Albany), p. B2 
  3. ^ a b Hass, Nancy (1987-05-05), "A shot in the arm", Times Union, The (Albany), p. D7 
  4. ^ Smith, Greg B. (1987-07-29), "'Merchants Row' uncertain about changes", Knickerbocker News, The (Albany), p. 12A 
  5. ^ Becsey, Laura (1989-01-10), "Mall proposed in old Cohoes mill", Knickerbocker News, The (Albany), p. A8 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r "Burlington Buys Cohoes Chain", Syracuse Post-Standard, The, p. B7, 1989-08-04 
  7. ^ Brown, Cailin (1989-07-18), "Burlington Coat negotiating for Cohoes Specialty assets", Times Union, The (Albany), p. A9 
  8. ^ Swift, Aisling (1993-07-01), "Bank says mall owes mortgage payments", Times Union, The (Albany), p. C7 
  9. ^ a b c Orenstein, David (1995-11-09), "Cohoes Commons avoids foreclosure", Times Union, The (Albany), p. C17 
  10. ^ "(Advertisement)", Syracuse Herald-Journal, The, p. C5, 1987-09-16 
  11. ^ a b Ingraham, Francis (1987-08-01), "Cohoes Commons opens with preview", Times Union, The (Albany), p. B5 
  12. ^ a b c "(Advertisement)", Syracuse Post-Standard, The, p. B4, 1989-10-30 
  13. ^ a b Mattox, Keri P. (1999-10-11), "Cohoes bargain hunt bittersweet", Times Union, The (Albany), p. B1 
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Hass, Nancy (1987-08-01), "Cohoes Commons unveiled amid gaiety", Times Union, The (Albany), p. B5 
  15. ^ "Please the cook with great gadgets", Times Union, The (Albany), p. T4, 1987-12-17 
  16. ^ Swift, Aisling (1993-12-23), "Latham Outlet Village to grow", Times Union, The (Albany), p. C8 
  17. ^ a b c Orenstein, David (1995-12-29), "Cohoes Commons owner borrows for renovations", Times Union, The (Albany), p. C12 
  18. ^ Hass, Nancy (1987-09-06), "Boutiques for juveniles...", Times Union, The (Albany), p. E1 
  19. ^ a b c Sturgis, Chris (1999-07-15), "2 more shops join exodus from Cohoes Commons", Times Union, The (Albany), p. E1 
  20. ^ Jackson, Vincent (1992-07-30), "Cohoes for Kids moves into Cohoes Commons Mall", Times Union, The (Albany), p. B10 
  21. ^ Sturgis, Chris (1999-03-07), "Immigrants bring old country to Cohoes", Times Union, The (Albany), p. D5 
  22. ^ O'Brien, Tim (1998-08-02), "Bruno is Troy's friend in high places", Times Union, The (Albany), p. D1 
  23. ^ Wood, Robin (1999-11-19), "Lark Street association earning dividends", Business Review, The (Albany) 
  24. ^ O'Brien, Tim (1999-04-29), "Goods and Services", Times Union, The (Albany), p. P5 
  25. ^ a b Sturgis, Chris (1999-11-30), "Vacant fashion space finds tenant", Times Union, The (Albany), p. E5 
  26. ^ "Russicum to give concert", Times Union, The (Albany), p. B6, 1999-12-18 
  27. ^ a b c d Furfaro, Danielle T. (2000-10-14), "Health care tenants help mall rebuild", Times Union, The (Albany), p. E1 
  28. ^ "Seton Health office moving to Cohoes Commons", Business Review, The (Albany), 2002-02-27 
  29. ^ "Civil Service workers shifting from Harriman campus to Cohoes", Business Review, The (Albany), 2006-06-15 
  30. ^ Furfaro, Danielle T. (2006-05-16), "State health clinic moves to Cohoes", Times Union, The (Albany), p. B1 
  31. ^ a b Brown, Cailin (1989-06-20), "Bankruptcy court red tape snares retail gift certificates", Times Union, The (Albany), p. B11 
  32. ^ Gormley, Michael (1989-06-03), "Cohoes sale unsettles workers", Times Union, The (Albany), p. A8 
  33. ^ Woodruff, Cathy; Johnston, Jo-Ann (1999-04-28), "Cohoes Fashions pulls up stakes", Times Union, The (Albany), p. B1 
  34. ^ "A new start in Cohoes", Times Union, The (Albany), p. A8, 2000-01-22