Hudson Valley Mall
|Location||Kingston, New York|
|Developer||The Pyramid Company|
|Owner||Hull Property Group|
|No. of stores and services||70|
|No. of anchor tenants||4|
|Total retail floor area||765,704 square feet|
|No. of floors||1|
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. Hull Property Group currently owns and operates Hudson Valley Mall. The mall opened in 1981 and has an area of 765,704 square feet (71,136.2 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.
Other current mall stores
Former anchor stores
- Macy's - Closed in 2016
- Hess's - Closed 1994, replaced by Filene's in 1995
- Kmart - Closed in 1995
- Filene's - Converted to Macy's in 2006
- J. C. Penney - Closed in 2015 (67,578 ft²)
An expansion in 1989, added Sears, a new food court and approximately 15 other stores.
In 1995, the mall quickly hit a decline when both Hess's, which filed for bankruptcy, and Kmart, which moved to a location south of the mall on U.S. Route 9W, left the mall within months of each other. (This Kmart location later went out of business and was replaced by a Kohl's). 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 Companies, the mall's owner, began to plan a drastic renovation process.
At the beginning of the 21st century, Pyramid invested in the mall, doing a complete renovation of the mall's interior as well as using their clout to attract new tenants. The former Kmart space was divided up into a Best Buy (opened in 2000) and a Dick's Sporting Goods (opened in 2001), with Target building a new location adjacent to the space, which was also opened in 2001. On September 9, 2006, the region gained its first Macy's when that chain bought out the existing Filene's.
In 2011, ownership of the mall changed hands when The Pyramid Companies sold it to PCK Development. PCK originally consolidated the mall's outstanding debts back in 2010, but did not officially purchased the mall until the following year.
In 2015, the J.C. Penney announce it would close its location in the mall due to declining sales. It was also during this year that PCK defaulted on its $52.5 million loan from the U.S. National Bank Association (USNBA).
In July 2016, as a result of the default, the USNBA took ownership of the mall and began to look for a new owner. During this time period, mall tenants were instructed to pay rent directly to the USNBA. Additionally, the USNBA asked Tennessee-based retail developer CBL & Associates to help look for new mall tenants.
Macy's announce its store closure at the Hudson Valley Mall in 2016, also citing a decline in sales and the chain's increased focus on its online presence.
In 2017, the USNBA finally found a buyer for the mall, Hull Property Group. The sale price of $8.4 million was notably low, for the reason that Hull hopes to use it to get a lower property valuation, and thus lower taxes. Following the completion of the sale, Hull announced plans to renovate the mall in the near future.
2005 mall shooting
On February 13, 2005, Robert Bonelli, age 24, of Glasco, New York, entered the mall with an AK-47 assault rifle and began firing it in the mall's Best Buy. Panic ensued as employees and shoppers began to flee the mall. Bonelli moved into the mall's main corridor and continued firing his weapon until he ran out of ammunition. After emptying the assault rifle, he promptly dropped it. As Bonelli dropped the weapon, a mall employee grabbed his gun, and another tackled him. The mall was evacuated and Bonelli was taken into custody. No one was killed in the shooting and only two people, a 20-year-old National Guard recruiter and a 56-year-old male shopper, were wounded.
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
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. 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 had a confrontation with Inger, grabbed a knife in the kitchen, and killed her at around 12:45 a.m. Two weeks later, Despres died after jumping, while intoxicated, from a vehicle after leaving a party.
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