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Tags: coronavirus | covid | simonproperty | reopen | delay

America's Biggest Mall Owner Ready to Reopen, Receiving Political Pushback

an empty parking lot of a mall in texas
An aerial drone photo of a near empty parking lot as the North East Mall, owned by Simon Property Group, reopens on May 01, 2020 in Hurst, Texas. ( Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 12 May 2020 07:23 PM EDT

Simon Property Group, the country's biggest mall owner, wants to open malls as quickly as possible, but some local politicians and officials are pumping the breaks on easing social distancing orders during the coronavirus pandemic.


Simon had to delay plans to reopen four malls in Indiana from the first weekend of May to May 16 and following criticisms from local politicians fearing opening the facilities could lead to coronavirus spread. The governor eased stay-at-home orders on May 1 in every part of Indiana except Marion County and Monroe County, where heavier populations pushed the reopening date to May 15.

And the company had to cancel its reopening date for seven malls and outlets in New York state from the day after its stay-at-home order is lifted on May 16 to an undetermined date.

“At first I thought it was a rumor, and I was shocked to hear and see on their website, information that they will open on the 16th. I think that it’s really inappropriate to be advertising that right now,” said David Carlucci, a Democratic New York state senator, later adding that he appreciated the company’s correction on the matter.

New York officials said the state's hospitalization rates will determine how quickly it reopens. 

“This is really the epicenter of where we had the highest infection rate of COVID-19; we still have deaths every day in Rockland County and throughout New York state,” said Mr. Carlucci. “Yes the hospitalization rate has declined over the past few weeks, thank goodness, but we are not out of the woods yet.”

Simon Property, which has more than 200 properties around the United States, has instituted multiple social-distancing best practices, installed hand sanitizers and will give face masks to  shoppers. So far, it plans to reopen malls in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Hawaii, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois after May 16.

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US
Simon Property Group, the country's biggest mall owner, wants to open malls as quickly as possible, but some local politicians and officials are pumping the breaks on easing social distancing orders during the coronavirus pandemic,...
coronavirus, covid, simonproperty, reopen, delay
306
2020-23-12
Tuesday, 12 May 2020 07:23 PM
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