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Flooding at Sunrise Mall prompts temporary closure of several stores

A sign posted on Oct. 24 in front of the Zumiez store at Sunrise Mall said the store had temporarily closed due to flooding. // M. Hazlip

By Mike Hazlip—
A leaking roof from last weekend’s rains temporarily closed two stores in Sunrise Mall as employees clean up and assess damage.

Hallmark and neighboring store Zumiez were closed Tuesday with signs posted on the front gate saying “Closed for water damage and flooding.”

An employee at Zumiez who did not want to be identified because she was not authorized to speak to media said workers are still assessing the inventory, but more than 30 pairs of shoes and several items of clothing were damaged. The employee estimated the value of the shoes at about $50 each.

Neighboring shop Hallmark was also closed Tuesday as employees worked to assess damage and clean up the store.

It was not immediately clear if neighboring business Royal Stage suffered any damage.

The mall’s management office appeared to be unstaffed late Tuesday afternoon. Sentinel attempts to contact Namdar Realty Group and Mason Asset Management by phone and email were not returned by press time Thursday. An employee with Mason Asset Management referred all questions to UpSpring, a New York-based public relations firm.

Namdar Realty Group has been in several news reports for similar maintenance issues with malls across the company’s portfolio. The commercial real estate business owns more than 100 malls and shopping centers across the United States, Reuters reported in 2018.

A Namdar-owned mall in Enfield, Connecticuct, was found to have 16 fire code violations according to a July 2023 report by Yahoo Finance. The mall had “extensive water damage, mold, missing ceiling tiles, and open actively leaking holes in both roofs,” Enfield inspectors said in the report.

In New Jersey, the Namdar-owned Phillipsburg Mall was closed after a 200 to 400-square-foot portion of the roof collapsed in a vacant section once occupied by Sears in 2018, according to local news outlet Lehigh Valley Live. Anchor tenants such as Sears typically own the buildings they occupy, and it was not immediately clear if Namdar owned the former Sears building at the time of the collapse, or if Sears had performed any maintenance prior to the company moving out of the space. Phillipsburg Mall was permanently closed on March 16, 2020, according to a public notice posted by Namdar Realty Group.

Commercial Real Estate news source The Real Deal reports that Illinois township Bloomingdale is in litigation with Namdar Realty Group over the Stratford Square Mall. The May 22, 2023, report says Bloomingdale is attempting to use eminent domain in a bid to force redevelopment at the largely vacant site.

“Simply put, the property is practically a ‘ghost town,’” Village President Franco Coladipeitro told The Real Deal. “The continued dilapidation of the property … leads the village to conclude that, while Namdar may possess the financial ability to manage the property, Namdar does not possess the character to make the necessary investment to rebrand the property.”

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