Simon Property Group Inc. (NYSE: SPG) is wasting little time in reopening its Springfield mall.
Battlefield Mall is scheduled to restart operations on May 4, the same day that Gov. Mike Parson's statewide recovery plan begins.
In a statement posted to its website yesterday, Simon announced the reopening of 49 properties, including Battlefield Mall. The nationwide reopenings are scheduled May 1-4, with other Simon properties in St. Louis and Osage Beach slated to come back the same day as Springfield's mall.
The statement, signed by Simon President of Malls and Chief Administrative Officer John Rulli, points to occupancy limitations and social distancing measures that will be implemented to comply with coronavirus rules.
"We will utilize existing traffic measurement technologies at our properties to ensure that overall property occupancy does not exceed a targeted level of 1 person per 50 square feet of space," the statement reads. "Each tenant will be responsible for managing … targets set by state or local authorities for their leased spaces."
Parson's order announced April 27 requires retailers to keep occupancy at 10% or less if they have more than 10,000 square feet. Battlefield Mall spans roughly 1.2 million square feet.
The mall has been closed temporarily for more than a month amid the coronavirus pandemic. During that time, construction continued on the 20,000-square-foot space for future tenant H&M, according to past Springfield Business Journal reporting. Sears, which announced plans to shutter its Battlefield Mall store prior to the pandemic, closed April 11, said a spokesperson for owner Transform Holdco LLC.
Simon's announcement comes before the city of Springfield and Greene County have amended the local coronavirus order in response to Parson's plan.
During a virtual news conference yesterday, Springfield-Greene County Health Department Director Clay Goddard said he anticipates the local order would be stricter than the governor's latest edict. City spokeswoman Cora Scott said an announcement could come as soon as today.
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