Every year, fewer and fewer Americans will experience the thrill of a new ear piercing at Claire’s or the dopamine release of an Aunt Anne pretzel that dulls the boredom of shopping for BOGO athletic sock prices at Foot Locker. Indeed, the mall, the native environment of chain stores like the ones mentioned above, is a struggling retail typology that’s one cellphone-kiosk-slash-smoothie-hut away from suffocation. through online shopping. Dying and dead malls — huge, half-abandoned rectangles nestled in acres of parking lots — both epitomize the excesses of capitalism and vex architects with their hard-to-modernize big-box designs.
While it’s hard to modernize a dead mall, projects like the one just completed in upstate New York demonstrate that it’s not impossible. Today, New York State Governor Kathy Hochul announced the completion of an affordable seniors housing complex built from a reworked Sears department store near Rochester.
The $44.3 million Skyview Park Apartments development comprises 157 units, including 84 apartments available for seniors 55 and older and 78 units available for seniors who require supportive social services. While the majority of homes were part of brand new construction, architects carved 73 units into a vacant Sears in the former Irondequoit Mall, about five miles from downtown Rochester.
“Transforming the long-vacant Irondequoit Mall into new retirement homes is a significant investment that will benefit the community for years to come,” Governor Hochul said in a statement. Press release. “The entire Skyview project underscores the potential that exists with underutilized commercial properties and how they can be repurposed to benefit residents and businesses in our communities. Housing is a human right and we will continue to support transformative projects like Skyview Park Apartments to address the housing crisis and make New York a more affordable place for everyone.
All residents can relax and garden in the resort’s three courtyards, enjoy two patios with barbecue grills, work out in an on-site gym, and socialize in an indoor community space. Skyview Park apartments join a shopping center redevelopment that includes a 41,000 square foot recreation center, as well as Rochester Regional Health’s Isabella Graham Hart School of Nursing.
A project summary by Newburgh, based in New York Passero Associates noted that among the benefits of the site was “[an] existing firewall separating balance space from superstructure and site-independent utilities that did not rely on internal connections. This is common because many large retailers have their own subdivided “lot” even though the buildings are connected. »
Working with Christa Construction and nonprofit developer Pathstone Corporation, Passero Associates removed sections of the Sears interior to create courtyards that both allow light to enter the units and provide spaces for that residents congregate (presumably within five months of the year when it’s not cold like everyone goes out in the Great Lakes region).