By Conor Greene
The Hemmerdinger family’s involvement managing The Shops at Atlas Park in Glendale is coming to an abrupt end, according to a letter circulated to community leaders and business owners this week.
“I must regretfully inform you that, effective February 19, ATCO Properties & Management will no longer be involved with the management or leasing of The Shops at Atlas Park,” wrote Damon Hemmerdinger, whose family owns the property, in a January 21 letter.
The mall’s two French-based lenders, Calyon and Societe Generale, will be appointing a new management company to run the upscale outdoor shopping center, which opened at 80th Street and Cooper Avenue in April 2006. It has since been met with some backlash from local neighbors, especially when the MTA, which is run by Damon Hemmerdinger’s father, Dale, agreed to reroute the Q45 bus to serve the shopping center.
In the letter, Damon Hemmerdinger notes that “despite the sluggish economy, traffic on the property was up 30% in 2008, and even held during December, as more people discovered Atlas Park, liked it and returned.” He adds that 12 new stores opened last year, and “a number of new stores are forecasted to open in the next six months.”
He also indicates that ATCO Properties still plans on developing the remainder of the property it owns in Glendale around the mall. Some residents have expressed concern over the past year that the Hemmerdingers plan to build a hotel and office space there, but the family has declined to provide specific information on future development there.
“ATCO is a solid business, and will continue to operate its other assets, including Atlas Terminals, within the tradition of excellence that we have long upheld,” wrote Hemmerdinger. “ATCO will seek growth opportunities as the economy turns around. One of these opportunities will be the redevelopment of our remaining property in Glendale. While we have no firm plans for how and when we will proceed, our belief in the community remains strong, and when the time is right we will redevelop the balance of Atlas Terminals.”
Calls to Damon Hemmerdinger and Calyon were not immediately returned on Wednesday.