Capital Region’s Largest Mall Sues World’s Largest Retailer
Crossgates Mall is a Goliath when it comes to brick and mortar in the Capital Region, but they're about to enter into a court battle with another Goliath, only this one is on the global scale. So what would cause the conflict between Albany's Crossgates Mall and online mega-retailer Amazon?
If you remember, Amazon ventured into the brick and mortar world when they opened around 70 retail stores in the US and UK. One of those locations was Crossgates Mall. The online retailer opened what they called 'Amazon 4-Star' stores where they would sell and showcase their top selling products.
Amazon signed a ten year lease with the mall in January of 2020. Of course, we all know what happened in March. The Covid pandemic hit and just about all centers of retail were shut down for an extensive period of time. Still, the ten year lease didn't take effect until February of 2021, which is when the store finally opened.
However the Amazon 4-Star idea was short lived, and the company announced it would be closing all 68 of its retail stores in the US and UK, including their location at Crossgates Mall. The announcement came around the same time Amazon acquired Whole Foods, fueling speculation they would be focusing more on the grocery chain. The Crossgates store closed on March 19, 2022, barely a year after opening its doors.
Now, the Albany Business Review reports that a group representing the owners of Crossgates Mall are suing Amazon for breaching their lease agreement. A suit was filed in State Supreme Court seeking over $600,000 from Amazon in what it calls the 'unearned portion of the aggregate allowance' specified in the lease. The lawsuit was filed at the end of June.
The Business Review points out that Crossgates had filed similar suits against tenants for not paying rent during the pandemic, however those lawsuits have since been dropped, speculating there may have been settlements between the tenants and the mall. Amazon didn't make any comment according to the Business Review.