PLATTSBURGH — A Target store is planned for the former Ames space at Champlain Centre mall.An information packet submitted to the Clinton County Planning Board contains a copy of a letter from Champlain Centre Manager David Napolitan to the Town of Plattsburgh Zoning Board of Appeals dated March 20 that asks for signage variances where "a Target store will be built in the space formerly occupied by an Ames store."Champlain Centre is scheduled to present a plan Tuesday to the Town Planning Board for subdivision of a 9.99 acre parcel proposed to hold a 126,842-square-foot retail space, after demolition of the former Ames store, which would be connected to the rest of the mall.An application for a side-yard setback variance and maximum height/overall site variance states Champlain Centre North LLC has been in discussions with a high-profile, nationally known anchor store for several years."These discussions recently resulted in a commitment by the Anchor Store to construct a new anchor store at Champlain Centre, provided Applicant (Champlain Centre North LLC) can obtain the approvals necessary to construct an approximately 126,842 square foot anchor store, the site for which will be conveyed to and owned by the Anchor Store," the application states.The packet also contains a layout map of the mall with Target listed in the former Ames location, two depictions of a Target store design, a Target main building sign front design and front, left and rear building elevations that show a Target logo.The information indicates the Target store will include a pharmacy.The letter to the Zoning Board also states "Target will be a popular and productive addition to both our mall and the community. The store will draw customers from a large geographical area, which in turn, will provide employment opportunities, sales tax revenue, and traffic for other retailers."The letter seeks a variance for signage on the building's west, north and east sides as well as on the pylon signs that face Smithfield Boulevard and Interstate 87.
In other news, The Pyramid Cos. is considering selling its super-regional and regional shopping centers in New York and Massachusetts, including Plattsburgh's Champlain Centre, to focus on expanding the Carousel Center into Destiny USA.Trustees of the Robert Congel family trusts that own a controlling interest in The Pyramid Cos. have begun to review "strategic alternatives," including the potential sale of all but the Carousel Center mall and the company's headquarters in downtown Syracuse, Congel said.Congel owns 12 shopping centers in New York and four in Massachusetts. On Friday, the trustees retained the Goldman, Sachs & Co. investment firm to assist in the review.There is no formal deadline for the review, said Tim Ahern, one of three trustees for the five Congel family trusts. Ahern said the review was being conducted with an eye toward diversifying the family's mall-heavy investments.He told the Syracuse Post-Standard if a decision is made to sell any or all of the malls, they might still be managed by employees of Pyramid's Syracuse-based management team. Ahern said the trustees would prefer to sell the 16 malls as a package and have its management group continue to manage the malls."We believe we've got some of the finest people in the industry," he said. Our Pyramid management employees are tremendous, and they would be highly sought after."Plattsburgh Town Supervisor Bernie Bassett said this news shouldn't be a surprise, and no one should be worried the mall would close if it is sold."The mall is operating successfully, and is well filled with tenants," he said.It has Town Planning Board approval to double the size of its JC Penney store, although Napolitan later told the Planning Board the proposed expansion was on hold.With the town continuing to grow, Plattsburgh is an attractive part of any collection of properties, Bassett said. A change in ownership leaves open the possibility of increased investment in the mall, he said.— The Associated Press contributed to this report.