• A one-of-a-kind Mall. • Opened October 5, 1970 • 752,096 square feet • Cost a mere $25,000,000 • Had 4,000 Parking Spaces
Built: 1970 Closed: 2001
This mall was constructed in 1970, it's purpose wasn't to be as large as Colonie Center, but to offer a newer and closer alternative for an enclosed mall for the residents of Schenectady, Niskayuna, and other surrounding areas. The Mall opened to the public on October 5, 1970.
The mall was originally anchored by a Bradlees, Price Chopper, Montgomery Wards, Marshalls, Present Co, and the short-lived "Interstate Department store". Amidst all of these anchors, the mall was still small in size, and in the 1970's that wasn't a problem. The shoppers came in droves. The Mohawk Mall catered to medium sized anchors, which were king of the market until the mid 80's, when they started to lose ground to the big box retailers. The Interstate department store left a void in the mall for quite some time, until the early 90's when Media Play leased the space. This was the last new anchor the Mohawk Mall would ever see.
The Mohawk Mall Cinema opened as a twin (350 seats each) in 1970 by Carroll's Development Corporation. In the mid 70's, they leased the adjacent former health club and turned it into a third auditorium, seating 500. Cinema 3 had its own separate entrance, box office, and concession stand. In 1985 the theater, now operated by CinemaNational, expanded to a 7-plex. The new building connected the existing three theaters. The theater was purchased by USA Cinemas in 1987, then by Loews in 1988. It closed in July 1999 and was demolished along with the rest of the mall. The Mohawk Commons lifestyle center is now on the property.
Also, Mohawk Mall lost the Price Chopper store, which they quickly divided up into smaller spaces. Fay's Drugs and the Paper Cutter moved into the newly divided space. Fay's was later acquired by Eckerd, who pulled the pharmacy out of the mall because of competition from the CVS store in the mall. They moved Eckerd's to a nearby plaza. The Paper Cutter folded as well, and Present Co. was mired up in bankruptcy. After those stores closed, traffic to that portion of the mall had decreased, creating a dead spot.
In 1984, the Crossgates Mall, a super-regional mall, was constructed, and began to hurt other small malls in the region. small stores in Mohawk Mall suffered, and Bradlee's, the malls last anchor in the west side of the mall, closed a wave of under reforming stores, included was the Mohawk Mall store. McDonalds and other smaller tenants, seeing the writing on the wall, pulled out as well. By the mid 90's only a Radio Shack, Foot Locker, Cosmo's Pizza, CVS, Friendly's, Gallery 44, Sony Cinemas and Fleet Bank in the mall, excluding the anchors. Low traffic to the mall caused an exodus of smaller stores.
In 1996 Montgomery Ward, closed almost ALL of it's NY state stores, which left only Media Play and Marshalls. The mall, which hadn't received any form of redevelopment since it's opening in 1970 began to look very dated, shoppers avoided the "ghost mall" The few remaining stores threw in the towel the following year. Leaving the mall virtually vacant by 1999. Only the Media Play, Marshalls, Gallery 44 and Rex which weren’t even accessible from the inside of the mall remained.
Wilmorite ceased any and all maintenance of the mall, and allowed it to reek of urine and mold. The roof leaked for years, and plaster fell into the mall, all while the building was still opened to the public. The malls fate was decided; it would be demolished in the fall of 2000. Gallery 44 was ordered to move out, and the 3 remaining anchors remained open while the mall was being demolished around them.
The site is now a successful strip-mall called Mohawk Commons, with several big-box stores, such as Target, Lowes.
Few times in the newspaper including me, when i was 5 was in the paper for a childrens fair there.
Was demolished in phases completely by 2003, site has since been reconstructed into a strip mall.