Out with the old, in with the awesome. When Sears, Kmart and a few bounce houses aren’t enough to hold a mall together anymore, what do you do? You add an aquarium!
The new owners of Rotterdam Square Mall, ViaPort USA, are planning $10M in upgrades, including a 25,000-square-foot aquarium!
“We are very enthusiastic about investing in Rotterdam Square Mall, and we see tremendous potential in the property,” said Cenk Hayirlioglu, who oversees U.S. operations for ViaPort USA. “Our significant investment will transform the mall into an entertainment destination for the whole family.”
The $10M investment includes the new aquarium, cosmetic upgrades and a new family entertainment zone, which will feature a bowling alley, arcade games, restaurant and sports bar.
These plans are expected to revitalize Rotterdam Square Mall, which has seen its share of musical chairs with shops and entertainment venues, as well as having some difficulty keeping the lights on. There was a day last winter the mall had to close because they were overdue on their electrical payment.
“Shops have come and gone over the years, but one thing remains the same, it’s a family mall,” said Rotterdam resident Janaiah von Hassel. “It’s a welcome space for people in the community to gather. Elderly people walking the mall every morning, children look forward to seeing the Easter bunny and Santa Claus. We love throwing pennies in the fountain, and catching a movie last minute on a random afternoon.”
The new aquarium and family entertainment zone will further the family atmosphere, adding another dimension of enjoyment for local residents and drawing in families from all over the region.
New owner ViaPort USA’s parent company Via Properties runs two successful malls in Turkey that feature aquariums, and Hayirlioglu assures us, “We have experience transforming properties like Rotterdam Square Mall into successful ventures and creating unique experiences for our patrons.”
This is exciting news for the Greater Capital Region who will no longer need to travel to Boston or NYC to visit an aquarium. Last year, a campaign to build a 90,000 square-foot aquarium in downtown Albany did not gain enough steam to raise the needed funds, but estimates of serious cash flow to the area as a whole proved an aquarium in the Capital Region would provide a great boost to the local economy. Therefore, this is not just big news for Rotterdam Square Mall, but for surrounding businesses as well, adding to the many diverse attractions in the Capital Region.
Are you excited about the addition of a new aquarium and family fun center in Rotterdam Square Mall? Comment below with your thoughts!