Tenants optimistic about new Atlas leasing agent

Shortly after Damon Hemmerdinger announced that a new management team would take over The Shops at Atlas Park in February, many tenants are putting a positive spin on the change.
“The tenants are actually very upbeat and positive,” said Joseph Faccibene, the Managing Partner of Shiro of Japan - one of the first tenants at Atlas Park. “It’s such a beautiful place to work, come and shop.”
Faccibene said that the tenants met as a group a few days after Hemmerdinger, the development director for Atlas Park and Senior Vice President of Atco Properties and Management, Inc., announced that his company would cease its involvement at the shopping center effective February 19.
Faccibene, who is acting as a spokesperson for the tenant group, praised the Hemmerdinger family for having a vision for the shopping mall, but he also said that the announcement has brought the tenants closer together in renewing their efforts to promote the mall.
“We are open, and we are Atlas Park,” Faccibene said. “We are part of the community, and this is an active, vibrant part of the community.”
In his letter dated January 21, Hemmerdinger announced that the retail and lifestyle center would soon get a new leasing and managing agent.
“Calyon and Soci/t/ G/n/rale, our lenders who are headquartered in France, will be appointing a new management company for The Shops at Atlas Park,” Hemmerdinger wrote.
Meanwhile, he also expressed confidence in Atlas Park saying, “that the residents of Queens want, deserve and can support high-quality, aspirational retail, restaurants and entertainment - even in the midst of the worst recession in memory.”
Vincent Arcuri, Chair of Community Board 5, said that the announcement of a new leasing agent is mixed.
“There is some concern and some optimism,” Arcuri said. “Some think a new management approach might be better and allow for better marketing and an open ear to the community.”
Arcuri said that the uncertainty over who will become the new leasing agent raises some concerns about the quality of businesses that a future agent could attempt to bring into the community.
After years of recruiting businesses and tenants to be a part of the lifestyle retail center, The Shops at Atlas Park officially opened for business on April 27, 2006. Since its opening, many new stores, shops and restaurants have opened and a number of relocated to different locations.

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