Rumors are spreading in Glendale that the Hemmerdinger family is preparing to buy back the struggling Shops at Atlas Park when it goes up for foreclosure sale next year, although company officials were mum on the subject.
ATCO Advisory Services, a subsidiary of the Hemmerdinger-owned ATCO Properties, is described on its Web site as “a boutique company providing full-service solutions to lenders with distressed commercial real estate assets in Queens and throughout the New York metropolitan area.”
ATCO Advisory Services lists former Atlas Park Director Damon Hemmerdinger as its head. It also counts on staffers Linda Miller, an executive with 30 years’ experience in commercial management, including renting space to tenants at Atlas Park, and Rebecca Maccardini, a lifestyle consultant whose previous work includes Atlas Park.
Miller represented Atlas Park in a negotiation that brought the fashion retailer Republic of Couture to the mall in September 2008.
“A lot of people had concerns about this project, as they wanted to see what was going on in their neighborhood, but the summer events really helped tenants gauge who the Atlas Park shopper will be,” Maccardini told the publication Northeast Real Estate Business in 2005.
ATCO Advisory associates Dante Amenta and Nina Maurello also represented Atlas Park in several lease negotiations in 2007, the mall’s promotional material shows.
According to its Web site, ATCO Advisory Services has been around since 2008. Hemmerdinger announced the family would have no more involvement in the mall’s operations in February 2009.
Reached at its Glendale office, an official with the company declined to comment on the rumors.
Since its foreclosure, the mall has been moving away from the high-end retailers that the Hemmerdingers initially attracted. Court-appointed receiver Paul Millus has said his intention is to draw in tenants like a supermarket and indicated he had taken one higher-end mall tenant to court over rent issues.
Millus has said the mall would go into foreclosure sale in 2010. At that point, ATCO would potentially be able to acquire it free of financial obligations to the French banks Calyon and Societe Generale. Further details regarding ATCO Advisory’s intentions were hard to come by.
“It seems like they are looking to reacquire the property or are at least organizing to reacquire the property,” said Lydon Sleeper, chief of staff for City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Middle Village). “I don’t know much more past that.”
The $180 million project was completed in April 2006 with $126 million in loan money on an industrial park the Hemmerdinger family has owned since the 1920s.
Reach reporter Jeremy Walsh by e-mail at jewalsh@cn
©2009 Community News Group
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