Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Angst not over at Atlas

From the Daily News:

A Queens mom-to-be among the early tenants at a fledgling Glendale mall is mulling bankruptcy after being ordered to pay more than $300,000 to the prominent family that founded the Shops at Atlas Park.

Jennifer Padilla's two failed stores and dreary personal finances reinforce growing speculation that the Cooper Ave. center, nearing a foreclosure sale, isn't viable for small businesses - if at all.

Padilla's troubles stem from a $300,000 credit line that she secured in April 2008 with a guarantee by the clan of then-MTA Chairman Dale Hemmerdinger, whose son Damon ran Atlas Park.

Padilla soon used the funds to start an upscale women's clothing store that would accompany the men's apparel shop, M12/Thirty One, that she opened at Atlas Park in November 2007.

Padilla opened the women's shop, Femme1231, in June 2008. But sales sagged after the mall fell into foreclosure in early 2009, and she stopped paying the bank.

When Valley National officials couldn't reach Padilla to collect, the Hemmerdingers covered her entire debt of $303,062 - the value of the loan plus interest - in September.

Hemmerdinger won a Christmas Eve judgment for that sum in Queens Supreme Court, renewing Padilla's bankruptcy fears.

The four-page decision by Judge Orin Kitzes capped a messy legal war that included whether the Hemmerdingers improperly intervened in the loan process.

Padilla's papers said that Damon Hemmerdinger, after coaching her how to obtain the loan, seemed angry when she was initially rejected in March 2008 by Valley National's Robert Minson. Hemmerdinger promised to follow up with the bank and told Padilla another person would contact her about the loan.

Just weeks after Minson turned down Padilla, James Zhou, an assistant vice president at a Valley National Bank subsidiary, e-mailed her to renew loan talks.

She was soon approved.

Padilla said Dale Hemmerdinger's clout paved the way for approval, but his son denied it.

"The fact that my father is board member at the bank in question means nothing," Damon Hemmerdinger insisted in a signed affidavit.


Anonymous said...

"The fact that my father is board member at the bank in question means nothing,"

Turd desperately seeking maggot. I dont think I need to say anything.

But anywhoooooo.... You rolled the dice on Atlas, and that was a bad friggin business decision. Of all people, I feel bad for the guy that runs The Fair. Good place, beggin for customers. I miss his old place.

I Xmas shopped at Atlas. I hate crowds. I did well.

Anonymous said...

They wanted it to be upscale,then had 2 bus lines extended to run in font of the mall..........

Babs said...

Upscale in Maspeth?

Anonymous said...

Why would you get pregnant with your life in such disarray? Not very smart.

Anonymous said...

Atlas is not in Maspeth, Babs. It's in Glendale. Or "just outside Forest Hills" if you think like a Hemmerdinger.

Babs said...

Anonymous: "Atlas is not in Maspeth, Babs. It's in Glendale. Or "just outside Forest Hills" if you think like a Hemmerdinger."

hahaha FUNNY!!

I get it now - they thought they would attract the more affluent Forest Hills crowd - I don't think Atlas was exclusive enough for them though. Was it? - I was never there.

Queens Crapper said...

"Just outside Forest Hills" is part of their ads. No joke.

Listen here.

Anonymous said...

If the Fair is in troble, then i do feel bad as well. I try to do most of my kitchen/bathroom needs shopping in there.

However, i do not miss it at its old location. The fair is WAY too nice a place for what that area of Myrtle has become. Seems many of the recent arrivals seem quite happy with 99c stores on each corner with taco stands in between.

They should hang a sign on the west-bound looking side of the freight train bridge saying "Abandon all hope, ye who enter here"

Anonymous said...

The location of the Valley National Bank catty corner from the mall makes so much sense now.

Someone should look into those alledged lending shenanigans. Doesn't pass the smell test.

The French banks that hold the mall's note are trying their damndest to keep Hemmerdinger from buying the place back up. But who else will ever buy that white elephant? The place is at least half vacant.

I predict that Damon will be back running that sad show sooner than we might otherwise think.

Anonymous said...

Gee this story sounds like all the banks you approved adjustable mortgage rates to people who had no right attaining them. Sounds like both sides are wrong!

Anonymous said...

Great place to see a movie during the week.Hope it doesn't go belly up.

Anonymous said...

Seems many of the recent arrivals seem quite happy with 99c stores on each corner with taco stands in between.
Sounds like Austen Street or Steinway Street. Why is it even Harlem is gentrifying and all of Queens is going into the ... well, toilet?

Great civics here that puts pressure on the politicans to make thing better, right?

Babs said...

Austin Street was great shopping years ago.

RONNIES - one of of the BEST clothing stores EVER! They had another store on Main Street in Flushing too.

ahhhhh sweet memories . . .

Sarah said...

Something’s work very well at Atlas and some do not. As I have stated in the past, the right recipe depends on proper mall management. You need mall management with experience to set the right rents for the kind of stores that would do well here. Also, a viable anchor would solve allot of the problem. Steinmart just didn’t have that kind of pulling power to get shoppers in. The Hemerdickers are assholes, as long as they are involved the mall it is doomed to failure.

Anonymous said...

"The Hemerdickers are assholes, as long as they are involved in the mall it is doomed to failure."

Then it's doomed and so is Glendale,
oops the "Area Just outside Forest Hills"

Anonymous said...

Maspeth Mom says...

Thw owner of the two stores didnt see any thing wrong with using the Hemmerdinger power when she needed her loans approved. But now things went bad and she's blaming them.
Sometimes you get what you ask for.

Anonymous said...

Austin Street really is an enigma to me. Some moderately sized commercial spaces there rent for $30,0000 a month; Manhattan prices really. Yet there are businesses there which margins cannot possibly sustain anywhere near that overhead. Where else will you see an Ann Taylor's Loft and 2 99 cent stores within 2 blocks of each other?

No new businesses will rent at Atlas until the banks sell the place. Pray the new owner will be selective of the stores that will eventually move in else we will see a Steinway Street in microcosm.