Simon To Reopen Its Georgia Malls As Coronavirus Limits Ease

Jim Massara

GEORGIA — As coronavirus restrictions ease, Simon Properties will reopen its seven Georgia malls Friday and unshutter 42 other shopping centers nationwide over the weekend.

Five of the retail centers are in metro Atlanta: Lenox Square and Phipps Plaza in Buckhead, Mall of Georgia in Buford, Sugarloaf Mills in Lawrenceville and Town Center at Cobb in Kennesaw. The other two are Calhoun Outlet Marketplace in Calhoun and North Georgia Premium Outlets in Dawsonville. All Simon malls have been closed since March 18.

While the malls will be back in business, it won’t quite be business as usual. Hours will be limited to 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday to accommodate cleaning, according to an internal memo obtained by CNBC. The company also will regularly sanitize food-court tables, escalators, door knobs and electronic directories. Customers can have their temperatures taken free of charge at the malls, using infrared thermometers.

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In addition, free CDC-approved masks and packets of hand sanitizer will be made available to customers. While Simon will only encourage shoppers to wear face masks, it will require its employees to do so.

Social distancing will be encouraged by taping off every other sink and urinal in restrooms, limiting food-court seating and directing traffic with floor decals. Also, the number of mall entrances will be limited, and occupancy will be restricted to one person per 50 square feet by what the memo refers to as “traffic measuring technology.”

As of Tuesday afternoon, Simon had not yet responded to CNBC’s request for comment.

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This article originally appeared on the Atlanta Patch