Simon Property Group revises timeline for opening Indianapolis malls

Coronavirus

This Feb. 16, 2010 file photo shows the headquarters of the Simon Property Group in downtown Indianapolis (Danese Kenon/The Indianapolis Star via AP, File)

INDIANAPOLIS – Simon Property Group revised the opening dates for malls, pushing back the opening of Indianapolis locations by two weeks.

In a revised plan released Thursday, Simon will open Castleton Square, Circle Centre Mall and the Fashion Mall at Keystone on May 16. The company originally said those locations would open Saturday.

However, Marion County officials said Thursday they would extend the county’s stay-at-home restrictions through May 15.

Most of Simon’s Indiana properties will reopen Monday—a few days later than originally announced. Those include College Mall, Greenwood Park Mall, Hamilton Town Center, Indiana Premium Outlets, Tippecanoe Mall and University Park Mall. Lighthouse Premium Outlets in Michigan City will reopen May 7.

The change in Marion County comes after local officials expressed concerns about reopening the retail centers amid the coronavirus pandemic. Marion County has seen the most cases and deaths from COVID-19 in the state.

Dr. Virginia Caine, director of the Marion County Public Health Department, worried that reopening the malls too early would put residents at undue risk.

“We now expect to open the following properties in the first half of May based on current state and/or local stay-at-home or closure orders which are subject to change,” wrote John Rulli, Simon’s president of malls and chief administrative officer, in a memo.

Simon will reopen properties in more than a dozen states starting Friday, May 1, and continuing through May 16. Those include locations in Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas. 

The memo said workers would wear masks and be trained in COVID-19 safety guidelines from the CDC. They will also be required to preemptively screen themselves at home before coming to work. Anyone with a fever above 100.4 degrees or who has flu-like symptoms will be required to stay home.

Inside malls, employees and security officers will remind customers to follow social distancing guidelines. Simon will temporarily close high-traffic areas in malls and limit the number of customers inside. Floor markers will guide the flow of foot traffic, the company said.

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