Clarification: The reference to 13,300 square feet of additional area for retail business referenced in this article refers to the hallways converted into retail space, not the construction of additional space.

A local mall is banking on a pricey restoration to bring in customers.

Retail sales are down all over the country, with customers opting to shop online rather then get in their cars and travel to the store. Payless, Dress Barn, K-Mart and other national chains have shuttered stores this year, and even more closings are scheduled before 2020 rolls around.

There is one segment of retailers, however, that is seeing success at the cash register. Because of this, one local mall is completely redesigning itself in hopes that they will be able to attract Hudson Valley customers. In fact, according to, construction on the Route 9 mall has a price tag that totals a whopping $13.5 million.

If you've been anywhere near the Poughkeepsie Plaza mall this summer, you know that it's been undergoing a major transformation. New facades and large anchor stores are being constructed in the small mall that once only housed specialty stores selling comic books, wigs and sewing machines. The mall was built in 1958 transformed into an enclosed shopping center in the late 70s. Now the plaza is being de-malled, adding an additional 13,300 square feet of area for retail business.

The Poughkeepsie Plaza is already home to Marshalls, a discount clothing store that is among the few companies that are thriving in today's economy. "Off-Price" department stores, such as Marshalls, are doing extremely well. It turns out that the solution to losing customers to the Internet is giving them deep discounts.

Now the Poughkeepsie Plaza is bringing in more discount options for their customers. TJ Maxx and Homegoods are expected to move in this month. The two stores currently share a location across Route 9 in the Price Chopper plaza. Burlington Coat Factory is also planning to move to the old Toys R Us building next to the mall, delivering even more discounted, off-price merchandise to the area.

With all of these successful, low-price businesses centralized in one location, it's possible that this small, ailing mall will soon become the busiest shopping center in the Hudson Valley. It's certain that the owners of the Poughkeepsie Plaza are hoping that's the case and their $13.5 million redevelopment project will have been more than worth it.

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