Breathing new life into an old plaza in the Capital Region

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The big sign on top of Tower Place welcomes potential shoppers from the Northway.

“So this is Stuyvesant Plaza’s famous sign. I like to refer to it as our version of the Hollywood sign here in the Capital Region,” Rachel Ferluge, Stuyvesant Plaza general manager, said. “I hope they link it with positive experiences, family, friends and loved ones.”

Ferluge wants you to see what she sees in Stuyvesant Plaza.

“Stuyvesant Plaza is near and dear to my heart. This is where I got my start in retail,” she said.

As a college student, Ferluge worked at one of the boutiques. After spending 16 years in New York City working in merchandising, she’s back to where she fell in love with retail, and this time, she’s taking the reins.

“When the opportunity opened up for general merchandiser at Stuyvesant Plaza, I thought this is meant to be,” she said.

Accelerated by the pandemic, sales at shopping malls are on the decline.

Forbes reports mall vacancy continues to rise and currently sits at 7.2%, but studies also show people still crave brick and mortar options.

With its mix of national brands and local businesses in an outdoor space, Ferluge says the plaza has seen a recent spike in sales.

“Typically July and August are pretty quiet months for retail in general but we saw a real spike not only in sales but in customer turn,” Ferluge said.

In her new role, Ferluge plans to revamp the green space and add a more robust events calendar with concerts and family activities, encouraging shoppers to come and stay awhile. Her full circle moment, is one she hopes will drive the plaza forward.

“To be back here when it’s opening up a whole new chapter, to be a part of that evolution it feels incredible and I’m really excited,” Ferluge said.

Published by Spectrum News

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