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WEST NYACK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Shopping mall owners and tenants are pushing back on Gov. Andrew Cuomo‘s mall mandate.

He wants the centers to install special air filtration before they can reopen.

It may be the loneliest 2.2 million square feet you’ll ever see: Palisades Center in Rockland County, a virtual ghost town since March 19.

Tenants say it has been a nightmarish three months.

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“Terrible. They’ve been devastating. We’re still paying rent. We can’t afford to pay it at this point,” said Anthony Di Maulo of Backstage Boutique.

The owners of Backstage Boutique say Cuomo’s latest mandate baffles them. He’s ordering malls to install special high-efficiency air filters before reopening.

“That can actually filter out the COVID virus,” Cuomo said.

Rockland County Executive Ed Day says he’s asked the administration for the science that justifies the decision.

“They had nothing. They spoke in generalities about social distancing, about six feet, wearing masks. It was all generalities,” Day said.

CORONAVIRUS: NY Health Dept. | NY Call 1-(888)-364-3065 | NYC Health Dept. | NYC Call 311, Text COVID to 692692 | NJ COVID-19 Info Hub | NJ Call 1-(800)-222-1222 or 211, Text NJCOVID to 898211 | CT Health Dept. | CT Call 211 | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Mall tenants point out that stores with direct entrances from the outside are open.

“Target is open. They have the same air conditioning they’ve had for years,” Di Maulo said.

“That’s all they’re asking for. Treat us like everyone else. That’s all anybody’s asking for here,” Day said.

The owner of Palisades Center, Pyramid Management Group, says New York is the only state keeping indoor malls closed. In Rockland County, you don’t have to go far to find a shopping mall that’s open, reported CBS2’s Tony Aiello.

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“Ten miles away in New Jersey, people are allowed to shop in the malls. This is killing us,” Di Maulo said.

CBS2 asked Gov. Phil Murphy‘s office if New Jersey considered mandating high-efficiency filters, and if malls are safe without them. We received no reply.

The Palisades owner calls the filter demand “unjustified.” It wants to reopen with social distancing in place, just like malls across the state line.

We also asked the Cuomo administration for the science that justifies the air filter mandate, and are waiting to hear back.

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Tags: andrew cuomo local tv palisades center rockland county tony aiello gov andrew cuomo palisades center complete coronavirus coverage gov phil murphy

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Wayne Shopping Center With 7 Tenants Could Open This Fall

A Wayne shopping center with seven tenants is expected to open its doors this October, reports say.

The Parke at Hamburg occupies seven acres with Trader Joe’s occupying the most space, reports.

The shopping center’s contractor, March Associates Construction Inc., is in the process of finishing up work on the building’s exterior, however, a grand opening date has not yet been set.

The center, located at 910 Hamburg Turnpike, consists of three buildings: the main building includes the grocery store as well as The Habit Burger Grill, The Paper Store and Ulta Beauty.

A second building houses a preschool and daycare facility for Everbrook Academy, which occupies 12,870 square feet, the report says.

The last building will be home to Sport Clips and Panera Bread — the latter of which features a 39-seat patio and two drive-thru lanes.

"We look forward to providing surrounding communities with a beautiful center, full of quality tenants, which will offer great goods and services," Bryan Murray, the center’s director of marketing, told

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