" BOSTON (CBS) - When the Atrium Mall opened in 1989, a valet parked your car, a doorman greeted customers and a complimentary personal shopper made suggestions on what to buy at the swanky, 66-store shopping center.
But on a recent visit, no one was there to greet the few shoppers, the service desk was empty, and the mall was virtually empty with just a dozen stores and three restaurants that still remain open.
The 364,169-square-foot mall on Route 9 in Newton has been on the decline for years.
Its demise commenced with the opening of the Natick Collection up the road and its situation worsened when Legacy Place’s 80 stores in Dedham debuted.
The mall’s occupancy rate has fallen to less than 50 percent while the net operating income for its owner, Simon Property Group, the nation’s largest real estate investment trust, plummeted by nearly 36 percent to $4.7 million last year, down from $7.3 million in 2009, according to Bloomberg data.
In December 2010, the $41 million commercial mortgage-backed security on the property went to a special servicer, and Simon has been late on three of its $323,000 monthly payments, the Bloomberg data indicate "
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