Scottsdale Fashion Square can be closed for a week for repairs looting and burglary that exploded last weekend.
Hundreds of people gathered at the mall on Saturday for what began as a peaceful protest against police brutality across the country, but ended up destroying mall windows, walls labeled graffiti and people looting some merchandise.
Brandon Lindley manages Havainas, a sandals boutique and sunglasses shop, on the east side of the mall near the Apple store. The shop was not damaged during the looting, but the Apple store was badly damaged and the glass entrance was destroyed.
Lindley said officials with Macerich, who owns the mall, communicated with tenants on Wednesday that the mall would remain closed until all major entrances were repaired, which could take seven to 10 days.
A Macerich spokeswoman declined to give details to Arizona Republic about the closure, or communication with the tenant.
Closed 2 weeks after reopening
Looting came right two weeks after the mall reopened from around the closing of COVID-19 for two months.
Lindley said the federal Paycheck Protection Program was not enough to cover losses due to the pandemic. Now, closing the looting is another blow.
“What will I say (my employees)? Will they be able to work? How will I pay rent?” Lindley asked. “When you are a small business owner, you are not just a large company that has another store that can subsidize this.”
Lindley said she never anticipated a series of events this spring when she opened in Fashion Square. Havainas products are sold seasonally as the weather begins to heat up, and Lindley relies on the peak tourism season and spring training to increase sales.
“As soon as we reach that point, everything has just been destroyed,” he said. “I just hope we can survive this. I will be optimistic but at the same time I’m not too optimistic to survive through this.”
Insurance protection can help damaged businesses.
David Williams, a commercial business lawyer based in Tempe, said mall looting would be considered “an unexpected circumstance” that usually qualifies for insurance coverage, despite each unique policy.
Property damage at the mall entrance is likely to be borne by Macerich, while damage within the shop is likely to be borne by each tenant’s insurance policy, he said.
“Business owners who have a standard business owner policy can generally expect that most of their losses will be covered,” Williams said.
However, business owners will likely take losses from damage, whether they pay a discounted policy or pay a higher premium once they make a claim, Williams said.
And that can be reduced to consumers through higher product prices, he said.
City prepares more protests
Looting last weekend sent shock waves through the Scottsdale community, with many business owners denouncing police responses as inadequate. Others praised that no one was hurt.
Police Chief Alan Rodbell said the Scottsdale response was less aggressive in part because it did not have enough officers on the scene to respond to the escalating situation.
Janet Wilson, who owns several properties in the city center, said frightened business and property owners felt forced to put up weapons outside their stores and even brought armed friends to protect their businesses.
Wilson said he called tenants on Sunday, the day after the initial looting, to warn them to clean store inventory before a more potential protest.
“We saw what happened to Fashion Square,” Wilson said. “They will see how easy it is to do it. I don’t think we’re protected.”
The city issued a statement on Thursday saying it had heard the frustration of residents who wanted a stronger police response.
City officials and police said they would review tactics and policy responses for any further protests. They also announced many things Old City traffic restrictions to prepare for a possible protest this weekend.
Road restrictions until Monday are mainly centered around downtown Scottsdale.
All states 8 pages. The curfew imposed by Governor Doug Ducey after the Fashion Square incident also remained in effect until the weekend.
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