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The Rollout Of Coronavirus Testing At Retail Sites Is Happening At A Snail’s Pace

Category: Uncategorized

Date: April 15, 2020

As the country struggles to build enough temporary hospital beds to accommodate the surge of coronavirus-related illness, a parallel rush is on to set up sites to test for the virus.

Prime real estate for testing is under tents in large parking lots adjacent to commercial properties, including retail but also office and industrial. Yet a boom of testing sites in the parking lots of the nation’s largest retailers, which tend to be centrally located in densely populated areas, hasn’t materialized.

One example is in upstate New York, where Mason Asset Management and Namdar Realty Group have make the parking lot of The Shops at Ithaca Mall in Ithaca available to be a COVID-19 drive-thru test site at no charge. The real estate companies worked in conjunction with Cayuga Medical Center and Tompkins County officials to set up the facility.

In addition to the test center, the American Red Cross used 18K SF of vacant space at the mall for a blood drive last Thursday, at no charge to the organization. The blood donation site was in a former Planet Fitness.  

“It’s our hope that by using our vacant space for these initiatives, we’ll help to curb the spread of the virus in Ithaca and the surrounding area,” said the mall’s general manager, Gina Speno. 

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