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Banks Take Over Queens Mall

This is the same mall that about a year ago dreamed up the Atlas Solution--a stunt in which the center gave away $20,000 in cash to shoppers wearing stickers saying, “I support the economy.”

The struggling 2-year-old outdoor retail complex in Glendale, Queens known as the Shops at Atlas Park is changing owners.

Effective Feb. 19, the project's lenders will take over from New York developer Damon Hemmerdinger, who is president of Atco Properties & Management, and part of the Hemmerdinger real estate empire. He recently defaulted on a loan payment on the project that was due to French banks Societe Generale and Calyon, according to sources.

Late last month, Mr. Hemmerdinger sent a letter to store lease-holders, informing them of the management change.

“I must regretfully inform you that, effective Feb. 19, Atco Properties & Management will no longer be involved with…the Shops at Atlas Park,” Mr. Hemmerdinger wrote in a note dated Jan. 21. “Our lenders, who are headquartered in France, will be appointing a new management company.”

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