With a collection of 150 stores and a diverse mix of entertainment and dining options, The Post is the state’s largest mall, visited by approximately six million shoppers every year.
Since its opening, The Post has consistently served as an economic engine for Milford. For the past decade, the mall has been Milford’s largest taxpayer, contributing $3.8 million in tax revenues in 2019 alone. On average, The Post and its tenants employ more than 2000 full and part time workers, with another 500 positions added during the holiday season.
Connecticut Post Mall has a long legacy of community engagement, supporting many worthy Milford causes and charitable organizations including:
- Milford’s Festival of Lights and Tree Lighting
- Milford Oyster Festival
- Milford Senior Center
- Devon Rotary
- Milford Arts Council
- Boys & Girls Club of Milford
Over the years, The Post’s owners have worked to attract new retailers and entertainment options, staying abreast of evolving consumer preferences and shopping behaviors. While these efforts have helped to keep the mall operating, emerging trends are threatening the viability of The Post and retail establishments across the country.
Challenges Facing the Retail Industry
The rise of e-commerce and changing consumer preferences have resulted in an overall decline of shopping at malls and brick and mortar retailers around the country. Retail industry analyses show between 25% and 50% of existing enclosed malls will no longer be economically sustainable in the coming years. According to UBS, as more and more consumers shop online, an estimated 75,000 stores selling clothing, electronics and furniture will close by 2026.
Unfortunately, The Post is not immune from this nationwide dynamic and has experienced a steady decline in shopping resulting in:
- Growing vacancy rates and store closures including anchor and smaller tenants
- A 20% drop in visitors over the past five years
- Drop in taxable assessed value from $176,000,000 in 2010 to $149,000,000 in 2019
While The Post faces serious challenges, its owners, Centennial Real Estate, have developed a proposal that will help to reinforce its current operations and also ensure its economic viability well into the future.
New Opportunities at The Post
Since acquiring the mall in 2015, Centennial Real Estate has brought new stores and restaurants to the property. These new options help to make The Post a more attractive place to visit, however, these changes are not enough to outweigh the larger trends impacting the retail industry. That is why Centennial has proposed adding a new residential community at The Post.
Centennial’s proposed residential community is a mutually-beneficial solution that will maintain The Post as a leading taxpayer and job creator in Milford, while offering long-term viability. The proposal calls for a community of 300 apartments in a 4-story residential building located on the southeast corner of the mall’s parking lot. The residential community would include (approximately):
- 135 one-bedroom units
- 135 two-bedroom units
- 30 three-bedroom units
In addition to helping to ensure the long term viability of the mall, the residential community at The Post will bring attractive new housing options for younger Milford residents.
Delivering Positive Fiscal Benefits
The addition of a residential community to The Post will result in substantial and ongoing positive economic benefits for the City of Milford:
- Contributing an estimated $1,215,244 in new combined real and personal property tax revenues to the City of Milford each year, a 28% increase over the taxes currently paid
- Creation of 372 jobs construction jobs
- Creation of 117 permanent jobs
- Generating an estimated $34.8M in new wages with an increase of $1.2M in local consumer spending
- While the residential community may add new students to the Milford school system, projected education costs will be more than offset by the new revenues provided to the city
- After accounting for potential costs for education and other services such as public safety, the City of Milford will still realize a benefit of net-positive tax revenues each year.
- Retaining The Post’s position as the City of Milford’s largest taxpayer
Centennial Real Estate looks forward to working with the City of Milford’s leaders to create a residential community that will support the near-term operations of The Post while ensuring the long-term economic viability of the property for decades to come.