Colonie Center Mall Expansion

The 1.2 million square foot Colonie Center Mall in Albany, New York underwent a $10 million renovation beginning in 2005, increasing the Mall’s appeal in the region. Originally established in 1966, the Mall underwent a modernized expansion, bringing in top-name commercial tenants to the redevelopment.

McLaren’s Albany team provided engineering services and design for multiple additions to the site. One of the most significant undertakings in the large-scale project was the design of a 74,000 square foot structure to house the Regal Cinema multiplex. The theater is a third-floor building constructed above the Mall’s roof, linked into but not reliant upon the existing structure. The vertical mall expansion is essentially a building on top of a building, made to appear as an organic part of the Mall.

The McLaren Difference: Applied Ingenuity

After assessing the original building, it was determined that constructing the new structure would be most efficient if done without disturbing the existing portion. The theater, therefore, required its own lateral system and seismic analysis. McLaren also designed a new projection mezzanine, third level framing as needed, and a new roof structure, and reinforced foundations and structural steel beams, columns, and connections as required. With half constructed above the Mall and the other half standing alone, the theater structure is certainly the most innovative design aspect.

McLaren also designed the ground-level additions of a Barnes & Noble and a PF Chang’s China Bistro, which are 20,000 and 7,000 square feet, respectively. For each new structure, McLaren engineered the design and details required to attach them to the existing mall structure. Both new buildings are located beneath the theater.

Beyond the primary aspects of the project, our team also provided structural design for the 2,000 square foot addition housing a new L.L. Bean store. Additionally, design services included new stairs, elevators, escalators and a refurbished service elevator, and design for the new 1,800 square foot Macy’s entrance.