The controversial reopening of Buckhead’s Lenox Square and Phipps Plaza malls has been delayed from May 1 to May 4, according to the website of owner Simon Property Group.

The malls have been closed since March 18. News of the reopening earlier this week generated controversy about public health impacts, including from Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, who called it “too soon.”

One of the monument signs at the Lenox Square mall. (File)

Along with Lenox Square at 3393 Peachtree Road and Phipps Plaza at 3500 Peachtree, Simon is reopening many other malls around Georgia and the U.S. on a new timeline now extending into May 16. Two Simon malls in Georgia, Calhoun Outlet Marketplace and North Georgia Premium Outlets in Dawsonville, are still scheduled to reopen May 1.

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.