Boscov: Mall Price At Sheriff’s Sale Probably Too High

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lackawanna County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lackawanna County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Department store owner Al Boscov is unlikely to bid when the Mall at Steamtown goes on the block at a sheriff’s sale next week, saying he anticipates the asking price will be too high.

The businessman has been unable to strike a deal with LNR Partners, the real estate company representing the mortgage holder, to acquire the mall but hopes to renew negotiations if the lender finds no takers for the property at the sale Tuesday, he and his lawyer said.

“At that point, it would be just as if we were buying a property in a private sales transaction,” said attorney Scott M. Esterbrook. “The (sheriff’s) sale is not the be-all, end-all. It’s one step in the process, and where we’re at today is we just haven’t reached an agreement yet.”

The mall entered foreclosure March 7 after owner Steamtown Mall Partners defaulted on a principal balance payment of $37.1 million due last July on its 2003 mortgage, setting up the sheriff’s sale. Mr. Boscov is a principal in Steamtown Mall Partners.

Read more: http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/boscov-mall-price-at-sheriff-s-sale-probably-too-high-1.1718214

Changing Skyline: Is ‘Over-Success’ In Development Hurting Philadelphia?

English: 1616 Walnut Street Building in Philad...

English: 1616 Walnut Street Building in Philadelphia. On NRHP since October 17, 1983 1616 Walnut Street in Rittenhouse Square East neighborhood of Center City. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It wasn’t long ago that Philadelphia’s movers and shakers were lamenting that the city was being ignored by international retailers. Those chains finally discovered the city, and now they’re colonizing the shopping districts around Rittenhouse Square and the West Philadelphia universities at a stunning pace. Sometimes, the only way to be sure you’re not at the King of Prussia Mall is to look up at the sky.

Having gotten what it wished for, the city is starting to feel the first side effects of what New York urbanist Kent Barwick, former head of the Municipal Arts Society, identified as “the over-successful city.”

This may sound like an odd worry in a town that looks over its shoulder and still sees Detroit. It’s certainly great that the chains help draw throngs to Walnut and Chestnut Streets again. They’ve brought their stylish displays and uncovered the dormant charms of many old commercial buildings. Yet, there is a numbing sameness to much of the retail. You’ve seen identical mannequins in identical outfits perched in windows on New York’s Fifth Avenue, Boston’s Newbury Street, and Chicago’s Michigan Avenue.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/columnists/inga_saffron/20140711_Is__over-success__in_development_hurting_Phila__.html#OwFqlzCPsHwibjmA.99

Make Pittsburgh Your 2014 Summer Destination

Make Pittsburgh Your 2014 Summer Destination.  Great promotional video from VisitPittsburgh.

Sanatoga K-Mart Store Signs Announce Its Closing

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

SANATOGA PA – The K-Mart discount department store at 2200 E. High St., which occupies the largest retail building in Sanatoga village and has operated there continuously for decades, will close its doors Aug. 31 (2014), a store management employee confirmed Saturday (June 21).

Read more: http://sanatogapost.com/2014/06/22/sanatoga-k-mart-store-signs-announce-closing/

Pennsylvania’s Stagnant 2013 Growth Has Political Repercussions

Map of Pennsylvania, showing major cities and ...

Map of Pennsylvania, showing major cities and roads (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pennsylvania’‍s economy stalled last year, according to a report from the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Pennsylvania’‍s real gross domestic product, an indicator of general economic conditions, grew just 0.7 percent in 2013. Only three states and Washington, D.C., saw slower growth.

Pennsylvania was also out-performed by its neighbors, West Virginia and Ohio, which saw 5.1 and 1.8 percent growth respectively. West Virginia has now outgrown Pennsylvania for six straight years, and Ohio has for two. Even struggling New Jersey beat out the Keystone State, posting 1.1 percent growth.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/business/2014/06/19/Pennsylvania-s-stagnant-2013-growth-has-political-repercussions/stories/201406190114#ixzz356R8ZzWX

Century III Mall In West Mifflin Slides Into Retail Abyss

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jay Natale had a good year in 1979.

The Steelers won the Super Bowl. The Pirates won the World Series. And Natale opened a sporting goods store in the new Century III Mall in West Mifflin.

“The first year was unbelievable,” Natale, 70, of Elizabeth said, recalling a mobbed grand opening at the mall. “We hit the jackpot on that one.”

The jackpot lasted for nearly 20 years.

Since then, the mall has spiraled downward, losing customers, retailers and property value, which drained hundreds of thousands of dollars in property taxes from West Mifflin and its school district.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/6235359-74/mall-century-iii#ixzz34oyENfeX
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Century 21 Store Owner Pledges To ‘Alter The Retail Landscape’ In Center City

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia ...

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Eddie Gindi met the family Tuesday. No one who ever pledged to a loved one could have been more solicitous.

Executive vice president and co-owner of Century 21, the latest and, arguably, most exotic retailer to commit to Philadelphia, Gindi promised success, devotion and a boundless future.

“We are honored to be part of Philadelphia,” he told an enthusiastic crowd at the Union League. “We want to alter the retail landscape here.”

And more.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20140611_Store_owner_pledges_to__alter_the_retail_landscape__in_Center_City.html#8bM5ZjttKxmE5Gsc.99

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Glassboro’s Downtown Tries Again For Revitalization

Map of New Jersey highlighting Gloucester County

Map of New Jersey highlighting Gloucester County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In Glassboro’s historic downtown, the story of one building chronicles the district’s past – and, perhaps, its future.

A colorful storefront at 11 E. High St. that now houses an artsy glass business previously held a short-lived studio and art gallery, a locally owned coffee shop, and, as far back as the mid-1900s, a neighborhood grocery store that was reportedly the first in the town to sell frozen food.

Once thriving and serving the everyday needs of nearby residents, this downtown district is the subject of a revitalization campaign as borough officials try to build on the success of nearby Rowan University and create a vibrant arts community.

A blacktop connection, Rowan Boulevard, which is a new roadway and $300 million redevelopment project, broke ground in 2009. But a vacant lot between the boulevard and the longtime downtown area – described by one person as the “gray area” between the old and new – testifies to the work still to be done.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/local/20140526_Glassboro_s_downtown_tries_again_for_revitalization.html#41Wr7GLgC8h42IM6.99

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New Economic Study Points To Rapid Growth In Downtown Pittsburgh

English: Downtown Pittsburgh

English: Downtown Pittsburgh (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When it comes to economic and residential growth, the Golden Triangle has had the golden touch in recent years, with almost $800 million in development under construction and about twice that much planned.

A study released on Thursday predicts that trend will continue with explosive development of apartments, hotels and retail and high-end office space in Pittsburgh’s Greater Downtown, including the Triangle, North Shore, South Shore, Uptown, the Bluff and near Strip District as far northeast as 31st Street.

“We’re only experiencing the beginning of Downtown’s transformation,” said Jeremy Waldrup, president and CEO of the Downtown Partnership.

The partnership produced the study, which looked at economic indicators in several key areas to evaluate Downtown’s vitality. It gave the results in a presentation at Union Trust Building — itself a symbol of Downtown’s revitalization.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/6115943-74/downtown-percent-partnership#ixzz31tEGYvVi
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Steamtown Mall Goes To Sheriff’s Sale June 10 With $43.7M Asking Price

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lackawanna County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lackawanna County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The asking price for the foreclosed downtown shopping center will be $43.7 million, according to a list released Monday by the Lackawanna County sheriff’s office.

The sale begins at 10 a.m. in the first-floor jury lounge at the Lackawanna County Courthouse, said Robert Moore, a deputy sheriff. Although the mall is the first item on the list, the auction will follow bidding for other properties held over from earlier sales, the deputy said.

Mall principal Al Boscov continues to put together financing to try to make the acquisition, said Scott Esterbrook, a Philadelphia lawyer who represents the department store magnate in the foreclosure.

“Albert is still working on a lot of details relating to the foreclosure sale,” Mr. Esterbrook said. “He is trying to raise the capital to pull it off.

Read more: http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/steamtown-mall-goes-to-sheriff-s-sale-june-10-with-43-7m-asking-price-1.1676862

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Website Launched By Nazareth Economic Commission Seeks To Revitalize Downtown

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Northampton C...

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Northampton County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A website launched by the Nazareth Economic Development Commission aims to fill empty storefronts and attract more visitors downtown.

The website,www.nazarethnow.org, was launched last week.

Those navigating through it will see a video about the Nazareth area, highlighting the borough’s downtown, Moravian history, Martin Guitar and a tour of the home of race car legend Mario Andretti. There are tabs about food and shopping destinations, a monthly calendar of events and how to get more involved.

Read more: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/nazareth/index.ssf/2014/04/new_website_launched_by_nazare.html

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$60-$70 Million Chestnut Street Residential Development Set To Begin

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia ...

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In what would transform a bedraggled slice of central Philadelphia, demolition crews are weeks away from dismantling nearly an entire side of the 1100 block of Chestnut Street, part of a $60 million to $70 million redevelopment tapping the soaring apartment market and surging appetites to shop and live east of Broad Street.

Zoning approvals and permits are in place, additional property was acquired as recently as Thursday, and a large section of sidewalk has been closed as lead development partner Brickstone Co. prepares to build a complex of loft-style apartments above towering, three-story retail spaces.

The development will stretch almost the length of the south side of Chestnut between 11th and 12th Streets, Brickstone managing partner John J. Connors said.

Connors would not discuss what tenants are being courted, but the project could include a supermarket if rumors swirling among civic activist circles are true.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20140425__60-_70_million_Chestnut_Street_residential_development_set_to_begin.html#oF4zBbpGx4j9dij1.99

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Retailer Coldwater Creek Files For Bankruptcy

Women’s clothing chain Coldwater Creek has filed for bankruptcy and plans to liquidate its operations.

The Idaho retailer — which has Pittsburgh-area stores in Ross, Monroeville, Mt. Lebanon, Cranberry, Grove City and Erie —announced that it plans to start liquidation sales in early May. The company’s most recent quarterly report listed 343 traditional stores, 36 factory stores and 7 spas.

Coldwater Creek said it has been reviewing its options for the past six months and considered many options, including a sale of the company. But the company wasn’t able to find a buyer or a source of enough capital to turn the business around.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/business/2014/04/11/Coldwater-Creek-files-for-bankruptcy/stories/201404110175#ixzz2ygqJfoxg

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Jewelcor Wants To Extend Wilkes-Barre’s Coal Street

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WILKES-BARRE, PA — What the city can’t do, the owners of the Jewelcor property want to with the extension of Coal Street for development.

Plans are to continue the street west at the intersection with Wilkes-Barre Boulevard by constructing a five-lane roadway, said Joe Lakowski, project manager with Jewelcor Inc.

“We have two potential companies that want to go on the corners,” Lakowski said Friday.

Jewelcor president and chief executive officer Seymour Holtzman and his wife, Evelyn, who own the property, are seeking a construction easement to build the roadway on city property. The easement is listed on the agenda for City Council’s work session Tuesday night.

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/local-news-news/1304638/Jewelcor-wants-to-extend-W-Bs-Coal-St.

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Acme Parent Company Buys Safeway for $9 Billion

Acme Markets’ corporate parent, the Albertsons grocery-store chain, on Thursday purchased Safeway Inc., for about $9 billion.

Albertsons is controlled by an investor group led by Cerberus, a New York-based private-equity firm. Other investors included Philadelphia-based Lubert-Adler Partners, Kimco Realty Corp., Klaff Realty L.P., and Schottenstein Real Estate Group.

With the purchase of Safeway, the group will now control about 2,400 grocery stores, making it one of the largest chains in the country.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20140307_Acme_parent_company_buys_Albertsons_for__9B.html#yfZ07Jksrr6jsbWd.99

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Boscov: Steamtown Mall Nearing Foreclosure

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lackawanna County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lackawanna County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Mall at Steamtown is on the verge of foreclosure, department store magnate Al Boscov disclosed to The Times-Tribune on Wednesday.

The mall ownership group, Steamtown Mall Partners LP, recently defaulted on a lump sum mortgage payment and a property foreclosure action is expected to be filed by Friday in Lackawanna County Court, Boscov told the newspaper’s editorial board.

The mall will continue to operate and shoppers should notice no difference at the Lackawanna Avenue retail complex during foreclosure, he said. All of the mall’s tenants but one, a store whose lease was up, have decided to stay.

Reiterating his personal commitment to the mall and to downtown Scranton, Boscov, chairman and chief executive of Boscov’s department store, said the mall’s ownership believes the foreclosure process will help the property emerge as a financially healthier operation.

Read more:  http://citizensvoice.com/news/boscov-steamtown-mall-nearing-foreclosure-1.1645780

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RadioShack Corp. To Close 1,100 Stores, Company Reports

English: A Radio Shack store in the Plaza Cara...

English: A Radio Shack store in the Plaza Caracol shopping center on Boulevard Francisco Medina Ascensio in the city of Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

RadioShack Corp. said it plans to close up to 1,100 stores in the U.S. and reported a wider quarterly loss after a disappointing holiday season.

Its stock tumbled 24 percent in premarket trading today and was down 11 percent at 2.42 after opening on the New York Stock Exchange.

CEO Joseph Magnacca said in statement that the store closings would leave RadioShack with more than 4,000 U.S. stores, including more than 900 dealer franchise locations. The company didn’t immediately identify which stores will be closed or how many jobs would be affected.

There are several stores in the Lehigh Valley, including stores within a mile of each other in Palmer Township.

Read more: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/breaking-news/index.ssf/2014/03/radioshack_to_close_1100_store.html

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Macy’s Exits As Lead Sponsor Of Pittsburgh’s Holiday Parade

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its nei...

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its neighborhoods labeled. For use primarily in the list of Pittsburgh neighborhoods. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Department store operator Macy’s has pulled out as lead sponsor of Pittsburgh’s holiday parade kicking off the Christmas season, ending a 32-year relationship with the event.

The change was announced this morning by WPXI-TV, which said it is seeking a new sponsor to help support the event.

“We will do everything in our power to keep this parade alive, and we fully expect to,” said Ray Carter, vice president and general manager of the station, in a prepared statement.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/business/2014/02/27/Macy-s-exits-as-lead-sponsor-of-Pittsburgh-s-holiday-parade/stories/201402270254#ixzz2uYsJr8AQ

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Drexel, Amtrak, Brandywine Weigh Giant Development Plans

English: 30th Street Station In Philadelphia. ...

English: 30th Street Station In Philadelphia. Roughly speaking, the center of commuting in Philly, the former center of the Pennsylvania Railroad. Philly’s main Amtrak station (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Officials at Drexel University, Amtrak, Brandywine Realty Trust and other city and West Philly institutions have been sitting down with developers in recent days to review proposals to build over the tracks at 30th Street Station and link the grandiose proposed Drexel Innovation Neighborhood and its high-rise, Rockefeller Center-like “Superblock” at 33rd and Market — whose 6.5 milllion sq ft, by itself, would be more than four times larger than the proposed new Comcast office tower — and other new Drexel-area construction to Center City, highways, the airport, Penn, and, you know, the rest of the world.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/inq-phillydeals/Drexel-Amtrak-Brandywine-weighing-giant-West-Philly-redevelopment.html#cKEU5LqSCK8zdcLb.99

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Go Away Joe Cool: CVS To Stop Selling Cigarettes

English: Used in CVS/pharmacy to convey brand ...

English: Used in CVS/pharmacy to convey brand identity. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The pharmacy chain CVS announced this morning that it will stop selling cigarettes and tobacco products at its 7,600 stories nationwide later this year.

The sales will stop Oct. 1 and will cost the company an estimated $2 billion in revenue, but many believe it could be a turning point in retail.

“Ending the sale of cigarettes and tobacco products at CVS/pharmacy is the right thing for us to do for our customers and our company to help people on their path to better health,” Larry J. Merlo, President and CEO, CVS Caremark said in a statement. “Put simply, the sale of tobacco products is inconsistent with our purpose.”

Merlo continued, “As the delivery of health care evolves with an emphasis on better health outcomes, reducing chronic disease and controlling costs, CVS Caremark is playing an expanded role in providing care through our pharmacists and nurse practitioners.”

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/Go_away_Joe_Cool_CVS_wont_sell_smokes_anymore.html#FA1FbQtbvhW28Awr.99

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