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

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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Two Arrested After Stabbing At Park City

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

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

A male shoplifting suspect took off running through the Boscov’s department store at Park City Center Friday afternoon after cutting a loss-prevention officer on the hand, Lancaster city police said.

His female accomplice bolted as well, city police Officer Marc Shaffer said.

Police have charged Noel H. Israel-Negron, 35, of the 600 block of Columbia Avenue, with retail theft, robbery, aggravated assault, terroristic threats and criminal conspiracy.

Kriste L. McManus, 40, of the 600 block of Market Street, Marietta, was charged with retail theft, robbery and criminal conspiracy.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/two-arrested-after-stabbing-at-park-city/article_1927c53c-c1a3-11e3-9783-001a4bcf6878.html

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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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South Hills Village Mall To Get Major Makeover

Map of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, United ...

Map of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, United States with township and municipal boundaries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

South Hills Village mall will undergo a multimillion-dollar renovation as part of its owner’s plan to spruce up some of its shopping centers — to the tune of $3 billion — through 2016, an official said.

“We’re very focused on making our malls completely up-to-date and with the latest customer amenities, and giving our customers the best experience in which to shop and dine and be entertained,” Les Morris, spokesman for Simon Property Group Inc., said on Thursday.

The recession hurt shopping centers nationwide, so retail property owners have been upgrading malls rather than building more of them, said Jesse Tron, spokesman for the International Council of Shopping Centers in New York.

“I think 2014 will remain more about redevelopment, as opposed to new development,” he said.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/5505569-74/mall-renovation-hills#ixzz2rzxz0IyU
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Owen J Robert SD Loses $2 Million A Year Under Lowered Coventry Mall Tax Assessment

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Chester County

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

SOUTH COVENTRY TOWNSHIP, PA— The Owen J. Roberts School Board unanimously approved a real estate tax appeal settlement with Coventry Retail, LP, that lowers the assessed value of the Coventry Mall from $98 million in 2012 to $23.2 million in 2014.

The reassessment will equate to a loss of about $2 million a year in property tax revenues to the district.

In addition to the revenue loss, the agreement is retroactive to 2012, so the district will have to repay mall owners $1,619,799 of taxes paid in 2012, 2013 and 2014. In accordance with the agreement, $650,000 of that will be paid in cash within 60 days, according to attorney David L. Allebach Jr., who represented the board on this matter. The remaining funds will be credited to the mall against future taxes,

District officials had anticipated that cost and have reserved the full $1.6 million, according to district Chief Financial Officer Jaclin Krumrine. Therefore, the district has the $650,000 on hand to pay back the mall owner. The remaining nearly $1 million will help balance the 2014-15 budget to make up for the tax credit the mall will receive during that fiscal year.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/social-affairs/20140129/ojr-loses-2m-a-year-under-lowered-coventry-mall-tax-assessment

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Police Disable Devices Found In Maryland Gunman’s Bag

English: Mall of Columbia interior Photo by up...

English: Mall of Columbia interior Photo by uploader, released to public domain (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What happened A shooting at a suburban mall Saturday morning in Columbia, Md. left three people dead, including the suspected shooter.

The suspect and motive Police believe the shooting, which took place in or around the Zumiez skate shop in The Mall in Columbia, was a murder-suicide.

Police said Saturday night that they had found and disabled “two crude devices that appeared to be an attempt at making explosives using fireworks.” The suspect was also carrying a lot of ammunition, police said.

But the motive of the suspected shooter, an as-yet unidentified man, has not been determined and police said Saturday they didn’t yet know whether the shooting was random or whether he may have known the victims.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140125/police-disable-devices-found-in-md-gunmans-bag

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Franklin Mills Reinvents Itself As A More Conventional Mall

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia ...

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

A sky-high crane dangles over a corner of Franklin Mills Mall these days, but it is more than a towering construction tool: It is a symbol of how necessity is the mother of reinvention at this once-legendary shopping mall.

A Walmart Supercenter is taking shape at the once-pioneering complex, which opened nearly 25 years ago with theme-park anticipation as among the first outlet malls, and the outright largest, ever built. The splashy development, unveiled in 1989, was a gamble befitting its locale, a onetime Northeast Philadelphia racetrack. And early on, its unmatched offerings paid off with packed corridors.

The mall flaunted a 1.2-mile-long, zigzag-shaped concourse, and more than 200 stores hawking discount designer goods, at a time when such wares were available only at out-of-the-way old-factory outlets. Its 1.7 million square feet of bargain buys, right off I-95, was a tourist draw and local sensation.

But the megamall’s early monopoly on outlet shopping has come to an end, forcing Franklin Mills to alter its once-irresistible identity. The Walmart is one of many tenants that now make the monolith, well, a bit more ordinary. And this is by design.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20131226_Franklin_Malls_reinvents_itself_as_a_more_conventional_mall.html#B6GQUXeWYThVsWmy.99

Developers: West Manchester Mall Construction Could Begin By March

Map of York County, Pennsylvania, United State...

Map of York County, Pennsylvania, United States with township and municipal boundaries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The new year will bring a new West Manchester Mall, and developers said work could begin before winter ends.

“We’re trying to get started as early as we can. March is not an unreasonable target,” said Tony Ruggeri, co-founder of Dallas-based M&R Investors, which owns the mall.

The 32-year-old shopping hub at 1800 Loucks Road is set for a $47 million redevelopment that will change it from an enclosed mall to an outdoor plaza similar to Hunt Valley Towne Center in Maryland.

The York County commissioners and the West York school board recently approved a tax incentive financing (TIF) plan that will allow the mall to be revamped while receiving a limited tax break on the improved property.

Read more: http://www.yorkdispatch.com/breaking/ci_24764314/developers-west-manchester-mall-construction-could-begin-by

Century III New Owner Seeks To Reverse Vacancy Trend With New Theater

Map of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, United ...

Map of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, United States with township and municipal boundaries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The owner of Century III is betting that a movie theater could help revitalize the struggling West Mifflin mall.

Las Vegas-based Moonbeam Capital Investments LLC, which bought the mall in May, said it is negotiating with two national chains with a Pittsburgh-area presence to open a first-run movie theater with stadium seating in Century III. Shawl L. Pryor, senior vice president of real estate, won’t name the companies because no lease has been signed.

Contending with a high vacancy rate, about 32 percent, and low foot traffic, the 34-year-old mall needs an entertainment component as part of its revitalization, Moonbeam said.

“We believe that it’s a very important aspect of why people go back to the mall. It’s not just to buy clothing anymore,” Moonbeam Chief Executive Officer Steven Maksin said.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/5157496-74/mall-iii-century#ixzz2nGz6riE4
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Mall At Steamtown Battles For Survival

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lackawanna County

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

As Bon-Ton reported it will vacate the Mall at Steamtown in January, department store magnate Al Boscov admits the shopping complex is battling for its existence.

“I am trying to figure out ways that we can survive,” said Boscov, who developed the $101 million Lackawanna Avenue complex and is a principal in the group that owns the facility.

Bon-Ton reported it will close its 100,000-square-foot store in the mall before its lease expires Jan. 31. Spokeswoman Mary Kerr said it probably will cease operations between Jan. 26 and Jan. 29.

“It’s sad. It’s certainly something that we don’t want to do,” Kerr said. “We do have to make these hard decisions at times.”

Read more: http://citizensvoice.com/news/mall-at-steamtown-battles-for-survival-1.1570580

Coventry Mall Sold At Auction, Will Remain Open

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Chester County

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

NORTH COVENTRY TOWNSHIP, PA — The Coventry Mall was sold Thursday at auction for $49.5 million to U.S. Bank National Association, as Trustee, pending judicial approval of the proceeding.

An attorney for the bank was the lone bidder in the auction of the property.

The mall has remained open throughout the process and will continue normal operations, according to William Ritterling, general manager of Coventry Mall.

The auction, which lasted less than 15 minutes, attracted about 10 onlookers and was conducted outside the mall in front of the empty Sears store.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/business/20130919/coventry-mall-sold-at-auction-will-remain-open

Harrisburg Mall Assessment Plummets From Nearly $66.5M To Less Than $8M In Three Years

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Dauphin County

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

A dramatic drop in the Harrisburg Mall‘s tax assessment means Dauphin County, a municipality and school district are collecting an estimated $838,164 a year less in revenue than they did in 2010.

The new value of the mall is $7.987 million — less than one-eighth of the nearly $66.5 million assessed in 2010 and less than half of its 2012 assessment of $17.65 million.

For Swatara Township, that lost revenue, in part, contributed to the township’s need to raise taxes in past years.

Central Dauphin School District remained aware of the property’s decreasing value and took that into consideration concerning its budget.  For Dauphin County, the most recent drop means the loss of less than one-half of a percent of the county’s annual budget.

Read more:  http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2013/06/harrisburg_mall_assessment_dro.html#incart_m-rpt-1

Fairgrounds Square Mall Sells At Auction For $13.6 Million

Editor’s note:  Hopefully somebody can turn Fairgrounds Square around.  It needs some TLC.

The Bank of New York Mellon Trust Co. today bought the

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County

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

Fairgrounds Square Mall for $13.6 million, pending judicial approval.

The mall is expected to remain open and continue to operate.

An attorney for the trustee was the only bidder at the sale, performed by the U.S. Marshal Service in Philadelphia, said Patrick Ennis, supervisory criminal investigator civil unit for the marshals.

The mall was scheduled for marshal sale after GP-Fairgrounds Square LP, the mall owner, failed to meet its financial obligations.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/Article.aspx?id=457395

Crow Problem Resurfaces At Park City

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

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

Crows once again are congregating atop Park City Center, and mall owners might again haul out the heavy cannons to shoo them away.

But with concerns about anything resembling gunshots emanating from a shopping mall in the wake of recent mass shootings, the cannons will be fired at dusk, from 4:30 to 6 p.m. only.  The cannons were shot from 3 to 7 p.m. last year.

General Growth Properties, the owning and managing company of Park City Center, said it is implementing a number of efforts to deter the crows.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/796214_Crow-problem-resurfaces-at-Park-City.html#ixzz2Fyz7KBB7

King Of Prussia Mall Announces New Retailers

King of Prussia Mall

King of Prussia Mall (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

KING OF PRUSSIA — Simon Property Group, Inc. (NYSE:SPG), the world’s leading retail real estate company, announced the addition of six new merchants, along with three retailer expansions, to King of Prussia Mall.

The center continues to add stores to its more than 400 retail and dining options.

Tommy Bahama opened its first stand-alone store in Pennsylvania in July.

Athleta is set open by the end of the summer.  Designed and tested by women athletes, Athleta offers women’s swimwear and athletic clothing for yoga, running, golf and tennis. Both stores will be located on the upper level of the Plaza.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20120831/FINANCE01/120839902/king-of-prussia-mall-announces-new-retailers?nstrack=sid:48949|met:300|cat:0|order:4#full_story

Sinking Spring Focuses On Revitalizing Downtown

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States with township and municipal boundaries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When a group set out to revitalize Sinking Spring’s downtown in 2008, it planned to start with the west side of town.

Then a developer shifted the focus to what’s now known as the Spring Market shopping center in the eastern section.

Now the group is trying to advance a plan for the central district, calling for a new mix of residential and commercial space south of Penn Avenue.

The revitalization group, known as BOSS 2020, for Borough of Sinking Spring 2020, met with an architectural firm and came up with the downtown plan.

Alcon of Sinking Spring contributed $8,000 to the effort.

Read more:   http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=431266

Park City Gunman Eludes Police After Robbing Arby’s

A gunman who robbed a Park City Center eatery eluded police Sunday evening despite a 3-hour manhunt by dozens of police officers and K-9 units.

“We’re as confident as we can be at this point … that he is no longer inside,” city police Sgt. Mark Radmore said outside the Kohl’s mall entrance at around 9:30 p.m.

Heavily armed police officers swept the mall’s many stores and storage areas several times after the robbery attempt at about 6:05 p.m. at Arby’s restaurant.

The mall was quickly evacuated after the incident, which happened around closing time for most stores.

According to a pair of eyewitnesses, a gunman — they said wearing a hoodie, although others reported seeing a mask — displayed a handgun to cashiers at Arby’s and demanded cash.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/771209_Park-City-gunman-eludes-police-after-robbing-Arby-s.html#ixzz2BMTJazGu

King Of Prussia Mall Announces New Retailers

KING OF PRUSSIA, PA – Simon Property Group, Inc. (NYSE:SPG), the world’s leading retail real estate company, announced the addition of six new merchants, along with three retailer expansions, to King of Prussia Mall.

The center continues to add stores to its more than 400 retail and dining options.

Tommy Bahama opened its first stand-alone store in Pennsylvania in July.

Athleta is set open by the end of the summer. Designed and tested by women athletes, Athleta offers women’s swimwear and athletic clothing for yoga, running, golf and tennis. Both stores will be located on the upper level of the Plaza.

Read more: http://business-news.thestreet.com/the-mercury/story/king-prussia-mall-announces-new-retailers/1

Developers Of Planned Lower Macungie Shopping Center ‘Trying To Bridge Financial Gap’

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lehigh County

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

Developers of a proposed shopping center that would bring a Costco Warehouse and Target to Lower Macungie Township pitched their project to the East Penn School Board Monday night in anticipation of a future request for Tax Increment Financing.

Staten Island developer Timothy Harrison presented his vision for Hamilton Crossings – a $120 million, 580,000 square-foot shopping center proposed on 62 acres on both sides of Krocks Road between the Route 222 Bypass and Hamilton Boulevard. He told the school board he would be returning to ask the district to participate on a TIF committee.

Harrison and his partner Jeremy Fogel, executive director of The Goldenberg Group in Blue Bell, discussed financial hurdles involved with the site that are caused by geotechnical issues resulting from more than 70 years of use as an iron-ore mine. They told directors that much of the site consists of mine wash, a pancake batter-like substance that has to be removed and mixed with concrete or rock before it is returned to the ground. Harrison said the ground could not support buildings or a parking lot without remediation.

Read more: http://www.mcall.com/news/local/eastpenn/mc-east-penn-lower-mac-tif-20120814,0,2514578.story