Phillipsburg Mall Sold

Census Bureau map of Lopatcong Township, New J...

Census Bureau map of Lopatcong Township, New Jersey (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Vacancy-plagued Phillipsburg Mall has been sold after nine months on the commercial real estate market.

Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust announced Thursday it sold the mall for $11.5 million, giving the company a 9.8 percent capitalization rate on its investment.  The buyer is Mason Asset Management of Great Neck, N.Y.

Mason owner Elliot Nassim said his company specializes in the redevelopment of malls. “We hope to bring some new tenants to the mall,” he said.

Phillipsburg Mall is a 574,000-square-foot shopping center straddling Lopatcong and Pohatcong townships. It is anchored by Kohl’s, Sears, Bon-Ton and JC Penney.

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Phillipsburg Mall Ordered For Sale

Phillipsburg Mall is home to anchors like Sears, Bon-Ton, Kohl’s and JCPenney’s.

But have you noticed that the mall’s corridors are riddled with vacancies?

I witnessed the sea of empty storefronts as I walked through the mall during lunchtime Wednesday. I wasn’t necessarily dodging tumbleweeds, but the dearth was obvious.

Phillipsburg has one of the highest vacancy rates among the Lehigh Valley‘s shopping malls, with nearly three dozen empty storefronts among its more than 90 spaces in its online directory.

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Upper Darby’s Shopping District Losing More Than Sears

2010 Sears logo

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The shopping district in Upper Darby, PA is losing more than their Sears store.  In addition, Marshall’s is closing January 14th (but being replaced with Ross); the Turf Club has already closed and left a large empty building and Fashion Choice Jewelry is closing.  The vacant Sears store will leave two large empty buildings in the shopping district.

Sears has been a fixture and an anchor store in the Upper Darby shopping district for 30 years.  We here inPottstown can feel your pain.  Sears has been around Pottstown far longer.

The main reason for the closing is the economy (poor performance).  Since 2008 sales at Sears in Upper Darby have dropped 50 percent.  I would say the Pottstown Sears store is in the same boat.  Compared to Boscov’s and Kohl’s the Sears store is empty.  I could barely shop in Boscov’s last week because it was so crowded.

Sears employees losing their jobs can apply for positions in other stores, take severance, if they qualify, or be furloughed.

Could Granite Run Mall Be The Next Entry On

The logo of Simon Property Group.

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Granite Run Mall, just outside of Media, Delaware County is slowly dying.  Empty stores and few shoppers is not a good sign of things to come.  Simon Property Group Inc. and Macerich Co. are the owners of Granite Run Mall.

Granite Run Mall may be up for a short sale or a take over by its lender because of a very late $115 million mortgage payment.  Simon appears to have lost interest in dumping more money into the mall.  Malls across America are struggling as consumers have turned to strip malls, outlet malls and big box retail complexes.  If Granite Run fails, it will be the largest mall to be sold or forfeited to a lender since the current recession started. 

Granite Run is a two-level, super-regional mall with 1,033,000 square feet of retail space.  The three anchor stores are JC Penney, Sears and Boscov’s.  Kohl’s is located outside the mall, along the perimeter, to make a fourth large department store at the mall complex.  The mall opened in 1974 and was remodeled in 1984 and 1994.