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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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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Long-Awaited Change Coming To Italian Market

English: Map of Philadelphia County highlighti...

English: Map of Philadelphia County highlighting South Philadelphia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s 30 degrees and an icy rain is falling, but as Michele Gambino stands in the center of the Italian Market, she’s feeling surprisingly warm.

Not from the flames snapping in the fire barrels.

But because in 10 days, a change four years in the making comes to the venerable market, one that Gambino and others believe will enrich shoppers and enliven the assembly of grocery stores, butcher shops, and restaurants that line Ninth Street in South Philadelphia.

On Jan. 1, the business-district association takes control of the market’s iconic, outdoor rows of wooden stands.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20131223_Long-awaited_change_coming_to_Italian_Market.html#xkxhQzitABLg2xCv.99

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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Pottstown Sheds Regulations To Be More Business Friendly

The Fishwrap is reporting that an effort is finally being made to become more business friendly and welcoming to investors in our central business district.  I say, “Here, here!”  It’s about time. 

Driving down High Street should be an exciting experience, however, it is the opposite as of late.  Removing rules and procedures, that needlessly delay construction, is a good thing.  If we would work really hard at filling up all those empty retail spaces downtown, it would go a LONG WAY toward helping the tax base, drawing people downtown to spend money on goods and services and creating employment!  In the past we have worried about looks (and trees), at any cost, and you see the result.  Crickets!

Two Roy’s Rants thumbs up to Jason Bobst and Councilor Chomnuk for cutting through the Hyltonesque gobbledygook and trying to foster a climate that says “Pottstown is open for business”.

Granite Run Mall Gets New Lease On Life

The troubled Granite Run Mall in Delaware County will now be managed by Madison Marquette.  Madison Marquette will hit the ground running with planned improvements to the interior and exterior of the mall, in addition to aggressively trying to lease empty retail space (29 stores).

Madison Marquette is a Washington, DC-based developer and operator of retail and retail mixed-use real estate throughout the United States.  Madison Marquette maintains a regional office in Philadelphia at 1717 Arch Street.  Madison Marquette manages more than 20 million square feet of property.  They have a history of transforming failed retail projects.  For more information:  http://www.madisonmarquette.com/about_us/history

Simon Property Group has removed Granite Run from their list of properties on their website.