The Mall at Steamtown

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Mall at Steamtown
Mall at Steamtown atrium during Office convention.jpg
Mall atrium during The Office convention, October 2007
Location Scranton, PA, USA
Coordinates 41°24′30″N 75°40′05″W / 41.40833°N 75.66806°W / 41.40833; -75.66806
Address 300 Lackawanna Avenue Scranton, Pennsylvania 18503
Opening date 1993[1]
Management Prizm Asset Management Company
Jones Lang LaSalle[2]
Owner LNR Partners[3]
No. of stores and services 70 (2012)
No. of anchor tenants 3
Total retail floor area 563,774 sq. ft.
No. of floors 2
Parking 2,441 spaces
Website The Mall at Steamtown

The Mall at Steamtown is a shopping center and the commercial centerpiece of Scranton, Pennsylvania, United States. It features nearly one hundred retail and specialty stores. The Mall at Steamtown was conceived in the mid-1980s as the keystone of downtown revitalization, though the project was not completed until 1993. Its opening in 1993 was nationally televised on CNN and attended by then-Pennsylvania Governor Robert P. Casey, Sr., who was instrumental in securing funding for and initiating development of the mall. The mall is built on approximately half of the former Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad yard that was abandoned by Conrail in the late 1970s. The mall is two levels with a food court overlooking Steamtown National Historic Site on the second floor. The mall is located on Lackawanna Avenue in the heart of downtown Scranton, and includes a parking garage that stretches the length of the mall between Boscov's and the former The Bon-Ton. The mall will continue to operate while in Foreclosure.[4]

History[edit]

The Mall at Steamtown project was organized by Al Boscov, due to Boscov's being unable to move into Crown American malls after they bought Hess's.[5] Boscov’s Department Stores and Shopco Advisory Corp developed the mall under the name Scranton Mall Associates.[6] The mall cost $90 million to construct and required the demolition of many buildings.[4][5] Prior to the construction, the area had problem's with drugs and prostitution.[7] In 2003, Steamtown Mall Partners replaced Scranton Mall Associates as the manager of the mall.[6]

2010's[edit]

The Bon-Ton closed after the lease expired on January 31, 2014, and had a store in the mall for 13 years.[4][8] American Eagle and ATOS Chicken & Waffles also closed.[7][9] A replacement store has shown interest, but is delayed due to the foreclosure. No new anchor is in negotiations to replace The Bon-Ton according to Al Boscov.[10] After the foreclosure announcement As Seen on TV, Cinnabon/Carvel, and Steamtown Pub and Grill also closed.[11][12] After the Sheriff’s sale, Express is set to close.[12] The Steamtown 8 Cinemas does not generate enough revenue to afford converting to digital projectors and operator Marquee will not renew it's lease at the end of 2014.[7][13]

Foreclosure[edit]

Due to being unable to repay an $41 million ($40,574,382.57) mortgage due on July 11, 2013 the mall went into foreclosure on March 7, 2014 as requested by mortgage servicer LBUBS 2003-CV Lackawanna Retail GP (LNR Partners), with the approval of then owner Steamtown Mall Partners.[14][15] Included in the foreclosure is the Marquee theater, but not the Oppenheim and Samter buildings.[4] Contributing factors that caused the foreclosure include debt and low rent revenue (mall was only 65 percent occupied), along with competition from The Shoppes at Montage, Viewmont Mall, and online businesses.[4][16] Boscov's department store planned to bid for the mall at the auction or purchase it beforehand, even though Al Boscov is partners in Steamtown Mall Partners the malls foreclosed owner, but could not reach an agreement.[16][17] Out of 43 Boscov's, the location at Steamtown is the 5th best performing.[18] Boscov hopes other mall groups would bid on the mall as they have more resources to fill it.[10][18] Boscov's continued with renovations to its store during the Foreclosure.[7]

Steamtown Mall Partners also owes over $3.6 million in federal loans via the city of Scranton. Due to a missed payment, $613,000 has been withheld to Scranton from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.[4] Due to accounting issues at the Office of Economic and Community Development in Scranton, $998,000 in payments on the Section 108 loan made from 1999 to 2001 by the mall's owners at the time (Scranton Mall Associates) were not recorded properly.[6][19]

Sheriff’s sale[edit]

The sheriff's sale was held on July 15, 2014 (originally scheduled for June 10) with a requested price of over $43.7 million.[11][20] The reserve price of $37.3 million ($37,265,000) was not met and LNR Partners purchased the property for $1,567.71, its costs and taxes.[3][21] The only other bidder was a representative for Robert Bolus, whose bid was declared illegal due to the contingency of an casino license being approved for the property. Al Boscov did not bid due to the high requested price and plans to continue negotiations with LNR Partners, but estimates it could take $10-20 million in investments to modernize the Mall.[17][22]

Should the foreclosure not be successful, Lackawanna County has discussed using eminent domain to acquire the mall, and revitalize it or use the space to house county offices.[23] Blueprints were created with Lackawanna County taking over most of the second floor shortly after the foreclosure.[24] The property could become mixed use, housing both offices and stores.[25]

Anchors[edit]

Current[edit]

Former[edit]

Popular culture references[edit]

The Mall at Steamtown has been featured a few times on NBC's The Office, as a place where Stanley's daughter spends all of his money, home of the coffeehouse "Jitters", and where Michael takes the women out for a day of shopping. The season 3 episode "Women's Appreciation" is the first time the mall is actually seen. Michael takes Pam, Karen, Angela, Kelly, Phyllis, and Meredith to the mall to show them his appreciation. The mall is also seen in the Season 7 episode "Counseling". Dwight is trying to protest it due to the lack of courtesy service, though it was the result of a misunderstanding involving beet juice covering Dwight's hands and arms that an employee had mistaken for blood.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Mall at a Glance". Jones Lang LaSalle. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  2. ^ "Boscov's hires leasing agent for mall". Lebanon Daily News. January 27, 2012. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Singleton, David (July 16, 2014). "Mortgage holder buys Mall at Steamtown". The Citizens' Voice. Retrieved 20 July 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f Haggerty, James (March 6, 2014). "Boscov: Steamtown mall nearing foreclosure". The Citizens' Voice. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  5. ^ a b Falchek, David (March 9, 2014). "Al Boscov familiar with facing long odds". The Citizens' Voice. Retrieved 13 March 2014. 
  6. ^ a b c Singleton, David (May 29, 2014). "Boscov: Mall made payment on city loan". The Scranton Times-Tribune. Retrieved 9 June 2014. 
  7. ^ a b c d Baumeister, Elizabeth (March 7, 2014). "Boscov’s may make grab for Steamtown". The Times Leader. Retrieved 13 March 2014. 
  8. ^ a b Schuyler, David (Oct 17, 2013). "Bon-Ton to close Scranton, Pa., department store". Milwaukee Business Journal. Retrieved 7 January 2014. 
  9. ^ Lee, Peggy (March 6, 2014). "Scranton Mayor, Downtown Business Owner Respond To Mall Foreclosure". WNEP. Retrieved 12 March 2014. 
  10. ^ a b Lange, Stacy (March 7, 2014). "Al Boscov On The Future Of The Mall". WNEP. Retrieved 12 March 2014. 
  11. ^ a b Haggerty, James; Lockwood, Jim (April 29, 2014). "Steamtown mall will go to auction June 10". The Citizens' Voice. Retrieved 11 May 2014. 
  12. ^ a b "Another Store Is Leaving The Mall At Steamtown". PA Home Page/Nexstar Broadcasting. July 20, 2014. Retrieved 20 July 2014. 
  13. ^ O’Boyle, Bill (June 5, 2014). "Steamtown cinema future in jeopardy". The Times Leader. Retrieved 9 June 2014. 
  14. ^ Haggerty, James (March 8, 2014). "Troubled Mall at Steamtown headed for sheriff's sale in Lackawanna County". The Citizens' Voice. Retrieved 9 March 2014. 
  15. ^ "Al Boscov Addresses Mall Foreclosure As Paperwork is Filed". PA Home Page/Nexstar Broadcasting. March 7, 2014. Retrieved 13 March 2014. 
  16. ^ a b "Mall's future far from foreclosed". The Scranton Times-Tribune. March 9, 2014. Retrieved 11 March 2014. 
  17. ^ a b Singleton, David (July 15, 2014). "Mortgage holder buys Steamtown mall". The Citizens' Voice. Retrieved 20 July 2014. 
  18. ^ a b Jayne Ann Bugda; Eric Deabill (March 7, 2014). "Al Boscov On the Future of the Mall at Steamtown". PA Home Page/Nexstar Broadcasting. Retrieved 12 March 2014. 
  19. ^ Singleton, David (May 30, 2014). "OECD agrees mall made payments". The Scranton Times-Tribune. Retrieved 9 June 2014. 
  20. ^ Singleton, David (May 23, 2014). "Sheriff's sale of Steamtown mall postponed". The Scranton Times-Tribune. Retrieved 9 June 2014. 
  21. ^ "Mortgage Holder Bids on Mall At Steamtown in Scranton". PA Home Page/Nexstar Broadcasting. July 15, 2014. Retrieved 20 July 2014. 
  22. ^ O’Malley, James (July 15, 2014). "Boscov still eyeing Steamtown". The Times Leader. Retrieved 20 July 2014. 
  23. ^ Singleton, David (March 6, 2014). "To save mall, Lackawanna County would explore eminent domain". The Scranton Times-Tribune. Retrieved 11 March 2014. 
  24. ^ Lange, Stacy (July 15, 2014). "Could Mall Become County Offices?". WNEP. Retrieved 20 July 2014. 
  25. ^ Singleton, David (March 7, 2014). "Lackawanna County eyes partnership on mall". The Scranton Times-Tribune. Retrieved 11 March 2014. 

External links[edit]