Fairgrounds Square Mall
Southeast entrance to Fairgrounds Square Mall
|Location||Muhlenberg Township, Berks County, Pennsylvania|
|Address||3050 N. 5th St. Highway., Reading, Pennsylvania 19605|
|Opening date||October 1980|
|Owner||Hull Property Group|
|No. of stores and services||72|
|No. of anchor tenants||3|
|Total retail floor area||725,000 square feet (67,400 m2)|
|No. of floors||1 (2 in Boscov's and Burlington Coat Factory)|
|Public transit access||BARTA bus: 1, 2|
Fairgrounds Square Mall is an enclosed shopping mall located just north of Reading, Pennsylvania in Muhlenberg Township. It is anchored by Boscov's, Burlington Coat Factory, and Limerick Furniture. Smaller stores include Super Shoes, Planet Fitness, a movie theater, and Golden Eagle Comics. There are over 70 other stores in the mall, many of which are currently vacant. It is located on 5th Street Highway, U.S. 222 Business. Fairgrounds Square Mall is an official "dead mall"
The Fairgrounds Square Mall was developed by Interstate Properties, constructed by F&S Construction along with the Owner, Frank Saffiotti, and under the supervision of Gus, Job Site Superintendent and the Office Manager, Rebecca L. Simpson, CCA working with a labor union membership workforce representating various unions throughout the region the mall officially opened in October 1980, with Boscov's and JCPenney serving as anchors. The mall was constructed at the former location of the Reading Fairgrounds, with the Boscov's store existing on the site before the mall was built. A year later, it was purchased by First Union Real Estate Investments. A mall expansion in 1988 added several more stores as well as Phar-Mor. The mall was renovated in 1996, at which point a Montgomery Ward was built as a third anchor. The Montgomery Ward store closed in 1999. The same year, the mall was sold to Jager Management affiliate GP Properties Inc and JCPenney converted its store into an outlet format. In 2000, Jason's Furniture Outlet opened in the former Montgomery Ward anchor space. A National Wholesale Liquidators store opened in the location of Jason's Furniture Outlet in 2003, which had relocated to the former Phar-Mor.
In 2005, Burlington Coat Factory replaced National Wholesale Liquidators, and Jason's became Super Shoes and Planet Fitness. In 2011, it was announced that the JCPenney Outlet would be closing as part of JCPenney's plan to eliminate outlet stores. However, it was later announced that the JCPenney Outlet division was purchased by SB Capital Group, and rebranded as JC's 5 Star Outlet. Mall owner GP-Fairgrounds Square LP defaulted on its mortgage, which led to the mall being sold to BNY Mellon for $13.6 million in a U.S. Marshals auction on March 7, 2013. JC's Five Star Outlet closed November 30, 2013. In November 2014, Limerick Furniture opened in the former JC's Five Star Outlet space, moving from a former site in St. Lawrence. On April 13, 2016, Hull Property Group took over the Fairgrounds Square Mall, with plans to revitalize the mall.
- "Berks Profile 2003". Reading Eagle. February 23, 2003. Retrieved May 5, 2011.
- "Fairgrounds Square mall sold". Reading Eagle. July 31, 1999. Retrieved January 21, 2011.
- "JC Penney To Close Outlet Stores, End Catalog Business". WFMZ-TV. January 24, 2011. Retrieved May 4, 2011.
- "Local Penney's shifting to outlet". Reading Eagle. May 20, 1999. Retrieved January 21, 2011.
- "Fairgrounds Square unveils new outlets that include furniture, crafts and more". Reading Eagle. December 6, 2000. Retrieved January 21, 2011.
- "National Wholesale Liquidators to open at Fairgrounds". Reading Eagle. October 2, 2003. Retrieved January 21, 2011.
- "Wholesale Mentoring". Reading Eagle. November 26, 2003. Retrieved January 21, 2011.
- "New Anchor for Fairgrounds". Reading Eagle. August 30, 2005. Retrieved January 21, 2011.
- "American House sold to New York-based company". Reading Eagle. February 12, 2005. Retrieved January 21, 2011.
- "SB CAPITAL GROUP COMPLETES ACQUISITION OF JCPENNEY OUTLET STORES". SB Capital Group. October 17, 2011. Retrieved March 5, 2013.
- "NY bank lone bidder for Fairgrounds Square Mall in Muhlenberg". WFMZ-TV. March 7, 2013. Retrieved April 15, 2016.
- "Anchor store at Fairgrounds Square Mall to close in November". WFMZ-TV. October 30, 2013. Retrieved October 30, 2013.
- "Limerick Furniture to occupy struggling malls' empty spaces". WFMZ-TV. October 28, 2014. Retrieved April 10, 2016.
- "Georgia firm buys struggling mall in Berks". WFMZ-TV. April 13, 2016. Retrieved April 15, 2016.
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