The Mall at Steamtown
||This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (August 2011)|
Mall atrium during The Office convention, October 2007
|Location||Scranton, PA, USA|
|Address||300 Lackawanna Avenue Scranton, Pennsylvania 18503|
|Developer||Scranton Mall Associates|
|Management||Zamias Services, Inc.|
|No. of stores and services||43 - 50 (2015)|
|No. of anchor tenants||3|
|Total retail floor area||555,815 - 563,774 sq. ft.|
|No. of floors||2|
|Website||The Mall at Steamtown|
The Mall at Steamtown is a shopping mall in Scranton, Pennsylvania. It 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 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. Boscov’s Department Stores and Shopco Advisory Corp developed the mall under the name Scranton Mall Associates. The mall cost $90 million to construct and required the demolition of many buildings. Prior to the construction, the area had problems with drugs and prostitution.
The Bon-Ton moved to the mall in 2000 from its location at the Keyser Oak Shopping Center. In 2003, Steamtown Mall Partners replaced Scranton Mall Associates as the manager of the mall. The malls owners fought the construction of The Shoppes at Montage and lost in court.
The Bon-Ton closed after the lease expired on January 31, 2014, and had a store in the mall for 13 years. They also leased an additional 10,000 square feet over two stores on the malls first floor. American Eagle and ATOS Chicken & Waffles also closed. A replacement store had shown interest, but was delayed due to the foreclosure. No new anchor was in negotiations to replace The Bon-Ton according to Al Boscov. After the foreclosure announcement As Seen on TV, Cinnabon/Carvel, and Steamtown Pub and Grill also closed. After the Sheriff’s sale, Express closed in August 2014. Jones Lang LaSalle managed the mall from 2012 until 2014. Part of the parking deck near the former Bon-Ton store had to be closed in 2014 due to degradation. Overall parking was not affected due to the parking garage underneath the mall and the parking deck near Boscov's. Repairs for the parking garages could cost $10 million. The Steamtown 8 Cinemas (Marquee Cinemas) did not generate enough revenue to afford the convention to digital projectors. Operator Marquee did not renew its lease at the end of 2014. Abercrombie & Fitch and Hollister closed in December 2014. Due to the Foreclosure and Sheriff’s sale, The Mall at Steamtown's vacancy is at seventy five percent. Lids and Nathan's Hot Dogs closed in January 2015. The mall considered ending the parking program in January 2015, but kept it active. f.y.e. and The Bodywork Store closed in May 2015. According to Al Boscov, many stores left under the terms of their lease due to the mall only having one remaining anchor store.
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. Included in the foreclosure is the Marquee theater, but not the Oppenheim and Samter buildings. Contributing factors that caused the foreclosure include debt and low rent revenue (at the time of the foreclosure, the mall was only 65 percent occupied), along with competition from The Shoppes at Montage, Viewmont Mall, and online businesses. Boscov's department store planned to bid for the mall at the auction or purchase it beforehand, even though Al Boscov is a partner in Steamtown Mall Partners the mall's foreclosed owner, but could not reach an agreement. Out of 43 Boscov's, the location at Steamtown is the 5th best performing with annual sales of $31 million. Boscov expressed hope that other mall groups would bid on the mall as they have more resources to fill it. Boscov's continued with renovations to its store during the foreclosure.
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. 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. The city of Scranton refinanced the remaining $1,865,000 HUD Section 108 loan in late 2014 and it will be paid over 10 years. Al Boscov donated $715,173 ($612,480 for loan principle and $102,693 in interest) from Boscov’s Department Stores to Scranton for the missed HUD loan. The money was later added to the cities funds for rebuilding sidewalk curbs.
The sheriff's sale was held on July 15, 2014 (originally scheduled for June 10) with a requested price of over $43.7 million. 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. The only other bidder was a representative for Robert Bolus, whose bid was declared illegal due to the contingency of a 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. Zamias Services, Inc. took over management of the mall post Sheriff’s sale.
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. Blueprints were created with Lackawanna County taking over most of the second floor shortly after the foreclosure. The property could become mixed use, housing both offices and stores.
LNR Partners was to put the The Mall at Steamtown up for auction on auction.com from June 1-3, 2015 with a starting price of $1 million. The auction was delayed until June 22-24, 2015 with a lowered starting price of $700,000 to allow for more bids. Concerns about the mall include deferred repairs and parking garage repairs. Boscov's is planning to bid on the mall but also holds veto power in its lease on any major changes. Their lease runs through 2024 and Al Boscov is against converting the mall to a farmers market and other ideas proposed. The Mall at Steamtown reconstruction (including parking garage) is estimated to cost $33.3 million with money coming from state grants and loans backed by Scranton. Mayor Bill Courtright initially supported the plan, but later came out against it until repayment of $18 million in loans owed to Scranton is complete.
On July 27, 2015, local roofing contractor John Basalyga officially purchased the property for a reported $5.5 million.
- The Globe Store, 1993-1994
- Montgomery Ward, 1993-2001
- Steve & Barry's, 2003-2008
- The Bon-Ton, 2000-January 31, 2014
Popular culture references
The Mall at Steamtown was featured on NBC's The Office as a place where Stanley's daughter spends all of his money, the home of the coffeehouse "Jitters", and where Michael took the women out for a day of shopping. The season 3 episode "Women's Appreciation" was the first time the mall was actually seen. Michael took Pam, Karen, Angela, Kelly, Phyllis, and Meredith there to show them his appreciation. The mall was also seen in the Season 7 episode "Counseling," in which Dwight tried to protest the mall due to the lack of courteous service, though the issue was the result of a misunderstanding involving beet juice covering Dwight's hands and arms that an employee had mistaken for blood.
- "Mall at a Glance". Jones Lang LaSalle. Retrieved 10 March 2014.
- Singleton, David (May 29, 2014). "Boscov: Mall made payment on city loan". The Scranton Times-Tribune. Retrieved 9 June 2014.
- Haggerty, James (July 29, 2014). "Steamtown mall management changing". The Scranton Times-Tribune. Retrieved 17 August 2014.
- O'Connell, Jon (July 28, 2015). "New mall ownership brings hope for revival". Scranton Times-Tribune. Retrieved 28 July 2015.
- Lange, Stacy (January 6, 2015). "Mall at Steamtown May Eliminate Parking Program". WNEP. Retrieved 21 February 2015.
- Fay, Laura (May 10, 2015). "Community leaders: Mall at Steamtown must adapt". The Scranton Times-Tribune. Retrieved 31 May 2015.
- Falchek, David (March 9, 2014). "Al Boscov familiar with facing long odds". The Citizens' Voice. Retrieved 13 March 2014.
- Haggerty, James (March 6, 2014). "Boscov: Steamtown mall nearing foreclosure". The Citizens' Voice. Retrieved 10 March 2014.
- Baumeister, Elizabeth (March 7, 2014). "Boscov’s may make grab for Steamtown". The Times Leader. Retrieved 13 March 2014.
- Haggerty, James (October 18, 2013). "Mall at Steamtown fights to stay afloat; Bon-ton to close". The Scranton Times-Tribune. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
- Schuyler, David (Oct 17, 2013). "Bon-Ton to close Scranton, Pa., department store". Milwaukee Business Journal. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
- Lee, Peggy (March 6, 2014). "Scranton Mayor, Downtown Business Owner Respond To Mall Foreclosure". WNEP. Retrieved 12 March 2014.
- Lange, Stacy (March 7, 2014). "Al Boscov On The Future Of The Mall". WNEP. Retrieved 12 March 2014.
- Haggerty, James; Lockwood, Jim (April 29, 2014). "Steamtown mall will go to auction June 10". The Citizens' Voice. Retrieved 11 May 2014.
- "Another Store Is Leaving The Mall At Steamtown". PA Home Page/Nexstar Broadcasting. July 20, 2014. Retrieved 20 July 2014.
- Ranker, Luke (January 7, 2015). "More Steamtown Mall stores close". The Scranton Times-Tribune. Retrieved 21 February 2015.
- "Boscov's hires leasing agent for mall". Lebanon Daily News. January 27, 2012. Retrieved 10 March 2014.
- Lockwood, Jim (December 2, 2014). "Boscov, Steamtown mall eye parking garage repairs". The Scranton Times-Tribune. Retrieved 17 December 2014.
- Falchek, David (May 19, 2015). "Boscov: Mall at Steamtown changes must get my approval". The Citizens' Voice. Retrieved 31 May 2015.
- O’Boyle, Bill (June 5, 2014). "Steamtown cinema future in jeopardy". The Times Leader. Retrieved 9 June 2014.
- Sylvester, Joe (July 15, 2014). "Troubled Marquee Cinemas in Scranton closing, after all". The Times Leader. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
- Iorfino, Michael (December 23, 2014). "Mall at Steamtown to lose Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister". The Scranton Times-Tribune. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
- Palumbo, Andy (December 23, 2014). "Two More Stores Closing At Mall At Steamtown". WNEP. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
- Goldklang, Suzanne (May 23, 2015). "Two More Businesses Close at Steamtown Mall". WNEP. Retrieved 31 May 2015.
- Falchek, David (January 8, 2015). "Mall at Steamtown parking program spared". The Scranton Times-Tribune. Retrieved 21 February 2015.
- Haggerty, James (March 8, 2014). "Troubled Mall at Steamtown headed for sheriff's sale in Lackawanna County". The Citizens' Voice. Retrieved 9 March 2014.
- "Al Boscov Addresses Mall Foreclosure As Paperwork is Filed". PA Home Page/Nexstar Broadcasting. March 7, 2014. Retrieved 13 March 2014.
- "Mall's future far from foreclosed". The Scranton Times-Tribune. March 9, 2014. Retrieved 11 March 2014.
- Singleton, David (July 15, 2014). "Mortgage holder buys Steamtown mall". The Citizens' Voice. Retrieved 20 July 2014.
- 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.
- Singleton, David (May 30, 2014). "OECD agrees mall made payments". The Scranton Times-Tribune. Retrieved 9 June 2014.
- Lockwood, Jim (November 14, 2014). "Scranton mayor says tax hike unavoidable". The Scranton Times-Tribune. Retrieved 22 November 2014.
- Lockwood, Jim (December 2, 2014). "Boscov ‘donates’ $700K to Scranton to make good on mall loan". The Citizens' Voice. Retrieved 17 December 2014.
- Lockwood, Jim (April 24, 2015). "AS directed by HUD, Scranton moving Boscov donation to block grants". The Scranton Times-Tribune. Retrieved 31 May 2015.
- Singleton, David (May 23, 2014). "Sheriff's sale of Steamtown mall postponed". The Scranton Times-Tribune. Retrieved 9 June 2014.
- Singleton, David (July 16, 2014). "Mortgage holder buys Mall at Steamtown". The Citizens' Voice. Retrieved 20 July 2014.
- "Mortgage Holder Bids on Mall At Steamtown in Scranton". PA Home Page/Nexstar Broadcasting. July 15, 2014. Retrieved 20 July 2014.
- O’Malley, James (July 15, 2014). "Boscov still eyeing Steamtown". The Times Leader. Retrieved 20 July 2014.
- Singleton, David (March 6, 2014). "To save mall, Lackawanna County would explore eminent domain". The Scranton Times-Tribune. Retrieved 11 March 2014.
- Lange, Stacy (July 15, 2014). "Could Mall Become County Offices?". WNEP. Retrieved 20 July 2014.
- Singleton, David (March 7, 2014). "Lackawanna County eyes partnership on mall". The Scranton Times-Tribune. Retrieved 11 March 2014.
- "Mall at Steamtown Expected to Go Up For Auction". PA Home Page/Nexstar Broadcasting. April 23, 2015. Retrieved 31 May 2015.
- Falchek, David (April 23, 2015). "Mall at Steamtown heads to auction block". The Scranton Times-Tribune. Retrieved 31 May 2015.
- Krawczeniuk, Borys (June 3, 2015). "Mall at Steamtown auction postponed to allow bidders more time". The Scranton Times-Tribune. Retrieved 6 June 2015.
- Lockwood, Jim (June 12, 2015). "Scranton mayor reverses course on Boscov's plan for mall". The Scranon Times-Tribune. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
- "Boscov's Scranton". Boscovs.com. Retrieved May 15, 2013.
- Shapley, Dan (July 16, 2007). "The Death Of The American Mall (But Not Suburban Shopping)". thedailygreen.com. Retrieved May 15, 2013.
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