Sources: Major Meeting Set Concerning the Mall at Steamtown

SCRANTON — Newswatch 16 has learned that a meeting is scheduled for 8:30 Thursday morning regarding the Mall At Steamtown.

Newswatch 16’s Stacy Lange has learned that the meeting will be between mall officials and representatives for mall owner Al Boscov.

So far at this point there’s no word on what will be discussed at Thursday morning’s meeting, but a source from the mall at Steamtown said it may go a long way in determining the fate of the troubled mall.

It’s been two months since Bon-ton closed, leaving the mall without one of it’s two anchor stores.

Rumors floated late last year that the mall was close to landing a big-time replacemen but that announcement never came.

A number of other storefronts are also empty.

But vendors Newswatch 16 spoke with Wednesday night showed Newswatch 16 a memo they received from mall management inviting them to a meeting with Al Boscov on Friday morning in the food court.

The memo promises the mall owner will have what’s described as “exciting” news for them.

Even though a public announcement is expected possibly as much as 24 hours before that gathering.

No one from the mall, or city hall is talking about what was discussed and efforts to reach Al Boscov Wednesday night for comment were not successful.

44 comments

  • Al

    Hello and thank you for all of your generous support. I wanted to have the meeting this morning to put everyone’s mind at ease and not let rumors fly wild. I can tell you that we have some great plans in mind including a Sweetgreen and Chiplolte on the Lackawanna Ave. side. Some of the leasehold improvements by the Bon-Ton are being sold off to welcome our new anchor store – Neiman Marcus. There will be a free give away to the first 500 customers once they open in the fall of 2016! Thank you again for all your support and prayers.

    -Al Boscov

  • Buck Jones

    Why don’t we try to convert the space to a manufacturing facility like Boeing, General Electric or Honeywell? These companies would create jobs and ‘remove’ the drug dealers who currently frequent the grounds!

  • stu

    The only major announcement will be they are putting dynamite to the building and having another implosion. You folks that even think an ikea is possible for that small a space in this dump of an economic area are just as disillusioned that the Globe store is coming back, or this city will ever prosper.

  • Bill Sosnowski

    Tear the eyesore down and rebuild Pete Bordi”s Bar with his 10 cent draft beers and 15 cent hot dogs

    • BeenThere

      Great Idea – Pete’s was a great place to get a beer – I used to raid the change jar, go to Pete’s and have a great time.

  • ryry

    The Mall must hate WNEP… Or WNEP isn’t doing their job.

    Read the times-tribune or Citizens Voice Al Boscov already told them whats happening.

    “The Mall at Steamtown is on the verge of foreclosure”, department store magnate Al Boscov disclosed to The Times-Tribune on Wednesday.

    • tim

      I guess some would consider that “exciting news” … probably the folks who work at the food court and just want to collect unemployment

  • TomCat 70

    My question is for all of you that are suggesting something for the kids. Are you actually going to watch your kids or are you going to expect the malls public safety officers to watch them for you?

  • ryry

    You think your mall is bad? Come to the Schuylkill Mall. A 800,000 square foot mall and we have about 20 stores. We only have 7 national tenants: Kmart, and Sears, FYE, Victoria’s Secret, Bath & Body Works, Gamestop and Bon-Ton. Just for apparel your mall has 11 national tenants: Abercrombie & Fitch, American Eagle Outfitters, Boscov’s, Express, Hollister, Hot Topic, EP Fashion, and 4 others. We have The Deb(for women). You have a food court, we have Arby’s(closing soon), and a pizza place. You have countless national tenants. Malls can’t just say, we want this here, and it shows up. The companies who run those stores have to make that choice to come to these places. We just lost Kay Jewelers, Littman Jewelers, Hallmark, and Schuylkill Valley Sports in the last few months. So consider yourself lucky.

  • Rose

    Would love to see ikea, trader joes or a Dave n Buster. since we have 9 months of winter, would like to see more family fun activities like that of mall of America. Would live to see a philly Cheesecake Factory. If u only had the money, I could make that place real nice.

    • tim

      Its not called Philly Cheesecake Factory, it’s just Cheesecake Factory… or are you actually referring to a real factory that produces things? Because that is likely what will end up in this place. At least that would bring in jobs!

      • Carmella J.

        Great idea Tim! I think it would be nice if they did put some sort of food manufacturing operation in place. We could use the jobs, and I think most people like Philly Cheese Steaks as well! It could become a tourist destination like Patrick’s and Geno’s in the city!

  • tim

    the basic economics of it wouldn’t allow an IKEA… outside of University students, there’s no young single people looking for furniture. They all live with their parents.

    The children’s zoo would last for about a month until they realized it’s not drawing any people. The whole idea of two pillar malls is that 50% of the people need to come to the mall to shop there. The other stores and food courts feed off the crowd.

    A Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods is an interesting idea, but how many people will actually cart their asses downtown just for food shopping? As someone mentioned earlier, the public transport to downtown is atrocious. The local Gerrity’s and Price Choppers aren’t too far behind. I doubt those growing corporations have much of an appetite to take a huge risk in Scranton. The appeal would last for 6 months then fade.

    The mall’s dead put a stake in it. Open the space for smaller local retailers. Keep that money in the community instead of 80% of profits going back to Ohio (Abercrombie), Texas (Whole Foods) and Reading PA (your beloved Boscov’s). Improve transportation downtown funded by that money. Improve housing downtown funded by that money. Mall workers are employees, we need more ownership in the area.

    • SmarterThanTim

      The Public Transportation isn’t good to downtown so therefore a whole foods wouldn’t do well… are you out of your mind!!! The Average Income of a WF’s shopper is approaching 85k… do you really think that people with a household income of 85k are taking public transportation to get to downtown Scranton. Tim you are out of your mind. Get your facts straight then come back to this comments sections. Don’t bring that weak stuff up in here…

      • tim

        average whole foods shopper: $85k
        median income in scranton: $28k

        most people in scranton spend their saturdays clipping coupons out of magazines so they can save 15 cents on their mayonnaise. they won’t be spending premium prices to buy organic hummus.

        -smarterthansmartherthantim

      • SJWilson

        With all due respect – if you are using COLTS to get to the mall – you can’t afford to shop at Whole Foods.

      • StillRunningCirclesAroundTim

        Actually tim… the average household income of whole foods customers is $63,554 in 2013. I just wanted to see if you were dumb enough to accept whatever I say like a puppet. Don’t believe everything you see in the comments section of a scranton news article. Do some research on your own.

        -StillRunningCirclesAroundTim

      • tim

        ah right, placing false statistics in comments just to see who “bites”… and then still defending your point after…. but my point still stands, does it not? #venomous

  • Jen

    Use your business sense and put an Ikea in place of Bonton! A Whole Foods or a Trader Joes on the First Floor and Leave the popular stores where people actually shop.

      • stu

        Obviously they haven’t, if they even looked at the websites of whole foods, trader joes and ikea they would see they go into economically sound, upper middle class areas, not decrepit, poor downtowns. The closest NEPA has to sustain a trader joes or whole foods is montage or up the line in the summit, but even that’s a stretch.

        Sr. Adrian ruined this downtown, no retailer wants to peddle their wares in such a depressed economic area.

    • SJW

      Did you grow up over the burning culm dump, or do you just not have any “common” sense, let alone business sense?

      The average size of an Ikea store is 300,000 square feet. The ENTIRE mall is just above 500,000 square feet, the old Bon-Ton is (both floors) 100,000 square feet, so one floor would be 50,000. (1/6th the size of an Ikea)

      Please don’t use the term business sense ever again.

  • Gavin

    When I think about The Mall At Steamtown I think of a mall in jeopardy.There is not a lot of name brand stores anymore and that takes alot of custmores away to other malls like The Shoppes at Montage,The Viewmont mall, and The Wyoming Valley mall.When I walk around in the mall I see alot of empty stores and when I get by the Food Court I only see three vendors. Its either youre going to have pizza.a hot dog, or a SubWay hogie.There should be a fast food chain like Burger King,Mc Donalds, Wendsy etc… it would help the failing food court alot.That game room should have somebody working inside it agian because I have noticed Drug Dealers selling drugs inside the game room and thats not good because kids play in there. I think the best way to help the Mall At Steamtown stay opened is to update the mall and try to make it look as good when they first opened it back in 1993.

  • ScrantonTaxPayer

    Getting to the mall isn’t convenient at all. I live in South Side, just a little over a mile away, and its almost as convenient to get the the Viewmont Mall. The “Renaissance On Lackawanna” block has terrible traffic patterns, with lanes opening up and then closing within the same block, the traffic light on Washington and Lackawanna takes forever to get through, and its always a hassle to get in and out of the parking garage. Coming from west side down Lackawanna ave, there is always a line of cars double parked everywhere, so you have cars driving in both lanes having to stop and merge into the other lane constantly.

    Coming through town towards the mall, of course, you have to navigate a traffic light on every corner, and you’re almost guaranteed to get them all red since they really aren’t synchronized at all. Make it easy and enjoyable to get to the mall, and you’ll get more shoppers.

  • T. A. Edison

    The place has become a scary hell hole. They need to clean out the drug dealers and other bad actors. Then Scranton can smarten up and stop crucifying every business owner, employe.e and landowner with taxes and fees for everything. They are driving all the business to Montage and Dickson City.

  • Ron

    Sounds like some good ideas going back and forth – the two issues I am hearing is: A) gotta get rid of the drug dealers right outside the doors and 2) most “women” like to eat out after a bout of shopping. Thats why they go to Viewmont Mall. What do you all think?

    • tim

      yea these are mostly observations, not really ideas. the question is how to rid the drug dealers and bring in the ladies. And what in the world to do with the old Bon Ton??

  • Karen

    They need one of those Bloom Bounce places in our mall! they just opened in Buckhorn and it is alway busy! was down there with my niece and nephews! its super clean and the kids have so much fun. the flat screen and free wifi is awesome for me too! someone from the mall needs to make them an offer!! it would really bring some life back into our mall!

  • Guy

    Theres been attempts made to aim at children. Ive seen a mini golf course, a magic show, they have always had the arcade and play area and that candy story seems more like a child’s dream rather than an adults.

  • Bill Titus

    As some of the others have already posted, there is nothing to do with smaller children in that mall. No real children’s stores or activities, if you want families shopping in there then you must have something for all ages. The first object of any mall is to draw in customers, and the second is to keep them inside the mall for as long as possible.

    • anonymous

      @ Bill Titus. Amanda clearly wrote “I think it would be nice if they turned it into a children’s center.” Let’s focus on the word “turned”. Open up a dictionary and read the definition for the word “turned”. Also glance at a thesarus for help. After that hopefully all will become clear to you.

  • Lady

    I think Amanda’s idea is great! The local artists can have a blank canvass to work with, local contractors can have a blast with making a children’s utopia, and slap a coffee shop in there and you have a bunch of happy families bringing business to downtown Scranton.

  • Adrienne

    Like the other poster said, I think it would be great to incorporate children’s activities into this mall. It will never happen, but would be great. I grew up in that area and everytime we visit with my 3 year old there is absolutely nothing to do, ever. Sad really. The best we can find to do with we is visit barnes and noble to play with their busted up train table.

  • Amanda

    I think it would be nice if they turned it into a children’s center. It would provide wonderful indoor entertainment and activities during the colder months. Bring in a crayola store, a Lego museum/store, a store that makes candy while children watch, a place just for children’s hair cuts and better food options. I’m sure there are plenty of ideas that could go towards this.

    • bobc74

      After the meeting maybe Al will start a pledge drive to “Save the Mall” with tax dollars from the state and surrounding municipalities like he did with his Boscov chain several years ago.

    • NeilWise

      Please, you wouldn’t let your children associate with the others in the community surrounding the mall – which isn’t going anywhere.

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