Officials with the Mall at Steamtown confirm the mall in downtown Scranton will go into foreclosure as it works to re-finance its debts.
While the general manager maintains this is a smart move for the mall, it is no secret that the shopping center along Lackawanna Avenue has struggled for years to keep spaces filled with stores.
In January, the Bon-Ton, one of the mall’s anchor stores closed leaving the mall with a sole major retailer: Boscov’s, owned by Al Boscov, who is also an owner of the mall.
Scranton Mayor Bill cCurtright says he believes AlBboscov is committed to seeing this mall survive.
“Obviously nobody wants to hear the word foreclosure but I’m very optimistic,” said Courtright. “We’ve been meeting with Mr. Boscov as well as the chamber of commerce members, Bob McGoff, president of council and we’re all very committed.”
The general manager of the Mall at Steamtown compares this foreclosure to re-financing a mortgage on your home.
This step will allow the mall to default on some debts, while restructuring some others but will also make the mall able to keep rents low for merchants.
Still there’s no word on what will fill the space left empty by the Bon-Ton and the mall also lost American Eagle earlier this year.
And news of this foreclosure here in the downtown comes just after a vaccine maker called Vaxserve announced plans to move from Lackawanna Avenue to Moosic.
And last month EDM, formerly Diversified Information Technologies said it was moving the bulk of its operations from Wyoming Avenue to Moosic as well.
Gino Piccolino owns Buona Pizza across the street and says it’s hard for businesses to survive in the downtown.
“It’s very business unfriendly. the tax bracket, this little general area, compared if you were going to go to Dickson City, Taylor, Old Forge and such like that, multi-million dollar companies, that’s a lot of money,” said Piccolino.