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Scranton Mayor, Downtown Business Owner Respond To Mall Foreclosure

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.

13 comments

  • Elephant

    How are all the high taxes and regulations working out for all city dwellers? You get what you vote for, and the cities always vote for the liberal progressives, hoping for that free ride. The free ride is over, it is time to pay the bus fare.(or the piper, if you prefer)

  • scarolina

    This is really outrageous a mall can go into foreclosure and be protected by the court against taking the property as long as they restructure their debt, but in the meantime a home owner is forced into the foreclosure process without any chance of restructuring their debt to keep their home and ultimately is forced to forfeit their home in the foreclosure process. Then they call this justice and lawful. Thank you, to the Central Bankers and the lawyers justice systems for allowing the hard working people to loose their homes that was beyond their control.

  • bobc74

    This place was a political pork project. And we wonder why it has failed? Maybe if it had been a project financed and built by a private developer, the outcome would have been much different. But no one, other than the taxpayers, ever had a reason for this place to succeed. And, frankly, since the taxpayers don’t support it, why should it?

    • o-bob

      Thank you! My exact point below. It never would have passed muster if it was privately funded and now reality has set it.

  • Rick

    The University of Scranton should buy it and turn into its commencement hall instead of having graduation in Wilkes-Barre. It’s plenty big enough and would do much better than the dozen stores that are in there now.

  • o-bob

    It’s time that Scranton, and the coal region in general, face the facts that this area has seen its better days. In the past, this area had some very powerful politicians that carried a lot of influence resulting in quite large pork projects with Steamtown being one of them. With all of these politicians gone (serving prison) or having been voted out, there is no longer any influence for this region. Scranton has been dying on the vine for many years and without the government money, it can not survive on its own. Retailers know this and will not relocate in this area as they cannot turn a profit. These retailers do their research before entering into a market. They see that this region has below average household incomes as well as a low percentage of people with college educations and the only growth in population are people on government assistance so they will not touch this area. These people do not contribute to society. They are not givers but takers. One only needs to travel 2 hours south to the Lehigh Valley to see what progress is. This area has been in a growth cycle for many years and shows no sign of slowing down. In general, people in the LV area are much more progressive than the people in the coal region. They are receptive to change unlike Scranton.
    That’s my 2 cents. Take it for what its worth

  • Charly Lucky

    If it wasn’t for the lawyers, judges and the courthouse being there, hospitals, and the U, Scranton would be a ghost town. There is nothing else there. If government wasn’t there, nothing would be there.
    Also, for the record, that mall was never kept up, never taken care of, always dirty looking.

    • tim

      You basically just named all the normal things that exist in a city, then said if they weren’t there it would be a ghost town.

      Take Philadelphia for example. “If we just went and took out all the schools, museums, shops, and business offices, that place would be a ghost town!”

  • tim

    This is hardly journalism. The mall foreclosed, and the mayor is let off with “I am optimistic. I am committed.” No actual plan? No response to the business owner citing tax policy as the reason?

    This website has ran the same story for 3 days in a row. Start interviewing people who matter and pressing them for real answers. And I’m not talking about the pizza man.

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