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New Owners For Mall At Steamtown

SCRANTON — The mall at the center of downtown Scranton was sold to its mortgage holder in a sheriff’s sale, an uncertain step forward for the Mall at Steamtown which went into foreclosure earlier this year.

Al Boscov, who was one of the primary owners of the Mall at Steamtown until Tuesday morning, told us it took $90 million to build this more than 20 years ago.

The mortgage holder took over the mortgage for the amount Boscov and the other owners still owed: $37.2 million. Now, the new owners can sell the mall privately.

Al Boscov, 84, sat in the back of a room at the Lackawanna County Courthouse and watched, as the mall he worked to build was sold at sheriff’s sale.

The mall’s mortgage owner bought the mall and now takes over what’s left on the mortgage: $37.2 million.

Boscov says he’s still negotiating with the mortgage owner to buy back the Mall at Steamtown in downtown Scranton where his department store is now the only anchor store.

“I think it’s in negotiations now so you never want to talk about where you’d like to go. We’d like to go to a place that will make the mall successful, that we can attract tenants, and that we can make it something we can all be proud of.”

The mall defaulted on a hefty lump sum payment last summer and went into foreclosure earlier this year. It’s been an uncertain few months for mall tenants like Addie Delsania who came to watch the sheriff’s sale. He hopes Boscov can buy the mall, get it back on firm footing, and sign leases even if they’re untraditional tenants.

“This can happen, with some service industries and service businesses, some doctor’s offices, an outpatient clinic.”

That may not be too off-base. Newswatch 16 spoke with a former mall employee who did not want to be identified. He says not long after mall owners defaulted on the mortgage, Lackawanna County commissioners came to see them with plans to move county offices into mall storefronts.

“It seemed to be a forgone conclusion. There were blueprints drawn up for the county to take over the entire second floor of the mall, including the second floor of the Bon Ton space and the food court.”

Lackawanna County Commissioner Jim Wansacz and Al Boscov confirmed with us that there were discussions about moving county offices into the Mall at Steamtown.

“Our idea is we want to save the mall. We’re going to try very, very hard to save the mall. Boscov’s will not leave no matter what happens,” Boscov said.

There was one other bidder, Scranton businessman Bob Bolus, who said he had plans to build a casino in the mall but his bid was considered illegal because it’s contingent on Bolus obtaining a gambling license. His bid was rejected.

10 comments

  • Charlie Lucky

    County offices?????? Give me a break!!! Who will decide how much per square foot the rent will be??? And who will figure out if it will save us money, or cost us more money?? Al Boscov?? Or the 3 musketeers/stooges, that call themselves county commisioners?? It goes on and on and on in this county, they take with both hands, and just keep going into our pockets, deeper and deeper, ENOUGH ALREADY, stop spending more than you take in. Because when you do, we , the taxpayers have to pony up.

  • Don Helowitz

    It will be used for a holding cell for all the illegal aliens allowed to come into our country.

  • Don Helowitz

    Louis will tear it down and build a parking lot just like he did to Holy Family church. Some Catholic he is.

  • TruthBeTold

    We beg to differ but all the times we’ve been to the mall we haven’t seen these “thugs” and “drug-dealers” you mentioned above…not that we were looking for them to be honest…I think no matter where you go you will have that element. Im more worried about how entire areas of the city are slowly being taken over by illegal aliens…when a house goes on sale it seems the Section 8s always get it. The mall has been dead for quite some time now…when we go shopping there there is nothing that holds our interest…the food court is completely dead and stores are closing left and right…maybe that is because this city needs to file for bankruptcy as soon as possible to fix its ills.

  • Me

    Knock the mall down and put up a parking lot.

    Hazleton mall is much worse than the steam town mall. The thugs hang out inside and deal drugs. And when security approaches they look the other way. But have a group of 4 or more teenagers talking at one time and they get told to disperse. Move along. Can’t stand here. But meanwhile Pedro has already made $600 in that time frame.

  • Sassy

    That mall can be a thriving place if they only got rid of the low lifes and drug dealers that hang out by the front entrance with their pants hanging off their butts. Once they get rid of the trash, people will come back, but until then, sorry, no-one in their right mind would shop there. Just look around and what hangs out in that mall.

  • PERSONAL OPINION

    Louis Denaples should invest or at least someone Should bring in a huge chain restaurant to the mall. EX. Dave and Busters, White Castle, CICI’s Pizza, or some sort of sports bar, Buffalo Wild Wings would have been perfect! I can honestly say if i was hired to be their marketing director, sales director or whatever I would be able to get people in the mall in 1years time frame and have that mall booming the way it should be!!!! Even consider putting in more of something for the kids to do in the area and promote that, upgrade the movie theater as well to get better seleciton of movies in etc!!! (I am aware i am all over the board and the theater has little to do with it but this area needs more for the kids and not more adult style places)

    • Harold Kumar

      I don’t usually support much, but anyone who thinks that White Castle & cicis are big chains is a winner in my movie.

Comments are closed.


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