SCRANTON -- The continuing bad news at The Mall at Steamtown may now affect employees at other businesses in downtown Scranton. The mall’s management gave word that it may eliminate its parking program for people who work near the mall.
Newswatch 16 has also learned that two more stores have left the troubled mall.
The Mall at Steamtown in Scranton will become even emptier by the end of the week. Employees at Lids, a kiosk that sells hats, were packing up inventory Tuesday and tell Newswatch 16 they plan to be out within the next few days.
Nathan’s Hot Dogs in the food court is also closed, leaving only two out of ten food court spots occupied.
There are 43 stores still open out of 72 storefronts.
Now, other changes at the mall may affect the rest of the city. The prime piece of real estate on Lackawanna Avenue also provides parking to some people who work at other businesses downtown.
For more than a decade, parkers got a pretty good deal. For $100 a month, parkers got a spot in the mall’s garage along with $100 worth of gift cards to be used at any store.
A person who uses the program showed Newswatch 16 a notice from the mall. They only have guaranteed spots through February. Then, the note says, the parking program will be "re-evaluated."
Tara Schuster works across from the mall and has parked in its garage for 11 years. Now, she will have to pay more money to park elsewhere and without the gift card perk.
Though, she’s running out of options for spending it.
“You know, Express closed, The Bon Ton closed, and now a couple other stores have also closed. Very inconvenient, hard to spend," Schuster said.
Newswatch 16 reached out to mall manager Clarence Banks to see what “re-evaluating" the parking program means. He did not return our calls.
The Mall at Steamtown is still up for sale.