Al Boscov, the Reading business magnate and founder of Boscov’s department stores, recently lost a bid to buy a struggling mall in downtown Scranton.
Boscov’s is the only remaining anchor tenant at the Mall at Steamtown, which was purchased at auction for $5.25 million. The winning bidder has yet to be announced, and Boscov’s declined to disclose the amount of its bid.
Debt holders, represented by LNR Partners in Miami, foreclosed on the property and went the route of the auction. Boscov’s Corp. applied for a $10 million state grant to repair the mall’s parking garage, contingent on receiving ownership of the mall.
A seller’s reserve on the auction was met when bidding cleared $2 million, which led to increased bidding.
The 558,812-square-foot mall opened in 1993 as a joint venture between an affiliate of the Shopco Group LP and Boscov’s Realty Group, an affiliate of Boscov’s.
The retail giant, which has 43 stores in six states, including at the Lehigh Valley and Palmer Park malls, has a lease at the Mall at Steamtown which expires on Jan. 31, 2024.
“Our goal is to stay in Scranton,” said Jim Boscov, CEO of the company. “It is our intent to stay there.”
The mall has been on a steady decline as it struggles to compete with other shopping venues and centers in Lackawanna and Luzerne counties.