-

-

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

MallWatch

I find it odd how the Mall of America in Minnesota will allow cameras and reporters inside to talk about the touchy and frightening topic of terrorism, while the Mall at Steamtown in Scranton bars cameras from coming in and taking pictures of its closing stores.

Speaking of Scranton, there's been an internet move to turn the mall into a Philadelphia style Reading Terminal Market.  Boy, that would be nice.  Never been there, but I've looked at the web site and read the reviews.  Baltimore has something similar called Lexington Market.   Been there many times.  Wonderful place.  Fun atmosphere.  Great food and shops.

Let's take a closer look.

The Mall at Steamtown would require massive renovations-- especially to the dank underground parking garage.  NewsFlash:  people don't like using those.

Reading Terminal Market isn't cheap.  It might be too rich for the blood of locals.  Ever seen the crowds at discounters and dollar stores around here?  This area clearly has an economic and unemployment problem.

A Scranton Market would attract tourists, but there has something more to keep them here for a while.  You need something more than a roast pork sandwich and a milk shake.  Steamtown?  Coal Mine Tour?  The Pothole?  Options are severely limited.

Okay, we can scale it down a bit...  but, that turns it in to a flea market and we already have enough of those.

Sorry to be a downer, but I look at it as being more of a realist.  The mall's glory days of the early 90's are over.  It might be time to take a serious look at turning it into an open air shopping center and mixed use-- like offices and apartments.

At least, we're thinking about solutions.

One other note for the day.  Comcast is moving out of the Mall at Steamtown in favor of a new customer service center in Dickson City.  It's strange.  Any time I'm at the mall, the Comcast office seems fairly busy.  While a full blown storefront might be a bit much, the company should at least keep a bill paying kiosk in the mall.  Comcast owes the city that much.