MONROEVILLE (KDKA) — It was one of the first and largest indoor shopping malls in the country, but times have changed and the slumping economy has hurt Monroeville Mall.
Now though, some big changes are on the way.
Since Boscov’s filed for bankruptcy, the space that was also once occupied by Gimbel’s and Kaufmann’s, been vacant for three years.
A new tenant is coming in now, and it’s a familiar one that the mall hopes will turn things around.
“We’ll open as a new facility,” said Gary Hodgkins, JCPenney’s store manager. “New fixturing, all brand new merchandise.”
JCPenney will give up its current space at the middle of the mall and move into the brighter, larger storefront, but not the whole thing.
“We’re not taking all three levels. The lower level, we don’t know who is the lessor, but we’ll have the whole second level and part of the third level,” said Hodgkins.
What is known is that the current Penney’s will be turned into a Cinemark 12-screen movie theater – it’s the first one Monroeville has had since the late ‘90s.
“A lot of our residents are really going to enjoy that. They’re going to be able to do dinner and a movie. It’s going to be good for Monroeville,” said Monroeville Mayor Greg Erosenko.
In addition, the mall says about 10 more retailers are opening up in the coming months – filling some of the vacant storefronts.
“You walk around and you count the doors, and now they’re bringing in a shoe place and Strawberry; so, it’s nice to see,” said Elle Lopata, a shopper.
JCPenney will move into its new home next year. The movie theater will follow in 2013.