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Tough Economy Fuels Granite Run Mall Rumors

MEDIA, Pa. (CBS) — The tough economic times in the retail industry is fueling speculation that a suburban Philadelphia mall may be forced to close its doors to shoppers.

From the parking lot you can’t see the trouble that is facing a local shopping mecca, but inside, empty storefronts paint a grim picture for the future of the Granite Run Mall in Media.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the nearly 700,000 square foot retail giant may be sold or forfeited. The real estate investment trust that currently owns the property is more than 30 days behind on the mortgage.

To customers who frequent the mall like Jennifer Kapanjie, the store front closings have already begun to interrupt their routine.

”Gymboree is a store that I have shopped at with my son, and um that’s closed and I’m disappointed about that because I have a gift card there,” said Kapanjie.

If the mall does close, shoppers say they will be forced to go to other area malls. No rumors have been confirmed, and Main Line Health has denied any possibility that they are planning of buying the property.

Reported by Brad Segall, KYW Newsradio

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  • Michael Clark, Showcase Comics

    This is a story based on a rumor, and little or no research other than reading a couple of other articles. Seriously, I’d expect better from KYW.

    Step back and think about it. The Mall rents space to businesses. My store, and 88 other stores, and 3 huge anchors, all have leases with Granite Run Mall. Closing the mall, somehow, means not only losing millions in yearly rents, but also the breaking of dozens of leases. A lease is a contract, and can’t just be tossed in the wastebasket. Closing the mall would generate dozens of injunctions and lawsuits from businesses forced to relocate.

    The mall may indeed get sold to another management company, or default to the lender who will hire another management company. But closing it? That’s just silly when you think about it. Apartment buildings change hands, and you don’t see all the tenants suddenly evicted. Granite Run Mall has had a couple of different owners, this is just another change of ownership.

    Many malls have empty spaces, even the very best. It’s part of the economy and crisis in the banking industry. People can’t seem to make a connection between the problems in the economy and stores closing. Instead they grab onto a rumor and decide that some empty storefronts means an entire mall needs to close.)

    My store has been in Granite Run Mall for 20 years. I work their 7 days a week and I live in Media. I’m very confident that my business isn’t going anywhere.

    • Dorothy Zpornack

      They why won’t the mall make a comment in regards to any comments that has been made this past week. I also live in Media and work at the Granite Run Mall and apparently this mall is in trouble. I talk to many mall merchants in the mall and they are scare of losing their jobs and we reply on our income and benefits. I think you should find out and let the mall put these “rumors” in writing then get back to the merchants!

      • Michael Clark, Showcase Comics

        When you say ‘mall merchants”, who are you talking about? I work in the mall 7 days a week, and know many of the various managers of other stores. I’ve been in this mall for 20 years. Individual stores may close, but the mall really can’t.

        As to ‘finding out’, the mall management has stated over and over that the mall isn’t closing. They have commented several times. Go check out the facebook page for GRM.

        As to the mall being in trouble, you’d need to look at many malls in this country to see the pattern. Many malls have empty stores. Difficult not to in a bad ecomomy, financial crisis that keeps loans tight, and chain stores closing up. We lost Borders when they closed all the old Walden Books and Borders express. We lost Demo when they closed all the stores. FYE bought Suncost Video, and doesn’t need two stores in the same mall. Starbucks closed 700 stores and we lost our coffeeshop. It’s happening all over. Even KoP has openings, and they used to have a waiting list that took years.

        Like I said, I’m in my shop 7 days a week. If you have a question, come talk to me.

  • Paul

    I live 4 miles from Granite Run Mall it has been run down for years now. When Simon Malls took it over years ago it started then. Along with this bad economy.

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