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Old 03-06-2014, 08:04 AM
Status: "Here We Go Again" (set 10 days ago)
 
Location: Up Yonder
258 posts, read 444,498 times
Reputation: 227

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What do you think should happen to it since the announcement came it is facing foreclosure? I will be honest, I only go there once in awhile to Boscov's. My main shopping venue is Dickson City. Another piece of sad news for this area, which seems to be going down the tubes faster and faster every day.

Last edited by Jackie2008; 03-06-2014 at 08:05 AM.. Reason: Spelling
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Old 03-06-2014, 08:34 AM
 
Location: Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, PA
29,617 posts, read 65,648,793 times
Reputation: 15060
It's "going down the tubes faster and faster each day" due to suburban sprawl. Back in 2006 when I joined this forum at the ripe old age of 19 I was already sounding the warning bells about how bad continued unchecked suburban sprawl would be for this region. I was against the Shoppes at Montage project from the beginning, indicating it would be the death knell for the Mall at Steamtown. Nobody believed me. Now the mall is about to go under. I've been lashing out against the continued deforestation of the Abingtons, Back Mountain, Mountain Top, North Pocono, and Greater Pittston for thousands of new McMansions due to the possibility that the continued development of watershed areas and wetlands with non-permeable surfaces would lead to the greater likelihood of future flooding in the lower-lying areas. Nobody believed me. Since then we've seen several close-calls and one very devastating record flood that was probably just a foot shy of decimating Wilkes-Barre, Kingston, and Forty Fort. I said that Rob Mericle was lying when he talked about all of the high-paying white-collar jobs that his CenterPointe project would be bringing to Pittston Township via Wall Street West. Nobody believed me. Today that park is filled with relatively low-paying warehousing jobs for the non-college-educated, and the surrounding area has become a congested nightmare, requiring new Interstate interchanges.

The displacement of the professional upper-middle-class from our established communities has created a "donut hole" phenomenon with dying "valley cities" surrounded by a ring of glazed goodness in the suburban areas. Who wants to live in a McMansion in South Abington Township adjacent to a dead city? I'm sure Detroit has some nice suburbs. Guess what? It's still "Greater Detroit". If you're going to work in Scranton, receive treatment at hospitals in Scranton, study for your terminal degree in Scranton, serve on a Federal jury in Scranton, worship in Scranton, etc. then LIVE in Scranton and give something back via paying taxes. Don't hop the city line to net ALL of the benefits of the city without incurring ANY of the drawbacks. How selfish has society become?
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Old 03-06-2014, 09:39 AM
 
Location: Location: Location
6,220 posts, read 7,398,023 times
Reputation: 17857
Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelCityRising View Post
It's "going down the tubes faster and faster each day" due to suburban sprawl. Back in 2006 when I joined this forum at the ripe old age of 19 I was already sounding the warning bells about how bad continued unchecked suburban sprawl would be for this region. I was against the Shoppes at Montage project from the beginning, indicating it would be the death knell for the Mall at Steamtown. Nobody believed me. Now the mall is about to go under. I've been lashing out against the continued deforestation of the Abingtons, Back Mountain, Mountain Top, North Pocono, and Greater Pittston for thousands of new McMansions due to the possibility that the continued development of watershed areas and wetlands with non-permeable surfaces would lead to the greater likelihood of future flooding in the lower-lying areas. Nobody believed me. Since then we've seen several close-calls and one very devastating record flood that was probably just a foot shy of decimating Wilkes-Barre, Kingston, and Forty Fort. I said that Rob Mericle was lying when he talked about all of the high-paying white-collar jobs that his CenterPointe project would be bringing to Pittston Township via Wall Street West. Nobody believed me. Today that park is filled with relatively low-paying warehousing jobs for the non-college-educated, and the surrounding area has become a congested nightmare, requiring new Interstate interchanges.

The displacement of the professional upper-middle-class from our established communities has created a "donut hole" phenomenon with dying "valley cities" surrounded by a ring of glazed goodness in the suburban areas. Who wants to live in a McMansion in South Abington Township adjacent to a dead city? I'm sure Detroit has some nice suburbs. Guess what? It's still "Greater Detroit". If you're going to work in Scranton, receive treatment at hospitals in Scranton, study for your terminal degree in Scranton, serve on a Federal jury in Scranton, worship in Scranton, etc. then LIVE in Scranton and give something back via paying taxes. Don't hop the city line to net ALL of the benefits of the city without incurring ANY of the drawbacks. How selfish has society become?
Hey, SCR, can you check that crystal ball and give me tonight's lottery numbers? j/k

The city sounded its own death knell. Businesses jumped the city line because of the oppressive taxes. People jumped the city line because of oppressive taxes. Taxes will only continue to climb as the U. continues to buy and remove properties from the tax rolls. Someone has to pick up that slack.

Don't accuse me of being against the U. I'm certainly not. I'm against the U. reaping all those benefits of which you speak and not paying for them. The pittance they offer in lieu of taxes is barely enough to cover one City Hall employee's salary for a year.

I was born in Philadelphia. When I was a young teen, my parents packed up and moved to Maryland. Would you have insisted we stay because we shouldn't have been going to an area that was undergoing development?

When I left Maryland to return to Pennsylvania, it was because I was fleeing an abusive marriage. My life changed and I remarried and my spouse had a good job. We were quite stable where we were but the hubs had a job transfer and we came to Scranton. And it was a swell place to live - in the mid-70's.
Wait. What?...Oh, right, you weren't born yet.

When the hubs' engineering firm finished up the job in Scranton, he was transferred to Annville. You could look it up. Too far to commute so he was gone all week and I was left to deal with five children. He found work closer to our area but we still had to move. Doesn't make us bad people.

Your life is far different from most of the posters here on CD. You are young enough to do as you please and move where you please and work where you live. Life doesn't always go as planned, and some of us have had more experience in that area. While I agree that most of what you predicted has come true, you are laying blame at the wrong feet.

Who could have foreseen the wasteland that is current-day Detroit? And who did it? Ah, but that's a subject for another forum.

Dickson City already had a handle on developing a central shopping/dining/entertainment area that predated The Mullet Steamtown. The Scranton Dry Goods was already a dinosaur in the city because of their antiquated business plan. John Wanamaker was divesting its holdings. Al Boscov would have done better for himself and for the city if he had taken one of those defunct entities and jazzed it up.
The city would have had a draw and small shops could have lined Lackawanna Ave and the crowds (that never came) to the National Historic Site that is Steamtown would have had shopping/dining/entertainment close to hand.

Malls are places for hanging out when it's cold or raining or hot and steamy. The Mullet was mismanaged from the start and the businesses that bailed did so because they weren't making their nut. Why? Because the clientele weren't buying. Just looking. It was a Grand Experiment that failed.

How many people who worked in downtown were parking their cars in that underground hell hole all day, thus avoiding meters and pay-garages? I know not all of those cars belonged to shoppers. And if I want to shop, I don't want to be in a dark place where any miscreant could be hiding and ready to steal my purse. Better to be out in the open in the vast parking lot surrounding a real mall so I can at least see trouble coming. (Yes, I do have first-hand knowledge of a mugging that happened in the parking garage)

Do I rejoice at the collapse of the City where I once lived and enjoyed my life? No, I don't. But I refuse to blame myself or those people who fled because of politicians who didn't think twice about picking the pockets of those who wanted to live in Scranton but could no longer afford the tariff.
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Old 03-06-2014, 09:58 AM
Status: "Here We Go Again" (set 10 days ago)
 
Location: Up Yonder
258 posts, read 444,498 times
Reputation: 227
[quote=theatergypsy;33764035]

The city sounded its own death knell. Businesses jumped the city line because of the oppressive taxes. People jumped the city line because of oppressive taxes. Taxes will only continue to climb as the U. continues to buy and remove properties from the tax rolls. Someone has to pick up that slack.



The Mullet was mismanaged from the start and the businesses that bailed did so because they weren't making their nut.


Well said Gypsy! The main problem for any business is poor management. If you have poor management for the little grocery store on the corner to a multi-million dollar corporation, that is the main problem in why so many things fail. Combine that with taxes and you have a recipe for disaster. Very sad but true.
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Old 03-06-2014, 10:03 AM
 
Location: Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, PA
29,617 posts, read 65,648,793 times
Reputation: 15060
Thanks for yet another eloquent and insightful reply, theatergypsy. I enjoyed the vignettes you shared about your life.

With that being said one thing that alarms me most about this ordeal is the total lack of alarm. In the Times-Tribune article I read just about every major official interviewed---Corey O'Brien (county commissioner), Bill Courtright (mayor), the head of the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce, etc.---had a very laissez faire attitude of "Meh. I'm sure Al Boscov will come up with something to save the mall; he is resourceful." Really? You mean the way taxpayers were "resourceful" in bailing his department chain out the last time he had bad news to share? Why is it that there is no true VISIONARY LEADERSHIP in the area? Not including Lou Barletta's incessant quest to grossly trump the Federal government and "stop and frisk" every Latino citizen to determine their citizenship status it seems like just about everyone else in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area just sort of "goes with the flow". Politicians in NEPA seem to be in this state of inertia. The region has led the state in unemployment now for roughly four years. The region's population has finally seemed to have leveled off after generations of steep decline, but it's now just been stagnant. Meanwhile traffic congestion continues to worsen because we've continued to spread a dwindling population further and further apart from existing infrastructure, increasing commutes. There are so many things I'd do differently if I was in office, and all I can do is sit here in Pittsburgh and shake my head from afar.

I don't blame you for leaving Scranton, theatergypsy. I also personally left the entire area. We humans tend to always seek the path of least resistance. I didn't see a future in the political realm as an openly-gay left-leaning male with no "crony connections" in a right-leaning area that is rather entrenched with a "good 'ole boys network", so I left. I have an idea for a business venture and am heading out today with a friend to scope the southern areas of the city for a site for it. In the back of my mind, though, the consideration of instead moving to Scranton and launching the venture THERE looms within, especially after a recent trip to visit family during which my father said he thinks the venture sounds very profitable and would consider investing in it himself.

Scranton is a diamond in the rough. So is Wilkes-Barre. Pittsburgh was on the "Armpit of America" list not all that long ago. Now it's rapidly rebounding. Newark, NJ used to always be grimaced at. Now under progressive mayoral leadership it, too, is enjoying a gradual renaissance. Manhattan used to be rough, believe it or not. I'll never understand why people in Scranton, including people like weluvpa, will always have the "Scranton is sinking, has been sinking, and always WILL be sinking" attitude when there are so many obvious counterexamples of cities in much worse shape that turned themselves around?
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Old 03-06-2014, 10:52 AM
Status: "Here We Go Again" (set 10 days ago)
 
Location: Up Yonder
258 posts, read 444,498 times
Reputation: 227
Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelCityRising View Post
Thanks for yet another eloquent and insightful reply, theatergypsy. I enjoyed the vignettes you shared about your life.

With that being said one thing that alarms me most about this ordeal is the total lack of alarm. In the Times-Tribune article I read just about every major official interviewed---Corey O'Brien (county commissioner), Bill Courtright (mayor), the head of the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce, etc.---had a very laissez faire attitude of "Meh. I'm sure Al Boscov will come up with something to save the mall; he is resourceful." Really? You mean the way taxpayers were "resourceful" in bailing his department chain out the last time he had bad news to share? Why is it that there is no true VISIONARY LEADERSHIP in the area? Not including Lou Barletta's incessant quest to grossly trump the Federal government and "stop and frisk" every Latino citizen to determine their citizenship status it seems like just about everyone else in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area just sort of "goes with the flow". Politicians in NEPA seem to be in this state of inertia. The region has led the state in unemployment now for roughly four years. The region's population has finally seemed to have leveled off after generations of steep decline, but it's now just been stagnant. Meanwhile traffic congestion continues to worsen because we've continued to spread a dwindling population further and further apart from existing infrastructure, increasing commutes. There are so many things I'd do differently if I was in office, and all I can do is sit here in Pittsburgh and shake my head from afar.

I don't blame you for leaving Scranton, theatergypsy. I also personally left the entire area. We humans tend to always seek the path of least resistance. I didn't see a future in the political realm as an openly-gay left-leaning male with no "crony connections" in a right-leaning area that is rather entrenched with a "good 'ole boys network", so I left. I have an idea for a business venture and am heading out today with a friend to scope the southern areas of the city for a site for it. In the back of my mind, though, the consideration of instead moving to Scranton and launching the venture THERE looms within, especially after a recent trip to visit family during which my father said he thinks the venture sounds very profitable and would consider investing in it himself.

Scranton is a diamond in the rough. So is Wilkes-Barre. Pittsburgh was on the "Armpit of America" list not all that long ago. Now it's rapidly rebounding. Newark, NJ used to always be grimaced at. Now under progressive mayoral leadership it, too, is enjoying a gradual renaissance. Manhattan used to be rough, believe it or not. I'll never understand why people in Scranton, including people like weluvpa, will always have the "Scranton is sinking, has been sinking, and always WILL be sinking" attitude when there are so many obvious counterexamples of cities in much worse shape that turned themselves around?

Sadly, Steel, it isn't doesn't matter about your gender and sexual preference. I am a college educated woman with experience and the job I hold currently (thankfully I do have a job, don't get me wrong) isn't even paying $10/hr for full-time work. I don't have political connections either. There has been an ongoing problem in this area for a long-time and it will take a MAJOR shift in thinking and action for things to change. I don't see that happening in the near future. They talk about the culture of corruption on WILK and how some of it has been chipped away at. But, it still remains and will remain until the action mentioned above takes place. You mention unemployment in this area and you are correct. There is also underemployment. Going back not even ten years ago, I was able to go shopping each week and eat out at a decent restaurant. We're not talking Ruth's Chris Steakhouse here but I haven't been able to do that in a long time. I lived within my means but after being laid-off from my long-time job in 2009, it hasn't been easy and I am tired of banging my head on the wall, going on Indeed.com and seeing the same jobs, at a pathetic wage for this area and expecting that things are going to change. They aren't. And that is how the chamber of commerce wants to keep things in this area. It was mentioned years ago that when companies located here, they were told by local officials they didn't have to pay the same wages because "people here didn't expect to be paid that much." Ridiculous, but, it sticks to this day. I honestly don't know how people in Scranton who are low-middle class are making it. They are being taxed to death. So, either no jobs, or low paying jobs, a surge in taxes, local and state (thank you Governor Corbett for the vehicle tax (and I voted for him - not this year) and the same corrupt culture, etc. and this area is sinking. I don't know where or how, but I personally need to "jump ship" sometime this year and leave this area where I can make a decent living and not struggle. I used to say "no way" to places like Texas or Nebraska, for weather or other reasons, but I gotta say, they are looking better and better all the time. Sorry for the rant but I am fed up with things here.
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Old 03-06-2014, 02:30 PM
 
704 posts, read 989,914 times
Reputation: 791
Don't accuse me of being against the U. I'm certainly not. I'm against the U. reaping all those benefits of which you speak and not paying for them. The pittance they offer in lieu of taxes is barely enough to cover one City Hall employee's salary for a year.

We don't live in Scranton but I do work in Scranton. Moved to NEPA about 15 years ago. I have heard about the U of S buying everything and not paying taxes. The latest property I believe is at Jefferson and Linden (the new Physical therapy department will be housed here). Just food for thought- a few weeks ago I was at a seminar, it was mentioned that this particular property has not been on the tax roles since 1907.

It puts a different spin onto all the negative publicity I have heard about this property, when in reality this property isn't really the issue.
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Old 03-06-2014, 05:43 PM
 
Location: Wilkes-Barre, PA
1,693 posts, read 3,106,377 times
Reputation: 1233
Malls have been dying everywhere for years, they are a left over fad of the 80s. Even the Wyoming Valley Mall never seems to be doing much business when I go in there. That said, I at least occasionally go to Wyoming Valley Mall and buy some things because it is easy to park and can be nice to stroll through and browse. The one time and that is right "one" time I went to Steamtown, I hated the parking garage and the fact that I had to traverse my way through the city to get there. Once inside I was genuinely unimpressed with the layout and appearance. I never felt a reason to go back so I never did.

We take trips up to Dickson City every couple of months because it is a fun destination. We stop at Montage on the way, sometimes we see a movie and there are a lot of nice dining options at both stops. We can even stop at the Wegmans before we head back at get everything for the week. It's just a much better shopping trip than going to Steamtown, that is why it is dying.
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Old 03-07-2014, 12:37 AM
 
Location: Hanover , Virginia
331 posts, read 520,982 times
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I don't think malls in general are dying out. Here in Northern NJ, the malls are almost impossible to even park at. Even the smaller, off the beaten path malls are crowded.

The Steamtown Mall was kind of a novelty when it first came in. It had the trains and the overlook from the food court. I don't remember anything great going on there, though, and the stores have never been anything to marvel at. Most of the bigger malls are loaded with high end retail stores or outlets, but the Steamtown mall never really went that direction that I can recall. Then again, who knows how many people would even shop at them in nepa...

I'm not particularly sad for the mall foreclosing. The last few times I was there were pretty depressing anyway. It's more a statement on how Scranton is than anything.
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Old 03-07-2014, 01:18 AM
 
3,050 posts, read 2,511,904 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marchawg View Post
I don't think malls in general are dying out. Here in Northern NJ, the malls are almost impossible to even park at. Even the smaller, off the beaten path malls are crowded.

The Steamtown Mall was kind of a novelty when it first came in. It had the trains and the overlook from the food court. I don't remember anything great going on there, though, and the stores have never been anything to marvel at. Most of the bigger malls are loaded with high end retail stores or outlets, but the Steamtown mall never really went that direction that I can recall. Then again, who knows how many people would even shop at them in nepa...

I'm not particularly sad for the mall foreclosing. The last few times I was there were pretty depressing anyway. It's more a statement on how Scranton is than anything.
And that's the key. If you look at malls like KOP, or even smaller malls, the ones that survive have anchor stores that are able to attract customers. Who does Boscov's attract? The 84 year old lady who takes the bus there to play register roulette so she can horde free toasters in her danky Old Forge basement? (That would be my late aunt, thank you very much.) People just don't want to go there, and there's no reason to go there. I think the are trying with some original ideas like the library branch (but the actual library isn't that far away) and Timmy's Town Center, but it's just a sad place. I walked through there a month or so ago and there were barely any stores left. When the only anchors you can attract keep going bankrupt, there's a problem.

Lehigh Valley Mall was smart because they attracted some higher end retailers like Williams Sonoma, Sephora, etc. to put in the lifestyles center outside the main mall. The Mall at Steamtown will never be able to do that. They need to figure out a way to repurpose that building because there's nothing to be done at this point.
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