Proposed rendering of Granite Run Mall redevelopment. (BET Investments)
Developers for the proposed Granite Run Mall site on updated Middletown Township official on some of the details of the site. BET Investments company president Michael Markman explained the plan for a mixed use retail and residential development on the 58-acre property. The mall’s existing three anchor stores Boscov’s, Sears and JCPenney would remain. A 15-screen movie theatre is planned for the second floor of JCPenney.
Kohl’s, Acme and Sears Automotive and the PennDOT facility would all remain. The interior of the mall itself would be gutted and transformed into an outdoor courtyard featuring upscale retail, restaurants with outdoor dining, green spaces, a walkable “Town Center” concept made popular on the West Coast.
Another piece of the Granite Run property is a proposed four-story, luxury apartment building on the former ChiChi’s Restaurant site fronting Route 352 and second building on the Oriole Avenue side of the property. Combined the proposal calls for 231 single-bedroom and 154 two-bedroom units, with an average monthly rent of about $1,500. The residential properties will also feature concierge service, work out rooms, pool, and an Internet café.
So far BET has not said which retailers may interested in the property but they are courting a wide range of high end stores.
No official date has been set on when the current mall tenants will close but two store managers tell Delco Pride they’ve been to expect to be out by January 1st.
BET Investments who purchased the property last year for $24 million presented the township’s Land Planning Subcommittee with it’s latest development plans that could include a bowling alley and a new movie theatre.
Officials tell Delco Pride that most of the center core of the mall will be demolished with the exception of anchor stores Boscov’s, JCPenny and Sears. All three of those retailers have expressed interest in remaining on the property. Kohl’s and Acme are also expected to remain.
Aerial View of Granite Run property
The new shopping center will be turned “inside-out” with stores having direct access from the parking lots. (Think Briton Lake). 2 4-story luxury apartment buildings with more than 350 units are planned on opposite sides of the complex. One is proposed on the southwest corner near the current movie theatre and another near the site of the former Chi Chi’s Restaurant.
Granite Run opened in 1974 and became the premier shopping mall in Delaware County. Many remember Golden Days of Granite Run. Trips to Farrell’s Ice Cream, pumping quarters in arcade games at Aladdin’s Castle or having their first drink at Be Bop Cafe.
Granite Run Mall is more than half empty. Demolition could come in early 2015
But over the years popular stores pulled out, people stopped coming, the mall fell into decline and has sadly become a million square feet of eerily empty space that time forgot. Some current tenants have told us that they don’t even pay rent anymore rather a percentage of monthly sales which sometimes could be next to nothing.
Township officials say the redevelopment plan is still in the early stages but they’re very encouraged for what’s to come.
“For a while the township has been very concerned with business activity there and seeing the mall conditions go down hill” said
But soon all of that will change. ZZ says BET Investments is hoping to have a final site plans and township approvals by the end of the year. Demolition on the core of the mall could start in early 2015.