Monday, December 11, 2017
UPDATE:What’s next for Granite Run Mall?
Proposed rendering of Granite Run Mall redevelopment. (BET Investments)

UPDATE:What’s next for Granite Run Mall?

Proposed rendering of Granite Run Mall redevelopment. (BET Investments)

Proposed rendering of Granite Run Mall redevelopment. (BET Investments)

UPDATE: 9/21/14

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

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

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.

17 comments

  1. Brinton Lake. With an N

  2. If the three anchor stores remain in the property: They should rebuild their stores from scratch. Sears looks horrible, and Boscovs would downgrade the rest of the redevelopment. The 3 chains look dated, cheap, and they would be completely out of place in this upcoming complex. The case that would be worrisome is SEARS as it is in the chopping block. Bring better stores: Macys, Crate & Barrel, Bloomindgales, etc. Otherwise it will be a mismatch of stores. Neither JCP, Sears or Boscovs really invest in having nice, clean stores anywhere.

    • if there’s a town meeting again propose that they remodel those stores. i personally love boscovs because they’re cheap and i got alot of my things for my home from there but i don’t shope much in sears or jcpennys.

    • If BET investments is involved I’m sure they will make them do some renovations. I almost moved into one of their new properties and they do really high end stuff. It’s owned by Bruce Toll of Toll Brothers. They do nice work. I am very picky and the place I was looking at was really nice. They do retail and residential and so far they have fixed up all the properties they bought or built very nicely. Anything is better than the eyesore that is there now.

    • Concerned In Delco

      Sears and the other stores are very dated do they plan on building new stores or doing something to change their look, why are they staying? they bring in next to nothing in revenue they have limited stock, Why not start with
      all new updated stores with better retailers then failing ones. People in the community must start to speak up
      against this now!!! Sears must go its old and dated, Pennys will be fine if it updates and Boscovs needs to
      clean up its store and change it look. Stop the failing stores they will just become holes in the ground
      they are doing nothing now what does the community think will happen in the future,

      • From what we understand the anchor stores had long-term contract which have to be honored. The older stores will undergo major renovations.

      • Bass pro shop outworld would be nice. This area could use one. It would bring customers in form all over. Get rid of Sears and turn it in to a bass pro shop. And maybe a Lord n Taylor. High end stores we don’t have around he. And maybe a Dave n busters.

    • Yea high end stores will be nice.

    • Concerned citizen

      High end stores? That’s right, make the area unaffordable. People in the surrounding towns are already talking about the people moving in. They think they are better than God. Money and greed don’t make people better! You want to get rid of stores like JCP, Sears and Boscov’s. Go live in NYC!

  3. I don’t know where the writer is from, but as someone born and raised in Delco, the Granite Run Mall was NEVER “the premier shopping mall in Delaware County.” It was always regarded well below the Springfield Mall, drawing a middle-class to blue collar crowd, and somewhere above the MacDade Mall (which is not a high bar to clear.) Its low-end, run-down anchor stores and antiquated design sealed its fate; I just frankly can’t believe it took this long to finally close.

    To keep the current anchor stores would be the definition of “lipstick on a pig”; you may as well not bother. What high-end stores want to join a development whose anchors are Boscov’s, Sears, and JCP?? Buy them out of their contracts if they have long-term leases. Frankly, the place is doing so poorly, I would think these retailers would be happy to be released from their contracts.

    The place needs a Lowe’s, a Panera, Crate and Barrel, Urban Outfitters, a DSW, Marshalls, and a Super Target. Maybe a Home Goods as well. These would be spaced far enough from other stores for each of those retailers. To whomever suggested the entire Sears building become a Bass pro shop…seriously, what planet are you on?? The ONLY thing that would be good to keep from Sears is a stand-alone store of Lands End. To the other who suggested Bloomingdales, I think that’s a little high-end for the area. We need updated stores that are neither too high-end, nor too low-end, that will elevate what’s been there. Keeping the current stores there is only going to drag it down.

    • Apparently a longer DelCo resident

      Not sure how old you are but there was a time that Springfield Mall was not much more than Tri-State Mall. Granite Run was truly the mecca for shopping in DelCo. Springfield Mall really took a downturn when Sylvia Seegrist went on a killing spree there. Several years later they started refurbishing the mall and it bounced back strong in the 90’s. With the upswing at Springfield, Granite Run started losing customers and retailers. It never recovered.

      I spent many days of my youth in Aladdin’s Castle or grabbing a slice from Scotto’s. Both of my sisters worked at Farrell’s (which has made a small comeback in California) and I have vivid memories of the family sitting at a round table in the early days of Peking, spinning the lazy susan in the middle to share our food.

  4. Delco born and raised

    If you want to shop at Target, DSW and Home Goods, go to the Towne Center at Brinton Lake. Bloomingdales would be a perfect fit for a more upscale clientele. Forget the Lowes. And there’s a Panera in Springfield and Marple. No more crappy chain resteraunts! I’m tired of traveling to KOP for decent shopping. I think upper mid-scale shopping is the way to go. Give us something we don’t already have in the area, please!!!

  5. I actually love Sears and Boscovs. They are the only reason I go to that mall. I have watched it go down in the last year, with stores coming and going as quickly as they came. Springfield Mall is not much better. All Boscovs and Sears look the same, so I don’t think doing an overhaul would make much of a difference. Even putting a movie theatre inside won’t change much, because it’s literally right across the street from the mall now. I prefer movie theatres that are seperate from the mall. Springfield Mall is not much better, it only has Macy’s & Target and if you ever go on a Friday or Saturday, it is completely taken over by mallrats or skateboard type kids. It’s not “kid friendly” like say Plymouth Meeting or Willow Grove Malls (Montgomery County). There are no good Malls in Delaware County in my opinion. I can’t wait to see the “new” GRM.

  6. I applaud the re do of granite run mall and by keeping Sears, JC Penney, Boscov’s is a win win for my friends and family. We have always found what we were shopping for at one of these stores and at a better price than on line shopping sites. Other stores come and go but Sears, JC Penney, Boscov’s have survived because they appeal to shoppers of all ages and don’t forget “Made in the U.S.A.” items are available at all 3 stores. Americans need to remind themselves of the quality and jobs associated and use their shopping dollars wisely. Other commenters have suggested flashy stores where “Made in China” items are all they stock, yes the price is low but the quality is poor. I hope the re do goes well and the proposed residential area brings many new shoppers to my 3 favorite stores.

  7. While the artist’s rendering of the proposed Granite Run Mall re-developement looks promising, I agree with the above comments.
    JC Penney and Sears are are stores that are as dated as the concept of a shopping mall. Like the dinosaur, their time has come and gone. And sadly Boscovs is not too far behind. Raze the entire mall and start fresh. Western Delaware County deserves far better.

  8. Just wondering with this crazy weather, how sitting outside would be a good idea. GRM has a bad taste in stores minds. Now that JC Penney is closing, what is left, a run down sears that is so cold since the malls heat is off, and Boscovs, in my opinion the only true department store left. The west coast is warm and summer here today is 43 degrees and windy, who wants to eat outside on metal furniture?

  9. Boscov’s is a great store and the only reason I go to that area. It could use a little updating for sure but the products they sell are nice and inexpensive. I don’t shop at that Sears (KOP Sears is much nicer) and I never shop at JC Penny – cheap. Some nicer restaurants would be nice there. Not Panera’s (their food is crap) or another crappy chain restaurant. Or if you do a chain restaurant at least make it something with good food like Chipotle, Honeygrow, Cosi or Salad Works. Outdoor dining is a great idea and can be enjoyed in the nice weather.

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