Washington Mall is a nearly vacant indoor shopping center along US 19 near Interstates 70 and 79 in Washington, Pennsylvania.4 It was constructed by Stephen Richman and his partners, including his father, Ben, and Angelo and Phillip Falconi.2
Completed in 1968 1 4 at a cost of $4 million, the 663,000 square-feet 2 mall boasted two anchors, a tri-level J.C. Penny and a Giant Eagle. In 1991, the last payment for the mortgage was processed, and in a celebratory event held at Tambellini’s Restaurant. The mall owners, with the whisk of a lighter, made the mortgage documents go up in flames.2
The condition of the mall steadily deteriorated over the years due to a lack of reinvestment within the mall property. In 1999, the Giant Eagle closed and relocated to Strabane Square. By the turn of the 21st century, the mall boasted only a handful of inline tenants.2 In 2001, Rex TV and Appliances added a store to the mall, but it was the lone addition for the year.
In 2004, the mall announced plans to “de mall” and convert the interior concourse into an outward facing shopping center. Large retailers, such as J.C. Penny and Staples, would remain but would open outward towards the parking lot.2 By December, the plans for the “de mall” concept had been delayed due to an unspecified reason, with retailers being notified that their leases would be extended for another six months.3
In February 2007, J.C. Penny relocated to The Foundry at South Strabane.4 Not long after opening, The Foundry, built upon an old mine dump, began developing structural issues due to the ground settling.5 On June 6, 2008, J.C. Penny closed the store at The Foundry and reopened in mid-September in its original location at the Washington Mall.
J.C. Penny closed in February 2014 due to declining sales,6 which was followed by the closure of Jo-Ann Fabrics on July 25.7
- Altmeyer, vacated in 1999;
- Amos Home Products, relocated in October 2000 to Washington Crown Center;
- Audiologics, a tenant for 30 years, vacated in early 2005;
- Carmike Cinemas, vacated on March 15, 2001;
- Claire’s, vacated in December 1999;
- Eckerd Drug, now a restaurant; 11,600 square-feet;
- Giant Eagle, vacated in 1999;
- J.C. Penny, vacated in 2014;
- Jo-Ann Fabrics, vacated in 2014;
- K-Mart, replaced with The Home Depot;
- Pottery Factory Outlet, vacated;
- Shorty’s Lunch, vacated;
- Staples; 24,500 square-feet;
- Sun TV, later Rex TV and Appliances, now a furniture outlet; 20,000 square-feet;
- Thompson Hardware;
- Toys R Us; 45,000 square-feet.