The Foundry at South Strabane, a closed 575,000 square foot 4 shopping center, is located near Washington, Pennsylvania. The first major tenant to locate at The Foundry was JCPenny’s in February 2007 1 after it relocated from the declining Washington Mall. Other tenants included Ross Dress for Less and Bed Bath & Beyond.3 Max and Erma’s opened October 15.3
Built atop an old mine dump and a steep hillside, the complex began developing structural issues due to ground settling. At the same time, the property owner, Premier Properties of Indianapolis, began experiencing financial difficulties that eventually led to the company filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on April 23, 2008.3 4 Premier listed $2.8 million in debts to 20 creditors, which did not include millions of dollars in unpaid bills. On May 30, the judge reclassified the bankruptcy to Chapter 7 liquidation.
On May 21, Bed, Bath & Beyond closed their store, followed by Ross Dress for Less the day after. On June 6, JCPenny’s closed their store at The Foundry and reopened in mid-September at Washington Mall.2 Premier founder and CEO Christopher White was charged with three felonies in Marion County, Indiana on June 16.3 4 Carl Brizzi, the prosecutor for the county, stated that White had knowingly defrauded The National Bank of Indianapolis by depositing $500,000 backed by insufficient funds, committed check fraud and stole at least $100,000 from the bank. White also faced lawsuits alleging loan defaults and illegal rent payments.
The Staenberg Group of St. Louis, Missouri purchased the failed development and announced on January 22, 2013 that it would demolish nearly all of the stores damaged by land subsidence and may remove part of a large retaining wall.5 The vacant JCPenny’s would remain under the plan as the department store owned the building and was not willing to sell.
The only tenants at The Foundry include an Olive Garden and Max and Erma’s.
- Taylor, Lynda Guydon. “J.C. Penney exit makes others at mall nervous.” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 14 Jan. 2007: n. pag. Post-Gazette. Web. 29 Aug. 2011. Article.
- “J.C. Penney to reopen Washington mall site.” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review 26 July 2008: n. pag. TribLive. Web. 29 Aug. 2011. Article.
- Ola, Crystal. “Future uncertain for The Foundry shopping center in South Strabane.” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 22 June 2008: n. pag. Post-Gazette. Web. 29 Aug. 2011. Article.
- Schooley, Tim. “Developer of South Strabane’s Foundry complex in a quandary.” Pittsburgh Business Times 23 June 2008: n. pag. Business Times. Web. 29 Aug. 2011. Article.
- Leonard, Kim. “South Strabane retail strip damaged by land movement razed after 4 years.” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review 23 Jan. 2013: n. pag. Web. 27 Feb. 2013. Article.