Creditor wins bid for Shenango Valley Mall lease - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

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Creditor wins bid for Shenango Valley Mall lease

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HERMITAGE, Pa. -

The bid from an East Coast realty company has won control of the lease for Shenango Valley Mall in Hermitage.

What local officials and mall tenants are wondering is will it be good news or bad news.

After losing two main anchor stores, Macy's and Sears, the mall's lease was placed in receivership earlier this year for failing to make payments on a three million dollar loan.

Now, New York-based Iowa Square Realty took over the lease with a Sheriff's sale bid of $50,000.  The question is what happens next.

"We're not sure. We're hoping that everything will continue status quo, but it's a day by day situation here," said Sherris Moreira, Executive Director of the Shenango Valley Chamber of Commerce.

The mall's only remaining anchor store, J.C. Penney, is said to be doing well. "The Penney's store is one of the best sales in the nation, so it's obvious that we support our businesses very well here,"  Moreira said.
  
Several small businesses continue to operate in the mall, but there are a lot of vacant spaces.  Omar Elsheikh just opened his phone repair business 18 days ago and would like to see more new tenants.

"It's unfortunate that people don't want to open something up. To me this is a great investment opportunity," he said. 

Leana's Books has been in the mall for more than six years and doesn't want to leave. Owner Leana Hilliard hopes to see positive improvements from new management.

"They will actually invest in the mall and make it a better place for everybody and that would allow other companies to want to come into the mall," Hillard said.

The Chamber has already reached out to the New York firm to offer assistance. "Just if they need some help or support. We want to show that as a Chamber and as a community that we're here to support because we know there are a lot of jobs that we want to make sure stay in this community," said Moreira.
 

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