Pop-up stores and vendors lined the halls of the Shenango Valley Mall in Hermitage Saturday as people were invited to walk down memory lane by writing and posting their favorite memories on Post-It wall.

From first jobs working at stores to Black Friday shopping, and meeting Santa, there are so many memories.

"My parents every Christmas we were always there because there was always something we missed," Andrew Bucci said.

At one time JC JCPenney was not just for shopping there was a popular restaurant where kids and parents enjoyed lunch and even met a baseball great.

"Willie Stargell was here. JC Penney used to bring the Pirates to sign autographs here.  ... Riverside Market used to be a grocery store here. One gentleman said he was a manager, pies used to be 29 cents. We all have great memories," Hermitage Director of Business and Community Development Mark Longietti said. 

Over the years this mall and others around the country have become like dinosaurs.

Anchor tenants Sears and Macy's closed in 2017, then the pandemic helped hasten the mall's demise. 

"This used to be a very good mall, but they're all slowly going away everywhere and it's extremely unfortunate because online shopping has taken over everywhere. It's just too convenient and people don't want to go anywhere," Julia Clapie said.

The few stores left including JC Penney, and Kings Jewelry, a clothing and book store are having sales before the mall permanently closes on May 31, 2024.

Demolition will make way for new opportunities.

Longietti emphasized "Now we are going to redevelop the property and make it into a mixed-use, some restaurants, and some retail options, and community space. It will be real nice when it's all done."

"This is going to be hope for economic development for the future. I want to raise my kids here and I want to make sure the economy is booming. This should bring in tax dollars and jobs and do a lot of good for Hermitage," Andrew Bucci added.