Pepper Pike shenango mall

Hermitage Officials Anticipate Midyear Start for Town Center Project

HERMITAGE, Pa. – City officials anticipate physical work getting underway by midyear on redevelopment of the Shenango Valley Mall property now that longtime tenant JCPenney has ceased its efforts to remain there.

The city hasn’t heard from JCPenney itself, but a third party working on the retail chain’s behalf contacted Hermitage officials last week about the city’s requirements for conducting a store-closing sale, said Gary Gulla, Hermitage assistant city manager.

Various media outlets have reported that JCPenney plans to close the Shenango Valley Mall store by May 5.

The national retailer had been locked in a protracted legal fight to remain in the mall, which was acquired by Butterfli Holdings 011 LLC, an affiliate of Flicore LLC, in August 2022. In October, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court denied an appeal by JCPenney of two previous rulings against the retailer.

City officials also have not heard from Flicore officials since the latest development, but before receiving that information they had been in communication with the Pepper Pike, Ohio-based developer about setting up a meeting, Gulla said.

The city and Flicore have been in regular discussions about the mall property, which is at the heart of a proposed town center concept for the area, he said. While the project timeline is up to Flicore, Gulla anticipated work beginning at the site in late spring or early summer.  

“We hope to have [a meeting] with them in the next week or so,” he said.

“We look forward to the redevelopment of the mall property. We’ve been working closely with the developer to realize the town center concept,” added Mark Longietti, Hermitage business and community development director.   

The city received about $5.5 million from the commonwealth for the town center project, to be used for purposes including demolition, construction, infrastructure and stormwater management, Gulla said.

“Those grants do have deadlines, but we’re comfortable that we’re well within the time frame to be able to utilize those grants,” he said.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.