Coventry Mall, the struggling retail center, has a chance for revitalization under its new owner Pennmark Management Co., writes Natalie Kostelni for the Philadelphia Business Journal.
The mall, located on West Schuylkill Road and Route 100, has close to 800,000 square feet but has been having trouble maintaining customer traffic and sales due to competitors that have popped up nearby, such as the new shopping center in West Pottsgrove.
As a result, the mall has been falling in value, dropping from $106.5 million in 2004 to its most recent appraisal of only $38.4 million three years ago. This sale was arranged by Jim Pasquarella and Bill Tourtellotte of CBRE Inc., who have not disclosed the price.
Built in 1967, Coventry is one of the area’s older malls but still has anchor tenants including Kohl’s, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and Boscovs. However, several businesses such as Sears, Ross Dress For Less, and Schuylkill Valley Sports have closed, leaving over 20 shuttered stores in the mall and only 55 percent of the space occupied.
Pennmark, which has shown that it is not afraid to tackle a challenge, sees an opportunity in the troubled center. The company plans to keep the space as a retail center, and implement a number of upgrades that should entice new tenants.
“We have three good anchors that have done well and we will reposition the Sears,” said Don Cafiero, principal of Pennmark.
Cafiero also pointed out that they plan to attract tenants not traditionally found in malls such as pet, health, medical or convenience stores.
“It will be a process that we go through,” he noted.