The Laurel Mall originally opened in 1973 with Zayre and a store that was apparently known as "Fowler, Dick, and Walker, the Boston Store" as its anchors. Boscov's would take over the latter in 1981 while Ames would take the Zayre space in 1989. A new wing was constructed in 1993 which added JCPenney as an anchor. Also in 1993, Kmart took over the Ames space. JCPenney would close in 2014 and be replaced by Dunham's Sports while Kmart will close in the spring of 2018. TJ Maxx would open as a secondary anchor in 2017 after my visit here and pretty much take up the entire one side of the mall's storefronts in the Kmart wing.
The mall itself is actually doing really well. This is kind of surprising given that most other malls in the area (not counting the urban Wyoming Valley Malls) seem to be free falling into oblivion. The mall is supposedly near 96% occupied, though Kmart leaving will drop that percentage. However the mall is already taking steps to fill the soon to be vacant Kmart space.
Well start with an exterior tour followed by interior shots.
|The white wall to the right in this photo is the construction wall for what will be TJMaxx|
|GNC is tucked in between the construction|
|The center of the mall serves as a makeshift food court with tables for various restaurants. The escalators seen here lead to an underground parking garage.|
|One of the few empty storefronts I saw|
|I have no idea why Dunham's wasn't listed on the map.|
Despite the recent announcement of losing Kmart as an anchor, I honestly don't think it will have a long-term impact on the mall. I can easily see something moving in or the Kmart being chopped into smaller stores. Things look pretty positive for this mall.