Hecht's to anchor Valley Mall expansion

April 29, 1998|By LAURA ERNDE

Hecht's department store will anchor a new wing at Valley Mall that will increase the mall's size by nearly one-third.

The expansion was announced Monday by Crown American, the Johnstown, Pa., company that bought the mall in November.

The $25 million wing will be added onto the back of the mall and will include a multi-screen movie theater, food court and shops, said Crown American spokeswoman Chris Menna.

The one-story Hecht's store is expected to open in 1999.

Construction will begin later this year on the expansion, which will increase the mall's size from 665,000 square feet to 865,000 square feet.

"One of the reasons why we acquired Valley Mall was because of the expansion potential of the property," said Crown American President Mark E. Pasquerilla.


When Crown American bought the mall, it also bought 30 acres on which to expand, Menna said.

A new multi-screen theater could replace the three-screen movie theater there now, she said.

Plans call for a state-of-the-art theater complex with stadium seating designed to improve visibility, she said.

Cinema 3 Manager Elden Kinna said he had no knowledge of the plans.

The theater is owned by Carmike Cinemas of Columbus, Ga., he said. Phil Smitley, a spokesman for Carmike, said company officials have discussed the expansion with Crown American but would not elaborate.

Crown American plans to sign leases with prospective tenants in the next month. After that, the company will announce more details about the shops, Menna said.

The Valley Mall expansion is one of four major retail projects planned for Washington County:

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* " NATURALSIZEFLAG="0" ALIGN="BOTTOM"> The $40 million Outlet Village of Hagerstown is being built at the Sharpsburg Pike/Interstate 70 interchange.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* " NATURALSIZEFLAG="0" ALIGN="BOTTOM"> A $40 million shopping complex, Centre at Hagerstown, is planned for the U.S. 40/Interstate 81 interchange. Construction is set to begin in September.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* " NATURALSIZEFLAG="0" ALIGN="BOTTOM"> Garrett & Smith Inc., a development company from Cabin John, Md., wants to develop 85 acres south of Valley Mall into a large retail area similar to Wesel Boulevard.

Crown American owns 26 regional shopping malls including Chambersburg (Pa.) Mall, Martinsburg (W.Va.) Mall and Francis Scott Key Mall in Frederick, Md.

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