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I've been coming to this mall since the 90s and I quite love this shot I captured.
I remember Clearview Mall in Butler, PA. I lived in Youngstown at the time working for DeBartolo. In those days we did a lot of joy riding in the area and I often visited the fabulous indoor/outdoor flea market, open every Sunday on Route 8, just 2 miles North of Butler. Being a mall guy, how could I possibly not go to see nearby Clearview Mall? I believe at the time Clearview Mall was owned by J.J Gumberg out of Pittsburgh. The food however at the outdoor 'Antique Market' was not that good, so afterwards we always went to the mall. Which we enjoyed a great deal and always went back for more.
We in 1986 at EJD saw Clearview clearly as a second-tier mall and that all big shopping sprees had to go into Youngstown. Really no choice. But for me the Clearwater Mall was a wonderful statement set in a great American hometown environment and I always cherished these types of malls. Friendly and smiling people everywhere!
Whenever I go out I always look at people's faces. I love to see friendly faces. But with all due respect, I seldom saw friendly faces in Youngstown. Perhaps it was because all of the steel fabrication was going out of town and Struthers was already in dire straights? But that's how it was in those days of old. Times when "Boom Boom Mancini" however reigned supreme!
All I can say is...that we still have the fine remembrances of the earlier days.
When the world was new!
All of my family lives Butler area. I was actually just there yesterday and there are only just over a dozen inline tenants left here. It's fallen rather hard. I am not directly in the area, but I was visiting my mom over the weekend and so I popped in. I love this place and have been coming here nearly 30 years now. Current owner is a man known for not keeping up with utilities and taxes, so I am not holding out much hope.
I believe the Clearview Mall is now owned by the Kohan Retail Investment Group, and through Mehan Kohansiek, who goes by the name Mike Kohan and many other aliases.
Kohan primarily purchases troubled shopping centers for very cheap money. How low can you go? The Kohan company record and or performance reads like a 'who is who' of the bad guys. He is not known in the industry for being a responsible, effective and respected landlord of shopping centers.
A Taste: Their Woodville Mall was closed by court order and had to be demolished. Grave continued unheeded code violations. Their Lincoln Mall suffered from serious roofing related structural issues and went into receivership. Lycoming County Water/Sewer Authority placed Lycoming Mall on a sheriff's sale list due to significant unpaid bills. Chapel Hill Mall was foreclosed on by Summit County, Ohio for Kohan owing a whopping $754,000 in real estate taxes. Many of their malls actually and repeatedly went dark due to late or unpaid electric utility billings. The saga continues.
As we speak it is estimated that Kohan owes in excess of over $50 million in mall real estate taxes and fines nationwide to its various townships, municipalities, etc. Notwithstanding counting all of the still lingering way overdue R/M and HVAC issues running rampant throughout his entire portfolio.
Kohan is naturally well known to never leaving any money on the table. That has always been a given. What really is Kohans business model, I dare not to say, since there are not enough derogatory words in my vocabulary.