Below: 2018 redevelopment plan of the Fairgrounds Square Mall by Augusta, Ga.-based Hull Property Group to include more than 4 acres of green space, future retail, townhomes and a hotel. Hull Property Group acquired the Fairgrounds Square Mall on April 13, 2016.
On April 13, 2016, Hull Property Group took over the Fairgrounds Square Mall, with plans to revitalize the mall. A tax incentive offered by Muhlenberg Township made it “economically unfeasible” to begin redevelopment without first having new tenants on board. In May 2019, the tax incentive from Muhlenberg Township was denied, as the township felt the redevelopment plans were vague. As a result of the denial, Hull Property Group withdrew their redevelopment plans and announced they will continue to maintain the closed mall. However, on June 13, 2019, Hull Property Group applied for a permit to demolish 80 percent of the mall for redevelopment, leaving open tenants such as Boscov’s, Burlington, Planet Fitness, Super Shoes and AMC Classic in place. Demolition of 80% of the property began in June 2020 with the completion date tentatively set for early November.
Boscov’s, which predated the mall, along with Burlington Coat Factory, the recently renovated AMC movie theaters and the wing that includes Super Shoes and Planet Fitness will remain standing, as will the Fairgrounds Farmers Market. They will be connected by green space that replaces the demolished section.
Fairgrounds Square mall, opened its doors to shoppers in 1980 on the site of the former Reading Fairgrounds. As of March 2018, Fairgrounds Square Mall had 12 tenants remaining, down from a peak of 75 stores.
Below: Fairgrounds Square Mall Construction Photo.
Officials are mum on specifics for the future.
Jim Boscov, Boscov’s chairman and CEO, said his company’s store and its nearby farmers market stand to benefit from the redevelopment. “Hull Property Group has a proven track record of improving failed mall assets and I look forward to what they have planned for the Fairgrounds Square Mall property,” Boscov said.