The Mall’s progress
• The Shenango Valley Mall first opened in March 13, 1968, and was originally owned by George F. McConnell. At the time, Route 18 was just a “dirt road,” his grandson Matt McConnell said, but George McConnell recognized the potential for commercial development at the site.
• Over the last few years, the mall lost two of its main anchor stores, including Sears and Macy’s, while smaller stores including FYE, Payless ShoeSource, Rue 21 and Nadene’s Pittsburgh Sports also left.
• The mall is currently owned by GFM-23, a group comprised of 23 of George McConnell’s descendants. The group had previously owned the land beneath the mall, then leased it to the mall’s owners.
However, GFM-23 sought direct ownership of the property after the latest owner, Iowa Square, failed to pay the rent and taxes required in the lease contract with the McConnell family.
Although the lease was not immediately granted to GFM-23, in December, a judge ordered that Iowa Square pay a bond to ensure its interest in the property. Iowa Square later failed to post the bond, and control of the mall was granted to GFM-23 in a court decision in January.