Located just a few miles north of Reading, this enclosed shopping mall been through a decent amount since its creating back in 1980. Fairgrounds Square Mall was built by Interstate Properties and opened in October of 1980, at the time, the two main anchors for the mall were Boscov’s and JCPenney. Currently, the mall is 1 floor for the most part, but there are 2 floors in Boscov’s, Burlington Coat Factory, and JC’s 5 Star Outlet.
Beginnings of the Fairgrounds Square Mall
Construction for the Fairgrounds Square Mall began back in 1978, right at the same place the Reading Fargrounds was prior to its new location. One year after the opening, now in 1981, the Fairgrounds Square Mall was bought out by the First Union Real Estate Investments Company.
Typically it is a good sign for mall-goers when a particular mall gets bought out by another company, since that usually comes along with new renovations or additional stores. However, that’s not to disclose the times new ownership can mean complete transformation and removal of some of the malls guests beloved stores.
In this case, it was a good thing for the guests of Fairgrounds Square Mall, although the renovation actually did not occur until seven years later. Of course there’s a high chance that First Union Real Estate just purchased an up and coming mall so they could reap the rewards of investment without having to go through the process of building an establishment.
First Renovations of the Fairgrounds Square Mall
1988 was the year that Fairgrounds Square received its first official upgrade, however it wasn’t anything too fancy like brand new flooring and lighting, but they did acquire a few more stores including a Phar-Mor Drugstore and Pharmacy. With the first renovation being good but not really anything too exciting, guests of the mall still desired something more.
Eight years later, in 1996, the mall received that cosmetic upgrade as well as a few more additions. Along with the first actual renovation of the malls decorative aspects, a third anchor building was also established, the Montgomery Ward. Shortly after renovations were complete, the mall was then sold to Jager Management Affiliate GP Properties Inc. Another major change happened in this year as well, one of Fairgrounds Square Malls anchors, JCPenney, would convert itself into a JCPenney Outlet.
Recent Changes at Fairgrounds Square Mall
In the year 2000, Montgomery Ward was replaces by a Jason’s Furniture Outlet. Three years later, the Jason’s Furniture Outlet moved to make room for a National Wholesale Liquidators store, Jason’s would then move to the location formally occupied by Phar-Mor Drugstore and Pharmacy.
Two years later, National Wholesale Liquidators would be replaced by Burlington Coat Factory, which is now the current anchor in that location. In 2011 it looked very certain that JCPenney Outlet would be closing due to the companies plan to stopped sponsoring Outlet stores. However, SB Capital ended up purchasing the Outlet division of JC Penney and re-named it JC’s 5 Star Outlet, allowing it to stay in Fairgrounds Square Mall.