Exterior work under way at Harrisburg Mall

November 14. 2012 11:00AM - Last modified: November 14. 2012 11:36AM

Jason Scott

Looking to reposition the Harrisburg Mall as one of the premier retail destinations in the capital region, the new owners of the 61-acre mall property in Swatara Township are in the process of exterior renovations near the main entrance.

Renovations near the main entrance of the Harrisburg Mall have begun. Photo/Submitted

Maryland-based St. John Properties Inc. and Petrie Ross Ventures acquired the mall in June for $9.5 million. In July, they tore down an unfinished sports bar at the site.

The arcade-themed sports bar was scrapped mid-build. Barnes & Noble also pulled out of the mall during construction of a 30,000-square-foot bookstore, and plans for a Panera Bread restaurant were abandoned.

The initial focus has been on landscaping around the mall, which was about 70 percent leased when it was purchased. New construction activity has included the addition of decorative paver sidewalks, as well as new light fixtures, benches and an array of plantings.

The owners also are investing in signage and stronger marketing to attract more national retailers. The emphasis is on stores that cater more to women, management has said.