- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

July 28—The Mall at Steamtown will remain a mall.

The new owner said today his goal is its revival.

“I will work hard to make the mall successful by doing what I have done with my other businesses,” John Basalyga said in a new statement. “I am excited and honored to be involved in ownership and management of this important Scranton landmark and I am determined to make it thrive.”

A spokesman, Joe Gibbons, said the Roaring Brook Twp. developer has no concrete plans for altering almost 559,000-square-foot the mall yet.

“We have just come through an intense four weeks of negotiations to meet the complex requirements involved in a major real estate transaction like this one. I believe that this is a great opportunity for my company and for the city, but first we have a lot of work ahead of us,” Mr. Basalyga said in the statement. “I plan to start by talking with mall tenants and management company. Next I would like to meet with the mayor of Scranton, members of Scranton City Council, the leadership of the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce, and other community leaders who have an interest in the mall’s success.”

Efforts to reach Mr. Basalyga were unsuccessful Monday and today. He said he was inspired by a day of “positive feedback” after the announcement Monday that he bought the mall for $5.512 million.

“It’s inspiring to see the enthusiasm this community still embraces towards this project and the future of Scranton,” Mr. Basalyga said. “Making the mall succeed will not be the work of just a few days or weeks or months. It will require a long-term commitment, reinvestment, imagination and hard work. I am committed to all those.”

Mr. Basalyga, the owner of Eastern Roofing Systems Inc. in Jessup, turned that commercial and industrial roofing company into a multi-state success since taking it over. He bought the former Olyphant Silk Co. and converted it into the North Valley Lofts, a building of one- and two-bedroom apartments and lofts in Olyphant, revamped the Olde Brook Inn in Spring Brook Twp. into a restaurant and bar and converted a former textile factory in Dickson City into luxury loft apartments.

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Contact the writer: [email protected]

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