EAST NORWEGIAN TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- A struggling mall in Schuylkill County is now under new management, the same management group that has livened up a different mall near Hazleton.
Take a walk around Laurel Mall near Hazleton and you'll notice several nontraditional stores and restaurants, and more importantly, people in the mall shopping.
Travel south on I-81 to the Fairlane Village Mall near Pottsville and it's a different sight -- lots of empty storefronts, with few people.
"We want to make that another destination. With Schuylkill Mall no longer in Schuylkill County, that's really the mall that people should be going to. So our job now is to bring the businesses in. We want to bring more business into it and just build that mall up like we did here," said Laurel Mall property manager Rocco Arruzzo.
Lexington Realty International, the management group that oversees the Laurel Mall, is now going to manage the Fairlane Village Mall under existing ownership. The Laurel Mall has seen steady growth in recent years, whereas Fairlane Village has trended in the opposite direction.
"We have plans in talking to businesses to come to that mall, so I think you're going to see a lot of changes within the next six months," Arruzzo said.
At the Laurel Mall, the stores are about 90 percent full. At the Fairlane Village Mall, it's about 40 percent of the stores occupied there.