Back in 2005, the Galleria at Pittsburgh Mills opened 1.1 million square feet of retail space, welcoming Western Pennsylvania shoppers to what was then the largest mall in that part of the state.
At its peak, according to the Associated Press, the mall was valued at $190 million, which is a lot of money, anchored by JCPenney and, at first, a Kaufmann’s, which later became Macy’s.
But on Wednesday, the mall was sold for just $100 at auction—the conclusion of a long fall from grace. These days, the mall is just over half occupied, and its now-former owner, a company called Pittsburgh Mills Limited Partnership, recently defaulted on a $143 million bank loan.
This meant foreclosure, and, on Wednesday, an auction to sell the mall to the highest bidder. That turned out to be a trust known as MSCI 2007 HQ11, which hasn’t commented on the purchase and got the mall on the cheap—likely because any new buyer would also have to assume operating expenses, tax payments, and other costs for the shopping center. In addition, the mall has suffered a steep decline in value, being appraised recently at just $11 million.
The future, now, is uncertain, though according to KDKA, the mall never even fulfilled its original promise, which included plans for a water park and go-kart track.
One shopper told the station, simply: “It’s very sad.”