CAPITAL CITY MALL
Hartzdale and Lower Allen Drives
Cumberland County, Pennsylvania

CAPITAL CITY MALL was the eleventh shopping facility developed by the Johnstown-based Crown American Corporation. The complex was built on a 54.9 acre plot, located 3.6 miles southwest of the Pennsylvania State House. The mall site was situated in the Camp Hill Borough of Cumberland County.

Comprised of a single level of retail, CAPITAL CITY MALL was officially dedicated in August 1974. The fully-enclosed retail facility encompassed 632,200 leasable square feet and contained seventy-five stores and services.

The original anchors were a 1-level (101,400 square foot) Sears, 1-level (100,000 square foot), Harrisburg-based H.H. Bowman and 1-level (102,800 square foot), Mckeesport-based Murphy's Mart.

Charter inline stores included York Steak House, Amity House Restaurant, Rea & Derrick Drug, Radio Shack, Spencer Gifts and the Carrolls Development Corporation Capital City Mall 6 Cinema. This venue had only an exterior entrance and was not connected with the interior mallway.

Commercial competitors of CAPITAL CITY MALL included COLONIAL PARK CENTER (1960) {7.8 miles northeast, in Dauphin County}, HARRISBURG EAST MALL (1969) {5.5 miles northeast, also in Dauphin County} and CAMP HILL MALL {.6 miles north, in Cumberland County}, which was a circa-1959 strip center that was renovated into an enclosed mall in 1986.

The first anchor rebranding at CAPITAL CITY MALL involved the Bowman's store, which had closed in 1977. It re-opened, as an Allentown-based Hess's, in 1979. Connecticut-based Ames completed a hostile takeover of the G.C. Murphy Company in April 1985.

Murphy's Mart stores continued to operate under their original name, but were eventually shuttered. The CAPITAL CITY MALL store re-opened, under an Ames nameplate, August 15, 1987. Meanwhile, the mall was given its first physical expansion. The 9-bay, Garden Grove Food Court, adding 30,000 square feet to the front entrance area, was dedicated in 1986.

The second enlargement of the shopping venue consisted of the addition of 20,000 square feet to Hess's. This store had closed in anticipation of its renovation. It re-opened, as 1-level (120,000 square foot) Hecht's, October 2, 1995. Ames, shuttered months before, was also renovated. It became a J.C. Penney on November 8, 1995. Sears renovated their building during 1999.

The Crown American Corporation had been split into two entities during 1993. The first, dubbed the Crown American Realty Trust, managed the corporate portfolio of twenty-eight shopping malls. Crown American Hotels was involved in the hospitality industry.

In November 2003, the realty division was sold to the Philadelphia-based Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust (PREIT). They announced a mall makeover for their CAPITAL CITY property in November 2004.

The cinema, shuttered on December 19, 2004, would be renovated into a new 9-bay Food Court. A sit-down bistro, Garfield's Pub & Restaurant, would be included in the new culinary complex.

Moreover, existing mall space would be thoroughly updated. Inline tenants, such as Spencer Gifts and FYE, would be relocated, with new Lady Foot Locker and Victoria's Secret stores brought into the mall.

The relocated Food Court was dedicated in November 2005. The original food facility, at the mall's Main Entrance, was gutted and refashioned into a Specialty Wing. New tenants, such as Hollister Company, Wet Seal, Body Central and Forever 21, were joined by the mall's second sit-down restaurant, Davenport's Italian Oven.

These businesses opened in the spring of 2006. This happened in conjunction with the conversion of Hecht's into a Macy's, which was finalized February 1 of the same year.

At the turn of the century, CAPITAL CITY MALL encompassed 682,300 leasable square feet and housed eighty-six store spaces, with nineteen kiosks. A freestanding (46,100 square foot) Toys R Us was shuttered in 2012. It was gutted and expanded, with a (50,000 square foot) Field & Stream retail store opening on October 16, 2015.

In February 2017, the mall's Sears was shuttered. The vacant building was demolished in March and replaced by a multi-tenant structure. This housed a 1-level (61,200 square foot) Dick's Sporting Goods, (15,000 square foot) Sears Appliance & Mattress and two other retail spaces. These stores were open for business by late 2017.

Sources:

"Capital City Mall" article on Wikipedia
http://www.shopcapitalcity.com
Comment post by Aaron
www.preit.com (Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust)
www.cinematreasures.org
http://www.pennlive.com